"I dream of wires"... are you kidding me?

Started Jul 17, 2013 | Discussions
Skylane
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Re: From the Art Director
In reply to jezsik, Jul 17, 2013

Perhaps you good be more clear in what you are looking for. Newspaper photos tend to be more factual or informative then artistic.

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Charlie

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walkaround
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Re: From the Art Director
In reply to jezsik, Jul 17, 2013

jezsik wrote:

As the challenge host, I had some preconceived ideas as to what would work for this imaginary newspaper article. I was quite hoping for some brightly lit spools of colorful wire or side lit macros of wires spewing from some sort of electronic device. Sadly, there were an awful lot of pictures of sky ... which don't look so good in a newspaper.

Were I to play the role of a real Art Director, I would have returned nearly all the entries. The one that best illustrates the article is the 15th place finisher. The 9th place, Signal Flow, and 18th place finisher, Colorful Wires, were also quite good.

I've come to expect the unexpected in these challenges, with people (mis)interpreting the rules any which way they can to get their entry in. The sad part is the number of barely acceptable images. This challenge is a good example. There are very few really good photos in the whole lot. Granted, people don't shoot many wires, so it was, in the true sense of the word, a challenge. I doubt many folks went out to shoot specifically for this challenge, so we have a pretty lackluster showing. I think voters were just giving higher votes to things with more wires rather than artistic interpretation.

If people misinterpreted this challenge, as it's suggested that I did, then I would say it's because of your title "I Dream Of Wires", which I really liked, but which is contrary to the description in the rules. The "I" in the title to me suggested the photo should contain a person or at least an animal or consciousness relating to the wires. This is why I thought my photo did fit the challenge.

Your insulting all the participants only further convinces me that these challenges are only challenges in the sense of navigating arbitrarily enforced rules and subjective interpretations, not to mention the outright cheating, and ".5 star bandits".

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walkaround
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Re: No Kidding
In reply to Skylane, Jul 18, 2013

Skylane wrote:

walkaround wrote:

Skylane wrote:

I would say the winning entries did so on content. Your entry was mundane, nothing unusual or different, something seen every day. The winning entries are not something you see much of (at least in the US) these days. Still I do think you are an artist, you have the arrogance.

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Charlie

Yes, by all means novelty should trump everything else in photography.

While we're talking, can I please see your non-mundane photography? Your gallery is empty.

No. I have no need for my photos to be used on other web sites, in particular Chinese as has often happened here.

I am not a photographer or want to be. My post was my honest opinion of your photo, your righteous sounding indignation and dising of other peoples work.

So you just come to dpreview to post snarky comments in threads that don't concern you? What a sad life.

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Tim A2
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Re: From the Art Director
In reply to jezsik, Jul 18, 2013

jezsik wrote:

As the challenge host, I had some preconceived ideas as to what would work for this imaginary newspaper article. I was quite hoping for some brightly lit spools of colorful wire or side lit macros of wires spewing from some sort of electronic device. Sadly, there were an awful lot of pictures of sky ... which don't look so good in a newspaper.

Were I to play the role of a real Art Director, I would have returned nearly all the entries. The one that best illustrates the article is the 15th place finisher. The 9th place, Signal Flow, and 18th place finisher, Colorful Wires, were also quite good.

I've come to expect the unexpected in these challenges, with people (mis)interpreting the rules any which way they can to get their entry in. The sad part is the number of barely acceptable images. This challenge is a good example. There are very few really good photos in the whole lot. Granted, people don't shoot many wires, so it was, in the true sense of the word, a challenge. I doubt many folks went out to shoot specifically for this challenge, so we have a pretty lackluster showing. I think voters were just giving higher votes to things with more wires rather than artistic interpretation.

It is very interesting to look at the OP's entry and complaint in light of your expections as the host. By the way I think you are one of the "good guys" among the hosts here and I thank you for all your work in providing us with so many excellent challenges. One possible suggestion would be to keep in mind that the actual target photographers of a real Art Director are vastly different from the DPR challenge entrants and voters.

