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So Confused
  
 
oldrattler
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p.1 #1 · So Confused


I have been fortunate enough to have won a few "Assignments" and have had images receive absolutely zero votes. Would you be kind enough to tell me, IYHO, why one is a winner and another a loser, figuratively. Why, because I can not figure what constitutes a great image. Thank you, Jim
























Sep 23, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Oregon Gal
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p.1 #2 · So Confused


Jim, I don't know if there is really an answer to your question. The competition for the WA and MA is compromised of excellent photographers with a large number of outstanding images. It is very hard to predict which images will be chosen and for what reason.


Sep 23, 2013 at 03:10 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #3 · So Confused


Ooooh-Boy ... Pandora just flipped her lid.

My short version is about "draw the eye" so that you can "deliver the message". When you achieve those two things, imo you have created a powerful image.

But, there will always be the "audience" aspect of anything that is created. One can build a Bugatti with a beautiful boat-tail design and incredible power and handling ... and it still not be appreciated by a group of farmers and coal miners that don't value design the same way they do something you can beat to death and still get the job done.

The Edsel wasn't well received, the GB500 wasn't well received, the FXRT wasn't well received. Today, the GB500 is a collectors item ... beautifully simple bike. The creators of the GB500 didn't do anything wrong. The FXRT is arguably one of the greatest sport/touring bikes built. It was the audience that lacked the appreciation for what had been done. This is always going to be a piece of the "art" puzzle ... the relative timing/reaction that is in part dependent upon the mood/style/value/temperament/appreciation of the audience.

Take the same bike/image/car/quilt/sculpture and put it before a different audience ... or the same audience in a different time/place and you can get different reactions.

I was at a bike show yesterday ... there were several bikes that got "passed over" that would have taken strong honors for their bling and creativity on another day. But the mood of the day (trend) seemed to be toward heritage and sublime. Come back next year with the same bikes and you'll get different results.

Another thing ... is it viewed as different, new, energizing, creative or tired, we've seen it before. Then there is the "inspection" for technical and appreciation for difficulty factor.

Pandora could go on (and likely will later ), but I strive for the two points above (eye/message) as salient points toward image making that I have a degree of control/input toward. When it comes to the audience liking/not liking ... well, that's a bit more out of my control (unless I pick the audience).

Edited on Sep 23, 2013 at 05:16 PM · View previous versions



Sep 23, 2013 at 03:27 PM
Bert DeMars
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p.1 #4 · So Confused


Jim,

Thank you for broaching the subject. First, you can throw up just about any image you want in the Assignments monthly or weekly categories and its not monitored for following the theme. Next, they repeat the same Assignment themes on a yearly basis, and folks try to copy winning shots from former years. Anymore, winning shots seem to fall into the good-old-boy’s and girl’s club. No offense intended. Also, you would think that the work submitted would be judged on photography and editing skills - not always the case. I’ve also seen work put up that was more than a year old. Its possible to take an image and change the EXIF data. There’s a program for it.

Why spend the time and effort to plan out a shot, travel or set up studio lighting, make a series of exposures, and do the editing, when its a crapshoot in judging.

Bert



Sep 23, 2013 at 04:28 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #5 · So Confused


As others have said, there are many variables that effect a "Win". Social aspects, quality, creativity, execution of the work, the competition, perhaps how many wins others have had. And the quality of most entries and all the winners seems very strong to my eye.
I can tell you how I (consciously) vote, but not what others do. To respond to your question about the images above I would need to know the assignment title and the competitors. Or provide feedback about how I perceive your image meeting the assignment goal. Personally, I wont vote for an image that isnt close to the assignment title itself, however creatively it deviates. And I do tend to side with the underdog, so in a close call I probably tilt towards someone who has not yet one but is still quite deserving of special recognition.
I wasnt aware people were resubmitting photos. A shame, since I think the time period criterion is important in the challenge of these assignments.

I like the Heinekin product shot. Well done.
The kettle does nothing for me and the blue/pink ribbons in the background left distract.
I find it hard to judge religiously themed material, but I find the abrupt cut off of the wrists, although uneven, disturbing. Perhaps your intention.
I like the thought you put into the last one. Not sure the title of the WA/MA. Coffee? I first see a roughly continental US shaped figure, than the mug. Maybe a homegrown brew?

Scott



Sep 23, 2013 at 04:56 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · So Confused


Well, as to the WA ... I don't do it for the judging @ voting. The intent (as I understand it) is to use the WA as a springboard for self-development with the theme/competition as the catalyst for self-improvement.

