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DPChallenge Forums >> Challenge Results >> In My Den - Voters, What Were You Thinking?
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09/30/2002 05:15:51 AM · #1
What were you thinking?

And this question is addressed specifically to those of you who voted "In My Den" with a mark of 4 or lower? And you know who you are -- all ninty odd of you.

Now if you don't like the image because you figure it will never make it into the Museum Of Modern Art, I can appreicate that. Deduct one mark.

And if it just doesn't turn your crank, I can appreciate that as well. Deduct another mark..... Oh when the heck, deduct two marks if you're feeling in a right bad mood that day.

But beyond this, I really gotta ask, what the heck were you thinking? And particularly to those of who marked it as being a 4, or a 3, or 2 (and some sleepy head even gave it a 1!)

Now some have asked "Why aren't you smiling?" Well, this is my home -- my corner of the world. And in my home this is my den -- even more my corner of the world. And in my den, this is the little corner where I spend most of my waking hours when I'm not photographing -- so it just doesn't get any more "My Corner Of The World" than that. And the fact is that in our most secluded santuaries, we just don't smile all the time! We don't have to! If there's any place in the world where we don't have to wear our "game face" it's in our own little corner. And that's why I'm not smiling... because the fact of the matter is that's real life. It just doesn't get any more real or more accurate than that.

So the question remains, what the heck were you think when you voted the way you did? Because the fact of the matter is, in terms of meeting the challenge, this image is right on the mark.

09/30/2002 05:34:07 AM · #2
I gave it a 7 :)

Sorry 'bout those other voters! :(

IMO there weren't ANY photos deserving less than 5. Well.....almost none....I see I did give 3 votes of 4.

09/30/2002 06:51:21 AM · #3
Hey I gave you an 8 :) I liked what I saw so I marked accordingly.

For me the score didn't reflect technical mastery; I don't know enough to grade that objectively except in more extreme cases. I'd venture to say that many who vote who aren't experienced photographers or even photographers at all are in similar boats. It seems telling that your score was 2 points higher with camera owners than without. Take that as a positive.

Still, I wonder about your complaints with the fours. You are allowing up to a three point deduction for not liking it or thinking it is great art so if you are complaining about fours then you feel that barring that subjective criteria the piece on it's technical merit must warrant an eight or something is wrong with the viewers thinking.

While I gave it an 8 myself IMHO something that must get an eight objectively would be something that I'd hope would stand out to me as one of those exceptions. As much as I can relate to and enjoyed the pic I can honestly say that if I felt it was that technically superior I would have given you a ten no sweat.

My advice is bask in the positive praise that your picture deservedly received and especially the marks of fellow photographers and don't sweat the rest.

I've gotta agree on the ones being sleepy heads though this pic was way better than that :)
09/30/2002 06:51:33 AM · #4
I actually gave you a "6" which in my voting scale means it was a little better than average. I really like the way the light hits your face. (How did you do that? Is it the natural light from the monitor or TV?) In my mind this shot was a near "7", but just didn't do anything to make me go "Wow". I like it but it didn't really grab me at any emotional level. It was up against some pretty stiff competition this week. The eventual winner was one of those that kind of took your breath away. Keep shootin'!!
09/30/2002 07:19:00 AM · #5
You should have gone downtown and shoot the CN tower :-) I gave you a strong 6 (only because of the competition..I think I started you w/ 8)
09/30/2002 07:47:15 AM · #6
Ok .. I am going to be brave and take the bad spot.

Last week I voted quickly so I did not left comment.
I gave you a 3. Meet the challenge yes. You expression was perfectly ok for me ... people do not haev to smile.
And even if it is really your corner pf the world, which I do not doubt at all, it does not make it an appealing picture at all. True the picture does not have to be 'nice' in the sense of beautiful, but it does not convey that much feeling to me either. Looking at it now I am thinking I should have give it a 4 for the exposure, you face is well lighted and that was probably not easy.
How could I say ... some picture , I think IMHO IMHO ..., are not great 'per se'. This one to me fall in that category. Now if it would be in a serie where it would describe your life at home or things like that, then it would have more it's place.
'photojournalism' kinda type of picture do not do very well alone.

Your photo is technically flawless I think ... for me it's not enough.

I Hope I am not going to get burnt too much by you. I looked at your profile, please continue to submit 5.2 is not bad. And I think that it's your first submission so ... like me and like others ... you will have to leave with other people not 'understanding' you or not voting on the same criteria as you.

Welcome to dpchallenge for the good and the bad, more good than bad in my opinion.

09/30/2002 08:10:54 AM · #7
Lional, thank you for bringing up the main thing I wanted to bring out in my last post but forgot to.

