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DPChallenge Forums >> Current Challenge >> Please -- can we have some technique challenges?
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02/26/2020 09:14:21 AM · #1
I've been trying to enter challenges again -- Trying for almost everyone. But it seems like the vast majority of challenges require setting up and shooting something that really is outside of my interest range.

Don't get me wrong! That's why I've grown since being on this site!

But I've found that for the last month and a half, it's really difficult to photograph things that I'd like to photograph for challenges because the categories are way too specific. Yes, I know that I can enter freestudy and extended, but that's not the same. Why not have at least one of the 3 challenges each week be a little more broad to get more people interested? To be able to do what they love, but maybe in ways they haven't yet played with.

Getting rid of the best of or the freestudies, these have been the challenges:

woodburytype
Foreign
library
physics
flow
lover's portrait
imagery of t.s.eliot
luminous
funny
black on black
biology
dueces
killing time
deface a street sign

Why not go back to some that aren't so subject dependent?

Abstract
Long exposure
shallow depth of field
Maybe a focus stacking challenge?
Give us a yummy background -- Have an interesting subject, but give us a wonderful background. Whether it's a beautiful bokeh or an interesting scene.
high speed
motion blur
macro
natural light photography
Indoor photo
zoom blur
reflections and mirror
camera toss (ok, well maybe not that one. But it does sound interesting. Look up "kinetic Photography"
slow shutter speed with flash
square crop
photojournalism (ok, that's more specific, but could be fun)

It would be nice to have the opportunity to photograph what we like once a week, and to expand our boundaries the other two times.

02/26/2020 09:18:22 AM · #2
+1

Agreed with Wendy!
02/26/2020 09:45:18 AM · #3
Sounds good to me.
02/26/2020 09:56:18 AM · #4
See this thread:
https://www.dpchallenge.com/forum.php?action=read&FORUM_THREAD_ID=1394173

and blame this comment:
"I find it refreshing when we have an unprecedented challenge here - no prior runnings (i.e. III, VII, or even XII)."

I am personally tired of many recent topics (with few exceptions) and have absolutely no time for "killing time".

To make it clear I absolutely agree with you, Wendy, +10000 with all your suggestions even if some are out of my comfort zone like photojournalism.
02/26/2020 10:19:32 AM · #5
Originally posted by marnet:

I am personally tired of many recent topics (with few exceptions) and have absolutely no time for "killing time".

As a voter, I love these open ended topics because no one is right or wrong. How much do I think your photo represents the topic? It's interesting to see how others vote afterwards. I don't enter or vote as often as I would like, but definitely more inclined with these wild topics.
02/26/2020 10:54:01 AM · #6
Agree Wendy. And given the number of entries seldom reaches even 30 for these specific challenges, it's not exactly encouraging people to return to the fold. I used to vote on every challenge even if I didn't enter often. I can't even be bothered to do that these days.
02/26/2020 11:40:08 AM · #7
Looking at the recent list of challenges in Wendy's post, some observations:
- They are all first-run challenges
- I see eight or nine of the fourteen that are pretty much wide open as far as subject matter
- There are none at all that are subject-explicit (e.g. "Pencil")

So I guess I'm not understanding the concern that the challenges are "too specific." It seems that for the majority of recent challenges, a broad range of subjects would be appropriate.
02/26/2020 12:13:19 PM · #8
Originally posted by kirbic:

Looking at the recent list of challenges in Wendy's post, some observations:
- They are all first-run challenges
- I see eight or nine of the fourteen that are pretty much wide open as far as subject matter
- There are none at all that are subject-explicit (e.g. "Pencil")

So I guess I'm not understanding the concern that the challenges are "too specific." It seems that for the majority of recent challenges, a broad range of subjects would be appropriate.

They do not encourage learning and perfecting a technique which was the original purpose of this site. And the problem remains that there are so few entries. Why not have one of the three weekly challenges oriented towards learning and perfecting? Maybe the Open challenge should be just that and encourage greater participation?
02/26/2020 12:27:18 PM · #9
like. less worry about fitting.
02/26/2020 12:51:25 PM · #10
Originally posted by marnet:

They do not encourage learning and perfecting a technique which was the original purpose of this site.

The original purpose (mission statement?) was "to help each other become better photographers" -- it did not mention technique. In fact, the whole purpose of having challenges with a topic was to force people out of their "comfort zone" and to shoot things they wouldn't otherwise.

That said I can support a mix of challenge types -- "even I" have had trouble shooting for some of the recent challenges. However, it should be noted that some "technique-based" challenges will exclude some people because of hardware or software limitations (e.g. my camera can't do a 30-second exposure or attach to a telescope, and I don't have software to do focus-stacking).
02/26/2020 01:10:27 PM · #11
Originally posted by marnet:

Why not have one of the three weekly challenges oriented towards learning and perfecting?

Shouldn't one be doing this in every challenge regardless of topic?

Message edited by author 2020-02-26 13:11:45.
02/26/2020 01:16:08 PM · #12
Originally posted by Venser:

Originally posted by marnet:

Why not have one of the three weekly challenges oriented towards learning and perfecting?

