OK, it seems as though people are starting to make rash comments and getting people's backs up.
So it's my time to rant, but in a constructive way.
This forum has a reputation for being a friendly and informative place, and that reputation is going to be tarnished if things go on like this.
Ronin has been a member of this forum since it's creation and has proved to be a very informed and helpful member which is why he got promoted to a moderator.
He came up with the challenge and offered to judge it and organise it, which is something I would normally do. The idea of running these challenges, not contests, is to encourage people to post their images and interpret the theme in a creative way. The topics are meant to broad to allow some creativity, so "Close Up" can be interpretted in much more creative ways than "Insect Macro" or something else far more restricting.
When people post images, of their interpretation of the theme, it is expected that constructive comments are given. Not everyone on here is a professional photographer, or even experienced photographers and not everyone has a library of pictures to choose from. Some people may have got their camera having never picked up a camera before and want to give the challenge a go, and that should be encouraged, no matter what the results are, as long as the theme can be seen in their image.
The image of the photographer taking a picture of the statue fits perfectly into the theme, the photographer in the picture is getting 'close up' to the statue. A good interpretation of the theme in my view and it shows the author is thinking outside the box a bit, so I commend them for that.
The montages are however a stretch of the rules a bit, and as the initial post said, entries should be limited to 4 submissions. OK, one image could be taken as one entry, but one image of multiple images is a bit much.... in my view.
At the end of the day, Ronin set the challenge, Ronin gets to choose what is acceptable. Most of us moderators have day jobs so if we don't instantly remove images or moderate the posts then don't start making comments about whether an image should be allowed or not. That is the job of the challenege organiser, or me.
As I said before, if you have a problem with the challenge theme, say so, but in the appropriate forum for comments about the site, or email me, or pm me about it before broadcasting to the world that you think things are being run in a sloppy manor. It doesn't help the thread, it gets people's backs up and could easily be solved like grown ups with a few messages to those that run the challenge and forum.
There have been several times lately when comments have been made which are not constructive and only go to create bad reputations for the person who made them which therefore leads on to further unhelpful remarks.
I'm going to get all my thoughts out here, if I offend anyone, I apologise, contact me via pm or email and we'll sort it out.
Since Minoltaman joined he has posted a large number of images, in my view as the forum admin, a little too much in one go and it does seem to be a showcase for his large image library in a lot of cases. A lot of his posts are useful, with good information in them and being a full time photographer he can offer useful information about that, but some of his comments are not worded with a lot of thought and are taken as arguementative and sometimes a bit childish (the dog crap post for example).
ISO3200, your comments about things being run in a sloppy way could perhaps have been rephrased as being called sloppy is certainly not a way to make friends. Your point was valid, but not put in a very good way... in my view.
I don't mean to single MM and ISO out, as there have been others in other threads which aren't particularly helpful, but I am just setting an example in my role as the nasty admin man.
I try to let everyone have their say, and don't get involved unless I have to, and I am not an admin who bans people at the first sign of trouble, but what I don't want is for this forum to go the way of some other forums and just turn into sly childish comments and flames. The point of this forum is to be a resource for Konica Minolta Digital SLR users and users of the Sony DSLRs as and when they come out. It is also a forum for photographers, there are forums set up for the relevant subjects so please use the appropriate one. There are forums for fun and jokes and there are forums to say what you think about this site.
Ronin is a valued member of this forum and the comments being made in this thread are not in any way encouraging him to continue trying to help make this forum a better place.
Now back to the comments made about the challenges. The change of deadline is not really a major problem at the end of the day, ok, maybe it wasn't handled in the best way, but it's not a big issue.
Future challenges will have the rules clearly stated in the initial thread, with a closing date. Remember these are challenges, not contests. OK, sometimes there might be a prize, but that depends how much beer money I have left in my pocket, so most of these challenges are for fun, so treat them that way.
As for Nikon coolpix cameras being used, unless stated in the challenge rules, any camera can be used, but you must say what camera you used if it's not a KM or Sony DSLR. Most of you know I don't even own a KM DSLR and use a Nikon Coolpix myself.
I hope I have made some sense, and made my thoughts clear.
If people have issues, speak to the moderators or me or use the appropriate forum. Don't take it upon themselves to say how things should and shouldn't be done.
if you post images, please bear in mind non broadband members. Loading lots of large images will only put them off using this forum, which is not what I want. 2 or 3 images per post is about as much as you should aim for, and don't follow it up with 4 more posts with 2 or 3 images in either.
Any comments, you should now know what to do.