Even if I enter an image that receives zero votes ... I am the real judge as to whether or not I have grown in the ability to produce what it is that I desired to produce. Granted the votes do give cause to reflect on why others are/not voting for it. But, in the end those votes (even if you win) are not indicative of my growth or self-challenge that I've applied to the WA effort.

Sure, the votes "feel good" and are likely an indicator ... but an indicator is not the tell all. Sometimes I learn more about my work from those submissions that receive zero votes than I do a winning image or one that finds much favor. For me, the entire premise of the WA is about having a platform for self-development ... kind of the yin-yang of the PC forum. In that, where we groan at micro-nits, technical processing, philosophical, historical, and dialogue to the Nth degree ... the WA is a very different kind of evaluation input from others that just boils down to "I like it". The information from the votes is just as viable at accept/reject the input as it is here or anywhere else for that matter. Glean from it what you can use and don't worry about that which adds little value to your growth or development.

And always remember ... who is it that you are shooting for ... others or yourself. We can emulate or we can create. Sometimes we have a foot in both camps and that is usually confusing times for us as we are transitioning from one to the other.

FWIW, (imo) I've seen growth/progression in your work Jim ... sometimes accompanied with a vote, sometimes not. It gets kinda tough when Karen, Scott, Barabra, Jim, Jim, Jim and Jim et al all enter good stuff at the same time. To be honest ... sometimes I vote an image for the image itself. Sometimes I vote an image because I can see the effort/progress that an individual put into the image and I offer it as a vote of confidence. My reason for "I like it" isn't always because it is the prettiest, most dynamic or most popular. Sometimes "I like it" because of the message it brings, and sometimes that message is "Hey, this person is really stepping their game up." ... I like that.

HTH


Edited on Sep 23, 2013 at 05:26 PM · View previous versions



Sep 23, 2013 at 04:58 PM
gregfixit
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p.1 #7 · So Confused


Really good question Jim,
As soon as I read your post I asked myself how do I decide which image to vote for. The process of voting is similar to the process of posting. I get one shot and I want it to count.
If I see something that I think is really cool, and I would not have thought of it in a million years, and I have no idea how they did that, it will probably get my vote. If there isn't one of those and I see something that speaks to me, and is really cool, I vote for it. If there are a bunch of images that fall into the first two categories, I vote based on quality, then creativity. If there is still a tie (in my mind) I make my girlfriend tell me which one is better.
I will always check the creation date before voting because I'm a stickler for the rules. I have also tried to make it a habit to comment on all the photos that appeal to me. I get only one vote but I can comment all I want.
In looking at the 4 photos you attached to this post it is clear that they are all different in style and composition. They can all be appealing but it's no surprise that they would appeal to different people differently.
I for one have only been on this forum for a few months but because of the WA and MA, and because of really skilled photographers, (yourself included) sharing their work, I have taken fewer photos but I have more 'keepers' than ever.



Sep 23, 2013 at 05:02 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #8 · So Confused


As Greg said:


I for one have only been on this forum for a few months but because of the WA and MA, and because of really skilled photographers, (yourself included) sharing their work, I have taken fewer photos but I have more 'keepers' than ever.

Cant get a better outcome than that!!

Scott



Sep 23, 2013 at 05:09 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #9 · So Confused


sbeme wrote:
As Greg said:

I for one have only been on this forum for a few months but because of the WA and MA, and because of really skilled photographers, (yourself included) sharing their work, I have taken fewer photos but I have more 'keepers' than ever.

Cant get a better outcome than that!!

Scott


+1 @ put down the machine gun, pick up the chisel and embark upon "iron sharpens iron".



Sep 23, 2013 at 05:19 PM
 

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Bert DeMars
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p.1 #10 · So Confused


RusyBug wrote: "Well, as to the WA ... I don't do it for the judging @ voting. The intent (as I understand it) is to use the WA as a springboard for self-development with the theme/competition as the catalyst for self-improvement".

Then why make it a judging contest? Why not a "Like" tag like other forums.



Sep 23, 2013 at 06:28 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #11 · So Confused


A few things from the WA rules that stand out for me are noted below. Not everyone may feel the significance of them the same way, but this is largely how/why I derive my perspective regarding the WA.


Excerpted from WA rules @ http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/assignment_rules.htm
Please help maintain this board as a learning tool for the photographers who participate.
Growth tool.

the weekly assignment should highlight your photographic skills, not your software knowledge.
Although software knowledge for processing is integral to the medium.

