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Thread: Bad judging costing me competition wins

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Bad judging costing me competition wins

    As a longstanding member of Ausphoto, I have slowly become disillusioned by what can only be described as second rate judging on the weekly and monthly competitions.

    Photography is an art and art requires real critics, not rank amateurs. Sadly Ausphotography is filled with beginners and allowing beginners to judge competitions is a really bad decision.

    Rational thinking dictates that letting people judge on competitions that they aren’t qualified to judge can only result in competition outcomes that are skewed in favour of entries which look good rather than entries which require real skill and talent. How are beginners supposed to judge when they don’t even understand the basic rules of composition and when it’s okay to break them.

    I know that some people think it’s in the interests of helping beginners, but providing outcomes which are wrong distort the beginners view of what creates a good photo and only results in a false sense of achievement for those who win.

    Leaving the judging up to beginners is unfortunately not the right solution. Beginners are beginners, they shouldn’t be judges if they don’t know what constitutes a good photo.

    Frankly, I’m getting to a point where I think that beginners should be limited to only judging beginner comps and perhaps we should limit the beginners to only entering one competition per month so users on the site can focus their attention on judging real photos and not snapshots that look more at home on Facebook.

    Outcomes of competitions will always continue to skewed by this poor judging if we continue in this way and I think Ausphotography has to deal with this reality sooner rather than later.

    On the surface, involving the beginners may seem like a good idea, but poor judging deprives the quality photographers like myself of the wins we so richly deserve.

    Let’s leave the photography to real photographer and let the beginners stick to forums for feedback until they get better and learn how to get out of P mode. Find out what that M means on your camera and then come speak to me.

    Sorry about my rant but it’s just 1 of those days.
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  2. #2
    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    I agree with much of this , except for one thing. I'm the one that should be winning all the comps - not you!

    (And I'll call this out as an April Fool post - hopefully???).
    The name is Brad ......

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  3. #3
    Ausphotography Regular Dug's Avatar
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    I could not agree more.

    There should also be a separate competition for full frame cameras because they have an unfair advantage.
    Also cameras with more than 22 mega pixels should be ineligible for the same reason.

    This is a serious oversite and needs to be rectified.

  4. #4
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    Hmmm, I'm hoping it's an April Fool's comment …..

  5. #5
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Geez MM, say it like it is.
    "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

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
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  6. #6
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I agree with everything you say MM ... with one or two exceptions.

    1. Judging is not second rate.
    2. Photography started with rank amateurs, they are the lifeblood of, and what makes photography dynamic
    3. I've seen too many serious flaws in comps to rely on the opinions and judgements of 'so called experts' to tell me what's good or not.(yay! to people power)
    4. Beginners need all the encouragement they can get. if that means pandering to their sensitivities a little to begin with, then so be it. In the long run it all works itself out and those beginners do eventually get it right, and subsequently turn on the very group from which they came.
    5. As for beginners judging beginner comps(or not) .. makes no difference really. In the end we're all just beginners to a certain degree. Even these so called pros pushing some pseudo fabrication known as boundaries and envelopes. the notion that they are pushing these boundaries implies that they themselves are beginners(just slightly more advanced than a newcomer camera operator type beginner).
    6. Why pick on the beginners? Failure of ones own 'product' comes from within. Even if all your comp images won every single time they were entered in their respective fields .... in a way they still would have failed in some small part.

    For example: lets say your images won every time you entered one. By your own admission in this thread, you would actually have failed! Being judged by this group of newbies, that you have just attacked .. had they won, they would have done so at the hands of the group you so vehemently distrust as the judgement group!
    A win in this instance therefore translates into a failure on a large scale.

    On the other hand, having not won the comps you so desperately wanted too, makes those entries the real winners. Failure in this case has netted you the prize!


    on reflection, looking back on what I just said here, I seem to have disagreed with you on more than 1 or 2 points ..... more like 6 or so points which made up the vast majority of your gripes against beginners.
    So in reality I must therefore disagree wholeheartedly with all your points, even tho I believe that I initially came into this thread 2/3rds fully in support of your arguments against.


    ps. hope your day gets better!
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    MM. Did you get out of the wrong side of your bed today? Maybe even the wrong bed??

    Beginners like myself have a place here. How am I supposed to get feedback on my work without sites such as this? As for judging your photos, well what makes them better than mine? You know what is the norm and the correct composition etc, what is wrong with challenging that thought process? Is that because you conform to the norm? Is the norm the right way to do it? Just because people with a different label to myself say that is how it should be done?

    Just my thoughts, hope your not so grumpy at work!!


