Poll: Photo Contests, Your Opinion!

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What would be your level of interest and participation in a Photo Contestl

  • Regular Photo Uploads

    Votes: 6 16.7%
  • Occasional Photo Uploads

    Votes: 16 44.4%
  • Just View and Vote

    Votes: 10 27.8%
  • Just enjoy the photos

    Votes: 2 5.6%
  • Not Too Interested

    Votes: 2 5.6%

  • Total voters
    36
  • Poll closed .

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
#1
It has been awhile since we had a forum photo contest. This poll is to find out if there is enough membership interest to have a photo contest on a regular basis. There is much work, time and thought involved in the administration of these contests, so when you answer the questions please be honest with your vote and any posted comments.

Probably more important than the Poll itself will be your discussion comments, which will give a true membership feeling instead of just a numerical quantity provided by the poll.

Some thoughts that I believe are worth discussing
(1) Frequency of contests; weekly; monthly; quarterly or seasonal
(2) The criteria of voting (what are you voting for)
{a} best photography;
{b}closest to contest theme "or"
{c}like myself in the past, just vote for what photo you personally
like best.

So without further adieu! on with the voting and comments :D
 
#2
(1) Frequency of contests; weekly; monthly; quarterly or seasonal
(2) The criteria of voting (what are you voting for)
{a} best photography;
{b}closest to contest theme "or"
{c}like myself in the past, just vote for what photo you personally
like best.
I'd actively participate and vote in a photo contest. We could set it up like this. (Below is an example)

January 1, 2011: A thread is started where submissions are allowed to be e-mailed to a person to hold the pictures.

Entries are allowed to be sent in from Jan 1st to Jan 15th.

The photos will then be uploaded to a hosting site on the 16th (Such as Flickr or Photobucket) and links will be placed in a new thread on the 16th of January.

The thread would feature all of the entries in form such as below (A caption or name must be associated with the picture from the person submitting the photo):

Mike_Arnold - Fall Switching

Who ever wants to vote will send a PM to whom ever is in charge of tallying votes.

Voting will take place from the 16th to the 22nd of January.

The votes will be tallied on the 23rd and a new poll will be started with the top three (or five) pictures in the same format as the last voting session. These may be voted upon in the same fashion (Or via PM to keep the surprise waiting).

Voting will last until the 29th.

The votes will be tallied on the 30th and the winner will be announced.

Repeat this process for every month (With different criteria i.e. Caboose shots, EMD locomotive shots, Steam shots, Passenger service shots, etc...)

In December we will take the winner of every month before and they will get a dedicated Photo of the Year voting thread. This will follow the same format of viewing and voting as the previous months.

Just some food for thought. I'd be willing to be in charge of starting the contests or keeping tally of the votes. And prizes could be worked out some how. :)

Best regards,
Mike
 

rhoward

S.L.O.&W. Trainman
#3
Probably more important than the Poll itself will be your discussion comments, which will give a true membership feeling instead of just a numerical quantity provided by the poll.

Some thoughts that I believe are worth discussing
(1) Frequency of contests; weekly; monthly; quarterly or seasonal
(2) The criteria of voting (what are you voting for)
{a} best photography;
{b}closest to contest theme "or"
{c}like myself in the past, just vote for what photo you personally
like best.
Yes, I would like to see the photo contests return. Monthly seems about right as it gives people some time to get a good photo for the contest. I think the format used previously here on the forum would be the best to use.

Under criteria, If there is a theme for the contest, adherence to the theme should definitely be a factor in voting. A contest of "Favorite Caboose" being won by a photo of a UP Big Boy with no caboose in sight seems to ruin the fun for me...... Photography should also be a consideration. An entry should be considered on how the photo is set up, focal points, lighting, and other criteria that make for a good photo. On the other hand many people seem to vote for "{c} what photo you personally like the best".
 
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NH Mike

CEO & Wheel Cleaner
#4
My thoughts are pretty much the same as Ray's in keeping with the old format as far as voting and posting of pics. That might be easiest for all concerned. A monthly time span also seems reasonable. Definitely a specific monthly theme and announce it a month ahead; eg: when the February contest starts the theme for the March contest is announced, etc.

