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Thread: Dear Guest: Competitions : Change to the Rules (please read)

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Dear Guest: Competitions : Change to the Rules (please read)

    NOTE: your username in the thread title is customised. Each member sees their own username


    As you would be aware our competitions are based on the premise that entries are anonymous. Thus we have in place a rule that does not allow any photo posted to the forums in the 30 days before a competition starts (or during the competition) to be entered.

    We have had numerous instances lately where the spirit of this is being pushed to the limit, where members are entering a photo to the competitions that they have also posted extremely similar photos to the forums at the same time. For example two portrait photos and the only visible difference is the head is tilted slightly differently, and the photos are probably taken within a second of each other. We have seen landscape entries that the only difference is the position of a bird flying through the scene and ever so slightly different cloud position due to the wind.

    We have therefore decided that as some members cannot enter into the spirit of what anonymous competitions and the 30 day rule is about, that we are changing the rules to enforce it.

    Both the Photo of the Week and the Photo of the Month now have the following clause in their rules. This is effective for every competition that starts from this time (Monday 8th April 2013 @ 7.20 pm AEST).

    Any photograph entered must not have been placed on Ausphotography, or the entry must not be obviously from the same photographer, based on shoot location and subject matter, such that anonymity is effectively bypassed, in the 30 days prior to the competition opening date.


    Therefore any entry that is extremely similar to a photo posted to the forums by the same photographer, will be disqualified.

    We are also considering extending the 30 day limit to 90 days, but we are still discussing this at this time, and I will post again if we change the rules in that regard.
    Last edited by ricktas; 27-05-2013 at 5:38am.
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    Rick,
    As this post is addressed directly to me can you please give me an indication as to where and when I breached this rule.

    If I breached the rule it was not done intentionally and I will try not to do it again.
    Cheers
    Darey

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    We are also considering extending the 30 day limit to 90 days, ....
    FWIW good idea.
    Personally, a photo already posted to AP is no longer anon..
    Have done it before and am about to enter a comp with a previously posted photo, but I reckon any photo posted on AP CC forums should not be allowed to be entered into a later comp.
    The photo can be posted after the comp for feedback.
    How you and the mods keep up with all this beats me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darey View Post
    Rick,
    As this post is addressed directly to me can you please give me an indication as to where and when I breached this rule.

    If I breached the rule it was not done intentionally and I will try not to do it again.
    It's not, well it is, but its addressed personally to everyone
    I.e. each user see their own " Guest " name .

    Magic technology
    Last edited by Kym; 08-04-2013 at 7:28pm.
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    What Kym said Darey. I posted this thread so each member sees their own name in the thread title. I wanted to get as many members as possible viewing this thread, and using a site tool that makes each person's username appear in the thread title would get their attention.

    So Kym sees Kym
    I see ricktas
    Mark L sees his name
    and you see Darey.
    Last edited by ricktas; 08-04-2013 at 7:39pm.

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    I've never entered into comp in the years I've been a member, but I do think that the rue needs to be expanded a little further to - not just Ausphotograhy, but the Internet.

    Many members have dual membership(s) with other photography forums and it can be easy to post the same photo (or from the same shoot) on other sites and therefore the anonymity is broken easily.

    I truly don't understand the mentality of cheaters, but if this thread is necessary because they do exist (and sadly it's been proven over the years) I think to enter a comp the entry should be utterly an 'un- published work'.
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    f o t o w o r x

    People taking the time out to give me CC is always very much appreciated

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    I agree that it should be an image that has not been submitted on AP forums at all. I do not enter comps with photos I have already put up for comment. Not a hard rule to abide by.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I agree that it should be an image that has not been submitted on AP forums at all. I do not enter comps with photos I have already put up for comment. Not a hard rule to abide by.

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    Sounds fair enough to me. Good idea. It's a shame it's necessary to have had to do this, but that's life as we know it unfortunately.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    I've never entered into comp in the years I've been a member, but I do think that the rue needs to be expanded a little further to - not just Ausphotograhy, but the Internet.

    Many members have dual membership(s) with other photography forums and it can be easy to post the same photo (or from the same shoot) on other sites and therefore the anonymity is broken easily.

    I truly don't understand the mentality of cheaters, but if this thread is necessary because they do exist (and sadly it's been proven over the years) I think to enter a comp the entry should be utterly an 'un- published work'.
    I agree and I never enter a photo into a comp that has been on AP in the past, or posted anywhere else. But we thought about what you are saying when we created the original rules and we felt that it is not within our ability to have to watch other forums, facebook, redbubble etc to see if members have posted the same photos on them. The amount of work involved in monitoring not just AP, but other sites as well would be beyond our means. I certainly understand your position, but we felt that would be unworkable from a comp management point of view.

