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Thread: Mini Comp entries

  1. #1

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    Mini Comp entries

    O.K., I've been resisting commenting on these mini comp threads, but I think now I should write something.

    Perhaps I am way too critical, but if I can get some competitors to post better photographs, it would make voting a little easier.

    First; I would like to vote for some photographs but the photographer has not taken the time to straighten the photo before posting. Since it is such a simple thing to do, one would think that is the least someone who wants to win could do. Just straighten, not crop, not adjust WB, not "bring up the saturation", or anything complicated. Just straighten.

    Second; some photographs would get my vote if only the title wasn't so bad. Put a little bit more thought into a title, or just skip it altogether. I would rather see no title than a poor one. Just call it "my photograph", or something.

    Now when a competition thread contains several fairly good photographs, but they are all either slanted, underexposed, poorly named, or out of focus, I find that I simply don't vote for anything.

    /rant

  2. #2

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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Quote Originally Posted by Designer View Post
    O.K., I've been resisting commenting on these mini comp threads, but I think now I should write something.

    Perhaps I am way too critical, but if I can get some competitors to post better photographs, it would make voting a little easier.

    First; I would like to vote for some photographs but the photographer has not taken the time to straighten the photo before posting. Since it is such a simple thing to do, one would think that is the least someone who wants to win could do. Just straighten, not crop, not adjust WB, not "bring up the saturation", or anything complicated. Just straighten.

    Second; some photographs would get my vote if only the title wasn't so bad. Put a little bit more thought into a title, or just skip it altogether. I would rather see no title than a poor one. Just call it "my photograph", or something.

    Now when a competition thread contains several fairly good photographs, but they are all either slanted, underexposed, poorly named, or out of focus, I find that I simply don't vote for anything.

    /rant
    May I suggest a simple solution to your problem.

    Vote for those you like.

    Don't vote for those you don't like.



    --------------------------------------------------------

    perhaps, as a sign of respect and courtesy to those who submitted their photos above and to viewers who may want to vote, we submit our comments/opinions *after* the competition.

    thanks.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 11th February 2013 at 07:47 PM.

  3. #3

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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    When we started these competitions, Jim, the worry was that it would end up with just the best photographers posting perfect pictures for us to pixel peep.

    Fortunately that hasn't happened and we get a wide range of abilities posting here.

    It's just a bit of fun anyway.

    Like Victor said, I only vote for those which I like, even if they have some slight flaws.

    I normally try to limit my votes to 5 photos max. OK, sometimes I make a mistake and vote for 6 or occasionally I struggle to find 2 which really inspire me.

    For instance, this time I didn't vote for the one which is currently well in the lead.

    But perhaps, this discussion should continue in another forum.

    OK, it has now been moved here.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 11th February 2013 at 07:56 PM.

  4. #4

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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Victor; I always do vote for the ones I like.

    Geoff; Sometimes I vote for three or four.

    Just blowing off steam.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 11th February 2013 at 07:47 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Quote Originally Posted by Designer View Post
    Just blowing off steam.
    Best done in another thread Jim, in fact I think I'll move this now!

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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    I'm sorry the rest of us can't be up to your standards, but we are all at different levels and are still learning. Things that might be obvious to someone more advanced (like that a photo needs to be straightened) might escape the notice of someone who is still learning. That doesn't make him/her lazy or careless. If you have something constructive to say, then say it constructively in the spirit of helping people improve. Or just vote for the photo you like and move on. Venting about the crappy nature of our work and how distressing it is for you to find something worthwhile in this thread to vote for....not helpful, just rude, condescending, arrogant.
    Last edited by Docbanana; 11th February 2013 at 10:12 PM.

  7. #7

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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Thanks, Dave for moving this thread.

    Docbanana; Why do we not see such beginner's efforts posted in a "help me" thread instead of a mini competition? I would love to offer a helpful critique on some photographs, but a competition thread is hardly the place to do that. Such interference would no doubt influence the voting, and would not be appreciated even if the competitor was open to receiving such a critique. This is my main gripe with the setup as it is.