Some ideas that came to mind for a theme:

Amtrak

BNSF

CN & CP

Conrail

Branch line - steam

Branch line - diesel

Fallen Flags - Eastern US

Fallen Flags - Western US

Logging Railroads

Mountain Railroads

Bridges & Trestles

Intermodal

Passenger Trains
 
#5
I like the Idea. The only suggestion is use un retouched photos unless that months competition specifically allows or calls for it. That way it is a photo contest not a retouch contest.
 

NH Mike

CEO & Wheel Cleaner
#7
I agree with all the above, but would like to add that "themes" should include all aspects of model railroading.
Absolutely Ian. The list I made was just what bounced off my brain as some examples and no doubt more members will add themes for the moderator to choose from. Subject themes are almost endless. Non - North American Ry's could be another good one for all the members from elsewhere on the globe.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
#8
Good ideas I like most of them.
Disclaimer: :D
BTW although I started the poll it won't be me running the contests. I have to make this fact clear because I intend to take part in this discussion and my comments are no more or less important than your own, just suggestions like your own for a newly appointed photo contest moderator to consider.

I don't know if having specific road names for a theme would be wise as it may limit participation and leave out members who didn't have the rolling stock decorated for the named road.

With regard to photo submissions being private (not displayed) until the photo submission time was closed I believe that could be arranged right here where the photos are available only to the contest moderator.
Good ideas! Mike, makes for a fairer competition, all the ideas you have suggested can be done here on these ModelRailroadForums sites by the contest moderator.

What would everyone's feeling be about not displaying the number of votes, just post the standing of the photo (from first place to last place)?
This is a thought that passed my mind during other contests. Being last is not bad but having zero votes, well I think it would be a bit discouraging and lead to no interest in participating. (then there are others like myself who will recognize I'm just not that good at it and can accept the fact) :eek:

Cheers
Willis
 

ianacole

Active Member
#9
What would everyone's feeling be about not displaying the number of votes, just post the standing of the photo (from first place to last place)?
This is a thought that passed my mind during other contests. Being last is not bad but having zero votes, well I think it would be a bit discouraging and lead to no interest in participating. (then there are others like myself who will recognize I'm just not that good at it and can accept the fact) :eek:

Cheers
Willis
I like this idea.
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
#10
There are other considerations. For example, what about image processing or manipulation? One forum across the pond allows only basic sharpening, contrast adjustment, saturation adjustment, and cropping...and that's it. No photoshopped elements either added, modified, or deleted.

Some of us, myself included, have gotten sweet on adding and deleting things to improve the presentation by using software. Would some contests allow such manipulation, and not others, or would none of that be allowed ever? Should there be contests where the photo must be altered significantly, and if so, should the original be submitted so that the person's dexterity and prowess can be evaluated?

I think few would disagree that a skillfully improved photo is likely to curry favour over one equally as good but without the improvements. So, to keep the playing field level and dry all around, perhaps this relatively new development should be addressed.
 
#11
What would everyone's feeling be about not displaying the number of votes, just post the standing of the photo (from first place to last place)?
This is a thought that passed my mind during other contests. Being last is not bad but having zero votes, well I think it would be a bit discouraging and lead to no interest in participating. (then there are others like myself who will recognize I'm just not that good at it and can accept the fact) :eek:

Cheers
Willis
Another way you could do it is have a top 3 or 5 or some set number and then honorable mentions or some such thing for a few of the runners up in no particular order. That way nobody is last place with no votes.

For now I would just view and vote myself, but as my modeling and photography skills improve I would probably upload some images once I hit a point that I'd feel comfortable showing off my work in a contest.
 

RW&C

N Scale with Stone Tools
#13
An R/C car forum I'm part of does a custom of the month competition that I think we could base this off it as far as format goes. Basically, there's a thread with all the pictures in it, and a voting thing at the top (like on this page). The poll closes at a set time, and the winner gets his entry put in the hall of fame.

