BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
 

Lack of Integrity in Categories


A discussion about the lack of integrity in the classification of photos is going on in the following thread:

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=32157

I would welcome your input.

Thx


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5/25/2008 4:34:54 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Robert,

You need to get out of retirement and get a job. You have too much time on your hands if you want to keep chasing this ghost. You obviously didn't learn from your previous experience with the "Judges" thread that the management could give a rats butt what you think about the way they run this site.

You highjacked a gentleman's thread for your own personal gain. Why? I don't know! Control Freak? Most likely! What do you stand to gain from all the turmoil? Nothing!

As I said in your other post, if you don't like it here, leave! Get the hell out! Make a lot of people happy and just leave. Start your own site. You can run it the way you want to. Then, you'll see what it's like when some dolt like yourself tries to tell you how to run your site.

By the way, don't use any energy responding to me. I'm not listening. I will not even return to this thread. Have a nice life! Oh.....you need to get one first!


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5/25/2008 4:20:44 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Todd was unable to dispute any of the facts I raised so he offered us a rant.

Again, the discussion is at:

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=32157


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5/25/2008 4:36:36 PM

 
Elida Gutierrez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2007
  Leave the other thread alone and continue in this one PLEASE!!!


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5/25/2008 7:15:41 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  That makes no sense whatsoever, Elida. The lengthy discussion is over there. Our fellow members are directed their by the URL link. This link serves as a title reference for those interested in the discussion.

Please visit:

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=32157

Thank you.


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5/25/2008 7:29:01 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
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  Robert, I am probably the queen of beating a dead horse. Learn from my past experiences. Few will agree with you, a few will debate it with you, the BP police (not staff) will email you off list to explain how wrong you are and why, and BP won't change anything. It's all vanity :O).


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5/25/2008 7:40:33 PM

 
Elida Gutierrez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2007
  I just posted a link to this thread in the other one, I did it to defend the "original" topic of that thread, and hoping that Alexander won't change his mind about posting the results next month.

I'm not going to discuss about contest winners or integrity in categories or people.

Good luck and happy shooting.


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5/25/2008 7:50:39 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Sharon, I have learned long ago that in public discussion, board meetings, speeches answer and questions, etc., it really is not important if "few agree with me", because of the "silent majority" who do agree. There are many who will read this thread and never respond on the thread, but will email me. Better yet, there may be future readers of this thread who will say "damn right, I too am tired of playing by the rules and getting screwed watching rules violators win awards." If they also get fed up and talk to management, then something positive could result.

Re "how wrong I am" . . .

Sharon, that is impossible for me to be wrong because the management of this website has it in writing that composite photos need to go into Digital Darkroom.

I really would love to see them try to explain to me "how wrong I am" since I am actually stating THE GUIDELINES OF MANAGEMENT.


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5/25/2008 7:52:53 PM

 
David W. Orias
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/16/2007
  By the way Robert, I never said I disagreed with the points you made. I will say that I don't feel as strongly about it as you do.

And saying YOU didn't mean that BP didn't write it as well. I guess the YOU was more used to emphatically point out that you were the only major voice expressing outrage about the situation. Most of the other participants appeared to feel that the judges were probably doing the best they could under the limitations of the system. Because I can't see BP judges demanding RAW files from members to prove something is not a composite.

However, I do believe strongly that emailing BP directly is more appropriate than "sidling" your issue into a thread that really wasn't made for that purpose.


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5/25/2008 7:57:12 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Robert, I don't recall telling you that you are wrong, but I have short term memory problems :o). I try not to use language that takes it personal. Note I said "try" LOL.

I think David hit the nail on the head. In order to assure members don't over manipulate photos they would have to see an unedited version of the photo. I don't ever see that happening. I imagine the free contest is used to entice people to the site in hopes they will take courses and otherwise support the site. There's no way in thunder they're going to go to that kind of trouble. I only know of one other site that ever did that and they went belly up.

Subject to changing my mind I'm going back into obscurity now. The long boring holiday is almost over and I really hate posting here anymore. Not that you could tell that by today :D.

Have fun! Oh, and please do leave Carolyn alone. She's old like me ;).


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5/25/2008 8:09:20 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Elida, like Todd, you are saying the craziest thing. You want threads to be "pure" but you want categories for photos to be "anything goes".

If Digital Darkroom photos are allowed to be in all categories, then Animal photos should be allowed into People and People photos should be allowed into Flowers, . . . and so the chaos goes on.

That is ludicrous!!!!!!!!!

Even your husband or boyfriend would tell you that you are applying different standards, selectively, to suit your support for those who ignore the guidelines of this website.

I will make everybody a deal--write to BP management and ask them to enforce the integrity of the category system, and if done, all members are never allowed to change the topic on a thread.

C'mon, Elida. You are being dishonest even to yourself. Go look at yourself in the mirror and repeat what you wrote here, knowing that Digital Darkroom photos are infiltrating the other categories, but you don't want a thread to discuss anything but "thank you for your stats, Alexander".

You may be fooling yourself, Elida, but this is so ludicrous anybody who sees the "selective standards" suggestion of yours to be really laughable.

For the rest of you, a healthy discussion on the lack of integrity in the category system appears at the following thread:

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=32157

"Integrity" as in "structural integrity of a ship's hull" (not referring to the personal integrity of anybody).


