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Fri Jul 22, 2022, 01:44 PM

A suggestion for future photo contests

Hi folks,

I'll be running the August photo contest, subject matter yet to be determined.

I have an idea that I'm going to try. Let's see if it works.

As you know, we always have a second thread for comments each month. Usually it's just for the usual "I'm in" comments and a few words of praise. I'm going to recommend that contestants take a few moments to add a few words about their photos, and specifically, how they were processed. For example, I almost always balance out the highlights and shadows, crop, boost the saturation a little, and if necessary, add a little bit of sharpening to the picture. Many of my night shots are long exposures shot on a tripod, with enhanced processing of the Milky Way if it's in the shot.

Not only would this clear up some misunderstandings in advance, it could also be useful for those who want to learn a little more about the craft.

What do you think? Any comments?

Ross
aka Grumpy Old Guy

23 replies, 631 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply A suggestion for future photo contests (Original post)
Grumpy Old Guy Jul 22 OP
Walleye Jul 22 #1
elleng Jul 22 #2
Grumpy Old Guy Jul 22 #4
elleng Jul 22 #5
Grumpy Old Guy Jul 22 #8
elleng Jul 22 #10
Gato Moteado Jul 24 #16
ret5hd Jul 22 #3
elleng Jul 22 #6
HAB911 Jul 22 #7
Diamond_Dog Jul 22 #9
CaliforniaPeggy Jul 22 #11
Ocelot II Jul 22 #12
Grumpy Old Guy Jul 22 #14
AndyS Jul 23 #15
Callalily Jul 22 #13
Gato Moteado Jul 24 #17
LakeArenal Jul 29 #19
Gato Moteado Jul 29 #22
LakeArenal Jul 30 #23
HAB911 Jul 24 #18
Laura PourMeADrink Jul 29 #20
LakeArenal Jul 29 #21

Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 01:49 PM

1. I think it's a good idea

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 01:50 PM

2. An OK idea, and of course I'll say NOTHING 'cause I don't DO any of that,

partly because I don't know HOW!

(About to re-post an oldie, in Birders, just because I miss them so.)

I DO think RULES on such should be POSTED and maintained.

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Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 01:54 PM

4. Try Snapseed

Try using a cellphone app called Snapseed. It's free, super easy, and lots of fun.

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Reply #4)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 01:55 PM

5. I don't use cellphone for pics,

my phone is small, old, and flip; I use NIKON!

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Response to elleng (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 02:04 PM

8. Never mind!

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Reply #8)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 02:07 PM

10. ;-)

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Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 24, 2022, 09:37 AM

16. do you want to learn to process your photos?

it's really easy to do basic stuff (adjust exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, etc).

the more advanced stuff isn't as critical, but IMHO things like using adjustment layers for dodging and burning (fixing blown out highlights and overly dark shadow areas to get more detail) is essential. but you can ease into that stuff.

if you want to try it out, you have to shoot RAW files. what kind of camera are you using?

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 01:53 PM

3. I wish for a "objectively worst picture" category...

so I would have a chance.

OR a participation trophy.

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 01:56 PM

6. Here's participation trophy: ***

***

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 02:02 PM

7. LOL

I could give you a run for the money for that!

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 02:06 PM

9. I think that's a great idea Grumpy!

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 02:45 PM

11. I like your idea, my dear Grumpy! Let's see what the Photo Group says too. n/t

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 04:17 PM

12. Excellent idea.

Maybe there could even be a contest for those who are really into post-processing, like HDR, and they could show both their before and after photos so we can see what can be done.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #12)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 09:07 PM

14. That's a great idea.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #12)

Sat Jul 23, 2022, 01:49 PM

15. FYI every cellphone camera made in the last 10 years automatically applies

HDR. Also sharpening, exposure compensation, saturation, contrast and a number of other post processing adjustments.
ETA: The new stuff also recognizes portraits and does skin smoothing. Actually changing the appearance of the subject.

