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DPChallenge Forums >> Current Challenge >> TILTilating score is SHIFTing expectations
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09/16/2016 01:45:23 AM · #1
Votes: 1
Views: 5
Avg Vote: 10.0000
Comments: 0

Stop the voting, I'm happy.
09/16/2016 03:31:37 AM · #2
Can only get better hopefully

Views: 11
Avg Vote: 3.8000
Comments: 0
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09/16/2016 06:55:29 AM · #3
First vote was a 9. Woke up to a 6 with 5 votes in. So far so good I guess.

Message edited by author 2016-09-16 06:55:47.
09/18/2016 11:15:28 AM · #4
Well, this is going horribly wrong for me. Thought I had a decent image.
09/18/2016 01:37:09 PM · #5
Such a clever thread title!
09/18/2016 10:33:39 PM · #6
I suspect the problem is that the majority of entrants seem to have misinterpreted the fundamental challenge concept of "explore the tilt and shift camera movements" as "slap gaussian blur in photoshop onto an otherwise pedestrian photograph to achieve the stereotypical fake miniature effect". Easy to get confused between the two, clearly :)
09/18/2016 10:55:24 PM · #7
I've got 3 images in voting currently and the only one shot on an iPhone in the heat of the moment is doing the best which isn't saying much really since it is at a 5.6.

Tilt score is at a 5.3.
09/19/2016 07:28:42 AM · #8
Originally posted by riot:

I suspect the problem is that the majority of entrants seem to have misinterpreted the fundamental challenge concept of "explore the tilt and shift camera movements" as "slap gaussian blur in photoshop onto an otherwise pedestrian photograph to achieve the stereotypical fake miniature effect". Easy to get confused between the two, clearly :)

So many people own a tilt shift lens, right?
09/19/2016 01:48:02 PM · #9
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by riot:

I suspect the problem is that the majority of entrants seem to have misinterpreted the fundamental challenge concept of "explore the tilt and shift camera movements" as "slap gaussian blur in photoshop onto an otherwise pedestrian photograph to achieve the stereotypical fake miniature effect". Easy to get confused between the two, clearly :)

So many people own a tilt shift lens, right?


Because you have to own a professional tilt shift lens to perform any kind of camera movements, perspective adjustment etc, with or without the aid of photoshop, right?

Once upon a time, dpchallenge was all about putting value on imagination, out-of-the-box thinking and exploring techniques in different and unanticipated ways... and on the whole that seems to still hold true. Just that the majority of this particular contest's entrants seem to have decided to opt out of those values, and mostly produce identical cookie-cutter photoshop blur jobs.

Everyone's free to submit what they like, and to vote as they like - and I've voted in accordance with my tastes. I just wouldn't be surprised if I'm not the only one who still values some originality in photographic technique, while voting on this one :)
09/19/2016 05:23:58 PM · #10
Originally posted by riot:

Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by riot:

I suspect the problem is that the majority of entrants seem to have misinterpreted the fundamental challenge concept of "explore the tilt and shift camera movements" as "slap gaussian blur in photoshop onto an otherwise pedestrian photograph to achieve the stereotypical fake miniature effect". Easy to get confused between the two, clearly :)

So many people own a tilt shift lens, right?

Because you have to own a professional tilt shift lens to perform any kind of camera movements, perspective adjustment etc, with or without the aid of photoshop, right?

Once upon a time, dpchallenge was all about putting value on imagination, out-of-the-box thinking and exploring techniques in different and unanticipated ways... and on the whole that seems to still hold true. Just that the majority of this particular contest's entrants seem to have decided to opt out of those values, and mostly produce identical cookie-cutter photoshop blur jobs.

Everyone's free to submit what they like, and to vote as they like - and I've voted in accordance with my tastes. I just wouldn't be surprised if I'm not the only one who still values some originality in photographic technique, while voting on this one :)

I'd love to get your thoughts after the challenge on exactly how one goes about getting a 'Tilt Shift' look without either a specific lens suited for the job, or using software (blur or available filters for this specific look). I can understand your thought process, say if the challenge was "Blur" and you expected people to get the results by moving the camera or the old vaseline (film days) trick.

Accepted "solutions" in this community earlier.
09/19/2016 05:46:19 PM · #11
Originally posted by glad2badad:

I'd love to get your thoughts after the challenge on exactly how one goes about getting a 'Tilt Shift' look without either a specific lens suited for the job, or using software (blur or available filters for this specific look).

