Author Topic: Restarting the Challenges.  (Read 3503 times)

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Offline AScot

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Restarting the Challenges.
« on: July 25, 2014, 03:20:27 AM »
John and I would like to restart the Monthly Challenges and would appreciate your input. The new challenges will, due to manpower shortages, be simpler.

1) We will assemble a list of challenges with dates and post them in a sticky so that anyone wishing to prepare an entry, will know what month the coming challenges will be held.

2) We would appreciate your help by suggesting challenge themes. Please make your suggestions by replying to this topic. They can be anything you want, within decency, and can even be repeats of old challenges. They can also be heavily photoshoped, or straight from the camera, that is your choice.

3) We will start the first new challenge on August 1st 2014 and run to the last day of the month. All entries must conform with the posting rules Here and Here. These rules have been considerably relaxed and we ask that you have a quick read.

4) At the end of the month, John and I will peruse the entries and pick a winner. No voting will be necessary as voting takes time that we do not have. In the unlikely event that John and I cannot agree on a winner we will PM a member at random and ask that he/she break the deadlock.

5) The winner will be posted at the end of the entries post and all members will be invited to discuss both the winning entry and the other entries. That will be the only place discussion of the entries will be allowed and only after the winner has been announced.

6) The winner will be added to the existing list of winners. There will not be a 2nd or third place.

If you have any comments or critiques regarding the new challenges, Please post them as replies to this post.

Thank you all,

chappo1 (John) and Ascot (Charles)
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline Faldrax

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Re: Restarting the Challenges.
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2014, 09:40:31 AM »
Ideas for themes

'Spring' / 'Summer' / 'Autumn'/ 'Winter' - based on the season just ended (So the Spring theme could run at the end of spring). Might need to make this a 2 season theme, so applicable to those on both sides of the equator :)

'In the Wild'
'Cats' (or other suitable animal group, eg 'Horses')
'By the Sea'

It's a shame that voting is to be dropped - I always found it interesting to see the short-list, and then to review them and try and decide what I thought was the best, it made me try view the images in a more conciousness and analytical way that otherwise I might not.
What was the time consuming aspect of voting for you? Is it something that someone else could help with, if folks wanted the voting to return?
It is difficult to explain to white mice that black cats are lucky...

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Offline AScot

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Re: Restarting the Challenges.
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2014, 09:12:32 PM »
Thanks Faldrex. I was looking for themes that were more specific, something that you personally would shoot, for instance Flower Macros, insect Macros, Seascapes, landscapes Etc. 'Spring' / 'Summer' / 'Autumn'/ 'Winter' are pretty generic and would use up all possible themes in four months. :D I will add your specific themes, 'In the Wild', 'Cats' (or other suitable animal group, eg 'Horses') and 'By the Sea' to the list of themes.

By necessity we must ignore the location of members as we are worldwide. After all what's nicer than seeing a flower in full bloom when out your window you have 3m of snow? Also you can submit a photo that was taken at any time, there are no time limits.

As for voting, it means a lot of work for what is essentially two mods. Initially we have to post the start of the challenge, monitor the entries for compliance and ensure that no other members are discussing the entries (that last is a biggie). At the end of the month we would determine a short list, post the list, receive the votes by PM, count the votes, post the winners then monitor the discussion of the winner. I do agree that reviewing the short list and deciding the merits of each photo then making a decision as to what you consider to be the best, can be interesting, fun and educational. Unfortunately during the last year of challenges we were lucky if we got 3 or 4 votes. The last challenge did not even get any entries, which can be very disheartening and contributed to Pat leaving the forum, a big loss for us all. So, for now, John and I will do the voting between us and if things pick up and we see that there is good support then we will revert to members voting.

In the past we have allowed members, such as yourself, to assist us in various tasks and even to run a challenge if they so wished. The truth is that in the end it does not save us work, even when we had 8 Admins/Mods. There are many things that a member does not instinctively know about the inner working of a forum such as this and that results in them having to be helped when it would have been quicker to just do it ourself. I realise that I am being prejudiced by saying that and I know that there are a number of members who would in time make great mods. We just do not have the time. One thing about making a member a mod is that it creates a tremendous amount of work training that mod. That is one reason why we now only have two, John and I, running this forum.

I hope you and all other members can understand where I am coming from and do not take offence. I also hope you will support John and I while we try this simplified method of running the challenges. We first have to observe what interest there is and go on from there. If it works we will then bring back the POTM (Photo of the month) and perhaps take suggestions from members for improving the forum.
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline Faldrax

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Re: Restarting the Challenges.
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2014, 11:38:25 PM »
I was deliberately including some fairly generic ideas, in the hope that a more 'open' theme might lead to more entries - the intention was that you might perhaps have 1 or 2 fairly generic themes per year, the remainder being more specific.

I know that personally I am limited on times I can go and take photos, so generally have to find an existing shot that matches the theme, rather than being able to take a shot specifically for it. This means that the more specific the theme, the less likely I am to have a shot that fits - I imagine that is true for others as well, so thought that having a few quite open themes might help encourage more members to participate.

