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DPChallenge Forums >> Challenge Results >> What did you learn from the minimalist challenge
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Showing posts 1 - 25 of 65, descending (reverse)
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05/06/2005 01:35:02 AM · #1
I use gradient masks quite a bit myself. You can fit 'em into selections, so they work real well on skies.

Robt.
05/06/2005 01:02:47 AM · #2
I learned a neat trick I could have used if it had been an Advanced Rules challenge.

I had very uneven lighting in the original (from a brightly lit side window), which I've more-or-less fixed by creating a horizontal gradient in an Alpha Channel (in Photoshop), and using that as a mask for an RGB Curve adjustment layer. This is a quick experiment, and it could undoubtedly be done better with more time and care, but it shows the effect well enough.

As far as I can tell the image is very much like using a graduated ND filter, except that you can adjust the gradient to match your image by editing the Alpha Channel, and you can put it at any angle. If you use color Curves instead of the composite RGB, you can add the equivalent of color filers as well.

Using gradients of other shapes (e.g. elliptical) can be used to create interesting vignette effects.

Original entry (Basic editing): ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/333/thumb/169817.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/333/thumb/169817.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Modified (also took out the puzzle piece, like I should have originally): ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/1031/thumb/174716.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/1031/thumb/174716.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
05/04/2005 10:46:10 PM · #3
I learned that viewers did not relate requiem with darkness, shadows and a bit of a formal presentation.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/333/thumb/170993.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/333/thumb/170993.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
05/04/2005 09:28:57 PM · #4
I learned that to many voters, minimalism means a lot of negative space. I didn't have a chance to submit a photo, but it seems that a lot of technically strong photos with small subjects were voted lower because there were other aspects to the picture instead of a solid blank white, blue, black, etc. background. I was impressed by a lot of the photos but also disappointed in seeing some of the results and where certain pictures placed. Perhaps my view of minimalism is just what the challenge discription said....the subject can only occupy a small portion of the frame. That being said, a small subject can be complimented more with a textured or even cluttered background as opposed to a dead background.
05/04/2005 09:04:40 PM · #5
This was the first time I had to compromise the quality of a photo to stay inside the challenge.

Here was my entry:
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I got my personal best, so I am far from complaining. Comments were favorable, but an underlying theme was that I should've cropped out the far bank of the lake. Here is a crop with that idea applied:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/33392/thumb/174201.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/33392/thumb/174201.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

The reason I didn't use this crop was I felt the boat was too large a pct of the photo, so it was no longer 'minimal.
05/04/2005 08:53:19 PM · #6
i learned a lot. Actually, I'm learning more an more as I see my scores go higher and higher on each challenges I enter. My mood one is about to top my minimalism photo actually. I'm starting to learn more about photoshop and what is too much and not enough.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/333/thumb/169602.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/333/thumb/169602.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
i was really happy with my results.
05/04/2005 08:37:48 PM · #7
Originally posted by justine:

Never shoot just to shoot.
If ya can't do it right, find a good subject and commit the time, then don't enter.

Eh, well, I'd still say shoot just to shoot. Practice is how you get better. There may be some truth to "Never submit just to submit," though.
05/04/2005 07:21:49 PM · #8
Returning after a five month absence or so, I learned that nothing has changed. LOL People are still arguing over how to vote, how to interpret the challenge, why their image deserved a higher score, and so on.

I re-learned that my image always seems a bit better to me than to the voters. Not sure why that is, but it is.

I re-learned that some comments are simply not useful.

I re-learned that it's still fun to watch my score (mostly go down).
05/04/2005 07:11:52 PM · #9
Crop out blurry leaves, even if you think no one will nit pick about it.

Original' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/333/thumb/171136.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/333/thumb/171136.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Edit ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/24183/thumb/174176.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/24183/thumb/174176.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
05/04/2005 06:48:39 PM · #10
I learned that my sis (saracat) is a better photographer than I am...... for now.
05/04/2005 06:41:27 PM · #11
Minimalism - A twentieth century art movement and style stressing the idea of reducing a work of art to the minimum number of colors, values, shapes, lines and textures.

This was my first venture into the challenge fray on this site. I had some comments by those that felt my image was not a minimalistic study, probably due to the fact that the eye could wander my piece. But it contained only 2 colors (and white, which is the absence of color) and was minimal in its values, textures and colors. Because we are dealing broadly and not specifically with "experts" in a specific field, we need to understand that visual appeal and emotional response speaks louder during the majority of voting than adherence to definitions.

I think the voting structure here is fascinatingly informative and results in a real feel for public acceptance of one's art. Like anything else, trying to make changes to please everyone leads to general unhappiness and a breakdown of will for those responsible for order and organization.
05/04/2005 06:18:33 PM · #12
Originally posted by bcoble:

I thought it was cut and dry on the interpretation. I am wrong.


Well, I hope most challenges will not end up with a title that directly conflicts with the description, which caused a lot of problems here. I scored based more heavily on the title than on the description in this case, not downscoring anything that met the standard of classic minimalism, but downscoring some photos that had several different points of focus even if they were all small. A lot of people scored in the opposite direction, though, so I think this challenge left scores all over the map not really relating directly to the quality of the shot at all.
05/04/2005 05:49:01 PM · #13
What I learned from that challenge is that my interpretation of what is expected , based on the criteria set up is not always what I think. My photo fit the criteria. However so many photo's were not within my perception of what is expected. In other words if it says to take a picture of the sun, I can expect pictures of the local dog or house, or a coffee pot. What I am saying is that there are two ways to interpet the challange. The title and or the description. Some people just did not follow the description or even close, yet they felt they were within the perameters of the challenge. I was able to see in the voting that many people voted according to whether it met or not met.

