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Photography Question 
Sheri Camarda
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/31/2004
high-mountain-photography.com
 

No Editors Pick


I know I am not the most top notch photographer by all means here but I used to get more "Editors Pick" and I am getting none. Can someone look at my "Recent" on my page and give me some answers. Not sure what I am doing wrong. I know not all will be an "Editors Pick" as I put in some for others to see and if I get an EP I am happy. So, someone please help me.

ps. I have been out of the loop for a year and just getting back into editing and submitting my photos due to an aorta dissection & open heart surgery. Things have really changed. Again, thanks for your help. Be specific please. Thanks :)


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12/1/2014 9:04:05 AM

 
Bill Johnson
billjohnsonphotos.com
  Don't let this get you down. By the way, I can only give you my opinions on this. I have no inside info. A short while back BP changed the rules on contests. They stated that resubs were no longer allowed, All photos had to be new. They retracted that a bit later, but... I think they wanted to reduce the numbers of photos they had to judge because they were putting less staff to work on contests. Even though they repealed the no resub rule, they still wanted less to spend time on. A short while back a photo without flaws was apt to be an EP. Now it requires more to be an EP. Certainly with your being away for a year, the change seems very abrupt.

Also from the judges point of view, they look for wherever they look for AND think in terms of variety. The galleries that are in place are a bit like photo magazines and need to show enough variety for the looking audience. Sometimes photos may be great but maybe it's the 20th flower they looked at today and they already pick a bunch. Another day or another month might produce very different results.

Okay that's my view...totally unofficial. Take it as just one opinion.


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12/1/2014 10:09:23 AM

 
Christopher Budny
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/3/2005
chrisbudny.com
  I would merely add that EP selection is not a science. As far as we know, it is still a human job, and so it is like the contest as a whole, purely subjective. Meaning you're at the whim of an unseen/unknown person(s) evaluating many thousands of images... whether they're rushing that day, or bored, or whether they dislike cute babies in swaddling, or whether they just got an IRS audit, or whether they were on vacation and missed 7 days of new entries and decided to leave those unreviewed -- who knows... we never will.

I always suggest trying very hard to divorce logic ("my images are pretty good; my images are sharp, colorful, level, no red-eye..." etc.) from any expectations of an EP or SF or Finalist, etc., particularly if one is emotionally invested in their images. Like the stock market, "past performance is no indication of future performance" and the vagaries of the BP contest displayed over 9 years proves that out many, many times. And above all, eliminate any reliance upon an arbitrary EP sticker (or its absence) as being the final word of (let alone, meaningful) appraisal, regarding your imagery...


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12/1/2014 11:15:58 AM

 
Sheri Camarda
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/31/2004
high-mountain-photography.com
  I think there are too many contest entries per person per day. I like it the old way personally. I know if I like the photo that is what counts but it is nice to know if some pros like it too and folks viewing see the EP and now nothing. Could be that they are too busy or it could be my photos arnt that good these days. Oh, well. I will just keep plugging along. Thanks for the input!!!!


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12/1/2014 12:43:56 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  Sheri, I don't think BP has handed out any EPs since the 11th of Nov. So, if you're concerned that none of your more current images haven't gotten an EP, it's because they haven't been judged. I took a quick look at your gallery and you have nice work. I can tell you that lately, the EP rate has gone down. It used to be around 50-70%, but believe it's down to 30-40% now. It doesn't mean the quality of your images has gone down, though.


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12/1/2014 2:54:48 PM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  I am torn. I do think that the number of EP's given out must have dropped. The judges have a hard job and I would not want to judge all the great photos every month. I believe that a lot of resentment could be avoided IF only one entry per day per member was the rule. If BP wants fewer entries then this is one way to do it. All humans want to be rewarded from time to time. I know that the kind words, "hang in there" and "if you like it, that's all that matters..." are well meaning but to someone who rarely gets an EP they ring hollow. You have to give people some positive reinforcement or they will give up. One entry per day, and if a photo is technically correct, it should have an EP. The finalist round is where the cream rises to the top. Then the gold round is for the best of the best. What is so hard about that? Thing is, more money is paid to have the right to enter unlimited numbers of photos per month and in the end, money wins out. This clutters up the system and just complicates things. That's my 2 cents worth. Don't expect any change. (no pun intended)


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12/1/2014 4:47:33 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  Harriet, I think the main issue is the consistency of the EPs...to include the timeliness. I don't think it's because some folks submit more photos to the contest than others.

