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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> DQ Shot original and submitted for discussion.
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04/03/2005 11:24:20 PM · #1
I would have considered making an area with major elements all white or all black as either creating or moving (out of the image) a major element. Changing the phrase to, "...duplicate, create, move or remove..." would probably cover it.

I don't think you can set a size or percentage limit to define major elements. The lightened background area in arngrimur's swan photo covers a lot more than 5%, but I would still consider that a minor element since it was so close to white to begin with. By contrast, imagine someone looking cross-eyed at a fly on his nose. The fly might be much less than 5%, but it's a major feature, one that you would definitely list if asked to describe the original.
04/03/2005 11:02:38 PM · #2
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by stdavidson:

...in an advanced challenge anyone could make any area of any image all white or all black without resorting to dodging/burning or cloning no matter how major the element is. As stated, the advanced rules are NOT clear on this point and appear to reference methodology.


From the Advanced Rules, "...using any editing tools to duplicate, create, or move major elements of your photograph is not permitted." Seems clear enough to me.


Agreed, that rule is clear and obvious but the rule is unrelated to what you quoted above since it does not "duplicate, create or move" anything.

A clearer statement about "major elements" and what they are is needed.

A Scalvertian statement MIGHT read:
Major elements may NOT be removed from an image by ANY means. The tools or techniques used to remove major elements via photo editing are irrelevant. A major element includes background objects larger than about 5% of the image or objects that are a part of the main subject. Dust, minor reflections, and small objects less than about 5% of the image size that are distracting to the main subject may be removed. The concept of a "major element" is unavoidably vague and subject to final interpretation by the Site Council.

As long as affected photographers were to allow it, keeping an archive of images DQed for editing violations including the reasons they were DQed might be a good idea.
04/03/2005 10:05:38 PM · #3
Originally posted by scalvert:


Defining major elements is unavoidably subjective. I think of major elements as the basic objects you would list if asked to describe a photo. If the original photo was a squirrel and a rock, and the edited version is just a squirrel, then the rock was major. If the original was best described as a squirrel in a clearing, and the edited version follows the same description, then removing an individual pebble probably wasn't major.


This is good. We might want to use this or a version of it.

T
04/03/2005 09:48:07 PM · #4
Originally posted by stdavidson:

...in an advanced challenge anyone could make any area of any image all white or all black without resorting to dodging/burning or cloning no matter how major the element is. As stated, the advanced rules are NOT clear on this point and appear to reference methodology.


From the Advanced Rules, "...using any editing tools to duplicate, create, or move major elements of your photograph is not permitted." Seems clear enough to me.

Defining major elements is unavoidably subjective. I think of major elements as the basic objects you would list if asked to describe a photo. If the original photo was a squirrel and a rock, and the edited version is just a squirrel, then the rock was major. If the original was best described as a squirrel in a clearing, and the edited version follows the same description, then removing an individual pebble probably wasn't major.

Message edited by author 2005-04-03 21:49:49.
04/03/2005 09:12:50 PM · #5
Originally posted by timj351:

You have recieved way more then generic answers from me and other members of the SC and you know that. I, for one, am not taking this personally but I'm not sure I have any more to add that has not been said already. I don't see how any more pictures are going to help either but it is something worth considering. I will give this more thought and if I can think of better ways of conveying our rules then I will discuss it with the other SC members. For now I hope you can accept the fact that we found reasons to DQ your image and we didn't enjoy doing so.

T


I understand all of this. And I appreciate your taking time in this forum and through PM for the information you gave me. I was simply refering to the seemingly generic message that was posted on my home page under the DQ'ed shot and the email that I recieved. If that message had just a touch more detail that would be very helpfull in easing the participants through the DQ process. This is the message I recieved:

Cloning, dodging, burning, etc. to improve your photo or remove imperfections or minor distracting elements, etc. is acceptable. However, using any editing tools to duplicate, create, or move major elements of your photograph is not permitted.

This has the feel of a generic message. If someone would simply have added that my border was in effect cloning out of major elements, that would have gone a long way to explaining the situation.
04/03/2005 03:33:57 PM · #6
OK, just my 2cts, but I don't think anybody has actually suggested making this particular change to the editing rules.

