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Photography Question 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Susan
Susan's Gallery

member since: 3/22/2004
  91 .  March 2013 - No EP Feedback Thread
Hello Fellow Bpers!

Due to the recent changes to judging (criteria?) and awarding of EPs, I was curious whether BPers would be interested in a thread discussing why their image might not have made the initial cut, and didn’t receive an EP, for the contest. So here’s my idea…

WHO: all BP contest participants are welcome. This is purely voluntary and anyone submitting an image for suggestion here should be prepared for such feedback. We all communicate in different ways (both sending and receiving) so it is expected that everyone who participates be respectful and provide and receive feedback in a way that promotes learning and growth in a positive way. Please be descriptive. Say what elements work and why as well as which elements may not work and why and include suggestions that you feel might improve the image.

WHAT: discussion/feedback thread for images that have been passed over for an EP in the contest and will not be progressing further in the judging rounds leading up to Finalists/Winners.

WHY: There may have been less need for a thread like this before the BP changes, as most all entries received an EP. Since the number of EPs awarded has decreased, some members are now wondering why an image was passed over and are looking for feedback on why and what might be done to improve the submission.

WHERE: Suggestions for images submitted should be left on this thread only. This is due to many members expressing that they would not be happy or comfortable with critique/suggestions left directly on the image's comments. This is understandable because some members direct prospective clients to their galleries and because images are resubmitted to the contest at a later date and those comments, even if respectful and helpful, would remain on the image.

WHEN: BP is still going through changes here in March and, in some cases, awarding EPs for previous images through to mid-March, it appears. The general rule going forward will be that this forum will be for current month images not receiving an EP or for past months images with no EP that you are going to resubmit in the current month.

HOW: I suggest that members refer to BPs own "Photo Contest Guidelines: How to Win a Photo Contest." http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/guidelines.asp
These are the basic guidelines and criteria to be expected from this contest and the judges/editors. When analyzing an image as to why it might have been passed over, the first clues can probably be found here. It might help to remember that we are discussing why the judges at BP, and not other venues, may have passed on an image.

Helpful hints for attaching photos into Forum Threads (h/t to Michelle Frick):
1) Sign into BP completely (name + password.)
2) If you have NOT YET entered the Contest today, you can use the "Photo ID" to pull an existing image from your Member Center into your reply to this thread (avoiding a duplicate image upload.) Get the Photo ID# from your Member Center, come to back this thread, click Respond, enter the text of your reply, then choose "1" from the images-to-attach drop-down. Click Submit; at the next screen populate the "Photo ID" box at the right. Skip the other fields on that screen.
3) If you HAVE ALREADY entered the Contest today before replying to this thread, you can't use the Photo ID method today. You can either wait until tomorrow to reply here (before your new Contest entry!) or, upload a new copy of the particular image (from your PC) into this thread. This produces a duplicate image in your Member Center; however, you don't have to make that duplicate visible in your Gallery.
4) If you're uploading a duplicate, maybe title it "For Forum" so it stands out in your Member Center, for easier housecleaning later... This may also avoid members leaving critiquing comments on the original image in your gallery. Unwanted comments on the duplicate will be deleted with the duplicate, preserving your original entries comment thread.

3/25/2013 6:51:45 PM

 
 
  For EP Forum
For EP Forum
F5.6, 1/80, 55mm (18-55mm lens)outdoor light.
 
 
To all, suggestions for anything I mentioned above are welcome.

Ok, so I'll get the ball rolling with this one.

I tend to like images with dark/moody lighting. The background on this was already dark with shadows so I just darkened it all the way. I'm wondering if that was not a good choice, if the B&W was not a good choice or if the small area of focus doesn't work?

3/25/2013 6:55:59 PM

  High five to you Susan for starting this thread! I think it's an awesome idea and I hope people participate. Here's my thoughts on your image...first of all the contrast is what caught my eye first (I like it) and next your composition is very appealing to me and the B&W works here for sure. For my own personal taste I think a larger area of sharp focus would work well giving the viewer a little more detail to focus on. Again, I think you have started a great thread and I will upload an image here for discussion very soon. WTG Susan!

3/25/2013 7:25:14 PM

 
 
  Stop and smell the flowers
Stop and smell the flowers
sometimes you have to stop and smell the flowers, just dont eat them
 
 
well here is one of mine that was passed over, any thoughts?

3/25/2013 7:37:16 PM

  let me say thank you susan for starting this...
I love the black and white and moody feel of your photograph. I dont think it would have worked as well as a color picture..so I do applaude you for taking the b&w approach.
What I wonder is if the 4 prongs on the left side seem to lead your eye away from the flower itself? that is just my opinion.

3/25/2013 7:43:12 PM

 
 
  Winter Garden
Winter Garden
 
 
Thanks for starting this , I think it will be very helpful. I am still having trouble adjusting my photos from windows to my new iMac. Any info on color will be very helpful.

3/25/2013 8:07:13 PM

  Susan your B&W crocus makes a bold statement and the high contrast makes a strong statement. The leaves fanning to the left are a nice counter balance for the blossom.

My only suggestion is that you may have found a more compeling POV. The bloom is a little too centered to make a dynamic impact.

3/25/2013 8:08:08 PM

  Susan, I am a huge fan of b&w and like this image. To me it might be a little softer and not have a good crop to get the main subject in place. Personally I love the b&w and focus but I wonder if the judges might consider it to soft.

Tony I would crop a little from the top and on my monitor the top white of the dog appears to be blown out. I repeat--on my monitor--I could easily be wrong, as I am having problems with it. Let's see if anyone else has the same opinion. Love the photo!!

3/25/2013 8:19:26 PM

  Tony you captured excellent detail in the dogs face. The viewers focus goes right to the eye where it should. I'm impressed by the lovely shade of blue and purple in the photo.

If this were my photo I'd darken the pansies directly behind the dogs head and slightly reduce the saturation. You'd be surprised how much a photo can pop when you isolate the subject from the background this way.

First I would carefully select the dogs head/neck and copy that to a new layer. On a layer under the dogs head I'd drag a black gradient 1/4 of the way down from the top. Adjust the opacity of the gradient so the top flowers are darkened slightly. Then I'd make a saturation layer and reduce saturation just a little. You'll still have pretty color but the flowers won't compete with the dog. Those two actions will keep the eye from wandering up and off of the image.

3/25/2013 8:24:42 PM

  Patricia, your color looks fine to me and I really like seeing background buildings reflected in the glass bottles. (Those are really nice plant protectors; unlike my cut off soda bottles.)

Your photographic technique seems fine to me, it may be that your subject just didn't grab someones attention.

3/25/2013 8:32:23 PM

  Thanks for the feedback and ideas everyone and I'm thrilled that there is some interest in this discussion! I know that I have scratched my head more than once trying to figure out "what was wrong!" Sometimes we need an outside perspective to see the things that we don't. I think I have some ideas now for reworking the crocus image :)

Tony - the focus and detail on the dog and foreground are great, as are the colors! I also think the composition adds to the emotional impact. That said, the light does look like it was mid-day, which is rough for anyone. I think that may be why the background and top of the dog are too high key and over contrast-y. I'm with Irene and Patricia on minimizing the background so that your main subjects stand out more. It really is worth a resubmit.

Patricia, the color looks fine to me too. The subject seems like it could be more compelling, maybe with a new crop? I'd focus on those interesting plant covers (with the reflections) that tell the story of protecting the garden in the winter.

3/25/2013 8:52:15 PM

  oh wow, this is funny! I happened to look at my gallery before signing off for the night and the crocus now has an EP! lol Well, if it goes no farther I'll have some resub ideas :)

3/25/2013 9:39:46 PM

  susan, I love your Roses shots and Understudied deserves a EP also.

3/26/2013 4:25:12 AM

  i am loving this thread.. learning a lot..

3/26/2013 5:11:42 AM

  Hey Tony, I love this shot! I agree with what was said befor, it's just simply that the dog is in competition with the background and just a little to much contrast. It's a quick fix and this photo is definitely worth a resub. The detail in the dog is spot on.

3/26/2013 7:49:45 AM

  Just a side note.. did anyone notice the ant on the bottom flower?

3/26/2013 7:51:55 AM

  This one was truly forgotten during the EP rounds unless they surprise me and come back to it. It is really a favorite of mine, and I just wonder if anyone sees anything I missed, have a change suggestion, comment, or anything. I like this one enough that I am considering framing this one to hang somewhere in the house! Trying to follow the directions to include a link

Forgotten

3/26/2013 10:54:20 PM

  I didn't notice that others were just adding the photo and not a link to it. Next time I will upload a version for the forum. If everyone doesn't mind, can you comment here instead of on the image? Not that it would probably matter one way or another, it just makes it easier for me to keep track when the comments/suggestions are all grouped here on one page. Thanks!

3/26/2013 11:10:38 PM

  I looked at it Carol and can't think of a thing I would have done differently. It looks good to me.

3/27/2013 6:03:29 AM

  Thanks Patricia! I used Topaz Adjust but didn't think I overused it; it just helped bring out the colors a bit. Anyone else have a different opinion or a suggestion?

3/27/2013 7:43:13 AM

  I don't really see anything that would keep me from giving it an EP! But if it were mine and I was trying to come up with ideas of what might have held it back... I wonder if it has a slight green cast to it or if it is just that there are a lot of green things in the photo. Could use the neutral gray eyedropper in curves or levels to check that. There seems to be equal visual weight on everything in the photo---all sharp and about the same tonality. You might try blurring and darkening the "background" a little bit--- everything except the main car (and probably the foreground leaves so it looks natural) to make your subject pop out at the viewer.

3/27/2013 7:59:00 AM

  This thread can be a helpful learning experience for everyone as we each share our own personal preferences and techniques for photo editing.

But I wouldn't place too much emphasis on the getting an EP aspect. If EP numbers are going to be limited then some photo must be eliminated. There may be no technical errors in an image without EP. Rather when compared to other photos on a given day that photo was not as compelling as the competition. It’s quite possible that an image without EP is a fine photo and needs no modifications at all but the photo just is not winner material to whoever is doing the selecting.

3/27/2013 9:55:12 AM

  Carol when I apply a filter such as Topaz I do not apply it equally to the entire image.

ALL emphasis is NO emphasis. By that I mean I don’t want my background foliage to have the same attention as my foreground subject.

With a photo like yours I would mask out the background trees so they are more natural and less dominate. I apply the filter to a top layer and then with a mask hide the entire layer. Then using a gradient or a large soft brush I bring back the top filter layer in varying proportions. In your photo I would show the front of the car and headlights 100% of the filter layer. And I’d gradually reduce opacity of the Topaz layer as the perspective recedes. Depending upon the photo I will apply just a touch of effect on the background.
This gives an image depth and improves perspective.

3/27/2013 9:55:44 AM

  Tony, I didn't notice the ant...lol.

Irene, I totally agree about EP selection. There is a subjective element that needs to be considered. I feel the same way about finalists, in addition to considering that the competition can also make a big difference in an otherwise worthy image advancing. And I think that is why worthy images should be resubmitted.

Carol - Wow, I really love that picture. Nicely seen and captured. The only thing I can think of that might improve it would be the green color cast that Connie mentioned. Maybe if the rust "popped" a bit more it would add more contrast overall and balance the green. It's definitely worth a resubmit :)


3/27/2013 7:44:59 PM

 
 
  What Trash Can?
What Trash Can?
Raven caught in the act of trash can raiding. F5.6, 1/60, 18-5mm vr nikkor @46mm, iso100, SB600 flash.

Animals: March 25, 2013

 
 
Entry from 3/24 that was skipped.

This is a sentimental entry for sure. I realized that it wasn't the sharpest focus and that it was a bit noisy. I corrected both as much as I could without overdoing it. Any thoughts on how to make this image better?

3/27/2013 8:03:23 PM

  Thanks everyone that commented and gave me suggestions! I am playing around with it, but so far have not come up with anything I like as well as this one. I did adjust the tint just a little and removed a bit of the green cast. I will enter that version as a resubmit and if it doesn't go anywhere, I may work on it some more, or I just may print it for myself and enjoy it, EP or not! For some reason I like the color all around the old car, not sure why. When I mask out the Topaz on the surroundings, it looks dull to me. I don't enter the contest that much anymore anyway, so if I am happy with it, then I am not going to let the lack of an EP bring me down. Art is subjective anyway; what appeals to one may not appeal to another. But I enjoyed the ideas!

3/27/2013 9:56:22 PM

 
 
 
Anybody have any suggestions for this photo? I entered it in the Monthly Theme (showing motion) and it got skipped. I need help!

3/31/2013 6:28:16 AM

 
 
 
Here's the photo....(hopefully). It wouldn't load last time.

3/31/2013 6:32:33 AM

  H Dayna,
On my monitor it doesn't have a lot of contrast. With your permission I could dpwnload it and try to show you what I mean. Beautiful photo!!

3/31/2013 7:35:36 AM

  Absolutely! I would appreciate it!

3/31/2013 7:36:55 AM

 
 
  Sunset On The Outer Banks
Sunset On The Outer Banks
 
 
Here is one of mine overlooked. Stragely this photo has won a lot of competitions for me. Any thoughts or suggestions. Maybe we should start a thread of what not picked. :)

3/31/2013 7:38:22 AM

 
 
 
Did the best I could but couldn't download a size big enough to work with. What editing program do you use? I have a action created by a member of a different site (now gone) that I use a lot. It will load in PS3 and up but not elements. It will also load in to any program that you can create a action. I would be glad to send either the action or the instructions.

3/31/2013 7:51:23 AM

  I use Photoshop CS5. Instructions would be great!

3/31/2013 7:54:55 AM

  Hi Susan, cute puppy! Looks like a GSD. If so, have you had them before? My family and I have owned shepherds for years. They have one now, but I don't. I really don't know what to tell you about the photo. It's a very tight crop, so not sure what you can do. He/she is certainly cute though and seems to be into mischief!

3/31/2013 10:26:15 AM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
 
 
  Window Washer for Forum
Window Washer for Forum
 
 
Hi Susan - Sorry that I am just now getting to look at this thread. It's been an incredibly busy 2 weeks at work. I really like the idea of the thread and I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments. My only suggestion would be that we leave comments right on the photo and not in the thread. I find it difficult to comment on many photos at once - much easier to leave one at a time as I click on each photo. Also it's easier to read critique on my on photo if they are all in one place. I know someone else preferred comments to be left in the thread. Anyone have thoughts on this?

The photo I'm uploading is a copy for this forum only so please feel free to leave comments on the photo.

Thanks!

3/31/2013 3:41:43 PM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  Tony - your dog photo is very cute. I agree with another BPer that the dog competes with floweres somewhat and I'm not sure wether to look at the dog or the flower. LEss DOF might have worked here. But a really fun photo none the less.

3/31/2013 3:51:13 PM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  Patricia - I love the colors in this photo and thegarden setting. My thoughts are that there are a few too many competing elements. I would have liked to see the top of the back jar and maybe none of the basket to the right. Perhaps even just showing 3/4 of the front jar. I think that would make the jars more of the focal point of the photo. Just a thought for a different approach.

3/31/2013 3:55:45 PM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  Carol - beautiful colors and a great subject for this photo. My only thought is that the car to the right is a little distracting. I keep looking at it and try to figure out if it really is a car. Other than that this photo looks like it comes from a beautiful picture book.

3/31/2013 3:58:59 PM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  Dayna - the water flowing in your photo is really nice adn I like the color palete. For me, I it doesn't seem to have a strong focal point - I'm not sure whether to focus on the rocks or the water. Maybe closing in an the water a little may have helped.

3/31/2013 4:04:07 PM

  Thanks Patricia and Marcy. I am going to work with the contrast and focal point and see what I can come up with. I like the photo, it just didn't seem to have any "pop" to it. I'm headed back to the drawing board. I appreciate all your suggestions!

3/31/2013 5:10:57 PM

 
 
 
Here's the photo with contrast added and I cropped it to put the focal point on the rock in the foreground. I think it helps. What do you think?

3/31/2013 5:18:04 PM

  Patricia, I like the reflections in the pots. I don't know if you could make them the focal point with the plants not in the photo or just not so prominent. And maybe a bit of photoshop work would make the reflections stand out a bit more. Thanks for your comment Marcy. I am planning to enter the car once more and if it doesn't work, I may try to do something with the car to the right. They may have passed it up because it was in that window of time when they were not handing out EPs and then they began. Maybe they just missed it.

4/1/2013 1:57:04 AM

  Dayna I like the new crop and the more colorful and contrasty water!

4/1/2013 1:57:53 AM

  Marcy, I know in another forum, giving critiques was the subject and a lot of people were saying they didn't like to have issues with a photo on their thread as they cannot be deleted. Some people worried that BP might read it and not award an EP or finalist, though I doubt seriously they have time to read comments. Others expressed that they didn't want clients to read critiques about their images. I guess if people don't want those on their images, maybe they can post another copy here and don't display it in their gallery. Then others can comment there. I really don't know the best way to do it! As far as your photo, Marcy, not sure what I would do. I wish the guys were actually washing the windows at the time, and I wish the one guy that is bent over was standing up. I don't know if a different crop might work better; I think I would try some different crops to see what happens.

4/1/2013 2:10:45 AM

 
 
  Orangutan
Orangutan
for forum use only, not for contest
 
 
I will upload a new photo for this one. I like this orangutan; I think his expression is good and the fact he has food in his mouth makes it interesting to me. Also, the eyes are sharp and she is a cute orangutan (if an orangutan cane be cute!). Not sure why they didn't give this one and EP. Any ideas anyone?

4/1/2013 2:16:37 AM

  Dayna, I like the contrast and new crop for your image. Definitely gives it more pop and more sense of action.

Patricia, I like this image. For me I get the sense of what it would be like to be there (now, preferably!). The color, comp and textures are all great! All I can think of, if I were a BP judge, would be that your foreground elements are all equal-ish in size/presence. No one element really stands out. That said, all the elements together are pleasing, and I can see why this image would do well just about anywhere. But perhaps, against the amazingly grand landscape images at BP, it didn't stand out as well? It's just a theory, and one I try to use when I look at my own images of any subject.

Carol, yes Raven is a GSD. She's our 4th and we also have a shepherd/lab mix. We had a white GSD when I was a kid and I just love them. Our other shepherd right now is a 3yr old male who is mostly tan with the standard black markings, where Raven is the opposite. We think maybe we'll let them get hitched and have adorable pups! lol Hopefully her naughtiness will pass soon - she just chewed my camera's USB cord in half tonite :(

Marcy, I get what you are saying about commenting. I wouldn't mind comments on an image uploaded just for the thread, b/c I wouldn't put it in my gallery. Maybe we could make it clear, in shorter instructions, about uploading a forum only image. Not sure how others feel though. On your photo, I like the composition. I agree the washers could have been doing something more interesting. Maybe you could do something more with the colors? The contrast of orange and blue is a great combo.

Carol, not sure why the Orangutan got passed over. The sharpness and detail are great. What about a closer crop, down on the forehead and more off the right side, bringing a tighter focus to the eyes and the eating action?

I'll start a new thread for April No EPs soon. I sense there will be some :(

4/1/2013 9:06:48 PM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
  Susan - have you thought about starting a club for this? It might be easier to follow discussions and view images. Just a thought. And maybe have this thread to point to the Club...

4/2/2013 3:33:44 AM

  Thanks Susan! I'll try a crop and see what happens!

4/2/2013 3:45:06 AM

  Hi Ken, great idea so I checked out the clubs (haven't been there in 4ever!) and I see 3 clubs started for critique. None of those appears to have seen a lot of participation and fizzled out. I also saw a thread for "Elite Editor Picks" which is/isn't funny as they've now become pretty elite! Anyway, that thread was for the same activity as the thread Cheri runs each month.

If we did a club, posting would be on images, from what I can tell. A lot of people don't want that but could re- upload the image for the forum only so that no critique is on the contest version.

What's everyone think?

4/2/2013 7:23:26 AM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  I like the idea. A photo club where we comment on the photo themselves. I don't mind uploading "for Forum only" photos.

Thanks Susan!

4/2/2013 7:27:39 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
  I know in FFFP we don't post on the image but start a new club thread to discuss that image. Images are posted and removed from the thread by the person wanting the critique. The only difference here is the images being discussed are images that have been rejected for EFP. It could work... The issue is managing the membership role and moderating the discussions. This could be tricky especially if a member gets defensive. The goal should always be to elevate creative and technical ability in capturing images.

4/2/2013 7:53:07 AM

  Don't throw in the towel yet, people. I just got one for the 24th that was skipped previously.

4/2/2013 8:37:52 AM

  Hi everyone,
I have been away from BP for a few months and I did not hear about any changes to judging criteria for Editors Picks. Can someone explain the changes to me? I would appreciate it. Thanks.

4/5/2013 6:44:02 AM

  I don't think anyone knows what has happened. We have never gotten a explanation.

4/5/2013 8:55:11 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
  Will there be a thread for April EFP's? Not that I've gotten any yet...

4/5/2013 9:53:41 AM

  I will put an April thread up tonite when I get home from work. Might also try to set up the club to see how that would go.

4/5/2013 10:58:38 AM

  I was going to stay out of this conversation but just out of curiosity I looked through all 75 of my "Favorite Photographers" and noticed that either they had quit posting, had quit BP, had almost no comments on their latest images and not a single one of them had any recent EPs...These are most of the top Photographers here at BP that ALWAYS get winners and finalists... now I don't feel quite as bad about not getting any lately. I was thinking about to put my camera into the closet and quit shooting!
Maybe BP is going to go back to where there just aren't EPs anymore? Sure wish somebody could say a few words to let us all in on what is going on...

4/6/2013 1:59:14 AM

  I agree with you Jill. Feels like we are in some sort of photo contest limbo. I really don't even know what to post because with no EPs lately I'm feeling deflated.
I would rather they go back to the old way before EP's if it's going to be like this.

4/6/2013 7:33:21 PM

  think spring
Just a test

4/7/2013 4:48:29 AM

  A friend of mine emailed BP with a question regarding the EPs. Their official response was that there have been no changes in how the Editor's Picks are chose.

4/7/2013 11:11:47 AM

  chosen.

4/7/2013 11:12:28 AM

  That was their response, you have got to be kidding, To go from a lot to almost none across the board is a huge change. I keep getting all the emails about the fabulous offers on classes so we know they know how to communicate. Just a random thought, maybe if we signed up for all these classes our photography might improve. ;(

4/7/2013 11:21:39 AM

  My thoughts exactly, Patricia. I am bombarded with the same emails about classes and I believe there have been changes in how they chose EP's. I have always loved BP and I hope they don't change too much.

4/7/2013 12:18:03 PM

  Hi everyone! My apologies for being AWOL on this thread. I thought work would slow down after Easter but it was spring break this past week with lots of graduates, as well! Six days in a row and often 12 hour days. Great OT tho and lots of experience with portrait photography.

BTW, did you guys know that Sears and WalMart portrait studios closed their doors? Pretty abruptly, I might add. So for any of you independent portrait photographers there will be a good bit of business out there to snatch up between now and Christmas and possibly beyond.

Anyway, I've started an April thread for discussion and critique of images that haven't received an EP for April :)

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=35950

4/8/2013 4:32:23 AM

Craig D. Minton
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/7/2010
  I recently asked BP the question everyone else has..

To the folks at Better Photo,

You seem to be able to make sure your adds run on a prompt schedule, however I have noticed recently that allot of your customers are voicing some discontent with the promptness of your judges to judge photos of others. Do you have any plans to improve this problem?

Regards,
Craig Minton

BP's response...Hi Craig-

Thanks for your feedback on the contest. We can't get into the specifics of contest judging but will look into this. Thanks for emailing.

4/8/2013 4:14:16 PM

  I almost deleted a photo because nothing happened for over two weeks. Just before the ax, it got the Editors First label. Also, what is the new judging criteria? I somehow missed it.

Harriet Feagin

4/9/2013 11:17:43 AM

  We are not getting any answers to your question, Harriet. Wish we knew.

4/9/2013 5:11:39 PM

  I, like some others who have posted, am getting discouraged. My photos are about the same as usual, some good, some not so good and an occasional pretty good. Yet, the EP's have stopped coming. I don't have a single one so far in April. I joined BP because of the contest and for the family atmosphere. I still appreciate the atmosphere but am very discouraged with the contest.

4/9/2013 5:32:20 PM

  After the last couple photo shoots I have been on with my SoCal Photo Chicks, we all came home excited over all the pictures we took. While we always have a great time and lots of laughs the situation about what is going on here at BP has definitely changed my attitude about posting anything in the contest.
The excitement of posting an image I am proud of into the contest is gone for me. After checking day after day and still seeing no EPs or explanation just disappoints me more and more with BP.
It is some consolation that nobody else has any EPs and it isn't just me...
but is still kind of upsetting to feel like Jim doesn't even feel any need to offer an explanation to any of us.
I met most of my Photo Chick friends here on BP and for that I will always be grateful. Over the 8 years I have been a member here I have seen many changes come and go and it is still my favorite site because of all the great people I have contact with.
I will continue to post my one image a day and just hope that Jim gives us some answers one of these days.

