DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 

DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> ok so what do I do to improve my score
Pages:  
Showing posts 1 - 25 of 25, (reverse)
AuthorThread
09/22/2009 04:14:20 PM · #1
Right folks ignore my sub 4.6 entries but what do you folks think I should improve upon to start consitently scoring in the 6s rather than 5s
09/22/2009 04:16:19 PM · #2
When you learn that secret, please share!!! :)
09/22/2009 04:26:15 PM · #3
I'm by no means an expert, but I just looked through your port and have some suggestions.

1) Your images need to be ultra sharp and preferably without grain to score well here.

2) Try to make sure your compositions are simple, deliberate, and effective. Subject matter is one thing but it has to be arranged in a compelling manner to take that 'next step'

3) To score well on this site it helps to take pics of things that people like to see... architecture abstracts can be nice but they have to be done really well. Most important thing is to ask why the viewer would care about what you are showing them.

hope some of that maybe helps, good luck!
09/22/2009 04:26:19 PM · #4
Yeah I wanna know the answer too.....
09/22/2009 04:35:46 PM · #5
This is an old post by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', '/') + 1) . ' scalvert (i think there is another one he posted but I couldn't find it).

How to improve your scores

It describes a lot of the pieces that you want to think about in submitting a shot to score well.

Here are a few others I have found work for me

1. Commenting on other peoples photos. Commenting and critiquing others work makes you look more closely at your own. Find out WHY you like a shot and why you don't - write it down and you will absorb that thinking so you are ready before you hit the shutter release.

2. Find the good light. Look for how light interacts with your scene and try multiple attempts at it until you understand when the light is good.

3. Scoring well at DPC often involves simplifying your image. Voters don't generally spend too much time on any one image. Make the image simple and compelling and go with it. If something is not needed to tell the story, leave it out.

4. Enter a side challenge here and push yourself to try new things. This will help you see things around you in new ways - and possibly these new ways will be those that people like.

Good luck.

Message edited by author 2009-09-22 16:40:45.
09/22/2009 04:39:10 PM · #6
Well, since your average is currently a sub-5, I would say just work pulling the average into the 5's right now. There is no magic bullet, IMO. Some folks have a personal style that sits well with others. Others (like myself) work to improve one little thing at a time.

A couple of things you could do that have worked for me:

-Comment more, especially on the 4's and 5's you handout. You will learn a lot by making yourself identify specifically why someone else's entry is ok, but still does not wow you.

-Find a couple of other members who are willing to share pre-challenge feedback, and agree to not vote on those entries they have given such input on.(Powerful learning experience there, IMO.)

-Try to predict what the critiques will be on your challenge entries. Write them down in your pre-challenge notes on the entry. This will help you develop a critical eye for your own work.

-Read and practice image processing. Start with the fundamentals. Levels, curves, contrast, saturation, sharpening. Oh, yes, and noise reduction.

-Join some user groups on Flickr for the specific software and hardware you use. I have learned a ton form groups there such as the Powershot S5, Rebel XT, and PaintShop Pro groups. This also gives you a place to "throw it against the wall and see what sticks".

Message edited by author 2009-09-22 16:40:55.
09/22/2009 04:40:05 PM · #7
There's lots of ways to improve your scores at DPC. Just off the top of my head...

1. Create a bunch of ghost accounts and vote for yourself.
2. Get friends and family members (or your whole country) to vote for you.
3. Learn a bunch of Photoshop editing tricks.
4. Learn photographic techniques such as composition, lighting, exposure control, editing, yada, yada.

The first two are the easiest, but they're also against the site rules. The third is more difficult and time consuming and has the added advantage of not requiring much photographic skill. The last is probably the most difficult. You can either get someone to teach you, or learn by trial-and-error. It also requires learning some of #3. However, in my opinion, it's the only way to truly become a good photographer.