Seems to me that a lot of this discussion (maybe all?) would have been avoided if the rules stated that a border must clearly be a border. In other words, it must be in contrast with that which it surrounds.

I personally don't care about border sizes. They contribute to the overall presentation of an image, and on this site are considered part of the image. If the artist/author/photographer of that image felt that a border of 4 different widths contributed to the impact of his image, I have no problem with that. I'd probably vote it down because of it, but I have no problem with it.
04/03/2005 02:31:00 PM · #7
Originally posted by scalvert:

I dunno, let's kick the horse some more and see what happens...
The images from TooCool and KDO had significant objects in them- a couch, another tombstone, large patches of leaves and grass- things that change the composition significantly if moved or removed... any tools or techniques used to remove such major elements are irrelevant.
...
People continue to post to this thread about the use of tools or techniques and that is NOT the issue here. Major elements were removed from the originals...


Scalvert summarizes things in a way that makes good sense.

If methodology were the issue then in an advanced challenge anyone could make any area of any image all white or all black without resorting to dodging/burning or cloning no matter how major the element is. As stated, the advanced rules are NOT clear on this point and appear to reference methodology.

The rules should be restated in 'scalvert'ian terms to make that perfectly clear, if indeed that is the intention of the rules. That would reduce editing shenanigans. Also, as has been suggested, examples of what does and does not constitute a "major element" should be included.

In this discussion it was suggested leaves are a "major element". It reminds one of the question whether or not wires can be cloned from a landscape in an advanced challenge. Are wires then a "major element", like leaves? And if they are not, then what about the telephone poles thay are attached to? Where does it end?

Inquiring minds want to know. :)

Site Council is doing a terrific job dealing with these touchy issues.
04/03/2005 10:27:55 AM · #8
Yawn, still talking about? I admire the patience of those that have kindly & clearly helped to clarify this issue:)


04/03/2005 10:16:46 AM · #9
Originally posted by TooCool:

....the shot as displayed is less than 1/4th of the original shot and his original as posted in his portfolio is the same crop. The original that I saw once in a forum thread had other swans in it.


Cropping is always allowed, and it wouldn't matter if there was an aircraft carrier and performing dolphins in the areas he cropped out. The area of the original that is shown in the final entry had no other major distracting elements in it. Yours did.
04/03/2005 05:17:31 AM · #10
Originally posted by TooCool:

Second: If the SC would have given me some more shot specific reasons for the DQ, we probably would not be having this discussion. This is the reason for the second part of my suggestion in this thread which recieved no debate. The generic reason that I got for my DQ did not clarify anything in my mind.

Third: I, as I have always stated, have the highest regard for the SC. Please do not take any of my statements in this matter personally as they were not intended to be.



You have recieved way more then generic answers from me and other members of the SC and you know that. I, for one, am not taking this personally but I'm not sure I have any more to add that has not been said already. I don't see how any more pictures are going to help either but it is something worth considering. I will give this more thought and if I can think of better ways of conveying our rules then I will discuss it with the other SC members. For now I hope you can accept the fact that we found reasons to DQ your image and we didn't enjoy doing so.

T
04/03/2005 05:04:37 AM · #11
never asked you to disregard the rules

i mean after following the rules and doing ur post-processing, check your new pic and see how much it differs from your original

obviously you didnt get my post at all :sigh:

no matter how little you cloned the leaves out, the end result was way too different
04/03/2005 05:02:09 AM · #12
Originally posted by george917:

i have no idea how the leaves looked after levels and to tell you the truth i dont care

i could easily do brightness/contrast, then levels on the bg, then levels on the whole image til the leaves are only specks (and the gravestone looks good)

...and then say i "cloned them out" at the end (im assuming thats what you did... levels then cloning when they were barely visible anymore)

but what matters is that from the original, it's too different. to the human eye, it's too different. forget rules for a sec and look at them. you managed to remove large elements by <insert means here>.

im not saying you cloned too much. im sayin the end result is too different. and the "true" rule-breaking i sense that you understand

again, dont waste your time showing me the steps you took. look at the images side-by-side and see for yourself. imo, the leaves cant even be called background (if you disagree on that, dont worry about it. the discussion has gone on for too long already).


