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Thread: 2015 : Competitions and Challenges : Have your say

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    2015 : Competitions and Challenges : Have your say

    As we are heading towards the end of 2014 with only 10 weeks left, I thought now would be a good time to start a discussion about 2015.

    In particular we are looking for ideas and suggestions for our competition themes and what we can do with the Member Challenge for the coming year.

    So no matter how obvious or obscure your suggestion might be, put it forward. Cause we could all start thrashing out the ideas and concepts to come up with a plan for 2015. After all, the competitions and challenges are for the site members, so why not drive what those offer?

    Looking forward to your suggestions. Whether you be a long standing member, or have just joined, are an absolute beginner or a season pro, your thoughts and opinions count.

    Over to you!
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    You could start an overall points system for competition entries that accumulates throughout the year. For example , one point for an entry , 4 points if you make the final four and 5 points if you win , so a winning entry could get a maximum of 10 points in any given week ( 1 +4 +5 = 10) . Each photographers points accumulate throughout the year . Might encourage those who like the competitions to enter each week ? Overall winner could be photographer of the year , as opposed to Photograph of the Year . The points system would reward consistency and a there is no reason why the POTY need be taken by the same person who wins photographer of the year.

    Just my two cents worth .
    Last edited by bcys1961; 20-10-2014 at 9:32pm.
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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Now that most members have larger screens, I was wondering whether we could allow the standard 1024pixels height but with a width of 1820pixels which would allow for a 16:9 ratio. I think 1024 is a bit limiting for a width especially when so many photo rely on size to give impact, especially landscapes. It is amazing how a larger landscape photo has way more impact when viewed large. Looking at the monitor survey, most screens that people have these days are wide screen, ie 16:9 or 16:10, and height is really the main criteria that determines how well it fits especially if it is the standard 3:2 ratio. If someone is using a 3:2 ratio with a height of 1024, then standard photos would then be 1536pixels wide which would be a much more pleasing size to view and judge and fits most screens. It would seem that all of these screens that people have would accommodate the larger size or at least most of it. I know that it also comes down to what your internet connection speed is etc, but I think most of us are on decent download speeds these days.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    ^ that sounds like a new thread independent of what Rick was asking??

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcys1961 View Post
    photographer of the year.
    +1. I would, however, not include points for just entering a competition - even though that just might increase participation in the competitions it also might introduce a lot more "garbage". Also, I do not think somebody entering 52 competitions without even a single top-4 result should win over someone that enters just 5 times and wins 5 times (okay, that's easily adjusted with a different point-system).

    Anyway, as for the themes, I would suggest to do more abstract themes: "anger", "joy", "decay", "time", "new" etc. Perhaps throw in a couple of typical photoclub-themes: "light", "sound", "electricity", "red", "le moment decisif" (I know some of these have been done in the past - they are just examples to illustrate my suggestion). Personally, I think competition should reward creativity over the typical "pretty picture". It is not difficult to create a stunning image of the sun setting in the sea when you're living on the shores of the west-coast, but it becomes quite a challenge to create a seascape when the nearest sea is 500km from home.
    Last edited by jev; 21-10-2014 at 8:34pm.
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    Now that most members have larger screens, I was wondering whether we could allow the standard 1024pixels height but with a width of 1820pixels which would allow for a 16:9 ratio. I think 1024 is a bit limiting for a width especially when so many photo rely on size to give impact, especially landscapes. It is amazing how a larger landscape photo has way more impact when viewed large. Looking at the monitor survey, most screens that people have these days are wide screen, ie 16:9 or 16:10, and height is really the main criteria that determines how well it fits especially if it is the standard 3:2 ratio. If someone is using a 3:2 ratio with a height of 1024, then standard photos would then be 1536pixels wide which would be a much more pleasing size to view and judge and fits most screens. It would seem that all of these screens that people have would accommodate the larger size or at least most of it. I know that it also comes down to what your internet connection speed is etc, but I think most of us are on decent download speeds these days.
    We could easily change the pixel size allowed for competitions, that is quite easy to do. Though having said that, along with larger monitors we are also seeing a lot more members accessing the site on tablets etc, with smaller screens than ever before. I think your suggestion has merit, but we would need to ensure we did not cause issues for those with smaller screen by doing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcys1961 View Post
    You could start an overall points system for competition entries that accumulates throughout the year. For example , one point for an entry , 4 points if you make the final four and 5 points if you win , so a winning entry could get a maximum of 10 points in any given week ( 1 +4 +5 = 10) . Each photographers points accumulate throughout the year . Might encourage those who like the competitions to enter each week ? Overall winner could be photographer of the year , as opposed to Photograph of the Year . The points system would reward consistency and a there is no reason why the POTY need be taken by the same person who wins photographer of the year.