4/10/2013 11:50:33 AM

  You summed it up beautifully. I travel with some gal friends I met at workshops. It is so much fun to be with "the girls". I think women just see things differently. I do appreciate my guy photo friends and they are very, very talented. Like you, I love the encouragement that an EP brings. Hopefully, we will know something soon. I belong to another site but don't use it too often because of some of the provocative photos posted. I will still be with BP because of the clean atmosphere and besides, I may meet some more traveling buddies.

4/10/2013 12:32:45 PM

  After yet another email about the "Whole Enchilada" from JIm, I finally wrote back to him...not that he probably even reads responses that are not from folks who want to take a class....
"I don't want any enchiladas, as a matter of fact I can't eat Mexican food due to food allergies, so maybe you could quit sending me all these emails???
You know what would be nice, if somebody at BP would let us all in on the secret of what is going on with the Editors Picks? Have they been discontinued? I am really losing interest in posting to the contest to be honest. If that is what you want, you have many disappointed members...Take the time to read the threads in the forum about it."

4/11/2013 4:47:00 PM

  I think this thread is a good idea, but don't tie it to the EP process. There is nobody judging at this level..that's why it's an EDITOR's pick, not a judge's. Many times the only reason something doesn't get an EP is because the dart missed it, the phone rang, it was lunch time, quitting time, somebody turned the page by accident, etc etc etc.

4/12/2013 4:47:38 AM

Allen O. Howard
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/1/2006
  WoW!!! What can I say? Who knows what is going on? Remember when there were token prizes for winners? Well when that changed I was okay. I never got many winners anyway. But they still awarded the badges (and I am not saying they don't anymore)and I was always very proud to get a finalist let alone a winner. I always told my wife right away when that email arrived saying "Congratulations...". After the years of my devotion my wife really did not understand. She told me that I was a published photographer who has also won prizes on other sites and why did I care so much about BP. Well my peers was my reason. Better Photo has been my home when it comes to photography. But I am starting to not care as well. And this is not about having an EP badge every day.

4/12/2013 4:02:03 PM

  WEll said Allen. You stood by me when I almost left a few years ago and because of your generosity I am still here :-) My husband also doesn't get it , when I win or get a finalist he says "Did you win anything, what's the big deal"?...It's always nice to be recognized when we are doing something we love...

4/13/2013 2:38:02 PM

  I just get a blank look...what photo contest? LOL

4/13/2013 2:47:14 PM

Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  I posting the following on another thread but, because it's important that the truth be expressed, I want to copy it in this thread too.

But before I do, let me just give Susan a pat on the back for starting this thread. The original intent was to get and give feedback. I LOVE that! I always wish members did that more on every photo. We don't have time to offer constructive critique on each photo so it's AWESOME when members do so for each other. I highly recommend that you keep this up on these monthly threads and also do so on each photo. If you're concerned about judges reading it, don't be... the judges don't have time to read all the comments. And they prefer to stay out of it so a) they don't get erroneously influenced and, b) they don't see the member's name... so they can continue to judge without any bias.

Keep the focus on constructive critique...

*******
HERE'S MY NOTE ABOUT THE CONTEST
*******

BetterPhoto friends,

The EP is not gone. Please help me correct the misinformation that is being spread on this topic. The Editor's Picks are still being rewarded for excellent entries.

EVERY round is judged by a human being, a pro photographer. We take great pride in that: we tell the truth, work very hard, look at EVERY photo, and do not take the photographer's name into account (when the contestant watermarks the photo, we of course can't control that.) We look only for photographic excellence, beauty, inspiration, uniqueness... and the qualities of truly amazing photography.

I greatly appreciate the love and energy that many of you have expressed in this thread and elsewhere. Your support means so much to me.

The reason why we don't answer often is that we have a lot of work to do. Yes, we promote our products; that is what any company does. We serve our clients with love and in truth, AND we work to get more clients so we can continue to grow. That's business.

While we read everything, we don't often respond on these threads because we need to focus on work. And it's hard to want to respond when people are unfairly mean. We have a standard here of being constructive, supportive and helpful. Just like you would with a photographer, give thoughtful, encouraging, helpful feedback and live up to the standard of being constructive. If you would not say it about a fellow member or his/her photo, do not say it about me or BetterPhoto.

Now I want to reiterate that:

a) The EPs are still being given out.

b) I love you all :-)

c) I send you my blessings and look forward to seeing you continue to enjoy photography and pushing yourself to be your very best in your art.

d) I really appreciate the comments and energy of helpfulness that I continually witness in most members. You know who you are, and I thank you from the deepest depths of my heart.

If the forums and in your general conversation about BetterPhoto, please help me express what is true.

Don't allow yourself to get sucked into meanness or mini-flaming. Just ignore it if someone lashes out in frustration... that is nothing, especially when compared to the amazing energy of camaraderie, friendly encouragement, and family that shine here at BetterPhoto.

Sincerely,
Jim

4/18/2013 12:02:28 PM

  In my opinion Jim didn't really answer the questions we had. All I want to know and I think what many others want to know is did they change the criteria for judging editor's picks or not? With the tremendous numbers of members I can understand why they might want to lower the number of editor's picks for each judge. The task must be daunting. If that is the case that is fine with me. I will just work harder. I just think that the members should be made aware of any changes. This has nothing to do with meanness, or not giving friendly encouragement. The members here are fantastic about giving praise and encouragement. That is why I like BetterPhoto so much.

Diane

4/19/2013 1:22:48 PM

  Diane, I agree. I appreciated the thought that Jim put into his response. And if the EP criteria is stricter, I can live with that and like you, would just strive to work harder and learn more. However, BP has always been mum on anything concerning their mechanisms for the contest. That applies to EPs and historically they've changed them and not given reason or explanation. And everyone just got used to the new "reality." We are probably looking at the same cycle here, again....

4/19/2013 5:05:01 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Christine Pentecost
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/30/2004
  92 .  Problems Uploading
I have been trying since yesterday to upload a photo to my website and contest. It says it needs to upload the Aurigma Upload Suite, and then eventually, I get a link that says "software update", and when I click on that, it takes me to the Mac Update page, where it says I need to update my software. However, when I click on software updates, it says I am current. What's going on???

3/24/2013 9:37:06 AM

  Hi Christine,
Sorry to hear that you've had problems uploading. Are you still having issues?
Thanks,
Kerry

3/25/2013 3:11:10 PM

Christine Pentecost
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/30/2004
  Yes, I am. I tried it again today. I have no idea why it's not working, as I've made sure all of my updates are current. What is the Aurigma Upload Suite? Is this something new?

3/25/2013 3:13:04 PM

  Hi Christine-

Yes, our latest uploader version is called the "Aurigma Uploader Suite". Aurigma has actually been our uploading partner for years but the popup nows says their name.

On your Mac, try going to Java.com and see if you have the latest version there. After updating, make sure to restart your computer. If you still are having trouble, feel free to email me at jay (at) betterphoto.com. Thanks

3/25/2013 3:53:12 PM

Christine Pentecost
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/30/2004
  Thanks Jay. I will give this a try and let you know what happens.

3/25/2013 3:56:03 PM

E.S. Photography

member since: 7/26/2004
  Something has changed in the last few months. I keep getting error messages like Christine. In the past, it has automatically uploaded. Now, I have to do this manual process Jay listed. EVERY TIME. With the number of software updates that occur, this gets annoying. Is Aurigma aware of this problem?

(I am a Mac user.)

7/10/2013 5:32:50 PM

  I am having issues as well. I keep getting a message about a redirect which is not allowed, but the message disappears quickly, and I haven't been able to note the whole message yet. I have resorted to using the alternate image uploader ...

7/11/2013 8:26:13 AM

  I have the same issues everyone here is reporting. I updated Java last month and tried...nothing. I tried again today and still nothing. I hardly ever post pictures anymore because it is such a pain to manually do everything. (I may be lazy, but it has never been this much trouble in the past). Mac user also. IT really needs to have a longer look at this problem.

8/21/2013 8:07:10 AM

E.S. Photography

member since: 7/26/2004
  STILL having trouble with this. I have used this website for a long time, and have never had as many problems as I have had this last year. Every single time I try to upload photos, I am having to spend time getting the Aurigma Uploader to work. This is not an economical use of my time! PLEASE see what you can do about this. (Also a Mac user.)

8/23/2013 1:09:39 PM

Debbie Mowry
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/4/2006
  I agree that this needs to be looked into. While the alternative option is workable it certainly isn't nice to treat us this way. At least fix the message so it doesn't say we need to update--but rather "We apologize but our software does not work on newer Macs with up-to-date software. We have no estimate on when this will be resolved and apologize for any inconvenience." I hate to say this but I'm going to participate a lot less than I would otherwise because my time is not valued as much as my non-Mac fellow students.

9/5/2013 5:38:50 PM

  It's not just a Mac problem ... I'm a Windows user and I have issues as well ...

9/6/2013 5:31:51 PM

  I've been having problems and using the alternative uploader for at least two months. I agree this is very annoying. I am a MAC user.

9/6/2013 8:02:17 PM

Debbie Mowry
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/4/2006
 
 
  Screenshot of server-side error message
Screenshot of server-side error message
Note that it says server-side, not client-side.f
 
 
Well I have submitted a help desk ticket before but their suggestion was:

"There is one quick thing you may want to try the next time you are signed in: check the "remember me" box in the top right corner when signing in.

Give that a try but the alternate image uploader is always there as well which many students use if the drag and drop uploader is still not working for you."

I did select the remember me option and that doesn't help at all. Since they didn't mention they'd look into the error message that I included a screenshot of I did a little research myself. Of course I can't fix it because I'm not on their staff but perhaps if enough people encourage them to look into it perhaps they will. I am including a screenshot of the message I get and here is a link for debugging the ASP.net upload scripts when you search for "aurigma upload troubleshooting" and you follow the links to a "Server-side Upload Script Problem." Since BetterPhoto uses ASP maybe this will help them look into it.

http://www.aurigma.com/docs/us8/debugging-aspnet-upload-scripts-iu.htm

9/7/2013 7:49:40 AM

Mary Ann Honcharik
maryannhoncharik-photography.com

member since: 12/18/2008
  I haven't uploaded in quite some time, but in the past I could use the drag & drop feature. Now I have to use the alternate uploader & do only one photo at a time. Images are jpegs resized to 1600 on the long side. Very tedious.
I'm running on a mac pro with Mountain Lion.

9/9/2013 3:01:23 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Kalena Randall
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Kalena
Kalena's Gallery

member since: 9/13/2011
  93 .  TEST - TEST
This is a test - please disregard.

3730196>March02 - SunriseatGalvestonBeach

3/24/2013 5:33:50 AM

  Kalena, You have to use a special code to create a hot link.

yyyyy

3/24/2013 5:39:05 AM

  I can't put the link into the discussion. DO you know what the link is?

3/24/2013 5:39:55 AM

  No, I don't. That is what I'm trying to figure out. Kathy W. sent it to me like this:

3732798>March03 - SeaGull

But it's not working. Can you send me a note via BP with the code?

3/24/2013 5:51:14 AM

  Sunrise

3/24/2013 6:21:43 AM

  Jessica, I figured it out. I did a google search and found a way to do it. Needless to say, I have saved everything in a word doc!

3/24/2013 6:28:50 AM

 
 
 
Kalena, you passed the test.

For anyone else wondering how to make a link I made the visual guide.

I can't actually type the code here because then this comment becomes code instead of directions.

3/25/2013 6:44:59 AM

 
 
 
Got an error the first time I submitted. Trying again.

3/25/2013 6:47:04 AM

  BP is still having problems. I can't post the picture or upload a new copy.

I'll try it this way.

HOw to make a link

3/25/2013 6:51:37 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Natasha Pliss
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Natasha
Natasha's Gallery
natashaplissimpressions.com

member since: 3/17/2010
  94 .  What's happening w/the March EP?
I do not understand what's going on with the first round of March contest judging. It looks like all, but 1, of my March entries were crap, even those highly praised by the class instructor. I took time to check images from March 10th to March 16th in the Elements of Design category: 90 entries and just 14 (!!!) EP's. Less than 16% deserve EP??? Do the Judges have much higher standards now? That's fine but we have to know about these changes. Or they just overwhelmed by the amount of images (which is understandable) and simply skip many of them. I saw a lot of great photos without EP emblem. This contest is very important for me because I can and do see a lot of progress in my photography thanks to it. But if the judging becomes unfair for whatever reason it's time to look for some other company.

Natasha Pliss

3/21/2013 9:12:01 PM

  I got my last EP for an image submitted on 5th of March, although after that I submitted every day and last months, I did not get EPs only for a couple of images... I do not understand this, either.

3/22/2013 12:16:57 AM

  Kerry Drager posted in Cheri's thread

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=35929

that there is a major change BP is making, and that there will be a second round during which EPs will be awarded.

Nobody is quite sure what that means but I probably shouldn't have deleted some of my earlier entries! lolllll

He asked that everyone be patient for a little while longer.

3/22/2013 4:06:57 AM

  I'm hoping that they have raised their standards. It seemed as though everything I entered was getting an EP. After looking back at them I'd sit there and think "really, that photo got an EP" I actually wondered why I even entered it. I guess what I'm saying is, that for me, not getting an EP makes me try to improve that much more.

Nick

3/23/2013 5:05:30 AM

  Thank you Tiia, Kathy and Nicholas for your response. Now it's clear BP is making a major change. And if they going to raise their standards regarding EP's I certainly don't mind but only if they are fair and consistent. Anyway, they should've informed us about these changes sooner. It would've been honest, fair and respectful.

3/23/2013 8:17:08 AM

  It's all such a scramble! I have received no EP's for my work this month and I have been reading the other thread of March and a lot of discussion has been going on about everything. Kerry Drager made a comment on that thread that BP was working on a system of EP's with on explanations. He said something about going back to the first images that were not picked. It sounds like a lot of extra work...but sure enough I checked my gallery just now and I had an EP on my March 7th image. I just don't get it! :-)

3/23/2013 8:40:36 PM

  Change can be good, but hard! I do hope they go back once they figure out what the new procedure as I had a large stretch skipped with, IMHO, some of by better work in it! But I still am having fun getting out and trying to get better. Hang in there everyone!

3/24/2013 7:00:00 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  El chinche is developing again.

3/24/2013 11:53:28 AM

  Today I got an EP for 6th and 23rd... no EPs in between yet.

3/25/2013 11:27:33 AM

Allen O. Howard
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/1/2006
  I POSTED THIS TO A DIFFERENT FORUM AS WELL. I responded in a questionnaire. I added how I felt about the relevance of BP and the other sites that were closing in on it or simply passing it by. It has been a shame as this is where I learned what the camera in my hand was. It came to a point were everything I did was an editors pick but I very rarely received a finalist much less a winner. All of a sudden it seems as though they have gotten way behind here or they are scrutinizing differently. I am not saying better or to a higher standard, just different. I worked for a while judging on another sight (Which I shall not name) and while judging it became very easy for me to pick out the regular winners even though there was no name involved. Subsequently the challenge for me was to dig deeper and make sure I was giving everyone a fair viewing. Originally when BP started giving me all of these "editors picks" I thought my chances were improving. I mean I might get 28 editors picks in a month but that never changed finalists or winning for me. Now I have virtually no EP'S and that is okay by me If BP finds there way back. Relevance matters. Especially when we have Facebook and Google social platform. I truly love BetterPhoto and I hope that they can figure this out. We are in an age of compression where everything is moving faster and faster. BetterPhoto was the king.

3/25/2013 11:44:40 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Leslie J. Morris
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Leslie
Leslie's Gallery
morrisphotoimages.com

member since: 4/30/2007
  95 .  Category Change Suggestion
Was going to ask this in the March Countdown thread but lots of stuff going on there!

I think that the Animals category should be split up into three separate categores. My suggestion would be: Pets, Wildlife, Zoo (all captive wildlife including images taken at game farms) and Farm Animals. Would also like to see birds pulled out but that is because I specialize in birds!

I think there is more than enough diversity to handle this split.

If only two then: Wildlife (only animals and bird images captured in true wild conditions - it is way harder than photographing in zoos or game farms or stages shoots for classes and should be recognized as such) and All other Animals including pets, wildlife photographed in controlled situations (zoo or game farm etc).

Thoughts?

3/20/2013 6:35:41 AM

  i like that idea.

3/21/2013 12:40:23 PM

  It's been suggested in the past and turned down.

3/21/2013 1:07:57 PM

  That's to bad. I would love to see wildlife images actually made in the wild separated out. IMHO it it totally different and takes a totally different skill level than pet photography or zoo/captive/controlled animal photography.

But then again, maybe with all the updates here it will be re-considered!

3/21/2013 1:21:41 PM

  I totally agree Leslie....photographing in the wild is a whole different skill set. I spend a whole lot of time in the field, from freezing to sweating and swating skeeters. Many unproductive hours in a blind. You really have to know a lot about the critter you're after just to find it....let alone photograph it.

Nick


3/24/2013 11:58:51 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Michelle L. Frick
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Michelle
Michelle's Gallery

member since: 8/28/2005
  96 .  February 2013 Countdown Thread
Happy Spring (up here in the Northern America at least)! The weather here in Texas is crazy - can't decide whether to be warm or cold.

So, it seems as if there are some changes afoot at BP. EPs seem a bit more stringent and some category changes with Catch-all. Interesting stuff.

I'm looking forward to everyone's choices this month and wishing us all good luck!

Helpful hints for attaching photos into Forum Threads:
1) Sign into BP completely (name + password.)
2) If you have NOT YET entered the Contest today, you can use the "Photo ID" to pull an existing image from your Member Center into your reply to this thread (avoiding a duplicate image upload.) Get the Photo ID# from your Member Center, come to back this thread, click Respond, enter the text of your reply, then choose "1" from the images-to-attach drop-down. Click Submit; at the next screen populate the "Photo ID" box at the right. Skip the other fields on that screen.
3) If you HAVE ALREADY entered the Contest today before replying to this thread, you can't use the Photo ID method today. You can either wait until tomorrow to reply here (before your new Contest entry!) or, upload a new copy of the particular image (from your PC) into this thread. This produces a duplicate image in your Member Center; however, you don't have to make that duplicate visible in your Gallery.
4) If you're uploading a duplicate, maybe title it "For Forum" so it stands out in your Member Center, for easier housecleaning later... This can help direct viewers to find the original image in your gallery, when they want to leave a comment. Likewise, if you want to add a comment to a photo seen here, try to tell if it is a duplicate upload. As a courtesy, try to find the original image in the member's gallery and leave your comment there instead of on the duplicate---that way, if the duplicate is deleted later, the comment history isn't lost.

Good luck everyone!!!

3/15/2013 3:18:16 PM

 
 
 
Here's my favorite for the month.

3/15/2013 3:21:35 PM

 
 
  Basket Macro
Basket Macro
 
 
Here we are again. My faves didn't get EPs, so I'm going with the basket macro.

3/16/2013 4:34:27 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
 
 
  Room to Soar
Room to Soar
Looking up from one of the Main Reading Room's desks, in the Library of Congress. The dome rises 160 feet above the floor.
 
 
Probably my most-hopeful from Feb; they only let you shoot in this room twice a year, and I've been a few times now, but think this is my best upward capture there so far.

3/16/2013 7:03:49 AM

 
 
BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest Finalist
 
Sticking Point
Sticking Point

Finalist - Details & Macro - February 2013

Selective focus on one of the colorful spines on my agave plant.
Pretty to look at, painful to touch!
 
 
I don't normally post a fave here (maybe superstitious about jinxing it?), but oh, what the heck?

This is a macro from my agave plant in my front yard. I have shot it many times, but never got any shots I really liked until this one.

Good luck to all in the contest!

3/16/2013 9:02:06 AM

 
 
 
Here is my hopeful. Good luck everyone!

3/16/2013 1:08:54 PM

  All great picks so far! Carol, I remember yours - love that shot. I will try to remember to post tomorrow. Good luck!

3/16/2013 3:53:43 PM

  Thank you Leslie!

3/16/2013 11:28:46 PM

 
 
 
I put mostly finalists and picture's of the Day in for Feb but of the one's that do not have a finalists of POD this is my favorite.

It was taken at the Botancial Gardens in Chicago.

3/17/2013 4:56:33 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
 
 
BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest Finalist
 
A Place of Worship
A Place of Worship
 
 
I never pick right, but I think "A Place of Worship" and "Eye to Eye".

3/17/2013 5:48:59 AM

 
 
  Blue Phase Ross's Goose, possible snow hybrid
Blue Phase Ross's Goose, possible snow hybrid
This Blue Phase Ross's Goose has been hanging around the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge with his typical friends. Talk is that this one might be a hybrid with a Snow Goose. Note the black "smile" patch on its beak. However the head and body size is consistent with a Ross's Goose.
 
 
I am with some of the others and never seem to pick right. This is my personal favorite this month. Good luck everyone!

3/17/2013 7:10:59 AM

  I'm with you guys..I think I got one right once a long time ago. Usually never..of course, that could be because I mostly pick an emotional favorite of mine instead of something I think might have a chance. Not this time, though.

3/17/2013 7:18:36 AM

  Hi all! Love the picks so far. I already entered the contest today so I'll post a fav tomorrow.

3/17/2013 10:42:28 PM

 
 
  Forgotten
Forgotten
F8, 1/30, 34mm, iso200, SB600 flash, converted to B&W.

Catch All: February 11, 2013

 
 
With the discussion about EPs and stricter judging going on, I am at even more of a loss on guessing what might advance from my Feb EPs...lol. I don't know if this image, technically, makes the cut. I like it for the questions it raises about the scene.

3/18/2013 10:01:46 AM

  Ok guys, I'm such a dork - the photo I listed as my pick for going on in the FEBRUARY contest - probably doesn't even have a chance, since I entered it in MARCH! I'm so scattered this month! I'll try to pick a FEBRUARY favorite tomorrow!

3/19/2013 10:35:01 AM

 
 
  Wingspan
Wingspan

1/800 Sec - f/6.3 - ISO 100 - 400mm
Canon 1D Mk IV - Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS
 
 
Good luck to everyone this month!

Mine run from "Frosty Fence" to "Juvenile Bald Eagle" if you want to take a look.

"Wingspan" is probably my favorite for the month.

3/19/2013 6:14:38 PM

  Great pic, Jeff! I'll have a chance to go thru galleries tomorrow. My entries are on page 2 Soft Sepia to Ford (only 21 entries for me in Feb!).

3/19/2013 6:38:02 PM

  Amazing photos, you guys!

Jeff, my faves of yours are Intimidating for the drama, and Hiding for the quiet beauty.

Susan, my fave of yours is Ford, for the beautiful vibrant color and graphic elements.

Best of luck to all!

3/19/2013 6:53:56 PM

  So, since today is the 20th, I'm starting to keep an eye out for finalists ...
Any stats for us Chris? :)

3/20/2013 7:32:01 PM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Sure, Peggy! Let's see...

Mondays still remain the most popular day by a long shot, as the 21st remains the most popular date... so that at least makes tantalizing prospect.

However, Monday the 25th even more statistically potent; the most common day, with the 3rd-most-common date. Sunday the 24th would be a good pairing, statistically... so, as usual... who knows!

FYI, on the contest results:
in my 7+years of tracking, BP has received 1,798,000 entries, giving out 63,796 Finalists, averaging out to 3.55% of entries received.

3/21/2013 4:03:50 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Oops---pre-coffee typing; I meant, at the end of the first sentence, that would make TODAY a tantalizing prospect (as the 21st.)

3/21/2013 5:24:24 AM

  Fun facts! Thanks, Chris!

3/21/2013 7:09:03 AM

  not to sure what to think about the february contest. I never pick the right one from my group anyway LOL. I will post my pic tomorrow...

3/21/2013 12:06:00 PM

  What happened to the March EP discussion? Was it deleted?

3/21/2013 3:41:24 PM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  No, it wasn't deleted… It's simply no longer shows up in the "all new questions" section… You can still find it by searching for March 2013 or scrolling through some of the forum areas to find where it's buried now.

3/21/2013 7:42:11 PM

 
 
BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest Finalist
 
Surprisingly Pink
Surprisingly Pink
Another close-up of my old clutch.

f/5.6, 1/6, -.5, ISO100, 100mm

** Details & Macro **

 
 
Back to February hopefuls...here's one of my favorites for the month.

Good luck everyone!

3/22/2013 9:06:49 AM

  Beautiful hopefuls everyone. Good luck.

My February hopeful is "Non-Stop to Neverland". On the third page of my gallery.

UB.

3/22/2013 2:39:10 PM

 
 
  Louisiana Plantation Home
Louisiana Plantation Home
one of the many plantation homes in natchitoches louisiana,
 
 
here is my "guess"

3/23/2013 5:59:40 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
  Are we going to review others' images and post our favorites? I enjoy doing this - so if interested, please let us know where your February images start and end. Mine are obvious by the "bookends".

I think we got caught up in the EP thread, and let our monthly review of images fall by the wayside. :)

3/23/2013 10:18:23 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
  Jeff - "Wingspan"

3/23/2013 10:26:17 AM

  Pat "shooting" I just love the picture. always makes me smile.