I've already said that my downfall was adding the border to make the size of the finished product larger than that portion that I worked on. The cloning out of the leaves that were left after levels adustments were minor. You haven't seen the crop that I worked on. The majority of the leaves that were in the original were not in the version that I edited. Thus they were minor elements. Don't ask me to disregard the rules because in my editing, I had the rules at the back of my mind the whole time.
04/03/2005 04:52:43 AM · #13
i have no idea how the leaves looked after levels and to tell you the truth i dont care

i could easily do brightness/contrast, then levels on the bg, then levels on the whole image til the leaves are only specks (and the gravestone looks good)

...and then say i "cloned them out" at the end (im assuming thats what you did... levels then cloning when they were barely visible anymore)

but what matters is that from the original, it's too different. to the human eye, it's too different. forget rules for a sec and look at them. you managed to remove large elements by <insert means here>.

im not saying you cloned too much. im sayin the end result is too different. and the "true" rule-breaking (with the border) i sense that you understand

again, dont waste your time showing me the steps you took. look at the images side-by-side and see for yourself. imo, the leaves cant even be called background (if you disagree on that, dont worry about it. the discussion has gone on for too long already).

Message edited by author 2005-04-03 04:58:40.
04/03/2005 04:40:33 AM · #14
Originally posted by george917:

Originally posted by TooCool:

These other swans are also elements...


yeah, but he cropped

he didnt:

1. clone the crap out of them
2. cover with white - which is pretty much what you did:

you cropped then added pixels the same color of the background IN ORDER TO extend the background in the direction from which you cropped a large element

theres two rules you broke there (one written, one unwritten) - #1 bad border, #2 IN ORDER TO take something out

reasons count, use common sense

as in, dont take the rules too literally...remember, theres other reasons to DQ, and SC is human too (though they can work their asses off like machines) - if they think you did something IN ORDER TO achieve an over-processed result, they can DQ

also remember that most of the people that replied to posts in this thread disagreed with you so try seeing it from our point of view

if you still think you shouldnt have been DQ'ed, send me a private message and we'll discuss it


If you read the first line of my reply it said, 'this is not completely true...
04/03/2005 04:37:43 AM · #15
First off: I did not intend in any way to push the bounderies with this shot. Everything I did, I believed to be legal. I don't even truly like the effect. It was an experiment to see how the voters would accept it. When it was DQ'ed I was recieving around a 5.5 which was slightly lower than I expected it to end up at. When the validation request was recieved, I truly believed it would not be DQ'ed.

Second: If the SC would have given me some more shot specific reasons for the DQ, we probably would not be having this discussion. This is the reason for the second part of my suggestion in this thread which recieved no debate. The generic reason that I got for my DQ did not clarify anything in my mind.

Third: I, as I have always stated, have the highest regard for the SC. Please do not take any of my statements in this matter personally as they were not intended to be.

I realize now that my downfall may have been to add the border and recrop. Outside of that, I still don't think that I did anything agains the spirit of the rules. After I cropped, then blew out the highlites using levels there were very few elements left to remove. These would, by most I'm sure, be considered minor elements. When I have more time, if anyone is still interested, I will recreate the stage in PS where I cloned out those items so you can see for yourself. Unfortunately, I'm the pizza guy and my weekend doesn't fall on the weekend. I've worked 15 hours today. Go MSU... Oh, never mind...
04/03/2005 04:31:05 AM · #16
Originally posted by TooCool:

These other swans are also elements...


yeah, but he cropped

he didnt:

1. clone the crap out of them
2. cover with white - which is pretty much what you did:

you cropped then added pixels the same color of the background IN ORDER TO extend the background in the direction from which you cropped a large element

theres two rules you broke there (one written, one unwritten) - #1 bad border, #2 IN ORDER TO take something out

reasons count, use common sense

as in, dont take the rules too literally...remember, theres other reasons to DQ, and SC is human too (though they can work their asses off like machines) - if they think you did something IN ORDER TO achieve an over-processed result, they can DQ

also remember that most of the people that replied to posts in this thread disagreed with you so try seeing it from our point of view

if you still think you shouldnt have been DQ'ed, send me a private message and we'll discuss it

