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Showing posts 1 - 13 of 13, (reverse)
12/12/2005 07:57:16 PM · #1
I offer this only as a rough outline to the new members including those that have a few challenges under their belts.

Let us begin with the premise that this is a competitative site. There is other activity such as the forums and then a wealth of information for your learning adventure. When you compete, the stakes are high because your image will be displayed naked before the eyes of your peers. Some of these are very advanced and then the quality trails down. The object of the challenge is to allow the best images to surface to the top.

You have no obligation per se but it would be nice if you keep the following in perpective:

You want to receive comments and even the most advance want them. So, the comment is the influx that help others improve their work. If an image moves your emotions too far, then avoid saying something demeaning. Best to avoid such an image altogether. Some of us are more diplomatic than others, regardless, imagine that someone was talking to you. Treat them the same. Do not be too sure of your convictions if you are a beginner as you may be wrong in some of your observations. The important thing is to get your feet wet and make it a point to leave a certain amount of comments per challenge. It will also be easier to vote on challenges where you do not have a horse in the race.

A horse in the race is called a vested interest. Some new members really want to learn and they vote their conscience. Others begin to explore ways in which to give votes to match what they receive. At one point they look at their port stats and they wince when they see something like average vote received 5.5 __
average vote given 3.9. This is a case of taking more than you give. Allow me to explain the complication and the solution:

If you are new and just starting then we do not expect you to set the site on fire with your initial entries. It is customary, if you are fair, to have a bigger votes given than received. If yours is a higher average of votes received then what you give it is like saying that your work exceeds the quality of others in the site. This is not standard for new members, while there are some exceptions, but your port contains all the secrets. We see your images and we see their quality or lack off. We also observe your voting habits and the amount of comments you give. Many of us are here to help you. Even if we do not speak to you, we speak through our comments. If you are getting a low number of comments, you may be in dire need of self improvement. Read up on manuals on lighting and technique. Feel free to contact me anytime with any question, I and many others will be more than happy to help you. Notice the dire need that comments serve.

I notice in many of the threads which post to track a challenge's ungoing result that many are receiving some ultra low votes. Some images do not deserve the low balling. A better way to spend this time is by becoming an active commentator. Hardly ever do the winners post their scores. It is because of the fluctuation and early votes mean very little by the time 100 votes has arrived and then there is a new change by the time the 200 plus votes come by. These early postings are for masochist that want to be told their image is lacking what they knew in their hearts. Look, sometimes, you know you have a good image and then the experience becomes fun, but notice that the winners are not posting and all you get here is not prediction on the final outcome but rather a distorted view with disappointment awaiting at the end. A light heart is helpful if you participate.

I am not saying how you should spend your time, I only suggesting ways that will net you more improvement.
So, the solution is vote the picture before you and not in comparison to yours. Failure to do this means that no matter how you vote will it really not improve your numbers. What you do is throw off the final numbers off. That is, you slightly affect the final positions of the top entrants. Again, you do nothing for yourself. As you vote take good notice of the image and decide if this is an image that you can learn something. Study the lighting, the composition and most important the visual impact. When you are set to give a low vote ask yourself is this image really that bad because this low vote will affect my average. Weight the two and make the wise decision.

I still maintain that the best way to pay your dues is by remaining an active commentator. You can start with the simple one or two word comment and slowly you will graduate to being more expressive. You will be expanding your understanding. Also, make it a point to look at challenges all the way through in topics that appeal to you. You will see the winners and the trail as it goes into the brown. Examine all of these images and just by looking you will avert many bad images. Compare the top images with those at the bottom.

The challenge is not as simple as you think. For example, up to right now I am stumped with the cheese challenge. Just because it is cheese does not mean to get a piece and photograph it. You need to add something to the image to lift it from the mundane. All this means, that you need to think or to visualize the image and decide on its merit and how to improve it. Some challenges may not move you at all and it is best to skip them, but if you decide to go on be aware that your image may remain buried. If you take this into consideration you will be ready for the outcome. Yes, it is hard to make images sing and harder to give them a mass appeal. Again, look at images in the archives and study. Most important do not take yourself and your efforts too seriously at the start. Time will sharpen your wits and you will know what images to include and avoid.

