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The EXCLUSIVE GALLERY ("PEG") at PentaxForums
Posted By: Adam, 08-05-2010, 06:05 AM

Hello everyone,

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I am very happy to announce that an idea we've had in the back of our minds for a good while has finally been brought to life! Today we're officially unveiling the PentaxForums Exclusive Gallery, which is conceptually similar to Pentax's PPG. At first, we wanted this gallery to also appear fancy and have cool effects, but we found that other solutions wouldn't offer the level of integration that this one did. So, let's jump right in to what we're looking at here.

Our Exclusive Gallery will become a collection of only the best photos taken by our users. Only PentaxForums.com users will be able to submit to this gallery. We will also be imposing certain quality standards to make sure the photos are at their very best.

To submit a photo to the gallery, simply click the 'upload' link in the upper gallery toolbar, or click here. The submission form is the same as that in our other gallery categories, so you should already be familiar with the controls. The following will be required of each photo:
  • JPEG format and compression at 90%-100% (9-12).
  • A resolution of at least 1024x700 (WxH or HxW) pixels; preferably around 1500 or 2000px on one edge
  • Full EXIF left intact in the file, if digital
  • Manual addition of EXIF metadata, if film
  • A photo description and complete camera/lens fields
  • If you choose to place copyright text in your photo, please do so in the lower-right or lower-left corner only
  • No added frames, borders, or drawings
  • Taken with a Pentax camera (no exceptions)
  • Limit 2 submissions per user day (to be fair to our judges)
If your photo conforms to these regulations, it will then be evaluated by the site staff. If the photo is good enough, it'll be approved into the gallery; if not, we'll simply move it to a regular category. You will be able to submit as many photos as you'd like until 10 have been approved in the gallery. This limit is currently going to be in place so that every photographer gets about equal exposure, but may increase in the future.

Why this is going to be better than the PPG:
  • Not a slow flash-based gallery
  • Large resolutions will be available for your viewing pleasure
  • Comments can be made
  • More great photos will be posted!
  • Feedback on your photo will be e-mailed to you once a decision has been made
  • The approval decision will be made within 1 week at most (apply to be a judge)
  • Status tracking at https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/galleryapprove.php?do=status and updates on status via e-mail
  • It's integrated with your favorite photo forum
And, best of all:
  • If 5 or your photos get approved into the gallery, you will be invited to become an Exclusive Gallery judge
So, why wait? Upload your best now!

A note to newbies: the gallery is accessible through the 'photos' button in the navbar. Simply click it and then select 'User Photo Gallery' from the menu.

Enjoy, guys! I'm very excited to be bringing you this.

Photos accepted into the gallery will also be tagged as "exclusive" in gallery searches and listings, and within the exclusive category, supersized thumbnails will be shown!

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10-08-2010, 07:24 PM   #271
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Just a few notes on recent submissions:
...
3. Proper technique is key (exposure, crop, edges, dust, rotation, sharpness!
So using a soft focus lens or filter to create a mood is out of the question then.

10-08-2010, 07:29 PM   #272
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I threw in a quickie that was not PEG worthy by any means IMO just to see the whole critique email thing.

Interesting, as he/she contradicted himself/herself numerous times. Also, it seems "harsh lighting" is a favorite of the judges based off of Jheu's post, despite the image having literally just about as soft of light possible

Anyways, it is very nice to get into the head of the judge/judges however. Thanks Adam
10-08-2010, 07:30 PM   #273
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
So using a soft focus lens or filter to create a mood is out of the question then.
mine was marked down because of sharpness being "questionable due to shallow DOF." F/1.2 was used.....
10-08-2010, 11:48 PM   #274
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I think the judging is being far too artsy-technical. I got a photo rejected cause it didn't follow "the rule of thirds". Seriously? Thats the biggest fault that could be found? A photo need not follow a step by step photography class to be a good photo. I feel like PEG is just accepting images that fit a mold, not the best, most interesting images. And the policy of judge comment privacy is ludicrous, it's not like we know who the judge is, and once a comment is made, we can share it if we want. There is no basis for PF to tell users they have to keep that to themselves.

Personally, I don't submit to PEG much anymore. Maybe once a month I try a new image or two. It's just a waste of my time. There aren't really even legitimate reasons for photo rejection sometimes, especially considering some of the acceptances.

10-09-2010, 12:52 AM   #275
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The great thing about photography is anything goes as longs as it makes a great picture, as for the rules- some rules can be bent while others can be broken.
10-09-2010, 04:43 AM   #276
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
The great thing about photography is anything goes as longs as it makes a great picture, as for the rules- some rules can be bent while others can be broken.
QuoteOriginally posted by ManhattanProject Quote
I think the judging is being far too artsy-technical. I got a photo rejected cause it didn't follow "the rule of thirds". Seriously? Thats the biggest fault that could be found? A photo need not follow a step by step photography class to be a good photo. I feel like PEG is just accepting images that fit a mold, not the best, most interesting images. And the policy of judge comment privacy is ludicrous, it's not like we know who the judge is, and once a comment is made, we can share it if we want. There is no basis for PF to tell users they have to keep that to themselves.

