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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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05-12-2013, 10:30 AM   #496
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
"The depth of field is too narrow because parts of the subject are blurred and the background has totally lost all definition destroying the continuity between the subject and its environment".
Depends on the image ... since I don't know on what image that comment it was made, let me point to a relevant one - that you made on my image - now I am really not trying to make this in a "fighting match", or put you on the spot or anything like that - you are one of few who seems interested and reply to this thread - and I appreciate that.

"The composition is also a problem. The camera viewpoint was too low down and the leaf is cut off on both left and right. At first glance it is even difficult to recognize as a leaf. The grass is just unwanted clutter in the image. I see no attempt to follow any of the rules of composition, nor to break themcreatively. Composition = 1/6 Flawed.
".

Your comment is flawed ... and some might consider the tone a little "supperior". The image is very well balanced, even though the leaf was cut-off. You see a lot of great portraits where the head is cut-off slightly ... will that makes it a bad image? No. The low angle was obviously on purpose - as a matter of fact I prefer shooting from a lower angle. Gives more interesting effects. The "clutter" was obviously on purpose as well.

"It is also difficult to regard your entry as creative. There is no particular interest in the subject, no symmetry or interesting asymmetry, no interplay of light and shade, no interesting perspective... Creativity/Originality = 1/4 Unoriginal."

This is flawed as well ... I find it to be nothing but a bunch of words thrown together. It just shows that you don't like the image per say - which I respect in a way - not everyone's type of cookie.
But creative? Come on ... if you would observe "the attempt at the banding" and that the fact I am taking the viewer from left to right leading him in and out of the page while observing some of the detail and letting him fill in the blanks, you would understand that there was some thought behind the image.
Is a suggestive image ... you don't need a super sharp image to understand who is your subject and in what state it is and together with the title it sends a message... image is not perfect and it could of been better ... but not even one of the recommendations was on the spot.

Now is far from perfect and I know that ... but is not as bad as you describe it either.

And just just for the sake of argument, here is the image so people have an understanding of the discussion.



Your comments basically describe what you would of liked to see or what you would of done rather than concentrate on the image presented and understand what someone was trying to do.
As a judge you SHOULD know art ... or else what are you basing your judgement on? Personal preference? No, that will be flawed as well.

The funny thing is that I DO have an image of this leaf from a higher angle with it in focus completely (just as most of the judges wanted to see it) ... I just found it boring and uninteresting.


Last edited by mrNewt; 05-12-2013 at 01:37 PM.
05-12-2013, 01:02 PM   #497
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
Just a thought but there is a certain very thin dividing line when judging any artwork, including photographs, if one is expected to offer constructive criticism.
Consider the general photograph we are most often called upon to rate and comment on. The vast majority of entries consist of some subject in front of some background. Usually the subject is in focus and the background is not.
Very often even parts of the primary subject are blurred to some extent which may, or may not, detract from the image.

Now, as a judge, you have to rate the image. Hypothetically just accept for a moment that you feel that the entire subject needed to be in sharp focus, and that the background is just too blurred into a kind of uniformly coloured splodge to an extent where there is virtually no continuity between the subject and its surroundings.

You, as the judge, make the comment that; "The depth of field is too narrow because parts of the subject are blurred and the background has totally lost all definition destroying the continuity between the subject and its environment".
To me that is a valid comment, but taking Dr Orloff's view does it offend? Perhaps the photographer intended it to be exactly like it is for some artistic reason totally unknown to the judge?
But equally the photographer may have been trying to shoot the image in fairly low light conditions without access to a tripod, so was limited to a minimum shutter speed and a wide open lens setting - but neglected to consider that raising the ISO level a few stops may have solved the problem?
Judges are unaware of the artistic intent of the photographer, or the photographers level of competence.
As another example, photographers very often tilt the camera on street scenes to produce a particular and desired composition. It would really annoy them if some judge then said that their entry was technically flawed because the camera was not held level!