Tim

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santamonica812
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Re: From the Art Director
In reply to jezsik, Jul 18, 2013

I think your mistake was forgetting to include some sample images yourself.  The less clear (or, the more open to interpretation) a challenge theme is, the more necessary it is to include some samples...at least, if you as the host are looking for specific types of photographs.  If you had done this, I suspect that many entrants would have been able to use those samples as rough guidelines and you would have ended up with a lot more entries that were what you were looking for.

p.s.  I quite liked your idea for the challenge.

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Wildbegonia
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Re: From the Art Director
In reply to jezsik, Jul 18, 2013

jezsik wrote:

As the challenge host, I had some preconceived ideas as to what would work for this imaginary newspaper article. I was quite hoping for some brightly lit spools of colorful wire or side lit macros of wires spewing from some sort of electronic device. Sadly, there were an awful lot of pictures of sky ... which don't look so good in a newspaper.

Were I to play the role of a real Art Director, I would have returned nearly all the entries. The one that best illustrates the article is the 15th place finisher. The 9th place, Signal Flow, and 18th place finisher, Colorful Wires, were also quite good.

I've come to expect the unexpected in these challenges, with people (mis)interpreting the rules any which way they can to get their entry in. The sad part is the number of barely acceptable images. This challenge is a good example. There are very few really good photos in the whole lot. Granted, people don't shoot many wires, so it was, in the true sense of the word, a challenge. I doubt many folks went out to shoot specifically for this challenge, so we have a pretty lackluster showing. I think voters were just giving higher votes to things with more wires rather than artistic interpretation.

I agree with you and also I comment on it on the main entry page. The entry that deserved to win for its content and craftsmanship, by a large margin, is winning entry # 15. At the risk of being DQ, although the human in the photo is not recognizable ( he is not 007, Angelina Joly or Michelangelo's Sixtine Chapel Adam ). Everyone over-read an interesting point mentioned in the Challenge's statement: ' The author is sick and tired of trying...' Ah! The devil is in the details here. If I am the Art D, this photographer for sure gets the contract.

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Wildbegonia
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Re: From the Art Director
In reply to jezsik, Jul 18, 2013

jezsik wrote:

Granted, people don't shoot many wires, so it was, in the true sense of the word, a challenge. I doubt many folks went out to shoot specifically for this challenge, so we have a pretty lackluster showing. I think voters were just giving higher votes to things with more wires rather than artistic interpretation.

A couple of days ago I had to tour a new build in the city which will be inaugurated in October.  I did stumbled upon an industrial residual bin full of wires. I thought of your challenge and quickly realizing that it was in its voting stage.  It was a chaosof colors.  I passed because as a rule, I do not take the camera to work. Big distraction!

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Wildbegonia
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Re: From the Art Director
In reply to santamonica812, Jul 18, 2013

santamonica812 wrote:

I think your mistake was forgetting to include some sample images yourself. The less clear (or, the more open to interpretation) a challenge theme is, the more necessary it is to include some samples...at least, if you as the host are looking for specific types of photographs. If you had done this, I suspect that many entrants would have been able to use those samples as rough guidelines and you would have ended up with a lot more entries that were what you were looking for.

p.s. I quite liked your idea for the challenge.

I will have to disagree. As an ArtisticD, you do not give samples, mainly because you are looking for creativity and original ways to make a statement. I do not know if you ever participated in Jezsik's challenges, which I do recommend you, they are great fun, one learns a lot and by doing you get to drive thru the twists and turns to get 'the job' as the ArtisticD's  Photographer.

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jezsik
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Further clarification
In reply to jezsik, Jul 18, 2013

Some of the folks commenting seem to think I'm looking for something very specific in the Art Director challenge. I'm not. Oh, I wish I could because that is pretty much the job of an art director. If I was given a hundred photos, I'd pare them down to ten and let voters decide. I rarely get a hundred submissions and I can rarely gather ten that I would submit to a client. Let's face it, the quality of entries in the challenges is not quite what it was back in the beginning. That's not a dig at anyone here or in any challenge, it's just the nature of the thing.