Shouldn't one be doing this in every challenge regardless of topic?

Explain what you learn and perfect while "killing time", thanks :)
02/26/2020 01:31:11 PM · #13
Originally posted by marnet:

Originally posted by Venser:

Originally posted by marnet:

Why not have one of the three weekly challenges oriented towards learning and perfecting?

Shouldn't one be doing this in every challenge regardless of topic?

Explain what you learn and perfect while "killing time", thanks :)

Presumably one is still taking a photo with good composition, proper lighting and technique.
I'm not understanding how these are precluded if they're not explicitly the challenge topic.

"Killing time" just adds a further subject constraint to what one should already be doing for a challenge.
02/26/2020 03:16:11 PM · #14
Wendy, returning to your original post, I think you make a good point. Recent challenge topics have been light on specific photographic techniques, and we can work on adding that to the mix. I think you have provided some excellent challenge topics. I appreciate the thought you put into this.

Ideally, at any given time there are a bare minimum of one challenge that excites each DPC user to go out and shoot. What makes things hard is a challenge that excites some users, others find totally boring. It can be a struggle to find the right balance and keep things fresh.
02/26/2020 03:51:33 PM · #15
Can I point out that the oft-maligned Minimal challenges can be the ultimate in "perfecting photographic technique" ...
02/26/2020 03:59:46 PM · #16
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Can I point out that the oft-maligned Minimal challenges can be the ultimate in "perfecting photographic technique" ...

Yep.
02/26/2020 09:53:02 PM · #17
FWIW, "Black on Black" and "Luminous" both are technique challenges, basically. Regardless, we're good with running more technique challenges BUT when we do that it means re-running old challenges: "Rule of Thirds", "Backlighting", you get the idea. THey've all been run many times before. "Leading Lines", "High Contrast", High Key", and so forth. And when we run a lot of repeats we get complaints about THAT as well. If I had thought the community would support it, I'd have been working towards one basic, fundamental technique challenge a week, amongst the three. That hasn't been my sense of what folks are asking for.

So let's sound off on that, peoples :-)
02/26/2020 10:49:00 PM · #18
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

FWIW, "Black on Black" and "Luminous" both are technique challenges, basically. Regardless, we're good with running more technique challenges BUT when we do that it means re-running old challenges: "Rule of Thirds", "Backlighting", you get the idea. THey've all been run many times before. "Leading Lines", "High Contrast", High Key", and so forth. And when we run a lot of repeats we get complaints about THAT as well. If I had thought the community would support it, I'd have been working towards one basic, fundamental technique challenge a week, amongst the three. That hasn't been my sense of what folks are asking for.

So let's sound off on that, peoples :-)


IMO, One of these or so a month is good, interspersed with some new ideas.
02/27/2020 01:01:08 AM · #19
That would mean 11 new ideas for some oldies bored with the techniques and one technical challenge for newbies per month? When I was newbie here in 2010 I had no idea what rule of thirds was.

Just one challenge per month for those oldies like me and Wendy who like to revisit some techniques from time to time? Try a new take on them? What's wrong with that?

Could we have a more balanced approach, please!! I am really tired with the current direction of topics and this discussion.

Message edited by Bear_Music - Personal attack redacted..
02/27/2020 08:54:59 AM · #20
Margaret,
From what I can see, this discussion actually has produced a really good response. Some of it may not be what you wanted to hear, but certainly the message that there are some users who appreciate the technique challenges, even though they have been run multiple times, has been heard. We'll certainly keep that in mind in challenge scheduling. I'm a little surprised at the strident tone in your last post, and the apparent attack directed at one poster. Please, let us keep this a civil discourse.
02/27/2020 09:43:15 AM · #21
My apologies, I got up a bit frustrated this morning.
Thanks for listening and allowing for the changes to accommodate some of the long time active DPCers:)
02/27/2020 11:02:26 AM · #22
Here's another vote in favor of Wendy's suggestion. I feel that a number of these latest challenges don't really encourage new members to join. And technique challenges could even be made more specific at times - such as Urban Leading Lines or Abstract In Blue etc.
02/27/2020 01:44:39 PM · #23
I think Wendy's list of suggestions is great, and I will commit to seeing that they get added to the challenge suggestions list as appropriate.
02/27/2020 04:03:44 PM · #24
Originally posted by patches:

Here's another vote in favor of Wendy's suggestion. I feel that a number of these latest challenges don't really encourage new members to join. And technique challenges could even be made more specific at times - such as Urban Leading Lines or Abstract In Blue etc.


As I understand it, the original suggestion was to have technical challenges because the ones we have right now are too specific.

Adding "Qualifiers" to the technical topic might be too specific also.

In MY opinion, broad challenge topics like "Blue" or "Six" are the best kinds. I love to see what everyone does with them. We get such a varied response.

And if someone wants to learn something, they can shoot for Urban Leading Lines in Blue... or Abstract in Blue, but everyone doesn't have to. f

Maybe have a side challenge where folks who want to learn new techniques gather together and suggest a weekly topic?

I'm okay either way...

Good Golly Gumdrops, I love this bar place!!

Message edited by author 2020-02-27 16:04:12.
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