If BP could strive to award EPs within five days of the contest day, and strive for consistent rate of EPs (like 50%), then much of the confusion and strive would dissolve away. At least that's my additional 2 cents. :-)


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12/1/2014 7:52:41 PM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  I agree to a point. But if 1000 members enter 1 photo then 50% is 500 EPs. But if 1000 members enter various amounts then the 50% is not a true representation. It is still skewed. In the Landscape category for instance. If I enter one photo and you enter 5 photos then my one has only a 1 in 6 chance of getting an EP. Where as, if you enter one and I enter 1 then my photo has a 50% chance. It is still skewed. What if I enter my one darling on a day some person has gotten back from a wonderful shoot and decided to enter all his photos on that day? I stand very little chance of getting mine in and by this time it is the next day, my photo was passed up. That is the reality and it bites. I don't care about their rate of return. If someone buys more lotto tickets, they have a better chance of winning. It still is stacked against the one a day folks. Now, I know BP and all the people who enter and re-enter multiple shots on a day would not see it that way and most likely never will. I will not buy into this. I will enter my one per day and be grateful for the crumbs that fall my way. After saying this, my crumbs may be few and far between.


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12/1/2014 8:41:54 PM

 
Christopher Budny
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/3/2005
chrisbudny.com
  Hi Harriet -- I don't think you can apply mathematical allotments to this process... ie, if you enter 1 and Ken enters 5, you have a 1 in 6 chance, you said.
But that simply isn't applicable in something subjective like photo contests -- it isn't a raffle drawing, which WOULD be subject to your 1 in 6 odds example. It isn't about chance, numerically.
Your image merely has to catch the eye of a (unknown) reviewer. Whether you enter 1 or 10 images a day, week or month. If the image catches the reviewer's eye, it gets an EP... if it catches more eyes later in the secret judging rounds, it advances... But If other peoples' entries catch the eye more than your entries did, for that given reviewer, you would get skipped; the number of entries won't influence that. I do not believe there is, nor ever has been, any mathematical kind of quota system for # of EP's BP gives out daily, weekly or monthly. The fact that month after month, the percentage-of-entries to get EP has varied wildly over the years, would bear this out.


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12/2/2014 1:41:09 PM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  Chris, what you say makes perfect sense. So why would anyone want to be able to enter several in one day? If, in fact, there is no advantage, what's the point? So, those who enter multiple shots per day, with no advantage to doing so, are being suckered? Apparently THEY think they have an advantage. At least they and I agree on that point. I don't want to be difficult but I do not see how entering multiple photos per day is not an advantage. Maybe we should just agree to disagree. Thanks for the comment. I taught math for 40 years so I tend to think mathematically.


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12/2/2014 8:55:38 PM

 
Christopher Budny
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/3/2005
chrisbudny.com
  I'm with you -- for me personally, I don't see any advantage to entering more than once a day, for a variety of reasons, one being I don't want to contribute to unnecessarily cranking up the number of entries in total, since it seems recently to be a challenge for the judges to get through the 5000-6000 range timely and, we hope, carefully and diligently.
But I suspect folks who enter many a day, are in fact doing so under the guise of "mathematically increasing my chances" (ala raffle tickets) rather than "do I have 75 images for October, that are all 100% eye-grabbing, great images?"
And while I maintain there's not been a noticeable quota for doling out EP's, I think we have seem some form of "quota" like trimming, come Winners... so say I do enter 75 this month, and 90% get EP's (a rate I had hit in the past, many times), and then 50% get Staff Favs, and then 10 get Finalists -- even if 6 of those are "gold worthy" by some arbitrary, subjective test, I believe BP does attempt to "even out" the allotment of golds at that point. (Sometimes... grin. Because we've also seen cases in the past where one member could sweep the winners with 6, 7, 10 golds...)

