Criteria when selecting finalists or voting in challenges.

March 21st, 2023

Following the above post, I thought this could be an interesting and worthwhile area to discuss.

The voting aspect is easy; one of the final photographs invariably jumps out at me and I vote for it. Very subjective and perhaps a little unprofessional. If no clear winner or a number of potential winners, then I apply the criteria in the next paragraph, which I use for selecting finalists.

Selecting finalists is more challenging if you will pardon the pun. Before I select a photograph for a final list, the following must apply. The subject of the photograph must be sharp, in focus and correctly exposed. Once those hurdles are overcome I compare the image to the title and subject title matter of the challenge.

What do others think?

March 21st, 2023
Such an interesting topic.
For voting, I usually give my vote extremely subjectively. Nothing professional in my choice, because I am not a professional. If I like a shot and it complies with the theme, then it has my vote. Sometimes, however, I have more favourites and then I sometimes cast my vote as a vote of confidence, to an entry that has got none by the time I vote.
I believe that professional voting should be on the shoulders of professionals.
In this respect, I've recently watched this video, and it says very much about professionals, and how they are taken for granted.
As for selecting finalists, I also select subjectively. I mean: the author definitely thought that their photo fits the theme when they tag it. But maybe to my mind it does not speak. So yes, I am very subjective. Perhaps because I am just a novice and amateur photographer. (A state where I intend to remain).
March 21st, 2023
@lumpiniman @monikozi I have a bit of both of you and it takes me a long time to decide on the shortlist. In case I have too many I like, I check them to see which had the most favs, sometimes it helps with my decision, but not always :-)
March 21st, 2023
like everything else here, it's really up to each person.
you vote for what you like regardless of the reason
you have a bundle of fun!
March 21st, 2023
If there is criteria in the challenge description I short list with that in mind. I do like straight horizons, and not see obvious clone/ heal marks. I'm subjective and if I'm wowed by the photographer's effort, narrative and the image fits the criteria it's considered , my first shortlist is often longer than the final one. I take this role seriously and do keep looking at entries as the challenge progresses.

Invariably my favourite shortlisted image doesn't glean the most votes, which shows my subjectively isn't matched by the community's voters!!!

Some shortlisters have a vote for two/ three images and apply an algorithm system, that's beyond my maths ability!! I ALWAYS feel sad for the shortlisterd photographer who gets no votes ( when in fact they did, the challenge host liked the image!)

Moni @monikozi I'll watch that video thank you for the link. Wowsers, that's an interesting and scary interesting article!!

I see the challenges as a bit of fun, and a way to move my photography forwards, not ever serious enough to have a strop if mine aren't shortlisted (as someone did a while back, very publicly, in the discussion thread)

I'm an amateur, I've grown immensely as a photographer as a result of the 365 community and the constructive feedback here, I know little about professional criteria and judging, and I'd like to keep it that way. Even the RPS uses terminology like correct and appropriate but don't define those criteria

Be interested in your viewpoint after more have replied to you John
March 21st, 2023
When selecting finalists there will always be an amount of subjectivity - I don't think an image always has to be technically perfect, I do think it has to meet the criteria of the challenge. When choosing finalists I look at whether they meet the criteria, the technical aspects if relevant and whether I like the image. This site is about participation and fun as much as it is about the technical aspects of photography.
March 21st, 2023
I try and match the picture to the theme/story/challenge and revisit several times before shortlisting. It is very subjective and that’s the fun of leaving the selected shots out for voting. It appears from the above comments that there are similarities.
March 21st, 2023
There are some fabulous photographers here - some I'd put on the pedestal of professional and I very much admire their work. I freely admit my images are no where near what they do. With that said, selecting the short list for challenges must meet the criteria judged by the host of the challenge. What might meet the criteria in my mind for an entry, may not be the same for the host. Still, it's good to see a lot of participation - even if most or some of the entries do NOT meet the host's criteria. For me, I learn from what I see here and for the most part - love the spirit of sharing and learning among most of the members.
March 21st, 2023
I have enjoyed reading the dialogues here. Haven't really been in the position of having to choose a shortlist of photos to be voted on in a challenge. Maybe only once, but I know I am often quite subjective when voting myself i.e., the photo has to "grab" me somehow. If none of them do, I sometimes don't vote at all or have to go back and look at each one a number of times, evaluating if they comply with the theme, etc. I feel I am always learning from all of you great folks here on 365! Thanks for letting this very amateur photographer be part of this community!
March 22nd, 2023
Such an interesting discussion. I think that I am in agreement with many who select the shortlist by matching the challenge/theme with the photo. Then I try to decide in my mind, who did it the best and tried to use good basic composition techniques. But subjectivity can and often does trump all in the end.
March 22nd, 2023
In the beginning i took this very seriously but after hosting many challenges over the years i just choose what i like!
March 22nd, 2023
In choosing a shortlist I tend to give a lot of weight to picking photos that meet the challenge criteria. Once that is done I do tend to go on a subjective basis of what just appeals to me more. I don't look for rules of composition etc. So many times images that break those rules end up being successful IMO. In voting on challenges my approach is similar. I will probably pick a less striking image that meets the criteria over one that is a better image, but which doesn't to my mind meet the requirements set out in the challenge.
March 22nd, 2023
There are no set rules on choosing finalists for me. And I believe that choosing only technically better photos will often eliminate newer photographers, who will then get frustrated at never being short-listed and stop entering challenges.
I once had two votes running at the same time (on the same challenge), one for experienced members, and one for the newbies. I had people vote for one in each thus giving the inexperienced photographers a chance to host a challenge.
So - I vary the criteria I use ... especially with the get pushed challenge but I try to state what I was looking for when short listing. Although, I do ensure that the challenge requirements are met.
While I don't think we want to take the seriousness out of challenges - after all, the object of the game is to enter our very best and improve our work - I also think we should encourage those beginning in photography to enter ... to push themselves a bit.
Such a fine line to walk.
March 22nd, 2023
@farmreporter You said it so very well, Wendy! No one can top that. =)
March 22nd, 2023
Thank you!
March 23rd, 2023
@monikozi I watched the video you posted above and although it was astounding I shouldn't have been surprised. To a degree, I feel like him whenever I post process a photo.
@farmreporter Well put.
March 23rd, 2023
@farmreporter to be fair you don't have to be a newbie to seldom get shortlisted - it also happens to longer timers!! its a fickle thing and is what it is!!
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