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DPChallenge Forums >> Web Site Suggestions >> Vote concept and photography separately
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12/12/2005 10:47:14 PM · #1
I think we should have 2 lines to vote on for each photo - one for concept and one for photography.

I see a lot of technically great shots get voted down because of a "weak" concept

I also see a lot of technically challenged photos get voted up because of a "great" idea.

With the number of photos submitted to each contest MANY people don't get comments that would really like them. If there were 2 categorize to vote on at least they'd know if it's their photography skills or their brainstorming they need to work on.

There could still be a single winner (an average of the scores would give you the most balanced winner) and it seems like it would probably be a simple way to offer more help and information to the community without trying to force people to comment more.

edited for spelling - damn fingers.

Message edited by author 2005-12-12 22:47:44.
12/12/2005 11:56:43 PM · #2
or you could average those scores yourself while you are voting... that's pretty much what I do.
12/13/2005 12:06:26 AM · #3
I don't know - I think that keeping concept and photography close is what makes it so interesting here. It's not just that the photos are good, but they also have to fit the assignment. To me that makes it really interesting. It's also the harder part of the challenge in many ways.

I kind of like keeping the score together like it is, I think the pictures that come to the top this way are very interesting.
12/13/2005 12:16:19 AM · #4
Let me get this right, you want us to vote twice on an image? :-O oh, hell nah...
12/13/2005 12:52:42 AM · #5
Nope. Then we'd be tempted to isolate artistic achievement, technical competency, etc. Where does it end? It's best to vote one composite score: either it does well as a whole or it fails as a whole.

Kind of like people...
12/13/2005 01:27:29 AM · #6
Categorical voting has been shot down time and time again when discussed in the forum and while I think a category breakdown would be helpful (seems to me that in itself would be like leaving "comments" on every voted image), many people get all bent out of shape about it for some reason.

My advice is to go ahead and break the vote out as you see fit and give a combined score using whatever logic you want. But be warned - if you "show the math" by putting something like this in the comments:

Concept: 8
Technical:5
Overall score: 7

You will undoubtedly be called out in the forums for it - trust me on that one.

My two cents anyway.
12/13/2005 02:10:53 AM · #7
Sure I can do it myself but I guarantee a great number of voters do not. Why do you think there is such a variety of scores on every image.

This is a photography site not an advertising site. Why should everyone be forced to come up with a completely original and brilliant idea to be successful here?

I'm not suggesting everyone having to go through the pictures twice just put another line in so you click on two numbers. If people are really that lazy that they can't think about a photo in terms of two simple criteria and then click 2 simple links then they shouldn't be voting.

Do you really think the contests wouldn't be interesting anymore? Don't you think people would be more interested if they understood their score more? How many threads do we see each challenge from veteran and newbie alike asking "what did I do wrong?". This would help answer that question.

Where does it all end? It ends right here, with 2 criteria. Are you suggesting more? If so bring it up in another thread and let those suggestions be judged on their own merit. I'm not looking to discuss every possible scenario that someone might suggest, I just have the one idea and I think it's a good one.

This would solve multiple problems from sporadic voting to lack of critiques - which from what I have seen are the biggest two gripes on the site. If there are better ideas let's hear them, I'm all for fixing the problem. Let's not bury our heads though and say there is no problem.
12/13/2005 02:18:11 AM · #8
PLEASE STOP ASKING THIS WEBSITE TO CHANGE...IT WON'T

If you don't like the way it's run, make your own.

Here is an idea:
Challenges aren't for everyone. If comments are what you are looking for, update your portfolio with photos, start a thread asking for people to comment on them, view the comments.

If you don't like the scorring system, perhaps because you got a low score and don't understand why your best photograph scored so low, not everyone has the same taste as you. Trust that members of this website have the professional curtesy to tell you why they really liked a photograph or why they disliked it. If they don't comment, they may not have time, or they may genuinly not have anything to say. Whichever the case, who cares, move on, it's not the end of the world.

I got fairly low scores on the challenges I entered, but the score doesn't really matter to me, the comments do. Yes, there were very few comments, but those that took the time to comment meant they had an interest in either letting me know they liked it (which means a lot) or where I went wrong and what I should change to better my photo (which is really helpfull)

(on a side note, I hope noone takes this personal, the "you"s previously mentioned are ment to point no fingers, not at the person that started the thread, and not to anyone else, it is merely a general you for all those that fall under the catagory of which I speak)
12/13/2005 02:21:12 AM · #9
Originally posted by megatherian:

Don't you think people would be more interested if they understood their score more?

