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Challenge of Challenges: vote for the best shot of 2013

By Simon Joinson on Jan 4, 2014 at 00:39 GMT

It's that time again - to showcase the talent and imagination shown by our Challenge hosts and entrants, we're once again running a 'Challenge of Challenges,' to find the dpreview.com Picture of the Year for 2013 (yes, it's a bit late, but we ran out of days before the holidays).

As always, we've been amazed by the range of images uploaded to our challenges over the course of the year, and we've whittled more than 1000 challenge winners down to a more manageable 25 - selected by the dpreview editorial team. We're also trying out a completely new voting interface for the first time, and we'd love your feedback

Click here to explore and vote for the best challenge-winning images of 2013

Comments

Total comments: 121
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (3 months ago)

Good ones. All of them.

0 upvotes
babalu
By babalu (3 months ago)

Well how can a shortlist of about 1000 photos best be achieved ? One way would have been to publish , for 10 weeks, each week a catalog of 100 photos, all winners of challenges, and let the voters choose 10 top shots each week. Then after two and a half months publish the 100 top photos, and ask the voters again to choose, but now only the top five would count , and we'd have a fifth to first rank.
This would have had the advantage of a large dispersion and a distribution of votes based on a vast body of voters, thus counteracting sandbagging and possible vote rigging, and delivering the DPR Staff from the necessity of claiming their prerogative . Of course, nothing speaks against a parallel internal vote by the DPR staff, a so-called "Editor's Choice" .

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
babalu
By babalu (3 months ago)

..on a different point : maybe you should think of placing the challenge of challenges somewhere more prominent, as it might get under the radar in the flood of articles .. just a thought.
(I have also posted this in the related thread in the challenges forum)

0 upvotes
RuthC
By RuthC (3 months ago)

I notice that a considerable number of these critics of the selected photos have NEVER entered any challenges, not participated in any way. Perhaps if they are such crack-shot photographers themselves, then they should show the rest of us mere mortals how it should be done!

10 upvotes
Rocky ID Olympian
By Rocky ID Olympian (3 months ago)

I noticed as well and was itching to say this too :-).

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (3 months ago)

It is always the way here. The most negative critics and strongest brand fanboys almost always have NOTHING in their galleries either.

4 upvotes
Wildbegonia
By Wildbegonia (3 months ago)

You manage always to hit the nail on the head. Please do not ever get a gun :D

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (3 months ago)

Well said!!!

0 upvotes
Wildbegonia
By Wildbegonia (3 months ago)

(Second part to my previous note)

Moving towards a voting system that will discourage cheating in the challenges?
This prototype seems to get closer.
Thank you for the invite.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Wildbegonia
By Wildbegonia (3 months ago)

Simon,
I know I am repeating someone's (if not many) voices here, but:
> Would have liked to see voting upon categories: nature, daylife, sports, travel, portrait, fine art photography, architecture and the like.
> I like the voting system based upon first, second, third 'positions'. So here, the points (stars) are redundant if not pointless.
> Regardless of the number of entries, 25 or 100, I still would like to have 10 choices at least for each category. In all, If only six entries merit my choice leaving four as empty, so be it.
> And yes, most definitely, one should be able to click on the finalist photo and get a view of its full resolution as submitted.
> I noticed and liked very much the fact that some entries although were summited with artifices like borders, marks and the like, these were eliminated, so the photos masterfully stand on their own without the support of these 'decorations'. (To be continued).

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
jackdan
By jackdan (3 months ago)

Next time I would prefer to have a longer short list, so the the final result reflects more of the voters choice and less of DPR's staff's choice.

2 upvotes
Joseph Mama
By Joseph Mama (3 months ago)

Wow I should totally take a picture of some Old Guy and do a bleach bypass look. Then I can be a winnar!!

0 upvotes
jackdan
By jackdan (3 months ago)

The voters will be the judge of that if you ever actually enter a challenge.

