BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Natasha Pliss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2010
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To Jim regarding June contest categories


I don’t want to put it into New Category thread because it’s already very crowded there.

1. Does ‘Wide Angle Wonders’ refer to ‘Nature and Landscapes’ only or to any group of photographs? Wide angle photography has limitless possibilities. I wouldn’t like to be limited only to Landscapes.

2. It’s too late already but … Why there is no Flowers category in June? Or maybe it’s simply hiding in the Bees category? Just curious.


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6/2/2018 10:24:21 AM

 
Martha R. Mazon
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/6/2008
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  Last month, Jim included the old category names in parentheses after the theme title. This month, he doesn't. We can only conclude that there is no restriction beyond the theme title. (Otherwise, he'd be depending on memory/guessing; new members would be at a huge disadvantage when trying to categorize their entries).


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6/3/2018 8:31:26 AM

 
John R. Koepfer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2008
  I was going to enter a horse in the sports and action category, but if you go to that category to view the entries you will still see the main category as people. So I think that we are still working with main categories with new sub categories and I think this is all very confusing, especially for a new member, like you said Martha.


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6/3/2018 9:28:13 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  Have I mentioned that I HATE the "new" commenting protocol - it's been in place ever since the last big "new and improved" site changes and one of the things it does is make it impossible for you to see what you are responding to!! I now routinely copy comments I want to respond to and paste them into my reply so I can see them and refer to them as I type!

Anyway . . .l

As far as I am concerned, the way it's now presented, Wide Angle Wonders had better include any obviously wide angle shots whether in nature and landscapes or not. Matter of fact my first entry in the category will probably be a "People" entry.

I want to know why no Flowers, too. That's one of the MOST popular categories and especially at this time of year for all of us in the Western Hemisphere to be deprived of a special category for flowers seems ridiculous. I know we could put it in Catch-All . . . or Bees . . . or even Wide Angle . . . but we really need an obviously Flowers category every month.

I agree with Martha. It doesn't really matter why Jim decided not to include the old category names (I suspect it was because doing so seemed to confuse some members and make them think the new categories were only "suggestions"), now he has removed them and we have to assume anything that fits Wide Angle or Leading Lines or Interesting Places will be a "go".

As for entering a horse in sports and action, John, if the horse is caught in action, I say go for it. See my (and better yet, Martha's) reasoning above - as you have. Jim may have intended that this be the "People" category, but that is no longer clear at all, and he can't expect us to read his mind LOL



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6/4/2018 4:55:29 PM

 
Lindley Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2004
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  Wouldn't it be nice if Jim would respond to this, or anything, or tell us the results of the survey.


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6/4/2018 6:07:30 PM

 
Usman M. Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/11/2006
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  I would also be interested to see the results of the Survey. And IMHO, since there is only one Category name mentioned in June's Contest, so we should just take is as the only category. So for Wide Angle Wonders may include Nature, People, Architecture, Flowers, etc. The main thing is that the image should clearly show the wide 'angleness' of the subject.


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6/5/2018 2:09:07 AM

 
Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  I meant to include the "(Nature/Landscapes)" in each category and forgot.


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6/5/2018 5:34:07 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  Thanks, Jim.

But that creates a real problem for us. Will your judges be looking only at the sub-theme this month? Honestly, I can't even tell what you had in mind for some of these.

For example, I've been busy trying to find Wide Angles and Leading Lines and Action shots of ANY subject. Even though it was an oversight, can you assure us that a non-landscape and, indeed, completely out-of-the-box, clearly Wide Angle shot of any subject will have as good a chance of winning this month as a landscape?


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6/5/2018 5:41:18 AM

 
Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  The categories have been updated.

Natalie, you can find flowers in historical rooms, or with bees (like you mentioned), or enter them into the Catch-All category.

Thanks!


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6/5/2018 5:59:21 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  Welp, I just found the answer to my question. The intended larger categories are now included in parentheses when you enter. Which makes one of my first five entries a real stretch - Historical and Meaningful Rooms is really Still Life/Flowers (who knew?) and another entry that I took Sunday, specifically for the Wide Angle category, and spent a long time on yesterday is completely inappropriate and really not a good fit anywhere except Catch-All. I have also been busy scouring the archives and my member center for the last four days, looking for stuff to squeeze into these new categories. I'm really trying to play the game, but this is more than annoying.

Anyway, for those who have not yet entered today but come across this discussion, here are the new categories:

Wide Angle Wonders (Nature/Landscapes)
Pet Photography (Animals)
Sports and Action (People)
Line Leading the Eye (Elements of Design)
Long Exposure (Techniques)
Unique and Interesting Places (Travel/Place)
Historical & Meaningful Rooms (Still-Life/Flowers)
Bees (Details/Macro)
Classic Cars (Man-Made)
Catch-All

So unless your horse in action has a rider . . . no go in Sports and Action, John. And there's Flowers, Natasha - in a "meaningful" room (does a napkin container and a ketchup/mustard/salt and pepper caddy count as a still life??).


