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04/01/2002 06:54:58 PM · #1
I noticed that in the past two competitions, my voting (and others' voting!)
have been affected greatly by the quality of the titles given to each photo.

Especially for non-English speakers, this is not terribly fair. This competition
is about the quality of the photo, not about the cleverness (or non-cleverness)
of the title attached to each.

I think we should try a competition or two without titles attached to each
photo during the voting process. Of course, we will need titles afterwards to
discuss how we liked each shot.

Ben
04/01/2002 07:04:03 PM · #2
I agree about the titles. People do seem to take them into consideration, or at least comment on them.

* This message has been edited by the author on 4/1/2002 7:04:16 PM.
04/01/2002 07:13:45 PM · #3
When people have asked to be able to give a short explanation of the photo, the response has invariably been something like "the photo should not need explanation, that's part of the challenge".

Why doesn't that argument apply to titles?

I don't really know why. However, I do like having the titles.


* This message has been edited by the author on 4/1/2002 7:14:11 PM.
04/01/2002 08:30:42 PM · #4
A short explanation is one thing -- but I have noticed that I have received
comments on my *TITLES* for my shots, as opposed to the photo itself. I think
this is indicative of a fundamental problem; people are spending time wondering
about the titles for the shots, and changing their vote up or down if they like
or dislike it.

A good example would be the self-portrait shot (I can't find it at the moment) of
the long-haired guy in silhouette, with a title in some Slovak-looking language.

I am certain many people marked this photo down because they didn't understand
the title..
04/01/2002 09:03:10 PM · #5
Why not require each voter to give a 10 to each photo, anyone giving a vote less than 10 would be would be expelled from the site and thier vote would be discarded, I think that would even the playing field.
04/01/2002 09:25:13 PM · #6
The title is part of the shot. Even in professional photography I believe (correct me if I am wrong, I may be). I think a good title can emphasize a picture. I'm up for that all 10 thing though, my pictures are so bad they need it! =P
04/01/2002 09:26:30 PM · #7
Originally posted by mcorwin:
Why not require each voter to give a 10 to each photo, anyone giving a vote less than 10 would be would be expelled from the site and thier vote would be discarded, I think that would even the playing field.


Superb idea! I'm programming that right now.

04/01/2002 10:05:22 PM · #8
Titles are being used to make horrible photos somehow funny or exciting when they're not. Generally, if the photo is bad, the title will try to make up for it.

It probably affects the voting a lot.

Titles should be removed, but alas, they won't be.
04/01/2002 10:06:45 PM · #9
Originally posted by mcorwin:
Why not require each voter to give a 10 to each photo, anyone giving a vote less than 10 would be would be expelled from the site and thier vote would be discarded, I think that would even the playing field.

Actually, you get yelled at for giving bad photos 1's and 2's. I don't think is so far off from what's wanted.
04/01/2002 10:23:41 PM · #10
Originally posted by leshii:
Titles should be removed, but alas, they won't be.


What the heck is that crap?
04/01/2002 10:50:24 PM · #11
Everyone who's defended titles as funny/amusing/whatnot has still not really
replied to my main point: what about people who are not native English speakers?

The best photographer in the world might come up with a crummy title because
he/she has no command of the English language. How exactly is that fair? It would
certainly affect the score their photo gets, through no fault of their own.

All I'm saying is that we should try a competition with hidden or numeric
titles while voting is still going on. Showing the titles after the voting is
completed should be fine, though.

04/01/2002 11:10:17 PM · #12
Originally posted by che_fox:
Everyone who's defended titles as funny/amusing/whatnot has still not really
replied to my main point: what about people who are not native English speakers?

The best photographer in the world might come up with a crummy title because
he/she has no command of the English language. How exactly is that fair? It would
certainly affect the score their photo gets, through no fault of their own.

All I'm saying is that we should try a competition with hidden or numeric
titles while voting is still going on. Showing the titles after the voting is
completed should be fine, though.



