What Are Your Voting Criteria?

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kaphinga Veteran Member • Posts: 3,600
What Are Your Voting Criteria?

Just curious, what are your criteria for scoring challenges?

Me? I pretend that I am putting together a photo book about whatever the challenge topic is, rated as follows:

1 star - Needs to be disqualified, usually because it totally doesn't follow the rules (e.g. -- submitting a picture of a dog in a cat challenge). On very rare occasions I have rated something a  "1" because the content is offensive.

1.5 stars - The photographer has done something egregiously bad to the image.  Most often, it's extremely overcooked HDR that has destroyed every ounce of tonality.  Occasionally, it can be images that are severely underexposed, overexposed, or out of focus. Fortunately, I don't see too many of these images, although it really depends on the challenge.

2 stars - Snapshot.  Focus and exposure are generally okay, but there are some serious problems with composition and/or light. No thanks. It won't make it into my book.

3 - 3.5 stars -  Decent image.  It's a candidate but not a shoe-in for my hypothetical book.

4 - 4.5 stars - Definitely would want to include this image in my hypothetical book.

5 stars - Wow!  Just wow!  Cream of the crop.

Occasionally, I will bump a snapshot up a level when the content is compelling or the content makes me think about the topic in a different way.  For example, I boosted a couple of entries in the recent airport challenge because some of the really tiny airports were so unlike my preconceived notion of an airport.  Sometimes, there's a snapshot that provides context or gives an additional dimension to the set.

Sometimes, too, I will dock an image a bit, usually half a star, for distracting but easily fixable flaws.  Couldn't you have just cloned out that little _____ (piece of trash, finger, power line, or whatever)? Or, maybe a minor crop would make a big improvement. I usually try to stay out of color judgements because it's so subjective, but sometimes I will dock an image when there's an obvious color issue that could be resolved easily.

Then after the initial voting, I will do a quick second pass over my votes.

*  If I get to the end of the voting, and I don't have any 4.5 or 5 star images, I will usually boost a few of my favorites from the 4 star group.

* Also, if I see a lot of images of the same thing shot the same way, I might try to distribute my ratings so that they aren't all rated the same.

Oh yeah, and I don't vote on topics that I don't know much about. I don't know enough about bird and airplane photography, for example, to make a decent judgement.

So, I shared my method of voting.  What's yours?   There are no right or wrong answers here.  I'm just curious about what everybody else does.

(I apologize if this has been asked before.  I went through about a year's worth of previous discussions and didn't see this as a topic.)

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