3/23/2013 11:50:36 AM

  not sure where to look for everyone elses photos.. mine are in a folder marked February

3/23/2013 12:22:59 PM

  Mine go from Charley's Yard on page 3 to Nothing Like A Good Chin Scratch on page 6..
I'm not going to pick this time. I have a lot to do and no time to do it.

3/23/2013 12:33:45 PM

  carolyn there is no doubt in my mind on yours, has to be the "sunset feather" that one just takes my breath away

3/23/2013 2:48:40 PM

  Susan - High Strung
Pat - A Place of Worship
Tony - Bronze Goddess
Carolyn - Frigid Fencing

3/23/2013 3:10:47 PM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
  Tony - "Louisiana Plantation Home"
Carolyn - "Charley's Yard"
Susan =- "Winter Garden Spikes"

3/23/2013 8:54:16 PM

  Tony - Mardi Gras Eyes
Pat - Place of Worship
Jeff - Intimidation
Carolyn - Sunset Feather

So, no Monday announcement. I think Wednesday is a good bet, with winners announced on Friday :)

3/25/2013 9:33:26 PM

  And, Finalists are out. Good luck to everyone in the next round!

3/27/2013 12:04:15 PM

  5 for me..That's quite a bump from the usual 1 or less lately. I'm happy to see them.

3/27/2013 12:32:56 PM

Jackie M. Sajewski
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/21/2010
  That's awesome Caroline. 3 for me which I am totally excited about.

3/27/2013 12:45:29 PM

  Congratulations to the all the finalists. Best of luck in the next rounds.

I got one of my grandbaby Kailyn age three in (people) it the first one in my gallery marked Feb 20th.

3/27/2013 1:05:26 PM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
  Four for me - that's a first!! I'm happy! And, I even picked one they picked, which has never happened before. :)

3/27/2013 1:10:00 PM

  Seeing as it never shows up until forever - can someone please post the link to this bunch of Finalists. Thanks.

3/27/2013 1:21:19 PM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
  http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallMember.asp?pageID=1&catID=55897&contestCatID=&camID=&zulu=

3/27/2013 1:31:43 PM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Congratulations to all the Finalists! Definitely some records being set for many members---I snagged 6 which is my own, new record! Alas, my fav/hopeful posted to this thread didn't make it, but somehow I don't seem to mind, this month! ;)

3/27/2013 1:57:28 PM

  Big CONGRATZ to all the Finalists and good luck in the Final round.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Seven of mine getting picked, a personal record for me, at the same time I am keeping my expectations low as there are so many awesome images as usual so keeping my fingers crossed !!!

UB.

3/27/2013 2:22:45 PM

  A new personal best for me ... six ... I am astounded!!

Congrats and best of luck to all in the next round!!

3/27/2013 2:25:21 PM

  Pat's link did not work (too many redirects). However, I took the five-digit number from hers and changed the url string from last month. Using the number 1, the new string took me to Nature and Landscapes (1st category.)

Honestly, it should be this difficult if you're not getting a Finalist in any given month!

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=55897&contestCatID=1

3/27/2013 2:49:14 PM

  Finalists

3/27/2013 3:03:44 PM

  Well, thought the one I posted in this thread did not go on, I did get three others! Good luck all in the next round.

3/27/2013 5:34:39 PM

  Congratulations to all the Finalists and Wow to everyone who set new records! Very exciting!

My record's been broken as well. None for me, which ends my winning streak from June 2012 :/

I may not have time to comment on finalists/winners. The studio where I work is positively slammed between now and easter! So I will just say that I am truly excited that each of you got the recognition that your wonderful images deserve! :)

3/27/2013 7:52:05 PM

  Congratulations to everyone who got a finalist(s), and good luck in the next round! I got three this month, but not the one I had in this thread. Still, a very happy month indeed! :-)

3/27/2013 8:31:09 PM

  Winners are out..many multiple winners..

3/29/2013 3:06:33 AM

  HUGE CONGRATZ TO ALL THE WINNERS AND ENTRANTS OF FEBRUARY CONTEST.

UB.

3/29/2013 4:43:08 AM

Jackie M. Sajewski
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/21/2010
  Congratulations Winners.!!!!

3/29/2013 4:46:02 AM

  Big congrats to all the fabulous winners! Fantastic work!

3/29/2013 6:58:20 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
  None for me. I guess I need to clue in to what the judges are looking for... But congratz to all the winners! You have what it takes!

4/2/2013 3:35:53 AM

 
 
 
I received a Finalist for February 2013

4/25/2013 3:48:52 AM

  http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetailMember.asp?photoID=13407310&catID=&camID=&zulu=&contestCatID=

4/25/2013 3:55:35 AM

 
 
 
Third time trying to get the photo posted to the forum. Ugh. LOL

4/25/2013 4:06:23 AM

  Can someone help? I tried following the directions above. I'd like to post my finalist but not certain how to do so in the forum. Thanks!

4/25/2013 4:18:44 AM

  Melissa, Michelle's first post on top of this thread have steps included on how to post an image in the thread.

And there is another March thread currently active, you may want to post your March Hopeful there as many of us do it regularly.

UB.

4/25/2013 4:22:44 AM

  Thanks UB. I reviewed Michelle's hints above prior to posting. I'm was trying to post my February 2013 Finalist photo with the finalist logo as I have seen in this and other threads. However, when I click on "1" and hit submit, there is nowhere to post the photo ID number.

4/25/2013 9:52:12 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
  If you submitted a contest entry anytime during the day that field will disappear. So post your contest entries at the end of the day.

4/25/2013 10:26:31 AM

  Thanks Ken. I'll try that. : )

4/25/2013 12:24:46 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Cheri McEachin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/15/2006
  97 .  March EFP'S
 
  Chillin
Chillin
:)
© Cheri McEachin
Canon EOS 7D Digit...
 
Sorry this is so late, been so busy...Good luck everyone

3/5/2013 6:50:27 PM

  3/1..Animals..Oh Yeah! That's The Spot!
They are 4 days behind on March already. I hate it when they get behind, they always skip a lot after a few days layoff.

3/5/2013 7:00:32 PM

  Thanks, Cheri.
How's the new job going?

March 1 - Animals
My Domain

3/5/2013 7:44:56 PM

  3/2..DD..A Simple Web (with stars)
Well, I'm happy they didn't skip this one!

3/6/2013 2:34:52 AM

  3/1 Quiet Time - Animals

3/6/2013 4:25:39 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
 
 
 
Library of Congress
Entered: 3/2/2013
Category: Elements of Design

3/6/2013 2:42:51 PM

  3/3..T/P..Morning At Clayton Lake

3/6/2013 3:44:14 PM

  3/4..EOD..Pieces Of Gate

3/6/2013 4:38:30 PM

  zip, zip, zip
Skipped the 4th for me. Back in she goes LOL

Flowers – March 4
Bleeding Hearts and Hosta

3/6/2013 5:30:14 PM

  3/5..Landscape..White Lightning

3/6/2013 5:52:23 PM

  3/2 Skipped
3/3 Old Timer - Catch All
3/4 & 3/5 no entries

3/6/2013 8:09:14 PM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
 
 
  Curves
Curves
 
 
3/3/2013 - skipped

9/11
Entered: 3/4/2013
Category: Catch-All

Curves
Entered: 3/5/2013
Category: Elements of Design

3/7/2013 3:30:38 AM

  Well, this is exciting! I've set a brand new record.

7 Days, 6 Photos (missed one day by accident) and not one EFP!

Yikes!

3/7/2013 7:03:23 PM

  I'm with you too Kathy! :-(

3/8/2013 8:35:31 AM

  Maybe they haven't finished the 5th. And I see none reported for the 6th or 7th yet.

3/8/2013 8:39:43 AM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  Some thing happened to me! Maybe they lost some??? Or they are going out of order.

3/8/2013 6:09:44 PM

  Everybody should read the new how to categorize guidelines. They have recently changed, particularly for Macro and Catch All. Worth a read, they are going to get more picky, or so they say. Remains to be seen what they actually DO.

3/9/2013 3:36:08 AM

  Thanks for the heads-up, Carolyn. Of course, none of my March ones are in those two categories. I wonder if they're cutting back on the EPs so the further judging will go more smoothly on the next two levels. That would make sense (if not slightly painful for us.)

3/9/2013 6:35:48 AM

  I'm especially interested in how they handle the flowers in macro category..they say it shouldn't be recognizable as a flower, but in the past, you couldn't tell the difference between what got picked in macro as opposed to what got picked in flowers. So I'm going to be interested to see what they pick this time. I only do flowers in the spring, and not often single flowers, so the only reason I'm interested is because the macro category is so often cluttered up with flowers that there's no room for other stuff.

3/9/2013 7:12:51 AM

  It always takes me forever to find info at BP (this is NOT under Guidelines - which doesn't hurt to be read again a few times a year, btw.) It was down a level and not found during a search for category descriptions, either!)

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

Hope it helps some.

3/9/2013 7:19:57 AM

  I wasn't aware they had changed it..I think I saw it in a newsletter in an article.

3/9/2013 7:45:23 AM

  I didn't know about those changes either so thanks for pointing them out, Carolyn. I got an email a month or so ago saying BP was opening up the contest to non members, I guess meaning you didn't have to pay for a gallery (membership) to enter the contest. It said, essentially, that they felt some new partipants were needed and something about the same people winning all the time. Maybe this has some bearing on change in EP selection, as well?

3/9/2013 7:21:05 PM

  Non-Members? There was a free membership and a paid membership up until about 4 years ago (3?). Policy was changed at that point to paid only, so I upped my level to that. I've noticed that there are many more winners from around the World now. But, I would hope that all of the newcomers are being required to pay for the membership as we older members are.

3/9/2013 8:05:58 PM

  Thanks for that link Kathy....although after reading through the category descriptions I confess to being slightly confused. Catch-All is for black and white images. But then they say that in all of the categories they don't take into account whether a photo is black and white or color. Maybe someone with BP could clear that up?

3/10/2013 9:30:41 AM

  Oh my, I hope they only mean that Black and White images CAN go in Catch-All and not that they MUST go there.

And I found the categories and their descriptions through Kathy's link but after searching diligently on all the contest pages have been unable to navigate to it otherwise.

3/10/2013 2:39:25 PM

  I am with Connie and Nikki on the B/W images only in catch all. Also could only find the categories and description through Kathy's link. Thank-you, Kathy. I feel the same as Kathy about the free membership.

3/10/2013 3:37:43 PM

  It just took me another half-hour to try to find the link I posted earlier, which took me an hour the other day! It is NOT linked to Guidelines as you might expect. So, here's where it is...

"My Member Center" Link >
"My Photos" Link >
(in that list on the left)
"How to Categorize" (the center list)

The last one results in
http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/categories.asp

A search for Categorize, Category Descriptions, Classify, Classification will provide no results.

My suggestion is to bookmark it!

3/10/2013 4:04:30 PM

  My impression was that you could enter the contest without a membership but u wouldn't have a gallery on BP. I'll go back and try to find the email about it.

3/10/2013 5:02:44 PM

  Maybe the free membership gallery is limited to, maybe 30 photos or something like that? I saw the memo, but I don't recall it being very specific.

3/10/2013 6:24:30 PM

  I wouldn't appreciate it if one of my photos did not get an EP but I think the EP's should have higher standards. It seems like it is rather hard NOT to get an EP. EP's don't mean anything anymore because there are given out so freely.

Perhaps BP has raised the standards a little.

3/10/2013 8:34:29 PM

  I just spent a little time looking through the contest entries. There are many photos without an EP that would have gotten one in the past.

3/10/2013 8:57:42 PM

  I couldn't find the email. I must have deleted it. Carolyn, that is similar to how they used to do it, except 100 images, I think. I don't remember the specifics either, just that their idea was to get more photographers to participate. Nothing wrong with that. When I used to participate before, back in 04-08 there were a lot more entries per month than the 10-11k now.

Irene, I agree that it seems hard not to get one. I have felt clueless at times as to the reason one of mine was passed over but I realize that even without any technical errors it probably just wasn't interesting enough to the judges. I will say, though, that I have seen some images with EP's that had some really awful post processing attempts :/

3/11/2013 4:31:17 PM

  Yes Susan; it is sometimes hard to determine why some photos pass the test and others don't.

Looking over the current batch of photos with an EP it is clear that the percentage of Non-EP's is much higher than it has been in recent months.

3/11/2013 4:38:36 PM

  Well here it is March 11th and an EP hasn't been posted here for 6 days, I hate to think we have all gone down hill so fast! :-)

3/11/2013 11:51:48 PM

  I had doubts about a couple of my entries, but every single one of them is bad??? Not a single EP yet.

3/12/2013 4:10:19 AM

  It seems like they are working on finals..maybe they will be more or less on time this month...but with this long a lag on the EPs, I guess we can expect a lot of skips.

3/12/2013 4:33:54 AM

  I still have that email - here's an excerpt: "We are making several improvements at BetterPhoto. These include:
* Simplifying our navigational links.
* Restructuring our membership model
* Opening up the contest to everyone...
That's right! We're going back to the way it was many years ago...So, the contest is now open to anyone who has signed up with BetterPhoto and confirmed their email address."

3/12/2013 8:37:53 AM

  Guess it pays to read whole emails. I never got past "simplifying our navigational links".

That's pretty amusing as they did just that for each of us personally, but it still took forever to find general info like how to categorize our images.

3/12/2013 9:10:57 AM

  I read the email as well and now am wondering, exactly what are we paying for. As a senior on a fixed income I do not plan on paying a membership fee again. I can easily limit to 100 photos and enjoy the site for nothing. I wonder if they are planning on any refunds? Sorry to be sounding like sour grapes but they should have explained this to us when our membership came due. I did not know of category changes, I will go look it up.

3/12/2013 3:57:09 PM

  I took advantage of the 2-Fer specials and have paid up through April 2015. Where were my procrastination tendencies when I needed them! lolllllllllll

3/12/2013 4:45:38 PM

  In SnapShot $619 (this morning), Kerry posted a link to some category update info. It heavily deals with Catch-All.

http://insights.betterphoto.com/2013/03/betterphotos-free-photo-contest-tips-and-updates.html

3/13/2013 3:25:25 AM

  I still find Catch-All confusing. It says that it's for specific things, but then says that stuff that "doesn't fit" in the other categories should go in there..How do you decide what doesn't fit? Or better, who decides?

3/13/2013 3:43:15 AM

  This makes me crazy. So b/w images should only go in Catch-all? And bokeh? I thought bokeh was just the quality of the out of focus areas in a photo....so any photo that has less than total DOF has bokeh to one extent or another....so any photo that has a soft background goes into catch-all? Surely not. Obviously I am not going to be smart enough to even categorize my images in the future.

3/13/2013 8:59:21 AM

  Maybe somebody can answer the specific questions on "Better Photo Page" @ Facebook.

3/13/2013 9:35:02 AM

  If you get any answers on Facebook, post them here, please. I don't do FB.

3/13/2013 9:36:04 AM

Jackie M. Sajewski
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/21/2010
  Not excited here at all on the changes. First the huge push to take advantage of a sale then right after the announcement that you can enter now without membership. I know I haven't entered many this month but I have only one BP for the month. Wondering if it's time to move my camera to the closet. :( I do think they were to easy to get in the past but I was still excited to see each and every one. ;)

3/13/2013 9:43:49 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  My guess is that BP doesn't mean that all B/W's are to be entered into Catchall, exclusively.
The Contest Category Guidelines page itself, shows a b/w landscape and b/w animal image, as samples under "Landscape" and "Animals" ;)
I think the general guideline for Catchall has always been, and remains, "put images here that don't clearly fit better into the other existing categories."
Just my two cents! (But I did write to BP for clarification on the 'black and white' bullet under "Catch All" description.)

3/13/2013 10:05:54 AM

  I am sure you are right Christopher---the thing that I can't quite grasp is why they would list b&w under catch-all in the first place since it is allowed in all the categories. Maybe it is allowed in catch-all regardless of the categorization of the subject matter? Hope you will share the response you get from BP with all of us.

3/13/2013 11:16:14 AM

  Regarding bokeh and (special effects) in Catch All: that makes sense to me. Some photos have a bokeh background but the bokeh is NOT the dominant feature of the photo so that image would be placed in the subject matter category — people, flower, macro etc. BUT if bokeh is the primary intent of the image then Catch All is a good place to put it.

Along the same thought; zoomed images are not primarily about the subject but rather about the effect achieved by zooming on a subject. So again Catch All is a better category for those images.

I’m sure the same applies to B&W images. If the primary focus of a photo is its B&W impact then it should be entered into Catch All. If the photo is a standard landscape, animal or portrait rendered in B&W then it should be entered into the correct category for the subject matter.

In the past there have been many people, flower, animal, etc images entered into Catch All. I think it is fine for BP to clarify contest category guidelines so members can better judge which category to enter.

3/13/2013 12:05:02 PM

  I think it is fine for BP to change and or clarify the contest category guidelines too. It's just that I believe they said that if you put something into the wrong category then it won't be considered for the contest---so I would like to understand the new guidelines. If I am the only one who finds the clarifications less than clear then I really apologise for taking up space in the forum for what is looking like a personal problem. I understand some of the categories so I can just limit myself to submitting in those.

3/13/2013 12:19:27 PM

  Connie, you're not alone, I'm a bit confused too. Up till now I used a print out of category descriptions to be sure I was entering in the right one. And this was because I did misunderstand a category and had entered several images incorrectly. I will definitely have to print out the new guidelines, as well, and I'm glad we're having this discussion.

Here's a recent example: entered an image, Puppy Love, a few days ago. It's a pic of my new puppy and me and I wasn't sure if people or animals would be appropriate (more likely animals). It is also black and white lol! Needless to say, I just went with catch all ;)

3/13/2013 1:11:07 PM

  Susan, that's what I always assumed Catch All to mean..something where it could go in any of 2 or more categories and you can't decide where, then I always assumed it should go in Catch All..but I also confess to sticking things in there simply to get them away from another shot, to give both of them a better chance and thinking they wouldn't have to compete with each other, not just other contestants. That's probably what they are trying to get away from.

3/13/2013 1:21:00 PM

  Well, for whatever it is worth, one of their illustrations for what type of photo to submit in flowers is a photo that has motion blur (deliberate camera movement---which is listed as a type of photo that belongs in catch-all. The same goes for one of their examples in the people category. Please understand that I am perfectly fine with or without motion blur in ANY category. I just have a problem understanding what they are trying to say. What I hear is that motion blur is fine in any category but enter it in catch-all. And I find that confusing.

3/13/2013 4:44:47 PM

  EPs!! YAY!!
3/6..Catch All..Car Wash
3/7..Animals..Ally McSqueal

3/13/2013 7:02:03 PM

  I give up! The judges have not given any of my March images an EP I've already deleted three images, it's just that if categorizing has become such an issue than I believe the judges must be more spacific if us "paying" memebers are to qualify our images!

3/13/2013 7:51:22 PM

  No EPs for me either, Joannie (I removed several that weren't spectacular, also.) However, until one single image (catch-all), all were flowers, eod, or animal.

Btw, there are few People images with EPs if they are a major subject (like a portrait.) One of mine are three people watching seals swim overhead in a special viewing area. So... People? Animal? Catch-All?

3/13/2013 8:58:02 PM

  No new EP's for me, either - last one was on the 5th. But I am not going to worry about the categories and the new descriptions. I simply don't believe that, in the long run, they have the time to worry about whether something with both a person and an animal in it belongs in People, Animals, or the toss-up Catch-All category. I try to categorize my entries logically and will continue to try to do so.

3/13/2013 9:07:09 PM

  Well said Nikki. I agree that the catagory's are guidelines and not strict rules. There are too many images that can go into more than one catagory equally. The EP judges don't have time to nit-pick the relevance of borderline images. And the contest guidelines says that some photos could be entered into more than one catagory.

3/13/2013 9:52:46 PM

Jackie M. Sajewski
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/21/2010
  No new ones for me either. I dont know if mine is category or skill related but all except one of mine has flowers as the subject. Went to an orchid show last week. lol

3/14/2013 3:33:00 AM

  I have 4 entries so far through the 7th and only 2 have gotten EP's. It's also possible they're not done with the 6th and 7th?

Fewer EP's is kind of a drag but I guess it would make for less wondering about what might move on to Finalist at the end of each month :/

I agree with Nikki, also. The example I gave above just wasn't strong enough, I felt, for people or animals so, catch all it was. If it isn't obvious, I usually ask myself what is the main or strongest thing that the image conveys (i.e., is it more about landscape or place?).

3/14/2013 3:48:24 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
 
 
  Passageway
Passageway
 
 
3/6/2013 - skipped

Passageway
Entered: 3/7/2013
Category: Catch-All

3/14/2013 4:33:44 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Seems like a big catch-up yesterday; my "daily entries missing EP's" have been caught up for the 6 consecutive days: March 5 through March 10. (With 2 entries skipped over in there; the 5th and the 9th didn't make EP.)

3/14/2013 5:35:52 AM

  Glad to know I have plenty of company in the lack of EP's. I have entered daily this month and in 9 of the 10 categories (no MT yet) - all logically categorized to my way of thinking. I have only four EP's so far. My last was on the 5th (4th was skipped). Very strange. Since no EP means the entry does not get looked at again in terms of the monthly contest, this is far from encouraging :)

3/14/2013 6:39:10 AM

  Bummer!!! I expected my shot from the 8th to be skipped, it was a logo, which is a no no..but I'm a bit upset over the 9th and 10th being skipped!

3/14/2013 6:45:25 AM

  Only 2 for me so far, and none since the 3rd - NOT a happy thing. That said, has anyone noticed that the basic gallery option seems to have disappeared (all I see now are the $199 and $349 galleries)? Or am I just missing it?

3/14/2013 7:31:56 AM

  Never mind my previous question - open mouth, insert foot. It's still there. Apparently they call the basic level a "gallery" and the other two "websites." Silly me.

3/14/2013 7:34:30 AM

  I keep looking back at this feed to see if you all have gotten anymore EP's after the 4th or 5th. I got one for the first 4 days of the month, then nothing. I took out two, thinking they weren't good enough-from the 5th to 13th-that's 7 days skipped-I've never had that happen. Then all I get in my emails is for winners-POTDs, Gold winners - from last year. Are these going to be considered again from last year? I don't think that many of the "we are going to bring back the old ways," got brought back. Wasn't it easier in the old days?

3/14/2013 1:21:18 PM

  Please don't delete yet, guys, unless upon reflection you really wish you'd never entered it. Take it off display if you want - but don't delete. I simply do not believe there is not a problem that we are unaware of as yet - and I don't mean we've all suddenly become lousy photographers.

3/14/2013 2:05:07 PM

  My last was on the 7th..Chris is the only one who got one after that, as far as I know.

3/14/2013 2:13:22 PM

  My last EP was on the 9th.

3/14/2013 2:45:38 PM

  Ok, then, that makes it official..
3/8..Skipped (expected)
3/9..Skipped
1/10.Skipped

3/14/2013 3:02:47 PM

  This is the first month I haven't entered daily. I have 5 entries thru the 10th and 3 have been skipped. This is confusing, at best. I'm feeling like the EP's and all that I've gotten before wouldn't be selected again, under the new (mysterious) judging criteria. Not that we knew the criteria before but we did sort of know based on history. I don't have a problem not getting an EP. I still display them unless I pull them to re-work. I feel a bit miffed that no one from BP addressed this change directly. I might not have been thrilled about it but at least I would't feel like I've been sucker punched :/

3/14/2013 5:03:03 PM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  Okay - so at least you have all gotten a few EPs. I missed the first three days of the month - but 7 entries from the 4-10th and zero EPs. Wow! Guess all past months EPs didn't mean much.

3/14/2013 5:50:35 PM

  1st, 4th, 7th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th.

I removed a bunch from before the 10th (they didn't look all that great on line.)

Number of EPs so far this month = 0.

We'll have to watch a for a pattern of what wins when the March contest comes up. I'm really more anxious to see how my February entries do; it's probably my best overall work in one period.

3/14/2013 7:06:49 PM

  There have been some EP's added tonight, but they seem to be very hap-hazard. All my entries since the 4th have been skipped. Very odd!

3/14/2013 10:03:22 PM

 
 
  A Taste of Spring
A Taste of Spring
F11, 1/60, 18-55mm VR Nikkor @44mm, SB600, iso200.

Flowers: March 13, 2013

 
 
Wow. An EP this morning. 11th and 12th skipped.

3/15/2013 4:39:29 AM

  I guess my 11th and 12th are also skipped..They are doing a number on us this month. Yikes. I got eps on just barely over half of them this month so far. I guess you have to expect it when they get that far behind.

3/15/2013 4:42:48 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
 
 
  Window Shades
Window Shades
 
 
3/8/2013 - skipped

3/9/2013 - skipped

3/10/2013 - skipped

3/11/2013 - skipped

Window Shades
Entered: 3/12/2013
Category: Elements of Design

3/15/2013 4:50:59 AM

  Just seeing this EP-drought talk in the thread makes me worried too. I got EPs for the 5th, 6th and 8th March on all new images, did not enter on March 9 and all the remaining were resubs, so I have no idea if they are in the running for the March contest or not!!!

I guess time will tell, once Finalists and Winners are announced will be interesting to see if these are inline with new category guidelines.