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5/25/2008 8:11:59 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  Robert...just give it a rest...this isn't a "healthy" discussion...it's your opinon on what constitutes digital darkroom...similar to your previous wildlife topic. We all respect your opinion..but it's just that, your opinion...I don't see any gain in recycling the same arguments, over and over. Let's focus on tomorrow, Memorial Day...that's probably alot more meaningful then on what category we put something in.


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5/25/2008 8:30:53 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  David, re your point about me being the "only major voice expressing outrage about the situation" . . .

David, this is the same false thing that was brought up on that other thread and makes no sense...less than a small fraction of 1% of the members of BP will read this thread. It does not matter if zero people express outrage or not, what matters is many new members will come and go without ever expressing opinion on a forum topic but will decide BP is not the place for them because JUDGES VIOLATE THE VERY GUIDELINES THAT BP MANAGEMENT HAS WRITTEN DOWN! Judges are ignoring the instructions written down by their own boss.

Many will read the thread and agree with the points I made, and it will only underscore the belief they already had, but they will not respond on the forum. I can assure you the hits to the thread are greater than the number of posts.

How many members, esp new members, get fed up with this and just leave???

Lack of integrity and chaos in the categories is not good, except for the button chasers who would sell their soul just to win a button or award.

It is not a healthy thing for honest members who play by the rules that make up 95% of the members, so this will tick off a lot of members whether they respond or not to this thread or any thread.

David, re your "However, I do believe strongly that emailing BP directly is more appropriate than "sidling" your issue into a thread that really wasn't made for that purpose." . . .

Poor tactics, David. You already know what I stated on the other thread that just like two months ago, I will go to management after the thread runs its course and I will present facts, links, and thread discussion proving judges are breaking the very rules the owner has laid down.

It is healthy for other members to view these threads. The only way a business improves is to work on its weaknesses, and hearing from employees (or members in this case) tells ownership of their impressions of what needs to be fixed.

Finally, David, re your "Because I can't see BP judges demanding RAW files from members to prove something is not a composite."

C'mon David. A bald eagle laid over an American flag in Gary Marshall's photo--you telling me they would not know this? You must have not reviewed the winners from last month. It is glaring what photos that won awards are "Digital Darkroom" photos from cheaters who put them in another category other than DD.

David, you bring up another point! Ownership also wrote that you are supposed to disclose digital techniques used!!! If guidelines were enforced, a member will think twice about lying saying they did not use a composite when the did, because too many knowledable people on this site would know they are lying and they would not want to be embarrassed like that.

Why are these members afraid to compete in the DD category???

If management would start rejecting photos from rule breakers, this crap would stop in a heart beat. The more the judges break BP's guidelines, the more chaos we will have.


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5/25/2008 8:38:55 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Sharon, re your "Robert, I don't recall telling you that you are wrong"

You didn't. I was referring to your point that they may tell me I am wrong.


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5/25/2008 8:41:43 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Ken, re your "your opinon on what constitutes digital darkroom"

How wrong you are! You did not read the other thread. "My opinion" has nothing to do with it. Fact does. It is the ownership of BP who wrote the guidelines Ken, not me!!!!! I am restating what BP management has put in writing--"my opinion" never entered into the picture.

Talk about being way off target, Ken--wow!


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5/25/2008 8:45:39 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  Robert, regardless of opinion or BP fact..you're just recycling the same stuff...you have to admit that...just go back thru all your posts..you're saying the same thing over and over... I think we all know where you're coming from!


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5/25/2008 8:51:41 PM

 
Luwanda Grisswald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2008
  I have to chime in on this conversation! I know my work is not up to par and Robert I think if you would go and look at your own work instead of worrying about everyone else's and see what needs to been done with your own. The more energy used to your own work the better you could get. When you don't win that should make you want to work harder to be the winner the next month. Learn a little photoshop! :)

Now get off of it and drop it!


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5/25/2008 8:59:19 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  No, Ken, I have only responded to fellow members' posts. Now in some cases, Carolyn, for example, it took multiple posts to copy and paste BP's management's written words, because she seemed to have a hard time understanding I am not the owner of the website nor am I in management at BP and it was not "my view" but clear guidelines from BP ownership.

It was BP management who has stated that composites go in DD, and if digital tools play a "big part" in the overall image, then it goes in DD.

For some reason, it took about four attempts for her to understand that it was not "my opinion" but the written word of BP management, and that BP JUDGES ARE BREAKING BP GUIDELINES.

That's the only "recycling" I can recall.


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5/25/2008 9:04:35 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Luwanda, thanks for the input, but all that has nothing to do with the topic.

The topic is:

BP judges are giving awards and EFPs to members who openly violate the guidelines that BP management itself has laid down.

Also, the judges are allowing blatant Digital darkroom creations to infect the other categories. This cheats the honest members and awards guideline breakers, a very unhealthy situation.

This is the topic of discussion, Luwanda.


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5/25/2008 9:08:55 PM

 
Luwanda Grisswald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2008
  Robert it is a free contest! Do you really think they will listen to you?

I also meant what I said even if it is not your topic. If I saw correctly at the top you changed the subject!


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5/25/2008 9:24:22 PM

 
Luwanda Grisswald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2008
  Sorry I had read another thread! Got them confused!