Let me see! If someone dosn't understand english they won't understand the title and vote on the quality of the photo and if they title their photo in a language english speaking people cannot understand they will have to vote on the quality of the photo and not the title. Is that the arguement? or have I missed something?
04/01/2002 11:21:16 PM · #13
Originally posted by mcorwin:

Let me see! If someone dosn't understand english they won't understand the title and vote on the quality of the photo and if they title their photo in a language english speaking people cannot understand they will have to vote on the quality of the photo and not the title. Is that the arguement? or have I missed something?

My argument is based on what actually happened; someone titled a wonderful
photo in a non-English language (not me!) and several comments indicated that
they voted the photo down because they didn't understand the title.

What's worse is when someone titles a good photo with bad grammar or spelling or
a terrible joke, and gets voted down for that.

I'll guess you've never lived in a foreign country,
or you would know exactly how damned hard it is to understand the subtleties
of a language that is not your own.


* This message has been edited by the author on 4/1/2002 11:21:38 PM.
04/01/2002 11:26:00 PM · #14
Just because people comment on the title certainly doesn't mean they voted it down because of it. If you're talking about the 3rd place self-portait, I commented on it being in a different language but I didn't vote it down. I've also commented on poor spelling and grammar in titles, but I have never voted a photo down for either of those reasons.

Originally posted by che_fox:

My argument is based on what actually happened; someone titled a wonderful
photo in a non-English language (not me!) and several comments indicated that
they voted the photo down because they didn't understand the title.

What's worse is when someone titles a good photo with bad grammar or spelling or
a terrible joke, and gets voted down for that.

I'll guess you've never lived in a foreign country,
or you would know exactly how damned hard it is to understand the subtleties
of a language that is not your own.




04/01/2002 11:38:17 PM · #15
Let's just hope that everyone is as thoughtful as you are, Reuben.

People are only human, though, and these votes are about as subjective
as it gets. If everyone loves coming up with witty titles, how about
allowing each photographer to select whether or not their title is shown
along with the photo? That would make everyone happy.

04/01/2002 11:45:35 PM · #16
Originally posted by che_fox:
Let's just hope that everyone is as thoughtful as you are, Reuben.

People are only human, though, and these votes are about as subjective
as it gets. If everyone loves coming up with witty titles, how about
allowing each photographer to select whether or not their title is shown
along with the photo? That would make everyone happy.


Can't you do this anyway, by just not providing a title ?

Or calling it 'Untitled'

I think that a good title is part and parcel of the full presentation of the entry/ image. It completes the work and can often change your impression/ understanding of the picture.

There are many examples of this in art where the title complements and improves on the remainder of the artists idea.

The question of whether this then translates to different cultures is a common problem, not just to photography. I don't think you should restrict your own 'vision' just because someone else might not get it.

I could put a title on a picture that referred to a classic book - if you hadn't read it you wouldn't get the reference and maybe your understanding of my picture would be diminished. Does that mean I shouldn't do it ?

Gordon

04/01/2002 11:59:57 PM · #17
Originally posted by che_fox:
Let's just hope that everyone is as thoughtful as you are, Reuben.

People are only human, though, and these votes are about as subjective
as it gets. If everyone loves coming up with witty titles, how about
allowing each photographer to select whether or not their title is shown
along with the photo? That would make everyone happy.



No Ben, Not everyone is as thoughtful as Reuben!!! There are people on this site that after 200+ votes have an average of close to 2. I don't think they really cares how thought provoking the title is.
04/02/2002 04:30:29 AM · #18
Perhaps the need for a creative title is mere compensation for a potentially weak photograph. Personally, I don't even read the titles while voting so it makes no difference to me.

