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06/10/2002 10:12:23 AM · #1
There are a few (probably more since I haven't perused all the photo's comments yet) re: "Too many cats, dogs, children, flowers in this competition." I didn't check to see who made these comments. Perhaps I should have, but....here's my response.
1. This was about B&W: Portraits are often done in B&W. It creates a mood, smooths inconsistancies seen in color, and is timeless.
2. This was about B&W #2: Texture, Texture, Texture. If the photographer gets a feeling about texture, be it in fur, or in the details of a flower petal, then that is an appropriate subject.
3. This was about B&W: Shadows.
I don't think photographers are checking with each other before they submit a photo in regard to subject matter. "Oh! You did a flower/kid/etc.! Yikes, better not do that! Better that I do something else.".
Humpf.
You shouldn't be basing your score of a photo on how many of the same subject there are.
Also, in nearly every challenge there is a comment regarding the challenge is the photographers excuse to photo their kid, or that kid photos aren't usually liked. Well, there's a whole lot of people making money from photographing children. Photography isn't just "art". It's documenting life, it's preserving memories, it's capturing mood.
I'll stop now, because I could go on and on.

06/10/2002 10:17:48 AM · #2
yay Karen!!!!!

heheh..

I agree with everything you said. All these qualifiers people use to seperate their choices are sorta unfair to the photographer. But remember..it's the joy of taking the photo...not the score you get on a website.

BTW..I love cats..take more :-)
06/10/2002 10:18:59 AM · #3
This happens every time we have multiple photos of the same subject... it seems that some voters/photographers think that every photo should be of a different subject...
06/10/2002 10:23:10 AM · #4
Originally posted by hokie:
yay Karen!!!!!

heheh..

I agree with everything you said. All these qualifiers people use to seperate their choices are sorta unfair to the photographer. But remember..it's the joy of taking the photo...not the score you get on a website.

BTW..I love cats..take more :-)


Actually, I took flowers. :-p
Anyway... Yes. it is the joy of taking the photo, it just erked me to see a score chosen based on a census.


06/10/2002 10:29:40 AM · #5
Yea. I like pictures of children/animals/flowers. And besides, I imagine most parents are like me, they really don''t need dpc as an excuse to take pictures of their children. Heck, I''ve got a CD of over 1000 pictures of my son, and he''s only been around since January. :-) Maybe we should have a children/animals/flowers challenge (and throw crosses and flags in for good measure). -Combine these 5 elements for a picture-. I guess the problem in this challenge is "too many yellow lines!"

* This message has been edited by the author on 6/10/2002 10:30:22 AM.
06/10/2002 10:32:16 AM · #6
The problem with having lots of photos, or even just two photos, of the same thing is that the voters compare them and don't just take them at face value. It turns into a few subcontests, I think. This is the impression I get from talking to a few people online who vote for the photos about our impressions, and everyone does it... "Oh, the best kid photo was X, the worst one was Y, I liked that cat photo better than the other one, blah blah etc.".

I had a child (irae's) and a flower in my 10s this week. Photographing anything in a compelling way is always a good thing, whether it's a cat or a toenail clipping. But if you don't want the voters to think to themselves "Oh, not another one of those" and get bored you do have to think of fresh ideas... if you care about the score in the end.
06/10/2002 10:41:26 AM · #7
Originally posted by lisae:
if you care about the score in the end.

Exactly. And that takes back to the age old discussion (here. and in any field of the arts): Do I photograph/compose/perform/write/your medium of coice here for my personal expression, or for pleasing the masses? (Sorry for anyt typos, one of the said children is in my lap)

06/10/2002 11:17:18 AM · #8
Originally posted by karmat:
Originally posted by lisae:
[i]if you care about the score in the end.


Exactly. And that takes back to the age old discussion (here. and in any field of the arts): Do I photograph/compose/perform/write/your medium of coice here for my personal expression, or for pleasing the masses? (Sorry for anyt typos, one of the said children is in my lap)

[/i]

Whatever turns you on should be why you post here:-)

If it''s the fun of messing around with strange ideas in your head (me), or trying to capture that inner beauty of a simple object, or trying to technically wow them, or trying to be the most generally popular.

They are all legitimate reasons to post. If you are UNHAPPY by what you are doing then..you should examine your reason for participating.

I am excited every week by what comes next...it keeps me focused on a central subject while I am messing around that week.

* This message has been edited by the author on 6/10/2002 11:18:57 AM.
06/10/2002 11:45:47 AM · #9
hokie: i totally agree. this week, i was faced with this more than other challenges. i had three totally different pictures. one was humorous, one was "poetic," and the other was, well, kinda strange. i shucked the humorous one because I felt there would be another one in the challenge (there wasn't) and I shucked the poetic one because I felt it would be typical (it was). The strange one, though it isn't totally creative, is pretty good for me. I'm still learning, and I am still trying to look at things differently so that mundane objects become interesting pictures. Will I ever break into the "Top 10" or even "Top 20?" I don't know. That used to be my goal. Then it changed to staying in the top 20%. Now, though complete honesty forces me to admit that I DO care what my rating is, I am learning that it is about taking pictures, and lots of 'em. Am I getting better? I think so. Will I ever win a major contest or award? Probably not, but I have developed a hunger for wanting to know more about photography, and a desire to be the best that I can be, regardless of where that puts me on the scale, relatively.
Now, if I can find something lurking in the shadows to take a pic of, I'll quit posting, and start shooting. :-)
06/10/2002 11:53:17 AM · #10
I don't have ANY problem with any of these categories -- under a certain set of circumstances.