The link in this thread describes one way to do it with an SLR (which I don't have) ... I used the "blur method" myself (as I have a few times before).
09/19/2016 06:51:28 PM · #12
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by glad2badad:

I'd love to get your thoughts after the challenge on exactly how one goes about getting a 'Tilt Shift' look without either a specific lens suited for the job, or using software (blur or available filters for this specific look).

The link in this thread describes one way to do it with an SLR (which I don't have) ... I used the "blur method" myself (as I have a few times before).

LOL - Didn't open that thread link. The title made it seem like an advert or something (giveaways, etc...).

That is an interesting article. Not sure that the two examples in there illustrate the miniature look (definitely not in the portrait), but they do get that lensbaby feel.
09/19/2016 09:13:07 PM · #13
Originally posted by glad2badad:

I'd love to get your thoughts after the challenge on exactly how one goes about getting a 'Tilt Shift' look without either a specific lens suited for the job, or using software (blur or available filters for this specific look). I can understand your thought process, say if the challenge was "Blur" and you expected people to get the results by moving the camera or the old vaseline (film days) trick.


I wasn't suggesting that all use of software be excluded; my point was that "tilt & shift" - describing two separate movements - is an invitation to explore camera movements in general, and there are many different effects that can be achieved. Reducing the entire wide world of camera movements to just photoshopped versions of the "fake miniature look" - defined as being achieved using vertical tilt to photograph a remote urban scene - is a pitiful limitation of the potential of the contest subject matter. But sadly it seems that's what the vast majority of entrants have chosen to do, and so they shouldn't be surprised when they get suitably low votes for their complete lack of originality.

As for some ideas as to what else one can achieve without a professional tilt/shift lens that could have worked well in this challenge:
* Unmount an ordinary lens, and manually move it close to its lens mount - make a light-tight bellows out of some tape, a black sock or whatever comes to hand. Both tilt and shift are possible.
* Do as above, with a lens placed back to front to the camera body.
* Obtain a lensbaby or some other cheap moveable optic device, and experiment, can easily get them for under £50.
* If you have a mirrorless camera, try a tilt-shift adapter for a larger format.
* Take a series of shots stitched into a panorama, and perspective correct it to produce a shifted effect, as suggested in photographyblog.com/articles/why_you_dont_need_a_tilt-shift_lens.
* Take an ordinary photograph with receding perspective, and correct that perspective in software to get a fake shift look for architecture.
* Take a wide angle photograph and crop it to one side to get a genuine optical shift effect.
* Use your software gaussian blur to fake a tilt effect, but in some way other than just to create a stereotypical "miniature city" photograph.
* If all else fails, you can just buy an old full manual tilt shift lens such as the old Arsat you can get for £250 on ebay, nowhere near as bank-breaking as the £1000 Canon TS-E's.

And if you do feel the need to use gaussian blur to fake a tilt effect, there are many ways to do that without resorting to the same identikit subject matter that filled the last two tilt-shift contests - just turning it 90 degrees would already get you a much higher vote from me, for once, as in these far more interesting photos (both from real tilt-shifts):
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_882033.jpgCopyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_835216.jpg

As for the entire argument "we don't expect creativity in this contest because not everyone wants to spend the money to buy a specialist lens", I don't think that holds water; should we complain the same way about every wide angle contest requiring a specialist wide-angle lens, or about the price of Canon L glass whenever there's a wildlife or sports contest, or the expense of a macro setup whenever there's a macro contest, or the expense of a studio or lighting setup when we've had studio or flash technique contests?

I just think it's a bit sad how such a prominent contest on dpchallenge has become not at all about exploring photographic technique, and entirely about doing a by-the-numbers photoshop recreation of one specific classic cliche use of an otherwise very interesting piece of equipment.

Edit: fixing links

Message edited by author 2016-09-19 21:28:50.
09/19/2016 09:22:27 PM · #14
In for a new personal worst. Or at least bottom three.

I like my shot. Its got a great personality.
09/19/2016 10:36:29 PM · #15
Originally posted by riot:

Originally posted by glad2badad:

I'd love to get your thoughts after the challenge on exactly how one goes about getting a 'Tilt Shift' look without either a specific lens suited for the job, or using software (blur or available filters for this specific look). I can understand your thought process, say if the challenge was "Blur" and you expected people to get the results by moving the camera or the old vaseline (film days) trick.


I wasn't suggesting that all use of software be excluded; my point was that "tilt & shift" - describing two separate movements - is an invitation to explore camera movements in general, and there are many different effects that can be achieved. ...