6 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (3 months ago)

Cropping is manipulating the reality. Framing is manipulating the reality. Exposure is manipulating the reality. Wide angle is manipulating the reality. Telephoto is manipulating the reality. Putting make-up on a model is manipulating the reality. Controlling depth of field is is manipulating the reality. A lens that vignettes is manipulating the reality. The choice of colour or black and white is manipulating the reality.

I am always puzzled by photographers who are so arbitrary about which manipulations are acceptable and which ones are not. No photograph is a scene. No photograph is the reality. The idea that it is unmediated somehow is just plain bizarre.

But if you add to or subtract from what was there, for me you have crossed the line into photo-illustration.

8 upvotes
Ronan_M
By Ronan_M (3 months ago)

Agree the selection is small, should have been @ least 100 pics

1 upvote
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (3 months ago)

Those are winners of the 2013 challenges.

That's why the name: Challenge of Challenges.

Try once browsing through the "Challenges" in the top menu.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

I apologize for some redundancy in my posts throughout this thread.

0 upvotes
Segaman
By Segaman (3 months ago)

I aint voting, this selection is too small, pathetic at best, sorry.
This place is starting to be loosing its identity

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

Do you mean its (prior) identity which you perceived as better?

0 upvotes
Sensible1
By Sensible1 (3 months ago)

GaryJP: If you crop, don't you subtract? Define reality (of a photo). I think a photo shows a believable pic of what can be actually seen. If not the case, is it an illustration?

0 upvotes
Andrew
By Andrew (3 months ago)

I guess my view of photography is very conservative. Most of these images seem altered and contrived through the use of image enhancement. The changes aren't subtle and the results look too manipulated. I wonder if this reveals that the technique and skill in taking the picture has been supplanted by the shooters ability to manipulate the image into somersetting other than a photograph?

4 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

As a photographer for some time, I don't think it represents the supplanting you mention; photography at all points in its history simply evolves to make use of emerging tools. That is not to say that I see merit in all applications of the tools.

4 upvotes
Rocky ID Olympian
By Rocky ID Olympian (3 months ago)

I totally agree with b craw. Many of those shots, if not most, are not staged, with good composition, angle, and I can see they use proper camera setting (just by seeing the results). Some has minor enhancements in level-curve-saturation, some has more enhancements. We could argue that there are other challenge winners that are more to our likings, but selecting more than 1000 to 25 is a tough task. Best way to improve next year's best of the best challenge is, for each of us to shoot more, participate more in the challenges and vote more.

5 upvotes
cmantx
By cmantx (3 months ago)

I wouldn't say "most" but some are definitely altered/manipulated beyond basic PP. However, if they didn't violate the rules of the challenge they won shouldn't they be allowed? "If" they violated the rules the Host should have DQ'd them.
The DP review panel liked them so it's too late. Maybe next time there is a "challenge of challenges" they will consider not voting for overly manipulated images. As always, It's all subjective.

0 upvotes
Halstatt
By Halstatt (3 months ago)

While the images are praiseworthy, technically, haven't we all seen similar ones time and again? There's a lack of vision, creativity and spontaneity on the whole.

5 upvotes
SushiEater
By SushiEater (3 months ago)

100% agreed.

0 upvotes
jvkelley
By jvkelley (3 months ago)

I think this is a side effect of the rating system that is used in the challenges. Photos with a lot of vision, creativity and spontaneity tend to be controversal (people either love or hate them). With the rating system, it's hard for an extremely creative photo to beat out a technically perfect and beautiful cliche. If the challenges used a "pick your favorite" voting system, the creative photos would start to beat the cliches more often.

0 upvotes
Sensible1
By Sensible1 (3 months ago)

All great photos. But only a few I find to be worthy candidates. I don't like where Photoshopping (or Lightrooming) is taking photography. The landscape photos seem to be in search of tricks instead of content. Did expect more - we see these photos all time everywhere.

0 upvotes
Pete Mc
By Pete Mc (3 months ago)

All nice pictures. The judges seem to favor exact symmetry, though for me that quickly feels contrived and uninteresting.

If there was just one image among them that told a story, I'm sure it would win.