Man, I need to get a move on building my layout so I can get in on this... :D
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
#14
Whenever we reach a decision on what we want to do I will gladly volunteer my time to moderate or keep track of the contest threads.

Best regards,
Mike
Thank's for the offer Mike, I'll have little if any say at all in the selection of the moderator, but I'll assure you that the site administrator who does, is watching this thread.

Some of us, myself included, have gotten sweet on adding and deleting things to improve the presentation by using software. Would some contests allow such manipulation, and not others, or would none of that be allowed ever? Should there be contests where the photo must be altered significantly, and if so, should the original be submitted so that the person's dexterity and prowess can be evaluated?
Crandell
Hi Crandell, certainly, that could be a theme in itself. Most themes are generated by the posted suggestions from regular participants in threads related to the competitions. In a previous post (this thread) it is mentioned that all aspects of model rail should be covered and your suggestion is certainly part of that.

Another way you could do it is have a top 3 or 5 or some set number and then honorable mentions or some such thing for a few of the runners up in no particular order. That way nobody is last place with no votes.
Brian
Thanks Brian, a good suggestion, I like it because the contest should be a fun thing. Very few of the voters are qualified to judge what they are viewing. As for myself I vote for what I think is closest to the theme and out of them what I like best. I don't know much about photography or model-railroading for that matter (not very good criteria for judging a competition) :D But I do like seeing the creative skills of others.

Cheers
Willis

Mike I hope you realize the amount of work involved in what you are volunteering for, it will take time and dedication on the part of the moderator to keep it organized and running smoothly.
 
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#15
If this results in a "Go!" I think a thread soliciting themes would result in some fantastic ideas.

Another idea that I have seen used has been to let the winner of the current contest select the theme for the next.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
#16
An R/C car forum I'm part of does a custom of the month competition that I think we could base this off it as far as format goes. Basically, there's a thread with all the pictures in it, and a voting thing at the top (like on this page). The poll closes at a set time, and the winner gets his entry put in the hall of fame.
Previous Photo Contests on this forum were run similar to that. Then there was a run off for all the previous winners. I can't say or remember what the prize (if any) for the final winner was. But the hall of fame, well it's a good idea
Man, I need to get a move on building my layout so I can get in on this... :D
Me too!

Cheers
Willis
 

NH Mike

CEO & Wheel Cleaner
#17
The point about using photoshop to enhance versus simple editing to improve clarity or cropping is a good one. Maybe photoshopped images with smoke added, as just one example, could be a them in itself from time to time? Or another way could be to require a comment be included with the picture stating what was photoshopped that was not part of the original image.

I love a knock out picture as much as anyone but after I get over the wow factor I focus on the actual model, scene, the work that went into it and does it look realistic. That decides how I usually vote or don't for that picture.
 

Trussrod

Well-Known Member
#18
un retouched photos

I like the Idea. The only suggestion is use un retouched photos unless that months competition specifically allows or calls for it. That way it is a photo contest not a retouch contest.


Hi Lester,
I was curious about what exactly your referring to when saying, 'Un-retouched'? More specifically what do you consider retouching to be?
 
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#19
Do we want the contests to be about the photography or the modeling? I think there are opportunities for one or the other, or both in a given contest, but I think that a preponderance of the contests should have their focus be the modeling aspect. Not many modelers, I suspect, have invested a lot in photography equipment, and even for those that have, not as many are as accomplished as a few on this forum, and I count myself among the unskilled in this group. If I were in a fightin' mood, and today my wife would [rightly] say that I'm working on my grumpy old man demeanor, I'd point out that this is a model railroading forum, not a photography forum (photocamel.com has some excellent periodic photography contests on their forum). But, I see value in both aspects, so I think both need to be include in these contests, but should be balanced to encourage as much participation as possible.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
#20
The reality of administering a "no Photoshop" rule might be more difficult than it seems on the surface. Besides, we want our images to look their best, right? Back in the film days there were always techniques to improve prints (dodge and burn, for example). Photoshop has certainly expanded our creative horizons, but it might be better to allow all images and let the voting members decide which comes out on top. My guess is that most will ultimately vote for the image that suits their fancy and let the chips fall where they may.
 



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