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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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05-24-2013, 10:17 AM   #511
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcmadr Quote
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.
With respect, I'm not sure what you are describing is possible. The DOF at these magnifications would be measured in millimetres. If the background was more than a few inches away then it will be a completely unrecognisable blur, as in Margriet's picture. If you have quick browse through these search results I think you'll have a hard time finding any distinguishable backgrounds.

05-27-2013, 05:09 AM   #512
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcmadr Quote
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.
I've always thought the opposite- small depth of field is subliminally associated with small objects as we're used to shallow DoF in close-ups. Like the fake 'mini landscapes' that achieve the miniature feel with a tilt-shift lens, or by artificially blur in photoshop (a few examples at Miniature faking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
05-27-2013, 07:05 AM   #513
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QuoteOriginally posted by thoughton Quote
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.
I agree to the most. Of course even in macro experienced photographers there can be differences in what each likes (tak sharp, small or big DOF, soft focus.. etc) and this is to be respected because it gives some diversity in all those photo's being taken nowadays. I kinda think this rude comment could well have been the "natgeo" judge....

QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
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.


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:


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.
I agree with this completely, there were more judges that commented they would like to see more DOF, or that the legs of the spider seem to go in and out of the DOF. Commented in a normal tone, no condescending remarks and put in their rates for the photo... this is something I don't have a problem with even if it means my photo doesn't get in the PEG because they are helpful opinions.

QuoteOriginally posted by tessfully Quote
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.
Thanks Tess! Yes, photo impressionism! I didn't hear the term before but I thought about it a lot before in other words, painting like photographs. It will probably be difficult to get them accepted into PEG and I agree about mistaking or not mistaking the chosen DOF. In my opinion most people only upload photos for the PEG that are exactly how they want them to be.... impressionistic, soft focus, real shallow DOF, multiple exposures etc. are probably more likely to get voted out due to "not following certain rules"

QuoteOriginally posted by slowpez Quote
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.
yes, happily we can just laugh about it...

QuoteOriginally posted by kcmadr Quote
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.
Thanks!, the perspective is exactly what I like to turn around when taking macro's, get the viewers into the world of insects. (like the movie "microcosmos" for example) I guess with this picture I should have experimented with the DOF to try and get some of the legs more into focus because at that spot I agree the transition DOF/OOF is a bit harsh.

QuoteOriginally posted by thoughton Quote
With respect, I'm not sure what you are describing is possible. The DOF at these magnifications would be measured in millimetres. If the background was more than a few inches away then it will be a completely unrecognisable blur, as in Margriet's picture. If you have quick browse through these search results I think you'll have a hard time finding any distinguishable backgrounds.
You are right I think, the spider here was about 4mm long, DOF can't be more than 1mm or so (I'm not a great math mind)

QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I've always thought the opposite- small depth of field is subliminally associated with small objects as we're used to shallow DoF in close-ups. Like the fake 'mini landscapes' that achieve the miniature feel with a tilt-shift lens, or by artificially blur in photoshop (a few examples at Miniature faking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
I agree, but tilt-shift is something really different... has it ever been used for macro? (maybe I should jump in) first I'll try wide angle macro

Thanks all for the comments, it has been really helpful, even better I think than just to put the photo in the photo critique section.

kind regards, Margriet
05-27-2013, 08:48 AM   #514
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This is a beautiful image and I really liked it when i saw it during judging. Perhaps you'll resubmit and have a more favorable mix of votes this time?
"Photography" means many things to many people, but more rules equals less art, IMO.
I study and teach music and truly believe we study theory and technique primarily as a means to catalogue and reproduce those artistic musical moments that would otherwise escape description. By no means should such "rules" be used to confine artistic expression. Likewise, when I see photography being evaluated against a set of established "rules", I am often dubious of the source.

05-27-2013, 12:57 PM   #515
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QuoteOriginally posted by margriet Quote
I agree, but tilt-shift is something really different... has it ever been used for macro? (maybe I should jump in) first I'll try wide angle macro
Tilt-shift is useful for macro, but usually to get more in focus as you can adjust the region that's in focus so it lines up where you want it to. I'd also like more wide angle macro ability.
07-04-2013, 07:40 AM - 1 Like   #516
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Woohoo, first attempt and first success



Very pleased
07-04-2013, 07:46 AM   #517
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QuoteOriginally posted by FruitLooPs Quote
Woohoo, first attempt and first success

Very pleased
And you should be, nicely done. Congrats.
07-16-2013, 07:33 AM   #518
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Sigh, another reject by the PEG. My only complaint though concerns two comments made by two different judges:

"Someday I'll understand why some people think B&W photos are preferable to color photos. B&W looses all feeling in the sky and landscape."

and (the caps were the reviewers not mine. Nothing like having someone yell at you while reviewing your work. To be fair, maybe he/she did not realize all caps signifies you are shouting.

"I WOULD HAVE LIKE TO SEE THE COLOR IN THIS. WHY B&W..."

Judges who can't see or understand B&W should not judge them. Poor old Ansel Adams is turning over in his grave.

07-16-2013, 11:36 AM   #519
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sorry Susan. Can you share the image so we can try to put the comments in context?
07-16-2013, 12:07 PM   #520
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
sorry Susan. Can you share the image so we can try to put the comments in context?
Sure can.

Last edited by slowpez; 07-31-2013 at 07:45 AM.
07-16-2013, 12:08 PM   #521
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QuoteOriginally posted by slowpez Quote
Sure can. There were other things wrong with the image including that it wasn't level but I just couldn't believe the bit about the B&W. Believe me, outside of a bit of green grass, there was almost no color in the photo.
As usual, that's a good photo - no reason to get upset on the comments.
And it looks very good in B&W... could you... since the comments made me curious... post the color version too!?
07-16-2013, 01:50 PM   #522
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oh, that is indeed an excellent candidate for mono conversion in my opinion due to the rock textures and the well defined clouds. not seeing the color version, I would be surprised if the color take on this were better.
07-16-2013, 02:24 PM   #523
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
As usual, that's a good photo - no reason to get upset on the comments.
And it looks very good in B&W... could you... since the comments made me curious... post the color version too!?
I could but I didn't bother to do any pp on the color version and I am really not up to doing any. I really question someone who judges photos that has no room for B&W in their life. Sad really.

QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
oh, that is indeed an excellent candidate for mono conversion in my opinion due to the rock textures and the well defined clouds. not seeing the color version, I would be surprised if the color take on this were better.
Trust me Mike, it isn't. My pp work does need help but that will come with practice.
07-16-2013, 04:40 PM   #524
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QuoteOriginally posted by slowpez Quote
Sigh, another reject by the PEG. My only complaint though concerns two comments made by two different judges:

"Someday I'll understand why some people think B&W photos are preferable to color photos. B&W looses all feeling in the sky and landscape."
[deleted]
Judges who can't see or understand B&W should not judge them. Poor old Ansel Adams is turning over in his grave.
A generalized statement like this simply reflects a prejudice unbecoming of a person in the judge role, not to mention providing a semi-literate display of poor diction.

Susan, I'd wear a hat of bemusement and let it wash over me. The feedback says far more about the so-called judge than it does about your image.

M
07-17-2013, 05:30 AM   #525
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QuoteOriginally posted by slowpez Quote
Sure can. There were other things wrong with the image including that it wasn't level but I just couldn't believe the bit about the B&W. Believe me, outside of a bit of green grass, there was almost no color in the photo.
Great image Susan! I like the contrast between the soft texture of the clouds ad the hard, sharp texture of the rocks.
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