Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?

Started Feb 19, 2013 | Questions
Wildbegonia
Wildbegonia Contributing Member • Posts: 546
Re: Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?

OldArrow wrote:

merops wrote:

...

Forgive me, but you still seem to be missing my point.

2 questions:

- Should images be judged at max size/resolution?

- Is images with good thumbnails doing well evidence that people are judging from thumbnails?

My point is that these are two separate questions, and that it's possible for the answer to the first question to be yes, and the answer to the second question to be no. Indeed, from a logical perspective, the answer to the second question is no (it's not evidence, despite being consistent with this interpretation), because we cannot tell from the obseravtion whether it comes about because people are judging from thumbnails, or whether images that are judged highly at full size also look good as thumbnails. (ie A and B are related, but did A cause B, or B cause A?)

The first question is a matter of opinion, and I'm quite happy to accept yours as being much better informed than mine

OK, although I think it is not that simple, I'd say that yes, the entries should be judged at the highest quality resolution available (depending upon the three sizes provided by the program, and the original resolution / size provided by the entrant).

An image with good-looking thumbnail is likely, but not automatically, the one that may have been judged as a thumbnail.

In such case, the image will be improperly viewed, and thus unjustly judged - as any image that was not properly seen to be evaluated. But such an image is also likely to be more often enlarged for viewing / judging, than those entries which have not so good looking thumbnails.

And of course, there is absolutely no evidence as to how people will vote. Whatever voting mode you can imagine, I'm sure there is someone that applies it. Voters will differ in their approach, rule-awareness, photographic knowlege, thematical familiarity, personal preferences (photos, themes, cameras, color, BW, effects, cultural/sociological/educational/religious, etc.), responsibility, computer skills, even things like monitor calibration.

So the causality is rather more like knit than tied. And however you look at things, the fact is that we do not know, except that anything possible is actually happening.

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Fil

In conclusion, it is pretty much a miracle that we humans are walking upon this planet! and a lesser one that a master piece photo will make it to the top win.

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"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in" Leonard Cohen

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merops
merops Senior Member • Posts: 2,190
Re: Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?

El Crapio wrote:

merops wrote:

- Is images with good thumbnails doing well evidence that people are judging from thumbnails?

No, "horrid images that look good as thumbnails" doing well is evidence that some people are voting without viewing the photos properly.

Look at this one for example. Full view tells a different story, than thumbnail or small view.

http://www.dpreview.com/challenges/Entry.aspx?ID=668393

I'll give you that images that look good as thumbnails, but not at larger sizes, would be evidence for people judging from thumbnails.

However, it's your interpretation that they look good as thumbnails and horrid at larger resolutions. The thing I most dislike about this photo is that the headlight illumination runs down the side of the road. They should have parked their car on the road to take the picture (this would probably be completely illegal   ). This is equally visible on the thumbnail. I might have voted a different way from the way you think I should have done (it's really impossible for me to make a judgment now of how I would have voted), but it wouldn't have been because of a difference between the thumbnail and full size image

El Crapio
El Crapio Forum Member • Posts: 76
Re: Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?

merops wrote:

I'll give you that images that look good as thumbnails, but not at larger sizes, would be evidence for people judging from thumbnails.

However, it's your interpretation that they look good as thumbnails and horrid at larger resolutions. The thing I most dislike about this photo is that the headlight illumination runs down the side of the road. They should have parked their car on the road to take the picture (this would probably be completely illegal ). This is equally visible on the thumbnail. I might have voted a different way from the way you think I should have done (it's really impossible for me to make a judgment now of how I would have voted), but it wouldn't have been because of a difference between the thumbnail and full size image

Did you notice the sloppy post processing? This is not visible on thumbnail or small view. The noise levels are not visible on small view. When you vote on slideshow these faults start to show.

Keep in mind that this photo also won a 6th place on another challenge.

Also, no, it's not my interpretation. It looks horrid. Plain and simple.

merops
merops Senior Member • Posts: 2,190
Re: Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?

El Crapio wrote:

merops wrote:

I'll give you that images that look good as thumbnails, but not at larger sizes, would be evidence for people judging from thumbnails.