I thought it was cut and dry on the interpretation. I am wrong.

What I learned was look outside the box.

Message edited by author 2005-05-04 17:49:28.
05/04/2005 05:36:47 PM · #14
I learned that Minimalism is interpreted in a broad range.

Negative space is considered the easy way to critique a minimalist submission, and the the spirit of minimalistic art can be missed out when not knowing what to look for.

Fast food= not minimal
fancy restaurant on Sunset Blvd in LA, CA= very minimal
05/04/2005 05:29:52 PM · #15
Hey I know.........how about a box that says: "Title does not meet challenge".
05/04/2005 05:07:35 PM · #16
Originally posted by RonBeam:


I will share something I learned awhile back: titles DO matter. Rarely ever is the title of a photograph accepted or embraced if it is supposedly spoken by the the subject of the photo, as was the case of this shot. (I gave this a 6) Consider the most common snappy titles to photos in this vein are; "Hi there" and "Are you looking at me?" A lack of imaginative, inspirational or image-enhancing titling is on a par with the shot being out of focus, to some. If there are multiple subjects in the frame and the quoted caption is extraordinarily funny as if one subject is speaking to the other, it might enhance the shot. But usually it is best to not put words into the mouth (or mandibles) of the subject, in place of a descriptive title.


Ron - thank you for that!
I was (and still am) very pleased with the photo. I looked at a number of aspects that make it less than perfect, but I had NOT considered that the title could be a problem.

I guess it's because the only time I think about a title is when it is the ONLY thing that ties a photo in with a challenge, otherwise it never seems important to me. Perhaps I need to get more critical, too.

Thank you for pointing out something new to me.

Now I'll be scratching my head wondering how many people voted low just because of the title ..... hmmmm
05/04/2005 04:34:41 PM · #17
Originally posted by Beetle:

I learned two things. If you want to do well, you must:

A) not use any creatures that people may not like, since many can't get past a personal dislike and get on with judging a PHOTO.

B) make sure that even the thumbnail looks good for all those people that vote as soon as the voting bar is up and never actually SEE the whole photo.

My photo was very blah as a thumbnail, but much better full size.
(I had a better one of that spider, but was worried that it was getting too big for this particular challenge).

I know it still has room for improvement, but look at the difference between commentors, overall, and no camera.

A good deal of the very low scores must have been because of the thumbnail issue.

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I will share something I learned awhile back: titles DO matter. Rarely ever is the title of a photograph accepted or embraced if it is supposedly spoken by the the subject of the photo, as was the case of this shot. (I gave this a 6) Consider the most common snappy titles to photos in this vein are; "Hi there" and "Are you looking at me?" A lack of imaginative, inspirational or image-enhancing titling is on a par with the shot being out of focus, to some. If there are multiple subjects in the frame and the quoted caption is extraordinarily funny as if one subject is speaking to the other, it might enhance the shot. But usually it is best to not put words into the mouth (or mandibles) of the subject, in place of a descriptive title.

Message edited by author 2005-05-04 16:40:33.
05/04/2005 03:19:25 PM · #18
I learned that it is possible to create an image I can be proud of on my own terms, and win a ribbon with it. Great feeling.

Robt.
05/04/2005 03:07:46 PM · #19
Originally posted by justine:

What I learned:
That I didn't learn from previous lessons.

Never shoot just to shoot.
If ya can't do it right, find a good subject and commit the time, then don't enter.


Amen. I guess I have to be hit in the head.
05/04/2005 02:48:31 PM · #20
Originally posted by eostyles:

That everyone has different taste:

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Place: 335 out of 485
Avg (all users): 4.846
Avg (commenters): 5.923
Avg (camera): 4.861


That's pretty much the number one thing I took away from this challenge as well. Half of the shots on the first page I scored 5 or below, including a ribbon. This one I scored highly. Some of my favorite shots scored very, very poorly, including one of my few 10s.

I'll be writing up a detailed post-mortem of my own shot and the things I learned in the challenge probably tonight. I may add a final section for "Most Underrated" to celebrate my favorite shots in the bottom 40%.
05/04/2005 01:01:17 PM · #21
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I learned that a lot of people need to calibrate there monitors. Or that I guess I possibly need to, but, I'm pretty sure I don't.
05/04/2005 12:43:00 PM · #22
It was a minimalism challenge, so I learned very little. ;-)

Maybe if I had entered something...
05/04/2005 12:38:43 PM · #23
bbower, I loved your cardinal shot. So clear and bold. I agree the cropping improved it, see we learned something from this site.
05/04/2005 12:33:29 PM · #24
Originally posted by buzzmom:

i learned never to take a photo for a challenge on painkillers ever again...


How do you know that the challenge was on painkillers? ;oP

Just being silly with misplaced modifiers.
05/04/2005 12:32:55 PM · #25
I learned that with a little effort it was possible to beat my personal best *grins*. some people thought that i had dust on my sensor but the white spots were simply lights from the boats and from the docks at the back.

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