UB.

3/15/2013 4:57:05 AM

  Carolyn, you and I usually get ours around the time. I'm also hoping this is a glitch from them being behind or because of other changes.

Usman, I've decided that any of my resubmits will be re-uploaded so they don't have the EP badge. Then I'll be able to tell if ones that got an EP before get skipped now. Seems like that would be a pretty clear indicator of new/different judging standards above and beyond just the category changes. I'm wondering if a previous finalist would get skipped, also :/

3/15/2013 6:04:52 AM

  This happens every time they get way behind, like a week..I sort of doubt that they are looking at categories when doing EPs..EPs are only the first round of a 4 round contest, so it would be more likely that the categories come into play only in the last couple of rounds..It would be a hell of a lot of work to worry about such things in the EP round. Just my opinion.

3/15/2013 6:08:45 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  I agree, Carolyn; I think EP Round is a very cursory review of the image "at a glance". (Hence why it historically seems as much as 70% of uploaded images get EP.) I think the later rounds (something like semi-sem-Finals, then Semi-Finals, then Finalist, etc.) introduce more critical review, including category appropriateness.

3/15/2013 6:43:35 AM

  I agree with you Carolyn the lack of EP's could not be directly related to mis-catagory placement.

I spent time looking through digital darkroom. There are many wonderful creations; images that would easily have gotten an EP in the past. This month it is hard to find an EP. I'd guess that there is only one EP per page. In the past there would be only one Non-EP per page.

What are the percentages in the other catagories?

3/15/2013 6:44:41 AM

  Well, here's a new EP on my page for the 13th..Skipped 8.9.10.11 and 12
3/13..Animals..Danger-ous
They did manage to get most of my favorites, so I guess I'll quit bitching. With all the skips, there won't be so many in the contest. LOL

3/15/2013 9:37:03 AM

  Wow. Just doing a little browsing in a couple of categories, this appears to be quite a crackdown on EPs ...

3/15/2013 10:22:37 AM

  Honestly, this is demoralizing. I cannot believe that every single one of mine is crap! Still not one EP.

If Zim Zuckerman hadn't given me such positive critiquing on my assignment shots, I'd seriously question my abilities.

3/15/2013 10:24:25 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  My personal ramble follows... ;)

It has been said probably a thousand times before here in the Forums, but members definitely shouldn't let the BP contest results (that means EP's, Finalists or Wins) control their photographic life or emotional well-being ;)

I can't get too worked up over whatever this 'anomaly' in EP's may turn out to be... a technical glitch, a badly rushed catch-up of a huge backlog, or a tightening of judging criteria (seems highly unlikely at EP stage, to me)... because I've never been a big fan of the EP sticker since it first appeared several years ago.

I much preferred each month of pure suspense, not knowing how a single entry of mine might do until Finalists eventually came out... That blind suspense (in keeping with just about any other kind of contest you can imagine---ie, where they don't tell you "Hey, you're in luck, you've just made it into 7th place so far!" -- and EP's represent at least 7th place (perhaps lower) in the BP contest hierarchy today) coupled with the notion that the BP contest judges themselves (ie, those who pick Winners out of the Finalists) are not actually involved in the EP selection, and the exceptionally high rate of EP's typically given out... well it all kind of makes EP's feel, for me at least, like a 3rd grade teacher's happy gold-star sticker acknowledging an assignment turned in on time.

Another way of thinking of it. Contest "wins" - only represented by the gold contest badges for 2nd Place, 1st Place or the Grand - typically translate to less than 1% (in years past, it was less than 0.5%!) of all monthly entries received at BP. Even Finalists only make up 4-6% of received entries, usually. So really, what does it mean if 70-100% of your own monthly entries routinely get EP? Such enormous eliminations have to take place between the EP stage and the Finalist stage, that EP's simply aren't meaningful, in my own opinion.

I know many here love the EP's, and they're welcome to. But honestly, I think many here may also place far too much "value" or importance on them (ever remember 7th place from the Olympics?) and get too invested in them... sometimes to the point of allowing a virtual silver sticker to dictate their happiness or self-worth! And that is an unfortunate outcome to mar a thoroughly enjoyable hobby!

Alright... just my two-cent ramble... :)

3/15/2013 11:08:58 AM

  Chris, I think that is entirely true. As I've said in the past, "I guess I will just have to go back to liking my photo's myself." I get inspired by all the photos I see on here, and that is good enough for me. They want to tighten up on EP's - go ahead, but the seemingly random way in which they have been picked is a little bothersome.

3/15/2013 11:18:45 AM

  All true, and well said, Chris. Agreed that the EPs don't mean much when they are handed out really (and maybe overly) freely, but they are still fun, and some folks quite enjoy them. I suppose I can take or leave them, my only concern being whether some actual judges review them or not. I would hate to see a worthy photo (mine or anyone else's) eliminated early on, when it should have advanced, and perhaps an actual judge would have advanced it.
Ah, but such are contests. A roll of the dice, to be sure, but a fun one.
Happy shooting, everyone! And remember to enjoy your own photographic journey! What is important is if your photography makes you happy and fulfilled!

3/15/2013 11:45:51 AM

  I don't really stress when one of my images doesn't receive an EP. It makes me look closer at it, which often leads to a reworking of it (new adjustment, new crop, whatever.) Then, if it really pops with the changes, I'll resubmit it. It's seeing nothing this month that is driving me crazy - because my point of reference has disappeared.

3/15/2013 12:13:24 PM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
  I've stayed out of this thread until now - but I want to say "well stated" to Christopher.

In a given month if I submit 30 images, I have received EP's on 28-29 of them. And I've known for a long time that no where near 95% of my images are really EP worthy. EP's (or lack of) motivate me to analyze my work more closely and try to improve. Personally, if professional photographers are taking a harder look at my images, this is a win for me.

And of course, EP or not, there are some images of mine I really like - regardless of an EP. In that case, an EP or no EP doesn't really matter. I have satisfaction, and that's what it really boils down to.

But it is an adjustment to go from nearly every one with an EP to very few with an EP!

3/15/2013 1:52:00 PM

  I agree with Pat. It is disappointing not to see EP's but I also knew some of mine that were getting EP's maybe didn't deserve them. After we get used to it I think I might like them being a little harder on my images. I think I would learn more that way.

3/15/2013 2:08:38 PM

  I always follow this thread (it's fun) but I don't usually comment. But, just a few weeks ago, I turned off my EP display. I've learned so much on BP over the years, have a few wins and enough Finalists to keep me happy. However, when several of my personal favorites, images that I had fun creating, didn't even get EP's, I found it annoyed me ... silly right! I didn't want the pleasure to be taken away by the lack of an EP badge so that's how I handled it. I was tempted to turn the display on to see how I was doing, but after reading the above, I'll leave it off for now lol!

3/15/2013 2:34:22 PM

  I have always read this thread too but until this one had never commented. This has be the most interesting discussion I have seen on BP.

3/15/2013 3:20:37 PM

  Agnes, what a great idea! I liked it so much that I just went and did that in my gallery. I'll try it that way for a while and see how it goes. I'll just wait until finalists come out to see if any of mine were picked.

3/15/2013 3:27:11 PM

  Carol, it's somewhat liberating isn't it lol!!!

3/15/2013 3:33:03 PM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  I completely forgot there was an option somewhere to turn off EP display...

3/15/2013 3:43:36 PM

  Only if you use the new version, I think. I still prefer the classic and I don't think that option exists there.

3/15/2013 3:50:34 PM

  I have the old version, too, Nikki, and under BP Gallery on the bottom right it gives you an option.

3/15/2013 4:17:58 PM

  I think it just might be!

3/15/2013 4:44:26 PM

  I finally got one after 7 skips, some of which I thought were just as good as the one I received today. I may just take my EP designations to "OFF" too. After reading all your thoughts here about the fact that they aren't held in very high regard, maybe BP should just do away with them and give us a surprise at the end of the month. Those of us that submit to other publications shouldn't care anyway as obviously we don't submit with our EP, gold or finalist badges affixed to the bottom of our submissions.

3/15/2013 6:16:25 PM

  It's the principal of the "thing"! Things have been going along a certain way for years, no reason things can't change BUT, why can't they let their prescribers know about changes and for what purpose? I get all kinds of e-mails from them about surveys, photo classes, sales on and on...one e-mail about changes, just ONE! Chris, that's my 4 cents of "nonsense"! :-)

3/15/2013 6:37:41 PM

  Many of you have articulated nicely the way I feel about EPs. For me also, submitting 30 images in a month would result in 27-28 EPs. Getting one meant my image was in the running for the contest. Kind of equivalent to being "accepted" due to meeting what I imagine is some baseline criteria. Yes, among the EPS it could rank 7th. It could also rank in the top and make the Finalist cut. No EP=no anticipation. So EPs didn't kill the anticipation for me. Truth be told, I think they validated for me that I was doing well eough to meet those basic criteria. That's why it feels like such a setback to how I thought I was progressing, skillwise and creatively. Finalists motivated me to look at those EPs that didn't go forward in a more critical way. Realistically, I knew many of the images wouldn't make it further than that 7th. Like many of you I'd be motivated to re-work and re-submit. Turning off my EPs would be ok with me suspense wise, but I would lose that learning and motivating benefit throughout the month. Fewer EPs would certainly make me contemplate why the image didn't make that first cut and what I could do differently. My EP to finalist percentage was low with 27-28 EPs in a month. I suppose fewer EPs would bring that up (I would hope!lol) and make it easier to have a guess at which might garner a finalist (Contest Countdown thread). I've already found myself doubting whether I should enter an image or not (is it good enough?). Getting or not getting EPs doesn't dull my enthusiasm or joy for photography but it does give me feedback on my skill level. I think we'll get a better feel for this change when contest results come out.

Just my .02 :)

3/15/2013 6:42:49 PM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  I've watched the EP rate (percent of photos that get EP to those that don't) for several years...have seen low rates around 30% and high rates of 80%. I just took a quick look at the N/L category for the 13th of March. I checked each photo to see if it got an EP. Five did, and 25 didn't. That means the success rate was ~17% (5/30). That's the lowest I've ever seen it. In fairness, this was for one category, for one day.

I don't think it means the quality of our work has slipped. Just that BP is picking less photos for EP. Tomorrow, the rate could be back up to 50% or greater. TIme will tell.

3/15/2013 7:30:58 PM

  I tend to agree with Ken and others, that the lack of "EP badge giveaway rate" has nothing to do with the degradation of our work but has everything to do with the *bar* being raised for getting the EPs.

Who knows, maybe BP has done away with the first two stages out of the perceived 7 or so!!!

I think it makes sense for the people who short-list and judge the contest entries to have raised the EP bar, since after making the contest open to all, the total contest entries in a month are expected to grow in the next few months. I think someone shared once that earlier the monthly entries were close to 35,000 instead of the current 10,000 or so. So maybe in the next few months, we might start seeing total entries closer to the 30,000 range, which will make it harder for the people who short-list to go over each and every one objectively (in the same limited time frame) if the EP grant rate remains at 70-80%.

All that matters, IMHO, is that once Finalists/Winners are released they are of the same high quality and standard that we have gotten used to, which have always been so inspiring to watch.

So lets just re-adjust ourselves to the new norms here at BP and change with the changing environment and not only survive but strive to get the best out of us as far as possible and reach for those elusive Gold badges and the most important of all is to continue to ENJOY what we LOVE to do!!!

My 02 cents.

UB.

3/15/2013 10:47:31 PM

  I still enjoy photography but getting no EPs at all since the 5th of March (while last months, only 1 or 2 per month were skipped)... if it continues like that, I won't enjoy this contest, any more. Yes, I also found strange that some not so good photos got EPs and some even managed to get a Finalist badge, but I don't enjoy if they turn the contest into a lottery (e.g. just don't look at pages and pages of photos) or if they'll only look at the photos of people who have Pro portfolios or who pay for courses... this is anti-advertising, too (why would somebody be interested in paying for a course if they see that people can't appreciate good photos)?

3/16/2013 12:44:09 AM

  Thanks for the statistics and some history Ken. It helps a bit to know that. And also to hear from all of you who normally don't comment. I see all of you in the winner's circle a lot with great images that I always admire and enjoy, as UB has mentioned.

Out of the 28ish EPs each month I'd never anticipate more than a couple advancing to finalist. Perhaps the new way to think of this change is that it narrows down the choice of which ones might advance! Many have often remarked that the finalists chosen weren't the ones they would have picked. Also, if there are going to be that many entries again it will be harder to make finalists due to so much more competition.

Sorry for that long paragraph above with no breaks (from my phone!).

EPs out for 3/14: Old Fashioned - Flowers

3/16/2013 3:03:56 AM

  One reason I love BP is that EPs were handed out. Not everyone of my entries received one (so I would use those to reevaluate those images.)

My feeling has always been that there is a high level of quality among many photographers. An EP on one of mine meant that SOMEBODY (be it be a secretary or other non-Pro employee) liked my work. I didn't really expect to break into the Winner's Circle often, but that was okay.

I find value in an EP, although it looks as though many of you don't. I'll miss those little pats on the back if that is what is happening.

3/16/2013 4:56:44 AM

  I like them more for what didn't get one, than what did. If it's something I like and think it should have one, I'll stick it in the resubmit folder. I'm more of the opinion that there SHOULD be a lot of EPs..after all, it's the first round of 4, so more stuff should qualify.

3/16/2013 5:06:41 AM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  Kathy - I agree with you. I felt an EP meant that my photo had some value and was on the right track. Then I liked the anticipation of seeing who made the finalist rounds. Under the current method I feel disappointment daily instead of just once a month. Watching to see who wins is no fun when you know your not included.

Though I did feel they handed out too many EPs before - now I think they don't hand out enough and if that's the case they should just do away with them. That would let me enjoy participating in the contest instead of taking all the joy out of it.

3/16/2013 5:10:00 AM

  There are always ups and downs with this contest. Always have been, always will be..I've been entering for about 10 1/2 years so nothing surprises me any more.

3/16/2013 5:21:15 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Very true Carolyn! Coming up on 8 enjoyable years in the contest myself, and yep, changes have happened all along the way.

To Usman's point, yes, the contest once drew a record-high 38,200 entries in a single month. Contrast that with Dec 2012, which clocked in at just 9,300 entries, the record-low. Perhaps the contest "going free" change will raise those numbers (and thus the competition).

EP's didn't exist for many years; now they have existed for several years... I can understand them as a potential tool to help drive members to sign up for classes - ie, getting lots of EP's that never advance, could logically prompt someone to want to take a class to change that pattern.

One thing that has remained constant, to Joannie's 4 cents: BP is historically silent on explaining any changes in the contest's inner workings. That said, I'm not convinced yet that this early-March "change" we're experiencing in dropped EP's is in fact, a "change" in BP's inner workings, vs a man-made situation (such as short-staffed, rush-job resulting in poor/hasty reviews, etc.) On the other hand, it definitely could be a change in the process. But we'll likely not hear confirmation either way from BP; they are like the Sphinx, regarding the contest. ;)

3/16/2013 6:54:12 AM

  They probably feel like no matter what they say, or don't say, it's going to cause an argument. And even if we're just venting, they think we're arguing.
So not adding anything is probably, in their opinion, the best thing to do.

3/16/2013 7:38:49 AM

  I swore I was going to keep my mouth shut....but here I am, lol.

Because of all the ads that I receive from BP(selling classes & web sites), I assume that BP is, at the bottom line, a business. And I think it is poor business practice to leave your customers feeling that you care so little about their retail experience that you won't even respond to their concerns. Even huge businesses like Walmart and the U.S. Post Office respond to their customer's questions and concerns. BP can't please everyone no matter what they do---but they could keep us informed, keep us feeling as though our business is appreciated.

I think that this lack of response to membership concerns is what has driven the number of contest entries (and probably memberships and class participation) numbers down.

I can't help wondering if the EFP judge/s is an experienced knowledgeable photographer/artist. A lot of contests display the qualifications of the contest judges. For me, knowing a bit about who is judging the photos would improve my experience immeasurably.

If the change in the number of EFP's is because of higher standards in judging then I think it has become a more valuable tool for evaluating one's photos. If the change in the number of EFP's is because management passed down a decree to choose fewer EFP's so that the subsequent rounds of judging will be easier...then the change is probably essentially meaningless. I feel like I don't have enough information to make that distinction.

3/16/2013 7:39:43 AM

  I wonder if they tried to hint at an upcoming change via articles about the contest in recent issues of SnapShot. The article in SnapShot #615 was specifically about expectations of contestants. What I inferred from that article was that maybe they were getting complaints, founded or not, about the judging. And maybe I should have "put 2 and 2 together", but if it was a hint, it went right past me. :)
Anyway, BP is clearly tightening up the contest standards, and if EPs are an indication of how much tightening is going on, it appears to be quite significant. (Like Ken, I looked at one category for one day ... I looked at the flower category for 3/14, and only 2 out of 17 entries got an EP.)
It is certainly BP's prerogative to judge the contest however they see fit, however, in my humble opinion, a bit more gradual tightening might be better received. And as others have stated, a change of this significance probably merits some communication.
Just another .02 here ...

3/16/2013 8:41:19 AM

Karen E. Michaels
karenemichaels.com

member since: 8/24/2004
  Time to be thankful for any attention our pieces have received. The arts are mostly about rejection. We become emotionally attached to images we create, either by the place or event itself, or the time we have put in. Reality sets in when we present art publicly, because our viewers are not emotionally attached. The only constant is change and things are changing here.

3/16/2013 8:46:03 AM

  Thank You Connie, this is a business and keeping the people informed of major changes is necessary for anyone. I get emails all the time about any sales info, why not keeping us informed of other changes. As a business move I think that opening the competition to anyone could backfire. Financially if you can enjoy the benefits of the site and competition for free why would anyone want to have a paid membership. I think in the original email they said it was to promote healthy competition. They have a large pool to draw from and I have been looking and a lot of excellent photos are being passed over. For me the EP is a guideline, remember the old thumbs at DIC? It gives you a direction to go. We have a lot of real talent just on this thread alone and if it is to ease the judging, that would be a shame. On the survey I suggested that they have a third place and honorable mention as some sites have. I think that would encourage more people to compete. Just my humble opinion! As of now 0 for me out of just a few entries.

3/16/2013 8:46:36 AM

  Wow....Thanks BP for making me feel worse about myself than I already did....I used to receive a fair amount of Finalists...hardly any wins...I got to where I was ok with that. Always see the same names in the winners circle anyway, but I looked forward to receiving an EP....to me it showed that at least my image was CONSIDERED for movement into the next round. BP has been a place where I could enter photos in the contest, yes, but it's also been a place for me to display my images so others can see my work. In the past I've usually "undisplayed" an image that didn't receive an EP, feeling as though it wasn't my best work. I have been skimming through this thread reading everyones input just to see why it was taking so long to hand out the EP's....of which I'm always proud to get! They skipped over 6 of mine, in a row, some that I felt was really really great for me....this just validates that I must move on from BetterPhoto just as soon as I can. I've been relying on this site to build a business for myself, doing what I love, and that's photography. From now until my membership runs out, I will not be displaying the EP badge under my photos.
That is IF I ENTER....Why would I intentionally make myself feel bad just over an EDITORS PICK? See Ya' BetterPhoto......

3/16/2013 9:05:48 AM

  I thought there could have been a glitch in the system after their big website change. I've had a lot of glitches with my gallery this month and I know many others have as well, so I emailed them to see if there was a problem. They emailed me back and said, "Hello Carol, There are no glitches - everything is correct with EP's. Thank you and Happy Shooting! TeamBetterPhoto betterpholio.support@..." While this does tell me that the change is deliberate, I have no idea in the world why they would do this. I personally liked the EP's it made me feel like I was still in the running. I have not had an EP since March 4th, which coincidentally was also the day I renewed my Gallery. Had this happened last month. I would not have renewed. I have enjoyed my time on BP (I'm a baby compared to a lot of you) - but quite frankly I know that some of my photo's that didn't get an EP this month are just as good as the few that did and it irritates me - makes me seem like the contest is rigged. Sorry - just my thoughts...

3/16/2013 10:20:20 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
  I haven't gotten any EPs this month. I've always felt this first level in the competition weeds out poor exposure and out of focus images. The next level focuses more on composition and clarity of message/subject. I've seen ton of images including mine that has poor to no subject get an EP. But when I submitted images with intentional blur or underexposure, no EP was given but the subject and composition was strong. This leads me to believe that human eyes do not review images for passage to EP. JMT But then again, I've been involved with this competition only for 8 months so what do I know...

3/16/2013 11:08:15 AM

  I would hope that BP has a customer relations department, but if it is like any other large corporation, it has one, but it does not use it effectively. Their "support," mainly deals with technical problems. Until recently, you could not even find a physical address to write an old fashioned letter-ha! Or, could not call them by phone. I believe that if you are a business in the State of Washington, the business law says you have to have a physical address, and phone. (I was a paralegal in the State of WA for a number of years. Maybe they got called out on that, because I now see that they list both an address and a phone number.

Be that as it may, you would think that the elusive Customer service rep would be reading the comments in the Forum, especially, and might alert the "Boss" as to a meltdown of a majority of its paying members. There are a lot of competing Web pages out there, BP. I have been having gallery problems at least 4x/year for the past 2 years, and they told me that I was the only one, except for one other person that had a different problem with her gallery. I later found out on this forum, that the "other" person was Kathy Wesserling, and it was not a different problem as I had been told-it was exactly the same! So now, I'm always suspicious of what they tell me-the trust factor is all but gone, and it is going to take more than 2 for 1 deals and empty promises to get it back. Both of my galleries come up for renewal this year, and my $$$ is running low.

3/16/2013 11:44:19 AM

  Last Saturday, I replied to the email granting access to a class I had signed up for - asking to cancel my order. I had misread the description and hadn't realized that 1] there would be no instructor critiquing/feedback and 2] It cost 2 payments of $94, not one. I cannot afford nearly $200. It was tight enough to spend the $94. When there was no reply, I then wrote to Support for the Courses on Wednesday. As yet, there is still no reply. If they don't deal with it soon, and attempt to charge the second $94 from this small bank account, it will be ugly. Maybe, nobody is working the offices every day anymore.

3/16/2013 1:16:06 PM

  kathy, I had the same problem. took about a week but I got an email and they refunded my money.

As far as the EP goes. I have not had one single EP this month. It doesnt make me mad but like most of you I would like and explanation. Would like to know what I did wrong, or if the bar has been set a lot higher. Either way I am here for the long haul. I enjoy the people on the forum and the friends that I have made here.

3/16/2013 1:30:59 PM

  Same here; since Mar 4th no EP, and motivation going down mostly because of the lack of explanation and reasoning behind any 'new criteria'. I'm not convinced that categorizing plays a major role, and am still hopeful that it is probably a change on their work flow. More entries, more revision rounds until the finalist selection. I asked BP Support for an explanation and will keep you all informed of any response. However, I doubt they will send any meaningful response, and like Marie, and I'm not a true believer in BP's Customer Service's practices.

3/16/2013 3:13:19 PM

  Wow. Lots of great dialogue in this thread. I very rarely post but I have to say how much I learn from all of you here. The various skill levels and thoughts shared are why I am still around.

Over the past six months it seemed there were more and more emails coming out selling this and that on BP. I really thought about it before I renewed my basic gallery for a year; in fact I waited until a few days after the expiration before I renewed. 2 days after I paid I got the email announcing 2 years for the price of 1.

I sent a very polite email requesting that BP honor the two for one for me as a 6 year paying member but got no response. I sent another email 10 days later and still no answer. My perception is that bp already got my money so responding is not on the priority list. There are a lot of other options out there and when my membership expires they won't besetting another penny out of me.

Now I feel better. :)

3/16/2013 3:26:10 PM

  I started as a free member and I don't think I would have joined if I had to pay first.
This would have been a shame because I have started to enjoy this site and the BP community.

There will be changes on this site and that is a good thing. We don't know what those changes will be, so we'll just have to wait and see. Maybe one of the changes will be to improve communication with members...

BP is not perfect but it does have a great community and a chance to improve.

Criteria for EP selections have changed in the past and they will change again. It is nice to be recognized for your effort but it is even sweeter if it does not come too easy. And it really was easy, lately.

3/17/2013 5:58:49 AM

  What about a free trial membership for x amount of days. It would give prospective members a chance to see if they liked it and then make the decision.

3/17/2013 6:37:41 AM

  March 5 (Spring's First-Born)
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetailMember.asp?photoID=13725224

March 6 (Dubai Crossing)
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetailMember.asp?photoID=13735822

March 8 (Garden Flames)
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetailMember.asp?photoID=13729400

These are the three EPs for me which are stamped with an EP badge.

Since, this is primarily an EP-watch thread, lets just share the images which managed to get an EP and see if the standard of EPs have been raised or are these similar to what everyone got last month.

UB.

PS: In case, the above shortcut doesn't work, you can see the three images on the first page of my gallery.

3/17/2013 6:43:36 AM

  I agree that the community of people here are great. I've been inspired by most of you & made new friends which is always a plus. I am not going anywhere either, its just that if they are going to offer free why pay?

