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01/20/2003 09:37:51 AM · #1
DISCLAIMER: I was against this whole border idea from the beginning. I knew it would confuse people, and we've had some pretty nit-picky DQs as I feared.

That being said, perhaps some of the confusion stems from the fact that the site apparently puts its own 1 pixel black border around the photos. Therefore, people who create two borders and then upload their shot could potentially "see" THREE borders (their 2 + the site's frame) on their shot.

The winner in the landscape challenge is a perfect example of this. To my eye, there are three borders surrounding that photo. Mieka's photo, of which there has been much discussion, also has three borders. (I'm not picking on Mieka, or defending her, just using this as an example to make a point.) If she had cropped that photo correctly w/o the outer black border IT WOULD STILL HAVE HAD A BLACK BORDER DISPLAYED ONCE SHE UPLOADED IT TO THE SITE! To DQ her, or anyone else in that same boat, IMHO, is ridiculous.

Yeah, I've recommended a couple of DQ's for border issues myself because it's currently what the rules are. I think they need to be changed, however.

We should either allow users to create their own borders or the site should automatically give us borders, but NOT BOTH.

Perhaps users could have the option to select either a black or white 1px border when uploading their images (this would allow dark pictures to have a light border and vice versa)? Allowing users to do their own borders gives an advantage to those with superior software and/or software technique and is relatively unfair.

Or what about a border like digitalphotocontest.com uses? I'm not saying that we copy theirs exactly, but every photo has a uniform border that both distinguishes the photo from the background but also keeps everyone on a level playing field.

Just my humble opinion...

Rob
01/20/2003 09:53:49 AM · #2
But the border that count are the on 'in' the picture right ? If I do 2 borders in my picture, even if DPC add his border as of right now (total of 3) , I would not be disqualified right ?
01/20/2003 09:56:06 AM · #3
Originally posted by lionelm:

But the border that count are the on 'in' the picture right ? If I do 2 borders in my picture, even if DPC add his border as of right now (total of 3) , I would not be disqualified right ?


Right, but that's my point: this whole deal is TOO confusing. And it's detracting from the fun of the site.
01/20/2003 10:29:16 AM · #4
Not to stir up any controversy, but the winning landscape photo that you mention actually has three "borders" added to the photo itself, not counting the automatically added DPC 1px solid black border.

There is a light blue 3-4 pixel border, then a darker blue 1px outline, then the 5px white border.

I don't know what this means or how DPC should deal with it, but I think it does point out a problem.
01/20/2003 10:30:10 AM · #5
I agree it is getting confusing. However, when we had a no-border rule, we had about as many nit-picky DQs, because people didn't crop their images properly and maybe added a single pixel line down the side and so on. The changes were supposed to move us away from DQing them (which it has) but has left us in a more confusing middle ground.

I don't know that I really buy this borders are unfair because it gives an advantage to people that know how to use software argument. If you don't know how to use photofinishing software, you are going to do badly anyway. I'd be interested to know how many winning pictures have had no processing at all. Post processing, like darkroom work in the past,is part of the photographic process. If you can't do it, it is as unfair as not being able to hold a camera steady or understand the exposure system. Software is available for free on all platforms that can do modifications well beyond those allowed in the rules, so the cost issue is also a non-point.

Really, with a 640 limit, I think over the top and elaborate borders actually hurt pictures - you end up with a smaller entry. People will vote them down. A simple border enhances and finishes a entry well. I think we should just 'let it go' and see how bad it gets. Stupid borders will self-select themselves out of the scoring anyway.

As soon as a bad picture, with a great border wins - I'll happily print this post out and eat it. Lets make the borders 'anything goes' but no clip-art/additional photographs/ text added. It is simpler to admin, simpler to understand and would clear up a lot of the confusion.

Message edited by author 2003-01-20 10:30:49.
01/20/2003 10:39:30 AM · #6
Seconded. Voice of reason there, folks. Disregard at your peril.
01/20/2003 11:32:35 AM · #7
Originally posted by mci:


There is a light blue 3-4 pixel border, then a darker blue 1px outline, then the 5px white border.


