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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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08-08-2010, 12:03 PM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
If you don't like the procedures used for the exclusive gallery, you don't have to participate.
I know and this is fair enough.

But I foresee a certain level of frustration for participating members if they and nobody else cannot explain the selection. So, I decided to point to the problem early on.

My idea is that using this forum should be fun. And recently, I find some motivation to point to its parts which are no fun. It used to be more fun than it is now... Take it as constructive critics.

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I made a special gallery for all the monthly photo contest winners just a few days ago too- see here.
That's great news! Thank You so much. I assume that the presentation layer under construction applies to this section as well.

The section's volume is a bit thin though. How about including 2nd and 3rd places too (or a certain %-fraction of max. votes)? And still highlighting the winners (premier selection or so)?

08-08-2010, 01:50 PM   #77
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Lower left watermarks should be OK Adam.
Some photos have prominent parts of the subject matter in the right lower corner and so having the option to place a watermark on the left instead is better for the image.

Adam, a separate monthly contest winner gallery is a splendid idea.
Thanks for that as well.
08-08-2010, 02:57 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
My goal is to make the gallery contain only the best of the best as brecklundin said.
What the "best of the best" images are will always be a subjective statement. One man's best photo is another man's "so what?" photo.

AFAIC, the only way to get round that problem is to include the most popular photos. Why don't we use a public voting system? It could still be at your discretion to either admit the winner(s) of each round to the gallery or to deem them as not worthy enough. You could pick as many images as you liked from the top down. The only restriction would be that you couldn't pick a less popular image while rejecting a more popular one.

This way you could ensure the highest standard possible, but avoid the criticism that the gallery isn't showing the "best of the best" but "the images Adam chose to accept".

The above selection process also would remove any doubt that a submitter will have to compete against themselves more so than against others. After all, you cannot be too liberal with giving away the incentives you offered, right?

One could argue that there isn't a problem, that the current process works, but I see at least one image in the gallery whose allure escapes me and another one that has obvious technical problems. In no way would I want others to imply that images I submitted didn't make the cut against the two examples I'm talking about.

Unfortunately, the only way for me to avoid that implication is to not submit anything at all.

Related to that you might want to reconsider the automatic relegation of images that were submitted but didn't make the cut to a regular gallery. Some submitters may prefer to not have their submissions published at all, if they don't make the cut.
08-08-2010, 02:59 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I know and this is fair enough.

But I foresee a certain level of frustration for participating members if they and nobody else cannot explain the selection. So, I decided to point to the problem early on.

My idea is that using this forum should be fun. And recently, I find some motivation to point to its parts which are no fun. It used to be more fun than it is now... Take it as constructive critics.


That's great news! Thank You so much. I assume that the presentation layer under construction applies to this section as well.

The section's volume is a bit thin though. How about including 2nd and 3rd places too (or a certain %-fraction of max. votes)? And still highlighting the winners (premier selection or so)?
I can't do third place as those haven't been showcased in the past, but 2nd place is feasible. If I don't end up including second place winners, though, I'll definitely some sort of showcasing similar to that of the exclusive photos.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Lower left watermarks should be OK Adam.
Some photos have prominent parts of the subject matter in the right lower corner and so having the option to place a watermark on the left instead is better for the image.

Adam, a separate monthly contest winner gallery is a splendid idea.
Thanks for that as well.
I'm going to update the section rules

BTW- here's another idea I had for the exclusive gallery: what if we required all entered photos to maintain a 3.0 rating or higher? That would ensure that the staff acceptance decisions are supported by the community.


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08-08-2010, 03:20 PM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
BTW- here's another idea I had for the exclusive gallery: what if we required all entered photos to maintain a 3.0 rating or higher? That would ensure that the staff acceptance decisions are supported by the community.
If you want to aim at high-quality, this won't help. For sure, anything that goes past a few critical eyes will find support among a wide public.

The problem is not to find some support for images that made it in but to ensure that no images stay out that deserved better.
08-08-2010, 04:13 PM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
what if we required all entered photos to maintain a 3.0 rating or higher? That would ensure that the staff acceptance decisions are supported by the community.
You may be on to something.

But what is a 3.0 rating? Is it the rating in the gallery section? Or the thread rating in the post your photo section?