    Also I do not like to think of people as cheaters, they technically did not break the competition rules. But by modifying the rules we have eliminated something that has been an ongoing issue that concerned us, that impacted the anonymity of some entries.

    Re the 30 day rule, we also discussed this at length when the anonymous competitions started. We did not want to make the rules so tight that members just decided it was easier not to enter. As you note, you have not entered a comp in years. We wanted to encourage people to enter, and we felt making the rules to extreme would not be encouraging. We chose 30 days at the time as a reasonable timeframe, but we are interested in members views on this.
    Last edited by ricktas; 08-04-2013 at 9:12pm.

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Frankly, Mongo has seen this happening to varying degrees for some time but has said nothing. Mongo is glad the mods are onto this now and expanded the rule (if it's spirit wasn't plain enough already !). The more Mongo reads of the others' comments above that strongly suggest that the rules should be extended even further, the more he becomes convinced of the merit of these comments.

    In the meantime, accidentally realising who the photographer is in any comp, should' t (in theory) improve or lessen the quality of the image and thus should not influence your vote.
    Last edited by mongo; 08-04-2013 at 9:21pm.
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    I have to agree with other comments above...personally I think that a photo entered into a comp should not have been posted on AP for CC or any other reason. There is, after the comp has finished, plenty of time to repost the image for CC.

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    Hmm it's a shame that as Rick says some people can't enter into the spirit of the competition.... I mean 30 days is hardly a long time to wait to post an image again.

    There have been times when I have perhaps had an idea as to who has entered an image but to be honest it has never made any difference to my voting ... I try really hard to follow the guidelines for rating/voting on an image.

    I presumed that the mods would simply remove an entry if for any reason it was not suitable or eligible for inclusion..... not entering into the spirit of the comp...is surely a good enough reason to exclude an entry..... perhaps as is an entry entered under a topic that appears to have no connection with the topic....

    Thanks to Rick and the other mods for taking the time to check out all things AP and for keeping us all on the straight and narrow.

    - - - Updated - - -
    Last edited by la lumiere; 08-04-2013 at 10:36pm.

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    Well, my nic IS Mathy, and I got a shock However, Mathy is a nic I use on more than one forum and I'm comfortable with it, so I hope I don't have to change it

    I'm glad you posted this Rick because I've had occasions when I thought I was imagining things, because, like Mongo I have notice competition entries that I'm positive I've seen before.

    I'm not so perturbed about breaching anonymity as I am about people putting an almost identical photo in for critique close to, or during, the week of the competition, because I guess it's reasonable to assume that the comp entry image is being 'tweaked' based on the CC offered, thereby giving that person an unfair advantage. I guess the same goes for an image posted elsewhere for CC, but it would be impossible to 'police' that.

    Last week I did use a previously posted image (posted over 90 days ago - I checked before I used it). I read the forum a lot, I'm not going to remember who posted what 3 months ago, but I will pick up on something recent. I do find that as a regular forum reader, I can pick certain member's styles, but that is unavoidable

    Thanks Rick and the other Mods for the effort you put in on this issue. Sadly, some people don't 'get' the idea of a competition and it's rules having a spirit. I'm a golfer, I think it's the only sport in the world where you call a penalty on yourself, sadly lots of people don't 'get' the spirit of that either cheers Deb

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    Quote Originally Posted by la lumiere View Post
    I presumed that the mods would simply remove an entry if for any reason it was not suitable or eligible for inclusion..... not entering into the spirit of the comp...is surely a good enough reason to exclude an entry..... perhaps as is an entry entered under a topic that appears to have no connection with the topic....
    We generally do not remove entries that we feel might not meet the topic. If something really doesn't fit, like a full colour entry in a mono competition, we send the entrant a personal message and ask them how their entry meets the theme. More often than not, we get the reply of 'oops' and then we will disqualify it. If it is just an entry that we cannot work out how it meets a particular theme but it is not obvious that the entry just does not belong, we tend to leave it, cause you - the voting members - will hopefully not understand how it meets the theme either and vote it accordingly.

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    As someone who tries to cast a vote in competitions, but is not really interested in entering competitions - I think that the new rule is good - but I'd think 90 days would be better, "never" would be better still. I've seen several shots in recent comps. that I'm sure I've previously seen in forums, or their almost identical twins. And no, thinking you know who the photographer was shouldn't have an effect on your vote - but people are only human and might like to give a friend a leg-up.

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    Mainly, the competitions here are for kudos. We're not winning a million bucks here so it's a shame these rules need to be enforced in the first place. If it is cheating, and people are doing it to win that kudos, they maybe just need to get a bit of perspective about the whole thing and get back into the spirit of why the site has competitions in the first place.

