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04/07/2005 05:08:15 AM · #1
Are you frustrated with your DPC scores each week?

TRY THE PA PILL
Here's How:
A. Go to "My Home"; "My Profile"; "Statistics".
B. Find your "Avg Vote Received" stat. Swallow that glorious number whole. Down the hatch.
C. Know that number by heart, remembering that it changes weekly according to each challenge you enter. Every week you must take that Pill again. That Pill is your PA, your "Personal Average".
D. Make it one of your leading joys in the DPC numbers game to beat your PA.

It is really that simple. Something I learned from watching my sons compete in Track & Field over the past 10 years is the joy of seeing them beat their PR. There is real delight in beating your PR (for DPC, a PA). In the process you'll find your skill developing challenge by challenge with that growing confidence of aiming at achievable goals week by week.

Check it out. My current PA (Avg Vote Received) is 4.7970. In the last three challenges I've entered, I've beat my PR with very average photos and found that I wasn't gnashing my teeth with frustration because I didn't win a ribbon, rather I was delighted because I beat my PA.

Of course, there is really no need to say it, because you already know it: Anyone who makes the numbers game on DPC their leading joy in photography should quietly go out and shoot more photos. This site is not about numbers or stats. I'm glad DPC gives us plenty of both, but this site, plain and simple is about photography, taking and making photos.

So why are you still reading this post? Go out and make a photo! Then come home, load up that newest piece of creative vision and see if you can beat your PA.

Still sitting there? Silly me. I thought you had already left the house on a photoshoot. (Don't forget to take your PA Pill with you!)

Edited 4-8-05 to reflect more accurately DPC language, with PA (Personal Average) rather than PR (Personal Record). Thanks Robt!
--Charliebaker

Message edited by author 2005-04-08 13:49:35.
04/07/2005 05:27:05 AM · #2
Charlie,

That's a lovely post and i agree with it wholeheartedly, but I have to take exception to one niggling detail; that ain't a PR (personal record), it's a PA (personal average). When your kids went to the track meets, they made it their goal to beat their personal best time, which was an achievable goal that's entirely self-focused. But on DPC, where "results" aren't objective (we have no stopwatches), people who try to beat their own best score each time are more or less doomed to frustration.

So, as Charlie says, if you're a numbers watcher, keep an eye on your "PA", you personal average, and try to make that climb week by week and month by month. You may not be able to get more scores int he same range as your highest score, consistently, but you sure as hell can reduce the number of scores in the LOW range by working harder and thinking more creatively.

In my case, though, I pay no attention to this number. I'd be a gibbering, weeping fool by now if I did, because it's barely over 5.0, which I consider to be pathetically low when I consider it at all. No, I keep taking the pictures that please me, I keep having fun, I keep entering virtually every challenge even when my efforts are marginal at best, just for the fun of being in the game. When I really work hard at it, I get pretty decent scores. When I'm being "artistic" I get hammered into the ground. When I'm just messing around I get mediocre, mid-level scores.

Just about how it ought to be, eh?

Robt.

Message edited by author 2005-04-07 05:28:12.
04/07/2005 05:37:23 AM · #3
I wouldn't mind getting the larger dosages sooner, though....
04/07/2005 05:49:39 AM · #4
Thanks Charlie for posting that,

Let's get this out in the open first: I'm a self confessed numbers man, and when it comes to competitive pursuits like sports, or even DPC, I'm a sucker for statistics.

So with that in mind, I gotta say it's definately a more encouraging way of thinking of things. Ever since it became clear to me that a ribbon wasn't going to come easily (or indeed predictably - if and when I get my first one chances are it'll be when I least expect it) I've set my sights on raising my average instead. As it happens I'm creeping towards an average-related milestone that will give me just as much satisfaction as a ribbon. If I hadn't re-evaluated things, and changed my focus to my personal average rather than those coloured pixel clusters I probably would have become pretty disheartened and abandoned this site even before I had the pleasure of participating in my first members challenge.

Cheers

Anders
04/07/2005 05:51:53 AM · #5
Originally posted by samtrundle:

Thanks Charlie for posting that,

Let's get this out in the open first: I'm a self confessed numbers man, and when it comes to competitive pursuits like sports, or even DPC, I'm a sucker for statistics.

So with that in mind, I gotta say it's definately a more encouraging way of thinking of things. Ever since it became clear to me that a ribbon wasn't going to come easily (or indeed predictably - if and when I get my first one chances are it'll be when I least expect it) I've set my sights on raising my average instead. As it happens I'm creeping towards an average-related milestone that will give me just as much satisfaction as a ribbon. If I hadn't re-evaluated things, and changed my focus to my personal average rather than those coloured pixel clusters I probably would have become pretty disheartened and abandoned this site even before I had the pleasure of participating in my first members challenge.