LOL - you'd think so. This is one of the first things I brought up in the forums as a new user and I wasn't the first, but I quickly found out that a large number of people here (maybe anywhere) are contradictory - they say they want comments or want to know what's wrong, but then they argue or whine when you tell them - even when you are all operating under the assumption that it is a matter of subjective opinion.

I was so adimant about doing score breakdowns that I developed a tool that someone else started developing before me. You are free to use it and see what kind of flack you get. It is here:
Category Voting Tool
Category Voting Tool (vertical layout)

There's an info link there somewhere that points to this thread, which you can check out and see how this debate always ends up.

Have fun.
12/13/2005 02:32:53 AM · #10
Originally posted by fitmpdnsthtr:

PLEASE STOP ASKING THIS WEBSITE TO CHANGE...IT WON'T

If you don't like the way it's run, make your own.

Here is an idea:
Challenges aren't for everyone. If comments are what you are looking for, update your portfolio with photos, start a thread asking for people to comment on them, view the comments.

If you don't like the scorring system, perhaps because you got a low score and don't understand why your best photograph scored so low, not everyone has the same taste as you. Trust that members of this website have the professional curtesy to tell you why they really liked a photograph or why they disliked it. If they don't comment, they may not have time, or they may genuinly not have anything to say. Whichever the case, who cares, move on, it's not the end of the world.

I got fairly low scores on the challenges I entered, but the score doesn't really matter to me, the comments do. Yes, there were very few comments, but those that took the time to comment meant they had an interest in either letting me know they liked it (which means a lot) or where I went wrong and what I should change to better my photo (which is really helpfull)

(on a side note, I hope noone takes this personal, the "you"s previously mentioned are ment to point no fingers, not at the person that started the thread, and not to anyone else, it is merely a general you for all those that fall under the catagory of which I speak)


I think I posted this in the correct thread didn't I? Web Site Suggestions? Maybe they'll just ignore me.

I know I've only been posting a short while on this site and believe me I know I've built up quite the fan base (sarcasm) but I think it's better to share my opinions (which I do my best to think out intelligently and logically first) than to just throw my hands up in the air and figure it's all hopeless.

I haven't received any scores yet so that's not why I would like to see things changed. IMO the voting system here is a bit weak and I don't think it turns out very helpful results for anyone. If a person get's a 5.6 what does it really mean? They did good? Bad? Average? The topic of the challenge was boring? Do they have anything to work on with a 5.6? Do they need to re-evaluate their technique or their creative thinking or both?

You are right the scores don't matter, they are in all reality meaningless. All I'm suggesting we add some meaning to them.
12/13/2005 02:37:31 AM · #11
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

...which you can check out and see how this debate always ends up...


I understand but every vote counts. I'm just throwing in my vote, let's change the system.

I did do a search btw, I just didn't come up with threads that seemed to be relevant. What can I say I guess I'm just bad with search engines ;)
12/13/2005 02:38:27 AM · #12
Originally posted by megatherian:

Originally posted by fitmpdnsthtr:

PLEASE STOP ASKING THIS WEBSITE TO CHANGE...IT WON'T
I think it's better to share my opinions (which I do my best to think out intelligently and logically first) than to just throw my hands up in the air and figure it's all hopeless.

Correct forum. Not unreasonable to make suggestions. Guy with unpronouncable username sounds like he's venting, but you should feel free to post your suggestions, opinions, etc. Dont' sweat it.
12/13/2005 06:28:08 AM · #13
Actually, this is a very simple and rather cool idea and is worthy of discussion. The idea addresses two things that are always coming up as frustrations in these forums. All of the discussions go on for days but there's no easy way of resolving them and so they die ... until next time. This suggestion is the first that seems to make sense.

The two areas I refer to (we know them well) are
- addresses the issue of no comments in 99% of the votes
- forces voters to at least consider whether an entry is somewhere near on-challenge.

There's never something for nothing and the downside of this is that we're asking the site admins to rewrite a huge bunch of code again.

Brett
12/13/2005 07:30:09 AM · #14
Originally posted by megatherian:

Why do you think there is such a variety of scores on every image.


Personal taste - which (inconsiderately) differs between individuals.