Personally, I don't submit to PEG much anymore. Maybe once a month I try a new image or two. It's just a waste of my time. There aren't really even legitimate reasons for photo rejection sometimes, especially considering some of the acceptances.
True, photography is much more than just following rules - and there may be one or two judges that may feel strongly about those rules, but don't let that discourage you or anyone else from submitting (unless a boycott is your real intention ).

Seriously, just submit the work you want and feel is what a top gallery should have - and don't feel bad that it doesn't get through - if you know it's good work, it's PEG's loss .
10-09-2010, 01:59 PM   #277
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I haven't posted to this thread, but have been reading it with interest since the beginning. What follows are my personal views, and I'm sure that not everyone will agree with me.

I think the PEG is a good idea for a lot of reasons, most of which have been touched upon by others. For me, I see it as another way to hone my skill so I can shoot pictures which will appeal to a critical audience of more experienced photographers. I don't see it as the only valuation of my work, because when you get right down to it, the photos I shoot for my own pleasure are just that, for me. If I'm happy with them, that's great. If others like what I'm trying to portray and document, I'm very happy, but I also don't expect that my photos will appeal to everyone, or even to any but a minority.

I've submitted quite a few photos and have had only one accepted, which I'm certain doesn't appeal to some. With some shots which have been rejected, I really couldn't see the reasons, and though puzzled, I accepted the decisions without regret because I tried. But I've learned, too. Today I submitted a shot which I like quite a lot, and it was rejected. However, the judge(s) who commented had very useful advice and this encouraged me. It also helped me to look at the photo in a new way, even though I'd thought I had thoroughly evaluated it before submission. The newish feature whereby judges can offer comments is a terrific way to offer feedback. Thanks to you judges who have given me this advice, and thanks to Adam for adding this feature.
10-09-2010, 05:02 PM   #278
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Just thought I'd comment on a couple things here that have been brought up, and I'm glad a lively discussion is ensuing. These three comments fit together to me so I'll comment at the end.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
True, photography is much more than just following rules - and there may be one or two judges that may feel strongly about those rules, but don't let that discourage you or anyone else from submitting (unless a boycott is your real intention ).

Seriously, just submit the work you want and feel is what a top gallery should have - and don't feel bad that it doesn't get through - if you know it's good work, it's PEG's loss .
QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
mine was marked down because of sharpness being "questionable due to shallow DOF." F/1.2 was used.....
QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
So using a soft focus lens or filter to create a mood is out of the question then.
Hopefully, if a photog is at the level of experience to be qualified for judging here or anywhere else, they would know the "rules" of good photographic composition, and finishing, whether from film days or digital only. They would know to expect shallow DOF at f/1.2, but also know that if it's a macro shot it will have a shallow DOF.

A judge should not only know the rules, but also how breaking them can contribute to the shots. They should also know, I feel, about different films and how they looked classically (I'm thinking about how certain B/W films exhibited a certain graininess, or the feel of Kodachrome vs Ektachrome as examples. I'm sure there's plenty more...) Not that that knowledge would have to be extensive, but to know that if a photo is submitted that looks grainy for instance, that it could be exactly what the photog wanted, and not a "flaw" at all. It may still not be accepted, but IMO, it really comes back to that statement in PPG "would the photo make you stop and take a second look in a gallery" and certainly not all photos that are "correct technically" fit into this category. Just as not all "artsy" ones would either. It's the most subjective part of a photo, but probably one of the most important.

As I like to offer possible solutions, here's one that could apply:

The comment section could be used for a photog's thoughts on the shot and what they were trying to accomplish. Perhaps many are already doing this, but it could also get tedious for the judges to have to read through it all. And it obviously shouldn't be used to try to pass off a bad shot. So, possibly have it limited to just those cases where a "rule" is being broken for a specific purpose, i.e. "I placed the horizon at the very top to maximize the foreground" "I processed this with a high key contrast in mind for..." "I took this with a crooked horizon to give the feeling of..." Perhaps this shouldn't be needed, but I threw it in based on the above comments. The photo would still have to pass on its own merits, but it would just be a quick reminder to the judge that there was considerable thought given to the shot.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tamia Quote
<SNIP>
I think the PEG is a good idea for a lot of reasons, most of which have been touched upon by others. For me, I see it as another way to hone my skill so I can shoot pictures which will appeal to a critical audience of more experienced photographers. I don't see it as the only valuation of my work, because when you get right down to it, the photos I shoot for my own pleasure are just that, for me. If I'm happy with them, that's great. If others like what I'm trying to portray and document, I'm very happy, but I also don't expect that my photos will appeal to everyone, or even to any but a minority.