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5/25/2008 9:26:21 PM

 
Luwanda Grisswald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2008
  Also...why would BP allow THEIR judges to allow blatant DD creations to infect other categories? Hmmm, maybe because there is no problem..except for one BP member?? Certainly, the BP senior leadership has their fingers on the pulse of the judges...if they felt there were problems, then the judges would change...but...this is YOUR problem, and not BPs.


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5/25/2008 9:30:35 PM

 
Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/28/2005
  How you do go on, Robert! In the process you are tarnishing the image of those who raise legitimate concerns about the judging process.
Your argument rests on the definition of terms. Your definition! "Fact," one of your favorite terms, becomes whatever you declare to be fact. Anyone who disagrees with your interpretation is therefore misinformed, is defending their cheating, or is in some way mentally deficient. If "fact" is viewed as that which is demonstrably true and agreed upon, then you are a cantankerous coconut. Yeah, I know that's an opinion, but if you keep on like this, it will become fact.
Before you squeal that that is an ad hominem attack, let me say that it is. You made it a relevant one.
I can barely imagine what it must be like to be your neighbor as you interpret the local bylaws on grass length and the number of pieces of garbage allowed each week.
Gee, that felt good! :)


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5/25/2008 9:50:36 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Steve, thank gosh you are not a navigator on a cruise ship. You are so far off target.

Re your, "Your argument rests on the definition of terms . . . Anyone who disagrees with your interpretation . . ."

Like David, you failed to read the thread.

BetterPhoto management has made it very clear that composite photos and "digital creations" (digital tools play overriding effect of image") are DIGITAL DARKROOM photos.

Here is a photo that WON AN AWARD last month in "Nature and Landscape" but the photographer herself made it clear it employs layers--it is a composite.

The BetterPhoto judges, even when they are told by the photographer there are layers which should reject the photo from this category, STILL AWARD HER A GOLD 2ND PLACE AWARD!!!

How farcical of you to call it "my definition" when it is the written instructions from the BP ownership!!! Not my terms, OWNERSHIP'S TERMS!

Just for you, here is the link, where it is declared composites go into Digital Darkroom:

http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/categories.asp

If you go down halfway, you will see examples of automatic classifications into Digital Darkroom:

COPY AND PASTE:

*Photoshop® composites and creations
*Images greatly manipulated with "buZZ", "Flood", or other filters
*Photos with artistic borders
*Photos stitched into a panoramic

END COPY AND PASTE

Now Steven this is just one of many photos where BP judges broke BP's own guidelines.

My argument does not rest on the definition of terms; there is no opinion involved here. BP made it crystal clear composites and creations go into DD. (If you read, they make a distinction between "creations" and "manipulations" which underscores my points even further).

You look foolish, Steve. Before you come on and post, why not read the threads to gather some facts first before you make baseless attacks?

It is impossible to dispute ownership's facts and the judges' awards. You have no case--these are facts.

The lack of integrity in the categories and the judges at BP breaking BP's own guidelines does a huge disservice to the 95% of the members who abide by the guidelines and awards the 5% who would do absolutely anything just to win a button.

You seem to imply you are one of those who actually has voiced complaints about the judging process based on what you said, and if so, I congratulate you since indeed there are some woeful judging cases, including a built in conflict of interest since class instructors get cozy with students and the instructors are doing some or all of the judging.

You are right about the judging having defects--you are 100% wrong in what you said about "interpretation".


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5/25/2008 10:20:13 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Luwanda, re your "why would BP allow THEIR judges to allow blatant DD creations to infect other categories?"

That is EXACTLY whar members need to be asking and need to be contacting the management about. We need to know they are allowing BP judges to break BP guidelines.


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5/25/2008 10:23:01 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Steve and all,

Here is the link to the photo I referred to above:

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=5913123&catID=25845

where I said "Here is a photo that WON AN AWARD last month in "Nature and Landscape" but the photographer herself made it clear it employs layers--it is a composite.


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5/25/2008 10:26:02 PM

 
Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/28/2005
  I read every painful word. And don't call me Steven, Bobby!


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5/25/2008 10:28:29 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Steve . . .Hmmmmmm. Well, well, well.

I see you have multiple photos where you violated the guidelines and were given awards. I guess this explains your hostility. A few examples:

In your photo “Life Force II” you admitted using the Buzz Filter plus others. The buzz filter is explicitly singled out by BP management that this goes to DD yet you violated the guidelines and submitted to N&L and got an EFP. The image looks like a digital creation. It should have been in DD--why not compete there, Steve?

Your “The Flow” received a Finalist award fro Catch All, even though, once again, you cheated other members competing in Catch All by using the Buzz Filter and submitting a digital creation which management said goes into DD.

You violate the guidelines and thus cheat fellow members. No wonder we saw your animosity.

You are one of the 5% cheaters, Steve. The other, honest 95% who submit with integrity and abide by the guidelines get cheated when you do this.


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5/25/2008 11:37:45 PM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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  ..And I didn't change my mind, I just passed out from exhaustion.


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5/26/2008 3:05:18 AM

 
Tressie Davis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/4/2006
  Steve: cantankerous coconut? LMAO!!!! And forget his neighbors, what about his WIFE???? Ack. I'm sure I'll be attacked after this post, since I'm a cheater as well. :-)


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5/26/2008 4:33:43 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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  My main point of contention is the difference between a rule and a guideline. I got this off the internet from a circuit court opinion on some case or other...
"Guidelines are "preferred" by the requesting party and are merely a factor to be considered and taken into account".
"Rules are specific and not open to interpretation."
I don't know what else can be said to advance this discussion from my point of view, so I'm going shopping!