Submitting sample pictures is a bit of a risk. In some cases it's required because it does not take to description well. I tend not to include samples so as not to influence the submissions too much and I often do not have a suitable image (my portfolio is devoid of soccer balls, bees and raised fists).

When I refer to people (mis)interpreting the rules so much, I'm referring to such things as, oh, a photo of a painting of a bundle of wires. Well they are wires and it is a photo, so ... keep it or toss it? What if they're a jumble of coat hanger? You can use those to improve your television signal, so those should count, right? You see what I mean.

Finally, I like the idea of a difficult challenge. I rarely enter them any more because I don't find them particularly ... well, challenging. I like creating challenging challenges by tying them to something realistic. I know I could host a cat challenge every week and be inundated with entries, but where's the fun in that?

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Mike Ronesia
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Re: "I dream of wires"... are you kidding me?
In reply to walkaround, Jul 18, 2013

Show us a photo of a clutch of electronic wires or connections or something to help illustrate this newspaper editorial.

To me this line in the challenge description tells me the shot has noting to do with the artistic quality of a photo. I think the voters got it right based on this. What shot do you think would have better illustrated too many wires in story in the paper? I personally don't like these kind of challenges.

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Mark James
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tko
tko
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grow up and stop whinning
In reply to walkaround, Jul 18, 2013

Complaining about winning entries is bad sportsmanship. Complaining more and more when people correct you is even worse.

A big part of photography is learning what other people like. The challenge wasn't to please yourself, it was to please others. Accept that you failed, and moved on, do better.

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ConanFuji
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Re: From the Art Director
In reply to Tim A2, Jul 18, 2013

Tim A2 wrote:

jezsik wrote:

As the challenge host, I had some preconceived ideas as to what would work for this imaginary newspaper article. I was quite hoping for some brightly lit spools of colorful wire or side lit macros of wires spewing from some sort of electronic device. Sadly, there were an awful lot of pictures of sky ... which don't look so good in a newspaper.

Were I to play the role of a real Art Director, I would have returned nearly all the entries. The one that best illustrates the article is the 15th place finisher. The 9th place, Signal Flow, and 18th place finisher, Colorful Wires, were also quite good.

I've come to expect the unexpected in these challenges, with people (mis)interpreting the rules any which way they can to get their entry in. The sad part is the number of barely acceptable images. This challenge is a good example. There are very few really good photos in the whole lot. Granted, people don't shoot many wires, so it was, in the true sense of the word, a challenge. I doubt many folks went out to shoot specifically for this challenge, so we have a pretty lackluster showing. I think voters were just giving higher votes to things with more wires rather than artistic interpretation.

It is very interesting to look at the OP's entry and complaint in light of your expections as the host. By the way I think you are one of the "good guys" among the hosts here and I thank you for all your work in providing us with so many excellent challenges. One possible suggestion would be to keep in mind that the actual target photographers of a real Art Director are vastly different from the DPR challenge entrants and voters.

Tim

Yes, I agree, Jezsik is a role model for Challenge Hosts.  As well as Barb.

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PaulChapman
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Re: From the Art Director
In reply to Wildbegonia, Jul 18, 2013

Thanks for those kind words! Seems a shame to have so much smoke and flames about what is essentially a bit of fun. Angelina Joly lookalike.....! I am always happy being somewhere in the middle; you can tell when the voting is/or is not biased and that adds to the interest. The really good photos generally get through.

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absentaneous
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Re: "I dream of wires"... are you kidding me?
In reply to walkaround, Jul 18, 2013

it's just a fact of life. you are trying to make a point where all is just about taste. the same principle applies even with "professional" critics and judges let alone when it comes to some forum where most of the people are even still learning photography. those who voted simply liked someone else's photo better than yours. there's no drama in that and no complicated conclusions to make. the winning picture was the one which was liked by most people. it's best to just not get affected by that because it doesn't really mean anything. just do what you like and don't be bothered by the taste of others.

I took part to 2 or 3 challenges and I never really ranked too well quite the opposite. on the other hand my photos were picked for an exhibition that was supposed to showcase the latest achievement in the field of contemporary art photography in my country and I was glad but stayed down to earth knowing that instead of me they could just pick someone else. so, to me all is relative.

