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DPChallenge Forums >> Challenge Results >> What's wrong with my photo?!
Showing posts 1 - 25 of 38, (reverse)
10/22/2003 02:57:28 AM · #1
I was expecting a higher score for this photo:

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My other half can usually tell me pretty accurately what DPC voters will give one of my shots, and we thought this one was pretty good. None of the commenters said anything negative. Why was this one not scored as one of my top 30?!

10/22/2003 03:12:25 AM · #2
That's a toughie -- I was already on the upper side of the curve in my scoring.

I think the two things which "bothered" me the most are the white line at the bottom of the book (page edges?), and that the book and instrument are a little too different in color, glossiness, etc. I thought matching the two items up was a great idea, but it didn't quite "hit it."

I'd suggest maybe try it in grayscale or a rich duotone to try and match the two better, and since it's post-challenge you could clone out the page edges as well.
10/22/2003 03:14:34 AM · #3
Thanks, I hadn't thought about the difference in tones.
What about any comments from people on the lower side of the curve?

Message edited by author 2003-10-22 03:14:47.
10/22/2003 03:18:27 AM · #4
Originally posted by BobsterLobster:

Thanks, I hadn't thought about the difference in tones.

Given the subject of your photo, I was trying to avoid the use of that term! "Yes, I think if the background were a C-sharp instead of E-flat this would look better ..."
10/22/2003 03:21:23 AM · #5
I gave you a "5" The colors weren't that rich and vibrant. I guess if the book was more glossy and matched the instrument more it would have helped. The subject didn't give me that much of a science feeling.
10/22/2003 03:28:01 AM · #6
Originally posted by faidoi:

I gave you a "5" The colors weren't that rich and vibrant. I guess if the book was more glossy and matched the instrument more it would have helped. The subject didn't give me that much of a science feeling.

Not much of a science feeling? Can you elaborate? I'm trying not to get defensive, but I thought this epitomised science!
Did this score low because some people thought it was off subject?
10/22/2003 03:33:50 AM · #7
Personally I wouldn't consider music to be a science but an art. To take the challenge to it's logical conclusion any photo could have been submitted. Photography relies on light, light is physics...
10/22/2003 03:35:42 AM · #8
Have to agree with faidoi there - it doesn't quite say "science" to me. Maybe because it's very music-oriented and I subconciously link music to art and not science.

This is the trouble with the more abstract challenges, and the reason I don't let "doesn't meet the challenge" affect my voting too much on them. With a challenge entitled "Pencil" it's pretty easy to decide if it fits, but as is obvious from the entries, Science means different things to everybody.
10/22/2003 03:36:20 AM · #9
Originally posted by robsmith:

Personally I wouldn't consider music to be a science but an art.

I also thought it would make a great entry for music.
10/22/2003 03:40:40 AM · #10
Science surely is an approach.
The book was about the scientific study of music.
I personally had an issue with the people who submitted with a photo of anything, saying that anything could be considered science.
The book is actually categorised as a science book.
'The aesthetics of music' should be considered art.
The book states here that we are looking at the theory and research of music. Theory and research are scientific. The book is a dispassionate, objective and scientific look at how music physically effects people.
I'm stunned that photos finished very highly that to me had no relevance to science, yet people think this was off-topic.
Rant over!
Well, let's say that on this instance, I think I was robbed.
10/22/2003 03:47:19 AM · #11
Originally posted by BobsterLobster:

I'm stunned that photos finished very highly that to me had no relevance to science, yet people think this was off-topic.

Your opinion obviously differs from the majority. Live with it.
10/22/2003 03:48:10 AM · #12
Originally posted by robsmith:

Originally posted by BobsterLobster:

I'm stunned that photos finished very highly that to me had no relevance to science, yet people think this was off-topic.

Your opinion obviously differs from the majority. Live with it.

By saying I think I was robbed, I'm saying I'm living with it.
10/22/2003 03:56:35 AM · #13
Does anybody have a more helpful response to my defense of how I met the challenge rather than 'live with it'?
10/22/2003 05:19:37 AM · #14
Well, I take your point about the book dealing with the "science" or music, but personally your picture says "music" before it says "science". It may be because I tend not to look too deeply into a picture unless and until it grabs me and pulls me in.

And there, I think, is the problem for me. It's a nice photo, it's technically good, but there's nothing in it that grabs me and forces me to take a deeper look into it. It might be what others have said above, that the book looks a little 'washed out' and that a much richer tone would have caught my eye more.

Hmm.. what else? Well, the book totally dominates the picture, relagating (for me) the instrument to a very incidental background. I see the link you're trying to draw between the book and the instrument but because they're so far apart (to get the sizes to match) it doesn't quite come off.

[there, now I've studied the picture in far more depth than I ever would have when voting on 200+ images!]
10/22/2003 05:32:21 AM · #15
Interesting point.
I can see that it requires a closer look to see that it is science. I agree with your other points.
This does raise the issue though of how we look at pictures when voting in a challenge. Is it right that we are encouraging superficiality in our winners here? If a picture has to pull someone in immediately otherwise they aren't going to look more deeply, isn't this worrying?
Yes, there are great pictures which have an immediate impact. These are the pictures that do best at DPC. How do we recognise the pictures that have a bit more depth?
I'm not referring to my picture anymore, I see many photos that are neglected by the voters that I feel should have done better.
Voting on all the pictures takes time, and many of us are very busy with our lives. How can we solve this problem?
This is why many people get frustrated in the forums, and accuse DPC of only catering to those who take stock photography style shots.
Anyone have any thoughts on this issue (not my photo anymore, the issue of seeing every image more deeply when voting)?
10/22/2003 05:54:55 AM · #16
I do have thoughts on this issue.