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6/5/2018 6:04:37 AM

 
Lindley Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2004
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  Yes, the categories have been updated (and made more limiting). Also, I just got the results of the survey in an email. No numbers, just percentages: 50% keep the new system of changing categories each month, 42% go back to the old way, 8% don't participate in the contest.

So I guess that's it.


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6/5/2018 9:29:35 AM

 
Lindley Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2004
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  I share your frustration, Nikki.


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6/5/2018 9:30:30 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  I like the new categories. I don't enter very often because I never win ;), but I did like the idea of new challenges. I got a reply today about the survey results as well. I only skimmed through it but as I recall the majority of people prefer the new categories. I learned a long time ago the contest can't be taken seriously. You have to enter it for the fun of it without expectations. If it were me I'd just enter what I liked and not worry too much about whether my entry was a perfect fit or not. Did I see a category for classic cars? I do plan to enter one for that.


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6/5/2018 5:05:38 PM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  Thank you, Sharon! We really need to hear from those who are enjoying the challenge of the new categories. Not saying I'm not . . . just saying I worry that they may exclude quite a few "old faithful" members - members who cannot get out regularly to shoot or who are severely restricted in terms of what they can shoot because of age or disability or illness. Members whose participation I appreciate and enjoy and, indeed, think is invaluable to BP. The 50% who enjoy the challenge were already here participating. There is no reason to think they might suddenly decide not to participate if the parameters were narrowed. I worry about the 42% who said they do NOT enjoy the new restrictions. How many of them will simply leave, little by little, leaving the BP community smaller and weaker and less diverse than ever.


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6/5/2018 5:30:11 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Nikki, I'm one of the old ones that doesn't get out much anymore. For this month's categories I could pull something out of the archives for about every category. Looks like anyone that's been very active with photography could do that too or is using older images against the rules?


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6/5/2018 5:47:38 PM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  I am too, Sharon LOL

And I'm not having any trouble finding stuff in my archives - personally. But I don't know for how long I will be able to say that. And I do know people who can't get out at all regularly and haven't been able to for a number of years who must be nearing the end of their archives. I guess I just don't see why keeping broader categories is limiting and introducing narrower categories is not - and, apparently, is viewed as stimulating.

If the category is Nature and Landscapes, I can enter anything I want to that, IMO, falls within that. Granted, a photo of a leaf will have little to no chance against a landscape, but there has ALWAYS been a huge bias against more intimate "nature" shots and in favor of more grandiose "landscape" shots here and so far that bias continues. Hint, hint, Jim.

But if you narrow that general category to Wide Angle (or Bodies of Water or Mountains and Hills), you automatically exclude many. My questions are "How is that liberating? How is that stimulating? How does doing that increase the number of photographers who can participate?"

You said, "For this month's categories I could pull something out of the archives for about every category. Looks like anyone that's been very active with photography could do that too or is using older images against the rules?"

You and I know (but others may not) that we have been friends for a long time. So we are genuinely trying to understand one another here.

Of course it is not against the rules to mine your archives and to use older images. That's what many of us are doing. The point I am trying to make is that this is kind of counter-productive if the idea of the narrower categories is to get us out shooting more.

My husband and I took a two-week trip to the parks of southern Utah a few years back. I took a gazillion shots of red rocks and red rock landscapes. I can mine those archives forever - found a Wide Angle Wonder entry there today. I even enjoy having a reason to look back at those shots and find something I have not previously processed and go to work on it. But all that is beside the point. I am not out shooting. I am not being encouraged to go out shooting. I am being encouraged to mine my archives.


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6/5/2018 6:24:10 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Nikki, all valid points. I just didn't see any reason not to mix things up a bit, but that may be unfair of me since I only rarely enter the contest anymore. If the intention of changing things was to encourage people to get out and shoot more then digging around in the archives would defeat the purpose of that for sure. I just personally really like the choices this month. Maybe next month I'll dislike them? As Jim pointed out there is still Catch-All. Now this might be kind of funny...I really hated it when the Special Effects category went away in favor of Catch-All. I had a lot of fun with Special Effects and had a few wins but they were largely ignored once it went to Catch-All.


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6/5/2018 7:29:20 PM

 
Peggy Pfister
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/2/2011
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  I am wondering if there are any plans to publish the new (narrower) monthly categories in advance, as has been suggested/requested (more than once). For folks who have basic galleries and can only enter one image a day, it is a distinct disadvantage to not know the categories until the first day that they can enter images in them. If one doesn’t have something in archives to fit any of the categories (well, except Catch-All, I guess, if it stays around), it isn’t reasonable to expect them to get out and shoot that very day in order to enter that day. This doesn’t affect me personally, as I don’t enter every day, but there are many people who do, and I have to believe they are adversely affected.

I don’t know if BetterPhoto is trying to emulate other photo-sharing sites, but on (at least some of) those other sites that have very specifically themed contests, they are announced in advance and/or the contests run longer than a month. Also, the contests are staggered, so that all of the contests/categories are not changing on the same day.