3/17/2013 8:04:34 AM

  Usman, I'd love to share my EP list with you. But...... I haven't had one all month!

3/17/2013 10:39:59 AM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  Ditto to Kathy's comment.

3/17/2013 10:47:32 AM

 
 
 

For Usman ... :)

And Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

3/17/2013 10:57:30 AM

  Ditto Marcy & Kathy
I have a feeling this could be a very short thread!

3/17/2013 11:24:36 AM

  And the hits just keep on comin'! No EPs for me either! I'm not posting right now, why post if there is nothing to look forward to!

3/17/2013 1:14:44 PM

  and here I thought I was the only one this was happening to. I've been beating myself up, wondering what I've done wrong...Really burst my bubble!

3/17/2013 1:24:39 PM

  Lydia said what was really bothering me about the lack of communication from BP. We are very fortunate to have this thread and to find out it was everyone being affected and not just you personally. A lot of us have been judges on a previous site and we know all judges select differently but a EP is the first step, without one it goes no further in the contest. I haven't posted a lot since this all began. Again, if we used this thread to only post EP's, soon it will be a very short thread.

3/17/2013 2:50:44 PM

  Thanks Patricia for posting. I agree... and yet we still wonder "why".

3/17/2013 3:00:00 PM

  still waiting for my first EP this month also.

3/17/2013 3:33:11 PM

 
 
 
Looking through the majority of this month's EP there is nothing coming out to me as extraordinary compared to previous months. I've gotten 4 so far may be out of luck (?!)

3/17/2013 5:30:39 PM

 
 
  Afternoon Stroll
Afternoon Stroll
 
 
Looking through the majority of this month's EP there is nothing coming out to me as extraordinary compared to previous months. I've gotten 4 so far may be out of luck (?!)

3/17/2013 5:34:17 PM

  My count is 9 entries through the 14th with 4 EPs. I feel for you guys who haven't received any :(

I also started as a free member and remember when EPs first came out. Many people didn't like them and there was much talk about them. The badge was originally silver or gold and the complaints about that (because they detracted from finalists or winners) caused BP to redesign them. I would imagine they are aware of this thread and actually, I'm a little surprised no one has responded yet.

Hopefully they will resume with EPs tomorrow (Monday) and we'll see if the pattern continues. Where are you guys looking to see the entries so far that have gotten EPs?

3/17/2013 8:23:57 PM

  I have five EPs out of 15 entries so far this month. They skipped from day 5 through day 12. I got one on the 13th, then none since then.

3/17/2013 9:34:51 PM

  I'm so glad to have found this thread. I was feeling like BP really felt I lost my touch in DDR or something but now after visiting several of your galleries I can most of us are all in the same boat!

Amazing images getting passed over...It's upsetting!!!

I am not posting very often but with two of mine this month others have written me to say they should raise to the top and yet nothing...no EFP.

It has always been my understanding that EFP's are for images that have no obvious flaws that disqualify them for the next round.

Round one of the weeding out process...

I am discouraged that all of our images that got passed up are now OUT...

Someone suggested to me that BP hasn't had *time* to do them this month due to changes being made and yet each of US has taken the "time" to snap them, perfect them, become creative with some of them in DDR, enter them and hope for the best. Is our *time* not valuable and is not that precious day to enter valuable? Now we have to re-enter them all over again next month and hope they see it then?

One positive thing has been this: I have really REALLY examined each image I entered for March with a fine tooth comb wondering why in the world it got passed over and I have found a few flaws on my own and with help of others I had take a look for me.

If they are raising the bar way up on us we all should do this from here on out. Fine tooth!

GOOD LUCK everyone! I hope they iron this out soon. All we ask is that they be fair. Right? :) Every good image should get an EFP. It's exciting and keeps us happy. Lol...

-Laura

3/18/2013 12:24:42 AM

  I did not realize "not receiving EPs" has been a big issue this month until I received Email from Laura just minutes ago. I thought they don't approve my work anymore for some reason. Below is my response to Laura.

I was wondering myself why I'm not getting EP lately. After March 6th, I didn't get any for a while. Then I got three after several days, then, they skipped three. Occasionally, they skip one but being skipped three is my first time. This is very discouraging. Many of us upload almost every day but I just found out some have not getting any EP since March 6th. Incredible! If they say, there's much to be desired for my work, I accept that, but if other people are not getting EPs even though they deserve, this contest will lose credibility. Just what on earth is going on?

3/18/2013 12:30:02 AM

  BPers, if you want to see some incredibly beautiful work please go see Alex's gallery.

He will be famous someday...He already is to me, as many of you are in my opinion. You just haven't been discovered yet!!! No big break yet...but it will come. Don't give up!

To hear any of us feels discouraged about our work over this recent change of EFP events concerns me a lot. We have to remember it's not a reflection of our work as much as a reflection of website management.

3/18/2013 1:12:51 AM

  Laura, you're too kind to me :) I'm still learning. There are so many outstanding and creative photographers here including yourself. The serious problem here is that well deserving works of talented photographers have been ignored. I honestly think BP owes us some explanation.

3/18/2013 1:26:26 AM

Jack Gaskin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/2/2007
  I was going to say a few things but I plan on letting my BP membership expire , so NO SENSE .. I'm looking for something more and BP does not offer it , AT ALL .
I enjoy the posts in the contest and will miss seeing them regularly and all the GREAT FOLKS I've gotten to know .
Will Post my Last Shot April 6th

Send me your e-mails to
badbackjack@optonline.net Thats my NY & Tear round contact address.

NOT A SATISFIED BP MEMBER FROM DAY ONE
YOU PEOPLE ARE WHAT KEPT ME AROUND

HEALTH & HAPPINESS
Jack

3/18/2013 3:54:48 AM

  We will all be sad to see you go, Jack, but I fear that many of us are not far behind if BP continues on this destructive track. I have copied your info and will hope to check in from time to time to hopefully view your creations wherever they may be on the www.

3/18/2013 4:11:25 AM

  So sorry Jack that you are leaving, but understandable. I afraid many of us paying members feel the same way. Not sure how that will work for BP with nonpaying members only.

3/18/2013 5:05:17 AM

  We never had to pay for entering the contest when I first joined..and you could win a gallery with a second place finish in the contest. I can't recall what the galleries went for back then, since I never had to pay for one..We only had maybe 4000 entries in a month, so it was easy to build up some wins. I don't know how they are doing it now. I did buy a deluxe website after a couple of years, but still have gallery years built up for a few more years. Change is good sometimes, sometimes not so good. I'll probably still be here until they carry me away, even if the finalists are considerably fewer these days, the competition is for the most part, way better, even though we had some great photographers around in the early days, who have drifted off to other sites or instructor positions elsewhere. I have made some great friends here, and I value them highly.

3/18/2013 5:21:03 AM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  I'm a newer member - just under a year and I've been very happy with BP. I've found the courses to be tremendously helpful and fun, the people and threads are great and I enjoy seeing everyone's work. I've had great response from customer service at BP whenever I've had question or needed something. So I'm here to stay. Just purchased the deluxe website which for me is a delight. Just thought I'd offer some positive to add to Carolyn's comments.

Thanks to everyone on this thread that takes the time to keep me posted and who comment on my photos. You're the best. As to BP changes - I'm just going to roll with the punches and adjust.

3/18/2013 6:12:05 AM

Jack Gaskin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/2/2007
  Hey FOLKS

I knew a few of my BP friends were unhappy w/the site but this sounds like a REVOLT in the making.
When I get back to NY I will go w/Zenfoloio, was going to do it last year and then gave Smug Mug a shot. Loved the Hi Def displays but it was less than user friendly and again I wanted just a little something more. I'm pretty certain this new one will give it all to me and at only $10 more a year.

As for the contest THEY SHOULD READ THERE OWN GUIDE LINES and make selections based on those.

The reason you see less E-picks is it consumes time to select them and thats people hours not bringing in money. Have heard lots of suggestions from BP Friends on was to change the entire thing. Including doing away w/the CONTEST TAG. BP's just not interested. In the end they will find themselves suffering for being penny wise & dollar foolish..




3/18/2013 6:14:47 AM

  WOW, what a read.... took me more than an hour...before breakfast at that.
My first thought: have all of these people written to BP? or just posted on here in hopes BP would read the discussion?
Next, since I joined BP, I made the Gold once, 2nd once I think...and many EFP's. What has kept me here vs going elsewhere? The EFP's ofcourse...as I thought they were the first step to the Gold...ha. But I do like the members, where we have joined in as friends. We help each other get thru some days that we didn't think we would get thru. We teach other without the high cost of BP's classes. Many of us just do well to own a computer, and a camera. BP is well known for it's unannounced changes. AND it was my idea that they do not KNOW whose picture they are judging... seems not to be entirely true? or is it? Some say that if you pour money into this site, and are a professional..you get into the gold. Well there aren't enough spots for that! and I sure am not a professional nor backed by finances to support BP.
However, I have remained supportive of this site, and nice flowing group of fellow photographers.
I wrote BP, but have not heard from them as yet. I JUST signed up for another year, basic, no special deals, and the change hit.
Yesterday, I went out and shot with a new lens...now do I wish I hadn't purchased it? I don't know! I love taking photos, I enjoy what I do...
will I stay here...atleast until my next dues..in a year...then I will decide again.
Thank you all fellow members for all the supportive moments here on BP. It is a pleasure to be one of you, and remain one of you for now!
And thank you for all of your comments...
Enjoy your photography today! 8o)

3/18/2013 6:22:17 AM

  I have not been shooting nor posting many images on BP for sometime, so really did not know about the EP numbers declining. I did realize though that even in mid-February, I had a couple images that did not receive EPs that I thought would/should. I thought it was because they were picking contest winners for January and that later they would catch up. The car entry http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/big.asp?photoID=13723522 was not as surprising as it does not have as much color (because I wanted it to have an "old" feel to it) and I guess they might look at it as poor post-processing not knowing I purposely did it that way, but I was really surprised not to receive one for my hawk. I have heard others previously discuss that whomever looks at the images as they first come in may only look at thumbnails and seems that darker color images are sometimes passed by. My hawk would be hard to really see if viewed as a thumbnail.

As far as the changes to BP, I have been a member since late 2005, or maybe it was early 2006. There used to be no EPs as others have stated. I have never been really fond of them because I thought there were too many given out. It was never even made clear (that I am aware of) who gave the EPs. So I never knew if it was a person (such as secretary) or a judge that glanced through thumbnails and stuck an EP on them and sent them into a pile to be further evaluated. If that is the case, then once it was in the pool to be looked at more closely, my image may have been enlarged and at that point cast out. So my point is that even when I received an EP, I didn't know if that image ever made it into rounds that took it closer to a finalist. This made it kind of useless to me. I would have rather seen them given out in a later stage of the competition, like maybe in a pool narrowed down to where the next stage was the finalists. Of course, for it to be beneficial to one as a possible learning tool, you would have to be informed of in which round the EP was given. I think it would help me more to know an image made it to the last round before finalists were handed out; then I would know I was close but just didn't quite make it. I could then study the finalists and compare mine to those and see if I saw things that I could improve on. But if the EPs are given at the beginning when they are first entered in the contest, possibly not opened and are just looked at as thumbnails, given freely to some images that I would figure would never make it farther, then I have no point of reference to compare my photos. The only reason that EPs have mattered to me is that I knew if I did not have one, that photo was not in the running for a finalist. I am definitely not sure why the hawk would not be in the running at all, even if it never received a finalist. My other image of the hawk http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/big.asp?photoID=13625779 received an EP in December, and it is almost identical to the one posted in Feb. so something has changed. As far as non-members being allowed in the contest, it used to be that you could have a free gallery for 30 images...maybe you could have a 100 in it but only 30 displayed. I remember I had a hard time deciding which of mine to display so quickly went from free to paid. I believe a free gallery for very few images would attract new people, bring in new talent for the contest and probably increase memberships after the free gallery photo slots were used up. Maybe it should be limited to 10-15 images displayed which should make someone upgrade quickly if they wanted people to see their work and if they wanted to display EP and finalist photos.
The biggest complaint I have is that the contest has always been a mystery as others have stated. No mention of who the judges are, no guidelines that I have seen on other sites such as how your image is judged (i.e. 50% composition, 25% originality, etc), no clear criteria of what an EP means and in what stage of the competition you receive it. And the people at BP never address the concerns of their members when questions such as these are asked. Great customer service goes a long way in keeping members happy and keeping them as members. My gallery is up for renewal in July and at this point, I am not sure if I am staying or leaving.

3/18/2013 6:30:01 AM

  I also just bought another year for my website. Just the idea of trying to tell everyone that I no longer have it was more than enough reason to renew. I get stuff published here in Oklahoma quite a bit, and they know to go pick stuff from my website. I have never taken a course, can't even begin to afford it, but manage to scrape enough together to keep the website going when they have 2 for one or half price sales. At full price, I probably couldn't afford it.

3/18/2013 6:33:52 AM

  This summer when BP offered the two for one basic gallery...I missed it due to being in the hospital and recovery from surgery. I missed seeing it by one day, wrote BP, and nope would not give me a break....I even offered to send the copy of my stay to them for proof...lol. But I joined anyway. I have always enjoyed BP even though I wasn't a top winner... never expected to be one anyway. But the boost that EFP's give me, have kept me here. Only because I thought the EFP means that the photo awarded the button means it is in the group to be rejudged for a finalist. I am a novice photographer, and a beginner with a small camera when I joined BP... I am learning something everyday, but looking and studying everyone's photos...
Also, this is an easy flowing site..unlike some of the others I joined and left.
Again...enjoy your photography talent today and everyday..no matter what. At least BP is a place to show and tell our photos with the bonus of meeting nice fellow photographers willing to share. THANK YOU members!

3/18/2013 6:41:14 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Just for the newer members... I can definitely say that pouring money into BP (ie, taking tons of classes, or buying a Pro Portfolio website/gallery) doesn't influence your contest chances. I'm not a pro photographer, I've never bought the "Pro" website here, and have taken just 1 (quite helpful) BP class in 7 years, yet I feel I've done pretty well in the contest (including many wins well before that purchased class, in case anyone thinks my 1 class purchase tipped the scales in my favor ;)

To Nancy & Marcy's point, I too think the biggest "perk" of BP is the supportive community. I've lost count of how many online (and in-person) friends I've made here. The membership is by and large, completely friendly and helpful and very supportive.

The Contest has been through countless periods of change... No EP's existed, then they did. EP's have been given out to nearly every entry at times (many members can claim a month of 31 EP's) and they've also been tighter at times. Finalists have historically averaged 4-6% of all entries, with spikes to 9%, and then for some months, they dipped alarmingly by comparison, to just barely 1% of entries (resulting in a huge outcry and threats of open revolt, then, too ;)

If you're a person who finds contest participation isn't fun, based on the *actual outcome* of a contest (ie, here at BP, the winning rounds of Finalists + Winners) then you probably shouldn't be entering contests in general, in my opinion. A much thicker skin is required in the long run, for all aspects of sharing your photography publicly.

As you've probably gleaned from my other posts, I don't believe the EP's involve actual "critical eye" imagery evaluation at all... I believe that only starts to happen somewhere around Finalist selection, and definitely at Winners selection. And given the long-standing silent mysteries of the BP contest's inner workings, the changes in staff of just who may be doing (or how they do) the initial EP review, there's no point (in my opinion!) in taking the EP stage personally, or really, meaningfully. For me, a skipped EP simply offers a moment of pause to consider whether you believe in the image strongly enough for resubmitting it later.

3/18/2013 6:55:33 AM

  Points well taken Christopher. I also took only 1 course during my time here on BP...regarding how to use my camera, new, at the time. I enjoy the EFP's, but I also have been here when there were very few... took me a year to get my first one after joining. I can take them or leave them, but will admit I have gotten used to EFP's. AND it does appear that finalists or Winners, do come from the EFP group, or am I imagining that point? All in all, I still enjoy BP more than any other site I have been on... 8o)
It has it's ups and downs, new rules, old rules, etc... but here I am.
8o)

3/18/2013 7:04:49 AM

  Just another thought, after reading Christoper's posting...

Having no EP level takes me back to Digital Image Cafe. You either won or you didn't. You had no idea if your work didn't live up to "good photography" or was just up against amazing competition. The "All or Nothing" results of the entries left me floundering, to tell the truth.

It's doubtful that my work will ever make the inner circle of "The Greats", so I enjoy seeing an EP on some images each month. Is my bar set too low? Who knows. But, I do know that going from maybe 50-90% of receiving EPs to none makes me feel like I'm back at DIC and floundering again.

Do I want an EP because it's a numbers game? No. I want an EP because there WAS something admirable about my entry.

3/18/2013 7:39:40 AM

  OMG, don't go bothering Kerry. I'm betting somebody has seen or surely will see this thread today. They may put a message on so you know you are being heard..

3/18/2013 8:38:00 AM

  Hello fellow BP members. For me Better Photo is a place to display some of my pictures and enjoy interaction with other photographers. I’ve gone 8 to 10 months without entering the contest and when I do enter I’ll submit fewer than 5 images a month. So my viewpoint may differ from many of yours.

With or without the contest I believe that Better Photo has good photo hosting options and navigation is excellent. But BP’s best features are clubs, this forum and the rapport between photographers. The feedback and comments on individual photos is great here on BP.

I also have a Zenfolio account because I can have private folders there. I use that website as a means to share photos (in locked folders) from local and family events. But threads on the Zen forum are confusing to navigate and there is no comradeship between gallery owners. I use Zenfolio for my serious photography but I come here for contentment.

3/18/2013 8:44:37 AM

  Hi folks,
I'm in the "more is not necessarily better" camp. I think not getting them makes us all take a second look and think about what, if anything, can be improved.

That being said, BP is *not* the end-all in photographic judgment. Before and now, sometimes photos of others (and mine of course) that I loved were skipped over for the EP badge. *Please* don't hide these images from your galleries. I for one learn and am inspired by many, many of images on this site, EP or not.

3/18/2013 8:44:53 AM

 
 
BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest SECOND PLACE Winner
 
Annie & Friends
Annie & Friends
 
 
Well said Martha. Photography is an art and art is subjective. I encourage each photographer to be your own judge of your work. If you really like an image don’t let lack of second person approval diminish your enjoyment.

I have seen nearly identical images recognized differently. It just depends upon the month and the other competition. When you look through the contest entries I’m sure that at sometime all of you have questioned why one photo is recognized while an equally worthy photo is passed over. And, if you’re like me you’ve scratched your head in dismay wondering how certain photos made it to the Finalist stage.

The first I entered this photo I did not even get an EP so I entered it the next month and got an EP. On a whim I entered it one more time and made gold that month. Same photo, no adjustments, same category.

3/18/2013 9:04:05 AM

  What is disconcerting is not knowing whether the picks are random or not. I am happy not to receive an EP if the image is not found worthy by whoever is doing the picking, but if the picking is random, there is no worthiness to an EP at all...rather not have them.

I have been away for awhile...wouldn't you know that when I am finally ready (almost) to start shooting again that EP's will be far and few between...LOL. Oh well. Again, my only issue is with the randomness (or not?) of the picking.

3/18/2013 9:55:42 AM

  Regardless of how we feel about EP's it is the first step, without them it goes no farther. It is the all of a sudden random picking and no explanation that bothers me. If they have changed the rules for EP's and categories for submission, we should have been told. It;s like playing a game and you have no idea what the rules are. That being said I have looked at some of the submissions and some very good photos are being passed and I am not including mine.

3/18/2013 10:17:59 AM

  ...another thought:
Perhaps while BP is under reconstruction, the EP's have been put aside to allow for the time it takes to reconstruct...
However, it has always been in the past, as Patricia says above, the beginning to the winners path.
Only time will see, and guess we just have to be patient to find out how the newly constructed BP becomes!

3/18/2013 10:21:49 AM

  http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/photography-contest-FAQ.asp

Try this link for the EFP definitions per BP! interesting

3/18/2013 10:24:05 AM

  I wasn't going to, but I have to jump on this bandwaggon! (Not sure that is spelled correctly). I started reading through this thread last night when I got curious as to why I haven't received an EP since March 10 and realized I was in good company. Like Alex mentioned, a few of my images get skipped once in awhile also - but not 3 in a row. I don't upload every day and when I do, I enter nothing less than what I would consider Finalist potential. I never just 'throw in an image and see what happens.' Though mysteriously I've seen that work.

As a result I agree with Ireen's observation, " When you look through the contest entries I’m sure that at sometime all of you have questioned why one photo is recognized while an equally worthy photo is passed over. And, if you’re like me you’ve scratched your head in dismay wondering how certain photos made it to the Finalist stage."

I'll go a step further and say that some of the winners suprise me too. I say this not to denegrade anyone (see below) - but because I will see, month after month, finalists that really should have been named winners while lesser images go on and recieve a gold. I don't put much energy into it - just observe, shake my head and move on. Without concise entry qualifications and guidelines we have to take ALL of BP's decisions with a grain of salt. In reference to the above comment about winners and finalists, I'd like to add that I love winning but I consistently look at my OWN wins in comparison to the finalsits that didn't make it. I've see images that were better than mine remain at the finalist level.

OK - I just vented something that I've wanted to for a long time!

All that said, my initial reaction to the delay in EP's at the first of the month was that the staff were all on spring break. (!) Missing staff occurs from time to time and when they start back, images get skipped. Personally I find this disrespectful. Unless I read this feed too fast, I don't think I've heard anyone say that word, "disrespectful."

It is disrespestful to treat LOYAL PAYING customers in the fashion with which we have been treated on several fronts - Not just lack of EP's. No explanation is just icing on the disrepectful 'cake.'

I noted others say that they renewed their galleries right before a half off offer only to be ignored when they 'respectfully' requested an adjustment.

Yes, BP is a business; BP and Jim Moike are one and the same. The lack of respect and consideratioin for the people who keep him in business is a disgrace for which Jim should feel ashamed. I can't think of any business I've dealt with that doesn't take ownership and pride in its customer service, gladly adjusting an invoice if need be. In this financially difficult time, I'm surprised any wise business person would do business the way Jim Moike is doing business now.

Free galleries are just a way to get people hooked on the contest. Once hooked, they buy a gallery. More (future) money in Jim's pocket. I don't have a problem with that - that's just doing business and Jim has every right to run a business and make a profit. My issue is that he is doing so at his present customer's expense. This makes it look like either Jim doesn't care or he isn't aware of what his business is becoming. I'm not assuming either - maybe he's been ill or has had a family crisis and his business isn't a priority at the moment - though from all the surveys, emails and talk of change I doubt that is the case.

I don't think the lack of EP's this month reflects anything about the quality of our images or that anyone at BP looking at them with a more discerning eye. Just the opposite. I think its highly possible that Jim as a businessman has made cuts to his staff and those cuts mean fewer people looking at images. Even with entries down, 10,000 images is still a large number of entries to process. My problem with that is that an EP identifies an image that is moving on in the contest. To see so many beautiful images passed over and 'dead' this month is truly saddening.

I may never win another award here if Jim is reading this, (!) but what we are saying needs to be heard. And JIM, needs to hear it.

Let's not forget that we have ownership here as well (excuse the pun!) We have free will to not renew our galleries and leave if we aren't getting the product/service we want, need or expect from BP. Action will get Jim's attention faster than complaints. I'm going to hold judgement for the time being.

3/18/2013 5:47:54 PM

  I wasn't going to, but I have to jump on this bandwaggon! (Not sure that is spelled correctly). I started reading through this thread last night when I got curious as to why I haven't received an EP since March 10 and realized I was in good company. Like Alex mentioned, a few of my images get skipped once in awhile also - but not 3 in a row. I don't upload every day and when I do, I enter nothing less than what I would consider Finalist potential. I never just 'throw in an image and see what happens.' Though mysteriously I've seen that work.

As a result I agree with Ireen's observation, " When you look through the contest entries I’m sure that at sometime all of you have questioned why one photo is recognized while an equally worthy photo is passed over. And, if you’re like me you’ve scratched your head in dismay wondering how certain photos made it to the Finalist stage."

I'll go a step further and say that some of the winners suprise me too. I say this not to denegrade anyone (see below) - but because I will see, month after month, finalists that really should have been named winners while lesser images go on and recieve a gold. I don't put much energy into it - just observe, shake my head and move on. Without concise entry qualifications and guidelines we have to take ALL of BP's decisions with a grain of salt. In reference to the above comment about winners and finalists, I'd like to add that I love winning but I consistently look at my OWN wins in comparison to the finalsits that didn't make it. I've see images that were better than mine remain at the finalist level.

OK - I just vented something that I've wanted to for a long time!

All that said, my initial reaction to the delay in EP's at the first of the month was that the staff were all on spring break. (!) Missing staff occurs from time to time and when they start back, images get skipped. Personally I find this disrespectful. Unless I read this feed too fast, I don't think I've heard anyone say that word, "disrespectful."

It is disrespestful to treat LOYAL PAYING customers in the fashion with which we have been treated on several fronts - Not just lack of EP's. No explanation is just icing on the disrepectful 'cake.'

I noted others say that they renewed their galleries right before a half off offer only to be ignored when they 'respectfully' requested an adjustment.