Cheers

Anders


I'll say ribbons come unexpectedly.. neither of my ribbons were for shots I had *any* expectation of winning.. and they were complete surprises.

The way I keep going on DPC these days, and not getting frustrated, is by submitting shots I find to be either a: very humorous or b: very creatively different.

I got tired of trying to pander to the masses, so now I just have fun.
04/07/2005 06:29:36 AM · #6
Originally posted by Artyste:



I got tired of trying to pander to the masses, so now I just have fun.


While I'm doing my best to avoid the fifty page article on implied consitutional freedoms I should be reading I might as well take the time to say that I definately admire your approach artyste. Your shots might not be on the front page every other week, but most of the time there's something interesting, amusing or out of the box about them. Or in the case of your last entry - something interesting 'in the box.'


Message edited by author 2005-04-07 06:37:09.
04/07/2005 06:48:48 AM · #7
Originally posted by Artyste:

Originally posted by samtrundle:

Thanks Charlie for posting that,

Let's get this out in the open first: I'm a self confessed numbers man, and when it comes to competitive pursuits like sports, or even DPC, I'm a sucker for statistics.

So with that in mind, I gotta say it's definately a more encouraging way of thinking of things. Ever since it became clear to me that a ribbon wasn't going to come easily (or indeed predictably - if and when I get my first one chances are it'll be when I least expect it) I've set my sights on raising my average instead. As it happens I'm creeping towards an average-related milestone that will give me just as much satisfaction as a ribbon. If I hadn't re-evaluated things, and changed my focus to my personal average rather than those coloured pixel clusters I probably would have become pretty disheartened and abandoned this site even before I had the pleasure of participating in my first members challenge.

Cheers

Anders


I'll say ribbons come unexpectedly.. neither of my ribbons were for shots I had *any* expectation of winning.. and they were complete surprises.

The way I keep going on DPC these days, and not getting frustrated, is by submitting shots I find to be either a: very humorous or b: very creatively different.

I got tired of trying to pander to the masses, so now I just have fun.


I'd say I have to agree with Artyste. I used to guage my increase in skills in photography by my increase in scores over time. This has definitely occurred over the last 3 years that I have been on DPC. Lately, I seem to have topped out. Rather than get stressed over the lack of achievement I have found great satisfaction in continuing to participate in as many challenges as I can muster the time for and to just enjoy the experience of photography and DPC. I feel I learn as much from my mistakes as I do from the successes.
04/07/2005 06:59:19 AM · #8
Originally posted by lnede:

Originally posted by Artyste:

Originally posted by samtrundle:

Thanks Charlie for posting that,

Let's get this out in the open first: I'm a self confessed numbers man, and when it comes to competitive pursuits like sports, or even DPC, I'm a sucker for statistics.

So with that in mind, I gotta say it's definately a more encouraging way of thinking of things. Ever since it became clear to me that a ribbon wasn't going to come easily (or indeed predictably - if and when I get my first one chances are it'll be when I least expect it) I've set my sights on raising my average instead. As it happens I'm creeping towards an average-related milestone that will give me just as much satisfaction as a ribbon. If I hadn't re-evaluated things, and changed my focus to my personal average rather than those coloured pixel clusters I probably would have become pretty disheartened and abandoned this site even before I had the pleasure of participating in my first members challenge.

Cheers

Anders


I'll say ribbons come unexpectedly.. neither of my ribbons were for shots I had *any* expectation of winning.. and they were complete surprises.

The way I keep going on DPC these days, and not getting frustrated, is by submitting shots I find to be either a: very humorous or b: very creatively different.

I got tired of trying to pander to the masses, so now I just have fun.


I'd say I have to agree with Artyste. I used to guage my increase in skills in photography by my increase in scores over time. This has definitely occurred over the last 3 years that I have been on DPC. Lately, I seem to have topped out. Rather than get stressed over the lack of achievement I have found great satisfaction in continuing to participate in as many challenges as I can muster the time for and to just enjoy the experience of photography and DPC. I feel I learn as much from my mistakes as I do from the successes.


My thing is, the photography I *love* doing.. child/family candids and non-traditional portraitures.. generally don't fit in to 90% of the challenges. So, in order to participate, I *have* to make it fun and creative, or I'd start finding myself languishing in boring studio shots and losing sight of what matters. (which I found myself doing for a bit). It's all about what makes us and an individual happy. Some of us love pandering to the masses and hey, that's good too!
04/07/2005 08:50:49 AM · #9
Sorry in advance for this long post. I haven't spent much time here lately--been too busy--but I saw your post and felt it was important, and important to add to!