I am not advocating that BetterPhoto emulate other sites. One of the reasons I really like BetterPhoto is that it is NOT like other sites. I’m just musing about how, to my mind, other sites avoid some of the issues I see with the narrower contest categories.

I would love to see BetterPhoto retain its unique “BetterPhoto-ness” because there’s a lot to love here. I would, however, repeat the request that BetterPhoto at least announce the contest categories in advance of the first day of the month. This has been done in the past with the old “Monthly Theme” category… Surely it wouldn’t be a burden to do so with all the categories.


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6/5/2018 8:58:40 PM

 
Cindy Bendush
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/16/2007
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  Nikki and Sharon - thank you for stating some of what is on my mind. I am one of the 'not in favor' people for precisely the reasons you are discussing. Going through my archives and pigeonholing images just to enter the contest each day is not stimulating for me and in fact, quite boring. I am not as excited to re-enter images as I am to enter new ones -- which I can't do because they don't fit the 'categories.' I find that extremely frustrating.

Furthermore, the new format is not all conducive to showcasing my photography - or anyone else's I would guess. In fact, this last month I entered 30 re-subs. 30. Nothing new to even look at in my gallery (wasn't in favor of that change either. I think it makes our galleries look like jigsaw puzzles.) But I regress...

I want to see fresh images in the contest! I want people to see my new images -- especially of my grandchildren and pets because they change so rapidly and other members recognize them. I also feel extremely sad not to be able to enter and thus share them. When can I enter images of my new 1 month old granddaughter who I've photographed since being an hour old??? In a year??? C'mon.

Jim - I know you are reading this and I mean no disrespect. In my opinion you are running this contest off the rails into a big train wreck. Stick to the former BP format - don't try to copy other contests - you may find yourself running off loyal members. The new categories are NOT stimulating if we are left to re-subs just to enter the contest! I want to be able to enter my latest images whether they are of my granddaughters, pets, bees, peas, knitting needles :-P flowers, travels or whatever! I want to DO something with my latest work - something other than rest them on my hard drive because they don't 'fit' into the narrow confines of the contest. I'm not a happy camper and I know many who will join me around the campfire. Thanks
for the opportunity to express my opinion.


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6/30/2018 5:08:35 PM

 
Cindy Bendush
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/16/2007
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  Also - why are the June contest categories listed on the May winners page? That happened last month too. Talk about confusing!


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6/30/2018 5:12:54 PM

 
Cindy Bendush
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/16/2007
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  Also - why are the June contest categories listed on the May winners page? That happened last month too. Talk about confusing!


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6/30/2018 5:12:55 PM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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I looked at the winners today and saw a tarantula as a winner in the bees category. I may not be an entomologist but a tarantula is not a bee. I was thoroughly confused. Come to find out the new sub categories are on the May winners. Frustrating.


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6/30/2018 8:03:19 PM

 
Lindley Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2004
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  As Cindy and Harriet pointed out, once again there's a glitch in the display of winners, with the current themes displayed instead of the previous month's themes, which is confusing to look at. Also, once again, the next month's themes have not been introduced and the new month is only about an hour (in the midwest) away. It's frustrating.


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6/30/2018 8:20:26 PM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  I agree with Cindy and Nikki. The old was a win/win for everyone. This change has sown frustration, confusion and some discord. I entered 5 photos in May and have entered 6 in June. I refuse to simply go to the files and dig out old photos to poke in a slot. I used to enter 15-20 photos a month and most were new photos. THAT is what got me out shooting. It just feels confining to me. Losing interest.


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6/30/2018 9:07:56 PM

 
Leslie McLain
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/7/2007
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  It's July 1st and no new categories, so now what do we do?


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7/1/2018 3:19:03 AM

 
Cindy Bendush
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/16/2007
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  I have no idea... Take a look at your 'previous entries.' Those would be for June. The images have May's theme. So all my cats are 'farm animals'! Sigh...


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7/1/2018 5:57:59 AM

 
Bill Johnson
billjohnsonphotos.com
  Maybe we're keeping the June categories for July too?


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7/1/2018 7:03:27 AM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  No, no, no, Bill.... ;-)


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7/1/2018 8:03:54 AM

 
Natasha Pliss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2010
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  Oh, no way, Bill … no more Historical rooms instead of Flowers. It’s summer!!! I hate placing flowers into Catch-All category. It’s just not right.


