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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> Photograph versus title
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07/30/2002 09:43:36 PM · #1
While voting on the corporate challenge entries, I noticed a large number of photographs that really didn''t meet the challenge. I''m finding that more and more, entrants are giving their photographs titles that might reflect the challenge, even though the photograph obviously does not.

When scoring a photo, I don''t give credit for the title. If a photo doesn''t meet the challenge, I give it a 1. Unfortunately during this round, I passed out quite a few 1''s, on otherwise technically nice photographs. I think stretching an image into a challenge by virtue of the title shows a lack of imagination and creativity, because the photographer shouldn''t bend the title to suit a qualification, rather than inspiration.

I''m interested in knowing the thoughts of others on this subject.

regards

--csb

* This message has been edited by the author on 7/30/2002 9:44:01 PM.
07/30/2002 10:17:45 PM · #2
I agree, to a degree... But...

... I'm very careful not to assume that because I don't see the challenge in the photo, that it's not there. Maybe it's there, but I'm not bright/artistic/enlightened/altered enough to see it. My personal way to deal with these is to decide the 'merit' score of the photo without the challenge involved... Then I subtract 3.. Normally this puts these photos in the 1 2 or 3 range, although this week I gave a 5 after the math.

One more thing... I will revisit any shot I didn't get in an attempt to see if I CAN see what was intended. Although frankly, I think I'm doing this cause I'm still relatively new... Five weeks of giving these shots 3rd 4th and 5th chances and I haven't changed my mind on one yet. Maybe I should spend that time commenting to the folks that did shoot the challenge instead.

My question is, am I being to liberal? Should I just slap them with a 1 and move on?
07/30/2002 10:21:26 PM · #3
csb, you might want to have a look at forums>current challenge>how do you vote if.....
This thread was started Monday morning and generated a lot of replies on the same issue you are raising here.
07/30/2002 10:25:17 PM · #4
Remember, this challenge does state '[...]your views of the Corporate World and/or its effect on society'. I personally would be very careful before handing out a one in any challenge. I've been voting for about five weeks now and have only given 2 or 3 scores of one. If someone spends considerable time and effort capturing their personal view of the Corporate World's effect on society......but you don't get it -- isn't your score of one more a reflection on you than the photograph?
07/30/2002 10:33:00 PM · #5
Originally posted by LanSnake:
Remember, this challenge does state '[...]your views of the Corporate World and/or its effect on society'. I personally would be very careful before handing out a one in any challenge. I've been voting for about five weeks now and have only given 2 or 3 scores of one. If someone spends considerable time and effort capturing their personal view of the Corporate World's effect on society......but you don't get it -- isn't your score of one more a reflection on you than the photograph?

that's a very well-stated and interesting perspective :)
07/30/2002 10:42:20 PM · #6
This is the conversation I started earlier this week. I have been thinking about it though. You shouldn't necessarily jump to give a one. This challenge was different than most. It was interpreted in many ways. I agree with many who have commented on other threads that the quality of good work was not there as strongly as usual. I have been voting lower as well, but I realize that if you did not know the challenge and looked at the photos without titles, most would be a mystery. So I am trying to think that this one can use the titles somewhat. But some stretched it way too far.If you can't tell what the picture is, or if it has no photo techniques or artistic appeal then I give it a very low score. If it has good composition, quality, tecniques, interest, etc. It scored better. There are very few that you would want to hang up on your wall, but I think that's due more to the challenge, and the lack of interest in it.
07/30/2002 10:43:50 PM · #7
Nobody understands my picture :(

I'm not sure if I should tell you the story about my picture because you will know for sure what picture is mine?
07/30/2002 10:47:49 PM · #8
Originally posted by arnit:
Nobody understands my picture :(

I'm not sure if I should tell you the story about my picture because you will know for sure what picture is mine?


I have looked and I would like to offer a private guess as to which photo is yours... i have an idea but not sure...
07/30/2002 10:50:39 PM · #9
I handed out a few two''s in this (my first) round to a few photos that said nothing to me about corporate anything. Some photos just jump right out at you and scream "corporate". Yes, those are the easy ones. Some are quite a bit more subtle, and they take some consideration. When I look at the photos, I look before I pay attention to the title. If I can come up with a caption/title like the one submitted, then the photo has passed the first test. Next, I try their title. Then I have to look a technical and artistic things like color, lighting, focus, depth, composition and all that. A technically excellent photo deserves a decent score, and one that passes the "title test" deserves a better one. But a mediocre photo that does neither... Well, if my 4-year-old son submitted an out-of-focus, badly-composed photo that was totally off-topic, then I might give it a 1, but I have to assume that some thought and effort went into most of these photos, so I have to use those 1''s sparingly.