You didn't feel the connection to the scene therefore no OH WOW. You probably have never had a den like this. Many of us had/have similar or worse; look at all the POSITIVE comments that state this. I have no doubt that if this isn't you, you will have no "feeling" about this. For those like us, this DOES describe life at home in a way that only people who think this way can understand and yes, I meant to say think this way.

It sounds weird but I think cluttered is a mindset; look at all that fun stuff to explore, not only do I bet he rarely gets bored but his den is a ...oh wait, is that a tootsie roll wrapper? Wow, wonder how that got here? Oh an empty coke bottle, wonder what it sounds like when blown through, what note I...HEY, a cellphone. Does it get the web? Etc, etc.

A veritable treasure trove of goodies and potential goodies all wrapped up in one picture and a validation that we are not alone in our sloth. That to me was OH WOW. If I had your appreciation for the techical merits I'd surely have given him a 10. Is it too late to change my score? :)
09/30/2002 08:37:22 AM · #8
I guess .. kinda late ..... ;-) but a lot of more challenges to come ;-)

Remember something ... the 'wow' is supposed to come ... in our eyes in addition to yours. I have pictures that waowed only me .. I still like them.

I understand what you explain ... and what 'info' it brings ... but this still do not make the photo appealing to me.
Remember as well that .. there is 250 pictures to vote on .. so the 'exposure time' is not a lot and the comment time is not a lot.

09/30/2002 08:54:05 AM · #9
No lionelm you have misinterpreted me.

I was not trying to sway you or in any way make comment on your score. I believe your score was honest.

What I was saying was that your experience was the opposite of mine and that this was most likely the cause of the scoring difference and why his score didn't meet his expectations. No judgement call. No right or wrong. Just an observation.

09/30/2002 09:06:15 AM · #10
ok I understand ... true different culture .. different lives .. different waows :-)
That makes it interesting !
09/30/2002 09:09:00 AM · #11
09/30/2002 11:34:47 AM · #12
Could it be a monitor thing also? Dark pictures tend to score poorly because they don't show up well on all monitors.
09/30/2002 12:41:53 PM · #13
Hi cj,

I've posted macroes of 'bugs' (spider, slug and a fly) in 3 of my 4 submissions.

And every time I got a couple of 'Ugh, bugs!' type comments, and of course, because a slug isnt cute, I get marked down.

But not only did I read the comments, I had a look at who they are from, and I was suprised to find that I'm getting quite a few 7+ marks from previous winners, and the 'Ugh, dont like slime, have a 3' comments are generally from people who rate an average of 4.

So dont despair, take a look at author of a comment, ignore comments from people who buy their art from 'Off the Wall'.

Or you could just sell out and slap out an uncontroversial image with everything in focus, lots of bright colours, no negative space, an easy on the brain theme and a slightly humourous title. But then you wouldnt be learning anything except contempt for your audience.
09/30/2002 01:42:26 PM · #14
I wasn't able to make it to vote on your photo, but here is how I feel about it...
It depicts your corner of the world perfectly, as a matter of fact, looks just like mine, where I spend most of my waking hours as well. However, the originality, creativity and effort are lacking. The photo its self is ok it's a good snapshot. I think though, what this web site is trying for though is attempt at "works of art" and how we can make our "works of art" better. As a work of art, The screen is way blown out, the photo loses detail cause of the darkness, and it's super busy. The focal point seems to be your face, (which is nicely lit, by the way). That is where my eyes are firstly drawn. Then to the blown out lighting in the computer screens, and then they just wander trying to figure out what all the busy-ness is. I am by no means a great photographer but I do have lots of background in art and composition, so you can take my comments how you will.
My "closing statement" is this...
While it is a good snapshot, it seems that your interest is placing high. The "higher-ups" are going to be "works of art". I would be thankful for your comments, and if it is indeed your interest to score high, I would take into consideration those comments, and put them to use for the next challenge...
Basically, move on. Check out the archives and see what constitutes a "work of art" in the eyes of the percentage of DPC voters, and try for that. You will get the feel of things, and week by week you'll get to understand what the "voters" are looking for.
Hope this helps.
09/30/2002 01:49:28 PM · #15
I gave you a 7 I think but I should have marked you down for the TERRIBLE ergonmics of your room. Damn dude - you're going to get whiplash with your keyboard and monitor where they are.

Seriously, though - I liked the lighting on your face and the ambient light but didnt like the glare from the monitor and TV.

And you should definitely fix those ergonomics.

09/30/2002 02:31:31 PM · #16
it's a sad fact that every week hundreds of people enter but only 3 win.

all the people who dont win - they ALL have these feelings.

