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Judging photo contests
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Jan 23, 2023 13:15:19   #
JD750 Loc: SoCal
 
This is not meant to be a criticism of human judges. But judging photo contests, or any event, different judges will award more or less for different criteria. We see this in judged athletic events where there can be a considerable spread of points from multiple judges.

Sometimes I look at photo contest results and I like one of the runner ups better than the winners. Of course I’m not an expert judge and I’m not privy to the criteria the judges used, but I know what I like and I can see inconsistency if it exists.

It is only natural for human preferences and biases and even politics, to creep in when humans are judging contests.

Computers as we know are devoid of emotion, and when given proper programming they are very good at quantifying large amounts of data and comparing it objectively to criteria.

My question:
How long will it be before AI replaces or at least supplements humans In judging photo contests?

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Jan 23, 2023 13:17:52   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Computers gave us the 2022 NCAA four teams for the football championship, a blow-out a few weeks ago. You want more of that?

Then again, if AI generated the image title and all / most of the image content, why not let them give the awards too?

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Jan 23, 2023 13:20:25   #
NickGee Loc: Pacific Northwest
 
Photo contents are stupid and a waste of time and energy. You don't need (fake) validation like that to enjoy your hobby. Such things appeal largely to praise whores.

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Jan 23, 2023 13:29:54   #
JD750 Loc: SoCal
 
NickGee wrote:
Photo contents are stupid and a waste of time and energy. You don't need (fake) validation like that to enjoy your hobby. Such things appeal largely to praise whores.
Wow I suggest that you never enter a photo contest!

Another reason people might enter a photo contest is to learn and grow artistically. Of course for that to work, the contestant must have a bit of a tough skin, and also must check their ego at the door

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Jan 23, 2023 13:34:57   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA, United States
 
NickGee wrote:
Photo contents are stupid and a waste of time and energy. You don't need (fake) validation like that to enjoy your hobby. Such things appeal largely to praise whores.

From what I've seen win......
I never enter them.
One time years ago, the winner in one contest was a print that got caught in an Ektamatic processor.
All smeary like.

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Jan 23, 2023 13:38:15   #
NickGee Loc: Pacific Northwest
 
JD750 (oops, forgot to "reply"): True enough, and no insult intended. I generally engage with friends and peers who are also photographers and we share comments and critiques. Clubs are also good for this. Contests, in my view, skew critiques toward rigid rules, conventions and the like, and stifle creativity more than they encourage it. That's been my experience, though maybe not yours.

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Jan 23, 2023 13:46:07   #
ORpilot Loc: Prineville, Or
 
Having been a judge at the county fair. There are check lists to fallow. such as: does it represent the theme?, Is in in focus. Has it been photoshopped? Bad or good mounting or framing. A bad printing job. Does it catch the eye. How difficult was it to get the photo. . There are many factors that judges have to consider. As for AI computer judging images. No contest, They would be whatever the programer set up in the AI software. No room for imagination or creativity.

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Jan 23, 2023 13:55:59   #
JD750 Loc: SoCal
 
NickGee wrote:
JD750 (oops, forgot to "reply"): True enough, and no insult intended. I generally engage with friends and peers who are also photographers and we share comments and critiques. Clubs are also good for this. Contests, in my view, skew critiques toward rigid rules, conventions and the like, and stifle creativity more than they encourage it. That's been my experience, though maybe not yours.
thank you for that articulate well thought out reply.

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Jan 23, 2023 14:15:09   #
User ID
 
JD750 wrote:
This is not meant to be a criticism of human judges. But judging photo contests, or any event, different judges will award more or less for different criteria. We see this in judged athletic events where there can be a considerable spread of points from multiple judges.

Sometimes I look at photo contest results and I like one of the runner ups better than the winners. Of course I’m not an expert judge and I’m not privy to the criteria the judges used, but I know what I like and .............

My question:
How long will it be before AI replaces or at least supplements humans In judging photo contests?
This is not meant to be a criticism of human judge... (show quote)

Only once did I buckle under "political" pressure and agree to judge. It was the monthly "Photographic Society" meeting, not a big contest.