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Fri Jul 22, 2022, 05:42 PM

13. Good idea!

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Sun Jul 24, 2022, 10:00 AM

17. i think it depends on what the mission of the group is and what the point of the contests are...

...in my observation, this seems like a place where people can post everything from quick cell phone snap shots to fine art, carefully processed images, but the majority tends to be skewed toward the snapshot end of the spectrum. i've always been under the impression that the vibe of the group is light and fun and not meant for instruction, mentoring, or getting too technical.

i'm in a lot of FB forums where people of all skill levels go to show their work but also to learn and improve. many novices get disappointed when they see the work of others and immediately think they need to upgrade their gear. i tend to connect with those people and try to get them to hold off on spending money right away and i've mentored a lot of these people, showing them how to improve in areas where they are frustrated (the biggest challenge i see is people not able to focus on their target, mainly because they don't realize that the default AF area mode lets the camera choose your focus point...no amount of pro gear will fix this if you're going to still use default AF area mode with the new gear). some of the people i've mentored have started producing fine art images that are better than my work.

i think if you made the contests more focused or more restrictive or had a judging panel or required people to explain why they voted for a certain image (in terms of composition, image quality, processing, etc) it would get me interested in the contests, but would likely drive away most people. i think the way things are right now is good for the group...maybe we can create a more advanced or fine art photography group for advanced photographers where we could also offer critiquing, instruction and mentoring for novices who want to improve.

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Response to Gato Moteado (Reply #17)

Fri Jul 29, 2022, 10:49 AM

19. I agree. I'm no professional.

I have a long term borrowed camera.

I point and shoot. Iím no fancy photographer.

Please donít take the fun out of it


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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #19)

Fri Jul 29, 2022, 11:11 PM

22. i don't have the power...

...to take the fun out of it.

how are things up at arenal?

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Response to Gato Moteado (Reply #22)

Sat Jul 30, 2022, 11:08 AM

23. Pura Vida. Siempre!!!

Gracias.

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Sun Jul 24, 2022, 03:30 PM

18. My concern

is making things more technical, complicated, and heavy will remove the fun. Folks that shoot with a camera explaining the details of their work is ok, but what do the folks shooting with a phone say about their photos? As Andy states, the phones are doing more automatically than most of the camera submissions. I donít think the two should fight each other on technical terms. For instance, without fail, I process my photos through LightroomClassic, Photoshop w/Topaz Denoise and if needed Sharpen, and then downsize from 6016 pixels to 1024. If the very thought of that much processing is too much for some, thereís a problem. Requiring the raw files to be submitted would be terminal for any contest, removing all creativity or artistry.

But the complaint as I understand it is associated with major, or perhaps minor, changes to the subject of the photo, as opposed to the actual processing. So, the task at hand should be drawing a line that cannot be crossed in submissions, which might simplify the process of revising the rules.

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Fri Jul 29, 2022, 11:56 AM

20. Think that would work but shouldn't be required. Some people

Are much more amateur. But think it would be a value to more experience photographers for sure.

As someone who used to enter a lot and now I'm someone who looks occasionally but votes all the time here's my perspective in case you're looking for overall improvements

1. We used to enter by sending our photo to the person who is running the contest. I don't remember how this worked, but they would approve for whether or not the photo fit the theme. They would also look at it to make sure it was proper size.

The host of the contest would then turn around and post all the pictures in the voting post. No user names involved. The host could not enter.


The most important aspect of all this was that anonymity was maintained. If previous method can't be done, think group should address lack of anonymity IMHO


2. Unless you visit Photography every day, you really don't know if the voting is out there unless you search through posts. Is it possible to pin the voting open post in caps up at the top so a person doesn't have to search through all these posts to find that voting is open?

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Response to Grumpy Old Guy (Original post)

Fri Jul 29, 2022, 01:33 PM

21. My amateur opinion is if someone wants to know the processing the can ask in comments thread.

Thatís where traditionally such questions are asked and answered.

I also would like pictures posted anonymously.

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