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05/11/2014 09:44:08 PM · #1
has DPChallenge become more digital art? I know I have been gone a long time but there seems to be a lot more editing allowed on photos. Did the editing rules become more liberal or have people just gotten that much better at editing? And what happened to the basic editing challenges?
05/11/2014 09:57:20 PM · #2
Basic Editing was becoming increasingly pointless. It didn't encourage "best practices" at all, and it didn't "level the playing field" either because an experienced photoshopper can do under the basic editing rules, in a roundabout way, much that can be done easily and rapidly in photoshop under the advanced rules. In particular, the requirement that you not use layers was becoming more and more silly.

We DO run some "minimal Editing" challenges, which are straight-from-the-camera JPG files: THAT's about as level as the field can get.

As for "digital art", if you're talking about the expert-editing challenges, yeah, we can do a lot we didn't used to be able to do. Advanced editing is about the same as it was when you were here last though. The VOTERS may be favoring more manipulated stylings, which of course encourages the submission of such entries, but it's not the rules that has made this so.
05/11/2014 10:04:12 PM · #3
Thanks Robert. I liked the basic editing more because in my opinion it made people think and shoot more creatively with their cameras, relying on their skills and lighting and not so much on Photoshop.
05/11/2014 10:15:05 PM · #4
Originally posted by NstiG8tr:

Thanks Robert. I liked the basic editing more because in my opinion it made people think and shoot more creatively with their cameras, relying on their skills and lighting and not so much on Photoshop.

This was becoming less and less true as aftermarket processing options multiplied, unfortunately. It was pointless to tell people they couldn't use a certain tool (Topaz Adjust, for example) when the exact same result could be obtained, or close to it, by judicious, if laborious, Photoshop work. In the meanwhile, since "Basic" editing was (and still is) a "tool-based" ruleset ("You may use this tool and that tool, but not these other tools") it was becoming impossible to keep up with tools that were appearing on the scenes in a timely manner.

Advanced Editing, on the other hand, is a "results-based" ruleset: we don't care what tools you use, only what you do with them. That's much more easily managed, though we still have huge gray areas to negotiate when validating certain sorts of images that use "effects" filters, like the ones that let you turn your image into a simulated watercolor/oil painting/mosaic, to name just one example.
05/11/2014 10:29:08 PM · #5
I totally get what Bear is talking about but I too missed Basic after a while. My top3 where basic editing challenges. Though I so wished to spot edit here and there, it made shooting more detailed oriented for sure. Little bit of (non sensor) dust here and there made a big difference for certain macro shots.
05/11/2014 11:08:32 PM · #6
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

It was pointless to tell people they couldn't use a certain tool (Topaz Adjust, for example) when the exact same result could be obtained, or close to it, by judicious, if laborious, Photoshop work.

Minor point, but Topaz Adjust has been legal in Basic Editing for 5 years now (as long as it's not used to create a special effect).
05/12/2014 12:10:20 AM · #7
Something did change in my view, which has nothing to do with the rule.

Advanced editing became a sort of heavy manipulation of a photo, (often an imperfect one) by using photoshop or other similar program to a great extent. The temptations is too great and we fall under the spell and use indiscriminately a lot of tools and filters at DPC mostly saturation, sharpening, glamor glow, blur and detail extractor.
The topic is often timidly approached and if we are asked for a banana challenge we produce crude shots of a single banana without a single idea behind or any consideration for composition for fear of not being DNMC.
The "Beauty" challenge made clear that a lot of us think in a very literal way, sometimes almost childish. Not because we cannot, but sometimes the desire of a fictional ribbon is too paralyzing.

I stumbled recently upon a site that collects images of beauty. The motto on top of the page is was of the person who runs the blog:
"The experience of "beauty" often involves the interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. Because this is a subjective experience, it is often said that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." In its most profound sense, beauty may engender a salient experience of positive reflection about the meaning of one's own existence. A subject of beauty is anything that resonates with personal meaning".
Such a simple and convincing way of putting the thoughts into words. Beauty does not equal happiness, brightness or pastel colors, happy subject, flowers or young women.

Conversely, expert editing seems to be appreciated fully only if photography is used as an accessory to spirited illustrations. The result is from fabulous to a touch pathetic or just grotesque or commercial. For a site like DPC we should be able to appreciate different way of using an expert editing in which photography remains in its own right.

We had recently a minimal editing challenge that was like fresh air here.

I am in favor of using all rules, from minimal to expert with more respect for the original photography.
05/12/2014 12:12:18 AM · #8
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

It was pointless to tell people they couldn't use a certain tool (Topaz Adjust, for example) when the exact same result could be obtained, or close to it, by judicious, if laborious, Photoshop work.

Minor point, but Topaz Adjust has been legal in Basic Editing for 5 years now (as long as it's not used to create a special effect).