Also no-one has mentioned that 'concept' is a pretty arbitrary characteristic:

While it is obvious here

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/414/thumb/265065.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/414/thumb/265065.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I can't really work out what the 'concept' of this is

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/23/thumb/3114.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/23/thumb/3114.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Maybe it's from the 'flightless animals' challenge but that's not why it's good.

In my opinion, excessive sub-classification doesn't really examine the picture as a whole.
12/13/2005 11:09:19 AM · #15
Originally posted by bpickard:

Originally posted by megatherian:

Why do you think there is such a variety of scores on every image.


Personal taste - which (inconsiderately) differs between individuals.

Also no-one has mentioned that 'concept' is a pretty arbitrary characteristic:

While it is obvious here

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/414/thumb/265065.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/414/thumb/265065.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I can't really work out what the 'concept' of this is

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/23/thumb/3114.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/23/thumb/3114.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Maybe it's from the 'flightless animals' challenge but that's not why it's good.

In my opinion, excessive sub-classification doesn't really examine the picture as a whole.


Yes it's all personal opinion, the amount of personal opinion reflected in the votes wouldn't change, it would just be displayed in a clearer fashion for people to understand.

There would still be challenge topics so I don't know why concept would be that hard to judge separately. The concepts would be evaluated based upon the known topic.

"Knife Fork Spoon", the first image makes sense and is well executed under that topic. It's a very clever idea so I image would do well in the concept score. The picture is rather dark though and there are spots where the spoons have some detail loss. Given that the spoons are the main topic I would imagine this photo would score lower on photography.

"Fear", the second image makes sense too and is also well executed under that topic. In that common fear of heights scenario it's easy to relate to the goat being in that situation and "feel" the fear of trading places with it. I imagine it would also do very well in concept. The exposure is good and the composition fairly nice, I imagine it would do pretty well on photography too.

As to the coding and whether it would be a massive overhaul or not - while I do not know how this specific site is set up it seems that it would be an added 2 columns to the database and a minor change to the voting and results page. Since the final score would be an average of the 2 scores the way the site runs would not be fundamentally changed.

Remember this is change is only helpful to the user, I'm not suggesting we have new ribbons. Just a VERY MINOR break down that suggest what the scores mean to help people understand their own results a little better.
12/13/2005 11:37:56 AM · #16
Mega, here lies the problem.

Some people on here are not using top of the line cameras (WHO? ME? LOL...), and we have to rely more on creativity sometimes in concept then in composition and lighting source. Therefore, with your scoring concept, I would usually always get a bad score in photography and good in concept. Evening each other out, I suppose.

Then there is the "what I like and dont like factor" that comes into play. My candle light photo right now is tanking, yet I thought it was very unique and a one of a kind capture. Alas, someone voted it down based on the background and how they don't understand the background???? LOL....WELL, I will explain that after challenge in the comments area, but it just goes to show you that there are your technical voters and your concept voters.

What I do is start out at a 5. Every photo starts at a 5. I simply move on from there to whether I enjoy the subject matter along with the title and concept, and it either goes down from there, or up. Then I take the technical into account, which either brings it up or down again, and what they end up with is what they end up with, based on my own personal judgement.

As for comments, I give comments on the photos that end up with my 1's and 2's, and then those that are my top pics. Those in the middle are left without comment unless I see something phenomenal I care to comment on.

BUT to break it down to concept, technical, etc, by numbers for each one, would really not do a lot of good. I do see your point though, and it is a very good one. It would virtualy rid of the need for comments since the scores would actually reflect what they thought of concept, technicals. To me, that is better than comments actually. I really care more about the scores then the comments that usually are all over the place anyway. So the concept is good, but it is basically not practical when so many different cameras, photography knowledge and little knowledge is in place, and those that depend more on technicals then creativity are in place.

Some people are basically creatively starved. They see a landscape, a bug macro, and a flower in each challenge (or nudes..LOL) nd nothing more comes to them. Tunnel visioned. Although I do enjoy all of the above, I also find that in most cases it is just an excuse for a challenge entry, and to show technicals hoping for high marks for those technicals rather than creativity. Therefore the technical scores in your idea would outshine those that have more creativity. So, all in all, it is best for the one score and move the numbers up and down accordingly to find your own personal score system to give them out.

Just my take.

