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04/08/2002 11:07:51 AM · #1
I really like the winning photo for the architecture challenge... I voted that one at a '9' myself. I didn't give anything a 10 in the first challenge because I am unfamiliar with the thought process people are using to cast their votes. I noticed that this particular photo got votes from 4 to 10 in the voting. This shows that there is a lot of diversity in opinions here.

This is my second opportunity to vote and I, based on what I have seen, will be a little more conservative in the scores that I give. My first vote on the architecture challenge generated lots of 7,8 and 9 scores. It seems that this is not the consensus.

Here's how I am formulating my votes this time:

I briefly reviewed all of the photographs before I started voting. After this review, I started voting for the photos that I felt were not going to do well in the challenge. As I vote, I post a comment for EVERY photograph. The reason I do this is because I would really appreciate feedback on my own submissions. If I don't like a photograph, I try to explain why. If I do like a photograph, I also try to explain why. I also offer some amounts of criticism, as I would expect the same of my own submissions. The criticism will make me better prepared for my next challenge.

As I weed out the non-winners, I will start spending some time looking at the better photographs in detail. These photographs that I examine more closely will receive scores of 6 or better. As the number of remaining photos dwindle, I will decide which photo I like best and this photo will receive my only perfect 10. I will have only one favorite photograph and I will indicate that in my comment to the photographer.

This method of voting may take a few days to complete, but I think it's worth it. With 95 photos to evaluate, I can do a minimum of 15 per day to complete the process in time.

As of this time, I have received about 40 votes on my current submission and I have received 4 comments. I really do appreciate the comments whether they are good or bad. I want to hear your opinion.

I would enjoy hearing how some of you do your voting...

Cheers!


04/08/2002 11:24:24 AM · #2
This was my first time voting. Thank you for the insight on how you vote. I will use your method. It is much better then mine. I would also like to have people comment on mine photo. It is helpful and also fun to hear what they thought of the photo. Just don't be mean about it.
04/08/2002 11:25:54 AM · #3



* This message has been edited by the author on 4/8/2002 11:26:50 AM.
04/08/2002 12:10:06 PM · #4
I agree with both previous posts. I, like jm, am re-evaluating how I will vote in my second challenge. If I compare the pictures to mine, they all receive a 10, that's one reason I want to be part of this -- to learn how to discriminate between good and better pictures and to learn how to take pictures. :-)
Ditto, Sonifo -- comments, positive or negative, are okay, as long as they help the photographer with his/her next picture. Just being mean or being a smart alec is a waste of time -- both to read and to post.
04/08/2002 12:53:15 PM · #5
i try to comment on every single image. that way if i expect and hope for comments, at least i have put my $ where my mouth is : )
04/08/2002 01:02:27 PM · #6
I also go through the pictures numerous times "weeding" out my favorites.

My first time through, I vote on each picture individually, (takes two or three days to get through them all.) I give a preliminary score based on first impressions, looking at basic technique, focus, composition etc. These scores usually range from 3-7. With the new set-up of the voting page it is so much easier to fine tune the votes (thanks guys!)

Then I go back to each one and give it a good "going over". This is where I try and leave as many comments as I can. I look at each photo in relation to the others in that rating number and will move them around either up or down in points. My final time through I pick out 5-7 "favorites" from the highest rated ones and give them either an 8, a 9 or a 10.

From the architecture challenge I had 4 of my favorites in the top 10, so I think I did a pretty good job of voting this one.

I also want to ask everyone to try and place a comment on as many photos as you can. I know with this "curves" challenge it may be more difficult with 95 images, but to me even a comment of "average" or "good" is helpful. But I must ask each of you if you need to say that a picture is "bad or poor", please say why it is that way, whether you just don't like the subject, whether the lighting is bad, etc.

