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06/30/2007 08:28:18 AM · #276
In my mind this site is for Photography contests first, processing contests a distant second. ... and that doesn't mean straight from the camera either for those who want to jump to that conclusion.

The only meaning of digital is that the 'photograph' was taken with a digital camera, not that the image was created in photoshop. If you want the later, worth1000.com or some other similar site may be a better fit.

Message edited by author 2007-06-30 08:29:23.
06/30/2007 09:57:07 AM · #277
Originally posted by cpanaioti:

In my mind this site is for Photography contests first, processing contests a distant second. ... and that doesn't mean straight from the camera either for those who want to jump to that conclusion.

The only meaning of digital is that the 'photograph' was taken with a digital camera, not that the image was created in photoshop. If you want the later, worth1000.com or some other similar site may be a better fit.


Those competitions don't require you to take any of the photos.

To composite an image well, it is an essential prerequisite that you have good base photos to work from. In DPC-land, that means going out and taking good base photos - ie, the prerequisite is that you are a good photographer. In fact the photography element is harder than normal, because you need to have a clear image in your head and you need to ensure that each element you intend to composite will work together.

What is easier is the subject matter: you can create your own wow moment - you do not have to go out and find it.

In fact, I think that expert editing may be something of a leveller - people with access to great scenes (eg jayblockrayner) have an advantage over those people who cannot get out and about so easily.

People like glad2badad are not upset that photographic skill is being eliminated, but that people will not know whether a photograph of a wow moment is a single depiction of reality or a composition. For example glad2badad felt hard done by in the expert free study because he felt that his photograph of a wow moment was underappreciated.

The fact that there is a lot of poor imagery in the SF challenge clearly indicates how difficult it is to create a good expert edit image. It is not the easy option to photoshop a winning image.
06/30/2007 09:59:58 AM · #278
I would add that personally, I am really disappointed not to have an entry in the SF - I had a great idea, but have been stuck with late nights at work and rain - no time to go out and collect all the base shots that I would have needed.

I would suggest that for future expert editing challenges that we get two weeks to submit - the reason being that it is a harder challenge than straight photography to collect multiple shots and then work them together into a single high quality piece.


06/30/2007 10:17:26 AM · #279
Originally posted by Matthew:

I would add that personally, I am really disappointed not to have an entry in the SF - I had a great idea, but have been stuck with late nights at work and rain - no time to go out and collect all the base shots that I would have needed.

<snip...>


This is what flabbergasts me... you still have to be a pretty good photographer and take good "base shots" to get a decently lit, inspiring image. Yes, you can change the light... but most PS people I know here prefer to have it right in camera first. This is still photography. You still have to begin with an image. Even if it is an image of a horses butt. :) hehe

I just don't understand what everyone is so up in arms about... it's not like it is a frequent occurrence (expert editing) so if it really ticks ya'll off that badly, ignore it. I mean, what impact is it having on your life? Is it really worth all this squabbling? I hate to see all of these people that I admire at each other's throats about something so trivial. You guys are friends, I see you joke around with one another on a regular basis. Now, you are bashing one another with harsh words and sarcasm. Please, just accept it and move on.

After all, the people who love photoshop may hate the minimal editing rule-set, but I haven't seen nearly the complaining about it that I have seen over the expert set. Be friends. Accept what your friends like. That doesn't mean you have to like it, but it does me you neeeeeed to tolerate it. Even if just to keep the peace around here.

/off soapbox
06/30/2007 10:35:55 AM · #280
Originally posted by Matthew:





To composite an image well, it is an essential prerequisite that you have good base photos to work from. In DPC-land, that means going out and taking good base photos - ie, the prerequisite is that you are a good photographer. In fact the photography element is harder than normal, because you need to have a clear image in your head and you need to ensure that each element you intend to composite will work together.

What is easier is the subject matter: you can create your own wow moment - you do not have to go out and find it.