This was ages ago but the AI Camels Nose was already poking around the edge of the tent. I was given a page listing about a dozen parameters on which to pass judgement. As much as possible all of them should be applied to every entry. AI and a robot eye could really excel at that boring chore !

IIRC there were maybe two parameters, perhaps Creativity and Originality, that could reward the makers of photos that were actually interesting. Acoarst all the members knew that Creativity and Originality combined were worth, at best, about 15% of maximum points. IOW, theres only a rather minor demerit for aggravated boringness.

Quality of Execution, if it were a single item would have been worth, at most, 8%. But it was spread out to cover multiple items such as Lighting, Color, Focus, Exposure, etc etc. Composition was likewise not a single 8% item but was broken into Framing, Perspective, Balance, etc etc. So all that covers the other 85%, or SIX TIMES the value of Originality and Creativity. THAT IS MOST SERIOUSLY SICK !!!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Natcherly, I ignored all the rules and my scoring produced lotsa gasps and moans indicating, for me, Mission Accomplished.

It was a twofer. Numero Dos was the unmistakable message that a working artist/photographer (actual job title) will have a verrrry different vision than some silly assed "Photographic Society" rules. Numero Uno, my big win, is that I was never invited again ;-)

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Jan 23, 2023 14:21:29   #
revhen Loc: By the beautiful Hudson
 
Van Gogh sold one painting in his lifetime - to his brother. Now anything he did sells for millions. Judgement standards change. People change.

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Jan 23, 2023 14:35:50   #
luvmypets Loc: Born & raised Texan living in Fayetteville NC
 
Even with a checklist of what should be good points/bad points of a photo a judge is still going to go with appeals to him most.

A photography instructor I had was often called upon to judge for photo clubs. Each week when he viewed our class photos he would have nice things to say but no one in the class really seemed to awe him. As the class progressed I noticed his shooting style and started to put it into practice. The week I submitted my first photo in his style he was very generous with the praise and pointing out all the things I'd done right.

I'm pretty sure I know what photos he chose when he judged. It was just what appealed to him.

I saw similar tendencies when watching dog shows. Some judges were biased against certain colors of dogs other judges selected dogs by who the handler was. A friend would decide whether or not to show by who the judge was because of those issues.

Dodie

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Jan 23, 2023 14:49:02   #
DirtFarmer Loc: Way too close to New York City
 
When I got into digital I started to frequent online forums. A couple of them had online contests (challenges). They would specify a subject and post some rules and maybe limit the contest to some number of entries. I thought 'what the hell. I'll enter some and maybe learn something'.

It was a bust. They were primarily ego boosters. The judging was done by the forum readers. Anyone with an account could judge. So people started to sign up for multiple accounts so they could add votes to their entries. The only photo I ever submitted that placed near the top was in a contest titled 'Your worst photo ever'.

I'm not saying my photos were so good they should have won, but my reason for entering (learning) was not evident in the results.

I never joined a photo club so I never entered that sort of contest. I suspect that would have come closer to my objective. But now I have come to the realization that I don't care what people think of my photos. They're mine and some of them are good and some are terrible. I'm the judge. No prizes are given.

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Jan 23, 2023 14:58:35   #
User ID
 
luvmypets wrote:
Even with a checklist of what should be good points/bad points of a photo a judge is still going to go with appeals to him most.

A photography instructor I had was often called upon to judge for photo clubs. Each week when he viewed our class photos he would have nice things to say but no one in the class really seemed to awe him. ............

It was a Photography Instructor that had "invited" me to judge. We worked for a college. Maybe he never noticed my job title. My predecessor most certainly did not have "artist" in his title. That title was invented to snag me. My wife looked over the job listing and said "Who else could it be ? Go sign up." Acoarst, she was only into it for the money !

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Jan 23, 2023 17:35:00   #
Seabastes
 
Over the years I have judged several photo contests and it can be a gut wrenching experience.

Entering photo contests as a way of building a professional reputation hasn't been covered here. It can be a major factor in one's career.

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Jan 23, 2023 17:42:50   #
User ID
 
Seabastes wrote:

Entering photo contests as a way of building a professional reputation hasn't been covered here. It can be a major factor in one's career.

How has that worked out for you ?

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