But if the judge truly feels that the image is "wrong" and needed a wider depth of field or the camera held level or whatever, then surely they have a duty make that comment?
You misunderstand me. I would fully accept a comment based upon a depth of field being too narrow. That is a perfectly valid opinion. But I object to a judge concluding that subject is 'out of focus' when in fact the photographer has deliberately chosen a shallow depth of field to leave only a small portion of of the subject in focus. A judge should be able to distinguish between completely out of focus and shallow depth of field. There is a world of difference. To every image there are technical elements and there are creative choices. If I submit a street shot with a jaunty angle then I expect the judge to realise that the angle is a creative choice and not a technical flaw. If I submit a blurred image then I expect the judge to realise that the blurring is not necessarily a technical deficiency, the judge can of course disagree with the creative choice, that is fine. Yes, the judge has a duty to explain what they feel is wrong with an image. A judge cannot know the intentions and choices of the photographer but they should have enough appreciation of the art and craft to deliver a judgement that a submittter can respect.
05-20-2013, 04:54 PM   #498
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I feel stupid posting the same thing over and over but this judge is insane, same reply to all my photos..
Owning a camera doesn't automatically make you a National Geographic photographer.
Great images are made not just happenchance as in e.g. point and shoot Kodak Style to encourage the sale of film. Study, practice and apply the rules until they become second nature i.e. consider the rule of thirds, leading lines, viewpoint, symmetry, background and foreground, framing, depth of field, bokeh, etc.
All photos must stand out in terms of composition, and also be flawless technically in this category of Pentax Exclusive Gallery (PEG). They should exhibit some originality and facility with a camera and post processing.
The image is good. It simply does not qualify under the strict criteria for PEG.
Try to get some feedback from the section on Photo Critique. Good luck with your endeavors.
I wish this judge would just go away..
05-20-2013, 10:27 PM   #499
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What a thank less job the judges have. I have at times questions their decisions and I am sure if I were judging, many would question my decisions. Good luck moving forward as this hobby is always a great learning experiance. Cheers and nice image. JIM

05-20-2013, 11:25 PM   #500
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dr Orloff Quote
A judge cannot know the intentions and choices of the photographer but they should have enough appreciation of the art and craft to deliver a judgement that a submitter can respect.
Thanks Dr Orloff. In that one sentence you have encapsulated the entire job description for a PEG judge.
05-21-2013, 01:23 AM   #501
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Dear Colleagues ( Judges),
I would like to know how to categorize eg: wild animals, shot in the zoo, as well as wild life, nature, or documentary and why???? By whose criteria are oriented to be? FIAP, PSA, or as per your own?
Velja
05-21-2013, 04:12 AM   #502
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I'd just use common sense really. The 'nature' category would seem appropriate. 'Abstract' might be suitable for a close up of zebra stripes. There is no 'documentary' category but if the point of an image was a commentary on captivity rather than an animal portrait then 'miscellaneous' might be appropriate. Animals in a human environment might qualify under 'travel'. Depends and I don't think matters too much.
05-21-2013, 06:35 AM   #503
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When you submit a photo to the PEG you don't put it in a category, the judges or someone other than you get to do that for you. One judge actually criticized me because he thought one of my images should have been in a different category. Go figure since I had nothing to do with it.

By the way, is there no recourse against the NatGeo judge? No one to voice our complaints to.

05-21-2013, 06:43 AM   #504
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I guess you should PM Adam. It appears that no one else has the power to identify that judge.
05-24-2013, 01:11 AM - 1 Like   #505
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I received comments from judges this past night and finally there's no comment containing the blabla "no national geographic photographer" bla bla (which I got also with the past 3 pics I tried to get into the peg)
In stead there is still a huge amount of opinions, some really like when I use shallow DOF and some don't like it or suggest results might look better with a bit more DOF. I guess the overall average opinion fell just a bit short for this picture which is fine, good judging with understandable and respectful comments. There's just one judge that was saying :

"DOF is too shallow so parts of object are out of focus. It would not qualify for PEG in any event because it does not meet the criteria.
Perhaps my assessment will encourage you to study the art of photography.
"

In his comment he draws the conclusion it isn't possible in macro photography to have a part of an insect or spider to be the subject instead of always having the whole thing in focus. I always try to get just that part in focus to bring alive the subjects I study in nature, so it feels it's my "art" to have small DOF... at least it should bring some creativity. Does anybody know where are the criteria to get photographs into the PEG written down? Have I forgotten to read things before trying to enter this photo? Or is this judge talking about "the photography rules" in general?

I always respect judges or other photographers when they give their opinion about my photo's, tips to improve are always tried out by me in the field. By being this resolute or absolute this judge confuses me about what in fact art is, to me by definition, not just following all the rules to perfection..