I've submitted quite a few photos and have had only one accepted, which I'm certain doesn't appeal to some. With some shots which have been rejected, I really couldn't see the reasons, and though puzzled, I accepted the decisions without regret because I tried. But I've learned, too. Today I submitted a shot which I like quite a lot, and it was rejected. However, the judge(s) who commented had very useful advice and this encouraged me. It also helped me to look at the photo in a new way, even though I'd thought I had thoroughly evaluated it before submission. The newish feature whereby judges can offer comments is a terrific way to offer feedback. Thanks to you judges who have given me this advice, and thanks to Adam for adding this feature.
Very good comments, and I too think the feedback section here and the Critique section can be really great for improving skills. And yes, in the end, it really doesn't matter if anybody likes my photography but me. But, if comments are to be given, and if resubmissions are to be allowed, then the photographer should have some idea that, if they take the time and trouble to reprocess the shot with the suggested improvements, then the shot is going to be accepted. Otherwise, as Falk pointed out, an endless discussion over technique and preferences can go on and just lead to frustration, which is what caused me to post my earlier "vent."

10-10-2010, 10:14 AM   #279
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Adam:

How does this work?

I submitted a photo and, of course, I was immediately dismissed because of slight problems with cropping, especially.
I wanted to resubmit, and I did after some cropping.

Now, what happens if you want to find out where that picture is now? In my User Gallery? I mean, the last submitted photo that is, so I can again work at it until I find it suitable for one more round.

Edit: I've just added this last one to My Album
Cheers.

JP

Last edited by jpzk; 10-10-2010 at 10:31 AM.
10-10-2010, 10:59 AM   #280
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Now, what happens if you want to find out where that picture is now?
You need to go to https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/galleryapprove.php?do=status

That page will indicate approval status and tell you where your photo was moved to.

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10-10-2010, 01:02 PM   #281
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QuoteOriginally posted by ManhattanProject Quote
...
I got a photo rejected cause it didn't follow "the rule of thirds". Seriously? Thats the biggest fault that could be found?
Welcome to the world of "art". If you had a big name in photography and recognized by a judge, most likely the oldest rule that can easily be broken ( the rule of thirds) would have been ignored. Rule based judging is done by those who are not very good artists or no art skills at all, IMHO, and have to rely on them to conclude what is a good photo. The "sharpness craze" here also ignores a whole genera of mood creation that can be done in a photograph with softness. I suspect it is again the assumption of the rule that a good photo is "sharp" and that they want to showcase Pentax camera bodies (not the glass) as capable of creating sharp pictures.

When I had a Basic Art Design 101 class in college, the teacher would rake you over the coals for using "geometric shapes" in your work. "They are boring and predicable", she said. But in the halls of the art build the seniors had their work displayed. I saw geometric shapes used a lot. When I confronted the teacher with that fact, she said, "well, they know what they're doing...".

Last edited by tuco; 12-23-2010 at 03:16 PM.
10-10-2010, 02:54 PM - 1 Like   #282
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
When I had a Basic Art Design 101 class in college, the teacher would rake you over the coals for using "geometric shapes" in your work. "They are boring and predicable", she said. But in the halls of the art build the seniors had their work displayed. I saw geometric shapes used a lot. When I confronted the teacher with that fact, she said, "well, they know what they're doing...".
This contradiction is only apparent.

The teacher would rather guide beginner students away from hackneyed forms or those which are difficult to use creatively. Once the constraints and expectations are learned, it becomes possible to use those self-same elements in ways that are less simplistic.

Of course it could just be that certain students persisted in using geometric shapes until their dedication won through the resistance. Persistence and consistency are often rewarded, even if this seems unfair to those of us who pursue a more eclectic path.
10-10-2010, 10:52 PM   #283
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
This contradiction is only apparent.

The teacher would rather guide beginner students away from hackneyed forms or those which are difficult to use creatively. Once the constraints and expectations are learned, it becomes possible to use those self-same elements in ways that are less simplistic.

Of course it could just be that certain students persisted in using geometric shapes until their dedication won through the resistance. Persistence and consistency are often rewarded, even if this seems unfair to those of us who pursue a more eclectic path.
This is an excellent comment Robin.
It's a concept extrapolated into all other professions and ought to be so to build disciplinary foundations that are only 'contradicted' with that experiential discipline in mind. Medicine is much the same, and is very much perfected in the art of practicing evidence-based science, not solely the practice of evidence-based science.

I couldn't agree more with this concept of learning and teaching art.

Last edited by Ash; 10-10-2010 at 11:01 PM.
10-24-2010, 01:35 PM   #284
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About critiques

I am confused re: the rejection process. I have submitted five photos and four have been rejected. There was one comment on the first photo that I could at least relate to the photo I submitted but two of the photos had no feedback at all and the fourth had feedback about cropping 40% off the photo which didn't seem to relate to the photo I submitted. I really was hoping for feed back since rejections at PPG come with nothing that would help me to improve. This series seems to me to indicate one person is making the determination on the quality of the submission or else no one is bothering to offer comments on improvement. Am I missing something here?
Please don't get me wrong, I think the whole idea of this type of gallery is wonderful but I had hoped to learn something from it and not just receive a four word comment on two of four rejected pictures.
Thanks for any insight you can offer, Susan
10-24-2010, 02:18 PM   #285
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Note that the number of comments you get varies by photo, and I don't think all the judges post comments for each photo. Since only a small number of "No" votes is needed for rejection, you might not get any comments at all if these votes came in succession.

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