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DPChallenge Forums >> Challenge Suggestions >> Let's try something new -- Mentor challenge
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10/30/2021 01:32:35 PM · #1
This flies in the face of blind voting -- but let's change it up and try something new.

I propose a Mentor challenge - perhaps once a month.

The mentor would volunteer give feedback, instruction, answer questions, all in a public thread.

For example -- the first mentor I'd love to see is ' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' grahamgator. Her still lifes have been simply over-the-top gorgeous, and I have tons of questions on setup, lighting, arranging, etc.

This is how it would work:

Challenge starts: "Mentor Challenge - Still lifes with Grahamgator

Week 1 -- there will be a thread: "Mentor challenge - Still lifes with Grahamgator.

People can take shots, and post results to get feedback from Mary Ann (and anyone else that wants to pipe in)
People can ask questions, ask for processing advice, lighting advice, experiment and post their results for comments/critiques, etc.

Week 2 of the challenge, the thread gets locked. People can still see the information, but can no longer ask for advice/critiques -- including PMs. The mentor will not answer any questions after week 1 is over. Users will finish up their photo and enter it in the challenge. People can enter photos that have been discussed in the thread.

The two week entry period is now over. Voting begins. We may have seen some of the photos in the mentor thread, there will probably be photos that haven't been discussed. People will vote on the finished products. People should vote on all images, even though they've been seeing the images before hand. Part of this learning experience is also learning how to still be able to critique a photo you've seen. That's part of the challenge.

What do you think? I would love to learn more from some of the experts on the site. I'd love to see a mentor challenge from LevT, one from Bear on landscapes, I suck at expert editing, so one of those would be great. Maybe could could get Ursula to come back for her water or flower shots.

10/30/2021 01:37:36 PM · #2
Originally posted by vawendy:

This flies in the face of blind voting -- but let's change it up and try something new.

I propose a Mentor challenge - perhaps once a month.

The mentor would volunteer give feedback, instruction, answer questions, all in a public thread.

For example -- the first mentor I'd love to see is ' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' grahamgator. Her still lifes have been simply over-the-top gorgeous, and I have tons of questions on setup, lighting, arranging, etc.

This is how it would work:

Challenge starts: "Mentor Challenge - Still lifes with Grahamgator

Week 1 -- there will be a thread: "Mentor challenge - Still lifes with Grahamgator.

People can take shots, and post results to get feedback from Mary Ann (and anyone else that wants to pipe in)
People can ask questions, ask for processing advice, lighting advice, experiment and post their results for comments/critiques, etc.

Week 2 of the challenge, the thread gets locked. People can still see the information, but can no longer ask for advice/critiques -- including PMs. The mentor will not answer any questions after week 1 is over. Users will finish up their photo and enter it in the challenge. People can enter photos that have been discussed in the thread.

The two week entry period is now over. Voting begins. We may have seen some of the photos in the mentor thread, there will probably be photos that haven't been discussed. People will vote on the finished products. People should vote on all images, even though they've been seeing the images before hand. Part of this learning experience is also learning how to still be able to critique a photo you've seen. That's part of the challenge.

What do you think? I would love to learn more from some of the experts on the site. I'd love to see a mentor challenge from LevT, one from Bear on landscapes, I suck at expert editing, so one of those would be great. Maybe could could get Ursula to come back for her water or flower shots.

I am all for it but I suggest that you start as an expert with your wildlife shots, a lot of members could learn a lot from you :)
10/30/2021 02:01:21 PM · #3
Great idea Wendy. I agree that you can teach us a lot with wildlife shots.
10/30/2021 02:08:54 PM · #4
I think it's a great idea! I'd love to see what can start from it and :)
10/30/2021 06:10:29 PM · #5
Originally posted by MargaretNet:

Originally posted by vawendy:

This flies in the face of blind voting -- but let's change it up and try something new.

I propose a Mentor challenge - perhaps once a month.

The mentor would volunteer give feedback, instruction, answer questions, all in a public thread.

For example -- the first mentor I'd love to see is ' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' grahamgator. Her still lifes have been simply over-the-top gorgeous, and I have tons of questions on setup, lighting, arranging, etc.