Imagine if they all posted a thread saying basically 'how come no one got it? '

the challenge was last week and the votes spoke. Deal with it : )

Sorry to sound harsh .. :P
09/30/2002 02:40:50 PM · #17
I actually scored your photo a 5, which is high for me, and basically what I give to things that don't have any composition flaws, but are just boring or ordinary.. which sums up your photo perfectly. It required minimal effort, no creativity, and I also didn't like to see any people in this particular assignment, because I think you should try to reflect yourself and where you live without being in the picture personally, so that others that live in a similar enviorment can relate to it.
09/30/2002 02:59:38 PM · #18
hi cj:

i gave you a 7. you have to have a thick skin with your submissions here. the voting and comments can be very humbling when you go public. hopefully, you're pleased with your work and submitted your best shots in your opinion. don't take it as a personal attack. gear yourself to the positive. getting a 5 here is a good thing. ;-)
09/30/2002 03:21:09 PM · #19
Dude, chill!

As with all shots on dpc, some will like it, some will think its ok, and some will really dislike it. That's just normal opinions, hence the lovely gourd-shaped... ummm, bell-shaped curve of your scores. :o)

Personally, I think it's a fairly average shot, meets the challenge, but isn't that interesting to look at. I could give it a 5, since its average, but I could also give it a 2, if I think that the majority of the other entries are better. Everyone votes differently. Just try to have fun!
09/30/2002 03:28:06 PM · #20
not apealing... technicly good - 4
09/30/2002 05:26:51 PM · #21
CJ, I disagree that your photo, in terms of the challenge, is right on the mark. I gave you a 6, but it was borderline 5-6 for me. The thing is, the subject of your photo isn't "a corner of your world", it's you. It's a self portrait.

The "corner of your world" part of your photo - the den - is, well, not very interesting. The portrait part is mildly interesting, but many voters will feel like they're being manipulated when the challenge subject is secondary to the photo subject. This is one reason why, for example, shots of children don't do very well unless the child is strongly attached to the challenge subject. Or why 9/11 related shots don't do well, even if they do trigger emotions. Voters like to say "Wow, that IS a corner of his world...", not "Wow, great portrait.. oh, and there's a corner of his world there too...".

Beyond that, I think there are lots of smaller issues that will, right or wrong, cost you the good will of a few voters. For one thing, I think people expect it to look like you worked for your shot. People tend to ding the "this is me sitting at home" shots, even if they're technically very good. It's sort of the anti-snapshot reflex. That's not to imply that I think your photo is a "snapshot", I don't think that at all. But some voters may not give the full 5 seconds of observation it takes to make that judgement.

Basically scoring okay on DPChallenge isn't so much about the perfect photo as it is about interpreting the tastes and expectations of the voters. You can choose to take that as an interesting little game and have fun with it, or you can complain every week that the voters didn't see the true genius behind your shot.


* This message has been edited by the author on 9/30/2002 6:52:13 PM.
09/30/2002 11:04:32 PM · #22
Well, I gave it an 8. I thought little windows onto people's private lives were just as good at meeting the challenge as landscapes, buildings, etc. Anything that gave me a sense of a place or a lifestyle worked for me. I liked the dark, moody lighting, the sense of disorder, that weird lonely feeling that you get from seeing someone at their computer, even though I can see you have DPC open on that monitor and you're really interacting with all of us :). Your expression suits the lighting and that solitary feeling. I thought it was a cool photo.
09/30/2002 11:26:37 PM · #23
I feel your pain CJ. I finished behind you but admittedly, I did not have a worthy photo. It looked much better before I saw everyone else's stuff and it, by comparison, seemed worse and worse. But I did receive this one positive encouraging comment, "this is one of those times when i wonder why there arent 0 ratings." Coincidentally this is the ONLY comment at all that this person left anyone. It's all in how you see things. My picture was THAT bad? Probably. Maybe only one person had the cahonies to say it. Maybe I should go to bed before I say something else stupid. But that's been bugging me all day, just had to vent. Thanx for listening.
09/30/2002 11:29:45 PM · #24
Sorry I didn't get to your photo during the voting -- I probably would have given it a 6 or 7. I can empathize because my (somewhat related) photo this week is suffering an even worse fate...
09/30/2002 11:44:12 PM · #25

Don't believe that for an instant. Your picture was perfectly fine and even if that's what the commentor felt it shouldn't have been said and left at that. If someone felt it was that bad they should have at least said why so that you could improve on it. FWIW I gave it a 7 and while that may a tad bit more generous than I feel about it looking at it right now, it's not out of line and believe me, while I am pretty generous in my scoring I would have the guts to let you know if I didn't like something.
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