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5/26/2008 4:39:39 AM

 
Michael Skelton  . 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/16/2006
  I havent't been active at all the last month or 2 here on BP so I decided to stop in and see what was new !!! And I see there is nothing different then before.

It's nice to know somethings never change ;o) .


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5/26/2008 5:32:35 AM

 
Kathryn (Love) Scheet
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2004
  YOU are not to judge, just as I am not to (although you may say I am judging...)- but I can't help from saying this....It would seem to me, those that make the guidelines are the ones who can bend OR change them - just because you cannot understand the judges and their thoughts does not mean yours are better or more sound and moral, in fact you simply sit there and belittle those who respond to you and try your best to stir things up. So try to reason with your inner self focus on your own work, and maybe e-read your dictionary, just for fun and to give your fingers a break.

http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/categories.asp

Photo Contest Categories page
(near the bottom)

What We Do Not Take Into Account

As long as the subject matter fits, the following kinds of images can be categorized in any of the above categories - we do not separate the contest entries based on the following criteria:

* Digitally manipulated images
* Black and white images
* Humorous photos vs. "serious" photos
* Photos by professionals
* Photos by amateurs
* Photos taken with a digital camera
* Photos taken with a 35mm SLR

Note on Digital Manipulation

Although digitally manipulated entries are allowed, we ask that you note the digital techniques used to create the picture in the description of your photo. The judges do not discriminate against digital images but do appreciate when the contestant openly shares that such digital editing has occurred.

These categories are intended to help you enjoy the photo contest. They are not written in stone and are considered suggestions more than rules. We reserve the right to determine when a photo fits or does not fit into a particular category.

No response to this is needed.
Enough of "beating a dead horse" - pardon my choice of phrase...

Period.


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5/26/2008 6:43:22 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  I can't help it. I'm laughing until my sides hurt LOL.

Robert, honestly you'll get further if you don't attack people right out in a public forum :o). My my my! If you just gotta do that head to my gallery. I have tons of shots that are not in the proper category LOL. Oh heck, I'll do it for you.

This one looks nothing like the original. I put it in EOD.
Rugged Ridges

Dream Filter in Flowers
Winter Leftover

Dream Filter again in N&L
Come Spring

Offhand I couldn't find any wins in the wrong category but I wouldn't care if they were ;). My axe to grind is the same people winning all the time even if it's me. I think they heard me when I griped though. I haven't won since LOL.



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5/26/2008 7:01:45 AM

 
Elida Gutierrez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2007
  Robert, go to this page, and maybe it will clear your mind.
How to Categorize


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5/26/2008 7:51:28 AM

 
David W. Orias
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/16/2007
  Employing layers or doing layer masks in Photoshop is not unlike doing masking in the traditional darkroom. That is different than doing a composite which is taking elements from one image and adding them or replacing elements in another image.

Please be careful in your terminology Robert.


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5/26/2008 8:00:01 AM

 
Rob Zuidema
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2005
  As stated by BP on their 'How to categorize' page:

"We reserve the right to determine when a photo fits or does not fit into a particular category."


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5/26/2008 8:01:00 AM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Kathryn,

The ownsership clearly states a "digital creation" goes into "Digital Darkroom".

The ownership specificaly lists somethings that automatically classify into DD, such as the buzz filter and composites, and rightfully so.

"Digital manipulation" --they were referring to basic tweaks like sharpness, color sat, cropping, etc. This is just optimizing, and all photos SHOULD be optimized.

If you had read the other thread, all this is discussed and clarified.

Summary:

1] Some members cheat by ignoring the ownership's guidelines

2] BP judges ignore the ownership's guidelines.



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5/26/2008 8:11:44 AM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Rob,

Re your ""We reserve the right to determine when a photo fits or does not fit into a particular category."

Find us an example where they did that with a photo that was NOT A NUDE.

If these photos, some of which I pointed out, were not one of the "reserved the right" photos, nothing will be.

So ownership's options are what?

Toss out the classifications alltogether. Run it like the Cash Contest where there is no category competition.

Fact remains: as long as the owner has these guidelines, and as long as a group of members cheat by abusing the guidelines, and as long as the judges ignore their boss's instructions, 95% of the honest contestants are cheated against and the owner is left with a flaccid list of guidelines.

New memebrs see this crap and leave. Is that what you want, Rob?


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5/26/2008 8:20:58 AM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  David--most are still "digital creations", such as the example I showed you, and the owner states those do not belong in categories other than DD.


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5/26/2008 8:23:44 AM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Elida, like David and Steve, yo failed to read the thread. That link to that page is the very page I have copied and pasted from!!!!

Let me copy and paste one more time from the link you listed, so that it "can clear you mind", not "my mind".

START COPY AND PASTE

Digital Darkroom

This category is appropriate for digital art - images created or drastically altered in software like Adobe Photoshop®. Although digitally manipulated images are also allowed in the above categories, this is a category exclusively showcasing such art. If the digital darkroom work is the main attraction of the photo, or plays a big part, enter it here.