I went for the guy in the canyon, with his cup of coffee. Sensible use of fisheye to catch a scene of peace and tranquility.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

Perhaps we have different ideas of what constitutes a narrative image. Does the woman pushing a cart with child, amid all the debris, not strike you as telling a story? Or the man within the church illuminated by concentrated light coming through the window?

4 upvotes
RichardBalonglong
By RichardBalonglong (3 months ago)

I voted...
All images presented are great!
But... I suggest that there should be categories like Documentary, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Portrait, etc... When I was selecting and judging those beautiful images, I feel like I'm comparing with apples with oranges and with strawberries...
Great voting system, by the way... =)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
brent collins
By brent collins (3 months ago)

Yes. they are all quite good, but only a handful have any signs of originality. Its a tough thing to do and a winner should reflect that.

1 upvote
Apewithacamera
By Apewithacamera (3 months ago)

All of them are winners!

3 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (3 months ago)

Everybody is a critic. :p It was hard to choose, but I did. I don't like over processed shots of old wrinkly people though. I think that's overdone and doesn't do the subjects justice.

7 upvotes
Daniel Stehura
By Daniel Stehura (3 months ago)

There were better shots not entered in the 25 you choose. The 25 you choose were a poor choice and I feel bad you dropped the ball on so many good shots that should of been included. At least give us 100 shots to choose from or stop doing contest if you cannot do them right. Really sad I was not able to vote on the great photography that I saw. Anyone else feel this about the choice we were given?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Dundo Maroje
By Dundo Maroje (3 months ago)

I'm sorry, but I'm not voting in this PS/LR contest

4 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (3 months ago)

Post processing is part of photography. Whether you like it or not.

1 upvote
Dundo Maroje
By Dundo Maroje (3 months ago)

I use post-production but there must be some limits.
This is out of control.

4 upvotes
clicstudio
By clicstudio (3 months ago)

Post processing has been done since photography was created. Dodge and burn, hand coloring, etc...
Now the process is digital but still has the same merit IMHO

7 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (3 months ago)

So if you put a graduated filter on the lens it's legit, but if you add it in post it is not?

0 upvotes
Birse Boy
By Birse Boy (3 months ago)

The interface is great, I think it should give a better voting system for the challenges overall. As for the photos....where to start, they are all fantastic.

2 upvotes
sono1mito
By sono1mito (3 months ago)

Grandi immagini tutte,post elaborazione?tutto ok,quello che vale è il colpo d'occhio dove non tutti hanno e quindi complimenti agli "artisti"
Grazie

0 upvotes
ragmanjin
By ragmanjin (3 months ago)

Beautiful new voting interface, DPR. I know we give you some flack sometimes, but I know plenty of us do appreciate the ongoing efforts you guys are making to keep upping the "awesome" factor around here.
...At least those of us who aren't petrified of change.

13 upvotes
JeffreyJC
By JeffreyJC (3 months ago)

I liked all the photos.
This was my top 5.
1. Houses on the hill
2. Light in city and on the water
3. Man on the hill watching the sunrise
4. Spider eyes
5. Sunlight through girls hair

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

In "best of" circumstance my thinking always arrives at best according to what criteria. Maybe this is just the teacher in me pecking at the insides of my head. I'm fine with assessment of personal preference (whatever defines such preference) and voting accordingly. But this does run the risk of conflating quality (given a context) and popularity. I have no gripe with the popular per se, but quality accessed in a vacuum i.e. without criteria, tends to those images which reward visually very quickly, or demonstrate clear technical prowess. Often marginalized are works which build appeal to the viewer slower, often very nuanced visually or demanding more sophisticated conceptual consideration.

But, all this aside, I voted. But, I did so a bit conflicted, feeling that we are picking between apples and oranges.

4 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (3 months ago)

Can't understand people complaining about post-processing. We used to have these things called darkrooms you see, and hard and soft papers, and burning and dodging. All five of the pictures I chose may have been helped by diligent post-processing of tone and colour but none has had stuff ADDED that was not there. And that's my guideline.