This is how it would work:

Challenge starts: "Mentor Challenge - Still lifes with Grahamgator

Week 1 -- there will be a thread: "Mentor challenge - Still lifes with Grahamgator.

People can take shots, and post results to get feedback from Mary Ann (and anyone else that wants to pipe in)
People can ask questions, ask for processing advice, lighting advice, experiment and post their results for comments/critiques, etc.

Week 2 of the challenge, the thread gets locked. People can still see the information, but can no longer ask for advice/critiques -- including PMs. The mentor will not answer any questions after week 1 is over. Users will finish up their photo and enter it in the challenge. People can enter photos that have been discussed in the thread.

The two week entry period is now over. Voting begins. We may have seen some of the photos in the mentor thread, there will probably be photos that haven't been discussed. People will vote on the finished products. People should vote on all images, even though they've been seeing the images before hand. Part of this learning experience is also learning how to still be able to critique a photo you've seen. That's part of the challenge.

What do you think? I would love to learn more from some of the experts on the site. I'd love to see a mentor challenge from LevT, one from Bear on landscapes, I suck at expert editing, so one of those would be great. Maybe could could get Ursula to come back for her water or flower shots.

I am all for it but I suggest that you start as an expert with your wildlife shots, a lot of members could learn a lot from you :)


I’d be more than happy to do so. But I thought something like still life might get more response to start with.
10/31/2021 11:39:31 PM · #6
It's an interesting concept, and it doesn't require any new coding, just good faith by the participants. Pretty much by default, this would have to be a Member challenge, not Open, as registered members don't have portfolios to link to easily, right?
11/01/2021 09:29:28 AM · #7
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

It's an interesting concept, and it doesn't require any new coding, just good faith by the participants. Pretty much by default, this would have to be a Member challenge, not Open, as registered members don't have portfolios to link to easily, right?


Hadn't thought of that -- but yes, it would be better being a member challenge. And perhaps it might get more people to play for awhile, even if they sign up for a month instead of the year.
11/01/2021 10:32:22 AM · #8
Sounds like a GREAT side challenge, but I don't see how this can work in a challenge up for voting in a normal cycle.
11/01/2021 11:03:42 AM · #9
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Sounds like a GREAT side challenge, but I don't see how this can work in a challenge up for voting in a normal cycle.

Side challenges seem to die off very quickly these days, I think it needs to be a proper challenge. As I understand it after the topic is announced a thread is started where the mentor explains how they work and the members ask questions and comment on their work trying to learn as much as possible in week 1. In week 2 the thread is locked and any member can enter regardless whether their work was discussed already or not. In week 3 the voters vote without a bias even if they have seen the image before and they know the author! ;)
11/01/2021 11:11:18 AM · #10
There is a twist in this, the mentor should enter as well and try not to win! :)
11/01/2021 11:54:28 AM · #11
Originally posted by MargaretNet:

the voters vote without a bias even if they have seen the image before and they know the author!

And there's the issue. By eliminating anonymity we might as well just turn this into a Facebook thumbs-up challenge - turns into a popularity contest instead of a photography one.
11/01/2021 12:04:10 PM · #12
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by MargaretNet:

the voters vote without a bias even if they have seen the image before and they know the author!

And there's the issue. By eliminating anonymity we might as well just turn this into a Facebook thumbs-up challenge - turns into a popularity contest instead of a photography one.


I think you significantly underestimate the people here. In any challenge, most of us can recognize a good portion of the photos and have educated guesses as to who created it.

I don't vote on who created the photo; I vote on the photo.

I truly think you're wrong about people's motives here. You really think they're out to vote for their friends or their favorites? I know that I'm out to learn, expand my horizons, not to play favorites. And I think that's the case for the vast majority of people here.

And that would be part of the challenge. I think people should be encouraged to vote, even those who think they might not be able to be unbiased. That's one of the most important things in photography, imo, being able to look at a work critically. All works. Your own, others, etc., that's the best way to learn.
11/01/2021 12:33:22 PM · #13
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by MargaretNet:

the voters vote without a bias even if they have seen the image before and they know the author!