It is very obvious from reading the different comments that everyone has a different way of looking at things. I love reading all the comments, so keep 'em coming!
04/08/2002 01:58:31 PM · #7
I, too weed out the pictures--but in the opposite direction! The architecture was harder for me as I had several in the top ten, but the in current challenge I was able to pick out my very favorite one almost immediately. Then I went through and pick out the closest ones to that and give them nines. So on for the eights, sevens, etc., until I have given every picture a score based on my immediate response. Once they are grouped, I am able to compare them to others in their group to see if they can stand up against the competition. This takes awhile but insures fairness. I found I tend to vote a little higher--many of the pictures fell in the six or seven range, and this challenge had quite a few eights. I try to leave comments as much as I can, because I know it really helps me to learn!

Allow me to clarify bad thought/sentence structure--i'm not saying that i judge picture A by B (they are seperate entities), what I meant by that is I judge whether or not it meets my standards of that particular grouping, i.e., should it go higher or lower.

* This message has been edited by the author on 4/9/2002 9:42:11 PM.
04/08/2002 02:09:33 PM · #8
I also tend to be rather generous in my voting. I have one 10, five 9's, and then most of the rest fall between 8 and 5. I have a few lower than 5 but not as many as in other challenges. I was pleased with the wide variety in this challenge.
04/08/2002 04:45:51 PM · #9
I have to admit, I'm usually rather ruthless in my voting, mostly because I judge my own pictures the same.

Generally speaking, I score each picture first by it's technical merits, oftentimes thinking, "Would I put this on a wall somewhere?" in addition to asking myself if I feel it meets the challenge. I'm intentionally overly critical in this part, unless a picture REALLY jumps out at me (As the winning entry in the architecture challenge did) it'll generally receive a max of 6 at this point.

Then I go back over my votes and apply my own skew according to a curve, compared to all entries. Basically I go over all the shots again on the thumbs page and start skimming through them, sometimes scoring one point down, or one or two points up, if I change it at all. At this point I'm looking at not just the technical merit, but does an image deserve to win based on how I think it does in comparison to the others, and keeping in mind winning entries tend to score around a low 7. At this point I'm intentionally looking for pictures I think should place in the top three, but this is only a skew -- I don't score exclusively to try and help them win, I just add a couple of points (tops) over and above the bare technical merits of the image.

I guess in doing this I'm trying to strike a balance between scoring as objectively and with as much experience (as to what constitutes a good photograph) as I can, and giving a picture points to help it win if I think it deserves to when compared to the competition.

Just my $0.02. :)
04/08/2002 09:16:25 PM · #10
I'm starting to think that I am one of the few people that judges each picture individually and not against the others. I thought we were simply supposed to rate each picture between 1 and 10 with 1 being very bad and 10 being very good. I try to go through each picture deciding where on the scale each picture fits and than let the chips fall where they may. Even though, in my voting, there has been a clear winner (a lone picture receiving a 10) it is very conceivable that many pictures could warrant a 10 for being very good. It doesn't say to pick one clear winner, it says to rate them between very good and very bad. Than the process of averaging all of the votes determines who got the highest average rating.

This is only how I have interpreted the intention of the voting rules and I could be mistaken. It is very intersting nonetheless. Maybe an official explanation is in order.

Tim J
04/08/2002 09:28:35 PM · #11
That's how I do it Tim....I look at each one and rate it. So you aren't alone:)
04/08/2002 09:32:10 PM · #12
I think Timj has a very valid point, contrary to what I posted at the beginning of this thread...
04/08/2002 09:34:00 PM · #13
I'm with you Tim. I don't compare the pictures to each other. I vote on every image in one, yes one day! (I have a fast internet connection). I go through each image, and find things that I like and don't like about each individual shot and vote accordingly. It doesn't end there though. I vote on them all in one sitting, but throughout the week I look again and decide if I should change any of my votes. I try to leave many comments, but find that my limited experience and non-existent expertise sometimes get in the way. I tend to vote around a 5-6 average I think (not consciously, it just turns out that way), but I give very few, if any 1s or 2s. 3 is usually the lowest score I give, with 10 being the highest. If I see more than one photo I like a lot, I give more than one 10 out ~ originality of subject plays in heavily here. This challenge I have given out 2 10s so far. There are a LOT of good submissions out there.
04/08/2002 09:36:29 PM · #14
Originally posted by Shiiizzzam:
That's how I do it Tim....I look at each one and rate it. So you aren't alone:)