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7/1/2018 8:28:24 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Ok, I got the email that there was more discussion on this thread. At first I thought "much ado about nothing" so I decided to check out the contest. I'll say it is confusing to some extent. I looked at all the categories for the month of May. Here's my take:

Technique - Black and White with a splash of color - 2nd place labeled Line Leading the Eye (confusing). All 2nd place photos fit Black & White with a Splash of Color.
Animals - 1st place says Farm Animals and is a farm animal. 2nd place labeled Pet Photography (confusing) - 6 being farm animals.
Details & Macro - 1st place labeled Bugs. 2nd place winners labeled Bees (confusing) - there was ONE bee in the winners.
People - 1st Place labeled Candids. 2nd place labeled Sports and Action - at least two entries that were neither sports or action but all seem to fit Candids.
Elements of Design - 1st Place labeled Patterns. 2nd Place labeled Line Leading the Eye. All wins seem to fit Patterns.
Man Made - 1st Place labeled Craftsmanship. 2nd Place winners labeled Classic cars (confusing). At least one win didn't reflect craftsmanship IMO.
Monthly Theme - Grand Prize Smartphone Photography - Grand Prize a nice Teepee win and a 1st of dogs - could not find the monthly theme category in the 2nd place wins.
Nature & Landscapes - 1st labeled Bodies of Water with a body of water win. 2nd Place labeled Wide Angle Wonders but were bodies of water.
Historical and Meaningful Rooms - Still Life/Flowers - 1st Place says Arranged Objects (confusing) and was arranged flower petals. 2nd place winners says Historical and Meaningful Rooms. All 2nd place wins were flowers with possibly one meaningful room and an apple still life.
Travel & Place - 1st prize People During Travels - 2nd place Unique and Interesting Places (confusing). All wins probably fit people during travels.

Even my observations are confusing ;). So I wrote them all down and tried to make sense of it and listed them all here with my insignificant opinion ;). With that said I say just enter what you like. I don't see that it matters :).


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7/1/2018 11:20:32 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  :), Sharon

It appears that the programing has been "fixed" in the 1st place section of the Winners display so that the actual, specific, sub-categories (which is what we are supposed to be entering) for the month are reflected for those winners; that is not yet the case for the 2nd place winners.

The 2nd place labels for April were finally fixed, so I can only assume that, as time permits, the same will be true for May making it momentarily confusing, but clear in the long-run. I hope :)

For now, putting up the July categories needs to be the first order of business IMO


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7/1/2018 11:42:31 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Nikki, it might not be too bad once they get all the bugs worked out. I bet the categories won't matter much to the loyal contest entrants. I lost interest because I can't ever win, but I'm ok with different categories and probably would make an effort if I thought I stood some kind of chance of getting noticed. I guess I'm not a very good sport, but one win every few years doesn't give me any incentive to enter. I do like to win ;). Some of the categories look cool and actually might get me out more if I were participating. Maybe not too LOL.


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7/1/2018 11:55:17 AM

 
Cary Rogers
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/30/2006
  Sharon, I understand the feeling when you enter the contest religiously, and rarely get any Gold. But for me, getting nice feedback from members is encouraging enough to keep at it. For June, I got a 2nd Place for a photo I'd entered probably 3 other times over the last several years....and it never went beyond an SF. Persistence often pays off. :-)


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7/1/2018 1:12:45 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Thanks Cary! The BP community is a tight knit community of give and take. I rarely get feedback on photos since I'm not active. I understand and appreciate the dynamics of receiving comments and am not bothered in the least by the lack of interest. There's just not much incentive to enter anymore.


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7/1/2018 3:00:22 PM

 
Terry Cervi
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/11/2001
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  Sharon, I was just reading the posts and went to your gallery to have a look. Your work is really awesome! You have many, many submissions well deserving of a win! I am really surprised that you don't have more wins here.


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7/1/2018 6:21:11 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  I'm with Cary, Sharon, persistence DOES pay off. Also, I'm with Terry, you have a LOT of wonderful stuff. Sooo, instead of a "poor Sharon" comment, I'll give you a kick in the butt....now get out in the world and start making more images!!! :-)


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7/1/2018 6:43:01 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Thanks Terry & Bob! I appreciate you both looking and the kind words. I have tons of photos I could enter. I just get lazy about uploading to some extent. I'm still out there shooting every chance I get. I think I will try and remember to submit. I do find the new categories interesting. Maybe I'll get lucky ;).


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7/1/2018 7:08:44 PM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  I can't wait up any longer. Put one in and will switch its category . . . or delete . . . whenever.

This DOES need to be fixed, Jim.


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7/1/2018 9:37:56 PM

 
Leslie McLain
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/7/2007
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  I entered a flower image in the old flower category as well. I think Jim needs to return things to the way they were.


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7/2/2018 3:22:11 AM

 
Usman M. Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/11/2006
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  No new categories to target and enter images.......no fun. Its like shooting in the dark. Jim........where are you?



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7/2/2018 4:08:30 AM

 
Usman M. Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/11/2006
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  Show us the light !


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7/2/2018 4:27:08 AM

 
Natasha Pliss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2010
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  For the first 2 months I was the biggest fan of the category changes. In June my enthusiasm went down (Flowers in Catch-all?!!). And now I am really disappointed.
Jim, if for any reason, it's difficult to be on time, bring that old faithful system back!


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7/2/2018 7:25:38 AM

 
Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  Hi Bob, Bill, Natasha, Usman, Leslie, Nikki, Sharon, Terry, Cary, Cindy, Harriet, Lindley, Peggy, John, Martha, and friends...