-Photoshop® composites and creations
Images greatly manipulated with "buZZ", "Flood", or other filters
-Photos with artistic borders
-Photos stitched into a panoramic

END COPY AND PASTE


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5/26/2008 8:28:36 AM

 
Elida Gutierrez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2007
  "Although digitally manipulated images are also allowed in the above categories".


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5/26/2008 8:30:47 AM

 
David W. Orias
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/16/2007
  And maybe it was the member's opinion and the judges' opinions that the digital darkroom work that they saw in the image was NOT the main attraction of the photo or didn't play a BIG part in the photo while in your opinion it DID.

See you are arguing opinion...... Yours versus the Judges. Things are not always black and white. There are almost always shades of gray.


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5/26/2008 8:37:38 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  "Fact remains: as long as the owner has these guidelines, and as long as a group of members cheat by abusing the guidelines, and as long as the judges ignore their boss's instructions, 95% of the honest contestants are cheated against and the owner is left with a flaccid list of guidelines."

Robert, I hate to break it to you but 95% of contestants probably realize they don't stand a chance anyway because they are pitted against the same awesome winners each month :o). I wouldn't even enter but I'm actually making some money off BP by having my microstock links on my gallery :). I've been asked why I don't just quit entering. Kinda like you were told so succinctly to get out and start your own site. Well, as long as I enter regularly the possibility of making money is there. Just because I don't like some things does not mean I'm going to pack up my toys and go home :D.


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5/26/2008 8:38:56 AM

 
Rob Zuidema
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/19/2005
  You know what? When you participate in a free event of any kind, you just need to accept the proceedings. Think about it...what are you out? Some time entering a photo, or a lot of time complaining about something you can't change? Basically, you aren't paying anything to enter, so whay are you complaining. Nobody wants to hear your griping. If you don't like the way it is run, (which by the way, the majority seems to) then find another site that meets your oh so perfect requirements and hang out there.


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5/26/2008 8:41:22 AM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Elida, you didn't read the guidelines well as failed to understand the context of that. Ownership was referring to basic tweaks of color sat, sharpness, lighting etc. when they referred to "manipulation". "Digital creations" is entirely different.

For the sixth time, please read the threads where this is explained and read the guidlines, since that has been stated multiple times.


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5/26/2008 9:06:01 AM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Rob, it is a contest and a level field still applies. Competition is always supposed to be fair, free or mega money. Also, many people pay $ for the hosting here.


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5/26/2008 9:08:38 AM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  David, Steve's photo that I gave the URL on was buzzed to the point it did not look at all like a photo but splashes of watercolor paint.

C'mon David. Is it too shocking for you to see the judges breaking their boss's guidelines and you will make any excuse to defend the indefensible?

A five-year old could tell a composite like Gary Marshall's photo I linked to--can you??? C'mon, you trying to be silly?


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5/26/2008 9:14:16 AM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Sharon, it is not "attacking somebody" to call them a cheater. Find a synonym for cheating that you like better, but violating the guidelines to the detriment of honest members is cheating.

Your photos you linked to are not warped and altered to the point like many are that have won awards in categories other than DD.


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5/26/2008 9:20:48 AM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Rob, re your "which by the way, the majority seems to"

Rob, total up the number of members who have posted on this thread. Call this "A". OK, now, find an estimate for the total number of members. Call this "B".

Now, divide A by B. Look closely to see what miniscule fraction that is and then tell me if you think that is relevant.

This website may not be the most crushing issue of the day, but it still is the place many honest members have chosen to be their photo hosting site. These members expect a degree of fairness, and expect to see the judges abide by the guidelines the owner has laid out.

Just because some members who cheat posted on these threads means nothing--if you think it does, whip out that calculator again and do that division of A by B one more time.


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5/26/2008 9:41:26 AM

 
David W. Orias
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/16/2007
  I couldn't find Steve's photo. As for Gary's photo, yes I can tell it is a composite. But did it receive a finalist or award "nod" from the judges?

As for the prize winner in the landscape category, again I think it falls into a gray zone.

It is my belief, and I get this feeling from other sites as well, that if the changes are subtle enough, a judge won't "disqualify" an image because they suspect it is filtered or composited and hence categorized improperly.

No system is perfect. Judges aren't perfect and members will push boundaries.

Good luck making your case to the BP administrators.

I don't think I can add another salient comment in this thread that I haven't already made.


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5/26/2008 9:58:02 AM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Hi David,

Steve's photos I referred to are listed in my post of 5/25/2008 11:37:45 PM -- you'd have to go to his gallery as I'm not going to paste the URL.

Re judges being perfect, of course, nobody asks for anything near perfection, but it is quite obvious the judges do not seem to care any more about their boss's guidelines than the members who cheat care, since these photos clearly violate the guidelines.

Thanks for participating.


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5/26/2008 10:05:11 AM

 
Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/28/2005
  Here is a link to The Flow: http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/big.asp?photoID=5394610&catID=&style=&rowNumber=89&memberID=102328
Bad choice for your attack, Robert, but I will let others decide if I am a "cheater." I have a windmill you could have tilted at instead.
That you are a cantankerous coconut is even more factual than before.
Gee, that felt even better! :)


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5/26/2008 10:41:45 AM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Steve,

1] the heavy use of the buzz filter makes this look like a painting.

2] detail and lighting are two critical details that make up a good photo--the buzz filter eliminates these details.

3] the ownership of BP specifically singled out the buzz filter as a photo to be classified as Digital Darkroom. You are violating thje owner's guidelines.