Yes, but there WAS a period of time when Topaz Adjust was banned, was photomatix pro, even for single image tone mapping, despite that photoshop's shadow/highlight tool in comjunction with contrast adjustments could accomplish somewhat the same thing.
05/12/2014 10:36:06 AM · #9
i like chocolate
05/12/2014 11:40:38 AM · #10
Expert is just a Photoshop contest.
05/12/2014 12:24:50 PM · #11
Originally posted by Spork99:

Expert is just a Photoshop contest.

That's largely true as far as the RESULTS go (it's hard to beat a gyaban, a judi, a samantha, an alexkc, when they get determined on a project) but nevertheless for some of us expert challenges are an opportunity to try to crack the top with an actual photograph. It's fun to try.

Message edited by author 2014-05-12 12:27:36.
05/12/2014 12:30:19 PM · #12
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Expert is just a Photoshop contest.

That's largely true as far as the RESULTS go (it's hard to be a gyaban, a judi, a samantha, an alexkc, when they get determined on a project) but nevertheless for some of us expert challenges are an opportunity to try to crack the top with an actual photograph. It's fun to try.

One of my two blue ribbons was an expert challenge. I only did basic editing. So it IS possible to do well without photoshopping too much ;)
05/12/2014 12:36:37 PM · #13
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

crack the top with an actual photograph. It's fun to try.


To wit, my recent red ribbon for Beauty.
05/12/2014 12:38:59 PM · #14
Originally posted by tanguera:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

crack the top with an actual photograph. It's fun to try.

To wit, my recent red ribbon for Beauty.

Right, there ya go! And you too, Trollman. And way back when, in one of the earliest Expert challenges, I won with an advanced edit that had just had a couple silhouetted birds inserted into the sky...
05/12/2014 01:34:58 PM · #15
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Expert is just a Photoshop contest.

That's largely true as far as the RESULTS go (it's hard to beat a gyaban, a judi, a samantha, an alexkc, when they get determined on a project) but nevertheless for some of us expert challenges are an opportunity to try to crack the top with an actual photograph. It's fun to try.


I enjoy looking at the results to a degree. There are exceptions, but on the whole, the Expert challenges are more about Photoshop compositing skills than the camera. It's just not my cup of tea. Maybe it's the name of the rule set. "Expert" on a photography site, to me, implies a very high level of photographic skill, not primarily skill in Photoshop.
05/12/2014 02:10:57 PM · #16
i've always felt the ruleset should be named "enhanced editing".

likewise, advanced should be renamed as well

minimal
standard
enhanced

this way none imply ability, they merely define the level of application you can apply to your photographs.

Message edited by author 2014-05-12 14:13:03.
05/12/2014 02:19:07 PM · #17
Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Expert is just a Photoshop contest.

That's largely true as far as the RESULTS go (it's hard to beat a gyaban, a judi, a samantha, an alexkc, when they get determined on a project) but nevertheless for some of us expert challenges are an opportunity to try to crack the top with an actual photograph. It's fun to try.


I enjoy looking at the results to a degree. There are exceptions, but on the whole, the Expert challenges are more about Photoshop compositing skills than the camera. It's just not my cup of tea. Maybe it's the name of the rule set. "Expert" on a photography site, to me, implies a very high level of photographic skill, not primarily skill in Photoshop.

As Bear_Music says: To crack a top ten with a photograph in an expert challenge is rewarding - and requires expert photography - as you thought it should imply. If you have an image you feel is up top the task - go for it. I actually don't care about the expert editing at myself. But I know others do, and there are plenty of other challenges so it's absolutely no problem for me.

And just so I have said it - although obvious: If two images are equally good in any expert challenge; I will score higher the image with the least amount of photoshopping. So let us see them flying sporkchops Spork :)
05/12/2014 02:51:19 PM · #18
Originally posted by Spork99:

...There are exceptions, but on the whole, the Expert challenges are more about Photoshop compositing skills than the camera. It's just not my cup of tea. Maybe it's the name of the rule set. "Expert" on a photography site, to me, implies a very high level of photographic skill, not primarily skill in Photoshop.

When I think of the current batch of folks that consistently place high in the Expert Challenges I think of ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' gyaban, ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Samantha_T, and ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' alexkc. While each possesses a lot of skill in Photoshop, they all have a very high level of photographic skill and generally do very well in all rule sets.
05/12/2014 03:00:31 PM · #19
Originally posted by Mike:

i've always felt the ruleset should be named "enhanced editing".

likewise, advanced should be renamed as well

minimal
standard
enhanced

this way none imply ability, they merely define the level of application you can apply to your photographs.