A technical problem is causing a delay in updating the categories as you enter a photo. So here are the July categories:

Current Categories: JULY


  • Sunsets with Silhouettes (Nature/Landscape)
  • Lions, Tigers & Bears (Animals)
  • Life-Affirming Photojournalism (People)
  • S-Curves (Elements of Design)
  • Wide-Angle with a Foreground Object (Techniques)
  • Windows and Doors (Travel)
  • Books & Writing (Still-Life)
  • Butterflies (Details/Macro)
  • Monuments and More at Night (Man-Made)
  • Catch-All

When you enter, you'll see the old name BUT ignore it. We will update and consider all entries as going into the above categories.

If you have a friend not on this thread, please pass the word.

And enjoy getting out there and creating!

xxoo
Jim


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7/2/2018 9:04:18 AM

 
Peggy Pfister
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/2/2011
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  Thanks for his information. Can you please reference the "old" categories in parentheses as you have been doing?


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7/2/2018 9:07:54 AM

 
Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  Yes, I have just edited my above answer with that in mind, Peggy. Great minds think alike :-)


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7/2/2018 9:09:36 AM

 
Peggy Pfister
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/2/2011
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  Thank you, Jim.


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7/2/2018 9:12:19 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  Yes, Peggy, I agree . . . I'll go in and look for those and post them now. For one thing, I'm very interested in finding out where all my beautiful flowers can go :) Back in a few.


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7/2/2018 9:12:53 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  Pretty sure this is correct - I think they always follow the same order. Flowers in Catch-All again, though, unless you are lucky enough to catch one with a butterfly on it.

Sunsets with Silhouettes (Nature/Landscapes
Lions, Tigers & Bears (Animals)
Life-Affirming Photojournalism (People)
S-Curves (Elements of Design)
Wide-Angle with a Foreground Object (Techniques)
Windows and Doors (Travel and Place)
Books & Writing (Still Life and Flowers)
Butterflies (Details and Macro)
Monuments and More at Night (Man-Made)
Catch-All


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7/2/2018 9:17:25 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Thanks Jim! They look like fun categories.


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7/2/2018 9:18:08 AM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  Thanks, Jim.. :-)


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7/2/2018 9:29:03 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  Laughing at myself. So when the categories weren't up yesterday, I decided entering a flower would be safe. After all, we couldn't go two months in a row, especially when it's summer now where so many of us live, without a flower topic. Could we?

Off to change the category to Catch-All :(


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7/2/2018 9:29:08 AM

 
Cindy Bendush
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/16/2007
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  Huh? No flower category? Looks like I'm going to be re-submitting the entire month - 30 days of butterflies. Woo-hoo - so excited. Not. VERY disappointed. I wonder - with the categories being so limited, are entries up or down? Could be less work for the judges? Geez.... Going to be so done when my gallery expires if the contest continues on its current path. Sorry Jim.


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7/2/2018 9:48:21 AM

 
Jacquie Palazzolo
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/12/2003
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  Thanks, Jim!! I'm pretty excited about these. Last month stretched me and I ended up in catch all a lot.


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7/2/2018 10:03:57 AM

 
Natasha Pliss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2010
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  Thank you for the July categories, Jim. But I am really stunned by the absence of 'Flowers' second summer month in a row. And to me the idea of putting the most beautiful Nature's creation into the mixed bag (Catch-All) does not look right.


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7/2/2018 10:31:50 AM

 
Patrick Rouzes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/26/2006
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  My opinion: After seeing those new categories, what little motivation I still had to participate in BP, is now gone. For the past few months, I found myself aimlessly sorting through my archives to find a photo to fit in one of these limiting categories , and usually gave up in frustration. Today, I found myself doing the same, and then thought, this is annoying, rather than fun.BP has always been a place to get away from my everyday stressors and challenges. Now that that's gone, I see no reason to be a part of BP. It defeats my purpose. Jim, I don't mean this in an unkind or rude way, but if you don't try to please your customers, you will be out of business real soon. I reiterate, that is not meant to be unkind, but meant to be helpful.I can't think of any other way to say it. To the people who like these changes, I really am glad for you. Sincerely, Patrick.


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7/2/2018 10:43:09 AM

 
Cindy Bendush
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/16/2007
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  Well said Patrick - My feelings exactly. I'd like to know who the '50%' are who support this change. And why. Thanks for being a kindred spirit!


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7/2/2018 10:49:22 AM

 
Lindley Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2004
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  I'm with you, Patrick. It's not as much fun as it used to be.


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7/2/2018 11:01:23 AM

 
Natasha Pliss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2010
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  Cindy, as I said before, for the first 2 months I was the biggest fan of the category changes. In June my enthusiasm went down. And now I am really disappointed. I have a lot flowers photographed in May and June but do not intend to put them into the mixed bag of C-A. Don't take me wrong, I really love C-A category but for other interesting and fun pictures, not the most beautiful Nature's creation).
And I totally agree with Patrick. Although I do like changes, this time it's getting too much and almost unacceptable for me.


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7/2/2018 11:31:24 AM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  Hearing me rattle the cage is one thing but hearing Patrick is another. I agree with him completely.