    I figure that by the time somebody posts in a competition, he or she has enough confidence in the photograph to expect to win, or at least get a few votes. If somebody is so green that they don't even know enough to straighten the horizon, why on earth are they entering the photo in a competition? And if they are indeed so green that they simply don't know that they are not ready for a competition, why do they not strive to get some specific advice regarding their craft?

    You may consider my comments to be "rude, condescending, and arrogant", but I assure you that is not the purpose in my mini-rant. I have offered many honest critiques that have helped photographers on another forum, but it is not usually done on here.

  8. #8

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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Jim: just finished looking throught your past posts, and you do offer a lot of honest critiques that are helpful, however I did not come across one that was of an image you posted. You stated in March of 2012 that you were new to digital, but did not consider yourself a beginner and that you use a Nikon D5000. So in my opinion you have done a lot of the talk but little on the walk, maybe you would like to post one of your images and let us see how you compare to others that post. I look forward to reading what others have to say about those I post as it is a learning experence.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  9. #9

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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    Jim: just finished looking throught your past posts, and you do offer a lot of honest critiques that are helpful, however I did not come across one that was of an image you posted. You stated in March of 2012 that you were new to digital, but did not consider yourself a beginner and that you use a Nikon D5000. So in my opinion you have done a lot of the talk but little on the walk, maybe you would like to post one of your images and let us see how you compare to others that post. I look forward to reading what others have to say about those I post as it is a learning experence.

    Cheers:

    Allan
    So would I best post in a help thread or in a competition?

  10. #10

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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Photo Commentary or even here would be fine.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Quote Originally Posted by Designer View Post
    Thanks, Dave for moving this thread.

    I figure that by the time somebody posts in a competition, he or she has enough confidence in the photograph to expect to win, or at least get a few votes. If somebody is so green that they don't even know enough to straighten the horizon, why on earth are they entering the photo in a competition? And if they are indeed so green that they simply don't know that they are not ready for a competition, why do they not strive to get some specific advice regarding their craft?

    You may consider my comments to be "rude, condescending, and arrogant", but I assure you that is not the purpose in my mini-rant. I have offered many honest critiques that have helped photographers on another forum, but it is not usually done on here.
    You don't know what you don't know until you know it.

    Weren't you ever really proud of a photo only to look at it years later and wonder how you could have thought it was good? We are all at different points in our path to perfection and have the right to be proud of what we've accomplished with what we've learned so far. People come to the forum for different reasons and they may not be for the same reasons as you. Being a competitive person, one of the first things I did when I found CinC was enter a mini-comp, and then another, and then a few more. As I learned a bit about how things worked on this forum, which is one of very few I've ever participated in, I then got up the nerve to ask for help. I rarely enter the mini-comps anymore - not that there is anything wrong with them - but because I've become comfortable with the dialogue and critiques and feel I gain more from them. I now hope for the time when I feel good enough to enter a monthly competition which is usually of a higher caliber. You see, even though I still don't know what I don't know, I have progressed to the point of knowing that I don't know near enough. Give these people a break! They may be accomplished or they may be beginners, but they're all putting themselves out there. They'll either learn or not. They'll stay or they'll move on. You can vote or don't vote. It's not a juried show. It's for fun and for whatever anyone gleans from it.

  12. #12

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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Quote Originally Posted by terrib View Post
    They'll either learn or not.
    How is anyone going to learn anything by entering into a competition in which there is no comment? Just blind chance as I see it.

    As I wrote above, I do vote. Often for more than one, sometimes for as many as three or four in one competition if there are several that earn a vote.

    There could have been many more that got my vote.

    So you're saying that you did not find the self-confidence to ask for a critique until after you had competed in the minis? How does that work? How can that work? Why would I presume it to work?