Matthew,

I really like you, and even more so now just because of your clear thoughts and the lawyeristic views you give.

Your exactly correct.

Basically, the way I see it, and the way you explained it is simple.

The harder it is to get that "Wow" factor, the more basic, or Minimalistic I should say the rule set.

Minimal editing rules force the photog to think of what they are after, where as the other end of the spectrum, Expert editing, the wow factor can be manufactured.

I could also add "Time" to that equation. But, I am sure that would be a whole different debate.
06/30/2007 10:48:54 AM · #281
My only objection to expert editing is that it leaves a gap: between advanced and expert.

In advanced, you cannot use photographic techniques like HDR or panoramic stitching, which do preserve scene integrity.

In expert, you may use those techniques, but you are competing in a completely different type of contest, where unaltered scenes are somewhat at a disadvantage for the wow factor.

I personally would love to see a rule set "in between". (Or advanced/expert adjusted.) Just my opinion as a site user.

06/30/2007 12:46:45 PM · #282
Originally posted by nshapiro:

In expert, you may use those techniques, but you are competing in a completely different type of contest, where unaltered scenes are somewhat at a disadvantage for the wow factor.


Not necessarily. I came in 4th in Landscape with a pure HDR shot.
06/30/2007 01:19:38 PM · #283
Originally posted by cpanaioti:

In my mind this site is for Photography contests first, processing contests a distant second. ... and that doesn't mean straight from the camera either for those who want to jump to that conclusion.

The only meaning of digital is that the 'photograph' was taken with a digital camera, not that the image was created in photoshop. If you want the later, worth1000.com or some other similar site may be a better fit.

Well said. Nice to see a clear minded expression on this topic that makes sense. :)
06/30/2007 01:29:13 PM · #284
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by cpanaioti:

In my mind this site is for Photography contests first, processing contests a distant second. ... and that doesn't mean straight from the camera either for those who want to jump to that conclusion.

The only meaning of digital is that the 'photograph' was taken with a digital camera, not that the image was created in photoshop. If you want the later, worth1000.com or some other similar site may be a better fit.

Well said. Nice to see a clear minded expression on this topic that makes sense. :)


Agreed!
06/30/2007 01:37:40 PM · #285
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by cpanaioti:

The only meaning of digital is that the 'photograph' was taken with a digital camera, not that the image was created in photoshop. If you want the later, worth1000.com or some other similar site may be a better fit.

Well said. Nice to see a clear minded expression on this topic that makes sense. :)


Disagreed: worth1000 et al do not require that the users use their own images. They often don't take their own photos, just manipulate other people's.

DPC requires you to take your own photos and within a certain time limit. It is a very difficult challenge to do this well.

06/30/2007 01:41:02 PM · #286
Originally posted by nshapiro:

My only objection to expert editing is that it leaves a gap: between advanced and expert.

In advanced, you cannot use photographic techniques like HDR or panoramic stitching, which do preserve scene integrity.

In expert, you may use those techniques, but you are competing in a completely different type of contest, where unaltered scenes are somewhat at a disadvantage for the wow factor.

I personally would love to see a rule set "in between". (Or advanced/expert adjusted.) Just my opinion as a site user.


Oh, thank goodness! I have been WAITING for someone else to bring this up, since it's a drum I've beaten many times before. That's EXACTLY what bugs me about the Expert Editing challenges. I don't care if there are occasional challenges that allow members to let fly with their compositing skills; I think that's fun and, even if it IS peripheral to the site's primary goal, something worth doing.

But it bothers me a LOT that there's a purely photographic technique which I use a LOT in my regular work that has nothing to do with this sort of compositing and which I am not allowed to use except if I choose to go up against composited images in these occasional challenges.

And, Doc, in the first "Expert" challenge I also ribboned with a nearly pure HDRI landscape, albeit I did expand on it a bit by adding some birds in the sky. So sure, it's possible, but not really in this last challenge, "Science Fiction", which had "fantasy image" written all over it.