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7/2/2018 11:31:29 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Well friends, I am probably wrong but I began noticing a lack of wins a number of years ago when I got in the forum and started griping about the site and unfairness of the contest and if so who could blame them? This is partly why I do not enter very often. Take a page out of my book and try not to let the contest upset you or change how you enter. I finally got there. I don't enter regularly but I do enter once in a while, and I can honestly say I do so for fun or just to share something I particularly like or maybe one of my popular microstock sellers, and with no expectations. I renew my gallery due to the family friendly atmosphere here. I feel I can share my gallery link with friends and not worry what they're going to see if they decide to explore other galleries. This discussion has been interesting. I apologize if my comments about liking the new categories weren't welcome, but I do find them more interesting. Good luck everyone.


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7/2/2018 11:39:40 AM

 
Cindy Bendush
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/16/2007
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  The forums are for everyone - whether they like the changes or not. We're entitled to our opinions. Having said that if I find that my comments are effecting my results in the contest in a negative way (it would be pretty obvious) it would be another nail in the coffin ... Just sayin' ... I'm curious as to what you like about the change?


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7/2/2018 11:55:27 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Cindy, I like narrowing down the categories by something specific. If I'm understanding it correctly that's basically all they are doing. I wish I had been paying attention last month. We just came back from the North Shore of Lake Superior and I have a number of nice shots of "Bodies of Water." This month "S Curves" in Elements of Design and "Windows and Doors" in Travel appeal to me. Not sure what I'll find but I do like those two in particular. I think it makes the contest more interesting.


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7/2/2018 12:44:07 PM

 
John R. Koepfer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2008
  Patrick, you have said what many of us are feeling and said it very well. I have lost interest and really miss the way BP was before the changes. I did try to get into the new system but like you have not been able to enjoy it!! Really don't know if I will be posting anything or not I will just have to see how it goes.


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7/2/2018 12:44:51 PM

 
Tammy M. Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/13/2007
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  I am right there with John and Patrick. Lost my enthusiasm to comment or post.


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7/2/2018 1:27:18 PM

 
Cary Rogers
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/30/2006
  I'm sure there's a Happy Medium that will satisfy those that are so unhappy with the Category changes, and still allow a "narrowing" of some of the broader categories---on a monthly basis---that some/many members find challenging/inspiring. Perhaps another "survey" of members, and then some changes to "the change" would help keep the vast majority of members satisfied and inspired.


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7/2/2018 1:34:43 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  I'm curious why so many dislike the categories? They look easy enough and I know a lot of people just pull photos out of the archives to enter. If I wanted to enter old photos I see a number of choices for this month and I might just do that myself. I'm not trying to start anything, just honestly curious why they are so disliked?


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7/2/2018 2:06:09 PM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  I have voiced my displeasure with some things over the years and have not noticed any difference in winning and that is to the credit of BP. Sharon, please re-read the comments. I think those of us who don't like the new changes have stated why, some more eloquently than me, for sure.


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7/2/2018 2:16:32 PM

 
Cary Rogers
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/30/2006
  The glitch with posting the New Monthly categories becomes apparent when you look at some of the entries for today. In particular, Beth W DeBor just posted a close-up of a cat (which IS a very good shot) as her entry in "Pet Photography"


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7/2/2018 2:34:14 PM

 
John R. Koepfer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2008
  Sharon, I guess to answer your question it is about my lifestyle and the fact that I loved to post and comment on other BP members images as much as possible. What I found was that I did not enjoy looking at and commenting on bird after bird images, it became very boring to me. Before there where dogs, cats, cows, horses etc. Of course I am only talking one category here but the rest where more of the same, there was no diversity. The posting became a search for something to fit the categories which I really have limited time to do because I like to be out shooting when and where I can. Then there is the shot you just took and are really excited about and want to share with your friends, but it is of a bird and now will probably have to wait another year before you can post it. Other members have said that we should post what we want whether it fits a category or not because it is not about winning or but put it in the catch all, but to me the catch all is like your junk drawer at home (not very useful). I know there are members like yourself who enjoy the new categories and I am happy for you and hope you start to post more and enjoy BP more, it just is not for me.


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7/2/2018 2:50:04 PM

 
MARLON IGNACIO
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2005
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  I noticed that there are a lot of comments of dissension with regards to the new category system but very few comments from those who are in favor of it. As I mentioned in a previous thread, I for one actually like this new category system. Someone above asked why. So I’ll tell you my reasons. I found the original categories (i.e., nature/landscapes, animals, people, details/macro, etc.) way too broad. I found it hard to compete in that kind of scenario. The judges had to compare apples to oranges. And so their judgment, at least in my mind, was much more subjective than if the categories were more specific. With the new system I am more able to hone in on what the judges are looking for and on what the competition is like. I’m finding myself winning more Finalists and Golds, in this new environment. Btw, for me, I am equally elated with a Finalist as I am with a Gold win. According to the survey results, the majority of the members like this new system, so I hope that those of you who do like it, will come out of hiding and share your thoughts.