Well - it's too bad that these type of suggestions don't come up before the submission deadline for the challenge. :-) Given that it didn't, and regardless of how inexpensive it may be to buy more gear - the majority of people had to make do with what they had. Personally, I think subject matter and compositional choice are major players in how well the presenters in this challenge will come across. Perhaps we can resurrect this thread for Tilt Shift IV?
09/19/2016 10:39:16 PM · #16
Originally posted by riot:

Originally posted by glad2badad:

I'd love to get your thoughts after the challenge on exactly how one goes about getting a 'Tilt Shift' look without either a specific lens suited for the job, or using software (blur or available filters for this specific look). I can understand your thought process, say if the challenge was "Blur" and you expected people to get the results by moving the camera or the old vaseline (film days) trick.


I wasn't suggesting that all use of software be excluded; my point was that "tilt & shift" - describing two separate movements - is an invitation to explore camera movements in general, and there are many different effects that can be achieved. Reducing the entire wide world of camera movements to just photoshopped versions of the "fake miniature look" - defined as being achieved using vertical tilt to photograph a remote urban scene - is a pitiful limitation of the potential of the contest subject matter. But sadly it seems that's what the vast majority of entrants have chosen to do, and so they shouldn't be surprised when they get suitably low votes for their complete lack of originality.

As for some ideas as to what else one can achieve without a professional tilt/shift lens that could have worked well in this challenge:
* Unmount an ordinary lens, and manually move it close to its lens mount - make a light-tight bellows out of some tape, a black sock or whatever comes to hand. Both tilt and shift are possible.
* Do as above, with a lens placed back to front to the camera body.
* Obtain a lensbaby or some other cheap moveable optic device, and experiment, can easily get them for under £50.
* If you have a mirrorless camera, try a tilt-shift adapter for a larger format.
* Take a series of shots stitched into a panorama, and perspective correct it to produce a shifted effect, as suggested in photographyblog.com/articles/why_you_dont_need_a_tilt-shift_lens.
* Take an ordinary photograph with receding perspective, and correct that perspective in software to get a fake shift look for architecture.
* Take a wide angle photograph and crop it to one side to get a genuine optical shift effect.
* Use your software gaussian blur to fake a tilt effect, but in some way other than just to create a stereotypical "miniature city" photograph.
* If all else fails, you can just buy an old full manual tilt shift lens such as the old Arsat you can get for £250 on ebay, nowhere near as bank-breaking as the £1000 Canon TS-E's.

And if you do feel the need to use gaussian blur to fake a tilt effect, there are many ways to do that without resorting to the same identikit subject matter that filled the last two tilt-shift contests - just turning it 90 degrees would already get you a much higher vote from me, for once, as in these far more interesting photos (both from real tilt-shifts):
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_882033.jpgCopyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_835216.jpg

As for the entire argument "we don't expect creativity in this contest because not everyone wants to spend the money to buy a specialist lens", I don't think that holds water; should we complain the same way about every wide angle contest requiring a specialist wide-angle lens, or about the price of Canon L glass whenever there's a wildlife or sports contest, or the expense of a macro setup whenever there's a macro contest, or the expense of a studio or lighting setup when we've had studio or flash technique contests?

I just think it's a bit sad how such a prominent contest on dpchallenge has become not at all about exploring photographic technique, and entirely about doing a by-the-numbers photoshop recreation of one specific classic cliche use of an otherwise very interesting piece of equipment.

Edit: fixing links


Question.. Have you voted or commented on the challenge?
09/19/2016 10:40:43 PM · #17
Originally posted by PennyStreet:


Question.. Have you voted or commented on the challenge?

I voted 100%, but haven't left any comments (sorry).
09/19/2016 10:47:51 PM · #18
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by PennyStreet:


Question.. Have you voted or commented on the challenge?

I voted 100%, but haven't left any comments (sorry).


No problem and my entry this time isn't worth worrying about.

But my question was meant for 21.gif RIot I feel that to have so much to say, there should be viable input for the challenge, specifically.
09/19/2016 10:57:59 PM · #19
Originally posted by riot:

... suitably low votes for their complete lack of originality.

"Suitably low" is such a subjective term ... does that mean a technically perfect but "unoriginal" fulfillment of the challenge requirement is a 6 or a 2 in your book?

Thanks for the (first) link -- I have made some vertical panos that might help with ...
09/19/2016 11:30:33 PM · #20
Originally posted by PennyStreet:

Question.. Have you voted or commented on the challenge?

As I said above:
Originally posted by riot:

Everyone's free to submit what they like, and to vote as they like - and I've voted in accordance with my tastes.