Message edited by author 2005-04-03 04:32:28.
04/03/2005 04:24:46 AM · #17
Originally posted by sofapez:

I thought I would add this to the MIX:
Filters:
The use of filters (or non-Photoshop equivalent) is strictly limited. Any filter or stand-alone utility designed and used to preserve the integrity of the image and/or reduce the effects of noise, scratches, etc, are permitted. These include but are not limited to the Sharpen, Unsharp Mask, and Dust & Scratches filters, and standalone image cleanup utilities such as NeatImage. However, no effects filters may be applied to your image, with the exception of Noise and Gaussian Blur, which are allowed. Any filter permitted by this rule must be applied uniformly to the entire image. Selective application of any filter is prohibited.

Spot-Editing:
Absolutely no spot-editing is allowed. This includes, but is not limited to drawing tools, dodging/burning tools, and cloning tools. Additionally, the use of any type of selection tool is prohibited except to select a non-feathered, non-anti-aliased rectangular area for cropping.

Layers:
Only Adjustment Layers (or the non-Photoshop equivalent) may be used. An Adjustment Layer is one that does not contain any pixel data, but rather is a special, non-image layer that lets you experiment with color and tonal adjustments to an image without permanently modifying the pixels. Adjustment Layers must be applied in Normal mode. All other types of layers (including those that contain pixel data or masks) and all other blending methods (modes) are prohibited. Changing the opacity of an Adjustment Layer is permitted.

Borders:
It is suggested that if you decide to use a border, you should only use one or two solid colors around the outside of your photo. However, alternative borders are allowed, as long as they do not contain any text, clip art, photographs, or other artwork.
No text may be added to your submission. This includes copyright statements.


Basic editing rules... My shot was in advanced.
04/03/2005 04:23:59 AM · #18
Originally posted by scalvert:

The image of the swans had a uniform, mostly white background of light texture with no big THINGS to affect composition, so making that "white noise" go away didn't remove any major elements or alter the composition itself. It WAS a pair of swans on white, and now it's a pair of swans on whiter.


This is not actually completely true. If you read his description, the shot as displayed is less than 1/4th of the original shot and his original as posted in his portfolio is the same crop. The original that I saw once in a forum thread had other swans in it. These other swans are also elements...
04/03/2005 04:19:28 AM · #19
(1)----------------------------------------------------------<

Originally posted by sofapez:

you should only use one or two solid colors around the outside of your photo


the border was not "around the outside" of the image, it became part of the image. it was not a border, but rather pixels added to the outside of the image to blend in with the image and make the original shot seem as if it were taken from a different distance

also, it was used to to remove the (very large) second tombstone and make it seem like empty space/snow

(2)----------------------------------------------------------<

the cloning of the leaves on the ground was not taking out defects but helping achieve a goal - "on white" - by taking out things that were way too big to be considered clone-able/dodge-able - they were too big to be called small, unimportant distractions. even if levels were used "selectively," it'd still be to take out large elements

>>----------------------------------------------------------<
of course, the second one is a matter of opinion. i think most of us would agree, though, that the leaves/tombstone are too big to be taken out as "distractions" should

personally, i wouldve found a better place/angle to take a pic and/or arranged the snow/taken out the leaves physically. then again, not all of us have the time and sometimes we make mistakes that cost us things like potentially-ribbon-worthy pics

ps: i really liked the image
pps: this took me over 10 mins to write
04/03/2005 03:03:28 AM · #20
I thought I would add this to the MIX:
Filters:
The use of filters (or non-Photoshop equivalent) is strictly limited. Any filter or stand-alone utility designed and used to preserve the integrity of the image and/or reduce the effects of noise, scratches, etc, are permitted. These include but are not limited to the Sharpen, Unsharp Mask, and Dust & Scratches filters, and standalone image cleanup utilities such as NeatImage. However, no effects filters may be applied to your image, with the exception of Noise and Gaussian Blur, which are allowed. Any filter permitted by this rule must be applied uniformly to the entire image. Selective application of any filter is prohibited.