Absolutely.
05/12/2014 03:18:31 PM · #20
A Photoshop contest would mean everyone started with the same photos and was assigned the same exact project. Someone like ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' gyaban regularly takes hundreds of photos to create something extremely creative that tells a story and is commercially viable as well. The level of effort and time can't even be compared to the majority of photogs here (I'm assuming). I don't even submit hardly at all any more but It's not because of the rules, the challenges, or the voters - I just don't have time.

If anything, the expert rule set allows the DPC crowd to practice making art that could be commercially useful even though camera snobs may scoff. If anything, this is one area that DPC is keeping up with the times.

Originally posted by Spork99:

Expert is just a Photoshop contest.
05/12/2014 03:30:21 PM · #21
Originally posted by Mike:

i've always felt the ruleset should be named "enhanced editing".

My vote has alway been for changing it to "extended editing" but for the same reason -- it has to do with what techniques are allowed and nothing to do with one's expertise in using them.
05/12/2014 03:43:06 PM · #22
Originally posted by markwiley:

Originally posted by Spork99:

...There are exceptions, but on the whole, the Expert challenges are more about Photoshop compositing skills than the camera. It's just not my cup of tea. Maybe it's the name of the rule set. "Expert" on a photography site, to me, implies a very high level of photographic skill, not primarily skill in Photoshop.

When I think of the current batch of folks that consistently place high in the Expert Challenges I think of ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' gyaban, ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Samantha_T, and ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' alexkc. While each possesses a lot of skill in Photoshop, they all have a very high level of photographic skill and generally do very well in all rule sets.


But it's not their photographic skill that wins in expert challenges. True, they create good source images, but the results of the challenge have far more to do with creating composite illustrations in Photoshop than their photographic skill.
05/12/2014 03:49:56 PM · #23
As I said, the results of the expert challenges have more to do with Photoshop compositing skills than anything else.

People who take excellent photos ALSO take hundreds of images in search of the best one, the number of times the shutter is pressed is irrelevant.

If you enjoy that sort of thing, great.

Maybe that makes me a camera snob. WTF-ever...


Originally posted by tate:

A Photoshop contest would mean everyone started with the same photos and was assigned the same exact project. Someone like ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' gyaban regularly takes hundreds of photos to create something extremely creative that tells a story and is commercially viable as well. The level of effort and time can't even be compared to the majority of photogs here (I'm assuming). I don't even submit hardly at all any more but It's not because of the rules, the challenges, or the voters - I just don't have time.

If anything, the expert rule set allows the DPC crowd to practice making art that could be commercially useful even though camera snobs may scoff. If anything, this is one area that DPC is keeping up with the times.

Originally posted by Spork99:

Expert is just a Photoshop contest.
05/12/2014 04:05:15 PM · #24
Originally posted by Spork99:

(snip)As I said, the results of the expert challenges have more to do with Photoshop compositing skills than anything else.(/snip)...But it's not their photographic skill that wins in expert challenges. True, they create good source images, but the results of the challenge have far more to do with creating composite illustrations in Photoshop than their photographic skill.


While I do agree with the latter half of this statement, I disagree with the first part. It most certainly IS about photographic skill!! The degree of photographic knowledge, in terms of exposure, lighting, perspective, posing, dof, and a whole host of other photographic details, required in the source images IS the reason the compositing of the winning entries works in the final image. One only has to view any of the "expert" challenges (and I completely concur on a change of term for the ruleset...) to see that there are numerous examples of good ideas, which didn't coalesce because the pieces did not match up, due to any of the aforementioned technical issues not applied uniformly.
05/12/2014 04:29:26 PM · #25
Originally posted by tanguera:

Originally posted by Spork99:

(snip)As I said, the results of the expert challenges have more to do with Photoshop compositing skills than anything else.(/snip)...But it's not their photographic skill that wins in expert challenges. True, they create good source images, but the results of the challenge have far more to do with creating composite illustrations in Photoshop than their photographic skill.


While I do agree with the latter half of this statement, I disagree with the first part. It most certainly IS about photographic skill!! The degree of photographic knowledge, in terms of exposure, lighting, perspective, posing, dof, and a whole host of other photographic details, required in the source images IS the reason the compositing of the winning entries works in the final image. One only has to view any of the "expert" challenges (and I completely concur on a change of term for the ruleset...) to see that there are numerous examples of good ideas, which didn't coalesce because the pieces did not match up, due to any of the aforementioned technical issues not applied uniformly.


I agree. Just look at the descriptions by the author (' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' gyaban) on the images referenced in this post. Lots of photographic knowledge was used to create those composite images. Lots of lighting theory was put in practice. For example this part from Let my imagination flow:

- Body parts: 16 photos were selected and arranged in the final composition. All of them were photographed at home, with 2 strobes: one for reproducing the main light source (we moved it during the shooting so that its position would be accurate for each part) and another as fill.

You may like it or not, it's up to you. Sometimes i like them, and sometimes i do not, but i respect the photographic knowledge of the author.

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