    Just my two cents worth .
    We already have a 'my performance' statistics screen for each member (on the COMPETITIONS menu). We may be able to utilise that data to correlate overall performances across members for the year.

  8. #8
    It's all about the Light!
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    The mods also have a report on all comps over a period of time... would be easy to do this using that report
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    Quote Originally Posted by jev View Post
    +1. I would, however, not include points for just entering a competition - even though that just might increase participation in the competitions it also might introduce a lot more "garbage". Also, I do not think somebody entering 52 competitions without even a single top-4 result should win over someone that enters just 5 times and wins 5 times (okay, that's easily adjusted with a different point-system).

    Anyway, as for the themes, I would suggest to do more abstract themes: "anger", "joy", "decay", "time", "new" etc. Perhaps throw in a couple of typical photoclub-themes: "light", "sound", "electricity", "red", "le moment decisif" (I know some of these have been done in the past - they are just examples to illustrate my suggestion). Personally, I think competition should reward creativity over the typical "pretty picture". It is not difficult to create a stunning image of the sun setting in the sea when you're living on the shores of the west-coast, but it becomes quite a challenge to create a seascape when the nearest sea is 500km from home.
    Any photographer of the year would need to incorporate participation as well as results. After all someone could enter 5 times and win 5 times, but that is all. Someone else might enter 30 times, place in finals in 20, miss out in 8, and win 2. We would need to hash out whether winning 5/5 is worth more than say placing 20/30 etc to determine the final result.

    I think any discussion on photographer of the year will need us to discuss that separately. Work out what we can use to add points to each member, work out how much value is placed on win, place etc so that we all know exactly how it is going to work.

    Re themes. I agree. For 2014 we chose to tie the member challenges to genres and shooting methods, and then tie the competitions to those challenges, so for this year most of our photo of the week themes have been genre based. Our photo of the month themes tend to be more interpretive, and the quarterly comp has so far been based on what we feel would be a good theme to get entries that would look great printed on canvas.

    For 2015, we are open to changing all of this, which is why this thread, to get ideas put forward. We could do things for example on sound (as you suggested), but expand on that and have a series of comps on 'the human senses' --sound, touch, sight, smell, taste. So you are on the right track.
    Last edited by ricktas; 21-10-2014 at 8:52pm.

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    Ausphotography Addict feathers's Avatar
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    Reflections
    Window light as only source on subject matter.
    Sand, gravel, rock, cement patterns etc
    Steam, fog, or smoke influence
    Spider webs
    Beautiful weeds
    Some crazy ones that might the imagination going

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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jev View Post
    +1. I would, however, not include points for just entering a competition - even though that just might increase participation in the competitions it also might introduce a lot more "garbage". Also, I do not think somebody entering 52 competitions without even a single top-4 result should win over someone that enters just 5 times and wins 5 times (okay, that's easily adjusted with a different point-system).

    Anyway, as for the themes, I would suggest to do more abstract themes: "anger", "joy", "decay", "time", "new" etc. Perhaps throw in a couple of typical photoclub-themes: "light", "sound", "electricity", "red", "le moment decisif" (I know some of these have been done in the past - they are just examples to illustrate my suggestion). Personally, I think competition should reward creativity over the typical "pretty picture". It is not difficult to create a stunning image of the sun setting in the sea when you're living on the shores of the west-coast, but it becomes quite a challenge to create a seascape when the nearest sea is 500km from home.
    I think if you have bothered to enter the comp you should get something , but also agree it should not be enough to win even if you enter every week , assuming you did not make finals . Many photo clubs have these annual points schemes and they give a point for entering , a couple of points for a credit grade and a few more for a merit etc. so the type of point systems are fairly well established. I guess there would be the same subjectivity around who should be "photographer of the year " as there would be around Photo of the Year or the weekly winners . Quite often I don't think the best photo wins each week but that's just my opinion.

    I agree with the more abstract themes and rewarding creativity over the "pretty picture" . Not sure how to tackle this one. They say you get the Politian's you vote for and it is the same in the photo comps. We get the winners we vote for and the comp's don't tend to reward creativity. I've often seen those who try to enter something a little "out there" get very low votes. Then you retreat back to the safer option of your best sunrise or bird photo. It seems to me to be, at the end of the day , a pretty small pool of 50-60 or so regulars who enter and vote in the comps. More abstract themes might work but even if you made the theme "anger" you would still get some photos of scowling kookaburras and if they get the votes and win I'm not sure if much has been achieved.

