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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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05-01-2017, 04:14 PM - 1 Like   #631
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QuoteOriginally posted by penties rider Quote
btw, this image's EXIF says: CCD Width 9.23mm

how's that?
I had to google it, to see what CCD With stand for

It was taken with 28mm reversed on extension tube, so probably because of that EXIF show that CCd With.


As regards judges of PEG, it's not normally that someone who probably have slightest interest in macro photography critigue macro photo. IMHO they need to be divided in category (landscape, macro, etc.) in which there are the best.

I know that here on pentax forums there are some great macro photographers, so that is not a problem.


Last edited by osib; 05-25-2017 at 02:51 PM.
07-26-2017, 02:30 AM   #632
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QuoteOriginally posted by penties rider Quote
great image / mediocre judge!

btw, this image's EXIF says: CCD Width9.23mm

how's that?
As ugly as sin

01-01-2018, 10:26 AM   #633
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alayos92 Quote
I was surprised by the evaluation of some judges on the photo ..
."A bit on the dark side.
Also, the lady's feet are cut off."..

They have not thought that it was to create more emphasis in the center of the image ... in short ... I think they hide behind anonymity to give very skewed criticism ... it's my opinion ...
Are you referring to a specific photo?
01-01-2018, 08:30 PM - 1 Like   #634
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alayos92 Quote
I think they hide behind anonymity to give very skewed criticism ... it's my opinion ...
Yes, the judging is anonymous. However, critique and comments are optional and are not part of the evaluation for acceptance. Some judges provide an explanation for a low score. Some of us do not.

Addendum: My personal practice is to evaluate PEG entries on a calibrated monitor and usually investigate the original EXIF for possible gamut coercion issues when the color is badly off. I also evaluate against the original uploaded image rather than the smaller (compressed) version included on the voting page. The intent is to see the member's best effort. If the image is simply not compelling, I often say so, though with my apologies.


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 01-01-2018 at 08:42 PM.
01-02-2018, 05:59 AM - 4 Likes   #635
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Please cut the judges some slack

Back in the earlier days of the PEG I was a judge for a couple of years. In all honesty it was a thankless task which, at that time, required several hours of precious time per week.

Considering that this was the PEG a surprising number of entries could best be described as snapshots, taken with minimal thought, of pretty disinteresting subjects or scenes. Clearly they recorded something interesting for the entrant but meant absolutely nothing to an independent judge.

In contrast there were maybe a few entries which were just incredibly powerful photographs. Just go to the PEG and click on "Highest Ratings" to view some of these magnificent images.

In between were the majority of entries - technically excellent images of boring subjects or very interesting subjects spoiled by technically mediocre images. Then there were the entries where there is just something wrong. It could be lighting or composition or something not so obvious. I have taken my fair share of this type of image and I am sure others have had the same problem. You have this photograph that seems pretty good, but there is just something about it. Maybe your eye is drawn away from the primary subject. Maybe there is something distracting in the background. Maybe the horizon is a little off. Whatever the cause it is not a PEG candidate.

Here lies the problem for the judges. They are expected to give a sensible criticism of the photograph which requires a disproportionate amount of time when the problem is subtle and not entirely obvious. It is simple to say that the photograph doesn't follow the rules of composition or the depth of field is too narrow, or too wide, or the focus is not sharp enough or the contrast is too low or whatever, but this leads to the entrant claiming they purposely took it that way for "artistic" reasons.

Really people, it is time to cut the judges some slack. Osib may really like his spider image but someone else may equally hold the opinion that more of the spider should have been in focus - maybe focus-stacking the image would have solved the problem? The point is that the judges didn't think that the image qualifies for the PEG.

So, if you like macro photography and you want to get into the PEG, have a browse through the macro images that have been accepted. Macros by Nass for example, and self evaluate your work to see how it compares. Then you can decide on ways to improve your entries to get images accepted or you can decide it is not worth the effort. Just remember its not personal. The judges have no idea who you are.

Tony
01-03-2018, 08:47 AM   #636
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I haven't tried to get any photos into the PEG, but my understanding is that it is really supposed to be "exclusive." Groucho Marx once said "I wouldn't be a member of any club that would have me as a member." The whole point here is not to take just images that are technically good and sharp, but to take images that would stand out in any gallery or art show. If there is a problem with PPG it is that there is minimal curating of the work that is approved for the site.