Steve, why are you afraid to compete in the Digital Darkroom? I just finished looking at each and every photo in the current entries for DD and there are some terrific images. We have outstanding members at this site who do some very good and creative work.

What are your fears? Do you have no confidence in your work, or are you just prone to cheating? The Digital Darkroom was created for you to showcase your digital creations there. You are only cheating fellow members by infecting the other categories.

Gain some confidence, lose your fears, and compete against your fellow members who enjoy the competition in Digital Darkroom. Your creations will shine far brighter there, and you will feel good inside for not cheating your fellow members in the other categories.


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5/26/2008 11:34:57 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  "Sharon, it is not "attacking somebody" to call them a cheater. Find a synonym for cheating that you like better, but violating the guidelines to the detriment of honest members is cheating."

Sorry, Robert, I just don't see it as something sinister people do on purpose OR maybe it is but I think the "guidelines" are open to interpretation.

This paragraph in the Terms & Conditions in particular jumped out at me, "Photos acceptable to BetterPhoto can be of practically any subject - we welcome landscape photos, portraits of children, pictures of your pet, and much more. As long as the photo shows technical excellence, originality, artistic creativity, and a mastery of the tools, it may be selected as a winner." I see nothing here that limits a contributor in any way.


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5/26/2008 11:36:44 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  Ok I'm done. I'm doing something here that goes against the grain with me these days...namely defending the site. BP can stick up for themselves or not. Good luck!!!


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5/26/2008 11:39:46 AM

 
Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/26/2006
  Good grief. Give it a rest, Robert. I own and operate an online forum and gallery, and I know these things are expensive. I come here to BP because I enjoy looking at the work of others, and enjoy sharing mine. I've learned a lot from the folks on this site. My own instinct is that 1) BP can run it however they want to run it - it's free to us, and 2) no matter what changes they made, the new change would ruffle someone else's feathers. It's impossible to please everyone.

So I take the things in stride that I'm not too crazy about, and continue coming here for the photography.


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5/26/2008 11:50:28 AM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Sharon re your "I see nothing here that limits a contributor "...this is not like you because normally you do your homework. Like some others, you failed to read both threads. You have a free for all if you don't, as you say, "limit contributors", then chaos ensues.

Once again, I will copy and paste the owner's specific examples of uses that categorize the photo as Digital Darkroom.

Here is the link to the page:

http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/categories.asp

Title of page: How to Categorize

Moving down half way apprx, we get to Digital Darkroom:

START COPY & PASTE:

If the digital darkroom work is the main attraction of the photo, or plays a big part, enter it here.

*Photoshop® composites and creations
*Images greatly manipulated with "buZZ", "Flood", or other filters
*Photos with artistic borders
*Photos stitched into a panoramic

END COPY AND PASTE

"Terms and Conditions" you quoted from goes over generalizations. "How to Categorize" gets down to the details and what these threads are all about.

Obvious composites (and digital creations) have won awards in other categories other than DD. The judges ignore their boss's instructions and guidelines.

Why are these members, like Steve, afraid to compete with other members in the Digital Darkroom category? Just because they lack confidence in their digital creations should not be a ticket to cheat honest members submitting natural photos in the contest in Flowers, Animals, Nature and Landscape and others.


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5/26/2008 12:01:56 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Pat, how you feel or I feel is not important. The ownership created guidelines to instill some structure so chaos would not ensue. He did this for the benefit of ALL members, not you or I.

Now, since the owner stated composites and heavy use of filters leading to digital creations belong in DD, and since some members are very fearful about competing in the DD and so infect the other categories, and since BP's judges also ignore the guidelines of the ownership by giving awards to these cheaters, that would seem like something that needs to be addressed.

Pat, you are looking at this through your point of view. I look at it from all the new members' perspective. I can see hundreds of future new members coming aboard, wanting to compete, and then seeing what I just described, then saying to hell with this. (Certainly, I am no different from many others). Don't be selfish--look at this through the eyes of new members wanting to compete fairly.

A larger issue is this is a photography site, not a graphic design site. There should be a place for digital creations .... wait a minute, there in fact is!!!! It is called Digital Darkroom. There should also be a place for photographers, and that is for all the other categories.

I am Oracle certified, an expert in Dreamweaver, and have done graphic design. I have nothing against digital creations. I do have something against cheaters who lack the confidence to compete in the Digital Darkroom category. I also find it striking that BetterPhoto judges are thumbing their nose at their boss's guidelines by giving awards to these cheaters.


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5/26/2008 12:17:07 PM

 
Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/28/2005
  Tsk tsk, Robert! You are not doing your homework. I have five entries in Digital Darkroom this month, all labeled as such.
You of all people should do some research before making your wild claims. I think I will add delusional mind reader to cantankerous coconut.
I haven't had this much fun name calling since grade school! :)


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5/26/2008 12:21:11 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com
  I dont think any possible responce given by anyone on this board would satisfy Robert.


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5/26/2008 12:27:06 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Steve, re your "Tsk tsk" . . .

Did I EVER mention your DD entries? No, I referred to your entries that were DD but placed in other categories, thus cheating good honest members.

Since you do compete sometimes in DD, why not enter ALL your DD entries there? Do you only enter those you have confidence in there, but those you fear don't stack up to the competition you cheat by entering them elsewhere?