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    We could easily change the pixel size allowed for competitions, that is quite easy to do. Though having said that, along with larger monitors we are also seeing a lot more members accessing the site on tablets etc, with smaller screens than ever before. I think your suggestion has merit, but we would need to ensure we did not cause issues for those with smaller screen by doing it.
    Thank you for the consideration, Rick.

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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    Less open Comps and more Themed ones where you really have to think about what you want to shoot like feathers ideas ^
    Lets not forget Refractions, more photo manipulation, High Key and Low Key
    I notice not many Members enter Food comps why ? Perhaps Lollies, Chocolate, Candy would get more to enter.
    In a Shop Window...Whats through that doorway... Around the corner or bend.. Did we have a Pets one this year.
    Washed up on the Seashore/River Bank no man made rubbish... Fences and Gates.. Letterboxes.. Stairways... Bridges.
    Not keen on those emotion themes but we are all different..

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    Just a comment regarding the members challenges...this is the third one in which I have participated (missed numbers) and I have loved each one. Just hoping you will have another one for next year. This year has been excellent..it has really got me out of my comfort zone and I have learned a lot. Looking forward to 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by salnel View Post
    Just a comment regarding the members challenges...this is the third one in which I have participated (missed numbers) and I have loved each one. Just hoping you will have another one for next year. This year has been excellent..it has really got me out of my comfort zone and I have learned a lot. Looking forward to 2015
    We will... we just need you to suggest ideas for themes. Between the comps and the challenges we need over 120 themes, all up, so asking the members what they want is the best way to start formulating for next year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Anne View Post
    Less open Comps and more Themed ones where you really have to think about what you want to shoot like feathers ideas ^
    Lets not forget Refractions, more photo manipulation, High Key and Low Key
    I notice not many Members enter Food comps why ? Perhaps Lollies, Chocolate, Candy would get more to enter.
    In a Shop Window...Whats through that doorway... Around the corner or bend.. Did we have a Pets one this year.
    Washed up on the Seashore/River Bank no man made rubbish... Fences and Gates.. Letterboxes.. Stairways... Bridges.
    Not keen on those emotion themes but we are all different..
    We have to have a balance. New photographers who are still grasping camera functions and features are likely not to participate in themed comps where the theme is way outside their skill levels. So having some open comps lets them join in with whatever they are enjoying photography wise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by feathers View Post
    Reflections
    Window light as only source on subject matter.
    Sand, gravel, rock, cement patterns etc
    Steam, fog, or smoke influence
    Spider webs
    Beautiful weeds
    Some crazy ones that might the imagination going
    Could add:

    Mono or two-tone
    Industrial/Machinery
    No birds
    Sony DSCR1 bridge camera; Sony Alpha SLT A57; Sony Zeiss 16-80mm f3.5-4.5 lens; Sigma 10-20mm UWA lens; converted Nikon 50mm f2.0 lens; Filters: ND4,ND8,ND1000, CP; Photoshop CS6. 82.7% of statistics are made up!




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    The letters of the alphabet ..... ???

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcys1961 View Post
    It seems to me to be, at the end of the day , a pretty small pool of 50-60 or so regulars who enter and vote in the comps.
    And the more specific and creative the theme for a comp is, the less entries there are. Just look at the lack of entries for so many in the beginners level this year.
    So, would less challenging and specific themes, for a year, encourage more participation? Spend a year getting members participating in the comps and start getting more challenging after that?
    And, can the beginners POTW comp have an easier, more open theme than the intermediate and advanced to encourage them to enter more comps?
    Linking the themes from the weekly members challenge and comps hasn't really increased comp participation IMHO. Does it have to be so?

    Anyway, I'm more interested in what next years weekly members challenge will be. It gives me a reason to take some photos each week.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cargo View Post
    The letters of the alphabet ..... ???
    Best idea yet A. Y, Because!
    Last edited by Mark L; 22-10-2014 at 8:53pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    And, can the beginners POTW comp have an easier, more open theme than the intermediate and advanced to encourage them to enter more comps?
    That thought crossed my mind too. Why not have different themes (not always but just sometimes) for different categories? If there is a "difficult" theme for the intermediate and advanced competitions, just do an open theme (or maybe a "technical" theme) for the beginners competition.

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