And there's the issue. By eliminating anonymity we might as well just turn this into a Facebook thumbs-up challenge - turns into a popularity contest instead of a photography one.

Only the images that were discussed would be recognized although some voters can guess quite of few authors in most challenges, I can almost always guess ' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', '/') + 1) . ' jmritz, ' . substr('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('https://www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' gyaban, Mary Ann, Roz, and a few others with a bit lower accuracy. As Wendy, I vote on the photos, not photographers.

Don't forget also that, given luck, this might become a monthly challenge so those who are biased won't have too many opportunities to turn DPC into Facebook.

PS I thought good initiative from members like this one should be encouraged and supported, there is very little of that these days.

Message edited by author 2021-11-01 12:36:57.
11/01/2021 02:27:08 PM · #14
I'm not as cynical as Barry about the voters' inability to be objective. As Margaret pointed out, quite a few of our members produce recognizable work, including (even especially) her :-) It hasn't brought us to a screeching halt yet. And many members, presumably, may watch the workshopping and learn from it without actually posting up their own potential entry for workshopping. Plus what's been learned can be applied to a different image in the second week. I'm more in more in favor of trying this out at least once to see how it goes.

I like the idea of starting with Maryanne and still lives, if she's up for that.
11/01/2021 02:38:33 PM · #15
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

I like the idea of starting with Maryanne and still lives, if she's up for that.

I had been wondering about the idea of volunteering someone else for what sounds like a lot of work ...

and wouldn't it be "still lifes"? Still lives should prompt a call for the coroner ... ;-)
11/01/2021 04:32:55 PM · #16
Wendy and Bear have approached me about giving this a try, and, after some thought, I have agreed to make an attempt. I am not sure about my mentoring abilities, thus, I hope you can relate to my type of work and I am able to tell you something useful. My approach is “art” first, “photography” second., and I know that isn’t the usual approach. So, let’s see what we can do together.
11/01/2021 04:49:15 PM · #17
Originally posted by grahamgator:

Wendy and Bear have approached me about giving this a try, and, after some thought, I have agreed to make an attempt. I am not sure about my mentoring abilities, thus, I hope you can relate to my type of work and I am able to tell you something useful. My approach is “art” first, “photography” second., and I know that isn’t the usual approach. So, let’s see what we can do together.


I recall the last time I participated in something like this, you were one of the folks I gave feedback to and you have totally blown past most of the other members here since you joined. I see your name on the front page pretty regularly. You definitely have some natural talent!

I think a lot of the mentoring is similar to offering productive critique on photos in a comment. It takes some thought to be able to identify why a shot is OK but not outstanding. The poor ones are easy to give feedback on and it's really easy to identify what you love about a strong shot. It's those pics most of us might give 5's and 6's to that are tough.
11/01/2021 04:51:29 PM · #18
Originally posted by MargaretNet:


and a few others with a bit lower accuracy.


Bear has a good hit rate on picking mine out of a crowd.

Message edited by author 2021-11-01 16:52:05.
11/01/2021 05:08:29 PM · #19
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by MargaretNet:


and a few others with a bit lower accuracy.


Bear has a good hit rate on picking mine out of a crowd.

Don't we have a challenge on this topic right now ...?
11/01/2021 05:45:51 PM · #20
Yeah, I guess anonymity has been out the window for some time here. :-} Even anonymous comments have a familiarity nowadays before we see who it is at rollover. :-)

Have fun, and thanks Mary Ann for volunteering. I've seen some of your before / after results <wink> and you definitely have a way of tweaking things (in a good way obviously).
11/01/2021 09:51:56 PM · #21
Originally posted by grahamgator:

Wendy and Bear have approached me about giving this a try, and, after some thought, I have agreed to make an attempt. I am not sure about my mentoring abilities, thus, I hope you can relate to my type of work and I am able to tell you something useful. My approach is “art” first, “photography” second., and I know that isn’t the usual approach. So, let’s see what we can do together.


Yay!1
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