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Thread: 2015 Competition and Challenge : feedback

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    2015 Competition and Challenge : feedback

    We are now a month into 2015 and both the competitions and challenge have had a few weeks for members to get used to them.

    So what do you like/dislike about:

    1. the 2015 member challenge using the alphabet?
    2. the new POTW idea of differing themes for differing experience levels?
    3. having more themed POTW competitions than in past years?
    4. the new style to the competition and challenge announcements (new colours, font etc)?
    5. announcing the themes for both the challenge and the competitions a few weeks in advance, good or bad?

    Any other comments or suggestions on the competitions and challenges?

    Looking forward to your thoughts and opinions.
    Last edited by ricktas; 01-02-2015 at 8:37pm.
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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    1. I like the alphabet challenge because it is easier to plan ahead on what to photograph.
    2. No view
    3. I like judging themed competitions better, because then some photos are easily culled out because they do not meet the brief
    4. Some of the colours are difficult to read in the Light Green template.
    5. I definitely like advance notice of the themes for the challenge, because some weeks I'm short of spare time. This means I can shot a couple of weeks themes in one session in case I don't have time later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmmax View Post
    1. I like the alphabet challenge because it is easier to plan ahead on what to photograph.
    2. No view
    3. I like judging themed competitions better, because then some photos are easily culled out because they do not meet the brief
    4. Some of the colours are difficult to read in the Light Green template.
    5. I definitely like advance notice of the themes for the challenge, because some weeks I'm short of spare time. This means I can shot a couple of weeks themes in one session in case I don't have time later.
    Thanks. Can you advise re 4, which parts are hardest to read. I can then look at adjusting them to make it easier. This is one of the reasons I asked, cause people use different site skins. If I was to guess, the light blue used for the theme in POTW would be hard to read on light coloured site skin? But if you can let me know, I will tweak it.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Based on the responses, everyone must be happy.
    Member challenge seems to be going well so far. Plenty of members joining in. How it goes with the specific themes is to be seen.
    POTW, differing themes for differing experience levels seems like a reasonable idea. Early days.
    Maybe more open themes for beginners to encourage their participation.

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    Ausphotography Regular JoPho's Avatar
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    Tis all pretty good, thought I do like the "tecnique" type themes in member's challenges from time to time, such as high key (which I still seem to fail at).
    Been here, not done that.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    1. the 2015 member challenge using the alphabet?
    2. the new POTW idea of differing themes for differing experience levels?
    3. having more themed POTW competitions than in past years?
    4. the new style to the competition and challenge announcements (new colours, font etc)?
    5. announcing the themes for both the challenge and the competitions a few weeks in advance, good or bad?
    Ad 1: a mixed bag, really. Most of the responses to the alphabet challenge at pretty much standard, Ants, Balls or Beach, pretty much the responses what you would expect - people are not challenged to get out of their comfort zone. Only some of the responses show results where more thought has gone into. I myself am guilty too . Things will be more interesting in weeks 34 and 48 I guess .
    Ad 2: I do not participate in these (see below), except perhaps for occasionally judging. No comments.
    Ad 3: See #2.
    Ad 4: I didn't know you changed anything
    Ad 5: Very good.

    Judging a competition without commenting IMHO is pretty useless (which is one of the reasons I do not participate). Commenting on theme-less images though is quite a lot harder than themed images.

    Also, it would be nice to be able to see how you judged in the pre-selection round before judging the final.
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    Ausphotography Addict Lplates's Avatar
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    1. Good idea and seems to have good participation.
    2. Not sure yet. Maybe Mark's suggestion of open for beginners will encourage more participation.
    3. Agree it makes it much easier to judge.
    4. Hadn't actually noticed.
    5. Good - at least you can plan something and with the challenge weather sometimes makes it hard to get the shot during the actual week.
    Glenda


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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    Sorry for the delay. Here is a screen print of a recent competition announcement to try and show you how they look in the light green template.

    text_colours.JPG

    The smaller print in both the yellow and blue is not the easiest to read.