    Looking at it from a different angle, suppose the "winner" wins with a snoozer of a photograph, and thence forward is under the mistaken impression that he is a pretty good photographer. Then he enters into a more competitive field of competition, only to be shown the door in a rather brusk, insulting manner. Naturally, he will assume that the new judges know absolutely nothing about photography, and cannot appreciate his extremely elevated level of artistic genius. He develops a chip on his shoulder instead of developing his photographic ability.

    But you do what you think is right.

  13. #13
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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Jim,
    I have to disagree and say there is plenty to learn from the comps, depending ofcourse on the persons level. Many new members use the mini comps to get a feel for how their image stands up against others. If they can do this while reading threads, tutorials and gaining a bit of ground to stand on before they post an image for everyone to pick apart.....I say good for them, all any of us can do is try. For some that means taking things slow and safe.

    This is exactly what the mini comps are for and why they are set up the way they are. While it may not work for everyone {what ever does?] I am sure there are many here that have learned things from entering the mini's. I know I did when first coming to CIC.

    Now I must say, going back to Allan's post. I find it rather difficult to digest...that this rather kras attitude comes from someone whom does not post images and take full advantage of the learning opportunities that CIC offers and is about. Yet claims things do not function correctly.

    Offering helpful advise is nice and appreciated, however a few images now and again just might help you and or others learn. Even if you are so advanced that you couldn't possibly learn anything from posting some images, I am sure there are a few of us that could learn from your works.

    Paul

  14. #14
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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    Jim: just finished looking throught your past posts, and you do offer a lot of honest critiques that are helpful, however I did not come across one that was of an image you posted. You stated in March of 2012 that you were new to digital, but did not consider yourself a beginner and that you use a Nikon D5000. So in my opinion you have done a lot of the talk but little on the walk, maybe you would like to post one of your images and let us see how you compare to others that post. I look forward to reading what others have to say about those I post as it is a learning experence.

    Cheers:

    Allan
    You are correct that there are a number of people who post wise words but have no images on display for us to evaluate. Seeing what their interests, style and displayed skill levels are would help us decide how much validity we should attach to their comments. I find it disappointing to go and look at their details and find no albums to brows or links to their work.

    Purely technical comment can be confirmed by internet searches but when someone offers subjective comment relating to technique etc it would be nice to know a bit more about the base of experience they have. Even absolute novices have valid opinions but a little portfolio in an album would be more useful than just trying to use the number of posts made as a reference.

  15. #15

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    Mini Comp entries

    Designer: I, as a beginner, think the mini competitions are a fun way to get the type of feedback that I need in this stage of my development. It isn't for you to decide how I should get feedback. As far as competitions go, these are fairly, um, MINI. I'm not nominating myself for some sort of major award, here!

    I have spent a lot of time posting my favorite photos on Facebook and having friends who know nothing about photography tell me they like various photos...but these are biased sources! By entering the mini competitions I'm not trying to get my photos picked apart pixel by pixel on a "help me" thread which is a VERY intimidating prospect...I'm just throwing things out to find out how people who aren't my grandma (and know about photography) perceive what I'm doing. It isn't about winning, though I enjoyed winning a couple of times. I look at my standing in the votes, compared to other photos I'm seeing, and get a sense of how my photo compares. To reference an old David Letterman bit... I want to know "Is this anything?" Because i honestly don't know how well I'm doing, if my animal photos are "anything".

    Maybe you think the whole thread was a bunch of nothing...ok, fine. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing your winning photos.