I really, really think it's time to allow HDRI imaging in the Advanced ruleset, and panoramas too for that matter. Even in Basic we are allowed to do "bad" HDRI work (tone mapping is allowed in all rulesets, and that's nothing but "imitation HDRI"), but we can't use the real thing in any but expert challenges. And HDRI imaging is designed to be as close to the ultimate in photorealism as it's currently possible to get.

R.
06/30/2007 01:42:12 PM · #287
Originally posted by Matthew:

Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by cpanaioti:

The only meaning of digital is that the 'photograph' was taken with a digital camera, not that the image was created in photoshop. If you want the later, worth1000.com or some other similar site may be a better fit.

Well said. Nice to see a clear minded expression on this topic that makes sense. :)


Disagreed: worth1000 et al do not require that the users use their own images. They often don't take their own photos, just manipulate other people's.

DPC requires you to take your own photos and within a certain time limit. It is a very difficult challenge to do this well.


That comment was not in relation to who took the photos. It was in relation to the manipulation and use of PS to create the image rather than rely on photographic techniques to produce the results.

Yes, there are some parts of the expert rules which allow for the use of photographic techniques that are not allowed in other rules sets. However, the expert rule set also allows what goes way beyond anything photographic.

If you want to manipulate photos (be they yours or others) then another site may be a better fit.
06/30/2007 01:57:06 PM · #288
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by nshapiro:

My only objection to expert editing is that it leaves a gap: between advanced and expert.

In advanced, you cannot use photographic techniques like HDR or panoramic stitching, which do preserve scene integrity.

In expert, you may use those techniques, but you are competing in a completely different type of contest, where unaltered scenes are somewhat at a disadvantage for the wow factor.

I personally would love to see a rule set "in between". (Or advanced/expert adjusted.) Just my opinion as a site user.


Oh, thank goodness! I have been WAITING for someone else to bring this up, since it's a drum I've beaten many times before. That's EXACTLY what bugs me about the Expert Editing challenges. I don't care if there are occasional challenges that allow members to let fly with their compositing skills; I think that's fun and, even if it IS peripheral to the site's primary goal, something worth doing.

But it bothers me a LOT that there's a purely photographic technique which I use a LOT in my regular work that has nothing to do with this sort of compositing and which I am not allowed to use except if I choose to go up against composited images in these occasional challenges.

And, Doc, in the first "Expert" challenge I also ribboned with a nearly pure HDRI landscape, albeit I did expand on it a bit by adding some birds in the sky. So sure, it's possible, but not really in this last challenge, "Science Fiction", which had "fantasy image" written all over it.

I really, really think it's time to allow HDRI imaging in the Advanced ruleset, and panoramas too for that matter. Even in Basic we are allowed to do "bad" HDRI work (tone mapping is allowed in all rulesets, and that's nothing but "imitation HDRI"), but we can't use the real thing in any but expert challenges. And HDRI imaging is designed to be as close to the ultimate in photorealism as it's currently possible to get.

R.


I agree wholeheartedly.
06/30/2007 02:34:20 PM · #289
I don't know if anyone has mentioned it yet, but one of the things I liked a lot about the Expert challenge was that I learned a whole heap about editing. It was nice to have a chance to just sit down and play and not worry so much about whether a particular editing move would get my image disqualified.

Interestingly enough, aside from using multiple photographs, the vast majority of the techniques I used could be used in advanced editing, and some in basic -- just not to the extent I used with expert. (For instance, I now know how to use layer masks -- something that's been bothering me for a while: I knew they existed, but not what you could do with them...) And when I see entries that are obviously much much better done than mine, sure it is a bit annoying, but it also shows me all sorts of other things that I can do.

I plan on using the editing skills I gained to do better in the other challenges and in real life. Because (and I know I'm not alone out there) someday I'd like to be able to do photography as part of a job -- marketing, graphic design, photographer -- in any of them I'll need to be able to take excellent photos and to do excellent editing (even if it's subtle).