I can't say if there is or isn't a dark blue border. I think it's just an optical illusion, as it's not consistent all the way around the photo. But this just goes to the point that the whole issue is confusing and should be altered somehow.

As for the post-processing, I agree that it's an integral part of the photography process. And I was referring more to the technical knowledge aspect of the software. How many people have been asking how to do borders correctly? IMO, this shouldn't even be an issue. *shrug*

Borders aren't allowed in a film photography contest so that judges can view all of the images on equal ground. Allowing us to edit the way our images are displayed automatically "unlevels" the playing field -- TO SOME EXTENT. No, a border won't make or break the picture. But this is dpchallenge, not dpphotogallery.

OK, I'll shutup now. The main point of this thread was to demonstrate that the border issue is still confusing.

Rob
01/20/2003 11:48:56 AM · #8
This is a closeup of the top right hand corner of the winner of landscape.
' . substr('//sucs.org/~dez/border.jpg', strrpos('//sucs.org/~dez/border.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
It does indeed appear to have more than 2 borders. The outer black one is the DPchallenge added one, so can be ignored. The white one has some discolouration, no doubt due to JPEG artifacts. There is clearly a one pixel darker blue border round the blue border. Note that the corner pixel is darker still, indicating that this is probably due to antialiasing. There is a lighter halo round the image, again probably due to antialiasing and the blue border isn't a consistent colour all the way round, which will again be due to JPEG artifacts.
01/20/2003 11:57:55 AM · #9
Originally posted by mci:

Not to stir up any controversy, but the winning landscape photo that you mention actually has three "borders" added to the photo itself, not counting the automatically added DPC 1px solid black border.

There is a light blue 3-4 pixel border, then a darker blue 1px outline, then the 5px white border.


You are right, technically it has three borders.
This is probably a result of the jpeg compression algoritm messing with the color. It always seems to do that on consistent color lines that suddenly transfer into a whole other color. I see it happening on large color patches as well, the outline becomes a different color.

For the discussion I have looked up several past images as well and blown them up to big pixel sizes in irfanview (no resampling, just magnifying):

Am I Nuts, by Redfig (last week's winner) has a black, grey, white border. The grey is obviously a jpeg compression artifact, cause by the contrast between white and black.
Beach Boy's surfing USA by Byetko (last week's winner), the border at the underside and right side consist of three lines, pinkish, greyish, black. The other two sides have it in lesser extent. Again jpeg at work, but it are three visible borders.
Traveling by Rail, by Tarbini (winner of the travel challenge, three borders, dark grey/light grey/white.
A path less traveled, by psychephylax (second in the travel challenge), clearly has three borders, white/grey/black.
Resolution, by Davenit (third in the New Year challenge), has three borders, white/grey/black.
Quadrants and Buds, by joanns (second in the four challenge), check the upper right corner. Jpeg compression has created two distinctive tones of yellow and combined with the white it is technically a three border in that area.
Silly boy, by Sonifo (22nd in the humor challenge, but a well respected artist and winner) in places has three to four border lines. In top it goes from light grey, to white, to dark grey, to black.
Dead of winter, by JMsetzler, (19th in landscape), has three borders, Dark grey, light grey, black.

When I search some more I can point out several other images that contain three or more borders, by newbies and oldbies. But in my opinion, most of the times it is caused by a relation of the border size in pixels and the amount of jpeg compression. No need at all to disqualify because of that!!!!!! But technically it are more than the allowed number of borders.

I think that there has to be room for this and therefore also for multi-border images (>2) or no borders at all.
This is a problem and makes you wonder about the already disqualified images because of this.


01/20/2003 12:06:54 PM · #10
Originally posted by Gordon:


I don't know that I really buy this borders are unfair because it gives an advantage to people that know how to use software argument. If you don't know how to use photofinishing software, you are going to do badly anyway.


