I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!

Started Apr 30, 2012 | Discussions
Anfy
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I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
Apr 30, 2012

The Raven was the first challenge I ever entered on DPR. I scored from a 5th place on challenge #3 of the series and a 26th (#4, The Raven) to an abysmal 158th in #1 (Midnight). As a matter of fact - for challenge #4 - the original voting should have ended by April the 22 and was extended without a word to yesterday the 29th, and to calculate the results took something like 12/14 hours (for 151 entries).

Nor I want to talk about my images (I have a distinctive style which some can dislike). But what amazes me is that a picture entitled "Foto de prueba" (I think it means "Test photo") scored 66th on the 151 entries in #4 challenge of the series (the Raven), and it is a simple snapshot (without any thumbnail BTW) of some smiling people during a lunch at a restaurant (the theme of the challenge was "Give us your darkest, creepiest Raven-themed shot to help celebrate the release of The Raven"):
http://www.dpreview.com/challenges/Entry.aspx?ID=607506&View=Results&Rows=25

On the other hand some pictures, like that from babalu (who I do not know and I have no connection with) fared just a bit better, since he finished 54th with his Sad Letter which - in my opinion - is a masterpiece, with a double raven theme (the writing and the raven shadow), the writer hand and pen and a rose (so romantic, because Poe WAS a romantic ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_romanticism )). The picture is here:
http://www.dpreview.com/challenges/Entry.aspx?ID=608924

The above are just two example of something not working, in my opinion, in the challenge format; and all in all I think it will be my one and only experience with them.

Ciao!

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Viva la evolución!

brianj
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to Anfy, Apr 30, 2012

Well put, something is really amiss with the voting.

Brian

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RaptorUK
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to brianj, Apr 30, 2012

Yep, you are right, a big part of the problem is people who do not vote . . .

Challenge Stats
Entries 438
Votes cast 61
Last entry 1 week ago

they enter Challenges and expect everyone else to do the voting . . . as if it is beneath them.

brianj wrote:

Well put, something is really amiss with the voting.

Brian

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Deleted pending purge
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to RaptorUK, Apr 30, 2012

My entries in the 4th round placed 76th, 45th and 23rd... I'm not complaining about it, but there were some impressive works (at least to me) which placed worse. Some of them I could imagine sharing first three places easily.

It only goes to prove that you can't really count on any expertise and consistency of voting principle permeating the voting horizon. It's simply totally unpredictable in every possible sense.

One could write volumes upon the problems emerging out of such arrangements, but it wouldn't change a thing. You could expect the same if you picked one voter at random and let that person do the whole judging. This could even prove to be more consistent than having the batch judged by as many voting systems as there are voters.

The worst thing one could do is take this game too seriously. Best let it be just fun.
Lots of fun, actually.
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Anfy
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to Deleted pending purge, Apr 30, 2012

OldArrow wrote:

The worst thing one could do is take this game too seriously. Best let it be just fun.
Lots of fun, actually.

So true!

Ciao!

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Viva la evolución!

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Mike Ronesia
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to Anfy, May 1, 2012

Anfy wrote:

OldArrow wrote:

The worst thing one could do is take this game too seriously. Best let it be just fun.
Lots of fun, actually.

So true!

Ciao!

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Viva la evolución!

I agree, I'm predicting a 63rd place finish in my challenge that ends in 1/2 hour. Any better then that is just gravy.
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brianj
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to RaptorUK, May 1, 2012

RaptorUK wrote:

Yep, you are right, a big part of the problem is people who do not vote . . .

Challenge Stats
Entries 438
Votes cast 61
Last entry 1 week ago

That's because it was supposed to end 1 week ago, I voted in the first week as most people did.

Brian

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Mike Ronesia
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to brianj, May 1, 2012

brianj wrote:

RaptorUK wrote:

Yep, you are right, a big part of the problem is people who do not vote . . .

Challenge Stats
Entries 438
Votes cast 61
Last entry 1 week ago

That's because it was supposed to end 1 week ago, I voted in the first week as most people did.

Brian

Brian, I think his point is, is that for the system to work properly you should vote 10 or more times for every photo you enter. This is how high vote totals can over come the handful of cheaters. So for your 438 entries you should be doing your fair share and voting 4,380 times or more preferably. I think 20 votes should be required in another challenge for every photo you enter.

I would vote more but hosting takes a lot of time because I review every photo but can't vote on them. Here are my stats as an example.