If more feedback is needed before posting here, first post your image in the Critique forum. Then post your final shot here.
Yin-Yang



Sep 23, 2013 at 07:00 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #12 · So Confused


Judging is hard to predict. Usually, folks look no only for something that appeals to them, but also for reasons to reject candidates. To the original question, the first is a sort of commercial image, generally not respected much as art. The second subject has potential but the lighting position and composition let it down. Interesting lighting and rendition of the third in general, photos of art works are more a credit to the artist than the photographer which reduces its appeal. Forming a coffee cup shape from beans is amusing, but as photography it's pretty much a record shot. Is a record shot of creative idea doesn't necessarily do well as a photograph.


Sep 23, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #13 · So Confused


It did not take a second for me to guess that the first was a popular image and the others were not.

To be popular an image has to have impact when viewed under poor conditions, seen from a distance or from a very small thumb and finally the subject has to be simple and easily recognized. No subtle stories, no complicated images, no abstracts, no images which require thought or detailed observation.

I did camera club competitions for a couple of years where you would expect a pretty high level of judging, but it was not much was different than the my guidelines for popular appeal. At the local camera club, judges spent a while looking at the entries and made comments. Later on I went to watch the regional judging and gained a true appreciation. Three judges scored each entry in a mass production manner. The judges were about 15-20' back from the prints which were a maximum of 12x18. Judges pushed electronic scoring keys and on average the 3 scores were completed within 5 seconds of the time that each print was displayed. I quickly learned not to take competition seriously. In fact I also decided that the oversaturated and overprocessed images that had appeal did not fit my idea of good photography.



Sep 23, 2013 at 09:40 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #14 · So Confused


Through my experience with the WA, I'd have to go along with Jim @ those images that require thought or have subtle/sublime aspects ... great contenders for zero votes as I've been there numerous times. However, those same images have been well received in other venues with greater appreciation.

So much depends on whether the audience wants some eye candy or some brain food as to how it gets received ... Moonrise Over Hernandez and Monolith would probably not do well in many competitions today.



Sep 23, 2013 at 09:47 PM
oldrattler
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p.1 #15 · So Confused


Wow, I am so grateful for the feedback. I ask as I feel confident that I am abiding by the rules and attempting to generate "New" material. But, at the same time nothing is original. You can Goggle virtually anything and find examples. I also see repetitive images, repetitive themes that perpetuate the redundant offering. Again, people vote for them so does it really matter. To me, I enjoy the challenge & experience gained in the execution. The vote is secondary, but appreciated. I actually do not vote. My wife selects her favorite, thereby, hopefully, eliminating prejudice or favoritism. When I look at all the entries I note what I consider to be better than mine and attempt to determine why I prefer theirs. I have to say that people are fickled. I cannot determine what they like, or expect. Therefore, I will endeavor to perceiver. Thanks, you guys & gals are the best. Jim


Sep 23, 2013 at 10:02 PM
eeneryma
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p.1 #16 · So Confused


Here are some of the things that I think about:

What is my vision or statement in a given work or body of work?
In my mind, have I expressed it clearly and succinctly to the best of my ability?
When I step back and look at what I've created, does it give me a personal sense of satisfaction?

It's natural for us to look for approval and validation from others, especially our peers. Ultimately, I do photography though because like any creative activity, it brings a sense of inner joy and accomplishment (as well as frustrations) that has few equals.
If others connect with my "art", that is the cherry on top.



Sep 24, 2013 at 01:35 PM
oldrattler
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p.1 #17 · So Confused


eeneryma wrote:
Here are some of the things that I think about:

What is my vision or statement in a given work or body of work?
In my mind, have I expressed it clearly and succinctly to the best of my ability?
When I step back and look at what I've created, does it give me a personal sense of satisfaction?

It's natural for us to look for approval and validation from others, especially our peers. Ultimately, I do photography though because like any creative activity, it brings a sense of inner joy and accomplishment (as well as frustrations) that has few equals.
If others connect with
...Show more

I believe it is safe to say most photographers have an inner desire to be "Best in Show", or “you have been selected for the cover of". Unfortunately, or fortunately, this seldom comes to pass. Not being a psychologist / psychiatrist I must rely on my interpretation of my inner self. I am introverted in that I work alone, as do most photographers. I am extraverted in that I love showing my images and draw great pleasure from peer recognition. This creates the juxtaposed dimension to continue shooting, processing, and showing regardless of the consensus. We are one wild & crazy congregate. Jim



Sep 24, 2013 at 02:16 PM





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