09/22/2009 04:56:45 PM · #8
thanks folks, some good stuffs in your suggestions
09/22/2009 05:09:11 PM · #9
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Well, since your average is currently a sub-5,


yup, thats why I said ignore the 4.6s ;-) well actually I made the mistake of submitting whatever dross I'd managed to pull out of (stuff back into?) the hat so I didn't really fancy much feedback on those. The four photos from "my office breaking archictecture...." down were just total pants and should probably have never been submitted. I'm definetly currently in the 4.9 to 5.3 quality as a rule of thumb area I think. Pity it isn't a rolling average.
09/22/2009 05:12:33 PM · #10
Originally posted by ineedauniquename:

Pity it isn't a rolling average.

Yep. After 174 challenges, even a 6+ does not pull my own average up by much. I should look at other stats instead!
09/22/2009 07:11:05 PM · #11
enjoy yourself. There is no prize for higher average score. And outside of dpc it hardly has any value. Even at dpc it does not do much. (though you might make some fanboys). And one day you will leave dpc anyway and it all counts for nothing.

what does count though is whether in the end you improved or not and are happy with what you shoot. Think about what you want rather than what dpc want. Most likely both are not same.
09/22/2009 07:23:38 PM · #12
Originally posted by Mick:

There's lots of ways to improve your scores at DPC. Just off the top of my head...

1. Create a bunch of ghost accounts and vote for yourself.
2. Get friends and family members (or your whole country) to vote for you.
3. Learn a bunch of Photoshop editing tricks.
4. Learn photographic techniques such as composition, lighting, exposure control, editing, yada, yada.

The first two are the easiest, but they're also against the site rules. The third is more difficult and time consuming and has the added advantage of not requiring much photographic skill. The last is probably the most difficult. You can either get someone to teach you, or learn by trial-and-error. It also requires learning some of #3. However, in my opinion, it's the only way to truly become a good photographer.


if i were to score high, the easiest way to do is repeat past ribboners. Once a charm always a charm. I tried once and it works.

I wanted to score 6.5+

so i went through highest scoring images. Found out what i could do with easy set up and come up with this.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/626/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_461355.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/626/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_461355.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
(thanks ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Giorgio for all the hard work for my 6.5)

And submitted this. (20 minutes of effort).

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/731/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_577174.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/731/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_577174.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

you see, how easy it is to score high. I do not do it though, it was just to test theory.

09/22/2009 07:54:56 PM · #13
Have you tried the Buddy Voting System? Just Kidding!
09/22/2009 07:59:53 PM · #14
Originally posted by bassbone:

This is an old post by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', '/') + 1) . ' scalvert (i think there is another one he posted but I couldn't find it).

This one?
09/22/2009 08:16:30 PM · #15
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by bassbone:

This is an old post by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', '/') + 1) . ' scalvert (i think there is another one he posted but I couldn't find it).

This one?

That would be the one...
09/22/2009 08:33:59 PM · #16
Too bad there's not a How to ribbon in a Free Study Guide lying around...

:P
09/22/2009 08:39:25 PM · #17
Buddy voting is a good method. But beware of ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', '/') + 1) . ' scalvert's tool. ;-)
09/22/2009 09:07:43 PM · #18
Did you get your copy of the book yet?
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/381/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_232330.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/381/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_232330.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
09/22/2009 09:48:37 PM · #19
Hey, this is not the right forum, but then a good idea arised on my mind. DPC could provide an yearly average, and a 6 month average, additionally to the full average for each photographer. That is just a matter of applying a different SQL query. What do you think?
This would reflect the photographer improvement and also show the history. For example, a photographer with a high full average was someone that scored high from the beginning. A photographer with a mid average in the last year and a higher average in the last 6 months, is someone who improved continually.
Just a thought...

