Camera Craniums

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: ABERS on April 28, 2014, 07:44:17 AM

Title: Does this apply here?
Post by: ABERS on April 28, 2014, 07:44:17 AM
I read this with more than a little interest

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27113085

And then wondered if it applied to photography.

We've discussed many times these bones of contention of why's and wherefore's with the general consensus that the weekly CC competition makes people think and stretch themselves photographically, I've always disagreed with this viewpoint. What I will agree is it makes people more creative in interpreting the brief in as much entrants create mock-ups, maquettes or situations to fit the brief and then take photographs of them. The actual photographic skill/input equates to about 5% of the entry. I know, I've done it myself.  :-[

Since nearly all the CC home page and the comments column is taken up with CC competition pictures and chat could this be putting off more people joining? Especially those non competitive ones, the ones that are interested purely in photography?
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: JaneM on April 28, 2014, 10:09:56 AM
Hi,

I suppose it depends on each individuals interpretation of 'photography'. I set up a situation to fit the brief for the competition and then spent over an hour with two different lenses and different light photographing my entry, so for me personally I do feel that I am using photographic skill for something that I maybe would not usually do as I prefer landscape. I have also been on other photography forums in the past who did a similar competition on a weekly/monthly basis and I was up against professional photographers who had camera's that probably cost more than my house and were taking shots from around the world, and this forum for me has a more of a  'light hearted and friendly' feel which is what prompted me to join. I will never be a professional photographer and I love some of my photographs, that other people do not get, and that's what it's all about for me.... I know I will never be fit enough to compete in the London marathon and win, but that does not stop me running the fun mile in the local park and being in with a chance of winning ;)

I hope I do not offend anyone, me being a new member and voicing my opinion like this but I have to say from a new members point of view seeing over half of the forums not being used may have turned me away, but word of mouth prompted me to sign up.  While I like the competition side of things and trying photography I might not usually try within the competition section, I also like critique, just sharing my everyday photographs and learning from others as I feel that I have so much to learn.
I have seen a few area's of the board I would like to post in, for example B&W as this is my 'thing' but felt unsure about bumping an area of the forum that has not been posted into for over a year, and some parts of the forum for over 6 years  :-\ I believe the competition section will bring like minded people to the forum...as a new member I love it, and have always believed a little healthy competition is good :D



Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: Oldboy on April 28, 2014, 10:15:47 AM
It's what the left wing wanted, everyone dumbed down to the lowest level. It's easier to control people who are dumb as they will not question the elite.  >:(
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: jinky on April 28, 2014, 10:40:45 AM
I don`t think it`s relevant to photography at all Abers. The thing is that is more a comment on compulsory school sports participation and nothing to do with a hobby that people choose to get involved in. At school / uni I was never quite good enough to get in the first teams but it did not stop me playing football every weekend on local fields from morning until night because I enjoyed doing it anyway.

When you look at the new interest coming this way it has often been people who miss the fun competition from elsewhere who have joined and then found this forum an unthreatening forum to get a whole range of advice thanks to the  goodwill and expertise of those on here willing to share expertise. The only reason the competition threads dominate are because they are the ones most actively supported - see JaneM`s comments about other threads lying dormant. Given the low level of critique / comment many seem to be limited like I am in adding other shots to the galleries. I agree with Jane again that some of the competition shots at times demonstrate a commitment to developing skills - whether that be in applying a shot they have taken in the real world or mocking up a shot they have imagined in their head and brought to reality to shoot. I`m all too aware that at times I`ve  put in a shot just to support the competition and keep up numbers that I know wouldn`t win and at other times have enjoyed the thinking / application to get a shot that has given me pleasure in the making. It`s a personal thing and some like the comps and others don`t - up to the individual if they do it, bother to vote or look in to the thread but I cannot see it putting anyone off because it somehow makes CC too competitive. As Jane says ( and it is really nice to see a new perspective from a fresh pair of eyes so welcome again Jane  ;) and do keep commenting) it is inactivity rather than competition that is the main deterrent to new members.