    Mind you, this is even worse when people are copying and pasting text.

    text_pasted.jpg

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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    1. Personally, I love the alphabet theme. It engages the imagination. That said, I think that last year's challenge introduced me to more technical aspects which improved my photography.
    2. I haven't entered any POTW but I think that different themes for different levels seems reasonable. For example. photographing a noun such as "Ant", is easier than an adjective such as "small" which is easier than a verb like "shrinking".
    3. I like more themed POTW competitions because it levels the field out more. I am many km from a beautiful beach sunrise or sunset, and I work so I have little opportunity to stalk beautiful birds, etc. So if the theme is something interesting , I might submit a photo. Most people on this forum seem to vote for birds or flowers.
    4. Like everyone else, I hadn't actually noticed a difference.
    5. a bit of notice is great. Thanks.
    Andrew




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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    1. the 2015 member challenge using the alphabet?

    I like the alphabet challenge and enjoy the variety of responses. Agreed many of the photos are what you would expect (ant, ball, cat) but there are always some that are out of the box. We don't all have adze's , balalaika's and cumberbun's sitting around. The second week letter could test techniques - eg. F could be f-stop , S could be silhouette etc....

    2. the new POTW idea of differing themes for differing experience levels?

    I think open theme for beginners may encourage more participation. Feedback on comp entries would be good but in reality it would reduce the number prepared to vote. You can put photo's up in the respective forums for feedback after the competition if you really want it.


    3. having more themed POTW competitions than in past years?

    I think themes comps create a more level playing field - as said above it reduces the birds and flower pics which tend to get the most votes. It is also funny to watch how some can fit a bird photo into just about any theme .

    4. the new style to the competition and challenge announcements (new colours, font etc)?

    All oK

    5. announcing the themes for both the challenge and the competitions a few weeks in advance, good or bad?

    Again - I think this creates a more level playing field. Sometimes , given a theme you need to go and make the photo .

    Any other comments or suggestions on the competitions and challenges?

    No other comments.
    The name is Brad ......

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawthy View Post
    Most people on this forum seem to vote for birds or flowers.
    Quote Originally Posted by bcys1961 View Post
    - as said above it reduces the birds and flower pics which tend to get the most votes.
    mmmm, looking at the recent comp. winners on the AP home page, I can't see a bird or flower anywhere.
    Maybe that has something to do with the themes, maybe not.
    I don't think flowers and birds win as many comps as people think. And when they do, maybe it's the best photo entered.
    Jeez, who would have thought a photo of a person would win the POTyear. So many bird photos to chose from.

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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    mmmm, looking at the recent comp. winners on the AP home page, I can't see a bird or flower anywhere.
    Maybe that has something to do with the themes, maybe not.
    I don't think flowers and birds win as many comps as people think. And when they do, maybe it's the best photo entered.
    Jeez, who would have thought a photo of a person would win the POTyear. So many bird photos to chose from.
    Point taken. Don't worry I have put a few flower photo's up myself and have some cracker bird ones in the vault!
    ( I must be still bitter and twisted from last year when my food photo lost to a bird , and it wasn't even a real one! )

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcys1961 View Post
    Point taken. Don't worry I have put a few flower photo's up myself and have some cracker bird ones in the vault!
    ( I must be still bitter and twisted from last year when my food photo lost to a bird , and it wasn't even a real one! )
    If I was going to say there was a voting biaise, it would be towards light rays (even faked ones) shining through trees, fog, etc. Sometimes even the fog has been faked. How do I know this? The mods and I have seen the unedited SOOC image that became a winner on a few occasions now. Some people must spend more time at the computer using vast editing skills, being computer artists, rather than being photographers.


    Now back on topic. I might create another thread just for beginner members to discuss their comp themes. I will look at modifying the font colours in the announcement/winners threads to better allow for those using light coloured site skins.