I'll add one thing to the fray. A number of months ago (Dec?), I stopped worrying about winning a ribbon, and now express whatever artistic feelings I want. That's very liberating. I do still, as you say, always hope to at least get or beat my average, and I am a little disappointed when I don't.

But I have one extra advice that's helped me through that too. I consider having shots marked as favorites the most important criteria of success. My "Best of 2004" -- Van Gogh Sky -- didn't do very well score wise, at it was only at 59 percentile, but it got more favorites than some ribbon winners. The number of them though isn't what's important. It's knowing you touched someone enough, that it was good enough, that someone selected it!

One final point--while a ribbon or good DPC score means you've been successful in making a photo, the CONVERSE ISNT TRUE. Just because you got a low score or percentile, doesn't mean it's a bad photo. I was dissapointed at the 63 percentile finish of my Breaking New Ground entry. But 1) it got some really nice comments from people I respect here, that I know are very critical reviewers (for one, Zeusen); and 2) to get an "independent" assessment I submitted it to BetterPhoto. It ended up getting a second place (not singly, along with a number of others) at Betterphoto for photo of the month. I've seen others who did poorly in a challenge go on to win prizes/ribbons elsewhere as well.

In short, thanks for you post. Ribbons are nice, but learning to conform to the wishes of DPC for ribbons is not always the best strategy to becoming your own artist. Make sure you let people know in other ways you appreciate their work by comments and favorites, and find your own "self" in your work, and hopefully, you too will be rewarded in some way, be it ribbons, favorites, prizes, or comments.

Edited: Fix incorrect challenge title

Message edited by author 2005-04-07 08:53:48.
04/07/2005 11:53:37 AM · #10
This is interesting...and helpful.
I have pretty much given up on trying to please the masses here. As soon as i think i know something, they prove me wrong. I have been trying to move my average up, but this method will give me an easier way - i have been shooting somewhat defensivley, and my 'goal' has been to change the four pics on my Profile page.

5 of my last 6 entries are below my current average...my Pet Portrait is doing surprisingly well and that may help raise the average a tenth or 2.

So for abandoned building, all i have to shoot for then is to beat a 4.9. Now that seems easy, so with the pressure off i bet i can do it!
04/07/2005 02:42:13 PM · #11
Originally posted by bear_music:

it's a PA (personal average). So, as Charlie says, if you're a numbers watcher, keep an eye on your "PA", you personal average, and try to make that climb week by week and month by month.


Thanks Robert for this clarification, PA not PR.
04/07/2005 03:11:05 PM · #12
Originally posted by charliebaker:

Are you frustrated with your DPC scores each week?

TRY THE PR PILL
Here's How:
A. Go to "My Home"; "My Profile"; "Statistics".
B. Find your "Avg Vote Received" stat. Swallow that glorious number whole. Down the hatch.
C. Know that number by heart, remembering that it changes weekly according to each challenge you enter. Every week you must take that Pill again. That Pill is your PR, your "Personal Record".
D. Make it one of your leading joys in the DPC numbers game to beat your PR.

It is really that simple. Something I learned from watching my sons compete in Track & Field over the past 10 years is the joy of seeing them beat their PR. There is real delight in beating your PR. In the process you'll find your skill developing challenge by challenge with that growing confidence of aiming at achievable goals week by week.

Check it out. My current PR (Avg Vote Received) is 4.7970. In the last three challenges I've entered, I've beat my PR with very average photos and found that I wasn't gnashing my teeth with frustration because I didn't win a ribbon, rather I was delighted because I beat my PR.

Of course, there is really no need to say it, because you already know it: Anyone who makes the numbers game on DPC their leading joy in photography should quietly go out and shoot more photos. This site is not about numbers or stats. I'm glad DPC gives us plenty of both, but this site, plain and simple is about photography, taking and making photos.

So why are you still reading this post? Go out and make a photo! Then come home, load up that newest piece of creative vision and see if you can beat your PR.

Still sitting there? Silly me. I thought you had already left the house on a photoshoot. (Don't forget to take your PR Pill with you!)


How refreshing! Thank you! :)
04/07/2005 03:31:39 PM · #13
Or you can simply create an account at buzznet.com, put your challenge pictures up there before you submit them to DPC, and have a decent number of the voters from here tell you things like 'That will do well in XXX challenge', 'You might want to crop it a bit more before submitting', etc.

Not a bad deal when the 'friends' there know who's is who's and end up making what amounts to group submissions.