Entries 62
Votes cast 1778
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brianj
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to Mike Ronesia, May 1, 2012

Mike Ronesia wrote:

Brian, I think his point is, is that for the system to work properly you should vote 10 or more times for every photo you enter. This is how high vote totals can over come the handful of cheaters. So for your 438 entries you should be doing your fair share and voting 4,380 times or more preferably. I think 20 votes should be required in another challenge for every photo you enter.

I would vote more but hosting takes a lot of time because I review every photo but can't vote on them. Here are my stats as an example.

Entries 62
Votes cast 1778

Would you believe I did miss that subtle point

I think I started out trying to vote all the time when the challenges were started, but it soon becomes a huge thankless task. One of the reasons is the slothlike performance of the system especially when there are hundreds of entries. I don't know how fast this process is where you live, but here in Brisbane AU, it can be abysmal as I have mentioned here: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1044&message=41355710

At times there is no way that I could vote on more than 50 total. Maybe the total number of entries needs to be smaller but that has the drawback of it being completely full by the time you see the new challenge.

I realise it is very difficult and I have watched the attempts to fix the cheating which has turned away all but the ones like me who do it only for fun. I will wait to see the improvements roll out then re-evaluate whether it will be possible to vote on the scale that you suggest.

Brian

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Anfy
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to Mike Ronesia, May 1, 2012

Mike, RaptorUK and the others,

would you please elaborate in plain, simple english (you would not believe it but that is not my first language ) since I do not see the relevance with the specific case I was referring to; and however do the stats Raptor provided are my own or intended for the whole challenge?

Ciao!

Mike Ronesia wrote:

brianj wrote:

RaptorUK wrote:

Yep, you are right, a big part of the problem is people who do not vote . . .

Challenge Stats
Entries 438
Votes cast 61
Last entry 1 week ago

That's because it was supposed to end 1 week ago, I voted in the first week as most people did.

Brian

Brian, I think his point is, is that for the system to work properly you should vote 10 or more times for every photo you enter. This is how high vote totals can over come the handful of cheaters. So for your 438 entries you should be doing your fair share and voting 4,380 times or more preferably. I think 20 votes should be required in another challenge for every photo you enter.

I would vote more but hosting takes a lot of time because I review every photo but can't vote on them. Here are my stats as an example.

Entries 62
Votes cast 1778
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Mike Ronesia
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to brianj, May 1, 2012

A couple of tips that might make it easier for you. I live on a small island in Micronesia and have slow internet so I understand some of your frustration.

1. I never vote in challenges I've entered. I can't be accused of any wrong doing that way.

2. I always pick challenges that are small to vote in so I can vote on all the entries and not take too long.

3. Pick challenges that interest you but you weren't able to enter. It gives you a chance to look at different ideas on how to improve your photography.

As a host I understand your concerns. For the sake of the voters I have size limits and only allow for 50-60 entries in my challenges so it is easier to partake.
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Anfy
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O.T.
In reply to Mike Ronesia, May 1, 2012

Mike Ronesia wrote:

I live on a small island in Micronesia and have slow internet so I understand some of your frustration.

I thought there was no internet at all in Paradise!

Ciao!!!

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brianj
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to Anfy, May 1, 2012

I agreed with your point in the second thread response because I see what you describe happening in the votong all the time, but I decided to respond because of the point you made about the entries should be a dark theme, and about 2/3 of them weren't. My own entry which was very dark and about the death of the raven scored 105th.

Obviously it was complete rubbish, so at least I have learnt that.

Brian

Anfy wrote:

Mike, RaptorUK and the others,

would you please elaborate in plain, simple english (you would not believe it but that is not my first language ) since I do not see the relevance with the specific case I was referring to; and however do the stats Raptor provided are my own or intended for the whole challenge?

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Mike Ronesia
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Re: O.T.
In reply to Anfy, May 1, 2012

Anfy wrote:

Mike Ronesia wrote:

I live on a small island in Micronesia and have slow internet so I understand some of your frustration.

I thought there was no internet at all in Paradise!

Ciao!!!

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Viva la evolución!

Barely, Went to Japan a couple of years ago and was blown away at how fast it was there. I can't even stream low rez u-tube videos.
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RaptorUK
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to Anfy, May 1, 2012

Anfy wrote:

Mike, RaptorUK and the others,

would you please elaborate in plain, simple english (you would not believe it but that is not my first language ) since I do not see the relevance with the specific case I was referring to; and however do the stats Raptor provided are my own or intended for the whole challenge?

Ciao!

Hi,

the stats I provided were brianj's Challenge stats . . . you can see he has entered 438 Challenges but has only ever placed 61 votes.