you guys do have a point there. i think like cinnamon though--the outstanding picture (or pictures) that get a ten from me are those that meet all of the qualifications of the challenge--then whether or not it would go on my wall. The nines are the next best, but just may have a slight flaw that keep them from being perfect. So on for the eights. It's just easier for me to group them by immediate response so that I can go back and see if I should have gone higher or lower. This has really become the case lately with the high number of entries--just easier to seperate them. I think there were some really awesome shots this time--great job guys!!
04/09/2002 09:14:40 PM · #15
I think I need to change my method described at the beginning of this thread... I think I was too concerned with picking the winning photo and this is the wrong approach.

I think the correct approach, as mentioned earlier in this thread, is to rate each photo individually. I also agree with the comments that most photos do not warrant a score of 1. Since the scale is 1 for very bad and 10 for very good, "5" would be the OK photo possibly. During my first two votes here, I have noticed quite a few photos with technical problems like focus and depth of field issues. I don't usually subtract as much for depth issues as I do for out of focus problems...

There are just so many different aspects to "very good" and "very bad". I have found myself downgrading a photo when I'm offended by the subject or the title.. Is this fair? I don't know.

I score higher on a technically challenged photo when I really like the subject and the composure...

But I will stop comparing photos against each other and try to maintain a decent level of objectivity on each....

04/09/2002 09:36:54 PM · #16
Originally posted by timj351:
I'm starting to think that I am one of the few people that judges each picture individually and not against the others.

Tim J


I agree. The only comparison should be the category - if the photos comply and fit the 'job description' then I feel they should be rated according to the quality of the photo. If we were to all take a picture of the same thing, then we should be compared together. Personally, unless it has nothing to do with the category I try never to give a '1' simply because they took the time, energy, and effort to post something. I also think of a '10' as perfect, as in A+ - which I think everyone could improve on something.

Perhaps to, since the majority of those speaking our minds feel there should be comments left - would there be a way to make it so that you have to leave a comment of some sort when leaving your vote? (I'm new and 'curves is my first attempt at ANY type of photo and out of 119 votes I have only received 19 comments, not a very good average)


04/09/2002 09:50:18 PM · #17
I like getting comments... i have 20 out of 113 votes... But, I think requiring comments would not be the best idea... Requiring comments on 1's and 10's would be nice...


04/09/2002 09:59:33 PM · #18
Yeah, that might be better, but I would think that if someone likes the photo enough to give a 10, more than likely, they left a comment. I know I did. I've had 125 votes, with 20 comments. To me, that is a good ratio. If I had 125 comments, I'd spend as much time reading them as I do voting-I'd enjoy reading them, it would just be a bit much.
04/10/2002 09:04:02 AM · #19
Question:

How would you score a photo for a challenge if the photo was blatantly off the subject of the challenge? Maybe the photo is a really nice photo, but does it deserve better than a ONE on score if the voter can't associate the photo with the challenge topic? If the challenge topic was CIRCLES and someone posted a truly incredible photograph of a CUBE with perfect composition, lighting, and detail, what should I do? Should I recommend it for disqualifictaion? Should I give it a 1? I'm trying to formulate my new method of scoring, and since we are dealing with challenges, I would like to think that meeting the challenge would hold a lot of weight on the photo score...



04/10/2002 09:34:23 AM · #20
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
How would you score a photo for a challenge if the photo was blatantly off the subject of the challenge?

I try to keep the mentality that this is a class in the back of my head when voting. With the very limited editing rules, it almost is one.