kind regards,

Margriet

05-24-2013, 01:18 AM   #506
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Unfortunately Margriet there don't seem to be any criteria for becoming a PEG judge. Some of the judges appear to be quite inexperienced photographers. The comment you have quoted above shows that particular judge's apparent lack of experience when it comes to macro photography. Not to mention the insulting little addendum. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the NatGeo judge again. Whoever it is certainly uses the same condescending tone.
05-24-2013, 02:21 AM   #507
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QuoteOriginally posted by margriet Quote
In his comment he draws the conclusion it isn't possible in macro photography to have a part of an insect or spider to be the subject instead of always having the whole thing in focus. I always try to get just that part in focus to bring alive the subjects I study in nature, so it feels it's my "art" to have small DOF... at least it should bring some creativity. Does anybody know where are the criteria to get photographs into the PEG written down? Have I forgotten to read things before trying to enter this photo? Or is this judge talking about "the photography rules" in general?
Here lies one of the difficulties in judging. Judges, however good or bad, have opinions and also personal likes and dislikes.
I did not judge the spider entry shown above but I also tend to generally prefer macro images with a wider DOF than this particular image. Much depends on the specific image.
The difficulty for judges is in deciding the point at which the image crosses over from using narrow DOF deliberately as an artistic choice to it becoming a flaw.
Each judge will determine that point subjectively according to their personal feelings about the image. The particular judge being discussed clearly thought the DOF was too narrow.
Others may disagree with that and, like Margriet intended, understand that the spider's eyes and face is the subject and not the entire spider. Then the narrow DOF becomes a positive factor in the image.

QuoteOriginally posted by judge:
It would not qualify for PEG in any event because it does not meet the criteria.Perhaps my assessment will encourage you to study the art of photography."
These two sentences are distinctly unhelpful. What criteria (plural) does it not meet? The second sentence is amazingly condescending.

Nevertheless we must try and remember Dr Orloff's sage comment:
QuoteOriginally posted by Dr Orloff Quote
A judge cannot know the intentions and choices of the photographer but they should have enough appreciation of the art and craft to deliver a judgement that a submitter can respect.
Personally I could respect a judge who says he/she believes the DOF was too narrow in this image (even though in this case I would disagree) had they left it at that. The rubbish about encouraging the study of the art of photography just kills that judges credibility and, IMO, makes them look incredibly foolish.
05-24-2013, 05:52 AM   #508
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QuoteOriginally posted by margriet Quote
I received comments from judges this past night and finally there's no comment containing the blabla "no national geographic photographer" bla bla (which I got also with the past 3 pics I tried to get into the peg)
In stead there is still a huge amount of opinions, some really like when I use shallow DOF and some don't like it or suggest results might look better with a bit more DOF. I guess the overall average opinion fell just a bit short for this picture which is fine, good judging with understandable and respectful comments. There's just one judge that was saying :

"DOF is too shallow so parts of object are out of focus. It would not qualify for PEG in any event because it does not meet the criteria.
Perhaps my assessment will encourage you to study the art of photography.
"

In his comment he draws the conclusion it isn't possible in macro photography to have a part of an insect or spider to be the subject instead of always having the whole thing in focus. I always try to get just that part in focus to bring alive the subjects I study in nature, so it feels it's my "art" to have small DOF... at least it should bring some creativity. Does anybody know where are the criteria to get photographs into the PEG written down? Have I forgotten to read things before trying to enter this photo? Or is this judge talking about "the photography rules" in general?

I always respect judges or other photographers when they give their opinion about my photo's, tips to improve are always tried out by me in the field. By being this resolute or absolute this judge confuses me about what in fact art is, to me by definition, not just following all the rules to perfection..

kind regards,

Margriet
Hi Margriet, first I love your work and especially your spiders. This one is especially great and it is the dof that makes it so artistic and evocative.

I also had three photos recently rejected that used various distortions of reality to highlight an emotion and a connection. Freeman Patterson calls this kind of photography Photo Impressionism. I was also told in all three sets of judges response that I needed to Study the Masters and learn the Art of Photography. A real kicker when what you submit is your art of photography. I think this condescending comment from the judge is the replacement of the National Geographic comment.

I am sorry your very unique and creative spider images have not got in.... they should be there.


Edited to add: there isn't a chance anyone would mistake your DOF as a flaw rather than intentional. Personal bias obviously entered into the judging.

Last edited by tessfully; 05-24-2013 at 06:00 AM.
05-24-2013, 07:25 AM   #509
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It is a real shame about that spider Margriet. He deserves a place in the PEG. I have taken to saving the judges comments in a separate folder called "Giggles from the PEG." My favorite is one that has half the judges dissing the subject as being out of focus and the other half commenting on how tack sharp it was.
05-24-2013, 10:08 AM   #510
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Hi Margriet,

That comment you posted is Mr. National Geographic saying the same thing in different words. "It doesn't meet the criteria" ... "Please study the art of photography."

The reason most people don't like shallow DOF with macros is the perspective. A shallow DOF imparts a sense of enormity. Small objects should fall completely within the DOF because they're small enough. Large objects just shouldn't fit into the DOF so that's why some of it is OOF. It's subliminal. What would have helped is not the whole subject necessarily being in focus, but a bit more of the background being distinguishable. It's too drastic of a transition between sharp focus and indistinguishable OOF blur.

It's still an extremely good image. Well done.
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