If we want CC to be healthier and encourage new members we have to write more, share more and critique more I feel and the comp is a mere sideshow if all else was happening.

You do well at flagging links up like this and getting other conversations going

Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: Oldboy on April 28, 2014, 10:45:59 AM

I hope I do not offend anyone, me being a new member and voicing my opinion.

Your opinion is as valid as anyone Else. Whether you have a cheap camera or an all singing all dancing top of the range DSLR doesn't make any difference. The important thing is that you take pictures you enjoy. If other people also like your photos that's a bonus, but it shouldn't make you change how you see a picture. We all see things differently and it's important to accept that within ourselves.  :tup:
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: JaneM on April 28, 2014, 11:02:19 AM
Quote
enjoyed the thinking / application to get a shot that has given me pleasure in the making. It`s a personal thing and some like the comps and others don`t - up to the individual if they do it, bother to vote or look in to the thread but I cannot see it putting anyone off because it somehow makes CC too competitive.

I agree Jinky, I spent some time yesterday going through the completion thread over the last few months and actually really enjoyed seeing the entries and how the title set was seen and interpreted in so many different ways, as you say it's a personal thing, what one person may like, another may not but that's what photography is about for me, what you see with your own eye and thinking out of the box :) As Oldboy said
Quote
'it shouldn't make you change how you see a picture. We all see things differently and it's important to accept that within ourselves
and that is what I feel on camera cramiums :)
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: ABERS on April 28, 2014, 03:47:39 PM
I don`t think it`s relevant to photography at all Abers. The thing is that is more a comment on compulsory school sports participation and nothing to do with a hobby that people choose to get involved in.

Perhaps I didn't make it clear what I was getting at Jinky. Yes it's an article about school sports participation and the enthusiasm or not of joining in competitively. What I was trying to get at, as far as CC is concerned, does the emphasis on the weekly comp put people off from joining CC. I think it does. I have a wide circle of photographic friends of all abilities and who specialise in all genres of the art.

Having recommended CC to a few of them and not seeing them join up they have been asked why and on a few occasions they have said that the site appears to be mainly concerned with winning weekly competitions and they weren't looking for that; and the need to meet a weekly brief would be too arduous and time consuming interfering with their main work and efforts to improve.

One in particular mentioned he liked to set his own briefs not be restricted by others' ideas.

Jane has given us a fresh viewpoint, let's hope she'll infect us with her enthusiasm and go on to win many a weekly comp. :tup:

Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: Reinardina on April 28, 2014, 03:59:05 PM
Competitive sports: If people do not learn the joy of winning, Britain would never have had the Olympics they did have.
Not coming first, will teach people life is not over, because they did not win. If there is a competitive spark in the loser, they will work/train harder to do better next time. If not, they will realise, after a while, that it does not really matter.

In photography, I suppose everyone who takes photos 'with intent' ( other than the hourly snapshots to go on social websites), will want to do better, if they do not quite get the result they hoped for. Once the 'bug' is caught, people will find photography related articles, books and websites and will try to improve.

About this website: Mick has said often enough, he offers the platform and it is up to us to 'fill' the site. So go ahead Jane (and everyone else) use and revive the 'dead' threads, and make the site livelier and more attractive.

ABERS, let your friends know they do not have to enter the competition. If more photographers of your calibre would join, and do 'their own thing,' it would only improve the value, quality and enjoyment of the site.

With a bit of luck there will soon be threads that really catch on, and in doing so, remove the competition posts to second place.
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: JaneM on April 28, 2014, 04:42:37 PM
Quote
and the need to meet a weekly brief would be too arduous and time consuming interfering with their main work and efforts to improve.
I feel as a new member that I do not need to participate within the competition section to be a part of the forum community, with working full time, doing a degree and home life I will not always have the time to take part, but already feel that it will not be an issue to others or myself if I cannot,  maybe as Reinardina say's you explain that the competition is a personal choice and as more members join the sections that are dormant will fill up :)


Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: jinky on April 28, 2014, 05:13:43 PM
I don`t think it`s relevant to photography at all Abers. The thing is that is more a comment on compulsory school sports participation and nothing to do with a hobby that people choose to get involved in.

