New Feature - Photo Contest (for monthly photo of the day threads)

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Eric

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Just a simple addition to the photo of the day threads started each month. Basically, all it does is highlights all of the photos and counts their reactions. It's set to expire at the end of the month. From what I can tell it's simply the most reactions gets the win for that month.
 

Scepticalscribe

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What about - also an actual weekly - or monthly, perhaps, for starters - photo contest?

I would love to hear from some of our regulars who are also keen photographers - @Clix Pix, @Apple fanboy and others - what thoughts (if any) they might have on this.

That is one of the areas I have long enjoyed visiting on MR (though, these days, I don't visit it as frequently as I used to).
 
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Eric

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What about - also an actual weekly - or monthly, perhaps for starters - photo contest?

I would love to hear from some of our regulars who are also keen photographers - @Clix Pix, @Apple fanboy and others - what thoughts (if any) thye might have on this.

That is one of the areas I have long enjoyed visiting on MR (though, these days, I don't visit it as frequently as I used to).
Love the idea, just not sure we have a diverse enough base we basically only have 5 or 6 really active users in here, would love to see more traffic in this forum.
 

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Love the idea, just not sure we have a diverse enough base we basically only have 5 or 6 really active users in here, would love to see more traffic in this forum.

That is why - for starters, I would suggest that it could be - perhaps - a monthly (rather than a weekly) contest.

Besides, on MR, very often, it is the same (fairly familiar) faces who submit entries each week, even though - for the most part - it is a warm and welcoming place, frequented by genuine enthusiasts.
 
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Clix Pix

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Haven't tried it here, but on MR when viewing a thread, if at the top of the thread one clicks on "Sort by Reaction Score," the 25 posts with the most "likes" or "reactions" are arranged in order by the greatest number descending downward. So for the monthly POTD thread there anyone can quickly view the top 25 images and determine who the "winner" is. That isn't actually a contest, though, it's just members offering an image each day for others' enjoyment. The one key "rule" is that just one image per day can be submitted in that thread, and another is that the shot must have been taken by the member posting it. (We do have one exception there, for a disabled member who cannot physically push the shutter button herself.) Images are posted by whoever comes along, sees the thread and has a photo they'd like to share. Critiques are not offered unless specifically requested, and I have the feeling that many viewers just hit the "like" button no matter what, regardless of actual quality of the image displayed.

Separately within the Digital Photography subforum there is also a weekly competition over there, where the winner gets to choose the topic for the next round and also gets to (groan) judge the competition. Why the groan? Many of us are fond of being in second or third place on the "podium" and receiving acknowledgement from our peers but most of us don't like actually winning the thing, as it can be rather time-consuming being responsible for it during the week that one is the judge. There are various rules around those competitions, such as viewers are NOT to hit the "like" button on any submitted image until after the competition has been completed and judged. Topics vary and it's interesting to see how some seem to have a lot of participation while others wither on the vine. Images can be submitted from one's archives or fresh out of the camera, but just one entry per member, and the shot MUST have been taken by the person submitting it. There are no constraints on the gear used, so everything from a smartphone to a top-of-the-line ILC and everything in between can be represented. Critiques may be offered during the judging process but many people go lightly on that, since the overall idea is to have fun, not to hurt someone's feelings. I find critique to be useful and helpful, but not everyone does, and some members may be hypersensitive to the slightest suggestion that their image is anything less than absolutely stellar.

Right now, as Eric points out, we have only a small group of people who seem to be posting in our monthly Photo of the Day thread here, and I don't know how many other members actually look in on that thread either regularly or sporadically. There seem to be a small number of "likes" on the various images, so we do have an audience, but a rather sparse one. I am not sure that we would have a significant increase in members looking at a competition thread, so it is likely that the contest participants would consist of the same few members who now post daily images in the regular POTD thread and viewed by those who are already in the habit of looking at the images. ??
 
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Clix Pix

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That is why - for starters, I would suggest that it could be - pergaps - a monthly (rather than a weekly) contest.

Besides, on MR, very often, it is the same (fairly familiar) faces who submit entries each week, even though - for the most part - it is a warm and welcoming place, frequented by genuine enthusiasts.

Yep, usually the same familiar faces who submit entries because these are the members who are indeed enthusiastic about photography and who use their gear, whatever it may be, on a fairly regular, consistent basis and who enjoy sharing the results. Back in the early days, at the time iGary started the POTD concept, most of the participants at that time were serious photographers who had serious gear. Two or three were actual professional photographers who made their living with their gear, and others worked in the industry in related ways. Although there may have been a few who participated with P&S cameras, most of the participants had DSLRs or rangefinders. This was prior to the arrival of the iPhone and other smartphones. Now just about everyone has a camera in their pocket, regardless of their interest in or skill level in photography.....