* This message has been edited by the author on 7/30/2002 10:50:13 PM.
07/30/2002 10:52:36 PM · #10
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
Originally posted by arnit:
[i]Nobody understands my picture :(

I'm not sure if I should tell you the story about my picture because you will know for sure what picture is mine?


I have looked and I would like to offer a private guess as to which photo is yours... i have an idea but not sure...
[/i]

I would like a private guess :) (arni@hamstur.is)
07/30/2002 10:53:03 PM · #11
I wonder if anyone would be interested in the idea of asking for removal of the rule that states that the title should not save the photo... I think lots of titles i see normally are quite nice....

I don't particularly care for the titles that actually explain what I'm looking at but I think the title should play a greater role.

I have NEVER gotten a comment on a clever title, but I have seen tons of comments on titles saving a photo...
07/30/2002 11:02:16 PM · #12
Is there actually a rule on that?
07/30/2002 11:03:58 PM · #13
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
I wonder if anyone would be interested in the idea of asking for removal of the rule that states that the title should not save the photo... I think lots of titles i see normally are quite nice....

I don't particularly care for the titles that actually explain what I'm looking at but I think the title should play a greater role.

I have NEVER gotten a comment on a clever title, but I have seen tons of comments on titles saving a photo...


I've only once gotten some comments on a clever title. That was on my Got Toast? photo.
07/30/2002 11:08:40 PM · #14
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
I wonder if anyone would be interested in the idea of asking for removal of the rule that states that the title should not save the photo... I think lots of titles i see normally are quite nice....

I don't particularly care for the titles that actually explain what I'm looking at but I think the title should play a greater role.

I have NEVER gotten a comment on a clever title, but I have seen tons of comments on titles saving a photo...


You know I'm all for this. I don't understand how we can be expected to meet a challenge if we can't at least partially explain our motives with a title. ESPECIALLY when the topic is something as intangible and abstract as "The Corporate World". Not allowing the title to link the photo to the challenge makes the results of the challenge trite and uncreative, as in the results of this challenge. This week, I happened to have taken a shot that relies heavily on the title to link it to the challenge. It allowed me to do something kind of abstract and didn't tie me down to a picture of my tax return.

Like I say, I see the challenge more as a guideline for taking pictures than an absolute qualification for voting.

- Mike
07/30/2002 11:10:01 PM · #15
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
I wonder if anyone would be interested in the idea of asking for removal of the rule that states that the title should not save the photo... I think lots of titles i see normally are quite nice....

I don't particularly care for the titles that actually explain what I'm looking at but I think the title should play a greater role.

I have NEVER gotten a comment on a clever title, but I have seen tons of comments on titles saving a photo...


John -- not quite sure what you have in mind (about removal of the rule). I personally like to have fun with my titles and tend to use them to try and get the viewer to think. I don't believe I've ever used a simple title, or label, on my photos here. I usually see several comments each week where people are puzzled by the photo and/or the title, but I consider that part of the creative exercise. I have to laugh at the people who want to completely ignore the title -- imagine walking through the Salvador Dali museum. Your friend calls to you 'come see this wonderful painting 'Persistence of Memory'' -- I can hear some of us yelling 'don't tell me the title -- I don't believe in titles!'......
07/30/2002 11:10:49 PM · #16
I think that the title should be 'clever' and not an explanation of the image. The title can contribute to the image easily without explaining it... there ARE a lot of explanation titles this week... :)
07/30/2002 11:21:17 PM · #17
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
I wonder if anyone would be interested in the idea of asking for removal of the rule that states that the title should not save the photo... I think lots of titles i see normally are quite nice....

jm, didn't you say in another thread that it would be nice to have a title-less challenge? If we had had one this week on this subject, at least 75% of the photos would have been uncomprehensable.