Some of you talk as if the only justified photo is an unmediated snapshot. It ain't.

10 upvotes
Charles Marlow
By Charles Marlow (3 months ago)

I agree entirely. If processing was all it took to suceed then these shots would all be point-and-shoot or iPhone images that had been worked up with editing software. The photographer still had to see something special and compose the shot, usually with the end result in mind. The processing is the icing on the cake.

2 upvotes
babalu
By babalu (3 months ago)

Yes, there is a certain difference between post processing meant to enhance the appearance of an image without removing or adding pictorial elements, and processing to fabricate an image . At the least, in the latter case, I would expect the author to add an explanation adjunt to the title of the creation, so as to fairly advice potentially unaware spectators of the artificial nature of the photographic image they are contemplating . Especially with so-called wildlife photography I would expect this...

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
bgmonroe
By bgmonroe (3 months ago)

babalu, why? What does it matter if a wildlife photo is heavily doctored? The only place for strict rules regarding the use of post processing should be photo-journalism. Otherwise, it's art. Few would argue that a Renoir or Dali should be more realistic. All that matters is the relationship of the viewer to the image regardless of how the image was created.

3 upvotes
babalu
By babalu (3 months ago)

@bgmonroe
the difference is that a Renoir or a Dalí are being looked at in the knowledge that they are art, not photos of a scene . If a photo however is manipulated to induct awe for being a capture of a beautiful scene , and the pivotal word here is "capture" , and there is no hint towards the manipulation, it is arguably fraud . (same would be the case if a painter would exhibit a so-called photo-realistic painting that IS actually a photograph) . - and by the way, wildlife photos are a sort of photo-journalism, in my opinion.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

babalu: so what of the instance that esteemed photographer Dorothea Lange removed part of the anatomy of "Migrant Mother". Lange doctored this image in the enlarger phase. Should she be stripped of her standing as one of the most influential American documentary photographers because she removed a thumb she considered extraneous? A great many photojournalists have partially staged or altered imagery. It's a question. I'm not looking to pick a fight. As someone who does photography most often within the strict controls of a studio, I can appreciate some latitude granted in the field, within limits. Bodies in civil war photos were repositioned, tenament occupants brought closer to account for the angle of view of lenses. I'm not excusing it. It does create potential problems relating photography to a wider journalistic ethos. But, in the case of Lange as just one example, some latitude for the strictest adherence to literal veracity in the image, certainly did not undermine her ability to bring a collective reality to the images.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

In the interest of fair disclosure, much of my art deals with the slippery or sticky business of representation. I've spent a better part of two decades presenting an argument that photography is largely a reality removed from the "real". So I do perhaps have some bias against those things claiming complete objectivity.

0 upvotes
babalu
By babalu (3 months ago)

b craw,
I applaud your comments here, including those below and the last one replying to mine. I appreciate any point of view that is presented in a civil and eloquent manner. To the point of cosmetic changes in the interest of the overall appearance of a photo , as long as the changes do not affect the general appearance of authenticity, and, more important, do not convey an entirely different reality from what was in front of the lens, it is certainly part of the leniency granted to a photographer. All great works of art are a result of patient and painstaking adjustments by the artist, and that would include photography. But there must be a limit to this. In my opinion, changing the reality to attain admiration for an alleged photographic capture of a reality which in this form never existed is crossing this limit.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Sean65
By Sean65 (3 months ago)

You guys sound like you swallowed a Sontag text for breakfast.

1 upvote
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

One Sontag, two aspirin.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

babalu: as you explained it, I am leaning your way. And it's definitely a discussion worth having.

0 upvotes
babalu
By babalu (3 months ago)

Yes, I am open to any exchange of ideas. Especially interesting to me is your concept of a photographic reality hovering above the true uncaptured reality (which actually would not exist if it were not for some media capturing it) ..