My short answer... Enter the BP Contest only cuz you actually enjoy it. Expect nothing, at all times (but hope is fine!) Delight in any winners (really, IMHO, only Finalists and Gold carry anything worth getting excited about.) Ignore the EP's and any resultant skips entirely. Resubmit if you feel strongly. Rinse and repeat. ;)


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12/3/2014 8:47:49 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  I have 2 EPs for November. I don't recall how many I entered. Some I re-entered that already had them just because I got tired of seeing the newer entries without them ;). Didn't everyone assume the EP was the first round? With so few being given out it would make more sense if we knew it was the semi-semi round opposed to the first round. A lot of photos got cut by the time of the semi-semi round. Plus they are so far behind. There's no figuring out the contest. Never has been. It is blatantly obvious some people have better luck than others. That's not to take away from the excellence of their work, but with soooo many entries and with a number of excellent photographers who enter and don't win it's always been obvious to me that it's biased towards a certain few for whatever reasons.


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12/4/2014 4:58:05 AM

 
Usman M. Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/11/2006
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  I like that...Rinse and Repeat, lol

UB.


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12/4/2014 11:45:36 PM

 
Irene Colling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2008
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irenecollingphotoart.com
  I wonder how many photographers actually take advantage of entering several photos a day into the contest. Anyone who has time to enter several photos, every day, all month, is spending too much time thinking about the contest instead of living a real life.

Before BP changes I thought too many EP's were handed out. It didn't seem special to get an EP because almost every photo got an EP.


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12/6/2014 8:49:09 AM

 
Tammy M. Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/13/2007
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countryimpressions.net
  Thank-you, Irene. I have to agree with you.


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12/7/2014 4:48:46 AM

 
Beth W. DeBor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/9/2009
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  I agree with Harriet and Sharon. Remember that BP is not the only fish in the sea. That said, it seems the couple I joined are also based on popularity. If you comment a lot you'll get noticed more by the judges.

It took five years for me to get my first two second place wins and I have to say it was exciting; but it didn't last long when just about everything else since has gotten overlooked.

I'm not sure who the judges are and I can't be sure about this, but I think I read somewhere that if you have enough hours built up (maybe from classes) you can apply to be a judge. If I'm wrong on that please correct me.

Anyway, I shoot for myself now and if I get a Finalist or above, great, if not, I'll keep shooting and submitting for the comments I receive which always make me smile.


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12/7/2014 7:23:22 AM

 
Joannie Bertucci
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/17/2003
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  Beth... :-)


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12/7/2014 4:16:04 PM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  I don't think judging or winning has anything to do with hours spent here commenting or classes taken here or anything else except having images catch someone's eye initially and then appeal to and stand the test of further scrutiny AND luck. I think EP's, SF's, and Finalists are all picked by someone on the BP staff (which is not large and doubtless overworked); Winners are picked by course instructors though someone on the staff may occasionally weigh in.
JMO


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12/7/2014 5:12:31 PM

 
Usman M. Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/11/2006
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  I tend to have the same feelings about the contest mechanics as Nikki's. However, it seems that my gallery has become invisible to whoever is doing the EP selection lately.....!

UB.


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12/7/2014 8:04:50 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  I took a very quick look at the N/L contest entries that were uploaded on Dec 1st, and entered into the contest on Dec 1st. 21 entries with 3 EPs and many beautiful photos (in my opinion) that did not have an EP. So, I have to believe that BP hasn't finished with Dec 1st in N/L, and all the categories. If they have finished, then it's a very, very low EP rate. Time will tell.


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12/8/2014 3:54:48 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  I did the same as Ken for December 1 and 2 for Animals - same picture. Two EP's out of 27 entries on the 1st; 1 EP out of 29 entries on the 2nd. Because of the new display (both the way thumbs display and the fact that badges are now under comments which I do not like at all!!), doing a count is pretty time consuming, even with so few entries. But the fact remains that they apparently went on to the 2nd after awarding an EP to only 7% of the entries.