You know, Steve, you surprise me being that you are a professor that teaches "critical thinking and communication". You certainly have not exhibited good communication here .... (well, if you can find where I referred to your DD entries, have at it).


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5/26/2008 12:41:29 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Carlton, I did not write the guidelines, the ownership of this website did.


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5/26/2008 12:43:00 PM

 
Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/28/2005
  Your words, Robert: "Why are these members, like Steve, afraid to compete with other members in the Digital Darkroom category? Just because they lack confidence in their digital creations should not be a ticket to cheat honest members submitting natural photos in the contest in Flowers, Animals, Nature and Landscape and others."
Triple tsk!


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5/26/2008 12:51:07 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Since I started this thread, I want the thread ended. I want to thank everbody for participating.

A BetterPhoto exec was very, very gracious in her time with me a while back on another issue that was quite important. We had a long phone conversation and I maled her a 4 page summary og the thread at issue.

She assured me she would review our phone conversation and the thread with her people. I expected that type of professioanlism and so was not surprised when I received it. I suppose I will do the same regarding this important issue.

If anybody else wants to comment, please email me.

Thank you very much.


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5/26/2008 12:57:25 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  Until next time, Robert ;).


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5/26/2008 1:32:05 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  :) Hasta próximo tiempo, Sharon.

Sharon, (now that the thread is reopened) . . . Sharon do you really believe Steve is a professor of "critical thinking"? After all, I went to his gallery, went through all his photos and, of course, had to bypass examples that I saw were in the Digital Darkroom, and picked out some examples that he cheated fellow members on by entering in other categories.

You call this "critical thinking" when he didn't know I saw his DD examples? That's "critical thinking"??? His students need to get their tuition fees back, even if it is just 60%.

Sharon, what I think I will do is, some time in the future, start another thread and use just ONE example of ONE digital creation/composite, along with ownership's explicit guidelines about composites and digital creations and try to focus on just one example. I think that would have equal impact with BP management. At some point, I have confidence some level of fairness will return.

I realize trying to keep a thread on track is like telling your four teenage kids, "I'm leaving for the weekend, here are your "guidelines", instead of "rules".

:)

Anyway, Hasta próximo tiempo, Sharon.

___________

Since I started this thread, I want the thread ended. I want to thank everybody for participating.

A BetterPhoto exec was very, very gracious in her time with me a while back on another issue that was quite important. We had a long phone conversation and I mailed her a 4 page summary of the thread at issue.

She assured me she would review our phone conversation and the thread with her people. I expected that type of professionalism and so was not surprised when I received it. I suppose I will do the same regarding this important issue.

If anybody else wants to comment, please email me.

Thank you very much.


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5/26/2008 1:51:49 PM

 
Alexander Czernin-Morzin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/27/2006
  Isn't there somewhere a button where we can press and deliver Robert from his agony? Because I can imagine how exhausting it must be on him to repeat himself on and on - like an old shellac on an old turntable.


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5/26/2008 2:00:43 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Alexander, the thread ended. Your interpreter needs to inform you that there is a post just inches above yours--called "the previous post" where it says the thread has ended.

I asked that any future comments be emailed to me. May I suggest you take a course at BetterPhoto that teaches you how to use email. Are you a past student from Steve's "critical thinking" course?

Have your interpreter go to dictionary.com and look up the word "end" as in "finished".

Are you a twin brother of Mikhail Gorbachev?

The thread has ended.
Russian :нить закончилась

The comments are finished.
Russian: комментарии закончены

Thank you.
Russian: спасибо



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5/26/2008 2:18:49 PM

 
Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/28/2005
  Now you have begun drooling, Robert! Better get out there and check on your neighbor's grass length.


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5/26/2008 2:26:58 PM

 
Alexander Czernin-Morzin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/27/2006
  Robert,

Sorry to disappoint you! I am not a Russian. I cannot read or write russian. I am one of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Subjects, also known as a Canuck!


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5/26/2008 2:28:16 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Steve, say hello to one of your past students in "critical thinking", Alexander?

OK, that's a party of two. Whoever teaches a "how to use email" course, we have two "critical thinkers" here who are dying to learn how to use email. What's the fee? I'll donate to the fund.

For all you others, please email me with comments, start your own thread, or wait for my next thread.

The thread has ended.
Russian :нить закончилась

The comments are finished.
Russian: комментарии закончены

Thank you.
Russian: спасибо



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5/26/2008 2:31:12 PM

 
Tressie Davis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/4/2006
  Where's Gregory?


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5/26/2008 2:41:27 PM

 
Luwanda Grisswald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2008
  What's wrong with you, Robert? A few comments ago, you cited a BP representatives graciousness and professionalism. Why can't your return the courtesy? If people don't agree with you, you attack them. And then you make fun of people's last names. What's wrong with you??


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5/26/2008 2:50:11 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Luwanda, if you can point out anywhere in these two threads where some "courtesy" was extended to me by Alexander or Steve, please show me.

If you can point out where I "attacked" somebody, before they did to me, please show me.

May I direct you to the other thread where Todd called me a "friggin moron", and I failed to "attack back".

May I now direct you to the very first response to this thread---repeat---very first repsonse to this thread by Todd and then look at my response back. Please do that.

This is why I like dealing directly with management. People like you fail to address issues but just want their feelings stroked. It is nearly impossible to have a serious discussion at BetterPhoto that does not involve phrases other than:

-a great capture
-lovely
-this is so sweet
-great work, beautiful

If all you want is to "pour some sugar on me", why do you participate in serious discussions?