Yes, BP is a business; BP and Jim Moike are one and the same. The lack of respect and consideratioin for the people who keep him in business is a disgrace for which Jim should feel ashamed. I can't think of any business I've dealt with that doesn't take ownership and pride in its customer service, gladly adjusting an invoice if need be. In this financially difficult time, I'm surprised any wise business person would do business the way Jim Moike is doing business now.

Free galleries are just a way to get people hooked on the contest. Once hooked, they buy a gallery. More (future) money in Jim's pocket. I don't have a problem with that - that's just doing business and Jim has every right to run a business and make a profit. My issue is that he is doing so at his present customer's expense. This makes it look like either Jim doesn't care or he isn't aware of what his business is becoming. I'm not assuming either - maybe he's been ill or has had a family crisis and his business isn't a priority at the moment - though from all the surveys, emails and talk of change I doubt that is the case.

I don't think the lack of EP's this month reflects anything about the quality of our images or that anyone at BP looking at them with a more discerning eye. Just the opposite. I think its highly possible that Jim as a businessman has made cuts to his staff and those cuts mean fewer people looking at images. Even with entries down, 10,000 images is still a large number of entries to process. My problem with that is that an EP identifies an image that is moving on in the contest. To see so many beautiful images passed over and 'dead' this month is truly saddening.

I may never win another award here if Jim is reading this, (!) but what we are saying needs to be heard. And JIM, needs to hear it.

Let's not forget that we have ownership here as well (excuse the pun!) We have free will to not renew our galleries and leave if we aren't getting the product/service we want, need or expect from BP. Action will get Jim's attention faster than complaints. I'm going to hold judgement for the time being.

3/18/2013 5:48:22 PM

  Please excuse the double entry - my bad!

3/18/2013 5:55:31 PM

Brian M. Jones
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/28/2012
  Very well said Cindy... I really hope Jim sees this..Jim Moike should really take action here before he pisses off even more people and loses the site all together.. We are the paying customers and keeping people happy should be his number one priority... I applaud Cindy and everyone else here for voicing there frustration.. Way to many great photographers getting passed over this month.. Something has got to give here.

Try getting an answer from customer service.. Oh wait, you won't

3/18/2013 6:29:22 PM

  WELL, BP wrote me back...
and this is the ONLY answer I received...

From: betterpholio.support@gmail.com [mailto:betterpholio.support@gmail.com] On Behalf Of BetterPhoto BetterPholio Support
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2013 3:40 PM
To: Nancyj Hovey
Subject: Re: BetterPhoto Message from Nancyj Hovey: DLX_SLS-318201354556

Hello Nancy,

The rumors are untrue - we are still awarding Editor's Picks in the contest.


Thank you and Happy Shooting!
TeamBetterPhoto
betterpholio.support@betterphoto.com
BetterPhoto.com, Inc. ®
The Better Way to Make Better Photos

3/18/2013 6:39:30 PM

  Ok, let me just say that everyone has a right to their opinion and they can voice it if they want too, but let's all remember that this is a free contest, and they do have the right to change it. Yes, I like getting EP's, yes, I was frustrated at first when they changed the EP selection this month. Yes, I think any business should listen to their paying customers, but let's not let our frustration get out of hand. I do have to say for my part, when I had an issue with my gallery they were responsive to me and helped me. When I had a question about the change in EP's they answered my question. For my part I have decided to turn off my EP badges on my gallery, and just enjoy my gallery again. I like seeing all your photos and I have a great group of friends here, I'm going to choose to be satisfied with that.

3/18/2013 6:44:33 PM

  Nancyj, I'm not sure what your letter said but it can't have said anything that would have warranted such a thoroughly insulting response as that.

First, who is talking about *rumors*? Every person here is talking about direct, quantifiable results and their experience of them.

Second, not a single person here has expressed a fear (or started a rumor) about EPs having ceased.

The only way that answer isn't glib and disrespectful of these concerns is if someone asked, "I've heard a rumor EPs aren't being awarded anymore."

3/18/2013 6:56:39 PM

  Susan - yes, when I first heard about the EP's it was a rumor thru email...after I sent the note off to BP questioning it, I was sent another email to see the discussion....
Hope I've cleared up the question you are asking????

3/18/2013 7:01:46 PM

  And before I read that response, I was going to comment somewhat along the lines of what Carol pointed out but I have to nitpick one thing - a contest isn't free when you have to purchase a gallery in order to enter. Although, I guess that is changing now too? Anyone know what the guidelines are for free galleries? Or can you enter the contest now and just not have a gallery unless you pay? Can't recall seeing any of those details, either :/

3/18/2013 7:09:06 PM

  My bad. I did consider that BP wasn't replying to this thread but then thought that it can't be that many people writing them about rumors! Oops. Well, I'd re-write that entry if I could but too late - so nevermind - it's not an insulting reply if they were responding to a question about a rumor. Sorry for the confusion.

3/18/2013 7:22:47 PM

Brian M. Jones
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/28/2012
  Well if there is not going to be any more Editor Picks from now on then BetterPhoto needs to "Communicate" this to their "Paying" customers, not create a mutiny..

3/18/2013 7:23:33 PM

Jack Gaskin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/2/2007
  Hello Again Folks
Wanted to clear a couple of things up that maybe some people misunderstood or assumed.

I'm not renewing my membership because I'm looking for MORE from a site for the Money I Pay !!
1 unlimited uploads to my galleries
2 HI def Displays
3 User Friendly w/Response to questions
4 the ability to sell if I desire
5 Easily shared w/non members
All this without paying an arm & a leg !! BP does not offer this.
Hey I ENJOY looking at ALL THE POST from so many of you who I consider friends. I know more about a few BPer's who I've never met in person than I do some long time friends.
Most of all I'm not leaving over Editors Picks Finalist selections nothing so trivial. For those who know me over the last few years and from a good many of my post. I NEVER TAKE MY PHOTOGRAPHY TO SERIOUSLY NOR do I PRETEND TO BE A SEMI PRO.
I SHOOT WHAT I LIKE POST WHAT I ENJOY AND HOPE TO GET A LAUGH OUT OF MY FRIENDS EVERY SO OFTEN. Note camera on head shot !!!! ;o)

The thing is my brother left for the same reasons last year and he had their top site and was SERIOUS ABOUT HIS SHOOTING & EDITING .
SO not looking to cause a WHOLE SALE MUTANY but the question is are you getting what you pay for in comparison to what else is available ..
I found myself saying a BIG NO !!!!

BP is all about sales and sucking you into buy & buy more. Hell I purchased their Guide to Digital Photography before joining the site. Since I have purchased nothing. If you can read a book your pretty much OK with Digital & the ability to Process post capture.
Do 22 BP courses make you that much better a Photographer I THINK NOT do 2 or 3 Perhaps
If you can afford it and enjoy it GOOD FOR YOU.

Last post April 6th would like the emails of those I comment on regularly. I'm also finding I'm doing Face Book more often. So Friend me if thats your thing.
WISHING EVERYONE HAPPY SHOOTING

Jack

3/18/2013 8:20:05 PM

  Hi Jack and all,

I think you have definitely provided many of us with a good laugh!

I also post on another site (not in contests) and Facebook. I think I am at the point in life where I really want to enjoy my photography. I think anyone would feel happy to win a contest but I don't think it has to define the worth of your images. That is why I turned the EP badges off. If I have an image I had fun creating and want to share it, and a few days later see that it didn't get an EP, I don't want to suddenly think that it's no good. If it conveys the idea I had in mind, in a sense no-one else can really say it's right or wrong or good or bad. But, when you enter a contest, there has to be a judging criteria too. Anyway, right now I can't imagine not tuning in to BP with my cup of coffee in the morning. I truly enjoy the people I have met on this site. Have fun everyone!

3/18/2013 10:06:25 PM

  Sorry to hear that, Jack, you will be missed......

About the state of affairs@BP ....I was wondering......though the introduction of the nonpaying members into the contest is a new concept but we have had such months before when there was a long dry period of no EP and in the restoration attempt many worthy images were skipped or missed ......it will be a bigger concern, to me though if this trend repeats in the coming months ....I am still hoping that this was/has been one bad month for BP and its staff and they will be able to put their house in order ......i also looked at the total no. of entries in the contest and it stands as 5499, so whatever is the problem it is less likely to be due to the contest volume increase from the nonpaying members if they have started entering into in already.....looking forward to better days!

3/18/2013 10:30:25 PM

  I wouldn't leave BP due to the lack of EPs, tho it doesn't sound like they are eliminating them. Nor if it is tougher to get them. I also wouldn't take down an image because it didn't get one unless I was dissatisfied or reworking it. I went and read contest guidelines after reading categories again. To say an image is good or not (for an EP) does involve a subjective element also. An image could be great technically but be seen as a boring subject or presentation to some. Seems like it is the randomness and lack of communication that bothers most here.

For me, learning has always been a big factor. With getting EPs on almost all images, the learning stage occured mostly at Finalists. Looking at it now, seems the learning stage will occur more often. Just one way to look at this change?

3/19/2013 4:11:17 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
  I've had an image skipped in the past, only to get an EP a few days later. Could it be that their most generous EP-giver has just been out on vacation? And all this moaning and groaning would have been for nothing. :)

3/19/2013 5:39:04 AM

  I don't think so, Pat..There have been EPs after the long skips.

3/19/2013 5:52:10 AM

Brian M. Jones
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/28/2012
  No Pat if you look you will see that they have skipped days giving out EP. Meaning everyone knows that BP sometimes will go 6 or 7 days without giving an EP, but to give out a EP for 4 days, then skip 4 days then give out another 4 days..etc

It is not the lack of an EP that bothers people on here, it is the fact that without the EP, a persons image has NO chance of going onto the next round. That is what is upsetting..

Also the fact that BetterPhoto has done a horrendous job of communicating and letting there members know what is going on.. try emailing them, and they NEVER get back to you.. That is VERY BAD for business..

Without communication, there will be chaos and Mutiny..

3/19/2013 5:55:24 AM

  I agree with Susan. A skipped EP means feedback *this* month, rather than towards the end of next month when Finalists are selected. I find this much more helpful than generous -- and perhaps misleading -- validation at the earliest stage of the contest.

3/19/2013 7:41:41 AM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Brian, ref your comment about BP skipping four days in a row.

I checked N/L for each day and found EPs for every single day up thru the 17th. So, they are doing EPs for each day, at least for N/L. But they are choosing very little. In fairness, I didn't go thru all the other categories to see if any had been skipped for the entire day. I picked N/L because there's a good number of entries to skim thru.

3/19/2013 7:55:28 AM

  Well now, it only took 18 days but I finally got an EP.

Animals:
March 18 – Strolling Along

3/19/2013 9:09:13 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
 
 
 
I got my first EP this month!

3/19/2013 10:36:24 AM

  still waiting LOL. and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting

3/19/2013 1:59:30 PM

  Me, too..nothing yet after the 13th.

3/19/2013 2:06:56 PM

  Since the 11th here.

3/19/2013 2:09:35 PM

  I'm not leaving due to any change in the EFP's; I personally enjoy change as it presents a different perspective on things whether here or out in the real world.

Someone used the word respect along the way in this thread. BP got the money for my renewal a day or two before announcing a 2 years for the price of 1 sale. I could not get anyone to even answer the 2 emails I sent asking for a break and extending my membership for a second year as a 6 year paying member.

If I had received a reply back explaining why they could not honor my request I wouldn't be happy but at least I could say I had been acknowledged and then decide what I want to do when my one year is up.

Instead, the message I hear from Jim and BP is that my business is not important to them and that is why I won't be renewing. I'll start looking for another spot to hang out and learn from and give them the opportunity to keep my business.

3/19/2013 2:12:30 PM

  Another thought - Jim says he wants to open the contest to non-members in order to have more entries, resulting in more diversity among the winning photographers. (Among other things on his agenda...) If he wants more subject matter to choose from at the final stage, why is he allowing excellent images to be passed over now? That makes absolutely NO sense and is only going to result in a much smaller pool of images to select from. The inconsistency here doesn't add up.
Anybody else scratching their heads?

Still no more EP's for me. The 18th was my last entry and they are currently handing them out for that day. I mentioned in an earlier post that actions will get Jim's attention faster than this feed. In addition to letting galleries expire, another active response we could take is to stop entering the contest this month since more, not fewer entries is what Jim wants. He's not giving you what you want? - Don't give him what he wants. If I don't recieve an EP for my latest entry, refraining from entering any additional images this month is the action I'm going to take. Just a thought.

Low entries (as well as a small number of EP's) is going to definitely cheapen the value of a winning image this month. How many of you are going to consider a gold win this month an achievement knowing the images stood up to less than the best?

Question, how many of you would have chosen to pay for a gallery here without the contest? What hooked you? If BP for some reason canceled the contest how many people would CONTINUE to pay for a gallery? Just curious as to what motivates everyone. Knowing your own answer will tell you what you should do this month and in the future.

You can always post and enjoy your photography without entering the contest -- unless the contest is the primary reason you have a gallery here. This is true for me - I have another gallery, but I find the contest fun and enjoy talking with other photographers about their images. Those are 2 of the reasons I enjoy this site. However as Jack mentioned BP is extremely deficient in what it offers compared to other sites - especially the lack of the ability to sell images. Jim wouldn't want to do that because its expensive and takes more work. He's too busy making money selling galleries and classes on this site!

Oh - tooooo funny: just got an email from BP titled, "Did you miss it?" Guess so...

Ken, where can we find all entries and EP's in each category?

Also, Pat H - I didn't think we were allowed to enter the same image twice in one month. Anybody else had success doing that?

3/19/2013 5:00:56 PM

 
 
 
EPs for March 15th and 16th skipped.

3/19/2013 6:46:29 PM

 
 
  Purple Pow
Purple Pow
Chrysanthemum kit by window light. F7.1, 1/60, 18-55mm VR Nikkor @50mm, +7 close up lens, iso100.

Flowers: March 17, 2013

 
 
EPs for March 15th and 16th skipped.

3/19/2013 6:47:07 PM

 
 
  Three for Tea
Three for Tea
F11, 1/60, 18-55mm vr Nikkor @44mm, iso200, natural light and bounce flash.

Flowers: March 18, 2013

 
 
oops, both pics were supposed to have posted together. This is the one for the 18th:

3/19/2013 6:48:42 PM

Tammy Espino
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/29/2007
  I agree with everything Cindy said. Three weeks and only one Ep. The quality of picks is down and I am for one not a happy camper.

3/19/2013 7:02:37 PM

Brian M. Jones
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/28/2012
  I agree with Cindy too and Tammy. Bottom line is Jim and BetterPhoto are ignoring us and not giving us any answers..

Infuriating paying customers is not the proper way to do business. Not telling us what is going on is only pissing more people off.. Bottom line is that, without an Editor pick there will be NO CHANCE for an image to move onto the next round.. So does that mean there will only be 50 Finalist Picks per month instead of 600? We will never know because BetterPhoto is as usual turning a blind eye on this issue.

I agree with Cindy too when she asks if we would pay for this site without the contest.. Me for one would not..

Bottom line: Jim is like the fat cats in Washington stuffing there wallets with money and forgetting the people that made his business successful.. But just like the people in Washington, we are the little people and they now forget all about us..

I for one will NOT be giving Jim any more of my money and will be moving on. We all should ask for a refund as we are not satisfied with Jim and his ignorance.

3/19/2013 7:43:47 PM

  So I decided I would go and look at all the entries in the contest so far in one category - flowers. I am nowhere near done looking at all of them but I have one immediate impression: relief that they are no longer giving EPs for obviously poor images. I used to see these and think wow, it's really nothing special that one of mine got an EP if this one did. I would wonder if the judging criteria was that if an image had even one redeeming quality, it would get an EP. But I don't know that for sure.

Because I had gone and read the guidelines again recently (http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/guidelines.asp) I started looking at this month's entries with the hypothesis that BP was now going to follow this criteria with regard to awarding EPs. So I looked at the pics with that in mind and could pretty much guess which would and wouldn't have an EP badge once I scrolled down (poor lighting, excessive noise, lack of focal point...) I am by no means a judge, expert or winning-est photographer on here. I'm not critiquing or giving advice so please don't shoot me. I'm also not talking about images from anyone here. I'm just saying I could see what they might be seeing if they have begun to step it up and follow these guidelines with regard to EPs. So I am looking at mine that didn't get an EP with that same critical eye :/

3/19/2013 8:29:23 PM

  I think it is OK if they are being more strict on their criteria and giving fewer EPs. I can leave with a more challenging context. What it is not OK is not responding to many of us who asked about the reasons behind the sudden decrease on EPs. For this they are loosing customers.

3/20/2013 2:47:09 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
  Cindy Bendush - I don't believe the same entry can be entered twice in a month. I guess nothing would prevent you from uploading a new copy, though. Since you called me out, I guess you are saying I did this? If so, I had no idea I did it. I'll go take a look - let me know which image, please. Again, if I did this, it was totally unintentional.

3/20/2013 4:49:31 AM

  I've never done this here before, but this portrait is so moving to me, that I don't want anyone to miss it (should it not receive an EP.) Hopefully, my format for implanting a link will work for someone else's image.

Nadine Lewis’ image of her Son-in-Law and Granddaughter…
March ? – A True Hero

3/20/2013 5:41:49 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Brian, I can't bring myself to join your repeated bandwagon calls for mutiny. Throughout the entire history of the BP contest (10+ years; I'm approaching 8 years of entry myself), 2 things have been constantly reliable:

1. BP doesn't explain the contest's inner workings, *ever*. (Why should they? It is their proprietary contest.) I say folks should save the exercise in frustration and stop asking for that.

2. Some portion of the membership is always unhappy with the contest workings and/or results. Always.

Before EP's ever existed, people complained about "not knowing why I didn't make Finalist."

Before EP's existed, people complained about "not knowing how my image is doing in the early elimination rounds."

This has never been a "feedback-provided" contest. You enter, you wait a month, you see what happens. That's pretty clearly explained in the contest FAQ.

After EP's came out, people complained that their EP-adorned images weren't advancing to Finalist. Start the mutiny. "Most of my images get EP, but I never win, so I'm leaving the unfair BP."

After EP's came out, people complained they were given too freely. Leave in disgust. "I'm a better photographer than X, yet they get too many EP's, so I'm leaving because BP is too lax."

After EP's came out, people complained they were being too stingy giving them out. (Same basic symptom really, as the original pre-EP "Why didn't I make Finalist?" by the way.) Stop entering the contest in a huff. Oh, yes, and we're in this exact stage again, now. Fewer EPs. In a contest that NEVER had EP's in the first place, remember...

The contest is a fun perk of membership. I would argue it makes no money for BP, and I suspect, possibly costs money for BP, to sift through hundreds of thousands of images a year. (Last I checked, we're approaching 2 million images submitted, in the time I've been a member.)

BP's business is selling website gallery space and classes; the contest is a tool to help drive customers to that business---it isn't the reason for the business. I've never once had any serious issues with my gallery spaces, nor have I been unable to resolve with BP Support, any minor issues or questions about my galleries. What I am paying for, I am satisfied with, given the added intangible benefit of the great community here. I don't pay for the contest, so if I win or get skipped, it remains a fun competition I enjoy throwing my hat into. As long as it remains fun for me, I'll enter. (If it isn't fun for someone... just plain fun... stop entering!)

Not everyone who enters the contest is a paying member. Not everyone who is a paying member, enters the contest. Once we decide to enter the contest, regardless of our membership level, we willingly give our images over to silent, unexplained, unknowable and absolute judgement, by strangers. This is an accepted condition of our entry. (So I find it especially fascinating to see the power and control that some members choose to assign to these granted-by-strangers judgments!) Nothing in the contest guidelines entitles any one of us to know why we win or why we are skipped, nor how our images are doing along the way. It really is that simple.

3/20/2013 5:50:14 AM

  I agree with most of what you said, in theory, but people's emotions take over and that breeds unrest.
Also, I doubt if many of us would be here at all, if not for the contest. They take courses and buy websites, etc, but usually the thing that initially attracted them was the contest, so I think it makes a LOT of money for Jim, through the back door, so to speak. If the contest wasn't here, neither would I be, and a lot of other people feel the same. I also think that even if all you said was true, and I think most of it is, people that do take the time to send an email should have the courtesy of a reply.

3/20/2013 6:06:19 AM

  Not receiving an EP is not what is bothering me about the whole thing, but the fact that if you don't receive an EP on an image, it does not move on in the contest. I have always thought an EP was picked by editors, not judges, and had to have many good qualities to move on (sharp, good composition, etc) so that eventually it was looked at by judges. However, I do think there were too many handed out and wouldn't mind them cracking down, or even if it went back to the way it was long ago... no EPs. But when we didn't have them, I assumed all images were looked at later by judges, and at that time, some were weeded out, then more until the finalists were left. When there were no EPs, the photos may have been picked out by editors and put in the "move on" or "don't move on" box, but at least I didn't know this so the contest was still exciting. Now if I have 10 entries and none have an EP, there is no excitement or anticipation, which really cuts down on my enjoyment of the contest. Hope that makes sense! And not receiving any info from anyone at BP when a big discussion like this happens is very frustrating. This has been a complaint as long as I have been a member. EPs, or lack thereof, will not be why I choose or not choose to stay here when my gallery comes up for renewal; I have not had time in awhile to consistently check out the new photos or the contest finalists/winners, nor even enter much anymore. But I will weigh the positive and negative, and my own ability to have time to enjoy the site when I make my decision.

3/20/2013 6:07:23 AM

  Well said, Chris. I had no intention of leaving, but your thoughts changed my perspective just a bit anyway - in a positive way, I think.

3/20/2013 6:30:15 AM

  I agree with Carolyn, how many of us would be here if not for the contest.? There are many places offering websites at lower prices and the courses are very expensive. Again, I have looked at a lot of the entries and a lot of really good photographs are being overlooked. EP's are the entry level to the contest and without one the photograph does not go to the next level. All judging is a matter of personal taste. What appeals to one person doesn't appeal to another. As far as no explanations, doesn't it make you wonder--why not.

3/20/2013 6:32:25 AM

  I am a former violinist sidelined by arthritis. In my active years, I competed in hundreds of contests, Juries and performances. We were "graded" individually, or by group in each of these by known judges, who had "judging criteria" sheets in front of them, where they wrote down a grade, consisting of I, II, or III, I being the most coveted, and could effect your future as a student, what university or music conservatory accepted you, or in the group category, whether or not the teacher would get a contract the next year.

We actually had the grading sheet in front of us that explained our praises and/or shortcomings. Still there were moans and groans from those who coveted, but did not get the highest number, consisting of "preferential treatment", " but I practiced so hard-I deserve a high score! And, this complaining happened even though you had the score sheet in front of you with written reasons and instructions about how to do better, signed by the adjudicator(s).

No matter what BP does, or does not do, there will always be groans and moans- it is human nature, and I know I have been guilty of the same. If you are disappointed with BP, you have choices. You can make them, or not.

3/20/2013 6:51:50 AM

  I agree completely about the customer service.

Chris, agreed! You've mentioned the context that many might not have considered. I just think that BP could have mentioned the stricter judging criteria. In that email about changes, they could have simply reminded everyone of the "How to submit a Winning Image" criteria and said they would be applying said criteria to the EFPs from here on out. They didn't have to reveal the inner workings. A heads up with encouragement in the spirit of challenging ourselves might have helped. Not everyone would have been happy about it (as is historically the case) but a lot of us would not have felt clueless and blindsided.

I agree with Carolyn and others about the importance of the contest for many of us as well as for BPs business. Without that this would be just another site where you can have a gallery (paid or not). The contest brings people to BP but I believe is also a catalyst for establishing that camaraderie that many of us cherish.

After all this reflection, I think this might be a good analogy for my personal thoughts on this change: in recent years (not in my day..lol) some schools or sports teams give every child a ribbon so they don't feel left out or too discouraged. If only the top three go to the next level of competing then others (10th place?), I guess, can say well at least I got this ribbon! I confess I have felt that way about the EPs, thinking well at least my image got an EP when in reality, it was nowhere near moving closer to the next level of competition. Using that analogy, 4th through 10th place does me no good if what I want is to go to state or nationals (in the running for Finalist). I might feel a little more discouraged without any ribbon, but I'm definitely going to look at what I'm doing and try harder.

Please know that I'm not knocking anyone here who'd prefer the other way. As Carol said, each person has to weigh their own ability to enjoy the contest and the site in making their decision.

