I am quitting challenges! Fed up with everything!....

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
William Woodruff
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Re: I am quitting challenges! Fed up with everything!....
In reply to tasad, Apr 13, 2013

Quitting submissions to challenges, quitting hosting challenges, or both?

If you are quitting hosting, I don't get it.  The only thing that gives any promise for the future here is that at least a few of the hosts like you and Arrow, actually give a crap about cleaning things up a bit.  I would think that the hosts who really care about that stuff could maintain and share a list of known cheats who would automatically be banned from those hosters' challenges, or something like that.  Anyway, good luck, no matter what you decide to do on that front.

If you are talking about quitting submissions, I totally get it.  I have largely quit submitting to challenges for all of the reasons you mention, but I find that there is something worthwhile about making some occassional submissions just for the feedback.  Whether voting is sandbagged or not, I can look at the vote pattern and get an idea of whether an image resonates with voters or not.  Sure, if my image warranted a win, I would love to have the win, but there is more to it than that.  Sometimes we create an image that really works for us, but others might not "get" it.  That's good to know, and the overall vote pattern can point that out.  And sometimes there are very polarized views of our images, and that is good to know also.

I entered a couple of shots a week ago.  I really like both shots, but it was very instructive to see the feed back.  One was a night shot of a girl with a camera silhouetted by a fountain.  I love the shot, but there were no votes over 3.5, and it placed 29th out of 70, with a couple of 1's and 1.5's.  That is really good feedback.  Similarly, in the past, I have submitted a couple of other shots that rank among my all-time favorites -- shots I am really proud of -- that didn't really resonate with casual voters.  A shot I took at my sister-in-law's wedding place 141st of 157(!), and yet it is one of my all-time favorite images -- a shot I am especially proud of (and one of her favorites as well.)  It is a very different sort of composition, though, and I suspect that many of the voters simply thought the subject was out of focus without understanding the composition.  On the other hand, I have had some rather mediocre shots that have won, or have done fairly well.  Again, it is instructive to break the presentation down and to try to figure out why a particular shot "works" for viewers, while another doesn't.  And I have occasionally submitted some shots that I really didn't particularly like, just to see what the response would be.  There is much to be learned that way; for example, a mediocre shot that has enough "punch" to get your attention as a thumbnail might score well, while a more subdued, but vastly superior shot might not draw enough notice to be really "seen" in a way that is really appreciated.

And last, sometimes low votes are just low votes.  Another recent entry scored pretty well, almost all votes over 2.5, and mostly 3-5.  It might have won, but for the two 1 point votes.  A quick look at the other top 10 entrries didn't show any pattern of low votes though, so apparently the message is that while most folks seem to like the image, the few who don't are pretty emphatic about their dislike.  That's good to know.

So, to end this diatribe, I am really glad that there are some of you out there who care enough to at least try to enforce some integrity into what should just be fun little challenges where we can get some helpful feedback on some of our images.  Louis, if you are really bailing out, thanks for being here.  If you are just considering it, I would love to see you reconsider.  But either way, all the best to you.

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WLW

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