Perhaps I didn't make it clear what I was getting at Jinky. Yes it's an article about school sports participation and the enthusiasm or not of joining in competitively. What I was trying to get at, as far as CC is concerned, does the emphasis on the weekly comp put people off from joining CC. I think it does. I have a wide circle of photographic friends of all abilities and who specialise in all genres of the art.

Having recommended CC to a few of them and not seeing them join up they have been asked why and on a few occasions they have said that the site appears to be mainly concerned with winning weekly competitions and they weren't looking for that; and the need to meet a weekly brief would be too arduous and time consuming interfering with their main work and efforts to improve.

One in particular mentioned he liked to set his own briefs not be restricted by others' ideas.

Jane has given us a fresh viewpoint, let's hope she'll infect us with her enthusiasm and go on to win many a weekly comp. :tup:

I did get what you were saying Abers , as demonstrated by the rest of my response rather than this opening comment which I think caused confusion. The point I was making was that it appears that the comp dominates only because they are the only active thread. If as Jane and R suggest we were to populate more threads by discussion / sharing we`d change the appearance but Mick is dependent on us to do that. As adults I am sure we can all choose to be involved or not involved with such threads and choose to shoot whatever we want and never be obliged to shoot what others say. 
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: DigiDiva on April 28, 2014, 07:10:28 PM
How many members frequently frequent the forum against the amount that enter the competiton? I think these figures speak for themselves.....Very few enter the comp so how could it put people off from joining?

Whats missing in this forum is critique when people post to the gallery.
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: Reinardina on April 28, 2014, 08:20:08 PM

Whats missing in this forum is critique when people post to the gallery.

You can always make a start.
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: DigiDiva on April 28, 2014, 09:07:22 PM
Fair point well made Reinardina. Have taken it on board and posted a few comments .
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: Andrew on April 28, 2014, 11:26:47 PM
The weekly comp - that's an old chestnut - been going on since Tim Wallace and Jonathan Ryan were both aspiring amateurs on the old DCM site.

The thing with the weekly comp is - it's a fun thing. Being a member of CC does not require you to enter each week. As much as I am trying to get an entry, my studies get in the way a bit.
Mick has tried to up the game of the comp with a prize - but sadly that didn't catch on either.
Which to me reinforces the idea that the weekly comp is seen as a fun, non compulsory thing.

There is already too much mandatory competing in this current society. Everything in life seems to be tick box approved and score rated. Let's just enjoy the fun.

As for the threads - I suppose the only way you are really going to see threads 'still live' is of you were to give over more space on the front page to the threads. I don't know if this is possible or even a popular idea - replacing some of the picture gallery with threads.

For me, the real issue re- threads is the vast array of 'dead' threads that seem to have no following any more. If you want to know what I mean, go into forum and look at all the thread catagories and sub categories and look at when they were last updated. With out looking too hard, I'm guessing over 3/4 have not had new stuff added to them in over a year.

The people who pop in and have a look, seem to look at the front page, and a few of the threads, and think - 'uh no' without realising the strengths of this site.
No peer pressure. No ego's (only in jesting). A community of people genuinely willing to help.

Those who join and engage, soon realise that people here are willing to help and critique - as opposed to judge. And that's the way to spread the word  :tup:
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: Jediboy on April 29, 2014, 07:48:54 AM
My take on this;

I find it hard to believe that someone could be put off joining a forum because of the high level of interest in competitions. But if this has been experienced then I guess it must happen. However it does seem as though someone could miss out on something just because of the appearance of a home page.

It's important to remember that different people want different things from photography. Some will enjoy the challenge of a competition whilst others may prefer to focus on their own ideas and develop in their own way. Each is fine, and I'd suggest that's one of the beauties of photography.

I would be happy saying that I imagine that all photographers have one thing in common - the desire to improve.
And I believe hat a forum like like is able to help.

Personally, the competitions have helped my photography. They have taken me outside of my comfort zone, made me take photos that I would not otherwise have taken and in turn has helped me to improve. I still have a huge amount to learn, and I'm hoping that the competitions can continue to help me.