3/20/2013 7:10:51 AM

  I still say it's the "all or nothing" that is really bothering most of us. "Something" gives me a base to judge my own work from. I don't compare my work to Karen's or Kathy's or Claudia's or Renee's, Leslie's, or Ken's, for instance. I try to compare mine to the other infrequent winner's to see what I may have missed about mine that needed improving. I use the Winner's images to teach me something about perfection (most of the time, anyway; some winners just flummox me. lollllllllll)

3/20/2013 7:26:39 AM

  When I became a member at BP, it was free. So many issues of the same were at that time, and have continued thru the years. What did come out is:
BP is a learning site, with classes. Classes are their primary concern. The contest was a plus. EP's on BP have been few and far between, and then to the point of too many. This new issue (again) is to draw more people to BP, as a site may be going down hill..."to have new people winning!" because too many of the same have been in the winners. Well, It really never changes, unless people leave, and new ones come. The EP's have been a token that tells the member that that picture has actually been looked at, confirmed good, or been missed and there is something wrong with it. That is how most of us view EP's if we are honest. It tells us that we are in the running and doing something right. However, all too often, photos will get EP's, Finalists, and Winners, that are not up to par or are outstanding! It hasn't changed even with changes. It is the way it is! I am not stating or picking on individuals so like said up above, don't shoot me...like the messangers. Each of us just needs to really consider what the EP means to us, to BP, and to the future of that individual image. With an EP attached, if one sells photos, it could mark the price up. To me, it just tells me for sure that the image was looked at, and met criteria in some way.
There was also at a time stated that if you don't have a button of some type under a photo, that BP would prefer it to be removed from galleries to give more space... with all galleries showing buttons, then it 'sells' the site more. So many points to ponder.
And as it has been from when I started on BP to now, and in the future... problems of EP's will come and go.
One point I will say, is the more EP's there are, the happier members are! That point BP should consider.

3/20/2013 9:21:21 AM

  I don't enter the contest daily or even monthly but the extreme reduction in EP awards does take the fun out of the contest. To know right off the bat that an image has no chance of being considered removes hopeful anticipation.

For a long time I've thought that EP's were given too freely and that photos recieving an EP badge should be more slective. But this month the judges/editors have gone too far. There are MANY quality photos that won't even be considered for Finalist.

I noticed a curious thing about EP's in at least one catagory. EP awards in entries to DD were more freely given at the begining of the month. The number is similar to previous months. Whatever happened to change the selection occured after March 3-4.

3/20/2013 12:38:48 PM

  I did a few resubmits this month, the first time they got EP and even got a second place, this month didnt even get a EP.
But you have to realize its just someones opionion. I have a couple of photographs that have won statewide awards and have never even gotten an EP on BP, but some of the placement pictures I have won on here have not gotten a second look at local competitions. So you just never know.

3/20/2013 1:14:43 PM

Jack Gaskin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/2/2007
  Folks Everyone has an opinion just like they something else , is it important hear NO not at all.

Selection on any level for some meaningless status symbol is not the issue most have w/BP .. It involves other points like customer response what you get or don't for your Buck . The fact that BP asks your opinion or to take a survey and that everything is in the form of a FORM LETTER STANDARD ALL PURPOSE RESPONSE.
I enjoy viewing the shots of a certain bunch of early day poster. I find them entertaining and at times inspirational. Sometimes I miss a post other times something just may not be my cup of tea.
The interaction between those in the CONTEST ( no real contest please ) is the ONLY REASON I have remained w/BP the last 2 years.
One of my "contest complaints " is that BP tells you specifically how to approach it & what to post in order to "DO WELL IN THE CONTEST " Then they ignore the very criteria they are supposed to use..
BOTTOM LINE IF YOU LIKE IT STAY !!!!!!!!
IF NOT WELL DO WHATEVER YOU WANT !!!!!!
Like I said earlier there are just several folks I know who have left are leaving or will be leaving shortly..
You would think Jim M. would have caught wind of this post by now a gotten his two cents worth in.
Then again DIRECT CONTACT IS FORBIDDEN IT SEEMS ;0)

3/20/2013 2:14:49 PM

  maybe this will help: Jim@betterphoto.com

However, I heard thru a grapevine that Jim is out delivering at seminars, and not at BP. Different path, even though he seems to own or have his name here.
Again, who knows.

And I agree, we stay if we enjoy the site, the members, classes, and/or contest, one or all, or just do.


3/20/2013 3:10:34 PM

  Actually, I heard from Jim yesterday regarding the class from which I'm withdrawing. Once he saw a specific email, he answered immediately. That doesn't mean he's in the office; just that he addressed my particular issue.

3/20/2013 3:47:53 PM

  Kathy did you get it resolved?

3/20/2013 4:01:51 PM

  I did, Tony. Thanks.

3/20/2013 4:03:46 PM

  Well said, Chris, I also share the same sentiments as yourself.

I love BP for not only generating my interest in photography but more so because through this forum I have "met" so many wonderful people for which I am very grateful.

I have also got only three EPs from the new entries that I submitted so far this month. And that does not take the joy of photography from me a bit. Actually, this has now made me look at my images more critically before entering. I am enjoying this roller coaster ride and for sure hanging on to it.

UB.


3/20/2013 4:13:38 PM

  Although I miss getting a EFP badge for a number of my entries, I can see why I didn't.
The judging is getting tougher and I'm just going to try that much harder to improve my work.
I still love BP and the people here and would hate to lose the contest because of personal attacks on the founder and the staff.
Chill out... it is just a contest... and that is my two cents worth!

3/20/2013 4:27:28 PM

Brian M. Jones
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/28/2012
  Just for the record Chris Budny, I am not trying to cause or start a Mutiny.. I am however calling out BP to tell the paying members when there are changes in the BetterPhoto contest.. You can't expect to people to just sit back and not do anything or not get answers.. We deserve answers and if Jim would take the time to answer them, then this would all go away.. I for one am not on any bandwagon, I am expressing my right to my opinion and facts that are before us..

3/20/2013 5:30:35 PM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  We'll probably have to just agree to disagree on this topic, Brian...
(And for the record, I've only paraphrased your repeated calls that we "ALL" should email Kerry at his personal address {I couldn't disagree more}, that we "ALL" should voice our frustration {not all of us feel frustration} and we "ALL" should ask for a refund... {not all of us would agree.} All those "ALL's" form a virtual bandwagon in my mind, and your two earlier references of "mutiny", well, suggested a notion of mutiny. ;) I have no problem with your expressing an opinion here, as I know you have no problem with me expressing mine. They're just different opinions.

I can and do expect folks simply to "sit back and not do anything," beyond enter the contest, wait a month, and see wether they *win* or not. I don't expect to hear, nor need to hear, any more explanation about the contest, any elimination rounds, any inner workings or evaluations, than what the Contest FAQ and Guidelines already say---they tell you absolutely everything you need to know, and everything BP plans to tell you, on the subject.

Pretty cut and dry, I think. You enter. You wait. You win or lose. Repeat the cycle.

Furthermore, to play devil's advocate with my own personal experience... in Dec, 96% of my 30 new entries made EP (you know I keep a spreadsheet on all these crazy stats! ;) This is not at all uncommon for me, nor for many other BP members. Yet I seldom receive more than 1 or 2 Finalists in a month. That's a LOT of eliminated entries; hence the EP tells me nothing, short of "you successfully uploaded about 30 contest entries"... ;) In Dec., I ended up snagging a single Finalist from those 30 EP's---the only results stage (Finalist+Wins) that I actually care about. If, in this new age of The Great EP Reduction, I enter another 30 new images, and manage to get another Finalist in the end (not an atypical month, based on past stats) but only had a handful of EP's show up first, what exactly has changed? What did 30 EP's the month before tell me, that fewer EP's in the second month didn't, when the end result was just 1 Finalist?

If you enter a winning-worthy entry, it will make Finalist or better.
Except when it doesn't.
And then you can always try it again.
Or not.

All this fuss over the disappearance of (previously unexplained, yet free-flowing) EP's seems to me just transference of the old fuss often raised over not getting into the Finalist circle... In both cases, there is no BP explanation of our status at either point, no justification offered on the how or why; there never has been, and there likely never will be. We enter, agreeing to be subjectively judged by an anonymous, unquestionable, all-decisions-binding source, and we win or we lose. It is a single-outcome contest, not a debate or committee proceeding open to discussion and adjustment. There's nothing more to it, despite whether BP opts to give us a "sneak peak" (in the form of "EP") along the way or not.

If a member feels the Guidelines & FAQ are insufficient or vague, and leaves them unsure whether they will be comfortable entering under, and abiding by, those terms, they simply shouldn't enter. And once entered, any emotional investment they place on EP's, is a choice they make to imbue the EP with so much power. And that carries its own consequences downstream, especially the more value that was placed on these "7th place" stickers.

3/20/2013 6:42:44 PM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Chris, I feel the same way as you. The BP contest continues, like always. It's just that the EP picker has chosen to be more strict. Doesn't mean our photos are worse, or that we as photographers have slipped.

Next month, it could be just the opposite. We need to focus on why we like BP. I hope it's more so because of the friendships we've gained...and the inspiration to take photos...and to post our work to share with others.

I feel the pursuit of the EP has clouded some folks. I'll admit, several years ago I went many days without an EP and it was draining to me..and then I realized I was like the character on Lord of the Rings....chasing the EP...going mad over it.

I don't mean to offend anyone. I personally wish BP would issue more EPs...maybe around the 50% level. And I wish BP would do a better job in their PR...to let folks know that all is well...and a little reasoning behind their process for the contest. But like many on this site, we've been here many years and BP usually doesn't comment on their contest.

We just need to enjoy BP for what it is...and not get too hard on ourselves, or BP, if they aren't awarding as many EPs. AGain, I hope they increase the rate soon.

3/20/2013 7:26:43 PM

  Has anyone considered that maybe a few of the judges walked off the job or got let go and now they are *very* short staffed???

I have.

3/20/2013 7:37:53 PM

  LOL!!Seem like members with most awards are happy with the contest.I'm with you on this one Brian.Last thing we now is some big lecture!!!!

3/20/2013 7:43:22 PM

  LOL!!Seem like members with most awards are happy with the contest.I'm with you on this one Brian.Last thing we need now is some big lecture!!!!

3/20/2013 7:44:19 PM

  P.S. I am really enjoying reading all of the comments. I have been trying to articulate my thoughts and words but you guys are doing a great job! Carry on! Lol...

My feelings come down to two words really.

Fairness and Communication! Like any great relationship should have...If BP is attaining this, they are doing their job. We can take the truth.

I think the BP family has this among us all. I love all of my dear friends here. I will ride the wave!

EPS's are important to me. It lets me know I am doing things right and someone actually took a look and liked it. :)

No EFP...NO CHANCE FOR Finalist or GOLD. So I hope they even have the staff to look at our work! Lol...

Note: I don't understand why an image will only get an EFP one month and the next I re-enter get a second place win? WOW! :))) In the end I'm just happy my work has caught someones eye and brought some smiles to people.

-Laura :)

3/20/2013 7:49:46 PM

  Pat H - this is a quote from your previous comment to which I was addressing:

"I've had an image skipped in the past, only to get an EP a few days later."

"The few days later" is what I had a question about.

3/20/2013 7:50:55 PM

Brian M. Jones
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/28/2012
  Like the comment you said Bobby G.. Very well said..

I will say this for the last time.. It is all about "COMMUNICATING" to the BP members.. We don't need a huge lecture to what, why,who and so forth..This is not rocket science.. If we ask BP owner Jim or customer service a question about a service That "WE PAY FOR",then we expect an answer... Bottom line. No if's and or butts about it.. Even if the answer is not to our liking, at least we get "COMMUNICATION"

3/20/2013 9:33:19 PM

 
 
 
Well, I don't know what is going on with EPs and whether this is temporary or not, but I entered two photos this month, one on the 16th and one on the 18th. So far, no EPs on either. So based on this, neither are in for the contest, so if these are the only two I enter, no anticipation for me. Its kind of like entering the sweepstakes, I would hate it if they called me say 5 days after I entered and said I was not in the running for some reason. There would go the anticipation of what I would do with all the money if I won. Really takes the fun out of the contest for me, because as it stands right now, I have no entries in it!

And I am including one image that so far does not have one. In January, the same hawk sitting on this limb (but his head was turned) received an EP. But I entered this one in Feb and now again in March and nothing.

3/21/2013 12:12:50 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Bobby Ray, big lecture or no, I don't particularly think that is the case. My first year or two in the contest, like Ken, were a bit obsessive over the results... but it just gets to be a downer on your enjoyment of photography (not to mention, potentially damaging to your photography) to pin so much of your hopes, and/or self-validation, on the contest. (And in my opinion, exponentially worse to pin those hopes or validation on the EP's.)

I'll happily admit I've enjoyed a good run in the contest. Yet I still have goals for my contest performance which I've been unable to achieve, after 7 years of trying. (To my surprise and delight, that doesn't end, with a 2nd, a 1st or a Grand Prize.) I've been fortunate that much of my imagery over those years suits the tastes of the judges here, at least to garner a healthy number of finalists, and some wins along the way. I also know many of my early Finalists very likely wouldn't make Finalist again, today... the subjective judging changes and evolves and perhaps gradually tightens up, over time.

Its all relative... No matter our level, experience or expertise, we're all in a position (openly or internally) of evaluating ourselves against our peers here and elsewhere. At every level, there will always be folks we recognize as better photographers than ourselves, photographers who inspire us constantly, who we want to emulate. Either because we're impressed with their tons of gold wins at BP, or perhaps we simply always love their work (whether BP judges love it or not.)

I could easily name a couple dozen BP members off the top of my head whom I personally would love, love, love to say I can "match", in terms of photography skill, consistent stellar image quality, personal artistic vision, etc... I'm nowhere near them yet, in my own view. Any number of medals I might get from BP won't really tell me I've satisfied that personal ambition; I'll only know it personally, if and when I ever reach that higher level of performance.

3/21/2013 5:55:41 AM

  And many of us wish we could shoot what you get to shoot, Chris. I would be following you around copying everything you did. I almost NEVER get to shoot buildings. We don't have anything anywhere around here over 3 stories high, and not a one with any kind of beauty. You amaze me all the time.

3/21/2013 6:01:43 AM

  well said carolyn.. I too am a huge fan of chris' work. I am headed to paris france next month and I am so excited about getting some great shots. I have been looking over your work chris to get some ideas for buildings. cant wait to share my pictures with you all.

3/21/2013 6:26:00 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Thank you both! And that exactly illustrates my point---I'm thrilled and flattered if someone admires my images - while at the very same time, say, even in architecture shots (my favorite subject, probably) I, too, have a list of folks whose work consistently blows me away, which I wish I could replicate somehow!

And even outside of buildings, Carolyn, I wish I could just once come up with a sky capture like your beauties!

Tony, I'm so envious of your trip to Paris - talk about architectural heaven! Looking forward to your results; what a city for black and white, too! I'd say take a really wide-angle lens if you can, as well as a zoom for great details...

3/21/2013 6:36:49 AM

  LOL!!Give me a break,yes it is.And now your trying to do to me.That's not going to work!!!!!!!

3/21/2013 7:04:08 AM

  Here's another take on EPs. It was because of the EPs and people recording them on Cheri's thread each month that introduced me to so many wonderful photographers at BP. I would follow the links provided or sometimes just the gallery link. In addition, upon arriving at the specific images, I would then further check out the gallery AND the gallery of others who had posted comments.

It was the EP badge awards that built my BP community. Ken Smith was one of the first non-DIC members I "met" here. He'll always be in my good-memory box for being encouraging about receiving EPs and eventually moving upward. I've almost failed him on his prediction, so if it's to be an all-or-nothing game, I'll slip back into the nothing column most of the time.

Just another take on the subject.

3/21/2013 7:07:11 AM

  I truly believe that BP should raise its standards for awarding an EP because I’ve seen some really awful photos get the BP badge. But Carols hawk photo (see post and comment above) is an example of the apparent randomness when making EP judgments.

Her photo is well composed, the exposure is just right, clarity and detail are excellent and the subject mater is captivating. Her image is lacking nothing when it comes to technique, skill or quality. Photographically her image passes the test to qualify for an EP. Photos like hers are the reason why so many BP members have commented here. Criteria for getting an EP badge seems haphazard and unfair.

On the other hand — I think some of you have unrealistic expectations when you make comments that imply you believe BP owes it to you to build up your confidence or self esteem. Some of you think you should get an EP so you have a basis upon which to judge the quality of your work. It would be to your benefit to re-examine your motive for entering the contest. EP history shows that poor quality photos sometimes get an EP and good images sometimes don't get the badge.

Before you place so much importance upon an EP keep in mind; Carol’s excellent Hawk photo didn’t get an EP this month even though it is of equal quality of images that did get an EP.

Kathy, I agree with you. This form is one of the reasons I stay with Better Photo.

3/21/2013 7:33:55 AM

  Here are some numbers that are priceless! lollllllllllllllll

Number of posts in this thread = 243 +/-
Number of EPs reported = 46

Many of respondents rarely post in Cheri's monthly thread; I've only seen their work using links in the POTD, Finalists and Monthly Winner's Lists (and admired all those images - except the snake ones.)

This has definitely been a wild ride with lots of new passengers. lollllll

3/21/2013 8:11:43 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  I can't say the contest ever makes me "happy" when 97% of my monthly entries get eliminated...

Only now, I "see" that elimination taking place apparently in something closer to real time, up front (in the form of skipped EP's) instead of say, waiting until around April 25 when the actual results would come out. Either way, I know now, or I know then, how many of my entries got eliminated, vs. how many may have ended up with a medal.

And to chime in on your counts, Kathy, since I normally don't post on the EP Watch thread... for March - I've made 16 new entries so far, accumulating 7 EP's. None since my March 10 entry. Resulting in about a 44% EP rate so far, compared to say, Dec/Jan with 95-98%! Quite a change!

3/21/2013 8:34:31 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
  I love EFP's and it does give me a sense that I'm in the running for Finalist. However, I'm finding my creativity getting stifled. So often I go out shooting with images in my head of what someone else captured I miss the wonder of finding a new moment and new view of this world. I love the feeling of finding something new and a image is born! Wow! I hope this contest or any contest does not dampen the excitement of creativity and exploration.

For me seeing your images (everyone) in daily arrivals, cranks my engine of creativity. This is a social community. Lift up a photographer when you see something that causes you to take a second look. It will make their day and community gets stronger.

Yes. Better Photo is not perfect.... but who is?

3/21/2013 8:36:51 AM

  Cheri's EFP thread is a wonderful community, Chris. I've definitely "met" some special people here.

3/21/2013 8:39:18 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
  Cindy Bendush - okay, I get what you are asking. No, I didn't enter the same image twice. A few times my image appeared to be skipped, for images after that one received EP's. Then a few days later, the skipped image received and EP. I didn't re-enter or upload again though. I assumed my images was an after-thought. :)

3/21/2013 8:48:31 AM

  That happened to me once, Pat, a couple of years ago. And once I got a finalist that didn't have an EP..it was the only finalist that month. Weird stuff happens sometimes.

3/21/2013 9:13:20 AM

  Thank you to everyone on here for your in depth thoughts and comments. They give much food for thought!

My thoughts on EP's.

I don't submit as many photos to the contest as many of you do. I only do up to five or so a month. When I go out to shoot, it isn't with the intent to enter the contest. However, when I do, I like getting the EP's. I have only made Finalist twice, but it let's me know that I didn't something right. Both levels encourage me to better my work and to keep trying. I go back and look at those that didn't make it and as well as those that do. I find things in both that I could have done better.

I, too, have not had any EP's after March 5th and those not selected have been deleted. I will look at them again to see if I need improvements and resubmit later this month or some other time.

With that said, I think the changes that have been made are not good. The paying members should be the first priority for BP. The communication is poor at best when it comes to letting us know there are changes.


I've met many great people and photographers here. I've leaned a bunch from studying the work of others to help improve myself. Thank you for all the beautiful photos you have posted to your galleries. I enjoy them tremendously.

3/21/2013 9:19:49 AM

  i am still waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, for my first EP of the month.. LOL.. If I get one great, if I dont then I guess I will just go to the middle of the room, get comfortable on the floor and throw a huge tantrum. LOL... or hold my breath till I get one. LOL.

3/21/2013 11:21:14 AM

 
 
  Watchful
Watchful
Hawk at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. The animals housed here are in natural-looking habitats and are here because they are injured and cannot be returned to the wild.
http://www.floridastateparks.org/homosassasprings/
 
 
Irene, thank you so much for your kind comments on the hawk. I posted it here so if anyone saw some reason it may have been passed over for an EP, they could let me know and I might could resubmit. I realize that it is a bit dark in a thumbnail, and I might could brighten it slightly, but really, that is part of nature's camouflage at work. I would think that his color and speckles are designed so he can blend in with his surroundings.

With no EP, I guess this could mean one of two things. My hawk was looked at by judges already and deemed not to be worthy of a finalist, so it is already out of the running anyway, EP or not. Or it was looked at by an editor and they felt it didn't meet the new criteria for an EP and a chance to be seen by a judge so it was passed up. If it is the latter, that means with no EP a judge will not get an opportunity to view it to make a determination if it could go farther in the contest. Also, if it is judged on some new EP criteria in which I failed, I wish I had a clue to what is now required to get an EP so a judge can see a photo. I am sure I have received EPs before that I should not have received, but I just can't see why this one was passed by, and not once, but twice. Really, I feel it is much better than other animal images I have produced that received a finalist. And this biggest surprise of all is that the other hawk image received an EP, although it did not receive a finalist. But I suppose the end result is the same: Hawk 1- EP-no finalist Hawk 2-no EP, no finalist. Just in the first case, I was able to wonder all month if maybe it would make a finalist, which made the contest interesting. At this point, I have no hope of a finalist because my only two entries for the month did not move on. To me, the anticipation of the contest is just as fun as whether I actually receive a finalist or not, just as if I play the lottery. I know my odds of winning are very slim, but it's the fun thoughts of what I would do with all that money if I did win. However, with no EPs, I don't have anything to hope for during the upcoming month as the judges look through the photos to pick their favorites. I would rather not know and have that hope for a month. BTW, I am adding the other hawk image that did receive an EP.

3/21/2013 12:58:41 PM

  Somebody just emailed me that this thread is no longer showing up in the QnA New Questions..She is right, it's not! I guess it's not gone,just gone to new people?

3/21/2013 1:10:31 PM

  it is not showing up for me, I had to have someone email me the link to it.

3/21/2013 1:38:16 PM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  I suspect it has been removed from the "All New Questions" view, as we've drifted fairly off topic (in terms of simply sharing which day EP's are up to) over the last few days... ;)

3/21/2013 1:41:18 PM

  I had a hard time checking in on this.

Had to click the following:

Forum
More
Free Photo Contest
Scroll down to March EFP's

I was surprised that it was moved. I wonder why?

3/21/2013 1:50:53 PM

  Very interesting! Never a dull moment at BetterPhoto.... and I mean that in a good way. :)

3/21/2013 1:51:46 PM

  They are probably being overrun with emails asking what is going on. Trying to slow it down, most likely. I mean who would want to be in the person's shoes who has to handle all of this fallout right now? Not me!

3/21/2013 1:53:48 PM

  As a fairly newby I wasn't aware there was a forum. How do you find it and are there other threads? If hardly any EP's persists this could be a very short thread. What do we do then? :) As I have said before, there are a lot of great photos missed this month. To me they seem to meet all the criteria for Ep's. Sorry this is occurring.

3/21/2013 2:17:35 PM

  Pat, go to your "Member Center" (link at upper right.)

Then, find "Forum" link in the left list.

Then, scroll down to almost the bottom to find the "About Better Photo" > "Free Contest" link.

Then, scroll down to find "EFP (Editor's First Picks") for a specific month.

In case you'd like to see a more normal thread, try this URL ..
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=35653

3/21/2013 2:30:56 PM

  I have to say this was one of the best threads I've seen on BP forum. We had suspense, emotions, comedy - all in one. Lots of people joining in, all kinds of ideas.
And as a cherry on top - it was removed from forum section. :o)
It will not change the world but it was fun.

3/21/2013 2:53:05 PM

  Instead of having March EPs, I guess you could do a thread where we post photos that we thought would receive an EP but didn't, and we can all try to figure out why they didn't! :)

Also Christopher, it would seem whomever started the thread would be the one to ask that we refrain from turning the thread into a complaint board; I would not think anyone from BetterPhoto would remove it due to the fact it was not about photos that have received an EP. However, I remember previously that this same thing happened in other conversations where people became upset about something to do with BetterPhoto. Maybe it is removed to allow issues like this to hopefully be forgotten and to cut down on questions/negative comments being emailed to BP.

3/21/2013 2:53:18 PM

  It didn't disappear. Every time I've gotten an email that someone posted a comment, the link provided has been good.

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=35929

Bookmark this so you can find it easily.

3/21/2013 3:08:27 PM

  You're right, Kathy - anyone who had previously "tagged" the thread by posting anything and had not turned off the "please notify by email" can continue to check the thread. However, those who were checking in and reading, but had not posted to it and or who had posted to it but had turned off the email notification option can no longer find it easily.

3/21/2013 3:14:36 PM

  My last sure EP was on the 11th - I put a resub in on the 12th and it already had an EP. Kathy W posted one from the 18th. Is that the last one anyone has seen?

3/21/2013 3:42:23 PM

  I think its about time that we see Finalists announcement. Maybe by Monday, I guess!!

UB.

3/21/2013 4:12:10 PM

  Next week is the Christian Holy Week so you may be right, Usman (sometime between Monday and Wednesday.)

3/21/2013 4:23:03 PM

  For Pat H - Now that's really interesting. Just goes to show that even if you have a worthy image skipped you should not delete it! The mystery deepens..... LOL.