1 upvote
deluk
By deluk (3 months ago)

I'm all for a QI over IQ if you get my pixel peeping drift, and as said, most of these show lots of manipulation. Generally I'm fine with 'shopping as long as the image remains very close to what could have been SOOC. Having said that and noting the size of images offered for the contest and with no equipment details (without going back into the files) I'd like to see a contest like this won by a smart phone. That would bloody a few noses. There are a couple, or more, here that could well have been done on a phone.

1 upvote
vadims
By vadims (3 months ago)

Very convenient voting system. Kudos, DPR, very well done.

8 upvotes
itchhh
By itchhh (3 months ago)

Every one of these images is in and of itself is a winner. In my opinion, there is no clear cut "best" image. This said I did cast my vote :) :)

2 upvotes
Robert Soderlund
By Robert Soderlund (3 months ago)

Fine looking photos, but all unrealistic and should be considered as art photography.

Photography is not just emotional or artistic art, it should also include truth, honesty, and documentary, and be able to show the world we live in, sometimes in the most true way possible.

5 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (3 months ago)

maybe you should enter a challenge one day and show everyone how it's done!

26 upvotes
Robert Soderlund
By Robert Soderlund (3 months ago)

Simon

You mean one of the challenges on the site yes? Indeed it sounds inviting.

4 upvotes
Sean65
By Sean65 (3 months ago)

I know what you mean. I feel the same. There's only so much post processing before it becomes something other than photography.

4 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (3 months ago)

Like that picture of Santa, all processing, no photography:
http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/126097-forget-the-ipad-morgan-freeman-this-santa-pic-was-drawn-using-ms-paint

And I wonder whether Vermeer would make the cut as a photographer?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-25492810

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Rocky ID Olympian
By Rocky ID Olympian (3 months ago)

All unrealistic? i don't believe so! I see there are shots that I believe even the RAW files doesn't look much different from what we see. Maybe some leve/contrast and saturation adjustment, even some of the photos does not have selective level/contrast/saturation adjustment.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

Robert, I don't so much take issue with your assertion that photography should include truth, but do consider that much of photography that was once considered truth (as connected with notions of photojournalistic method), indeed have been proven otherwise. I am currently working on a project involving the Depression-Era photographer Dorothea Lange. She is unquestionably one of the most impactful documentarians of the twentieth century. But some of her work (not the majority) was staged, or otherwise altered elements for compositional or conceptual purposes. Both her and Walker Evans created much of what we know as the visual iconography of that time. In altering the literal reality of a scene, can it be argued that she, in fact, captured a larger essence of condition, itself a truth.

Much academic dialog exists about the potentials for truth in photography. This issue has been a very prominent theme since the 1970's - some proclaiming that the photo can never be a truth removed from the act of its creation; that is, never an objective reality, because the photographer is him/herself is always a subject to some degree, just as what is being pictured is. The very activity of framing, considering lighting, exposure dynamics, etc. are all decided upon/authored. Therefore the photo itself is never truth, but a construction based on the idea of representation and its limitations.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

Also, if by truth or the real you mean simply "real" looking, then even that idea can get sticky. I, myself, see many applications of image processing as sort if chic mannerism, arbitrary. I think this has led to much of the vitriol involving heavy handed uses of HDR imagery. But, what we perceive as the realist possible image, is still often a degree of abstraction from the mechanics of our eyes. Is a black and white image, with otherwise normal appearing contrast and dynamic range, true enough.

0 upvotes
RichardBalonglong
By RichardBalonglong (3 months ago)

What are you talking about? There are at least 13 images there about documentary and obviously are legit and not staged. There's one that's staged, and there's one candid.
All of those images are realistic and true, it happened that they are all captured in great lighting and moment...

3 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

Richard, I'm not sure if you are directing your comment at me or the original poster. I only mentioned staging as an example of truth fudged by prominently regarded "documentary photographers", particularly early figures. That example was used to address an idea expressed in the original post. I never spoke of staging in reference to any of the shortlisted photos here.

0 upvotes
RichardBalonglong
By RichardBalonglong (3 months ago)

@ b craw: Oh, that's for the OP.. ;)

1 upvote
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (3 months ago)

Good work from all concerned, hard to pick a winner really. Also nice that we don't know what gear they use.