  16. #16
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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Quote Originally Posted by Designer View Post
    How is anyone going to learn anything by entering into a competition in which there is no comment? Just blind chance as I see it.
    Maybe it should be changed to mini-likes? I said this in a private e-mail to you but now that it's in a open forum, I'll repeat it here. It's not a competition if you can vote for more than one photo. With that in mind, I have a goal. If a photo of mine can't get more than 5 votes (likes) then it wasn't as good as I thought or the competition blew it away. How one learn is by seeing what made those other ones beat you out (unless it's a sunset... see my issue with those later). It makes one want to improve so that you can get those votes up. Hopefully if they can't see why their masterpiece didn't win, they'll post it on a forum for feedback. I've done that. No shame in doing so.
    Since it's an open vote, any level can vote. So the more junior one is, the less of a critical eye they would have. Which can result in an "unfair" outcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Designer View Post
    Looking at it from a different angle, suppose the "winner" wins with a snoozer of a photograph, and thence forward is under the mistaken impression that he is a pretty good photographer. Then he enters into a more competitive field of competition, only to be shown the door in a rather brusk, insulting manner. Naturally, he will assume that the new judges know absolutely nothing about photography, and cannot appreciate his extremely elevated level of artistic genius. He develops a chip on his shoulder instead of developing his photographic ability.
    I doubt that someone is that naive to enter a larger one based on one mini-competition. They may get lucky and win one but if they're that junior, they won't win another for some time. Unless all of their submissions are sunsets! And if they do get on a more competitive field based on these minis then it serves them right for being naive.

    ok, so I'll let everyone know about that wink on sunsets since Jim already knows. I do believe that in many of the competitions the eye-candy wins. Usually it's a sunset or a nicely saturated photo. My issue with that is when it wins against another photo that I felt was more deserving based on the difficulty, sharpness or the creativity of the shot. That is my one lone beef with the minis. I look at every photo in the contest for details. How did they take it; was it difficult? how creative was it? Is it sharp? Does it have noise? etc Sunsets (or sunrises) are nice and beautiful and I've done my share of them but it seems that voters go gaga over them and bypass the other deserving photo(s). To me, these are the easiest photo's to take and improve upon in post processing. I'll take a nicely done photo of a cat with nice catch-eye, lighting angles and sharpness over it in a heartbeat. Not that I won't vote for a sunset, I will but it depends on the rest of the competition.

    Share the votes people!

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    Mini Comp entries

    And I should add that I'm under no illusion that I'm some master of photography if I get a win in a mini competition. Only under the impression that a small group of people saw something of value in a specific photo, in a specific context. Your fears of us newbs stumbling in over our heads, believing are pros, ready to tell the VIPs how it is done... cause <cue majestic music> WE won <tone of reverence> a mini competition......um, no. Lol. If someone does that, then it is their delusions of grandeur to blame, not the competition.

  18. #18
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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    I enter the MINIs from time to time, usually a handful in a row and then skip a week or two. What I like about them is the chance they give me to do a little self-evaluation by comparing what others have submitted. Where else do you get a chance to look at 10 unrelated photos all at once and make some critical self-evaluations in the privacy of your own home with no one making any comments one way or the other? Sometimes it's just helpful to make your own comparisons and see what others are doing. I often find the same photographers repeatedly putting in some pretty good images - so I then go look at their work, or read their comments on unrelated threads (which, by the way, is how I got here) and learn something along the way.

  19. #19

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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Quote Originally Posted by Designer View Post
    Perhaps I am way too critical, but if I can get some competitors to post better photographs, it would make voting a little easier.
    Hi Jim,

    I believe if we see CiC for what it really is there is no reason for any member to post "better images in a comp". Any member posting in a comp will only post that image he or she is proud of. The member is probably posting his/her best. From that you can actually see how the member is progressing.
    Next time you see a member posting a crappy image why not make a note and when that member asks for C&C give the best advice you possibly can. You know the kind of constructive critisism that will help the poster improve his/her photographic skills.
    We should not look at posted images to compare it to the work of Pro's, or your own work, rather see it as the work of an amateur learning better skills and appriciate it as such.

  20. #20

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    Re: Mini Comp entries

    Well, this is kinda scary... I've been blown away by lots of the photos in the mini comps.

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