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5/26/2008 3:08:49 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  "Where's Gregory?"

LOL Tressie! I think he only posts when he's at work ;).

Robert, I would have a lot more respect for you if you didn't lower yourself to name calling. You can get a point across without attempting to demean people can't you?

I know I have a bad memory but you put stuff in quotes I am pretty sure I didn't say. I am completely lost. When did I say Steve was a professor of "critical thinking"??

Not sure what the foreign babble means and I'm too lazy to look it up ;).

This whole thing has been entertaining if nothing else. Almost makes me look forward to the next long weekend ;). Until next time LOL.


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5/26/2008 3:22:17 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  Sharon, Steve is a professor of "critical thinking". That is posted on his BIO. They were in quotes not indicating you said them, but for emphasis purposes. It was stated earlier in a post to Steve that you must have missed that he was a professor of critical thinking.

It seems most posts from most of you involve stuff that you failed to read in the thread. If you would just read the discussion, most of your posts don't need to be made.

Sharon re your "more respect for you if you didn't lower yourself to name calling" . . . Now Sharon, really, you never twitched at all when Todd called me a friggin moron, nor on that thread from two months ago where I was called worse, nor did you "reprimand Todd" for attacking me and calling me names.

Why single me out? This crap does not fly. I never have and never will be a punching bag for other people--if they want to attack me, I attack back. If they would rather discuss the issue like an adult, I will discuss the issue like an adult.

I ask you Sharon to do exactly the same thing I asked Luwanda to do. LOOK AT THE VERY FIRST POST BY TODD--now, look at how I responded back to him. What a foolish thing to say, Sharon, without saying the same thing to Todd. You look foolish trying to reprimand me when it was Todd who should have been singled out and reprimanded from his very first post. Don't even attempt to give me this crap.



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5/26/2008 3:54:24 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Hello sunshine, been reading.
Pointless to slow down and look at the wreck on the opposite side of the highway, but it always happens. Chalk it up to human nature, try not to get upset, then just wait till you make it past, then enjoy flooring it because all the cops will be behind you at the wreck.
What you're witnessing feels like the techniques of demagoguery.(spell check says that's spelled right) Claim to state facts, use actual facts or stats and try to expand those to unrelated cases and other falsehoods. Contradict yourself, then use sensationalisms to direct attention away from your contradictions.
The division of people responding in this thread into total number of members was a fact that meant something. Then the claim that 95% agree with him and it's a 'fact', but there's no calculations to go with this 'fact' that it's 95%.
Make a claim of using the literal term of the word integrity as one of the basis of your argument, but not use the literal term of the word cheater, or cheat, when you're using it to prove the same argument.
Say you have the right to interject off topic subjects into a thread, but then say to someone that a they aren't allowed to add to a thread because you make a statement that 'it's ended' and you should obey that statement. Then use insults to deflect attention away from the absurdity of that expectation.
Yada, yada, etc etc...
There's only a few things that are definite that we know of that came from all this.
Sharon is old, cause she said so, several times.
The guidelines are there as examples for the people who need to ask themselves "what category can I put this in?"
The disclaimer (we reserve the right...)should explain the examples of the photos that were pointed out.
So, just wait till you get past the wreck, and when you do, down shift and let it run through those gears. There'll be a feeling of relief that comes with it that you can enjoy.
Only thing else you can do is just wait for Robert to drink the kool-aid.


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5/26/2008 3:55:33 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  Sorry, Robert. No one should name call. Period. Todd, don't do it again.

Gregory, I like to mention I'm old so people won't beat up too bad on me which doesn't usually stop them, plus when I forget or contradict myself they'll know why ;). It's not intentional I just honestly forget.

Gregory is here now and he always gets the last word LOL. I'll stop now ;).


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5/26/2008 4:02:56 PM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
Carolyn 's Gallery
PickYourShots.com
  And a pretty nice last word it would be, too, if it in fact was, which I doubt. And I'm way older than Sharon. LOL..


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5/26/2008 4:32:11 PM

 
Tressie Davis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/4/2006
  Yikes, eh?


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5/26/2008 4:35:36 PM

 
Robert G. Stalnaker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2008
  "Then the claim that 95% agree with him "

Where Gregory? Quote me. Try. Why is reading comprehension so hard for some of you??

Go ahead Gregory--give me the post and time when I said that. I actually have stated few will ever agree with me because unless you say:

-lovely
-great capture. How sweet!

or some other sugary stuff, nobody will agree with you even when you quote the owner's own written word.

So go ahead Gregory, point to where I claimed that.


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5/26/2008 4:45:00 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Guideline comprehension shouldn't hard. But there's always that possibility.
I chose to group both your routines as a single spiel, so I just commented in this thread. Look thru your other stuff.


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5/27/2008 3:35:32 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Sunshine, on my shoulder makes me happy..
Sunshine, in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine, on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine, almost all the time makes me high


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5/27/2008 3:39:04 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  That is a rather adorable photo of Tressie, Gregory. I hope she never gets on the wrong side of you :o).


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5/27/2008 5:44:26 PM

 
Tressie Davis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/4/2006
  You guys are KILLIN' me! :-)


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5/28/2008 1:43:12 AM

 
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