Well, again welcome and remember to enjoy the experience. There is no better site anywhere that compares with this site. While ribbons may evade you for a while, if you are industrious, you find your images finishing before many top hitters. The end result will depend in how much you put into it. This is indeed show and tell.

Message edited by author 2005-12-12 20:35:58.
12/12/2005 08:20:51 PM · #2
Graphicfunk, once again you have said it best!
12/12/2005 08:34:05 PM · #3
Nicely said..!! As a sort of newbie on this site, I always listen to what you have to say. It's great advice..!! THANK YOU..!
12/12/2005 08:38:20 PM · #4
I have to say that I am humbled with one of the points you brought up.

You touched on all the points that I was going to attempt to touch on tonight. Well spoken, well said, well written. Leaving constructive comments not only serves to improve the skills of the one seeking input but also helps the commenter in a way they may or may not have forseen. Once you flex you brain cells you help build your own critical thinking skills as well as helping others. May I also add that if a individual finds an image appealing that one explores ways of expressing to the photographer why he/she found the imagery so appealing. Who knows, you just might present a point of view to the artists that they may not have thought of and thus the experience for both becomes enriching.
12/12/2005 08:59:18 PM · #5
Originally posted by graphicfunk:

I still maintain that the best way to pay your dues is by remaining an active commentator.

hear hear! for me, the comments are where the money's at in this site...both in the comments i receive and the comments i give. perhaps more so from the comments i give, because they force me to understand and articulate the WHY (why the picture is good, why the picture isn't working for me) and the HOW (how can the image specifically be improved). instead of looking at an image and saying "nice shot" or "not so nice" i can break the image down and learn from it.

today i became a member of the critique club...precisely for that reason--to learn and improve my own photographs by better understanding and articulating the "why" and "how" of your work.

thanks, graphicfunk, for your comments on my work, for your contributions to this site, and for your honesty. it's all much appreciated on this end!


p.s. now go out and comment on a picture! ; )
12/12/2005 09:58:55 PM · #6
Always something thoughtful, meaningfull, and well said.

Thank you!
12/12/2005 10:07:18 PM · #7
Being fairly, well not so much so anymore, but new here I am going to take Dan's idea to heart and try to vote and comment as much as I can. I'm starting out with the Candlelight challenge. I do enjoy this site and what it has taught me so far. I look forward to growing more thanks to the help from this site. Dan is an awesome mentor and once again he teaches me something new and very important .. thanks Dan!! ;)
12/13/2005 12:03:46 AM · #8
Bump for the late night crowd because it shouldn't be missed :)
12/13/2005 12:30:22 AM · #9
amen Daniel!
Should be added to the TOS as necessary reading!
12/13/2005 12:32:43 AM · #10
Originally posted by mesmeraj:

amen Daniel!
Should be added to the TOS as necessary reading!

I'll second that emotion! :-)
12/13/2005 03:48:22 AM · #11
Originally posted by taterbug:

Originally posted by mesmeraj:

amen Daniel!
Should be added to the TOS as necessary reading!

I'll second that emotion! :-)

Have you been listening to the Supremes?
12/13/2005 05:14:10 AM · #12
Guilty as charged.. although I do not complain about recieving comments I just looked at my averages and found out i do need to vote more and apply more input.

I am currently on a 32k mobile modem and voting is extremely hard right now and I am also recovering from a house break-in and in the process of moving home to UK from Japan but that is no excuse and I will be a lot more active in the new year it is one of my resolutions

Graphicfunk - Respect is due to you sir, honest, well said, and a great photographer to boot.
12/13/2005 08:54:14 AM · #13
Originally posted by alionic:

... I am currently on a 32k mobile modem and voting is extremely hard right now ... but that is no excuse and I will be a lot more active in the new year it is one of my resolutions. ...

Marac (alionic) - I'm glad you want to take this on as a new year resolution but I sure hope you get a better dialup connection, because at 32k you DO have a valid excuse for limited voting. That's painful. ;^)
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