I think an awful lot of the entries really pushed the challenge to the limit, but I almost always assume the person had some logical connection somewhere even if I'm too dull to get it. Did a lot of head scratching this week though..LOL.
07/30/2002 11:28:48 PM · #18
sheyingshi, you say it in your signature:

"The best things cannot be told"

:)
07/30/2002 11:31:57 PM · #19
Originally posted by Journey:
sheyingshi, you say it in your signature:

"The best things cannot be told"

:)


Yup...and misunderstood too:)


* This message has been edited by the author on 7/30/2002 11:33:15 PM.
07/30/2002 11:33:35 PM · #20
I would have a problem with a photo of a flower with the title "The Corporate World is like a flower"... or "This is a Corporate Flower so it meets the challenge so shut up"...

But if it was a flower with decay, titled "The Fading Glory of Corporations"... I'd say that took some thought and that it ties in. Granted without the title, it's a wilted flower, but I have no problem with the title showing me a link, even an obscure one. I wouldn't add points for 'nailing' the challenge... might even take off 1 if it was a thin stretch... But some images (not just this week but every week) aren't even close.

While I'm on my soapbox, I'd like to point out that I've seen A LOT of good shots this week as well as some bad ones. Maybe I'm too easy a grader, but I have 6 images I gave a 10 to. If you figure that as a percentage of the entries, it's probably one of the highest for me.
07/30/2002 11:34:56 PM · #21
I, too, have noticed that several of the pictures are far stretches of the challenge, and i would've been lost without the title. For example, let's say for the challenge "Corporate World" I took a picture of my cat Bingo. (I didn't, by the way, just a hypothetical situation). I could call it "BINGO!" and the viewer would probably assume 1) I am a complete idiot or 2) bingo is a way to make quick money, therefore capitalist, therefore related to money, therefore related to corporations. (Yea, it's a stretch; so are some of the pictures). Or I could call it, "My Cat Bingo Who Tries to Take Over the World Everynight In Hostile Takeovers." There is a difference. A title that quickly sums up the picture or directs attention to one aspect is okay to me. A title that explains what I should see, though it's not really there, is not okay.

Also, I am all for thinking out of the box. I try to occasionally, though I usually get burnt for it. I will also accept that maybe I just can't see your view in this picture. I try hard, though. It has to be pretty lame for me to say it doesn't meet the challenge. And though I agree that the challenge is a framework or guideline for taking pictures, not the endall, if it weren't for the challenge, we could be Photosig, or something. I think taking a picture related to a specific idea/concept/thing is a way to push myself to my limits (which at this point isn't difficult).

Now that I'm thinking about it, maybe I should've done the cat thing for my picture -- it probably would have scored higher than my current entry. :-)
07/30/2002 11:41:05 PM · #22
I always seem to fall into the trap of over generalizing my feelings/thoughts here in the forums. I''d like to reiterate what I''ve said in the past: A title shouldn''t have to explain a photo...a photo should be able to stand on its own. However, even though I generally feel that way, I do try to look at each one individually; i.e. I won''t down a photo that is "over explained" if I can sort-a see it tend towards meeting the challenge....
Does that make sense? My personal preference is short titles or no titles. Of course, I don''t like Andy Warhol either! ;-)


* This message has been edited by the author on 7/30/2002 11:40:47 PM.
07/30/2002 11:48:27 PM · #23
I have an idea. lets rank titles as a second layer of the contest.

Infact for this round drop the photos and just judge the titles.

teasing: I didn't enter this one. ;D
aelith
07/30/2002 11:54:50 PM · #24
I hope to bring this thread back to life next Monday so we can talk about specifics... This has me worried that I A) am doing a disservice to photos I don't get... B) am doing a disservice to other photos by spending so much time trying to 'get' a half dozen that can't be got... or C) am worrying too much.
07/31/2002 12:30:18 AM · #25
I think hard and fast rules or no rules at all about titles won't change anyone's opinion on whether they like titles or not :-)

I assume every week that 99% of the folks TRIED to make a connection to the challenge. There might be a couple contributors every so often that just post anything to see if people will pay attention..but I like to err on the side of cutting slack :-)

I would hate to see what you guys would do if you taught art class :-/

"That bug is the worst still life I have ever seen..I give you a 15 out of 100!!!" This is art guys..lighten up. Even in chemistry tests they gave you partial credit :-)
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