Whatever I do, the color of a colored border also jumps lightly to the first line of pixels in the image. And when an image needs a lot of compression, the jpeg messes with the color consistency and puts new lines on the outside of the existing borders.
So, I don't use them.
Most of the time borders are pretty ugly anyway.

01/20/2003 12:17:40 PM · #11
Oh, that's why I gave that image a high mark!!!! The one pixel border!!! Oh the extreme mastery of that 1 pixel border!!! How well they created that 1 pixel border!!!

You are all out of your minds. If your image is great it will stomp any image with any border. Stop making excuses why these won and yours lost. They were better images than yours. Deal with it. Making excuses or finding reasons why you lost will not make you better.

I have said it before. I don't care if someone uses 30 borders, my image is the best I can do and if people like it they will vote for it. I say open it up for all borders. I fear no border!!!!

Now go and take some pictures, will ya...

Dave
01/20/2003 12:26:29 PM · #12
Originally posted by Davenit:

Oh, that's why I gave that image a high mark!!!! The one pixel border!!! Oh the extreme mastery of that 1 pixel border!!! How well they created that 1 pixel border!!!


This was not a discussion about why they won and I didn't. My post is purely to point out that the 2 border rule doesn't work and should no longer be used to disqualify people.

No limits or nothing at all, avoids problems like I pointed out.

01/20/2003 12:31:17 PM · #13
Originally posted by Davenit:


You are all out of your minds. If your image is great it will stomp any image with any border. Stop making excuses why these won and yours lost. They were better images than yours. Deal with it. Making excuses or finding reasons why you lost will not make you better.


It's not about that. This thread is about making the rules simple enough to avoid unfair DQs. How you interpreted it this way is beyond me.

Personally, I've really enjoyed experimenting with borders lately, and I like the added interest they provide when you're voting/commenting on photos. I agree that they should be totally unrestricted, apart from the exceptions Gordon mentioned.

Edit: Hehe, I just said exactly the same thing as Azrifel!

Message edited by author 2003-01-20 12:32:16.
01/20/2003 12:34:16 PM · #14
I voted that we DQ 1st place for the border problem, since we DQ'd everyone else last week for a border problem.

I'm guessing we should do the same to this week's submissions until we get our rule straight.
01/20/2003 12:38:55 PM · #15
I think the only fair solution would be to reinstate Mieka's photo. If we're going to limit borders, maybe it should be the size we limit, not the number of colours used.

I find it a bit petty that people are actually recommending DQs on such trivial grounds anyway.
01/20/2003 12:39:06 PM · #16
Originally posted by langdon:

I voted that we DQ 1st place for the border problem, since we DQ'd everyone else last week for a border problem.

I'm guessing we should do the same to this week's submissions until we get our rule straight.


I would recommend taking the other perspective.

Go through and unDQ the pictures that have been DQed since we changed the border rule.

Admit that we put in place a confusing rule, re-instate all the pictures from the last week or so that were DQed due to this border confusion.

Leave the current first place in first place as it looks perfectly valid, other than compression artefacts. The alternative is that we'll have to DQ about 90% of the current entries with borders - which is just going to be a farce, and only because of badly worded rules and technical realities of the compression format for submissions.


Then going forward have a more resonable border rule, either very restrictive, with some leeway for cropping screwups -which was the original motivation for stopping DQing on this - I think we got this a bit wrong. The example of photocontests requiring slides, without borders is true, but they don't tend to disqualify for people who've badly mounted slides - which the cropping issue is the digital equivalent of.

Or have a 'free' border rule, with anything goes, without adding text/ clipart.

Message edited by author 2003-01-20 12:42:42.
01/20/2003 12:41:04 PM · #17
My comments were toward those that are DQ'ing images for that reason and not to those that brought this subject up. How you interepreted it different is beyond me... LOL. Always two ways to look at something I guess...

Dave
01/20/2003 01:33:22 PM · #18
Now that the voting is over Un-Dqing a photo isn't going to help that entry.

Why not just allow any border. Whoever in this thread is suggesting that we allow all borders I am with you.