    For those that wonder what we are talking about when we say skins. Scroll to the bottom of any site page and there is a coloured bar that runs along the bottom with Contact us, privacy statement etc, on the left of that bar is a drop down menu where you can choose a range of 'skins' that changes the way the site looks (for you).

    Thanks for all the feedback so far everyone.

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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    If I was going to say there was a voting biaise, it would be towards light rays (even faked ones) shining through trees, fog, etc. Sometimes even the fog has been faked. How do I know this? The mods and I have seen the unedited SOOC image that became a winner on a few occasions now. Some people must spend more time at the computer using vast editing skills, being computer artists, rather than being photographers.
    I think in every competition the judges have their biases and the best investment any entrant can make if they want to win is to find out what it is . For example Australian Photography and Digital Magazine recently announced results of their Photographer of the Year Awards. In the nature category the winner's portfolio was six photo of polar bears taken somewhere in the wilds of the Artic and I think second was six taken in an Africa game park. They were great photos but I did not think they showed much diversity . I would have thought Photographer of the Year should go to someone who can show a range of styles and subjects , and techniques, all taken excellently , but it seems that if you want to win that comp you need to buy a ticket to somewhere exciting and just submit six photos of the same thing. It was the same across the other categories .

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    I bet if the Arctic photography magazine had six photos of kangaroos, then those six photos will win as well. I have never been out of Australia, and don't intend to do otherwise. (Hate flying) So I try to do something different to everybody else...
    I have never won a comp *Except for the beginners comp 5 years ago But I'll keep on trying.... I only do the comps for fun anyway, because it's part of this site. I don't enter any other comps, anywhere else.
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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    If I was going to say there was a voting biaise, it would be towards light rays (even faked ones) shining through trees, fog, etc. Sometimes even the fog has been faked. How do I know this? The mods and I have seen the unedited SOOC image that became a winner on a few occasions now. Some people must spend more time at the computer using vast editing skills, being computer artists, rather than being photographers.
    I have identified a spot in Centennial Park where I think the sunrays at sunrise will stream through some trees and create this effect. For me part of the whole experience is to identify these spots , be there when it occurs and then use your camera skills to try and capture it , with a little post processing afterwards to bring out what you want . Try to do 90% SOOC and the supplement in PP.

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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    mmmm, looking at the recent comp. winners on the AP home page, I can't see a bird or flower anywhere.
    Maybe that has something to do with the themes, maybe not.
    I don't think flowers and birds win as many comps as people think. And when they do, maybe it's the best photo entered.
    Jeez, who would have thought a photo of a person would win the POTyear. So many bird photos to chose from.
    Fair call. Maybe I meant that the most popular subjects on this site seem to be birds and flowers, rather than most people vote for birds and flowers. An important distinction, I agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Boss Ricktas
    Sometimes even the fog has been faked. How do I know this? The mods and I have seen the unedited SOOC image that became a winner on a few occasions now. Some people must spend more time at the computer using vast editing skills, being computer artists, rather than being photographers.
    I have never added anything to an image to make it better. Although most of the time I'll enhance the what's in the image to bring out the best part of it. But most of us do that anyway... Although I do know quite a few who can bring out the best virtually straight from the camera. But I'm not in that league yet.

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    @farmmax;

    Are these better on the light skins ?
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ead.php?137705
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ead.php?137706

    I have just tweaked the colours slightly.

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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    mmmm, looking at the recent comp. winners on the AP home page, I can't see a bird or flower anywhere.
    Maybe that has something to do with the themes, maybe not.
    I don't think flowers and birds win as many comps as people think. And when they do, maybe it's the best photo entered.
    Jeez, who would have thought a photo of a person would win the POTyear. So many bird photos to chose from.

    Congratulations on your recent comp win Mark. I have only one word to say - Bird!

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