Unfair votes and votes deliberately cast to harm another entry (sandbagging) carry more power when there are fewer votes cast . . . so people who do not vote are part of the problem.

These are your Challenege stats . . .

Challenge Stats
Entries 8
Votes cast 17
Last entry 2 weeks ago

why haven't you voted more ? you have just over 2 votes per Challenge entered . . . why should anyone vote on your entry when you are not prepared to vote on anyone else's ?

These are my stats:

Challenge Stats
Entries 50
Votes cast 3059
Last entry 3 weeks ago

I have placed approx. 60 votes per Entry . . . I usually vote in the Challenges I enter, I have the ability to vote fairly.

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Anfy
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to RaptorUK, May 1, 2012

RaptorUK wrote:

why should anyone vote on your entry when you are not prepared to vote on anyone else's ?

Actually it is the first time I hear that there is a practical or moral obligation to vote in own/another challenge; by my side, I voted - on selected challenges - the pictures I liked the most (never went below 3-3,5 stars). Maybe I am too kind.

I usually vote in the Challenges I enter, I have the ability to vote fairly.

Personally I think it is better not voting in the challenges I enter; since DPR made it possible, I think is fair doing so; but I fear others could follow the old latin saying: "mors tua vita mea" ("your death, my life").

However, all the above does not explain what in the original post I was writing about the voting system in the cases I showed (not related to my images).

Ciao!

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RaptorUK
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to Anfy, May 1, 2012

Anfy wrote:

However, all the above does not explain what in the original post I was writing about the voting system in the cases I showed (not related to my images).

Ciao!

My first post in this thread was in reply to this . . .

brianj wrote:

Well put, something is really amiss with the voting.

Brian

part of the problem is people not voting . . .

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RuthC
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to RaptorUK, May 1, 2012

I totally agree with Raptor; if you don't participate in the voting, whether it is in a challenge you have entered, or other challenges, you shouldn't complain about how others voted on your entries. Personally, I find it very interesting to see how other photographers approach the subject of the challenge, and am quite often in awe at their ability to produce their amazing photos. I learn so much from this, and believe I'm improving in my photography as a result. Entering these challenges is fun and exercises my elderly brain, so taking time to vote in the challenges is the small price I pay for this.

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Ed at Ridersite
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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to RaptorUK, May 1, 2012

RaptorUK wrote:

I usually vote in the Challenges I enter, I have the ability to vote fairly.

I've completely stopped voting on challenges I enter. To me, it's clearly a catch-22. If I vote fairly, all I'm doing is shooting myself in the foot (my entry receives one less vote than all the others and is thus downgraded by the dpreview algorithm). I'm a pretty harsh voter - not many votes above 3.5 stars. So, maybe it's not entirely fair if I enter and vote.

So, I just try to find interesting challenges I didn't enter when I vote.

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Re: I entered the Raven challenge: in one word, nevermore!
In reply to Ed at Ridersite, May 1, 2012

Ed at Ridersite wrote:

RaptorUK wrote:

I usually vote in the Challenges I enter, I have the ability to vote fairly.

I've completely stopped voting on challenges I enter. To me, it's clearly a catch-22. If I vote fairly, all I'm doing is shooting myself in the foot (my entry receives one less vote than all the others and is thus downgraded by the dpreview algorithm). I'm a pretty harsh voter - not many votes above 3.5 stars. So, maybe it's not entirely fair if I enter and vote.

So, I just try to find interesting challenges I didn't enter when I vote.

I fail to see what's so dangerous or hard in voting fairly in the challenges containing one's own entry? It can't be that actual winning becomes so important that it endangers someone's fairness or honesty! Any proper photographer can appreciate the fairness as only way to relevant feedback - all that vote slanting business happening in challenges can't make no-one become better at what we do! If anything, then just for the well-known fact of art and dishonesty hurting each other so effectively that only one of those remains!

Several people wrote in these threads about having difficulties with objectivity while voting in challenges where they participated... and I'm still fazed as to why that should me so insurmountable? If I can't imagine being not so important in others' view, what then am I doing in any creative activity?

It's not as if there's some demon making me try and win by whatever means foul and fair, that's kid stuff, we all learn to communicate every day of our lives, and photography is just that, a communication. It consists of themes, ways to express them, and above all, our own thoughts about what we communicate about. With time and learning, we say what we want ever better, more to-the-point, simpler and with more thought behind our statements. It's all the same with spoken or written words, music, and also with photograpy.

If you find any picture that you wish you've taken yourself, you should assign higher value to it - and try doing better next time! It's as simple as that.

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