Ah, and I liked the idea of copying other's work, if it is to learn. This helps to improve some technical aspects for sure. You'll see that is not so easy to achieve some results and will try again until you can do the same quality. However it will not help the creativity side, at least not directly.
09/23/2009 02:42:11 AM · #20
Originally posted by Strikeslip:

Buddy voting is a good method. But beware of ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', '/') + 1) . ' scalvert's tool. ;-)

' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', '/') + 1) . ' scalvert's a tool? Who'da guessed...?


09/23/2009 07:26:27 AM · #21
Your 50mm 1.4 is a nice lens. Glue it onto your camera and learn how to work it. Forget the other lens for a while.

Shoot frogs, deer, Thai chicks at wide open apertures. Rule of thirds...very important for good scores, as well.

Seriously, learn to use that lens to it's fullest and you will cover a lot of ground.

eta: I have a 5.79 avg. and 7 of my last ten entries scored over a 6. Big reason is because I stopped entering crap. I don't play to the crowd but if something doesn't work I won't enter. Either you have or you don't and if you don't...stay clear.

Message edited by author 2009-09-23 07:32:03.
09/23/2009 07:48:56 AM · #22
Originally posted by pawdrix:

Your 50mm 1.4 is a nice lens. Glue it onto your camera and learn how to work it. Forget the other lens for a while.

Shoot frogs, deer, Thai chicks at wide open apertures. Rule of thirds...very important for good scores, as well.

Seriously, learn to use that lens to it's fullest and you will cover a lot of ground.

eta: I have a 5.79 avg. and 7 of my last ten entries scored over a 6. Big reason is because I stopped entering crap. I don't play to the crowd but if something doesn't work I won't enter. Either you have or you don't and if you don't...stay clear.


as far as learning goes, addition to what you said, shooting in fully manual mode helps. At least for a month or two one should shoot only in manual. Shoot less and think more does help a lot.
09/23/2009 08:09:31 AM · #23
Originally posted by zxaar:

as far as learning goes, addition to what you said, shooting in fully manual mode helps. At least for a month or two


"...for a month or two"

I'd say forever and ever.

Personally I don't see why people use A,S or P modes since making adjustments on your own is easy. I've used P twice (literally) and my images stunk. I take pride in working the camera and I also think I make better decisions. Too many people have no idea how to use the camera and rely on Photoshop to make their images appear interesting.

Message edited by author 2009-09-23 08:11:34.
09/23/2009 08:15:26 AM · #24
Originally posted by pawdrix:

Originally posted by zxaar:

as far as learning goes, addition to what you said, shooting in fully manual mode helps. At least for a month or two


"...for a month or two"

I'd say forever and ever.

Personally I don't see why people use A,S or P modes since making adjustments on your own is easy. I've used P twice (literally) and my images stunk. I take pride in working the camera and I also think I make better decisions. Too many people have no idea how to use the camera and rely on Photoshop to make their images appear interesting.


Manual is great and I agree with ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', '/') + 1) . ' pawdrix about getting away from Program mode - but I often shoot using A mode and I can always adjust exposure etc in post processing by shooting in RAW. Plus, when I hand the camera to my wife, she can just shoot and the images come out okay.
09/23/2009 08:51:35 AM · #25
Originally posted by pawdrix:

Originally posted by zxaar:

as far as learning goes, addition to what you said, shooting in fully manual mode helps. At least for a month or two


"...for a month or two"

I'd say forever and ever.

Personally I don't see why people use A,S or P modes since making adjustments on your own is easy. I've used P twice (literally) and my images stunk. I take pride in working the camera and I also think I make better decisions. Too many people have no idea how to use the camera and rely on Photoshop to make their images appear interesting.


actully i shoot in manual mode all the time. And have never need to read manuals of my cam. I like it this way but i might be old school.

edited: come to think of it, i thought hard and could not think of any instance where i shot in auto mode for last 4-5 years. Dial M for shoot.

Message edited by author 2009-09-23 08:52:52.
Pages:  
Current Server Time: 12/10/2019 06:17:37 AM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2019 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 12/10/2019 06:17:37 AM EST.