Rose

Message edited by author 2005-12-13 11:41:23.
12/13/2005 11:46:33 AM · #17
just an aside ... instead of voting for concept and photography... why not just having check boxes with photos.

ie:

This photo has problems with:
·focus
·exposure
·saturation
·lighting ....

Could be a quick way for voters to leave "comments" without having to write.
12/13/2005 12:35:10 PM · #18
Reply to Rose8699:

It doesn't sound like we're too far off from each other. I understand what you are saying and agree with most of it.

The "what I like factor" already goes on right now though. More often what I see is people NOT factoring in the photography. It's not everyone and it's not on all shots, but I think the imbalance leans more that way than the other. I would appear that a lot of people look at a shot and think "I like it / I don't like it" and move on to the next shot without really giving much thought as to why they don't like it. Without having to write and essay on why they do don't like it now at least you'd know if it's your photography or idea that appealed to them.

I understand there are different cameras and different levels of cameras - however, at 640X480 the megapixels don't make much difference. Unless a person is taking the picture with a cheap camera phone (in general) there's not going to be a tremendous amount of difference. If there is - if your camera is so bad it makes a huge difference in your 640X480 image then it's likely to get voted down whether you have one category or two. If you leave the system the way it is though you have no idea whether it's your camera or not.

What is photography? Things like lighting, composition, focus - all of these things are external from the camera and can be adjusted no matter what camera you have.

What is concept? Things like originality, meets the challenge, draws my interest.

These are things we already (at least should) be considering in our votes. I'm now suggesting everyone change the way they vote just how they vote. Everyone still has an opinion and may vote accordingly.

A nude in the fork challenge may get a 1 for concept but a 10 for photography - the image would get a 5 overall which is probably correct if it is a technically perfect picture.

On the other hand if you have the most fantastic idea ever thought of but are starting out with photography you stand a chance of getting an overall 5 as well.

It's really not biased one way or the other.

Reply to fotomann_forever:
I think that's an excellent idea to have on the comments page as an option. With the voting though I think we would dissuade people from voting if they had an entire form to fill out with each picture.

I'm trying to come up with a solution that is simple quick and easy but will yield better results.
12/13/2005 01:07:38 PM · #19
Originally posted by Rose8699:



Some people are basically creatively starved. They see a landscape, a bug macro, and a flower in each challenge (or nudes..LOL) nd nothing more comes to them. Tunnel visioned. Although I do enjoy all of the above, I also find that in most cases it is just an excuse for a challenge entry, and to show technicals hoping for high marks for those technicals rather than creativity.


And with a single post she destroyed 150 yrs. of photographic art.
How blind were those that came before this day of days.
;-)
12/13/2005 01:13:46 PM · #20
Originally posted by megatherian:

As to the coding and whether it would be a massive overhaul or not it seems that it would be an added 2 columns to the database and a minor change to the voting and results page. Since the final score would be an average of the 2 scores the way the site runs would not be fundamentally changed.

I still support the idea, this is a hot idea. I just thought I would raise this since Drew and Langdon have created one of the most impressive data manipulation sites around and some of the database work is very clever and by no means simple. We appreciate what we have and should recognise their committment and effort.

This change would be a major piece of work involving almost every page in the site. Sure it's only two more data items but databases are not about the data, they're about the way you can query, analyse and report it. In DPC we have the most wonderful analyis and stats. This new data would be terrific analysis to have - it just involves a fair bit of work.

Once we capture this split voting, we have the opportunity to produce tracking for photogs of averages for each category across all of their images. Sounds easy. Well that part is but what about all the previous images and how do you integrate the 'new' scores with those? etc etc

It's actually not that hard to do ... but someone has to do it, test it, refine it, commit it and then deal with all of the hiccups until it shakes down. So whilst many ideas put forward in these forums might be 'nice' a very few are actually worth the work they would take. This is one of them.

Brett
Brett
12/13/2005 01:15:15 PM · #21
Originally posted by bpickard:

Originally posted by Rose8699:



Some people are basically creatively starved. They see a landscape, a bug macro, and a flower in each challenge (or nudes..LOL) nd nothing more comes to them. Tunnel visioned. Although I do enjoy all of the above, I also find that in most cases it is just an excuse for a challenge entry, and to show technicals hoping for high marks for those technicals rather than creativity.


And with a single post she destroyed 150 yrs. of photographic art.
How blind were those that came before this day of days.
;-)


I was speaking in regards to the challenges specifically here, and not those shots in general. Actually, flowers, macros, and landscapes are my favorite shots to take, but i don't use them any way I can just to fit them into a challenge.