Obviously the judges have a difficult task ahead of them, but if an image doesn't work for them, even if it works for you personally, it doesn't work. Obviously the most important thing is "above all, to thine own self be true." If you are satisfied with your work then the accolades or critiques of other are less important. At the same time, there is always room for improvement and just because a particular photo was turned down for PEG doesn't mean that another one wouldn't make it in.
01-03-2018, 02:07 PM - 2 Likes   #637
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Reply to Alayos92

QuoteOriginally posted by Alayos92 Quote
Thanks Tony for your response. I understand how difficult it can be to evaluate a photo well and objectively.
But I do not understand the contempt for a type of camera and objectives for not being high-end, trying to justify it with not very accurate comments ...
Hi Alayos
I looked at your image and immediately saw the problem.
Your entry falls right into "Artistic" Category and there are very, very few artistic images in the PEG.
If you look at the images accepted into PEG almost all show tack sharp focus on the subject and either massive depth of field OR creamy bokeh on the background.
Most PEG images have bright contrasty colors and if the sky is visible, then very detailed cloud formations or bright blue skies.
PEG entries do not have any visible noise. For any entry, noise in the image is the kiss of death.

My personal opinion is that the PEG is for images that make you think "Wow, that was taken with a very good camera" rather than images which make you think "Wow that was taken by a very good photographer".
It is a gallery to showcase the best of Pentax, not the best of Pentax Forum Members. I have even heard of judges rejecting an entry because it was taken with a Pentax kit lens "which is just not sharp enough for the PEG".
I don't think you will ever manage to get an image accepted unless it is taken with a really good lens mounted onto a Pentax DSLR. Images shot with a Pentax Q, K-01, or Pentax Optio have zero chance of acceptance.

On top of all of that, you will need to post process your images. At a minimum you will probably need to finely adjust white balance and exposure, recover blown out highlights and details from dark areas, boost clarity, remove noise and subtly sharpen the image. Make sure you have good dynamic range and clean colors. Finally correct any distortions and be sure to remove any chromatic aberrations. Beware though of over-processing. The image must look quite natural.

Finally, if your image is well composed and shows good creativity, then you may have a chance of acceptance.
Bear in mind that Technique and Composition are scored on a scale of 1 to 6 and you need 4.51 to pass.
With 10 judges (which rated your image) you need a score of 45.1 or, realistically, 46 to qualify for acceptance. (Each judge can only allocate a whole number score.)
Unless you come up with a fantastic entry no judge will score you a 6. They will rate your image as 3, or 4, or 5. If 5 judges give you 4 you are out. You need 6 judges to give you 5 and the remaining 4 judges to give you 4 to get to the magic 46 score. That's a tough ask for any image, never mind a strange artistic sepia image which some judges just don't understand to begin with. Its the same for composition and you can work out creativity for yourself. You also need to consider judging bias. If a judge is not sure what to score an entry he/she will likely give it a 4 on the basis that 4 will not reject the entry outright if the other judges like it. In reality 4's are a rejection score, not a passing score. The final problem is that you need to make the 46 cut off for technique and composition and the 26 cut off for creativity. It does not matter if your total score is above 118 (46+46+26), unless all three factors meet the cut-off your entry is rejected.

Lets switch now to the judges perspective. Your image comes up on screen and he/she immediately forms a first impression of it. Its very different to the norm but it doesn't exactly make you excited. Its not a "wow what a fantastic photograph!" kind of picture. Its a landscape with a bridge and a tree. Does the sepia coloring do anything to make it special? Not really. Would it have been better in black and white? Maybe. Or in full color? Probably.

Now the judge has to score technique somewhere between 1 and 6. Its definitely not a 6. There is noise. The bridge is kind of grungy. The focus is soft except for the water drops, but they distract from the image. Hmm? Score technique as 3 - that's midway between 1 and 6. Kind of average. Its a fair score.
Composition is next, also between 1 and 6. It would have been better if the bridge formed leading lines from the right lower corner of the image and some of the extra stuff was cropped off the right hand side. Score composition as 3.
Now score creativity. OK, trying for an impressionist style with the scene distorted by the water drops. The idea is creative but it really needed more water drops running down in streaks. Still not sold on the sepia color. Be generous and give a 3.
Result: The image is sadly not accepted for the PEG. Please note that these are fictitious comments to illustrate the typical process. I think your image, printed large, would look good hanging on a wall.

So you see Alayos it is very difficult for the judges to accept ANY entry into the PEG. Everything is actually stacked against acceptance so that only really exceptional images get through the process. Its not personal its just the way the system has been set up to filter out everything that is not really outstanding. That system makes it tough on anyone who doesn't own a Pentax DSLR with a good range of premium quality prime lenses and a good few hours spare to post process the image. It doesn't hurt for the entrant to be a very experienced photographer with a trained eye for composition as well.

I hope this helps you.

Kind regards
Tony
01-03-2018, 02:18 PM - 2 Likes   #638
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alayos92 Quote
I was surprised by the evaluation of some judges on the photo ..
."A bit on the dark side.
Also, the lady's feet are cut off."..