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7/2/2018 3:00:06 PM

 
Cary Rogers
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/30/2006
  I haven't really been "in hiding" ... ;-) , and although there are aspects of the new category system I LIKE (for the same reasons as Marlon), there are some I DON'T like: such as the delay in posting [next] month's categories (let alone this month's). Like Marlon, I personally thought some of the old categories were way too broad (too competitive); and I thought a Catch-All category would be great for photos that didn't quite fit anywhere else---per the posted guidelines for each category. I can be happy either way: new categories or the old categories or a combination of both.

Below is what I'd said in the "New Categories" forum that Nikki started a few months back:
"Apparently, I'm in the minority here. I don't really mind the new monthly themes for each category. Although I can't go out and shoot like I used to, the new category "themes" have given me the opportunity to go through my archives and find images to enter that I probably would not have entered otherwise---with certain categories being so broad and therefore highly-competitive. Personally, I'd usually only enter images into maybe 3-4 categories every month, depending on what the Monthly Theme used to be. I've also entered a lot of resubmits in March and April, and I rarely used to do that. If so many long-time members are unhappy with the changes, I think BP should probably figure-out a compromise. When Jim had sent out that survey email about categories a couple months back, the only suggestions I had were to add a "Catch All" category, and to split Nature and Landscapes into 2 categories. I also mentioned that many members had expressed that they'd like to have a B&W only category...or as a recurring MT. Just my 3 cents worth..." (now it's my nickel's worth) ;-)


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7/2/2018 3:36:01 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Thanks for all the responses. I went back and read as many as I could. It seems like it really comes down to personal preference, subject interest, and to some extent being able to get out and shoot new subjects. I'm in the camp that doesn't get out much anymore. I apologize to those who are passionate about all this for even jumping in. I see a rather wide range of reasons for not liking the new categories. I can appreciate that. I was seriously bummed way back when they had a Special Effects category to see it go away. At that point in time I really enjoyed exploring special effects then when they moved to Catch All I kept at it a few months but there was too much of everything in the Catch All and seemed like SE wasn't appreciated by the judges anymore so I gave it up. That was more of a practical decision since I was also became involved in microstock and SE just doesn't sell.


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7/2/2018 3:55:27 PM

 
Usman M. Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/11/2006
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  Many thanks Jim for unveiling the new categories and good luck with tackling the technical problem team BP is facing, I am sure it will be overcome soon.

May I suggest that when the glitch is gone, to please dedicate a BP page solely for display of future categories (with new monthly categories listed at least for the upcoming three months). This will not only ensure that the members are well aware in advance and could go out and shoot for the same but also will give team BP needed time to take care of any future technical issues that may crop up.

As far as the mention above about writing comments and personal opinions in the forums effecting the chances of getting a Finalist or a Win, implying biased judging, I tend to wholeheartedly disagree with this notion as after being part of BP contest for now more than a decade I firmly believe that judging at BP is of the highest standards and I very much appreciate that. This can easily be confirmed by brwosing the Finalists and Winners of the previous months, years.

Lastly, I am still feeling uneasy with the new category system and think it is restrictive in more than one way for many of us and would prefer to have the old tried and tested system back. Right now I am taking it as a challenge, a challenge which currently I am not faring very well, but I do intend to keep rocking in the BP boat and not jump out.

Usman.



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7/2/2018 5:37:08 PM

 
Dayna Cain
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2010
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  Been reading all the comments and I can definitely see why there is controversy over the new contest categories. It is restricting in many ways but it will also make me think more outside my comfort zone when out shooting. It's a challenge for sure and I think that's probably the whole point of the changes. I love BP and have learned everything I know about photography from the photographers here. You all are the best of the best and I admire you all so much. So, there's my two cents and now I am off to go in search of a lion, tiger or bear in Whitley County, Kentucky! 😂😂😂


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7/2/2018 6:31:21 PM

 
Cindy Bendush
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/16/2007
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  OK y'all - this post is the end of my drama on this thread. I understand people in favor of the new categories think the old system was too broad and too competitive. Forgive me but what's wrong with competition? Competition is the challenge that defines a contest! I would rather win under very competitive circumstances than the opposite. Yes, I suppose it's easier to compare and judge 200 birds than a mixed bag of animals but I'm sure there are more than 11 birds that otherwise might be deserving of a medal. That's where it gets tricky. However anyone who has entered prints in a juried competition knows that regardless of subject matter judges look for certain key elements in every photograph and each photo earns a number of points accordingly. Those with the highest points score the ribbons. Impact is the number one thing judges look for - an image that holds attention (for more than 3 seconds) and makes you say 'wow.' That's why broader categories are more fun (competitive) in my opinion. What image has the most impact - a soaring eagle or a heard of stampeding zebra, complete with dust etc.? Both are good but which commands more attention? Which one gets your heart beating a bit faster? Which image is harder to turn away from? The answer could be either depending upon viewer bias among other things. That's why there are 3 judges in juried competitions. (Although honestly, like everyone else I've looked at winning images in different kinds of contests and sometimes thought "huh?") We all have our own biases too. Just like opinions. I've made my point of why I'm in favor of the old way in previous posts. But the bottom line is that BetterPhoto is Jim's business and he's going to run it however he pleases. He makes the rules and that is his right. Now, where is the wailing wall? :P