Antialiasing will, at times, create the appearance of multiple borders at times ala the winner in the landscape challenge this week.

If we allowed all borders then maybe we could get beyond at least one silly dq topic each week and concentrate on sillier DQ requests :-D
01/20/2003 01:43:40 PM · #19
Originally posted by muckpond:

[b]DISCLAIMER: Or what about a border like digitalphotocontest.com uses? I'm not saying that we copy theirs exactly, but every photo has a uniform border that both distinguishes the photo from the background but also keeps everyone on a level playing field.

Just my humble opinion...

Rob


I couldn't agree more some of the photos are really not that great if it weren't for the borders pulling you into the photo. This creates an optical illusion that has been done for years by photographers and artist alike, but why should they have an upper hand in this?

However while everyone is busy discussing the border issue did anyone ever look at the information on the 2nd place winner in the landscapes, Bowing to A New Morning? Are the photos not suppose to have been taken during the week of the challenge? This photo was taken 2002-11-12.
01/20/2003 01:50:55 PM · #20
Originally posted by OneSweetSin:


However while everyone is busy discussing the border issue did anyone ever look at the information on the 2nd place winner in the landscapes, Bowing to A New Morning? Are the photos not suppose to have been taken during the week of the challenge? This photo was taken 2002-11-12.


An excellent point! I hadn't even noticed this....

As for the borders, the rule needs to be eliminated or simplified. That's all I'm saying.

Rob
01/20/2003 02:01:58 PM · #21
Originally posted by muckpond:

Originally posted by OneSweetSin:


? Are the photos not suppose to have been taken during the week of the challenge? This photo was taken 2002-11-12.


An excellent point! I hadn't even noticed this....

Rob


I did notice it cause I had a fantastic sign photo that I took last month while on vacation but didn't use it cause it wasn't within the time frame specified.
01/20/2003 02:09:12 PM · #22
I don't think the winner should be disqualified, nor any of the other pics I mentioned in my post. I'd vote to stop DQ'ing border problems right away and also to change the rule to
a) all borders are allowed, except drop shadows
b) no borders are allowed
c) 2 borders of a single color are allowed, with a to be formualted exception rule for compression borders and stuff like that.

a & b are easy to maintain.
c is a lot of work and discussion.


01/20/2003 02:58:49 PM · #23
I am frustrated to vote a DQ on a nice photo merely because of the border issue. Here are some choices...

a) make your border. Face the consequences on a bad border, and instruct yourself on how to do it better so that you don't feel someone is winning over you because of a better border, (which I don't see happening anyway)

or ....

b) go back to no borders allowed.

I tend to choose "a".. If someone wants to post a photo that looks sloppy because of a bad border choice, or because they mis-cropped, then they will pay the price with a low average.

I'd rather be voting on photographs than borders, and it just makes me wince to DQ because of a 1 pixel 3rd border.

At the same time, I feel that text, clip art and drop shadows should still not be allowed.

I think this thread has some great ideas.

Also, reinstating the DQ'd photos would be the only fair thing to do if the winner is allowed to remain. Unfortuantely, they didn't all get a chance to be voted on because they were eliminated. The rule should be consistantly applied.

I also, on the other hand, agree with the person who stated that normally photographs are reviewed and judged via transparencies without the borders. If we go back to that, we are just where we started from. But, again... if you can't take the time to submit a "clean" photo, then why are you submitting at all? Do you send in a legal document or report of any kind with typo's and erasure marks? No.
01/20/2003 03:12:36 PM · #24
Karen, I disagree. The winning photo is not an illegal border. The border must have become artifacted by the jpg compression. If this photo is disqualified, I will be severely disappointed. It was NOT applied as an illegal border.

I can't believe we are down to looking at individual pixels on a border to determine if it is illegal or not. This is completely rediculous.
01/20/2003 03:19:14 PM · #25
i think what is causing that problem with the aliasing border or whatever is that people are resizing images after they place the border. if you resize the original to 620 width and then increase the canvas size by .2, you will see none of the compression artifacts that people have been seeing
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