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12/8/2014 10:10:27 AM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  Maybe it will get down to 1 per day out of 5 entries. That would make things a lot easier to judge. I am being sarcastic, sorry. I have really enjoyed the contest over the past three years or so. I think it has helped me improve my photography and by nature, I am a competitive person. How else can one see any progress other than by a competition? I have other ways to display my work but BP has the contest so , yes, I am here for the contest. That being said, I am hoping that the contest can go back to the way it was when I first joined BP. Photos were judged promptly and if a photo was technically correct and eye catching, then an EP was awarded. It was one entry per day and I could hardly wait for the judge's decision at the end of the month. I rarely win gold but have had a number of finalists. This positive reinforcement is what has kept me interested in this site. By the 1 per day, out of 5 entries, I was saying that interest will dwindle eventually and the contest will be easy to judge. I don't think anyone wants this. I don't because I like BP.


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12/8/2014 10:57:17 AM

 
Bill Johnson
billjohnsonphotos.com
  I have a question about how you can possibly get an accurate tally of Eps during the contest. I am aware that in the contest entries gallery, you only see photos that are entered in the current month's contest. I am also aware that you can look at them by contest category i.e. just people, just N&L. And as Nikki described, I am aware that one has to open each one by one to find the badge or not. But what I don't know is how do you tell old photos that carry a badge from earlier days and are submitted to this month's contest, from those resubmitted photos that have been granted a new EP as recently selected EP's in this month.


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12/8/2014 12:06:50 PM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  Bill,
Ken said, ". . . N/L contest entries that were uploaded on Dec 1st, and entered into the contest on Dec 1st. "

I didn't say so as precisely, but that's what I looked at, too. We counted only the images uploaded and entered in the category on the 1st (and in my case the 2nd, too). Yes, there were doubtless other contest entries those days, entries of images that had been uploaded previous to those dates. And of course some of them probably had EP's, too. In the case of resubmissions, I'm guessing a healthy number of them did, in fact. I know I tend to resubmit EP's from my gallery when I really like them and they go no further; and the EP badge goes right along with them even if the image does not make the cut a second time (which happens).


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12/8/2014 12:27:07 PM

 
Bill Johnson
billjohnsonphotos.com
  Thanks Nikki. That's an interesting clarification. I hope everyone understands the exception as you quoted it. However, I think there could easily be a problem with others who might interpret the data presented as THE TOTAL number of EP's awarded which the statistic is not. The reality is that more EP's have most likely been awarded than quoted in those stats. As so many are sensitive to that issue, I think it needs to be stated as a caveat when partial results are presented.


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12/8/2014 1:12:46 PM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  You're right, Bill, and I should have been clearer instead of just piggy-backing off Ken's count. I still think it's pretty discouraging to have 27-29 new upload entries and only one or two of those "worthy" of an EP. I've done the same kind of count often in the past and I can tell you that even when pickin's were slim, they were not this slim.


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12/8/2014 2:06:58 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  Bill, yes to Nikki's comment. It's way too confusing to get an overall accurate assessment which is why I purposely only checked for those images uploaded/entered on Dec 1st. And a precise EP rate isn't the point; my main take-away is that the number is very low and leads me to believe that more will be forthcoming very soon.

I've been here many years and have done similar quick-looks, and seen EPs vary from 80% to 30% or so. My gut feeling is that we'll all see more EPs soon, from the first few days of December. Just like all of you, I've had many of my personal favs skipped over.

If I was King for the Day, I'd strive for a consistent EP rate like 50%, and have them awarded within 5 days of the contest day. But I don't walk in BP's shoes so don't fully know their challenges but trust that all the photos will get a fair look.


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12/8/2014 2:19:33 PM

 
Bill Johnson
billjohnsonphotos.com
  Ken and Nikki, I don't disagree that numbers are low. And as you say a true reading, if we could get one, would support that conclusion. My only point is we don't need to have reality appear to others as being any worse than it is. That's my only reason for chiming in on this.


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12/8/2014 3:59:50 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  Hi, Bill. Agree with you. But I'm hoping most that follow this thread won't extrapolate a general EP rate based on a single day, for a single category. If I had more time, I'd do a more thorough look but it is tedious opening every single photo to see if it has an EP...especially when BP is a little slow on the displays. Time will tell, and I can certainly go back and check N/L on Dec 1st, later on this month to see if more have been added.


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12/8/2014 5:18:30 PM

 
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