I must say that sorting the images in the post your photo section by thread rating and looking at 5 star photos with more than 2 votes (#votes would be decisive though!) yields some stunning photography.

But how does it help with photos submitted to the exclusive gallery?
08-08-2010, 06:21 PM   #82
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With regard to selection, I don't have a problem with the staff being the judge and jury, but if I submitted an image and had it rejected I would love to know the reasoning for it. Is there any possibility of providing some kind of feedback like that? It could even be very generic, like technical problems (blown highlights, poor color) to just not interesting, but for those of us interested in getting better, it'd be great to know where we're falling down.
08-08-2010, 06:26 PM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Related to that you might want to reconsider the automatic relegation of images that were submitted but didn't make the cut to a regular gallery. Some submitters may prefer to not have their submissions published at all, if they don't make the cut.
I think the user can always remove them if that is the case, yes?

08-08-2010, 07:10 PM - 1 Like   #84
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I have some excellent photos that most people are not going to like, because it's just not their cup of tea. These never get above two stars average in the photo forum but elsewhere I have had rave comments.

I have some excellent photos that any one individual person is not going to like. (That goes for every photo on earth, right?)

So the only way to get all the best photos is if I select them.

Which is exactly the logic Adam has used.

To be clear: I do not disagree with this line of thinking. In fact, maybe I will curate a gallery of my own. Maybe everyone should. Hey, on Flickr you can. But I do disagree with popular voting. I rarely see it pick the best of anything.
08-08-2010, 08:53 PM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I do not disagree with this line of thinking. In fact, maybe I will curate a gallery of my own. Maybe everyone should. Hey, on Flickr you can. But I do disagree with popular voting. I rarely see it pick the best of anything.
Yes - mainly because the majority of popular voters do not have the same appreciation of photography or art as seasoned/accomplished photographers.
08-08-2010, 09:29 PM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Yes - mainly because the majority of popular voters do not have the same appreciation of photography or art as seasoned/accomplished photographers.
If you have sufficiently many people voting then surely good photos will make it to the top, no?

Is the purpose of the exclusive gallery to give photographers catering to the taste of a minority a forum? I have trouble believing this. I reckon it is to be enjoyed by the majority of people visiting it, hence there would be nothing wrong with it if it contained popular photos.

If the popularity selection is regarded as problematic, I could also envision a selection process where a team of (seasoned/accomplished) photographers sit together and vote on submissions. However, for this to work satisfactorily
  • the team must not be too small so that personal preference or misjudgement can be eliminated as much as possible.
  • the decisions should be made freely without concern about whether or not an individual user reaches 5 or 10 entries. Currently the process can be considered to have an element of conflict of interest.
  • ideally submitters should receive feedback as to why a submission was rejected, including a tally how many voted for and against the image.
Probably I've forgotten some further preconditions. Yes, it would be a lot more work to run it like that but I don't see any other way to justify the title "best of the best".

If a decision can be made by one person the gallery will be just that person's favourite image collection with a potential for conflict of interest thrown in. Is that what the community wants to support?
08-08-2010, 11:40 PM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
If you have sufficiently many people voting then surely good photos will make it to the top, no?
True that - as with PPG, and even still there are images I wonder how they ever made it though...

So far the exclusive gallery looks good - the quality of the images is awesome (with the respectful exclusion of a couple IMO) so kudos to Adam, but I also appreciate that there will always be a level of subjectivity that comes into play and raise disagreements about which images should get in and those that shouldn't have gotten in...
08-09-2010, 03:02 AM - 1 Like   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
So far the exclusive gallery looks good - the quality of the images is awesome (with the respectful exclusion of a couple IMO) so kudos to Adam
I may put my argument in a more neutral and objective way now


Adam wrote that the selection is by site staff, so that may mean that the jury is Adam and Ole. Which would have to be stated somewhere.

That's fine, we end up with Adam+Ole's gallery. My problem only is that both haven't yet received wide-spread acclaim for their photography or photography competition jury work. I don't say they don't deserve it, just that they didn't receive it yet.

So, the value of the gallery, and the honour to be in, would be reduced compared to what would be possible with an acknowledged jury.

On the other hand, we already have PPG and don't need a second one.