People tend to drift in-and-out of the Digital Photography subforum from time to time. I know I was active in it for a while in the early days and then experienced burnout and took a hiatus during a period where I did very little shooting at all. Now I'm back in the fold again, but there are others who used to participate who seem to have (temporarily?) disappeared (either voluntarily or involuntarily). Now we have a mix of participants in there, which adds interest and variety and keeps that subforum very active. Some members started participating on a gradual level, their interest in the whole photographic process increased and they have been improving their skills and in some situations upgrading their gear, for example, moving from P&S to DSLR or mirrorless. Others are new members to MR altogether who because they were already interested in photography have discovered the Digital Photography subforum and have begun participating, too. It's been interesting observing the ebb-and-flow plus growth of that subforum over the years.
 
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Clix Pix

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Also on MR, to add to the confusion, in addition to the Digital Photography subforum there is a category called "Picture Gallery," and this is where members are encouraged to share their snapshots of their cars, their pets, their food, their favorite items, etc......and there are also specific threads devoted to "Photos Shot With the iPhone [name the model] ONLY", and I think many who shoot only with their iPhones tend to go to those threads rather than come into the Digital Photography subforum or post in the POTD thread. I'm not sure but I think that in those threads members do not necessarily have to have been the one to have taken the photo, either, so they can share their favorite travel photos shot by Dad, Great-Aunt Susie or Uncle Joe as well as themselves.
 
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Eric

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My view on the contest threads are that it's more of a user popularity contest and there's clear bias as to who didn't win last time, how long they've been on the forum, are they a part of the clique, etc. and I do get that, it's an inherent problem when it comes to other users and their standing.

I think the only way to be truly fair is by blind judging. That show Beat Bobby Flay is a great example of this, the final round is Bobby vs the contestant and when they're food is ready for judging they bring in the panel who has no idea who cooked what and they're only judging the dish, not the chef.
 

Clix Pix

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I agree wholeheartedly, Eric! There is definitely more than a hint of the user/member popularity thing going on in the Digital Photography competitions. Also, as I alluded to earlier, many who have been around a long time know that so-and-so may be an outstanding photographer and his or her image is crackerjack but that he or she has pretty clearly expressed in the past how they don't like winning and judging, so when it's time for the judging, it is not unusual for someone who might have under normal circumstances been the winner to be in second or third place on the virtual podium. Or in second or third place on the podium when there are other entries which really would have deserved those spots. Also there is a tendency to choose someone as the winner who has not won before, both as perceived encouragement for his or her efforts and to artfully take care of the issue I mentioned above......

In the POTD thread, I think there is a tendency to hit the "like" button on pretty much all of the daily submissions regardless of their actual quality in order to not hurt anyone's feelings and to attempt to encourage them to keep shooting, but this doesn't do anyone any favors if they are really not showing quality work or they could benefit from someone making constructive suggestions. Kind of like "give every child a prize because he or she participated," approach rather than really helping the participant by withholding a "like" because the image simply did not pass muster. Most people would have the sense to realize that, hey, if these other images are getting 15 or 20 "likes" and mine is only getting 2 or 3, why is that? Maybe I need to improve my technique and skills?"

Of course each image is viewed both objectively and subjectively by the photographer and by those seeing what is on display. To a certain extent, obviously those who have more knowledge in the first place are going to be able to recognize how an image could be improved and perhaps have the tools to do so, but those just starting out aren't going to have that awareness and probably not those tools. Since MR is not a photography-specific website and forum and the Digital Photography subforum is only one of many subforums there, the general approach has been to be lenient, and critiques are far and few between.
 
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Eric

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I agree wholeheartedly, Eric! There is definitely more than a hint of the user/member popularity thing going on in the Digital Photography competitions. Also, as I alluded to earlier, many who have been around a long time know that so-and-so may be an outstanding photographer and his or her image is crackerjack but that he or she has pretty clearly expressed in the past how they don't like winning and judging, so when it's time for the judging, it is not unusual for someone who might have under normal circumstances been the winner to be in second or third place on the virtual podium. Or in second or third place on the podium when there are other entries which really would have deserved those spots. Also there is a tendency to choose someone as the winner who has not won before, both as perceived encouragement for his or her efforts and to artfully take care of the issue I mentioned above......

In the POTD thread, I think there is a tendency to hit the "like" button on pretty much all of the daily submissions regardless of their actual quality in order to not hurt anyone's feelings and to attempt to encourage them to keep shooting, but this doesn't do anyone any favors if they are really not showing quality work or they could benefit from someone making constructive suggestions. Kind of like "give every child a prize because he or she participated," approach rather than really helping the participant by withholding a "like" because the image simply did not pass muster. Most people would have the sense to realize that, hey, if these other images are getting 15 or 20 "likes" and mine is only getting 2 or 3, why is that? Maybe I need to improve my technique and skills?"

Of course each image is viewed both objectively and subjectively by the photographer and by those seeing what is on display. To a certain extent, obviously those who have more knowledge in the first place are going to be able to recognize how an image could be improved and perhaps have the tools to do so, but those just starting out aren't going to have that awareness and probably not those tools. Since MR is not a photography-specific website and forum and the Digital Photography subforum is only one of many subforums there, the general approach has been to be lenient, and critiques are far and few between.
I agree about liking, I think in the POTD threads it's a lot more lenient because it's not a place where you'll showcase your best work anyway, I mean I'm lucky to get a real keeper once a month let alone once a day. :LOL: The likes in there are pretty much the same as we are, just proportionally larger on MR, here we'll get 5 or 6, on MR it's 15 or 20.