My apologies in advance for those at buzznet that don't do such things; but the ones that do (or even the ones that ask themselves 'Does he mean me?') know that such things are against the "spirit of the rules" that are touted so much here.

I dunno, the above solution seems much easier to me. Look at my meager portfolio here and tell me that I wouldn't increase dramatically if I had the input from voters on my submissions before they were submitted.
04/07/2005 03:35:53 PM · #14
Originally posted by TacoVendor:

Or you can simply create an account at buzznet.com, put your challenge pictures up there before you submit them to DPC, and have a decent number of the voters from here tell you things like 'That will do well in XXX challenge', 'You might want to crop it a bit more before submitting', etc.

Not a bad deal when the 'friends' there know who's is who's and end up making what amounts to group submissions.

My apologies in advance for those at buzznet that don't do such things; but the ones that do (or even the ones that ask themselves 'Does he mean me?') know that such things are against the "spirit of the rules" that are touted so much here.

I dunno, the above solution seems much easier to me. Look at my meager portfolio here and tell me that I wouldn't increase dramatically if I had the input from voters on my submissions before they were submitted.


Glad to see someone post this - I am personally sickened by the whole tactic and since finding out it goes on, can't quite enjoy the challenges in quite the same way. Thanks for posting this.
04/07/2005 03:40:10 PM · #15
Originally posted by Kylie:

Originally posted by TacoVendor:

Or you can simply create an account at buzznet.com, put your challenge pictures up there before you submit them to DPC....


Glad to see someone post this - I am personally sickened by the whole tactic and since finding out it goes on, can't quite enjoy the challenges in quite the same way. Thanks for posting this.


Okay, TacoVendor...quit screwin' around and name names. I've been keeping my PaD at buzznet (and some people know this) but I haven't entered a challenge in quite a while...I also haven't participated actively in commenting over there so I personally haven't seen what you're talking about.

So, spit it out...it's easier to name a group than it is to name names, but I don't feel like being indicted. Let's hear it.

Message edited by author 2005-04-07 15:42:38.
04/07/2005 03:47:48 PM · #16
I am not here to name names. Those who do it know about it, others here know about it happening as well. If you are not one of those then you know which side you fall into.

As I said in my post, having a PaD there does not mean you do such things. Personally, I think it is a very intruiging site in its own right. It is well done and provides a good forum for the people it targets.

Me saying who I know of here that does it accomplishes nothing. Just like me mentioning this at all accomplishes nothing. Those that feel they are above the rules and can do such things will just do it elsewhere and that will be that.
04/07/2005 03:50:19 PM · #17
Originally posted by TacoVendor:

I am not here to name names. Those who do it know about it, others here know about it happening as well. If you are not one of those then you know which side you fall into.

As I said in my post, having a PaD there does not mean you do such things. Personally, I think it is a very intruiging site in its own right. It is well done and provides a good forum for the people it targets.

Me saying who I know of here that does it accomplishes nothing. Just like me mentioning this at all accomplishes nothing. Those that feel they are above the rules and can do such things will just do it elsewhere and that will be that.


I hope that your posting it here DOES help a little. Maybe if more people said something, at least those who do it would notice that maybe it isn't a great thing to be doing and it is held in low esteem? I can thing positivley, can't I? lol
04/07/2005 03:53:04 PM · #18
I think this site is sometimes seen as the end instead of the means. If photographers are trying to train their eye to recognize the flawed and/or great photos in a particular shoot then so be it.

I say "big deal"...then again, I haven't seen the criminal activity that has been reported, so maybe I shouldn't opine on the situation.
04/07/2005 04:17:41 PM · #19
This is a thread I like and we can all benefit by it because the ultimate message is that there is room for improvement. However, some of us are more interested in creating interesting images which please our inner urge to create. Now here is my take:

I do images which please me. Whether you agree with me or not, I consider myself to be an artist. This means that I must take many chances and place myself on the limb. I even seek to push the envelope with the meaning of the challenges. As you can see, my main concern is my self expression and many times I can save myself from low score by adhering to the sensible, but when I get the urge for a creation it gets entered no matter the consequence.

Well, believe it or not I am having the best time of my life doing exactly what I want with my images and i am grateful to all of you, even to those that do not understand, appreciate my efforts, for all voices are important to shape the entire mosaic. I feel that photography, after doing a life time in advertising, is a super medium for the artist.

So, we all benefit because the site allows a window for us to show our efforts. If you want to improve, that is ideal, if you want to show off that too is nice and if you want to exhibit your art work that too is good.