There are times when I will go back and read them. Some make make me chuckle, others leave me puzzled. Either way I try to be objective about the photo itself. BTW, the quality of entries are much better than a month ago and all the photographers should be proud of that. Keep up the good work!
04/02/2002 05:28:16 AM · #19
Okay, I have to ask a dumb question. If someone on this site doesn't understand English, how can they figure out how to vote, follow directions, etc? Or is it our humor and/or slang that they don't understand? My two cents on the subject is to just ignore the titles if you prefer. I like the opportunity to title a good photo. Great paintings have titles and isn't this an art form too? If someone lets a title guide his or her vote, then they are not going to vote intelligently for other reasons. We all have something that pushes our buttons in these competitions and we will just have to face the fact that nothing is ever going to be perfect. I'm going to get hurt and angry over thoughtless remarks, you are going to feel slighted over a language barrier, and someone else is going to feel a disadvantage over not being able to take a good photo for a challenge because of the section of the world they live in.
04/02/2002 05:37:42 AM · #20
Originally posted by shortredneck:
Okay, I have to ask a dumb question. If someone on this site doesn't understand English, how can they figure out how to vote, follow directions, etc? Or is it our humor and/or slang that they don't understand?

It's more or less easy to learn how to navigate a web site and *read* and understand the
rules with the English you could learn in high school. However, *writing* English
is much harder than it looks -- spelling, grammar, and punctuation are all extremely
important, and as any kid in middle school could tell you, they're really hard.

Like you wondered, though, understanding subtle humor and jokes is much harder
for a non-native speaker. I would almost say it's near-impossible without 3-5 years
of living in a foreign country to be able to come up with something like a
witty title in that language.

I guess I'm completely out-voted here, but I sympathize for all you non-native
English speakers out there. Titles are a nice addition to a photo, but as many
of you noticed, they can be a crutch for a poor photo -- or a deciding factor
in voting an excellent photo up or down.


* This message has been edited by the author on 4/2/2002 5:39:16 AM.
04/02/2002 06:02:44 AM · #21
i'm with senor che on this one. while i love titling my photos and reading people's titles, i think it would be an interesting experiment to try presenting the photos purely on their visual merits with *no* other influencing factors. it would unarguably be a more scientific comparison that way. After all, this is 'digital photography' challenge, not 'creative writing' challenge 8 )...

just my .00034 shekels

dos fidanya!

Originally posted by che_fox:
I noticed that in the past two competitions, my voting (and others' voting!)
have been affected greatly by the quality of the titles given to each photo.

Especially for non-English speakers, this is not terribly fair. This competition
is about the quality of the photo, not about the cleverness (or non-cleverness)
of the title attached to each.

I think we should try a competition or two without titles attached to each
photo during the voting process. Of course, we will need titles afterwards to
discuss how we liked each shot.

Ben



04/02/2002 06:14:39 AM · #22
Originally posted by drewmedia:
Originally posted by leshii:
[i]Titles should be removed, but alas, they won't be.


What the heck is that crap?
[/i]

I just think titles should be removed but I don't think anyone else is for that.
04/02/2002 10:29:52 AM · #23
I've thought about it quite a bit, and although I really like the titles, I think it would be great to just try the competition without titles for a few challenges. We'll never really know if we like it unless we try it, will we?
04/02/2002 10:30:26 AM · #24
I think a good example of this is in the current challenge.

The entry 'University Skyline' wouldn't really obviously tie
into the architecture theme without the title.

However with the title, I think that particular entry is very good
and relevent to the challenge. It is a clever, witty photograph in
conjunction with a clever title,which makes it a good entry. Without the title it doesn't work.

I think this is why the titles are part of an entry, rather than something that can be used to 'prop' it up.

On the other hand, I think the guitar/ rock and roll picture isn't really on topic, with or without the title. Just putting 'The architecture of <insert subject here>' doesn't make it an architecture picture.

Both of the pictures are actually quite good, just in one case the title does tie it all together and makes a suitable 'theme' and in the other case it doesn't work (in my opinion, obviously)

Gordon
04/02/2002 10:49:06 AM · #25
Originally posted by Reuben:
I've thought about it quite a bit, and although I really like the titles, I think it would be great to just try the competition without titles for a few challenges. We'll never really know if we like it unless we try it, will we?


Why not? I'm up for a change of pace.
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