I won't tell you what the average vote I awarded was this time, as I don't think that will go down well. I would certainly comment if I had something significantly constructive to contribute for any specific photograph, but as it is I'm lamenting the overall uniformity and apparent lack of imagination. I don't really see the value of going through the 95% photoshopped-fake-miniature shots and telling them that I would have appreciated at least an ounce of originality, as that contributes nothing that would help the individual photographers improve - and I'm sure that among those shots will be the best scoring ones, in any case.

I just think it's a bit sad that what should be a truly interesting contest of photographic technique has been reduced to a trivial contest of formulaic photoshop blur application.

Originally posted by GeneralE:

does that mean a technically perfect but "unoriginal" fulfillment of the challenge requirement is a 6 or a 2 in your book?

I have not awarded a score over 4 to any photograph of a townscape with photoshop "fake miniature" blur in this contest, regardless of how "technically perfect" it may have been. I awarded up to 6 for a couple of the more creative fake miniatures with non-townscape subjects, but overall this has definitely been my lowest voted contest in all of my thirteen years on dpchallenge - and I vote quite critically at the best of times. Sorry folks.

Message edited by author 2016-09-19 23:37:11.
09/19/2016 11:40:30 PM · #21
Originally posted by riot:

Originally posted by PennyStreet:

Question.. Have you voted or commented on the challenge?

As I said above:
Originally posted by riot:

Everyone's free to submit what they like, and to vote as they like - and I've voted in accordance with my tastes.


I won't tell you what the average vote I awarded was this time, as I don't think that will go down well. I would certainly comment if I had something significantly constructive to contribute for any specific photograph, but as it is I'm lamenting the overall uniformity and apparent lack of imagination. I don't really see the value of going through the 95% photoshopped-fake-miniature shots and telling them that I would have appreciated at least an ounce of originality, as that contributes nothing that would help the individual photographers improve - and I'm sure that among those shots will be the best scoring ones, in any case.

I just think it's a bit sad that what should be a truly interesting contest of photographic technique has been reduced to a trivial contest of formulaic photoshop blur application.

Originally posted by GeneralE:

does that mean a technically perfect but "unoriginal" fulfillment of the challenge requirement is a 6 or a 2 in your book?

I have not awarded a score over 4 to any photograph of a townscape with photoshop "fake miniature" blur in this contest, regardless of how "technically perfect" it may have been. I awarded up to 6 for a couple of the more creative fake miniatures with non-townscape subjects, but overall this has definitely been my lowest voted contest in all of my thirteen years on dpchallenge - and I vote quite critically at the best of times. Sorry folks.


I've noticed I've seen your average vote given!


09/20/2016 12:00:12 AM · #22
21.gif Riot, these are your stats...

Challenges Entered: 106
Votes Cast: 1,348
Avg Vote Cast: 3.9577
Votes Received: 17,860
Avg Vote Received: 5.7891
Comments:
Made: 91
Received: 1,278


I, also, would like to know what you want to see in an entry. You are obviously very discriminating, (and I like that).

I am... truly... actually... interested in what would make a "TEN" image for you.

I'm not just being contrary.

What would you score an 8?

Or a 7?

A 10?

Your profile type is something I've always wondered about.

I want to know how people with your profile think.

Will you help me understand, please?

Message edited by author 2016-09-20 00:05:42.
09/20/2016 02:36:42 AM · #23
Originally posted by Lydia:


I, also, would like to know what you want to see in an entry. You are obviously very discriminating, (and I like that).

I am... truly... actually... interested in what would make a "TEN" image for you.

I'm not just being contrary.

What would you score an 8?

Or a 7?

A 10?

Your profile type is something I've always wondered about.

I want to know how people with your profile think.


Those are fair questions, and I appreciate that you aren't being contrary, so I hope my answers will be taken in a similar spirit.

~ ~ ~

This is something I do think about seriously, and in short, the answer is simple: I try to look at every photograph as if it were my own. I try to gauge how I would feel if I had taken it in a long time in the past and were looking at it anew now, not through the warm afterglow of a three-hour postprocessing session and the endorphin rush of a last-minute upload, but in a dispassionate and distant way like I look back at my own photos from years ago.

Certainly there may be strengths - usually a photo, to me, has one or two major strengths, and those are the things that make me feel envious of the photograph, something that I don't think I'd have done right that the photographer did right; perhaps it has a unique and powerful composition that surprises me with the emotional response it elicits, or the tonal range is managed in a way that I admire, or there's some trick of the curves that I don't quite know how to reproduce, or simply the treatment of a subject that I wouldn't have thought of, that impresses me. So we start with that - if a photo doesn't genuinely impress me on some deep level, it could never earn a ten. Generally for a photo to start as an 8 upwards in my scoring system, it has to be one I would personally have been very proud to have taken.