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7/2/2018 7:57:35 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  I've been a long-time member of BP. Things were great in the old days....stable contest categories, EPs awarded quickly, finalists by around the 21st (if memory serves me correct). It was such a great community, with instructors, tech staff, judges, classes, etc.
BP has changed since then. Some will say for the better, others will say for the worse. We no longer have classes or instructors, or perhaps even a tech staff (aside from Jim). I will always credit BP for my love of photography, and the success I'm having now with my professional side of photography.
I used to live and die for the EP...watching the EP forum to see how many EPs we all got (as if that was a measure of the success of our photography maturity). I still enjoy the contest, but it doesn't control my life like it used too. It's kinda liberating, and I think those that have been active in BP years ago but not anymore, will understand what I'm staying.
My comments have been contest focused, versus web-hosting or classes. The new categories do offer a new challenge. So, I suppose it's up to each of us to enjoy the changes, or not. There's so much more to worry about today, than the BP contest. I think. :-) Don't hate me too much. :-)


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7/2/2018 8:05:45 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Ken, I didn't know there weren't classes or instructors any longer. I notice there are courses. Interesting. As you know I've been around a while if not very active in a long time and I'm sure you know/understand why I haven't entered much in the past few years. So true about more to worry about these days. One of the reasons I have been absent for such a long time.

I doubt anyone in this thread but Nikki and Terry even remembers when I entered. I did see one member that was a member of the Yahoo group 101. I have no idea if that's still around but I was the one who founded it.Those were the good old days for sure.


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7/2/2018 8:29:58 PM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  The Yahoo group 101 is still alive and well, Sharon. Small but mighty and anyone interested in a little photography and fellowship is welcome. Just let me know.


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7/2/2018 8:36:14 PM

 
Usman M. Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/11/2006
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  I ditto Nikki. Specially the Founder member :)


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7/2/2018 10:24:57 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  Sharon, my mistake on the classes. I do think Jim offers a couple. I was more thinking of the myriad of classes they offered, with a number of different instructors.


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7/3/2018 3:35:11 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Nikki, so glad to hear 101 is alive and well! It never was a large group, at least now when I had it. I think there were usually around 100 members but only a fraction of them were active. If I ever get active here I just might take you up on the offer to join again, thanks! Ken, I don't really think you were wrong. There seems to be a difference now between the classes and courses. I looked it over briefly last night and it didn't appear there are classes with instructors, but something like ebooks or courses you follow without a hands on instructor but it did look like there were videos explaining photography. I could very well be wrong about that and perhaps if Jim is listening in he could expand on how it works now. We live close to a large and well stocked library. I've always gone to the library for whatever information I needed, or started a Yahoo group where I could help people and get help ;).


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7/3/2018 6:59:21 AM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  Ken is right. BP has been very special to me as well. We need to keep things in perspective. Enter when you want and when you can and take it one day at a time.


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7/3/2018 5:18:29 PM

 
Jacquie Palazzolo
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/12/2003
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  I'm fairly new to return to BP after being gone for several years because of "life", not because of anything at BP. I've always appreciated BP for the family friendly approach to photography. I've also always respected the quality of talent among the photographers here!! The work here is inspiring! I could sit and just look at all your amazing photos for hours!!

I returned at the beginning of the new categories. So I wasn't in hiding for liking it, but because I was "new" didn't want to engage too much in a discussion about something I hadn't been a part of for as many years as many of you have been. BUT with that said, I do appreciate the categories because it truly has stretched my own skill. It has caused me to get creative outside of my box of "portraits". People have paid me to photograph people. It's just what I'm most used to. Even in the People category, I've struggled with Photojournalism style. So I see it as an opportunity for me to grow. In May I tried my "eye" at some still life (which is something I don't typically shoot) and won second place!! That was exciting. I feel like the categories are helping me grow in my skill and have me seeing through the lens differently.

I do understand the frustration with the technical glitches. And I was disappointed that the new categories were not available the first day (and it would be totally awesome if we got them even the day before). But those are things that can be fixed and I don't think should deter us from honing our skills or rising to the challenge.

I respect all your opinions and appreciate where some are coming from. Like someone else said, maybe we can fine tune the changes to make this experience work for the majority. I do hope you all don't give up. I truly enjoy seeing your work! You are talented people!!


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7/4/2018 6:35:10 AM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  Sharon, Jim does the BP classes, records the videos/etc., also does the critiquing/giving helpful hints. They are fun, though kind of basic.
Bob, pg101 member... :-)


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7/4/2018 2:33:53 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Thanks Bob!


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7/4/2018 3:02:58 PM

 
Errick L. Cameron
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/23/2005
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  Here is your invitation to the June countdown thread.
Hope to see you there.
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnaDetail.asp?threadID=43090


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7/13/2018 8:46:39 PM

 
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