Spot-Editing:
Absolutely no spot-editing is allowed. This includes, but is not limited to drawing tools, dodging/burning tools, and cloning tools. Additionally, the use of any type of selection tool is prohibited except to select a non-feathered, non-anti-aliased rectangular area for cropping.

Layers:
Only Adjustment Layers (or the non-Photoshop equivalent) may be used. An Adjustment Layer is one that does not contain any pixel data, but rather is a special, non-image layer that lets you experiment with color and tonal adjustments to an image without permanently modifying the pixels. Adjustment Layers must be applied in Normal mode. All other types of layers (including those that contain pixel data or masks) and all other blending methods (modes) are prohibited. Changing the opacity of an Adjustment Layer is permitted.

Borders:
It is suggested that if you decide to use a border, you should only use one or two solid colors around the outside of your photo. However, alternative borders are allowed, as long as they do not contain any text, clip art, photographs, or other artwork.
No text may be added to your submission. This includes copyright statements.

04/03/2005 01:08:48 AM · #21
I dunno, let's kick the horse some more and see what happens. I don't think the "gray areas" discussed here are all that gray.

The image of the swans had a uniform, mostly white background of light texture with no big THINGS to affect composition, so making that "white noise" go away didn't remove any major elements or alter the composition itself. It WAS a pair of swans on white, and now it's a pair of swans on whiter. The images from TooCool and KDO had significant objects in them- a couch, another tombstone, large patches of leaves and grass- things that change the composition significantly if moved or removed. Those originals would NOT have been described as a girl or single tombstone on white, now made whiter. I don't see any gray area here, and any tools or techniques used to remove such major elements are irrelevant.

As far as the border goes... WHAT border? Pixels were added to the photo to extend the image, plain and simple, and adding anything that wasn't in the original is a no-no by either ruleset. Discussions of asymmetry or border size are moot because that is NOT a border! If you showed that image to 1000 sane people and asked if it had a border, ALL of them would say no. That is borderless image with a white background, and the background includes areas not captured in the original. Again, there is no gray area, and whatever methods were used to arrive at the result are irrelevant.

People continue to post to this thread about the use of tools or techniques and that is NOT the issue here. Major elements were removed from the originals and some areas of TooCool's image were added. Neither is allowed by either set of rules.

As for Brad's triptych border, I'm sure the SC vote was far from unanimous, and the border rules were updated after that little uproar. I don't think there was anything in the rules at the time that said the border had to be a single frame. Note that it IS at least an obvious border- distinct and plainly separate from the image itself.

Message edited by author 2005-04-03 01:14:05.
04/03/2005 12:16:42 AM · #22
...I think this horse is about dead...
04/03/2005 12:05:23 AM · #23
HB,

I wasn't even THINKING specifically about your comments regardong cloning, I didn't even mention cloning in my long-winded digression here. I'm sorry if you feel that way. I just thiunk, very strongly, that there's a huge area of confusion regarding wheteher it's ok to obliterate areas of a photo by darkening or lightening them until there's either black or white left. And there's also legitimate confusion on the issue of what, exactly, is allowed by way of borders.

I don't mean to be attacking SC at ALL, I totally admire what y'all do and it's a hard, hard job. But a LOT of us are interesting in discussing these gray areas, and only good can come out of these discussions, IMO, if they result in clarification for future generations of the rulesets.

peace, please? I love y'all.

Robt.
04/02/2005 11:59:22 PM · #24
Oh for the love of pete. This is the last time I'm going to say this. I think someone misunderstood me. We are not arguing, and we are not discussing. There is nothing to argue or discuss. The fact that cloning is not allowed in basic and levels/curves is, is no secret. That is ALL I was stating. I was not siding for or against anyone, not trying to make rule changes, not anything. I was stating a FACT. That's it. There is nothing to 'discuss in private', there is NO disagreement.
I don't understand why people keep responding to my comment like I have said something bad. Am I not correct when I say that cloning is illegal in basic and levels/curves (done to the entire image)is legal??? I think that when kirbic 'disagreed' with me...he thought I was referring to advanced editing, of which I was NOT.
04/02/2005 11:58:58 PM · #25
Very well-written, Robert.
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