I love that DPC lets people learn a lot, and IMO 95% excellent photography and 5% editing whizzzzery is going to make for a brilliant combination.

<running off to the zoo now...>
06/30/2007 02:50:02 PM · #290
Originally posted by funnylooks:

I don't know if anyone has mentioned it yet, but one of the things I liked a lot about the Expert challenge was that I learned a whole heap about editing. It was nice to have a chance to just sit down and play and not worry so much about whether a particular editing move would get my image disqualified.

Interestingly enough, aside from using multiple photographs, the vast majority of the techniques I used could be used in advanced editing, and some in basic -- just not to the extent I used with expert. (For instance, I now know how to use layer masks -- something that's been bothering me for a while: I knew they existed, but not what you could do with them...) And when I see entries that are obviously much much better done than mine, sure it is a bit annoying, but it also shows me all sorts of other things that I can do.

I plan on using the editing skills I gained to do better in the other challenges and in real life. Because (and I know I'm not alone out there) someday I'd like to be able to do photography as part of a job -- marketing, graphic design, photographer -- in any of them I'll need to be able to take excellent photos and to do excellent editing (even if it's subtle).

I love that DPC lets people learn a lot, and IMO 95% excellent photography and 5% editing whizzzzery is going to make for a brilliant combination.

<running off to the zoo now...>


Hey, little daughter, go to the zoo and make some picts!
06/30/2007 04:30:08 PM · #291
Ya know if everyone was great at compositing (and photoshop to a larger extent) this discussion would not be taking place. Similarly if everyone sucked at it.

Message edited by author 2007-06-30 16:30:24.
06/30/2007 04:33:28 PM · #292
Originally posted by yanko:

Ya know if everyone was great at compositing (and photoshop to a larger extent) this discussion would not be taking place. Similarly if everyone sucked at it.


The same could be said of DPC.

If everyone was a great photog, getting nothing but 10's, then why have the site at all.

Every rule set has it's place.

I'm drunk.
06/30/2007 04:40:25 PM · #293
Originally posted by Man_Called_Horse:

Originally posted by yanko:

Ya know if everyone was great at compositing (and photoshop to a larger extent) this discussion would not be taking place. Similarly if everyone sucked at it.


The same could be said of DPC.

If everyone was a great photog, getting nothing but 10's, then why have the site at all.

Every rule set has it's place.

I'm drunk.


Well unless everyone just went on to bigger and better things I'm sure the discussion would be on how to make things more challenging. Frankly I think that's what is being done here both with the minimal editing and expert editing rulesets but it seems too many are hung up with terms and can't see how these rulesets can only make you a better photographer.
06/30/2007 04:59:52 PM · #294
Originally posted by cpanaioti:

... rely on photographic techniques to produce the results.

Define "photographic technique" for me -- are you talking about examining and judging a negative, or do you consider a print to be photographic as well? Because I don't think that anyone has performed any technique or manipulation in this callenge which hasn't been done by purely "photographic" means in the past 150 years or so.

If a photo is purported to derive from a single exposure but is in fact a composite, then you have a problem with the integrity of the photographer, but if the viewer is made aware in advance that the final image may derive from several sources I don't see a problem with rating the image on its own merits, just like any other image.

If the editing is sloppy or you just don't like the final result you have the option to vote accordingly.
06/30/2007 05:16:21 PM · #295
Originally posted by yanko:

... it seems too many are hung up with terms and can't see how these rulesets can only make you a better photographer.

Actually, make you a better photoshopper...

...some of the coolest looking images/graphics (call it what you want) in the Sci-Fi challenge look very graphic in nature. Like a poster or movie computerized image. Which is fine in it's own place. No one is being honest in this thread if they think that it doesn't take very high photoshop skills to produce something for an Expert challenge that is going to do well. Almost have to be a graphic artist, not a photographer, to pull it off.
06/30/2007 05:19:19 PM · #296
Originally posted by GeneralE:

... If a photo is purported to derive from a single exposure but is in fact a composite, then you have a problem with the integrity of the photographer, but if the viewer is made aware in advance that the final image may derive from several sources I don't see a problem with rating the image on its own merits, just like any other image. ...