I hope there is a prize of some sort.

2 upvotes
Rocky ID Olympian
By Rocky ID Olympian (3 months ago)

A price of "product of the year 2013" for the "challenge of challenge of the year 2013" would be a great idea ;-)

1 upvote
AmirhosainD90
By AmirhosainD90 (3 months ago)

As you can see, it's obvious that all of these shots are extremely manipulated. So this is CG challenge, not photography challenge!
I'm hero, if I could take a super shot by proper selection of subject, frame, exposure, speed, Angle, ... right on the scene and submit my shot SOOC. Everyone can sit behind his laptop and render an artificial design better than these by "3D Max", "Photoshop", "Corel", ... even without a camera.
At last, photographers should separate their ways from graphistes!

3 upvotes
ventur
By ventur (3 months ago)

by your standards Ansel Adams didn't make photography either right? he was the king of "Photoshop" of its time, but that doesn't make him less photographer, does it?

6 upvotes
Master Yoda
By Master Yoda (3 months ago)

@AmirhosainD90 . . . you raise an interesting question. How much of today's photography is truly "straight out of the camera" vs manipulated in some way via software? Software indeed has gotten so clever that you can actually "make" a photo at this point. However, if you take a look at what modern day cameras can do in terms of altering an image even "within the camera itself" where does that leave us in terms of photographic purity . . . which you seem to be after. I think we have what we have.

4 upvotes
arbuz
By arbuz (3 months ago)

DP in dpreview stands for digital photography. So welcome to the digital photography.

1 upvote
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (3 months ago)

Master Yoda, I disagree that you can "make" a photo in post processing, a picture is even good or it isn't. You can enhance or play down certain things but if the composition, focusing and exposure aren't there to start with you are just trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

And it was always that way...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Rocky ID Olympian
By Rocky ID Olympian (3 months ago)

Extremely manipulated? CG? All? Are you sure what you are talking about?

3 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

...a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

I'm just going to choose to decontextualize that expression. I simply like the way it sounds.

0 upvotes
RichardBalonglong
By RichardBalonglong (3 months ago)

Extremely manipulated?? Not even one of the images presented are manipulated. The colors and contrasts were just enhanced, but not manipulated.
The way you talk about photography, it seems that you're just a guy with an camera and just use it for pixel-peeping.
I advise you to get out and capture photographs more often in the field and in good lighting situation, great subjects, and using skills in photography in actual shoot, and not just sitting in front of your computer and bashing others' images as if you're the master of photography...

3 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (3 months ago)

All amazing images. Every one a winner!

2 upvotes
racketman
By racketman (3 months ago)

25 photos is ample and assuming they were the ones with the most votes in the year a reasonable way to compile a shortlist. Athlete was my first pick, dynamic image.

1 upvote
Tom Nokin
By Tom Nokin (3 months ago)

For next years 2014 annual challenges competiton I would suggest a short list to vote on in the categorie "Best photos taken with the five worst reviewed cameras". That would be fun!

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
14 upvotes
Crixus
By Crixus (3 months ago)

Awesome!

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

That is a brilliant idea.

How about a contest to assess the aesthetic outcomes of a Holga images vs. those by DSLR's exceeding the $1500 mark? Might lead to some persons reconsidering perceived advantages of expensive gear, if only observing this criterion.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

I meant your idea is brilliant. Seriously, I'd like to see it materialize.

0 upvotes
Tom Nokin
By Tom Nokin (3 months ago)

25 out of so many challenges is simply not enough. 100 entries like so many challenges would be much better. There could also be more than one category "best shot", but rather several categories, like people, portrait, landscape, wildlife, sport, macro..

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Tom Nokin
By Tom Nokin (3 months ago)

This is a very strange selection of 25 photos out of so many challenges. 25 is a very very small number to begin with. Also, some of the photos are only nice, but by no means in any way special. I would argue, there are thousands of pictures in the challenges, that a more artistic and would represent much better entries on a short list than some. And there are three portraits, three macros, but only one real landscape, no real architecture, no sport, ... And finally, it is not clear by which criterion dpreview compiled this short list. Total number of votes, margin of winner against competition would at least honor the voting of so many participants. And I doubt, whether many of the 25 would have made into this list based on this.