But after that, what I see is mostly flaws. I look at it like my own work and I see what I could improve - little things, mostly, missed critical focus here, a sharpening halo there, something distracting I'd have cloned out of the background, or something too obviously removed. Noise reduction that's just a bit too heavy-handed, tonemapped clouds that look a little too grungey, a flat greyscale conversion that hasn't paid enough attention to the relative tones, or dodging and burning where it's obvious where someone's brush passed over. Verticals or horizons that aren't quite straight despite trying to be, a crop that leaves in something in the corner that leads the eye out, a dust speck not removed. These are things that, when I catch them in my own older work, seem so obvious now, but of course didn't at the time - and make me want to go back and fix them, and it's the same with others' photos. So I subtract points for those. A photo that I liked a lot - wasn't entirely groundbreaking, but that I'd have been proud to show on the camera screen, and would have started with an 8 from me - could here drop to a six or a five because of a bad edit, poor work with curves, a sloppy clone job - or simply because the treatment of colours and tones is either too boring or too exaggerated.

Even the best composed works on the front page have a few editing flaws, or the best edited works miss a little something in composition. So it ends up that it's extremely rare I hand out a 10 - usually my highest scores in any challenge are an 8 or a 9, because even one detectable flaw makes it less than a ten. Then there are the things that just make me cringe - unfunny visual puns, photos with no composition whatsoever, embarassing and preachy titles, things that someone else has done that I can't imagine ever having thought was a good idea - and for those, I try to imagine that I might have edited and uploaded such a photo while drop dead drunk or something, and evaluate it accordingly :) My feelings are often that if it were mine, I would simply delete that photo or move it to an unbrowseable part of my workshop after the contest, never to be seen again (and I've done a fair few of those myself) - and those are the ones I rate 1 or 2.

I judge my own older works just as harshly, and there isn't a single photograph in my own portfolio that I would award over an 8 to. Even of those, I'm not sure there are more than a couple. I would actually rate the majority of my photos one or two points lower than the averages they've received in voting. There are just a very few stark exceptions when I feel that I achieved exactly what I wanted to, where very few voters were on the same page - and that's always interesting. But mostly I look back at my work and I see what I could improve, and then I shoot more, and I look back, and the process continues ad infinitum.

In my opinion my job as a voter isn't to try to put myself in the shoes of other people, but put other peoples' photos into my shoes, if that makes sense. So I never look at a photo and say "hmm, I personally am not very into this, but I can see how it's technically good by an officially recognised standard, so I'll score it well". If someone else genuinely feels that it fulfils their particular criteria of quality, then let them score it well - and I'll meanwhile score it how I'd score my own work, and in turn this critical perspective lets me look critically rather than forgivingly at my own photos and drives me to improve.

~ ~ ~

Now, the obvious question is, if I see so many points to improve in so many photos, why do I almost never comment? The answer is selfish, ultimately; I just find it very emotionally draining, and it's hard to justify the time. If I were to start, where would I stop? It wouldn't do to critique just one photo in a contest, and not all of them; and there isn't a single one for which I couldn't give a litany of minor faults to improve upon. And although a vocal minority here insist that they appreciate any comments they receive - which is great, as do I - the silent majority seem uninterested in any critical feedback that isn't presented in the form of a compliment sandwich. I find it largely unrewarding and stressful work, and ultimately it's not what I come here for. I find voting a fairly unpleasant experience likewise, simply because I honestly don't really like the vast majority of other peoples' photographs; I'm not trying to sound arrogant or provoke a reaction by saying that, it's simply an honest expression of how I feel. But I vote when I can find the time, because it's the least I cand o if I expect votes and critique in return.

Perhaps at some point I should dedicate a day away from work just to sit and comment in depth on every entry in a challenge - it might be an interesting experiment. But I'm not sure how many entrants would like to hear what I have to say, especially if they fall into the lower half or so of the entries in any given contest, for which my feedback would mostly be "If I had been in your shoes, I would have just deleted this photo".

Message edited by author 2016-09-20 02:43:48.
09/20/2016 06:44:25 AM · #24
Originally posted by riot:

... especially if they fall into the lower half or so of the entries in any given contest, for which my feedback would mostly be "If I had been in your shoes, I would have just deleted this photo".

Yikes. We only have 15 to 20 entries per challenge then. LOL

Many times I just throw an image in for the fun of it nowadays - often with very little time spent in post. However, I'm glad to know that there are still some in this community that take things seriously around here. :-)
09/20/2016 07:54:12 AM · #25
Originally posted by riot:

Those are fair questions ... so I hope my answers will be taken in a similar spirit.

Thanks -- excellent explanation.
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