I am surprised at the low numbers of votes you received - I assumed that everyone who entered would vote, as well as any of the more active members - and tried to always do so myself if about when voting was ongoing, but know I missed a few.

Anyway, I hope the restart of the challenges does work, and help stimulate more activity here.

Lastly, a big thank-you to all the mods for the work you do, I appreciate it must take up a lot of time, but the result is a very friendly forum, always the first place I check each day :)



It is difficult to explain to white mice that black cats are lucky...

2 x A900/VG, A6000
CZ 16-35 f/2.8, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 HSM, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 Di USD, Sony 70-300G,
Tamron 150-600, Sony 50 f1.4, Minolta 85 f1.4 G RS, Sony 100 f2.8 Macro
Manfrotto 055CXPro3 + 410 Junior Geared head,
Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/36503683@N08/

Offline chappo1

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Re: Restarting the Challenges.
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2014, 11:41:05 PM »
Thanks for the feedback Jonathan.  I said to Charles that I did not mind if folks went for the seasons as a theme.  Us "t'othersiders could post the opposite season provided we posted upside down.  :grin:
I like seeing places where I have not been, nor are likely to visit.
How about The town where I live or the street where I live as some suggestions...john

You cross posted with me Jonanthan... thank you for the feedback....john
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 11:42:39 PM by chappo1 »
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Offline REX (aka TG)

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Re: Restarting the Challenges.
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2014, 05:11:57 AM »
A big thanks to all moderators and administrators (also the past). It is a really great work what you do here. As Jonathan says always the first place to post and read.

Hope for better days for DD forum and more interest from members
aSLT/SLR/NEX,DYNAX

Offline Fud

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Re: Restarting the Challenges.
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2014, 05:37:49 PM »
Is it worth looking at some of the early challenges that we had and maybe reusing those?  Possible ones that I have thought of are
In flight
Sun
Night
Away from it all
Citylife
Young
Water
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Offline Frank [aka Wires]

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Re: Restarting the Challenges.
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2014, 07:23:55 PM »
Good to hear! :)

I think it is a great idea to restart the challenges. Possibly start with some of the past subjects while members come up with suggestions? And perhaps it would be worth trying to do a bimonthly challenge to start with rather than a monthly? For the first six months? Maybe every now and then have one that is specifically directed for the newer members and to encourage them to post?

Starting with some previous challenges would also give you (Charles and John) a chance to organise the schedule of topics and dates - although you've already said 1st of August and then 1st of each month.

Possibly have 'Themes'? Like something for a book cover? Holiday brochure? A certain area that some members are located? That last one probably sounds unfair as it would leave out a large membership BUT would give the participating members a chance to show us what it is like were they are and be a sort of 'mini' challenge rather than an 'all in'... local wildlife, fauna, street photography from a village/town/city area environment etc?

On a sadder note, I wondered why I'd not seen anything from Pat - not that I've been a very active member here for a while - sorry to hear she left and the Mod team is down to two of you - from 8! You both deserve more support and let's hope that more members will rally round, get involved and show the appreciation for what you both do in trying to keep this forum going - and being as friendly as it is.

My thanks to you Charles and John - and also to past Mods :)
Frank (aka Wires)
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Offline AScot

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Re: Restarting the Challenges.
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2014, 10:37:13 PM »
Fud, Yes  the early challenges could be used. However I have removed the old list as I felt that since we are starting fresh we should start with fresh minds and themes and not have an old list to confuse us all. I have the old list on my computer so it is still available if we get desperate. I have added all your themes to the new list.

Frank, I think we should stay with the monthly challenges, bimonthly allows too much time for members and mods to forget that we have a challenge. :D

I'm not sure what you mean by "challenges specifically directed for the newer members and to encourage them to post?"  I think new members are here to learn and there's nothing like getting thrown into the deep end, to learn to swim at least. :)

Holiday brochure? brings to mind beaches. That may be something to think about, certainly for those in the UK, (< 80 Km to the nearest beach). In North America, many of us have not seen a beach in years. Great Lake Beaches don't count. I live 1,300 Km from the nearest Canadian seaside beach.

Rex, I think the biggest problem with our forum is 'Forum Fatigue', something that all forums and photography websites are suffering from. How can we compete against Facebook, Twitter and the like?  On most forums you have to be knowledgeable about the subjects, or admit that you are learning. I will say no more before I get into trouble. ???

It would appear that we now have enough themes to get started. I will confer with John and we will place some of these themes against months, you will all have just about 5 days to take or find photos to enter the August Challenge.

Please keep the new themes coming.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 05:35:03 PM by AScot »
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline AScot

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Re: Restarting the Challenges.
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2014, 06:06:14 PM »
We have decided that it would be best if the members voted on who should be the winner of the Challenges.

The first challenge to be voted on is Challenge #3, October 2014, 'Water' and Voting will close on November 14th 2014 at 7PM EST. Please see the first post of the challenge for more information.
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.