However, being able to articulate them and offer constructive comments is another matter entirely.

It seems that modern day society serves up information in nice 30 second digestible chunks. Just look around.. You see/hear sound bites, fast food, MTV, commercials, etc. Why should we expect any different from our photography? In the case of DPC, the winners often are the photos that grab attention the quickest. However, the photos that I enjoy are the ones that make me think and are slightly controversial. However, because of those very qualities they have a much smaller appeal then those that are easily digestible. I don't see that as a failure of DPC, but just as a consequence of society in general.

10/22/2003 05:58:00 AM · #17
Well, I think there you have the difference between what for the sake of argument I'd call "popular" photography versus "art" photography.

Like it or not, in a weekly (or bi-weekly) competition with 100+ images, voted on by "the public", the pictures that do best are the ones that stand out. The thing about stock photographs is, they have to be able to grab the attention immediately or their not doing their job properly.

I'm not at all worried by it, but that's probably because I aspire more to impactful "stock" photography than art photography (mainly because I lack the depth and artistic talent required :-)). I think threads on individual photographs are perfect for more 'in-depth' examinations of deeper images.

As for the solution (if you see this as a problem - personally I don't) - well I don't think there is one. There is no way I could devote the amount of time required to in-depth examinations of ALL entries (I have a hard enough time getting to vote at all).

People do seem to get frustrated but I never really understand why - it's a popular vote, so obviously the more 'stocky' photographs will do well, because that's what stock photography is all about. For it to be a problem would seem to imply that art photography is somehow a higher form than stock photography which I disagree with - it's just a very different style.
10/22/2003 06:01:39 AM · #18
Bobster, I'm going to turn the table. Can you explain why you think this photograph should have socred higher?

Message edited by author 2003-10-22 06:02:46.
10/22/2003 06:16:17 AM · #19
I didn't want to get back to my photo in this thread, but I will attempt to say why I think it should have done better.
The pictures in my portfolio are arranged by score received in challenges. By comparing the quality of this photo to the others, I think this should have easily been in my top 20. I was really chuffed with my approach to the challenge... this was the image I saw in my head as soon as I saw the challenge title. That's my reasoning.
Now, back to the wider issue.
At the risk of being a snob, I'm going to compare this to music.
There are popular music competitions, which include things like 'Pop Idol' and 'Fame Academy'.
There are classical music competitions such as the 'Leeds Piano Competition', 'Cardiff Singer of the World' and so on.
I've taken part in a music competition myself for the BBC... it was a classical competition.
When it comes to Photography, I want to be in the equivalent section.
Don't get me wrong, I'm also a rock and jazz guitarist. I don't think classical is necessarily 'better'. But sometimes you want highbrow, and sometimes you want lowbrow.

Message edited by author 2003-10-22 06:17:05.
10/22/2003 06:16:50 AM · #20
personally I think this Picture is kinda dull
10/22/2003 06:33:15 AM · #21
Ahh, but Bobster - would you take your classical music playing, and enter Pop Idol with it? Like it or not, DPC is more of a Pop Idol than a Leeds Piano Competition. I don't think it's ever pretended to be anything else.
10/22/2003 06:45:29 AM · #22
Then where is the more highbrow photo competition website?
It doesn't exist, so as long as I'm a member, I'm going to encourage the site to develop in this direction.
10/22/2003 07:32:16 AM · #23
To me it expressed a scientific approach to music and how people react to it, from the title of the book, so a good fit to the challenge theme. Personally I would have tried to increase the appeal of the picture by showing more of the warm tones and nice structure of the instrument. The view is currently blocked by the book. The lack of appeal was for me a reason to give it a 6.
10/22/2003 07:55:46 AM · #24
Originally posted by BobsterLobster:

How do we recognise the pictures that have a bit more depth?

It will never happen as it is now, you must remember that the majority of voters & submitters tend to be new to photography, new to art, wanting to learn and wanting to share, enjoy taking and viewing images.

Not pro photographers entering a pro photographic competition each week. Hence the favour for clean sharp images perfectly metered and lit.

A whole heap of the worlds best photographers have some different styles that would be ripped apart by DPC'ers.

- High contrast shots will be marked by some as "shame your contrsat is so un life-like" Failing to understand that contrast is a style sometimes used to display weight or emotion.

Also the popular DOF debate, have a narrow focus on a face so the brow and hair are thrown out of focus and you'll get 'bad focusing' comments from those that don't understand you actually meant to do it and concentrate of the nose-eyes whatever.

The same goes for anyone and anything else that is off the crisp and clear mark.

So, all in all there is no point complaining and feeling hard-done-by. When I submit a shot I like a lot, it tends to do poor, (and one I don't tends to do much beter). But....you will always get someone whom likes it, and if you check their profile you can see his/her images and see how you compare. Chances are on your 'styled' shots, you'll ranked badly but get good comments from some of the photographers you like. Rather that than a 10 from someone with no taste ;) So no worry - be happy Mr. Lobster ;)

Also, I agree with what you have been saying, and would like to see a 'gold members challenge' where only a select group of photographers can vote. They have to meet some criteria, but what that would be is probably the main problem.

Perhaps on average score after 20+ challenges, anything over a 6 and you can vote? Not sure how fair that would work out.

Overall, I think the best image wins here 95% of the time and the worst comes worst 95% of the time so it's pretty fair in the scope of photographers and voters we have on this site.
10/22/2003 09:09:32 AM · #25
Don't look at me, I gave this a 7, haha. I loved the colors and tones - very warm. And while I did see the music-science connection, it didn't jump out at me for a science topic. Science to me is more about space, labs, etc. If this spoke more science to me, this quality of an image would have been a 9 or 10, I'm sure. But hey, I'm not a professional, just going on my feelings.
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