I find it a bit insulting to suggest that people who participate in competitions are not 'interested purely in photography' as if they are lesser photographers. For me, an attitude like this is more likely to turn people  away from a forum as opposed to competitions.
I can't help but question the motivation for this thread. Despite sparking a good debate, it seems another dig from Abers at the people who enjoy the comps. (Please correct me if I'm wrong, I'll happily shut up and get back in my box).

I agree with R when she says that people of Abers high level of skill and knowledge could be a huge benefit to a forum like this, and it's a shame that they choose not too. However, I respect their choice and would never try to impose my own thoughts on other people.

As always, just my thoughts.
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: Oldboy on April 29, 2014, 09:03:57 AM
I don't go into the home page but straight into the forums. Just setup your shortcut to CC to do this. Problem solved.  :doh:
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: ABERS on April 29, 2014, 09:04:11 AM
Please can we clear up a couple of things.


I find it a bit insulting to suggest that people who participate in competitions are not 'interested purely in photography' as if they are lesser photographers. For me, an attitude like this is more likely to turn people  away from a forum as opposed to competitions.

Where does this come from?

I can't help but question the motivation for this thread. Despite sparking a good debate, it seems another dig from Abers at the people who enjoy the comps. (Please correct me if I'm wrong, I'll happily shut up and get back in my box). As always, just my thoughts.

I have  no axe to grind with people who enjoy competitions. If they enjoy and benefit from their participation more power to their elbow. Why should I 'have a dig ' at them?

The motivation for the thread, as you quite rightly say, was to spark a debate about why or why not people enter. It would be interesting to know what people learn from their entries since the consensus is that it improves their photographic skills. There are no constructive comments passed on the entries apart from a few voters that give their thumbs up, or not, to them.

Nobody bothers to say why they didn't vote for image No.1 or why they did vote for for image No. 7. They might say 'It was a difficult choice this week but my vote went to No.9'. So, if you garner zero votes what have you learned? Conversely if you sweep the board, what have you learned? What in either case has helped you to improve your photography? Apart from the fact that you've had an enjoyable photographic experience, which perhaps is the name of the game. :)

P.S. I enter about a dozen competitions a year. Some where a judge deliberates objectively and passes judgement to an assembled throng pointing out the whys and wherefores of his/her judgements. Some where the judge passes a more subjective deliberation as to why he/she has chosen a winner and two runners-up. And two or three others where a panel passes judgement. So I think you'll appreciate I'm not anti competitive.

Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: Andrew on April 29, 2014, 10:27:16 AM
Abers having a dig?

A tonque in cheek comment maybe - but if you meet the man, you will know that he tends to say what he thinks.

As for competitions, well again Abers is 'your man' for them, and exhibitions as well. Abers taught me the invaluable part about competitions - that results can be highly unpredictable. Having enjoyed a few discussions on competitions, and engaged in submissions at a photography club in Horsham, I soon realised that only reseraching the judge(s) and what they like to see - followed by producing an image in that style - is likely to enocurage favourable results.

On this forum though, the judges are our peers. That means our picture gets judged for its worth on a multitude of ideals - the appeal of the image, the quality of processing, the interpretation of the comp theme, the technical correctness of the image and so on. In other words, the result really is in the lap of the gods. Sometimes you can see in an entry and know almost immediately that it is most likely to be the winner, other times you struggle, but that's the fun of it.

For me, the competition improves my photography in that it forces me to think outside the box.

But the thing that has had the biggest impact on my photography is other photographers - especially those I have gone on shoots with. Put 10 photographers in a location and tell them to spend a day getting shots and see what they come up with. Those on here who know me well enough know I've been on plenty of meet ups and arranged a a few as well. What I learned from those meets was 'how did i miss that?" as i looked at the great shots produced by the others present at the meet.

Those people with whom I've shot with include Carol (Sarasocke), Eileen, Sandy, Jonathan, Abers, Irvin, Martin to name but a few. All still listed as members even if not as active as they once were. Almost every one of those has a different interest in photography and it was those differences which taught me to open my eyes and see things differently.