They have not thought that it was to create more emphasis in the center of the image ... in short ... I think they hide behind anonymity to give very skewed criticism ... it's my opinion ...
Where is the pic?

I am a judge and often I give a detailed critique, especially when I think it can be useful for improvement. Sometimes I judge the entry to just not warrant much discussion or my time is limited, so I may just put my score. That is valid too. We do what we can. I doubt the judges are hiding behind a veil of anonymity to take pot shots at your photo just to be malicious.

When you submit any of your art for judgement, be aware that you may not like what you hear, just saying.

Peace and good luck!

01-03-2018, 07:43 PM - 1 Like   #639
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thanks for sharing these. In my opinion, the water droplets you have captured here are less complementary to the final image and more distracting than anything. You also have glass windshield reflections in all of them and a somewhat untidy framing to a couple. I am unable to click your actual submission (getting a database error), so I cannot see how different the "official" entry is. Honestly, I would not qualify this work worthy of top tier exclusive gallery membership.
01-04-2018, 11:20 AM   #640
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
Now the judge has to score technique somewhere between 1 and 6. Its definitely not a 6. There is noise. The bridge is kind of grungy. The focus is soft except for the water drops, but they distract from the image. Hmm? Score technique as 3 - that's midway between 1 and 6. Kind of average. Its a fair score.
Composition is next, also between 1 and 6. It would have been better if the bridge formed leading lines from the right lower corner of the image and some of the extra stuff was cropped off the right hand side. Score composition as 3.
Now score creativity. OK, trying for an impressionist style with the scene distorted by the water drops. The idea is creative but it really needed more water drops running down in streaks. Still not sold on the sepia color. Be generous and give a 3.
Result: The image is sadly not accepted for the PEG. Please note that these are fictitious comments to illustrate the typical process. I think your image, printed large, would look good hanging on a wall.
Thank you Tony for this paragraph. The scores I gave the "raindrops" photo were almost the same as your explanation and for similar reasons. I noted the artistic intent in the comments, though I knew that the scores I gave would bias the overall judging to non-acceptance.

FWIW, my work tends more to the artsy side as well and is intended solely as personal expression, though I do post what I like to Flickr. Back when I was active, I had several images (~20) accepted on PPG, but have never submitting to PEG. My work is not to the same standard of quality and emotional impact as the current content on PEG.


Steve

(...was at the Seattle Art Museum yesterday for the 100-year Andrew Wyeth retrospective. While in the gallery, I happened upon a Jackson Pollock. This was my first in-person experience with his work and I found the huge canvas of splatters to be strangely compelling and more "universal" than I would have expected...)
02-15-2018, 05:07 PM - 2 Likes   #641
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I noted the artistic intent in the comments, though I knew that the scores I gave would bias the overall judging to non-acceptance.
Thanks for the kind comment Steve.

I really think being a PEG judge is an awesome responsibility. On the one hand you are evaluating an image which the photographer has submitted as his/her best work. You now have the power to allocate scores and write comments that could totally crush their photographic aspirations forever or you can give the same scores but with encouraging comments that could inspire them to work on their skills and technique until they achieve greatness.

At the same time you have the equally great responsibility of preserving the integrity of the PEG so that when an image is accepted it will fit proudly among the superb work of the great Pentax photographers whose names are only spoken by mere mortals in hushed tones and with bowed heads. Sometimes you just have to err on the side of caution because its better to reject a doubtful image which could have been accepted than to accept a doubtful image which should have been rejected. Overall I think the judges do their level best to give encouraging comments while preserving the value and exclusivity of the PEG.

Thanks for doing this often difficult task.

Kind regards
Tony
02-15-2018, 06:39 PM   #642
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alayos92 Quote
Very grateful Tony for your comments and have spent a bit of your time for it.
In the end it is confirmed what I thought ... It is not the same a Pentax Q-S1 as a Pentax KP, K3-II etc ... to say two cameras that I have on the horizon ... To assess the quality of a photography ... (the economic side always appears ...)
In the photo that concerns us, I have tried to play with water drops and blur, following Masters of Photography as: Michael Freeman (The photographer´s Mind or The Capturing Light, The Heart of Photography).Far from the perfect approach and playing with the color and water on the windshield of the car ...
With your permission I would like to publish here the complete series that I made that day last fall in Dílar (Sierra Nevada) Spain, without retouching and as the sensor originally captured it.
I say goodbye to this area and continue through the Q area ..
greetings
Eloy
In addition to the other great suggestions here, I have some suggestions for you to try for this type of scene.


Clean your windscreen and treat it with a water repellant (I use RainX). The water beading on the glass will create small circular windows of the outside.


Focus on the beads of water.

Use a polarizer to eliminate the reflections on the inside of the glass. It should also improve the colors.



Stop the car when you are shooting if you can, so the background isn't blurred by motion.
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