Rose
12/13/2005 01:43:38 PM · #22
Originally posted by bpickard:

And with a single post she destroyed 150 yrs. of photographic art.

A bit harsh perhaps? She has a point and of course is only talking about DPC challenges. There have been some stunning winning landscapes in challenges where the link to topic is very tenuous. Really this whole debate is addressed by this suggestion.

The stunning night landscape across water with twinkling stars can be given a 10 for technical but maybe you feel only 4 for concept because it's barely on challenge. End score 7. Currently, because it's "pretty" and takes our breath away photographically, its vote would be no less than 8, 9 or 10. At the moment all you have to do to get high scores is live in Iceland :)

This would give others who work hard at creativity to meet challenge topics a better and more equitable score. They might not win, but the playing field would be more level.

Brett
12/13/2005 02:00:38 PM · #23
It is my belief that each image should stand on its visual impact. Not everything can be separeted as to concept and technique. Besides, a rare technically perfect image without the visual appeal may be devoid of visual beauty, while some great concept captured with inferior workmanship may fail. There is an inbetween in both of the above, that is technically perfect and having some degree of visual beauty or a concept captured with just above average technique to pass or over ride the defect.

Again: the image, in my opinion, stands as one unit and it is judged solely on its visual appeal. The viewer makes the assessments and decides accordingly.
12/13/2005 03:13:45 PM · #24
Originally posted by KiwiPix:

Originally posted by bpickard:

And with a single post she destroyed 150 yrs. of photographic art.

A bit harsh perhaps? She has a point and of course is only talking about DPC challenges. There have been some stunning winning landscapes in challenges where the link to topic is very tenuous. Really this whole debate is addressed by this suggestion.

The stunning night landscape across water with twinkling stars can be given a 10 for technical but maybe you feel only 4 for concept because it's barely on challenge. End score 7. Currently, because it's "pretty" and takes our breath away photographically, its vote would be no less than 8, 9 or 10. At the moment all you have to do to get high scores is live in Iceland :)

This would give others who work hard at creativity to meet challenge topics a better and more equitable score. They might not win, but the playing field would be more level.

Brett


LOVE your second paragraph the best! The Iceland thing was hilarious, but seems to be true as well! LOL....I have that same problem elsewhere. I may have what I think is a wonderful shot of a baby duck, but who the heck can compete with Kowala Bears and Arangatangs? (or however you spell it! LOL...)

But, I'll tell you what, even the most breathtaking of all landscape shots doesn't get anywhere near a high vote from me IF it doesn't meet challenge, OR I suspect it was an excuse for the challenge by just barely fitting in. Just because it was taken during the time frame allowed, it doesn't mean you HAVE to use it in a challenge it really doesn't meet; BUT, if that floats your boat, go for it. In the meantime, I will just try to meet each challenge specfically and for its sole individual purpose and description.

I really think this "voting should not be lowered if photo doesn't meet challenge rule" doesn't wash with me. When others try really hard to MEET challenge, then why should I vote some lovely landscape shot high for technicals and beauty if it doesn't meet challenge? I think it hurts those that really put effort into meeting challenge descriptions, and those landscapes and such should be saved for the challenges so described as such. Just my opinion.

Rose
12/13/2005 06:19:41 PM · #25
Originally posted by graphicfunk:

Again: the image, in my opinion, stands as one unit and it is judged solely on its visual appeal. The viewer makes the assessments and decides accordingly.

Then why are we here in DPC? This site is different to the hundreds of others. They look for and vote on exactly what you're saying, great images in which the subject matter is largely irrelevant.

DPC is about challenges. So the critical difference is that DPC is about submitting photos to meet a challenge subject/topic/brief with an expectation that the images submitted will at least try to be on topic.

However what happens in reality at voting time is that we are emotional creatures stirred by beauty, that's why we're photographers. When faced with a beautiful image, we vote with our hearts, not our heads. The result is anomalous voting results which seriously disadvantages those who are compromising sometimes to stay faithful to the challenge subject.

Graphicfunk, if we could stop people voting blindly with their hearts then your position is valid but we just know that's not what happens.

Surely, anyone not comfortable with being constrained by a challenge subject and who wants to be free to 'explore their art' should be on a different site to this one?

Brett
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