6 upvotes
samfan
By samfan (3 months ago)

So how do you view the images in larger size?

2 upvotes
australopithecus
By australopithecus (3 months ago)

It really is impossible to vote for "The Best Shot of the Year". Besides, so many of these have "overcooked"

7 upvotes
babalu
By babalu (3 months ago)

Most of these are very nice photographs really, and worthy of exposure to public voting .
I do have however some slight doubts about one of the entries, its author having been subject to a controverse about having used two accounts at the same time.
I will not call names or point to the photo in question, but I trust that it's known.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (3 months ago)

Whatever controversy it might be, images do not lie!

P.S. Unless plagiarized, of course.

0 upvotes
babalu
By babalu (3 months ago)

Why is there no way to have the pictures in the shortlist blown up to 100% for viewing before casting a vote ? Do I miss something and is that possibility given ?

5 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (3 months ago)

"Why is there no way [...]"

Probably because it's not pixel-peeping contest?

My first reaction was the same as yours. But then I relaxed, leaned back in my chair and simply enjoyed the best of the best of the 2013.

0 upvotes
luxor2
By luxor2 (3 months ago)

images are way too small!

7 upvotes
barb_s
By barb_s (3 months ago)

I clicked on one photo, and got into slide show mode automatically. I was able to use < > to move thru the group, and I could drag a photo to the position of choice by picking near the middle top of the large view photo.

5 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (3 months ago)

I'm going to boycoot this one as my personal favourites aren't here, and it feels a bit stupid being only allowed to vote for what the DPR team have deigned permissible. Condescending, too.

11 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (3 months ago)

why? Do you really think people are going to look through over 1000 images? It's called a shortlist, it's what we always do, and i guess that's our prerogative.

17 upvotes
Kirppu
By Kirppu (3 months ago)

Pre selected photos ok. I would have liked to have a bit more photos to compete each other. But oh well...

6 upvotes
JohnEwing
By JohnEwing (3 months ago)

While largely agreeing with Simon I'd have liked a rather wider selection too, maybe twice as many. Not just from the POV of voting, but for sheer enjoyment.

3 upvotes
Tom Nokin
By Tom Nokin (3 months ago)

I agree. The typical challenge has 100 entries and that would not be to much as a short list.

6 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (3 months ago)

@Simon Joinson: Prerogative? What is this, your personal vanity project? Maybe go and read a book about running a community oriented website.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Master Yoda
By Master Yoda (3 months ago)

@Leandros . . . well in all fairness to Simon . . . this site is NOT a deomcracy. I too issued my own thoughts as to how I would have organized this contest but I realize this is NOT a community oriented website. Like so many others it is owned by others and provided for our enjoyment/entertainment. But never mistakenly think they are obligated to run things via some social community demand. Decisions have to be made and they don't always take a vote from us on those decisions. I think most of us accept this fact.

4 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (3 months ago)

Yoda, you seem to completely misunderstand what a community oriented website is. It's not about ownership as set out in some legal document. It's about having a business model that depends on a community's goodwill, and I see that being carelessly thrown away time and again by the DPR team. If you're in doubt about the community nature of the website, maybe ask them to disable the forums for a few months and see if amazon doesn't then think to shut them down. Not going to happen though, is it? They seem to have a basic understanding of how the site works, but not much beyond that. That's why they can't attract a younger audience.

0 upvotes
Master Yoda
By Master Yoda (3 months ago)

Well Leandros I guess we just have to agree to disagree. This site is one of the most popular photography sites in existence and people seem to like it the way it is. Is it perfect? Nope. Show me a site that is. The beauty of it is you are indeed free to exit any time. We will all still be here enjoying what has been provided. Perhaps you can create a better site. It's sad that you think the DPR team has time and time again thrown away the "community goodwill" (your words). I think that's utter dribble. Clearly, you're not happy here and the easiest way to remedy that is . . . leave. Problem solved huh?