Sounds fine to me, IF, you compare apples to apples, etc...don't mix imagery types. Yes, I'm still talking about NOT letting Free Studies be run under Expert editing rules. Otherwise it's fine. I'll just skip entering any Expert editing challenges (but I really don't like to skip the Free Study challenges).
06/30/2007 05:47:01 PM · #297
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

... If a photo is purported to derive from a single exposure but is in fact a composite, then you have a problem with the integrity of the photographer, but if the viewer is made aware in advance that the final image may derive from several sources I don't see a problem with rating the image on its own merits, just like any other image. ...

Sounds fine to me, IF, you compare apples to apples, etc...don't mix imagery types. Yes, I'm still talking about NOT letting Free Studies be run under Expert editing rules. Otherwise it's fine. I'll just skip entering any Expert editing challenges (but I really don't like to skip the Free Study challenges).


Not to open a whole new can of worms here but...this brings up an interesting point...Correct me if I'm wrong but most FS's are advanced correct? We obviously recently had one under expert but most are advanced, why not have the Free Studies run one month Basic one month Advanced, one month Expert etc...everyone would have their favorite ruleset and some would have a chance to shine in the Free Studies that don't normally, simply because of editing preference. Just a thought...

06/30/2007 06:26:33 PM · #298
Originally posted by jackal9:

... why not have the Free Studies run one month Basic one month Advanced, one month Expert etc...everyone would have their favorite ruleset and some would have a chance to shine in the Free Studies that don't normally, simply because of editing preference. Just a thought...

One of the "challenges" we try to present is to not always be too predictable, and to change things up every once in a while. My guess is that we wouldn't set up a regular rotation of rule sets, but it wouldn't shock me if sometime during the year Langdon were to run one of the monthly Free Studies under rules other than Advanced.
06/30/2007 06:38:54 PM · #299
Is it me, or is every free study every month run under Advanced...
06/30/2007 07:05:08 PM · #300
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by yanko:

... it seems too many are hung up with terms and can't see how these rulesets can only make you a better photographer.

Actually, make you a better photoshopper...

...some of the coolest looking images/graphics (call it what you want) in the Sci-Fi challenge look very graphic in nature. Like a poster or movie computerized image. Which is fine in it's own place. No one is being honest in this thread if they think that it doesn't take very high photoshop skills to produce something for an Expert challenge that is going to do well. Almost have to be a graphic artist, not a photographer, to pull it off.


My understanding is you're not suppose to draw in elements so you're working with what you produced in camera solely as a photographer. I feel this type of challenge forces you to spend more time developing a concept/story, more time thinking about light, DOF, POV and how to keep it all consistent when compositing. I can't help but think this doesn't make you a better photographer in general. So perhaps just think of it as an exercise if you personally don't consider it photography. Anything that moves people away from the simple point and shoot mentality is a good thing, IMO.

Also, as Robert and others mention this ruleset allows you to do things right. We ALREADY get these types of images in advance and basic editing. The only difference is those that enter such images often have to submit sub-standard work because of the limits those rulesets enforce. Tonemapping is the biggest example of that. It's amazing how awful one can make a sky look trying to produce HDR in basic or even in advance yet that seems to be the gold (blue) standard nowadays in the challenges. At least expert editing allows those really good at it to set the bar much higher than that. Frankly, it's just about getting it right when it's impossible to do so in-camera. And yes some do much more than that, but again we get that in every challenge. We get funky experiements all the time with people using nothing more than curves. Granted they don't do well but they exist.

Edited for clarity.

Message edited by author 2007-06-30 19:34:47.
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