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  8. #8
    Member Nick Cliff's Avatar
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    MM it is good you are competitive, perhaps there is a place for a special judging panel for your level of photography. I had an interesting discussion with an evolving photographer who wanted to be able to take great photos essentially with a minimum of mental effort, which in our busy lives is understandable. So I have come to the conclusion that it is like learning and playing a musical instrument can give you a greater appreciation of a truly great performance.

    By the way I feel to win a competition my dream photo would be of a frog on a waterlily flower would be a lay down misere.

    For today I was wondering Rick if there is any truth to the disturbing rumour that Rupert has made an offer to buy the rights to Ausphotography for an undisclosed sum.
    Last edited by Nick Cliff; 01-04-2015 at 9:52am.

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    Member AstonKemp's Avatar
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    Hmm! Very rare for someone who didnt win to agree with the judge. Hope your day gets better

  10. #10
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    Hey Jim.

    The challenge is simple. 20 beginners vote for a photo that's crap because it has something cool they like in it like freezing motion. Photo wins because there are lots of beginners voting. Beginners perception of what constitutes a best photo is warped and once they can replicate said photo they consider themselves to be awesome and start doing weddings etc. Thats scary because that's what they do. They win one comp on Ausphotography and suddenly they're leaving work to become a photographer because they got lucky with the voting.

    I think the current social media trend with beginners is all about instant gratification and this is perpetuated by digital. Beginners like instant gratification, they like instant recognition but it's not necessarily right. You go out take a photo, look on the back and think you've got a good photo. With film you had to take 50 photos of a scene to make sure you got it right because you didn't know what it looked like. How many beginners switch their display to black and white when they're shooting black and white. They don't. They shoot colour and the say "oh, this might work as black and white". When you shot black and white on film you we're committed to it the moment you put the film in the camera so you had to think black and white.

  11. #11
    Ausphotography Addict feathers's Avatar
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    is it 12noon yet

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    Ausphotography Regular Filter's Avatar
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    Still time for a few more bites.....Just remember to kiss & release...lol
    Filter


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    Ausphotography Regular
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    Yup, it was an April fools.

    If you look at the first letter of every paragraph, it spells April fools. Damn people on this site are too on the ball. Was hoping to sucker in some responses

    Maybe I should have put in something about how mirrorless aren't real cameras
    Last edited by MissionMan; 01-04-2015 at 1:21pm.

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    Member auz80's Avatar
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    Thanks for the best laugh I've had to day I tried to read your post and all that followed to my wife but it was hard to see the screen through the tears

    Cheers, Don

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    Member Nick Cliff's Avatar
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    MM you put on a great performance, you are a good sport.

  16. #16
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    On the other hand (now that it's later in the day), how do we get more beginners to enter comps and generally participate here without them feeling their beginners status disqualifies their view on things?
    Possible new thread for someone to start.

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    Love it ,Nice

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    On the other hand (now that it's later in the day), how do we get more beginners to enter comps and generally participate here without them feeling their beginners status disqualifies their view on things?
    Possible new thread for someone to start.
    I'm so going to ignore the fact that at first I was sitting here, mouth agape thinking .. well, very unpleasant thoughts ... so onto your question/ponder Mark ... I don't claim to be speaking for all beginners or any other beginners .. but for myself ... I think it is a matter of confidence in what we're doing and "seeing" the results of practice ... I struggle with that a lot, I mean ... as for one of the lovely April fools points up there, I do shoot with the magical M and I see the differences from when I was not even on P .. but on the dreaded Auto .. oh judge all you like ... but I'm not delusional .. I don't have FB, so I can't compare, but I'd like to think they are marginally better than your average snaps .. but competition worthy? No .. I know I'm a beginner. So ultimately I guess it comes down to a confidence thing .. when you can move past that beginner thinking and start daring to dwell where those with more experience do with absolute confidence .. because they've been taking photos since forever.
    Last edited by Elly; 02-04-2015 at 12:08am.

  19. #19
    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    You have to start somewhere . My first competition entry on this site, as a beginner, got less than 5/10 came last and made me think Hmmmmm ..so I have to improve. So I set about doing that and over time you improve . Then I won a few beginners comps , started to regularly make the top 4 , won a few more , got upgraded to intermediate , started to get scored of 6 , 7 ....won a few more and so on.

    (Then it all came crashing down as Rick upgraded me to Advanced and I hardly ever make the top 4 now. Oh well ...need to try harder!)

    Start in the beginners comps. So what if you come last ! No one comes to your house to laugh at you! Look , learn , read books , ask questions and guaranteed you won't come last forever.

  20. #20
    Ausphotography Veteran MattNQ's Avatar
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    MM , your problem is that you need to take better photos if you want to win comps!

    Get rid of that D750 & get a mirrorless. Your gear is holding you back.

    (we still have 3 minutes left I use the whole day!)
    Matt
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