However, it's your interpretation that they look good as thumbnails and horrid at larger resolutions. The thing I most dislike about this photo is that the headlight illumination runs down the side of the road. They should have parked their car on the road to take the picture (this would probably be completely illegal ). This is equally visible on the thumbnail. I might have voted a different way from the way you think I should have done (it's really impossible for me to make a judgment now of how I would have voted), but it wouldn't have been because of a difference between the thumbnail and full size image

Did you notice the sloppy post processing? This is not visible on thumbnail or small view. The noise levels are not visible on small view. When you vote on slideshow these faults start to show.

Keep in mind that this photo also won a 6th place on another challenge.

Also, no, it's not my interpretation. It looks horrid. Plain and simple.

I noticed that there is a lot of noise in the full size image, but for me the eccentric illumination is much more disconcerting, and stands out even on the thumbnail. (Incidentally, the DPR voting tips says to vote on how aesthetically pleasing you find the image and does nor explicitly mention technical issues, and for me noise does not detract majorly from the aesthetics.) Clearly, I might have voted differently from you, but you would be wrong in concluding that was because I had not looked at the full size image and noticed the noise. Equally you cannot conclude that those who voted for the image had only looked at the thumbnail.

El Crapio
El Crapio Forum Member • Posts: 76
Re: Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?

merops wrote:

I noticed that there is a lot of noise in the full size image, but for me the eccentric illumination is much more disconcerting, and stands out even on the thumbnail. (Incidentally, the DPR voting tips says to vote on how aesthetically pleasing you find the image and does nor explicitly mention technical issues, and for me noise does not detract majorly from the aesthetics.) Clearly, I might have voted differently from you, but you would be wrong in concluding that was because I had not looked at the full size image and noticed the noise. Equally you cannot conclude that those who voted for the image had only looked at the thumbnail.

I'm not going to argue for the sake of argument. You are correct. I cannot conclude anything. And this:

is not horrid. Just my interpretation. Most people would still have given this photo 1st place after seeing this.

Occam's Razor

merops
merops Senior Member • Posts: 2,190
Re: Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?

I'm not suggesting that you don't find the image horrid. Nor that your judgement is not more informed than someone like mine's. The only thing I dispute is that you can conclude that the people who voted for the image had not looked at the thumbnail

Deleted pending purge Senior Member • Posts: 1,197
Re: Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?
1

This reminds me of another discussion about a certain photo, where someone commented: "It looks like it was photographed with a payphone"...

My apologies to the artist... just couldn't resist...

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Fil

merops
merops Senior Member • Posts: 2,190
Re: Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?

OldArrow wrote:

This reminds me of another discussion about a certain photo, where someone commented: "It looks like it was photographed with a payphone"...

My apologies to the artist... just couldn't resist...

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Fil

christian jacob
christian jacob Regular Member • Posts: 134
Re: Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?
1

OldArrow wrote:

[..]

The industry tries to remove the photographic knowleges from the camera users, offering replacement terms, tools and ways of thinking. Never mind that the technical principle goes on using only four basic elements (blend, exposure, focal length and sensitivity), since our light has not changed (very much) from Day One till now. But ready-made "situations modes" removed even that from conisderation: nowadays it's Pets, Fireworks, Landscapes, Portraits, Birthdays, Boiled Eggs S, M, and H, things like that.

Soon it will be so, if it isn't in my Modes, it can't be photographed.

In other words: "Here comes the rabble", spoken by one Charles Dodgson, after the invention of prefabbed wet plates (he then stopped being a photographer and concentrated on other ventures).

I think you are too fixated on technical stuff.

In my opinion the important thing in a photo is the composition, the motive and how it's presented. The things you're complaining about is artisans stuff, not artistic, and making stuff easier also frees one from concentrating about exposure and thinking about how the picture should look like.

The people you are complaining about wouldn't shoot better photos if they hadn't got all those help from their cameras, it would be worse.