    Need to say this as I am conscious of the fact I have not posted photographs much on this site, nor entered comps. I would have both posted, and entered competitions more often, but one thing I have noticed about photographs generally here is that almost without exception they are posted after post processing. I still have no idea how to use post processing software, and I can't seem to getthe opportunity to get out much specifically to take "my" photos, very time poor, and it is a fact that photographs straight out of the camera do not come up to scratch at my level of expertise. So I continue to learn from the site and provide whatever CC I'm comfortable with giving to people, while I a) get time to take more than just snap shots at family outings, and b) get some skills in post processing so I can do my photos justice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Granville View Post
    Mainly, the competitions here are for kudos. We're not winning a million bucks here so it's a shame these rules need to be enforced in the first place. If it is cheating, and people are doing it to win that kudos, they maybe just need to get a bit of perspective about the whole thing and get back into the spirit of why the site has competitions in the first place.

    Need to say this as I am conscious of the fact I have not posted photographs much on this site, nor entered comps. I would have both posted, and entered competitions more often, but one thing I have noticed about photographs generally here is that almost without exception they are posted after post processing. I still have no idea how to use post processing software, and I can't seem to getthe opportunity to get out much specifically to take "my" photos, very time poor, and it is a fact that photographs straight out of the camera do not come up to scratch at my level of expertise. So I continue to learn from the site and provide whatever CC I'm comfortable with giving to people, while I a) get time to take more than just snap shots at family outings, and b) get some skills in post processing so I can do my photos justice.
    Sounds to me like the only thing holding you back, is you! None of us were born knowing how to use photoshop etc. We all started..at the beginning. Why not put up some of your photos and specifically state you don't now how to edit, and can people give you some detailed basic steps. Also remember we have a tutorials forum here on AP, with a heap of post processing tutorials to help you on specific editing techniques.

    I think if you tell us what editing software you have, and post photos specifically asking for editing help, you will get good advice

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    Thank you for the infomation on the change of rules for comps,

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Sounds to me like the only thing holding you back, is you! None of us were born knowing how to use photoshop etc. We all started..at the beginning. Why not put up some of your photos and specifically state you don't now how to edit, and can people give you some detailed basic steps. Also remember we have a tutorials forum here on AP, with a heap of post processing tutorials to help you on specific editing techniques.

    I think if you tell us what editing software you have, and post photos specifically asking for editing help, you will get good advice
    I knew that the respnse would be thus, and of course you are absolutely correct. The thing that really irks me is now that I have found that I will enjoy photography a lot, I cannot organize myself to actually do any photography that I am happy with.

    I have purchase LR4 and have been through a number of tutorials which are on here, so it's slowly happening. I will post up some efforts to get some CC and advice.

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    I think the stipulation for either a longer period or not posted on this forum at all is reasonable in terms of the competition here.

    I completely disagree with banning the use of images posted on other forums though. If that were the case, where does the line get drawn? Does it extend to flickr, redbubble, deviant art, facebook, your own website, 500px? Personally my view with regard to presenting photographs is that I like to show my best images from a given trip and if they happen to be eligible for a competition, then I'll enter it. I think that if the idea is to 'save' images for competitions so as the best images are never visible until submitted for a competition and not displayed anywhere ; then the message is that the competition is 'means to an end' of your photographic pursuits and not the process of sharing or for CC.

    In a few weeks time, when I get back from New Zealand, I will be trying to show the places that gave me the most joy, the images I think have the most wow, the images I am most proud of. My thinking is NOT that I will be saving any images from 'x' scene/shoot so that I can enter it into a competition. Suppose I make it public knowledge that I'm visiting the west coast of New zealand and I post some sunset images of Lake Matheson on this forum while posting others on my website and other social media /forums. Is my entry of another composition from the location going to be disqualified because (a) it was taken at the same time as the posted shots (b) it was put up on my personal website (c) it was put up on another forum for CC unrelated to this forum(eg nature photography).

    Just to summarise : I agree that images already posted HERE on ausphotography and within a longer time frame should be reviewed with a view to being cut. I disagree about comments regarding posting images elsewhere on the web , and different compositions of the scene. If you disagree with what I've said, then ask yourself
    - is the competition process more important than the process of sharing your best work or putting it up your perceived best work up for CC?
    - if you instantly dislike an image because 'you've seen it before, do you really think the entrant is trying to manipulate or do you think the entrant is really just happy to have taken that photo?
    - if you instantly dislike an image because 'you've seen it before', can you not teach yourself to objectively stand back and reassess the image on its own merits rather than have personal judgment take over? (too many times I see this 'disease' in the workplace where assessments by 'x' doctor have resulted in ridicule simply because 'x' has a reputation and not based on the merits of the actual assessment)

    Ultimately a decision will be made, and I'll abide by it but at least consider just how 'competitive' you want people to be and what damaging assumptions of others may be made as a result of this process.
    Last edited by Dylan & Marianne; 09-04-2013 at 1:03pm.
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