So, may I make another proposal which isn't work prone, preserves the fun and avoids all the cumbersome stuff?

How about a "PREMIER GALLERY" (as opposed to exclusive) where every member with sufficient #posts or site supporter can submit the 10 photos HE selects. Everybody may then vote with a grade or even vote "veto". After a, say 6 weeks grace period, the vote would become stable (no more voting allowed) and if "veto" exceeds positive votes, would be removed. After the grace period, the vote points become invisible (after all, it's a gallery, right?). Now, add all votes of a photographer's photos to rank him in the premier gallery's outlet. Prefereably by avatar PLUS a name which is allowed to differ from his avatar name (I see many photos with a different copyright stamp than avatar).

Alternatively to a ranking, the top ten, twenty, hundred, whatever photographers could be listed in an "exclusive gallery" which then would be exclusive indeed.



==================

On another, more serious note:

To introduce features like the "exclusive gallery" without a prior discussion with the community here breaks the community and causes more bad than good. This would never happen in a true community. It certainly must have discussed with somebody. So, why didn't we see the discussion? If a forum is run like an enterprise and becomes split into management and (unpaid) company, then is ceases to be a forum. By definition of the word forum. That's a recent development which must be halted asap. "Reputation points", "million'th post competition", "exclusive gallery", "sponsored subforums", "dismissable message on top of pages" etc. all have been developments which have the potential to take the fun out of PF. So, at least discuss your ideas...

Last edited by falconeye; 08-09-2010 at 03:17 AM.
08-09-2010, 04:35 AM   #89
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
True that - as with PPG, and even still there are images I wonder how they ever made it though...
I fully agree that while there are a number of stunning images in the 'Pentax Photo Gallery' thread there are some which some people wouldn't include in their Flickr photostream.

But that's why I included Adam (& Ole?) as the final authority. They only need to accept from the top down what they are prepared to accept. That completely eliminates the problem of the PPG.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
So far the exclusive gallery looks good - the quality of the images is awesome (with the respectful exclusion of a couple IMO)...
Perhaps it could look even better with other rules and I see it as support of my argument that you also see some images that might not warrant "best of the best" status.


QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
That's fine, we end up with Adam+Ole's gallery.
I'm also fine with that but it should be named like that.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
So, may I make another proposal which isn't work prone, preserves the fun and avoids all the cumbersome stuff?
Your proposal features a transparent process and I'd prefer it to the current one. It might imply the uncoupling of gallery success with the incentives that are currently in place, but I regard that as a good thing.

Your proposal is open to the "popular vote = good images are neglected" criticism. But I a) don't see it as a big problem for a gallery of this type and b) there is no way around this that doesn't involve hard work by a (preferably elected) jury.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
On another, more serious note:
I'm in agreement with Falk. If there are too many "top-down" decisions this may lead to an alienation of forum members, i.e., destroy the sense of "belonging to a community". IMHO, it is the latter sense of "belonging to a community" that drives people to make quality contributions. Without the latter, there is not a lot but chatter. (Rhyme provided without charge ).

Last edited by Class A; 08-09-2010 at 04:48 AM.
08-09-2010, 04:41 AM   #90
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Bold yet valid points made Falk.
Indeed a purist would disagree with the creation of such an exclusive gallery due to the absence of consultation with the wider forum community - fair point.
It does appear that the exclusivity of the gallery is more based on limited 'staff' perception.
But now how many more galleries of this sort do we need to have to portray the 'best' work?
Exclusive, Premier, Super Premier, Ultimate, Penultimate...

Any gallery, regardless of its system of image admission, will have immeasurable biases involved in the process and this ought to be appreciated. As sophisticated as PPG may be in their submission review process, there are clear deficiencies - which are OK but certainly is no fail safe method. A 'premier' gallery too is subject to limitations, particularly with patronage in the voting/vetoing process suggested. A member would have to purposely go into the gallery to pitch a vote - a select few who are keen to do this are then collectively the decision-makers, who themselves may have questionable acclaim in photographic judgement.

I suppose there's no simple answer, if even one at all, so the exclusive gallery is what it is... although I can also suggest a way to arrange current user galleries according to star ratings (similar problems as above notwithstanding) and categorised into the genres already delineated... best of the user photo gallery by categories at the click of a mouse...
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