This was my thinking on a number (not all) of the photos during the B&W challenge: "Oh no, not another poor picture of X..."

Let me clarify what I mean by this with a few good examples. (A quick disclaimer: if I don't use your photo here as an example, that doesn't mean I necessarily thought it was bad -- of course, it doesn't mean I thought it was good either.) I would like to point out problems I see in the photos that I don't think were top notch, but I don't want to hurt feeings, so I'll keep it to good examples.

Floral: This shot has nice black and whites, good sharp focus, a very simple background, and an element you usually don't see with the reflection.

Pet: OK, first there's a wonderful sense of humor here, coupled with such an interesting crop and angle to add to that humor. Solid black and whites and great texture. Since the dog's face takes up nearly all of the frame, there really are no background issues. Even still, what background you see is a simple white.

Child: Perfect lighting. The skin tones are neither too dark nor too light. The pose is very interesting and childlike. The hat adds some wonderful texture. The background is very simple and non-distracting.

Lest it look like all I like are flat colored backgrounds, I thought this background was fine for the shot.

OK, so these are all my opinions and as such you may choose to ignore them. What it boils down to is that I don't care if you want to take a photo of your child/dog/cat/prize rose/whatever -- I just don't want to look at a "snapshot" of the same unless it has some really redeeming quality (and I can't even begin to think what that might be).

Does that sound harsh? It's not trying to be. Like I said, they're my thoughts and you can take 'em or leave 'em.
06/10/2002 11:53:48 AM · #11
I'm hoping to break into the top 50.
06/10/2002 12:18:56 PM · #12
Patella, I agree with you. But what you are saying, I think, is "if you're going to do it, do it well." Exactly. No argument there. I think my photo could have been much better, and rightly earned the score it did, and the comments it rec'd. This is called "learning".
What I was erked more about was the "I'm going to vote low on this BECAUSE of the sheer volume of kids/cat/dogs/flowers/etc." I will admit I would love to someday score high. This would mean my photograph(s) has/have mass appeal. This would be a good thing.
But, I put more personal emphasis on the comments for learning. If the comment turns out to be: "Sorry, but this rots". Then to that person it rots. If the comment is: "Gee, too bad there are 100 other flower pictures, guess I'll give this a 5 instead of a 9", then I have a problem with that kind of thing. I personally think this kind of comment could be made in the forums after a challenge is done, and, as lisae said, for the voters to be mindful of "face value".
06/10/2002 12:45:38 PM · #13
Originally posted by Karen Bryan:
Patella, I agree with you. But what you are saying, I think, is "if you're going to do it, do it well." Exactly. No argument there. I think my photo could have been much better, and rightly earned the score it did, and the comments it rec'd. This is called "learning".
What I was erked more about was the "I'm going to vote low on this BECAUSE of the sheer volume of kids/cat/dogs/flowers/etc." I will admit I would love to someday score high. This would mean my photograph(s) has/have mass appeal. This would be a good thing.


I agree that those kinds of remarks do nothing to help a photographer improve. I think there is more pressure to "Do it well." when there is a frequently photographed subject, since people have seen so many other shots of the same subject and not just here.

Conversely, I think a lot of people take pictures of their beloved kid/pet/daffodils/whatever and think it is a great photo because it has tremendous emotional appeal for them. They don't look at it with a critical eye, or get an opinion from someone who doesn't know the object of their affections. That photo may be priceless from the point of view of the photographer, but that doesn't necessarily mean it speaks to anyone else.

We've had at least one flower and one kid winning entry, so I don't think most people are voting down good photos just because of the subject matter.
06/10/2002 12:58:32 PM · #14
Amphian: Maybe that is what I was trying to put into words -- just because it has an emotional appeal to you ("Look how cute my child is") doesn't mean it will for the masses. Thus, you need to make it have an emotional appeal beyond the personal subject matter.

Karen: Please don't get me wrong, I totally understand the importance of this site for learning (whatever those learning goals might be). I also think it's very wrong to vote on a photo based on the fact that there are X number of other similar photos in the challenge. However, that's not going to stop me from groaning as I vote on them individually. *grin*
06/10/2002 01:37:04 PM · #15
Originally posted by Patella:
Amphian: Maybe that is what I was trying to put into words -- just because it has an emotional appeal to you ("Look how cute my child is") doesn't mean it will for the masses. Thus, you need to make it have an emotional appeal beyond the personal subject matter.

Karen: Please don't get me wrong, I totally understand the importance of this site for learning (whatever those learning goals might be). I also think it's very wrong to vote on a photo based on the fact that there are X number of other similar photos in the challenge. However, that's not going to stop me from groaning as I vote on them individually. *grin*


That's cool.
;')

06/10/2002 02:52:24 PM · #16
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
This happens every time we have multiple photos of the same subject... it seems that some voters/photographers think that every photo should be of a different subject...


I think there are obvious easy way out photos for every challenge that show a decide lack of creativity. I vote accordingly. There is a place for snap shots and post cards and many cliches are big comercial successes but I like creativity and new ways to see and reward that.
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