We're small so I get that but the last photo I posted on Reddit got more than 2500 likes and 200+ replies, it's a great platform because if your image isn't interesting, people simply don't like them, I've had my share of those, too. I also think it helps that most users seem anonymous to each other there as the audience is so huge, so you are really being judged on your post.

I would love to see this forum grown though, hopefully we'll get more people interested as we go. It couldn't hurt to have an iPhone thread as well, this really broadens the reach and maybe it would attract more people to post their instead of the POTD. I wouldn't want to mandate it but it would at least give people options. That or we could also add a prefix for camera type, then it could be sorted by that.
 

citypix

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It's been fascinating reading this thread. And holy smokes...being a member of MR for a decade I had no idea there was a photography sub-forum.

At this point I don't think I'll be exploring that; I've about had it with the toxicity over there.
 

Clix Pix

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You would be very welcome in the Digital Photography Subforum!! It's got its pros and cons, of course, but in general it's interesting to participate there and see others' images and to join in on the various discussions we've had over the years. I think it's under the category of "Special Interests," if that helps you find it. There is less toxicity in the Digital Photography subforum than there is in other areas of MR, although from time to time we do have our moments as well....
 
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Eric

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You would be very welcome in the Digital Photography Subforum!! It's got its pros and cons, of course, but in general it's interesting to participate there and see others' images and to join in on the various discussions we've had over the years. I think it's under the category of "Special Interests," if that helps you find it. There is less toxicity in the Digital Photography subforum than there is in other areas of MR, although from time to time we do have our moments as well....
I'll second this, it's pretty much the only forum I participate in (even though rarely now) and have always had good experiences in there, plus it's really active.
 

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It's been fascinating reading this thread. And holy smokes...being a member of MR for a decade I had no idea there was a photography sub-forum.

At this point I don't think I'll be exploring that; I've about had it with the toxicity over there.
For a variety of reasons (their stance on masks and the outcome of the 2020 presidential & other elections in the US are two of the major ones), these days, I am not terribly taken with MR, and visit (and post) there a lot less frequently than I used to.

However, I concur (completely) with both @Clix Pix & @Eric re the 'digital photography' section on MR.

It is one of the most agreeable, pleasant, engaging, warm and welcoming places in all of MR, where the people who post are friendly enthusiasts who are happy to share tips, knowledge, thoughts and experience.

Seriously, @citypix, it is genuinely well worth a visit.
You would be very welcome in the Digital Photography Subforum!! It's got its pros and cons, of course, but in general it's interesting to participate there and see others' images and to join in on the various discussions we've had over the years. I think it's under the category of "Special Interests," if that helps you find it. There is less toxicity in the Digital Photography subforum than there is in other areas of MR, although from time to time we do have our moments as well....
What can I say to both posts? Seconded, and thirded.....
I'll second this, it's pretty much the only forum I participate in (even though rarely now) and have always had good experiences in there, plus it's really active.
 
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citypix

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Clix Pix, Eric, Scepticalscribe,

Hey, thanx for the warm welcome to the photo forum over there - appreciate it. And will check it out.

I'm new to this site, being here only about a month. It has been a breath of FRESH AIR. Seriously. Curious about the dynamics of why there are so many here, coming from over there. Was this site created as an alternative? Or is it just a coincidence? Thanx again.
 
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Eric

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Clix Pix, Eric, Scepticalscribe,

Hey, thanx for the warm welcome to the photo forum over there - appreciate it. And will check it out.

I'm new to this site, being here only about a month. It has been a breath of FRESH AIR. Seriously. Curious about the dynamics of why there are so many here, coming from over there. Was this site created as an alternative? Or is it just a coincidence? Thanx again.
Yes to all of the above :) They had a forum (Politics, Religion, and Social Issues and if you didn't follow it then congratulations) which they have subsequently closed a few months back. I won't go into detail about i but if you think the moderation and trolling are bad now, it was off the rails then.

I already owned a couple of domains so I started this site up with a few of the regulars over there and the rest is history. Many who have been banned over there (myself included a few times) have been invited to join us here, where they can post and be treated like adults. We've been here for over a year and all of those same people rarely have any issues over here without any moderation, it can be done if your don't run your board like a hun.
 

citypix

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Yes to all of the above :) They had a forum (Politics, Religion, and Social Issues and if you didn't follow it then congratulations) which they have subsequently closed a few months back. I won't go into detail about i but if you think the moderation and trolling are bad now, it was off the rails then.

I already owned a couple of domains so I started this site up with a few of the regulars over there and the rest is history. Many who have been banned over there (myself included a few times) have been invited to join us here, where they can post and be treated like adults. We've been here for over a year and all of those same people rarely have any issues over here without any moderation, it can be done if your don't run your board like a hun.
Ah, ok... Wow! And congratulations! Didn't know you started this site. Must have taken a TON of work to achieve this level of breadth.

I've been suspended over there a few times, but really didn't mind that too much. It's just the overall atmosphere...a ton of negativity and race-to-the-bottom juvenile burns and nastiness. I've reached my limit.
 
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