The weekly comp produces a similar scenario without the sticky buns, cups of tea and ragging over having inferior kit and other social interactions. And like those meet up of olds - it is not a requirement of membership to enter or attend. It is a way of pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone and learning to think outside the box.

Join in or not, it's not compulsory - but enjoy it for what it is.
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: Jediboy on April 29, 2014, 11:14:07 AM
Please can we clear up a couple of things.


I find it a bit insulting to suggest that people who participate in competitions are not 'interested purely in photography' as if they are lesser photographers. For me, an attitude like this is more likely to turn people  away from a forum as opposed to competitions.

Where does this come from?

I can't help but question the motivation for this thread. Despite sparking a good debate, it seems another dig from Abers at the people who enjoy the comps. (Please correct me if I'm wrong, I'll happily shut up and get back in my box). As always, just my thoughts.

I have  no axe to grind with people who enjoy competitions. If they enjoy and benefit from their participation more power to their elbow. Why should I 'have a dig ' at them?

The motivation for the thread, as you quite rightly say, was to spark a debate about why or why not people enter. It would be interesting to know what people learn from their entries since the consensus is that it improves their photographic skills. There are no constructive comments passed on the entries apart from a few voters that give their thumbs up, or not, to them.

Nobody bothers to say why they didn't vote for image No.1 or why they did vote for for image No. 7. They might say 'It was a difficult choice this week but my vote went to No.9'. So, if you garner zero votes what have you learned? Conversely if you sweep the board, what have you learned? What in either case has helped you to improve your photography? Apart from the fact that you've had an enjoyable photographic experience, which perhaps is the name of the game. :)

P.S. I enter about a dozen competitions a year. Some where a judge deliberates objectively and passes judgement to an assembled throng pointing out the whys and wherefores of his/her judgements. Some where the judge passes a more subjective deliberation as to why he/she has chosen a winner and two runners-up. And two or three others where a panel passes judgement. So I think you'll appreciate I'm not anti competitive.

Thanks for your response. My 'dig' comment was aimed at some recent perceptions of mine.
Most recently where you commented on people using the shout box to encourage others to vote. This has since stopped, which I feel is a shame as it was only intended to generate interest and participation.

Having seen some of your photography over the last few years, you are clearly a very talented and accomplished photographer. I have no doubt that someone like me could learn an awful lot from you. But not on here I guess.

I agree that there is no constructive comment about photos entered into competition. Maybe that is something that could change??
However, even without such comment, I still believe that I benefit from entering the competitions (when I can) as it does take me out of my comfort zone. Seeing other entries makes me strive to make my photos better, not just in the competitions, but elsewhere too.
I hope other people benefit from the competitions and continue to participate.
Title: Re: Does this apply here?
Post by: Daggers62 on April 29, 2014, 01:11:06 PM
Being new here I have been on the outside looking in and have followed this thread with interest.

Does taking part in the competition make me better at taking photographs? For me, yes it does. It makes me think differently based on the subject, it makes me be creative, it makes me look for the shot, it makes me use different aperture, exposure, and shutter speed. Do I do all of that to take better photographs or to win? Both, because you have to take a better photograph to win, which makes you a better photographer. If that means I only show 5% skill then maybe that is all I have.. at the moment.. and I won't get beyond that without pushing myself.

Would I have joined if there was no competition?
Yes. I did not join here for the competition but for the friendliness of the site and its users and also to learn from those that take far better photographs than I do. If others on the outside looking in don't see beyond the competition then that is their problem, you can't please everybody. After the closure of the DCW forums I joined a number of other forums and what I did discover was a large number of photographers have their head so far up their own anal passage you could hear the shutter release when they walk. Not a community I want to be involved with.

If constructive criticism is required within the competition area then revive the 'Ups & Downs' that was on the DCW thread. As we all know not everybody takes kindly to criticism but if it is done constructively then it can be a benefit.

For me, and has already been said, it is the dead threads that are off putting as it shows a lack of user participation in those areas. They need to be resurrected and maintained or archived.