4 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

Leandros, here is one in the community that thinks you are painting the issue too broadly, and slipping into rhetorical exaggeration. But I do appreciate criticism and the idea that DPR have the best dialog possible with its audience.

1 upvote
Leandros S
By Leandros S (3 months ago)

Yoda, that is a very lazy way out of having one's incompetence flagged up - to suggest for the other party to just leave, in hopes that this will cover up one's own argumentative weaknesses. It seems that nobody is willing to do more than shrug at the very specific criticisms I've made. FWIW, the feedback forum is full of unresolved issues. I suspect you never experienced for yourself that if no criticism is made, things won't improve. That's definitely a way of NOT being creative, if that's a notion that remotely appeals to you.

0 upvotes
Skylane
By Skylane (3 months ago)

What favourities? You have never voted in any Challenge! You certainly are not a contributing member to the challenge community of DPR.

0 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (3 months ago)

Skylane, I am sure you were born that way. :)

0 upvotes
Master Yoda
By Master Yoda (3 months ago)

Alright, I voted . . . but I kind of felt bad about it. I realize you're trying to get one ring to rule all other rings. But I just think it would have been fairer to select the best of a couple of categories of images. Trying to say a given macro is "better" than a landscape or a portrait just doesn't seem fair to the photographers. In other words, compare apples to apples. Still, they are all very good images and I wish them all luck.

19 upvotes
JohnEwing
By JohnEwing (3 months ago)

Oh, I don't know. I don't judge pictures on technical considerations but by how long they hold me and how often I go back to them. This works for all varieties of image - and in fact it does judge the technical merit, since all the "rules" aim at making captivating photos.

2 upvotes
chrisby
By chrisby (3 months ago)

John, I entirely agree with you!
Master Yoda, in general you are right; in many big contests there are different genres or groups. But how many genres you would define here at dpr? And how would you take a well deserved challenge win into account, when the win was based not only on the nice foto, but additionaly in particular in connection with a creative interpretation of a challenge theme? This aspect is also not - and could not be - covered with the dpr preselection.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (3 months ago)

John, I'm not so much concerned with structural distinctions like Animal/Portrait/Landscape/Macro (although that might merit consideration); my overarching concern as an educator is that work, not perhaps providing an obvious or immediate visual gratification, but perhaps very sophisticated and rewarding conceptually with lengthier consideration, tends to receive few accolades. I realize that this site serves a very broad audience. But a great deal of the most impactful and important images in photography's history are, upon first impression, confounding and challenging. But the ultimate rewards are potentially more profound to the viewer. It does frustrate me that so many photographers, especially younger ones, are seeing a rather one-dimensional appreciation of the medium (I acknowledge that that might come off to some as a bit too much of a generalization).

0 upvotes
Rocky ID Olympian
By Rocky ID Olympian (3 months ago)

Done voting without any problem.

1 upvote
chr1st1an
By chr1st1an (3 months ago)

One word for all: "WOW".

2 upvotes
PERCY2
By PERCY2 (3 months ago)

I'm getting Submit Vote Error and how will i know if my vote has been successfully submitted?..

Regards
Percy

0 upvotes
PERCY2
By PERCY2 (3 months ago)

it's okay now

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
LouMeluso
By LouMeluso (3 months ago)

Ah, whine and moan! A favorite pastime on DPReview. A nice selection of images. Congrats to all that were picked and THANKS to DPReview for sponsoring the contest!

5 upvotes
dms nyc
By dms nyc (3 months ago)

Some very nice images--but none are very subtle, and the best ones are somewhat derivative (as an example the shaft of light on the sole person in church reminds one of the famous picture in NYC grand central station w/ shaft of light on them--the photographer name escapes me now); and none are worthy of the accolade of "being the best."

1 upvote
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (3 months ago)

As they are taken from challenges that are voted on by other readers, they must be the "best" - by definition.

1 upvote
Total comments: 121