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Skylane
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Re: No Kidding
In reply to walkaround, Jul 18, 2013

The feeling is mutual.

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Charlie

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Tim A2
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Re: No Kidding
In reply to walkaround, Jul 18, 2013

walkaround wrote

So you just come to dpreview to post snarky comments in threads that don't concern you? What a sad life.

Skylane participates big time as a voter. With the challenges it takes three to tango, a host, entrants, and voters. "Snarky" must be the current fad buzzword that people copy, I see it more and more in the DPR forums. It really has lost its novelty.

Tim

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Terry Breedlove
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Where are the wires ?
In reply to walkaround, Jul 18, 2013

I really like your shot but you only have two wires in a contest Titled I dream of wires.  You have more birds than wires.

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Midwest
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Frustration....
In reply to walkaround, Jul 18, 2013

I've entered several challenges and had varying levels of success though I've never won 1st place. Without commenting on your entry or the winner in the 'Wires' challenge, I'll say that I understand your frustration.

What irks me though is not in losing, but rather when my entry seems to get a significant number of 'poor' votes. Okay, I'm biased, but I've not submitted any 'poor' photos, and I don't vote 'poor' on anyone else's that at least meets the subject of the challenge. That's the part that irks me. Those 'poor' votes seem to be cast more for the purpose of harming my chances than as any real assessment of the worth of my entry.

And it's not just me and my own photos where I've noticed this. Far from it - I've seen some winners and excellent photos which received the lowest possible score from some of those voting on the challenge. Nobody could seriously believe that such photos were 'poor' but they were voted that way by some people.

Anyone so desperate as to down-rate the competition's entries or do other things to 'cheat' probably would take satisfaction in winning by whatever means they employed.

I have decided to take the results of these challenges with a huge grain of salt. If I do well, then fine; if I don't, oh well. Don't let it get to you. There's a lot more important stuff in this world to get upset about.

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Images by Kipper
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Re: Further clarification
In reply to jezsik, Jul 18, 2013

Jezsik:

In your reply you stated and suggested that “If I was given a hundred photos, I'd pare them down to ten and let voters decide.” Now I know that this idea has been discussed as a possible ‘New Idea Challenge Type’ in past forums during the many, many discussions on upgrading the Challenges. I see the type of approach you’re suggesting as being an excellent vehicle for some of our hosts, yourself as a prime example, and believe that many would support such Challenges. I know that I would and if I didn’t make the ‘Top Ten’ then I would be inclined to vote on the hosts nominated entries. Read as a self-admission that I find it troubling to vote in Challenges that I enter.

Further on in your reply, you address the subject of sample pictures and you say, “Submitting sample pictures is a bit of a risk. In some cases it's required because it does not take to description well. I tend not to include samples so as not to influence the submissions too much and I often do not have a suitable image (my portfolio is devoid of soccer balls, bees and raised fists).” For myself as an entrant I can see your point that samples can adversely affect a Challenges submissions. However depending on the Challenge host’s intentions, they can be very helpful in guiding entrants towards what the host is looking for. A fine line I would agree, but often helpful to an entrant.

If I can digress and say that my wife was doing laundry and dropped a bunch of clothes hangers on the floor and when I saw them lying there, yes that thought crossed my mind.;-) Enough said on that one, because of the rule clause ‘Show us a photo of a clutch of electronic wires or connections….” was vaguely there in my mind.

I am rambling now so to your point about the host pairing down a Challenge to the ‘Top Ten’, I say yes and would be interested in what others think of this approach!

Cheers all ~ Kipper.

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Images by Kipper
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Re: Frustration....
In reply to Midwest, Jul 18, 2013

I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment of frustration. I have trouble voting on Challenges that I enter so I vote on other Challenges; therefore I have no vested interest in the Challenge outcome. Still I get frustrated by the outcome of many of these Challenges.

Like you, I have also decided to take the results of these challenges with a huge grain of salt, and for quite a while now.

Our only hope and this has been said too many times before, Dpreview must clean out the Challenges sand box and let the honest kids play again.

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