If someone can set up and get a great almost perfect shot of a cube during a week that has a differnet subject, they "failed." They may have an awesome shot, and I'd put that in the comments.

As a "grader" I look for 1) fitness to the challenge, 2) composition, focus, depth of field, exposure, etc..., and 3) how the picture grips me. In that order. If it does not fit the challenge to any degree, you won't score well with me. The further off, the lower the score. The second category is pretty self explanatory. The third category I use to bump up those that truly move me, as that adds to their quality as a photograph. I try not to bump down those that don't.

They'd also get a reccommend for disqualification and a 1 from me. I always vote ones for my disqualifications in case they are not. There's a rule that says photographers must vote on all photos for challenges they enter. Besides, you have to choose a vote to go to the next photo...


04/10/2002 09:48:59 AM · #21

Originally posted by mykoleary:

I try to keep the mentality that this is a class in the back of my head when voting. With the very limited editing rules, it almost is one.

If someone can set up and get a great almost perfect shot of a cube during a week that has a differnet subject, they "failed."



I tend agree with that. Back at school if you were asked to write an essay about Huck Finn, and you gave the marker an essay on Romeo & Juliet, it doesn't matter how good your paper was, you would still get zero.

First and foremost, the photo must comply with the subject
04/10/2002 10:04:55 AM · #22
Ok... Based on what I have learned here since my original post, I will try the following on the next challenge:

Scoring: 1 for VERY BAD, 5 for AVERAGE, 10 for VERY GOOD

To have an average photo, there are several requirements. First of all, the photo must be on the topic of the challenge. (Add 1 for no, 2 for yes). If the photo is not on topic, I will stop with a 1.

To have an average photo, the focus and depth of field must be acceptable. (Add 1 for yes, 0 for no).

To have an average photo, the composition and framing should be acceptable. (Add 1 for yes, 0 for no)

To have an acceptable photo, the lighting must be ok. (Add 1 for yes, 0 for no).

** These elements alone can produce a score of 5, which would be an average photo. I consider these issues to be the basic elements of the quality of a photograph. Now, on to the advanced elements...

An above average photograph should show the creativity of the photographer. (add points for creativity.. don't know the numbers i will use yet).

An above average photograph should have visual impact. The viewer should be moved, inspired, or otherwise visually stimulated by the photograph. (add points for visual impact... don't know the numbers i will use yet).

** These are the elements that distinguish an exceptional photograph from an average photograph.

What elements of an exceptional photograph have I missed here? Creativity and visual impact are important to ME, but what about the rest of you?

Maybe I'll make myself a scoresheet to use for each photograph. This would help keep me from comparing photographs within the challenge. I WANT to evaulate each photograph individually.

I may also give scores between 0.1 and 1 on one-tenth increments for some scoring categories...

Any thoughts?

04/10/2002 10:53:10 AM · #23
A lot of good points. I find my ratings conform pretty much to a bell curve, with exceptional ones getting the better scores, but most falling in the middle ranges. With this my first entry, I have not made comments on any photos yet, but plan to pass along my thoughts on the exceptional ones initially. As I become better qualified, I will try to make constructive criticism of the lower scores. The ones that fall in the middle will likely not get any comments (at least until I am retired and have more time!)
04/10/2002 01:49:21 PM · #24
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
What elements of an exceptional photograph have I missed here? Creativity and visual impact are important to ME, but what about the rest of you?

Capturing a technically challenging shot well.


04/10/2002 01:56:36 PM · #25
Originally posted by mykoleary:
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
[i]What elements of an exceptional photograph have I missed here? Creativity and visual impact are important to ME, but what about the rest of you?


Capturing a technically challenging shot well.


[/i]

I agree that this is a good aspect of an excellent photograph but I don't know how to put a number on it because all of the photos posted here are not technically challenging. I would probalby have to group that with either creativity or visual impact or create a new category called "Display of Tecnnical Ability".

I do agree that displaying technical skills with the camera contribute to 'above normal' photographs.
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