And it was, as recounted in endless jokes about horrible holiday slide presentations, it is the internet which, well, empowers the tide of not quite good pictures; you are complaining about the wrong technology

And then we have the Challenges, richly visited by such photographers. Luckily, not all are like this, and there still is this minor part that knows what they do with their tackle. These, and many among the more interested, would like to learn more. They expect this to come from their challenge-evaluated work.

Do they get what they want from the challenges being the way these are now? Hardly. The stats, the undefined challenges, votings and whatever else we know goes on, nothing can really ensure any consistent response. Thus, no progress can be measured, or used to any advantage. Looking at almost all of this Forum's themes, you can see the truth in this. The Challenges, the way these are, produce yet more mediocrity, against all good intentions.

Well, you can find out (after some interpretation and cleaning out of "dirty" data) what is popular, which is an rather interesting fact in its own.

Important is not so much if you got place 40 or 85 in a challenge of 100 entries, but how the votes are distributed.

If it's a nice gaussian with a maximum at 1.5, it's a bad photo; if it has a more chaotic distribution, many lower votes, but also some high ones, it is at least divisive.

Also, there is no objective ruleset of what constitutes a good picture without exceptions to the contrary, and all such rules are more or less social constructions depending on our culture.

Even the importance of such things as the golden cut, which one can find everywhere in nature, can greatly differ, and if we say a photo is better because it follows it  or it's dumber brother the rule of thirds, is it not mostly because we learned it that way? It is often (not always) better to not center the motive, eye, whatever, but sometimes it can. And perfectly aligning it with a mathematical expression seldom helps, because there are other things like colour influencing the observer (and in different ways for each individuum).

Elsewhere in the thread you wrote that the simpler a picture, the better. But this is also in great part a sign of the times, of the way we consume pictures. Many old paintings, which stood the test of time, are filled with detail to explore (all the while with a strong and meaningful composition), because they were ment as a long lasting experience. This changed, and when photographs with many people / details in them became possible thanks to better film, the reductionism of modernism was in full swing.

Also, it just plain easier to get a good composition with only a few components; that doesn't mean it is the only possible way.

But I think I've got lost in my train of thought -- I blame having a traditional bavarian breakfast for my incoherent ramblings

There is a huge, previously written quantity of text upon what to do about it... Will it ever happen?

Dunno.

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Fil

Well, it happens all the time (in part now).

What will never happen is getting to an all-satisfying answer -- and this is a good thing in my opinion.

Deleted pending purge Senior Member • Posts: 1,197
Re: Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?
2

Very well said, and I agree with it totally, since I have no beef with technology as such. Maybe I'm conservatively on the side of those who mantain that the basics of photography still can be learned by understanding the four elementary variables, which remained the same through all times... Not many decide to do it, though, relying upon some programming to set the camera up for them, and forgetting that the basic knowlege replaces all the shooting modes, and sometimes saves critical time.

Many times I find it quicker to "cheat" the automatic setting, rather than spending time dialling the proper program, and the images are none the worse for that. But after several decades of doing it, I know what to expect, because that's what I was doing decades ago with mechanical cameras, and without light or distance metering - especially uderwater.

Where I see the problem is, a lot of people that I know go and buy a new camera every two years or so, and their explanation is, "I need something better, this one I have outgrown." What they are actually after, is some new, magic Auto Setup that would "work much better"...

Granted, those are mainly young folks, not much experience there, but plenty of eagerness to snap that one-in-a-lifetime picture. Nothing wrong with that, per se.

Still, the cameras they want to replace are way better than mine (technically), and there is no real need to invest in the material part of the hobby. But reading the ads, reports, news etc... they somehow get the feeling that the new, advanced box will be guaranteed to deliver stunning results! The industry helps them think that way, although it will never depend on the camera. An image is 90% photographer, 10% gear, and that's the way it has always been, and I guess it will so remain. That's the consequence of this sorry lack of learning the basics.

And that's also the reason for my rant, up there.

No big deal. Every school costs, and good schools cost a lot. Also, everyone learns in their own unique tempo. But you know all that.

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Fil

ws1967 Senior Member • Posts: 1,054
Re: Is Your Challenge Entry a Winner?

very well said, too !

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