You see, the site is capable to benefit those who approach photography as a craft or as an art. Personally, I do nothing to maintain a high score because I am too busy conjuring my next work. So in essence we all win in DPC.
04/07/2005 04:38:59 PM · #20
There's a surprising amount of people coming in here to say that they don't shoot for a high score. Well here's another : )

I used to shoot for ribbons and high scores, and for a complete beginner it was a heckuva good way of learning. But after a while shooting for the challenges got tiresome and I went away for a while. Maybe that darned toaster left me with nothing to aim for. More likely a year or so of solid challenges just took its toll.

Now I very rarely shoot specifically for a challenge. If I happen to be able to take a shot that fits then cool, if not then I can manage without the update button (just!) for a week.
This has allowed me to set off on my own journey. Outside of the "normal" nature and motorsports stuff that I shoot I'm very happy with the direction my photography is taking. It's never going to be popular, it's unlikely to win any ribbons. It's very raw and inconsistant at the moment. I'm having the time of my life with it though : )

Shoot for scores if you want, it really can help your photography, but don't let it become your only goal or it will burn you out. I came close :-/
04/07/2005 09:33:09 PM · #21
Originally posted by thatcloudthere:

I think this site is sometimes seen as the end instead of the means.


Quite the contrary for most. Look at the comments and threads - they provide a lot of support and help. Having a few people here that decide to skirt the rules and share their challenge entries before-hand shows what their focus really is here: not the process and instruction, but that ribbon that they perceive as 'the end'.
04/07/2005 09:42:55 PM · #22
Originally posted by TacoVendor:

Originally posted by thatcloudthere:

I think this site is sometimes seen as the end instead of the means.


Quite the contrary for most. Look at the comments and threads - they provide a lot of support and help. Having a few people here that decide to skirt the rules and share their challenge entries before-hand shows what their focus really is here: not the process and instruction, but that ribbon that they perceive as 'the end'.


Oddly enough, I perceived it quite the opposite. I thought that perhaps those who were overly concerned with "fair play" so nobody has an unfair advantage in the challenges were the ones who viewed this site as the end rather than the means. I assumed trying to improve your photography with the help of others (using both this site and others) was fair means to reach an end.

But I haven't seen the tactics used on the other site...perhaps it's just an error of perception, either on your part or mine?
04/07/2005 10:07:30 PM · #23
Originally posted by thatcloudthere:

Originally posted by TacoVendor:

Originally posted by thatcloudthere:

I think this site is sometimes seen as the end instead of the means.


Quite the contrary for most. Look at the comments and threads - they provide a lot of support and help. Having a few people here that decide to skirt the rules and share their challenge entries before-hand shows what their focus really is here: not the process and instruction, but that ribbon that they perceive as 'the end'.


Oddly enough, I perceived it quite the opposite. I thought that perhaps those who were overly concerned with "fair play" so nobody has an unfair advantage in the challenges were the ones who viewed this site as the end rather than the means. I assumed trying to improve your photography with the help of others (using both this site and others) was fair means to reach an end.

But I haven't seen the tactics used on the other site...perhaps it's just an error of perception, either on your part or mine?


If you are gathering comments for the purpsoe of "will this score well with the masses on DPC" then you aren't too concerned with your photography, just your ribbons. Are they are virtual for God's sake. I have gotten opinions from a few DPC'ers on a potential entry, but then I ignore their "opinion" half the time becuase the image still works for me (I appreciate thier opinion, not saying that I don't). That is different than polling for popularity and going with whatever appears popular.
04/07/2005 10:14:00 PM · #24
Originally posted by Kylie:

If you are gathering comments for the purpsoe of "will this score well with the masses on DPC" then you aren't too concerned with your photography, just your ribbons. Are they are virtual for God's sake. I have gotten opinions from a few DPC'ers on a potential entry, but then I ignore their "opinion" half the time becuase the image still works for me (I appreciate thier opinion, not saying that I don't). That is different than polling for popularity and going with whatever appears popular.


I guess it really doesn't bother me...I'm also an occasional challenge entrant and I'm okay with others testing the waters. I've asked my wife's opinion before as well, should I stop?

By the way, I have no idea what they're doing on that site to 'poll' so maybe I'm not aware of what's really going on. From what I've heard, it's not a big deal to me personally...but I understand your perspective as well.

Message edited by author 2005-04-07 22:17:14.
04/07/2005 10:14:43 PM · #25
I enjoy trying to improve week over week, even if it IS just trying to please the voters. I have been working hard to shoot pics that I love and that are also well received by the viewers. I am not striving for a ribbon at this point, but merely to improve my skills with every challenge.
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