3/21/2013 5:06:43 PM

  I find it interesting that with all this ongoing conversation that BP has not taken the interest or time to even respond here in the forum to all these comments. I see so many amazing photographers who are upset, people who have been loyal BP members for years. You would think Jim would at least take a moment to respond in some way. I am sad to see so many beautiful images passed over. I read the new guidelines and understand that things change and that if they are raising the bar, fine. But if they have cut back on staff ( which I was told a couple of months ago by somebody who says it is reliable info) and are just blowing us off because they don't have enough help...that just is not fair.
I have had countless emails recently pushing classes I can't afford, maybe if they spent less time sending those and took a few minutes to read this forum, it would make more sense.
I have been like most of you, having most of my images get EFPs, and to see whole bunches passed over that I think were pretty good is just disheartening. The one EFP I did get was for an image I don't think was all that great, and the ones passed over were much better...
Oh well, I am paid up for another 2 years after getting the 2 for 1 deal. I really just stay for the friendships I have made here over all the years I have been here.
Hope Jim cares enough to read this forum as it is kind of important to hear how your paid members are feeling...

3/21/2013 5:09:41 PM

  And now, here it is ... the official word:

We are experimenting with a new and improved system but... Don't worry... We're not done yet. All worthy photos will be in Round 2 (and thus get an Editor's Pick).

Hang in there!

3/21/2013 5:17:40 PM

  Bless your heart, Kerry. Now, we can sleep again at night (well, all of us who actually do sleep at night! I'm not one of them. lollllllllllll)

3/21/2013 5:20:58 PM

  Thanks, Kerry!

3/21/2013 5:24:26 PM

  Woo Hoo!

3/21/2013 5:24:32 PM

  Woo Hoo!

3/21/2013 5:24:34 PM

  Yeaaaaaaaaaaaa! We are loved and noticed and cared about!!!!

Thanks Kerry! That's all we needed to hear! See! The kids are easy to please!

See you at posting time! :D Yippeeeee!!!!!

-Laura Swan!

3/21/2013 5:25:43 PM

  Thanks so much, Kerry!!

3/21/2013 5:29:01 PM

  Thank you Kerry! :)

3/21/2013 5:37:31 PM

  GO KERRY, GO KERRY, GO KERRY.........
YEAH I can stop holding my breath now LOL

3/21/2013 6:00:39 PM

Jackie M. Sajewski
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/21/2010
  :) Thanks Kerry. Communication is so important. Thanks for sharing.

3/21/2013 6:01:33 PM

  Thanks Kerry. Now I would really appreciate anyone from BP replying back to me directly about my request to be offered the 2 years for the price of 1 as I renewed my subscription 2 days before the announcement.

SW

3/21/2013 6:07:55 PM

  Thanks, Kerry.... :-)

3/21/2013 6:11:53 PM

  Yes, Kerry - thanks. Now the natives are a bit less restless!

3/21/2013 6:27:24 PM

  Thanks for the response Kerry D. So does that mean that even if we don't get an EFP our images will still be eligible for the contest? Maybe Jim could send out a mass email explaining the new system since many people do not contribute to the forum or read it...Just clarify exactly what we should expect when we post something in the contest please...

3/21/2013 6:29:03 PM

  Thank you Kerry.

3/21/2013 6:35:16 PM

  Ha, went to my email and saw this thread had many new additions to the thread...so here I came immediately. Knew it had to be big...

THANK YOU KERRY!!!! for answering all of us with a brief answer.

Thanks Jill...I like your request too!
and Scott, I am with you on that two for one (esp. the basic gallery)...8o)

3/21/2013 6:39:13 PM

  Thank you, Jill, for asking the same thing I wanted to know. Thanks, Kerry, for getting back to us. I do have a suggestion, though. Next time BP wants to make a big change, send a mass email about the change. I don't work for BP, but I imagine that doing the contest and making changes to it is a huge undertaking. I think it might have been I good idea to shut the contest down for the necessary time to make sure everything was going to operate properly. As a BP member, I would have understood and not had a problem with waiting awhile to enter the contest. Seems to me, it would have kept all this unnecessary frustration from occurring within the BP membership.

3/21/2013 6:42:26 PM

  Very nice suggestion Kalena!!! TY

3/21/2013 7:04:03 PM

  Im not sure what Kerry is trying to say as he really didnt tell us anything.. what does " We are experimenting with a new and improved system but... Don't worry... We're not done yet. All worthy photos will be in Round 2 (and thus get an Editor's Pick)" REALLY mean??
That really says nothing.

3/21/2013 7:32:36 PM

  THANK YOU, Kerry, for acknowledging this forum and getting back to us! We really appreciate it!

And thank you, everyone, for such a fascinating discussion...

Rona

3/21/2013 7:39:51 PM

  Hi guys, it does need clarifying what is going on because some are deleting entries but what if they are still in the contest?

I don't understand Kerry about a second round?

Thanks Pat (who hasn't put in an entry for months)

3/21/2013 8:08:51 PM

Jackie M. Sajewski
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/21/2010
 
 
  Cala
Cala
 
 
I just received a EP for an entry 3/19. Maybe they are starting up again.

3/21/2013 8:15:37 PM

  I just received an EP for a 3/19 entry as well - the first since March 5th!!!

3/21/2013 8:20:28 PM

  Congrats for the EP's..... 8o)

3/21/2013 8:27:51 PM

  I got an EP for DD entered on 3/20.

3/21/2013 9:00:10 PM

  ,

3/21/2013 9:13:21 PM

  Yup, did it.
Entered "Site Under Construction" to the contest...
Just had to ...

3/21/2013 9:19:21 PM

  I agree with Songbird. While it was nice Kerry took a moment to respond, it really did not answer anything...I still have no idea about whether all the images in my gallery that were skipped over are disqualified or are they still catching up or what?I have had people asking me if they discontinued the EPs, I had not posted in awhile, but I saw what they meant when I went to my gallery and saw all the images that were skipped over.
Raising the bar is fine, the EPs kind of did not mean too much when so many images get them, but this seems kind of extreme.

3/21/2013 9:20:14 PM

  3/20..Landscape..Fabulous February
None picked up for the missed days. We'll just have to wait and see.

3/22/2013 2:35:08 AM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  Still no EPs for me this month:( Also - looks like they removed the link for this this thread from the search engine and forum. I couldn't find it. Had to link to it from my emails. Interesting! BP must definitely being reading this thread.

3/22/2013 3:27:56 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
 
 
  Junco Day
Junco Day
Nikon D7100 1/160 iso500 f2.8
 
 
Second EFP for the month! Nice!

3/22/2013 4:03:10 AM

 
 
  Love Curves
Love Curves
F8, 1/60, 18-55mm vr Nikkor @40mm, iso100, natural light and SB600 fill.

Flowers: March 20, 2013

 
 
3/19 skipped (eh...just entered it for fun!)

3/20 This is one I wasn't sure of because of the selective focus...

3/22/2013 4:42:16 AM

  oh, 3/20 did get an EP

Also want to say thanks to Kerry for at least giving us an initial response. I say initial because like Jill I hope it will be followed up with a little more about the site (and EP?) changes :)

Kathy, you mentioned we might need to start a thread for images skipped. I went looking around the forum for any threads on critiques and I didn't see any. I realize critiques are a sensitive thing (and I would never offer one unless someone asked) but I wonder, like Pat asked about the hawk image, if we should start a thread where members could ask for some ideas from others about why an image may have been skipped for an EP. This thread was (lol) for images that did receive them. Anyone interested in a thread to discuss those that didn't?

By the way, this has to be the longest thread in BP history! I have thoroughly enjoyed this discussion from so many members!

3/22/2013 4:52:29 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
 
 
  Arches
Arches
 
 
Skipped 3/13 through 3/18

Up or Down?
Entered: 3/19/2013
Category: Elements of Design

Arches
Entered: 3/20/2013
Category: Catch-All

3/22/2013 4:53:23 AM

  Good to hear from BP. Thanks Kerry.

3/22/2013 5:14:29 AM

  I've been watching this thread silently for a couple of days. I want to say something about commenting (and judging) photos.
------
Yes...critique is a sensitive topic. But we are avid, if not professional photographers and the first thing we tell one another is that we are HERE to improve our skills, learn from others, and make new friendships--in that order. So we should be open to CONSTRUCTIVE suggestion and criticism and we should also be willing to PROVIDE it to one another openly--so that OTHERS can learn. Just saying, "Cool photo" doesn't add anything to the experience. I want to know what my colleagues like about a photo, why it moves them, a shared experience, OR what they would like to see done differently and why. That's how I learn, and that's how friendships can form online. Helping each other with techniques is also a wonderful PLUS in the BP community.
----
As for judging, regardless of the level of the judges' expertise, it is a very subjective "skill." What I would like to see, and have asked for in numerous surveys, is a sentence or two for each WINNER, (too much to ask for with EFPs and Finalists) telling us what about each winning entry motivated the award.
That would be very informative and would give at least the FEEL of legitimacy to the process. We STILL would not know why a great photo failed to make the cut, but over time, we might get a clue.
-----
Any thoughts?

3/22/2013 5:20:04 AM

  Yes! About your last idea about a note about why the winners were winners...I've been trying to get them to do that for a few years..at least on the GP..but not happening, at least for the time being..I think it would be a great idea, and would make them think about why they, for example, pick a first place over a second place..It seems to me, that many times the second place winners are better than the first.

3/22/2013 5:32:30 AM

  Thats a great idea, Michelle. I think we would learn alot from that.

3/22/2013 5:35:44 AM

  Michelle, I miss the critiquing phase also. However, because we rarely see the photos until they are entered, I won't comment on them. The one exception to that is if the image doesn't go any farther, I will privately bp the photographer and offer a suggestion. 90% of the time, it has to do with a tilted horizon (it still surprises me how many images take honors with that flaw.) I usually say that said image would be worth "fixing" in my opinion and resubmitting because it's really beautiful.

I also try to say more on the entered photos than "Way to Go!". Michelle is right... "Why did I admire that image in particular?" is a helpful type of comment.

3/22/2013 5:39:54 AM

  Yes...I would send a private note to someone under some conditions. But that doesn't help OTHERS at all. Newbies may not KNOW about how important straight horizons (and correct VERTICALS)are to a photo. Passe to most of us, but it might be like a revelation to many others.
---
That's my two cents. When I was still in my FIRST career, if I had to correct work done by one of my "reportees," I would always finish by emphasizing that it's a GOOD thing to err. We never learn much from doing something right the FIRST time!

3/22/2013 5:47:26 AM

  Personally, I totally agree with you Michelle. I can't afford all of the classes they have on this site. But learning from all of those members photos is what I can learn from. When I first started it was stressed to be sure to put photo settings in the descriptions. That alone helped me along my learning paths.
Your idea of comments from the judges is time consuming but would be a HUGE learning lesson for everyone. After all, BP IS about Learning...not just to take a class. Learn in all ways possible.
I totally enjoy the friendships I have made here. I have been fortunate enough to have a couple golds, several finalists, and many EFP's (when given out frequently). I miss the frequent EFP's, but have learned from day one, that my photos won't have many.
Other sites are run very differently, and usually it is the members doing the voting...I didn't enjoy that type.
I enjoy BP or I wouldn't be here.
I enjoy the variety of photos that members are entering in the contest, putting in their clubs, or just adding to their galleries. The contest is a plus...I would love a POTD. I would love more Golds, but frankly 1st place would be honorable...but what would I do with the prize for a year? I couldn't keep it up the next year. The prize is the button under a photo. A ribbon, and makes us smile with pride. Most of us have pride just to enter the photo that we have done our best on...but that button makes us understand it is in the running, and we are doing something right. Sometimes the judges pick not so perfect photos, but they are few and far between?
Anyway, I again thank Kerry for his comment. And thank the judges that they are still putting EP's on photos and haven't completely done away with them.
And I am enjoying everyone's humor.
Everyone have a great day...
I am going to go looking to see who else has posted a photo on their galleries and/or contest around the EP drama!!! 8o)

3/22/2013 5:49:17 AM

  I like both of your suggestions a lot, Michelle, but critiquing, and being critiqued gets hairy sometimes. BUT, when one does not receive an EP and is perplexed, they could surely post it on a thread with thick skin and a mental reminder that they asked for constructive criticism. And constructive, polite critiques they should be. I think that is a great idea!

Alo, to hear from BP why at least the GP was chosen each month would be fantastic!!

3/22/2013 5:57:20 AM

  Hairy, perhaps. But that shouldn't bother us. Maybe posters should add a line in their photo description saying "private critiques only" if they don't want public (POLITE, of course) critiques.
----
But I firmly believe that the learning experience should be for everyone--not just the poster of a certain photo. The benefit is much more useful.
---
Personally, I would LOVE to get constructive suggestions, regardless of EP status. Improvement would happen, and EPs, if that's important, would surely follow when our work gets better and better.
---

3/22/2013 6:08:37 AM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  Susan - I would love to see a constructive feedback sight where others would comment on both what they liked and what they think could be improved. I would participate if you started one. I definitely would like to improve my photography. I'm not always sure why my photos don't get selected - I just can't see it, but someone else probably would.

Great idea and thanks!

3/22/2013 6:19:15 AM

  Thanks Marcy. But I'm not suggesting a new critique site. We already have a great learning forum in the contest! Not saying that we should provide critiques for every entry. That would get tedious and loathsome. But saying exactly what we like about a photo and not feeling shy about giving polite and constructive suggestion would really make a positive difference. Our photography and editing techniques would improve and THAT would be a prize, even if not tangible--like a gold badge. But...THEY would follow and be worth a lot more!

3/22/2013 6:29:07 AM

  There is already at least one club here at BP with critiquing as a focus. It is called the FFFP Club (Friends for Finer Photography) and is quite active. We have our own in-house monthly theme with a 3-4 day end of the month in-club contest - we all judge and post our choices openly and it's always a real eye-opener to see an image that doesn't even make one person's list of 7 garner top honors from someone else. Really emphasizes the subjectivity of judging. Our main activity is on-going critique of images for the rest of the month. We welcome new members who are willing to both give and take constructive criticism. Please let me know if you would like to consider joining and I'll get more information to you.

3/22/2013 6:41:06 AM

  That's a wonderful thing, Nikki. But here's my BUT: My time is at a premium already, and I suspect that is true for so many of us. Keep it going; I applaud your efforts. But if more BANG can be gotten from using our commenting more constructively, I'm going THAT way. I think there's value to it, and I'm going to attempt to lead by my example. I may comment on fewer photos, but there is a cost to most things that are worthwhile. Thanks for the invitation, Nikki. Your work is among the best on BP, and there's ALWAYS an explanation for true excellence.

3/22/2013 6:49:29 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
  FFFP is Great! And the talent there is exceptional. Here's another thought. I sometimes watch Blind Critiques on the Grid (Youtube). It's amazing what you learn when there is no social or personal aspect in subjective evaluation of an image. They tend to be brutal, but sometimes a good kick in the pants can get a photographer out of a rut and into the grove. What if we had that here? I'm sure there's a way to make it work.

3/22/2013 6:55:57 AM

  But why make it BLIND? That requires going to another site and spending MORE time, and not everyone would do it. We don't HAVE to be brutal, and we don't have to critique every photo. If we reduce the number of "nice shot"-type comment, keep the humor in, and try to say what we LIKE while adding suggestions on ways to improve, is that Pain-provoking? I think not. We already have the forum. We can surely make improvements.
----
Do we believe in giving all the kids on a team an award, just to preserve their feelings? I think it's a silly practice. I'm an adult, and I can take well-meant suggestions. I WELCOME them. Please TEST me!

3/22/2013 7:03:58 AM

  I agree with Michele A

3/22/2013 7:27:08 AM

  Michelle, I applaud you... it IS about BP, not another site. We have so much here, it just needs our help! We are what makes BP or breaks it! Without members, BP doesn't exist. Yes, let's see what we can do to help each other toward learning how to make our photos better...thru our own eyes and knowledge, with 'guidance' from other fellow BP'ers! 8o)

3/22/2013 7:29:09 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
  I don't think anyone is suggesting to go to another site. JMT I don't think a critique is truly subjective when there is a personal/socal aspect to it. The term blind is to note that you do not know who took the picture that is being evaluated. Only the one who took it knows.

3/22/2013 7:37:19 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  It is a fantastic idea to offer a bit more "analysis" behind a nice comment you post on someone's image - expressing what you like and perhaps more importantly (to those who ask for an actual critique!) what you feel may be weakening the image. But there is almost an art to being able to write that effectively (particularly pointing out the weak bits) without being perceived as "brutal" as so many critiques elsewhere come across.

Long-time BPers will remember folks who left BP outright after being "crushed" by someone's public critique of their image... Even members who have ASKED for critique first, can feel destroyed by one single comment. You're therefore absolutely right that a thick skin is mandatory, in order to read someone else's critique of your work, while keeping an open mind... I fear many BPers will find they likely don't have that thick skin at all. But also, many folks may not know how to approach writing a successful, constructive (rather than destructive) critique, and many feel they're not "qualified" to offer any opinion at all. (Yet everyone is eminently qualified to offer their own personal opinion!) So many critiques devolve into "crooked horizon" or a grocery list of flaws, which quickly becomes unhelpful...

Keep in mind too, BP already has a member feature built in, just for this exact kind of constructive critique program... its called, naturally, "Constructive Critique". You may or may not have ever encountered it here, as it isn't "obvious" how to use it... You use it by first uploading your image to BP, then *IMMEDIATELY*, YOU must go make the very first comment on that image, right away. By being the first BP commenter, YOU then get to pick from the drop-down list of "categories" which classify your first comment.

ie, usually the first public commenter on your image always picks "Friendly Praise" from that drop-down list---BP is a very friendly-praise kind of community, afterall! But you, if you are the first commenter on your own image in this case, should pick "Constructive Critique" from the list, and then for your first comment, say something like "Please let me know what you think of this image; open to Constructive Critique" or some such invitation asking for feedback... (You may also want to briefly state what your thought process was when you composed, or what you are trying to convey, what you feel, etc., so reviewers will know your intent... and they can then suggest how well, or not, you made that intent clear, in their opinion.)

Having done all that, your image will now appear in the Forums, specifically grouped under the "Constructive Critique" area. Those who wish to offer Constructive Critique, should always and only browse for eligible photos by looking in this specific area----if you are browsing photos from say, "Recent Images to BP", or pulling up "Recent Contest Entries", you simply cannot tell if a member has self-flagged their image into the "Constructive Critique" pool; historically BPers shy away from posting any constructive critique onto Contest Entries, or even onto gallery-only images, without a specific invitation to do so from the photographer... this "Constructive Critique" flagging method is that invitation.

To see what I mean, log into BP, go to your Member Center, then pick "Forums". Then scroll down the page a bit, past the 5 big-font subject headings, until you see "Photo Discussions" - the first section under that heading is "Constructive Critique".

3/22/2013 7:40:45 AM

  OK. I'm going to respond once more to Ken and Chris and then go silent because I've said my piece.
---
Ken. By another site, I mean another area of BP. I'd prefer to just make better use of the main forum--our comments than to make special trips to another area. So much EASIER and less time-consuming.
---
To Chris's comment. OK. It might make sense to ASK for critique. A lot of people already include "Comments and critique welcome." But I think that we ALL should welcome it by virtue of our posting. We are photographers wanting to improve. Of COURSE the compliments should always be kept flowing. And I don't believe that it is difficult to be compassionate in our critiques. If someone is unnecessarily brutal, we can let them know privately.
-----
Having said all that, I think the most common comments would revolve around explaining what is GOOD about the photo rather than what needs improvement--it shouldn't be an essay, just a few words.
---
Like I said above, I am going to be a bit more diligent in my commenting by example. I'll bet I don't chase a single serious photographer away from BP, and I truly believe if we all start heading in that direction, tons of value will be added. And my time will be better spent.
---
Or, I could be wrong.

3/22/2013 8:03:49 AM

  Ken, thanks for the tip regarding Blind Critiques on The Grid. I went and checked it out, and after watching for a few minutes, I think I will be watching on a regular basis! Great tip!

And thanks, Chris for pointing out the existing critique thread in the BP forum. I thought I had run across one before, but I didn't remember how to find it.


Thanks again, guys, and happy shooting!

3/22/2013 8:07:38 AM

  Chris, I think that is a splendid suggestion...and in my opinion t he perfect solution....some people do not want critiques, or say they do then cringe when the critique comes. It really opens up a can of worms, but if you ask for it, then simply put your seatbelt on and enjoy the potentially rocky ride. I hope people will do as you suggested...it is a very great idea!

3/22/2013 9:23:21 AM

  This is all interesting. To me the most important issue is not HOW BP decides to judge contest entries. It is HOW BP DEALS WITH THOSE CLIENTS THAT PAY THEM AND WHO HAVE A STAKE IN THE HEALTH OF BP. Change is acceptable with communication. BP seems to have plenty of time to advertise and self-promote. But the core of any service business is SERVICE. My concern with the change and lack of any communication from BP to its invested members/clients is that (1) they are failing in a core service business requirement for sustainable success, and/or (2) they may already be in some serious difficulty and are already flailing as they get swept under and and out of business. I certainly hope the latter is not true, as there are a lot of us that have a stake in BP, really enjoy the BP community and have our websites through BP. Let's all hope they are financially okay and they learn from this experience that they must focus on service and communications with their members. If we don't here, I am afraid that many may assume (perhaps correctly, perhaps not) that BP is failing and not worthy of their ongoing commitment and investment. BP, please explain what is going on; we all want you to be successful. And if there are problems, I'm sure with some explanation, many of us will join together to help you restructure yourself, if necessary.

3/22/2013 9:26:06 AM

  We sure are hearing great suggestions on this thread. I'm enjoying it very much.

I agree with Chris. If a person is inviting constructive criticisms on their photo contest entries then be the first to post a comment and then select "Constructive Critique", asking for others opinions. I have something more to add. Once an image is entered into the contest it is too late for change on that entry so I see it as damaging. When someone adds their thoughts and opinions that go against the image, it might effect the judging of the image. You may say the judges don't read comments but you can bet they have and do when they are considering an image for Finalist or Gold. Furthermore many things are just a matter of opinion so why leave one that damages a person chances of pleasing the eyes of the judges at BP? The photographer or art/photographer has for whatever reason felt it was ready. They felt good about it, (or why would they have entered it?). I have 100% respect for this. So, when I come visit a photo I look for the good. Perhaps if it was me I would have done something differently but we all know that opinions are like armpits. We all have them.

Having said THAT...if we see something technically wrong and not just a matter of opinion, I have often times taken the time to write a BPer privately with suggestions. Never once have I had a negative response because there was no public embarrassment, and I can tell you some of my best friends on BP were ones that took the extra minute to write me privately to help me with something I overlooked or hadn't learned yet. I have very tough skin in private and can take a ton of criticism one on one but to embarrass me on my contest entry is just wrong and something I didn't ask for.

Nothing has changed from the school yard days. We are among our friends and piers here and egos can be delicate in front of each other. If you had a bugger in your nose I would most certainly be a friend and tell you about it, and I mean right away! But never in front of everyone. I'd take the time and pull you to the side to tell you and you would be forever grateful. Unlike making your face and nose and self a spectacle in front of everyone. That is not being a real friend.

There are also side clubs on BP that are designed solely for critiquing. I learned a lot on one of them called "Phello Photographers"...After a time I broke free and tried my newly learned skills.

There is a time and a place for all things. It is based on whether we are willing to take the time to help or not.

My feelings are that a Contest Entry is not the right time or place.

3/22/2013 10:12:29 AM

  I agree 100% with Laura. Not the place. I don't mind critiques but I want them private. Lots of people feel that way.

3/22/2013 10:17:02 AM

  Everyone who has been a BP member for some time knows that BP has never been great to explain what they are up to and we go thru changes with bumps.

This is a learning site, not a competition site. So the contest is sort of a bonus. Again, we need to help each other in learning, and in critiquing kindly.

Those that don't want the critiquing can choose a different selection for the first comment for what catagory they want discussions of their image.

If a person doesn't want any discussions, which I see many do that, then on their first comment they can say so. This way if the first person to comment is the owner of the photo, they can somewhat control the topic guidelines. However, no one can control what a person writes within reason.

3/22/2013 10:23:09 AM

  I, too, have heard that Phello Photographers is a good club, but they only allow so many members at a time. From what I understand, there is usually a wait list.

Joseph P., I agree with your analysis. I hope BP is not on the later of your two points. I haven't been a member very long, but I do enjoy the photos from the great photographers here and learn a bunch from them.

As far as the critiques are concerned, I try to leave comments as to why I like something and I always put my comments in the "I" mode because I want my comments to be constructive. Sometimes I
miss something and the photographer explains why they made a particular adjustment and I get the proverbial "duh" moment. :-)

Happy Weekend to all!

3/22/2013 10:23:43 AM

  While I was writing so were others...

BP even suggests that critiquing be done privately.

3/22/2013 10:24:50 AM

  @Laura. I was going to stay quiet, but I think your premise is not correct. If you delete a photo the same DAY it was submitted, you can delete it and resubmit. Yes, the NEXT day is too late.
-----
I consider us friends, but I have a whole different view on this, as a contest. It's not a juried contest with judges that have gone through years of learning to reach the status of judge. Contests with that sort of judging have entry fees and really great prizes. If your skirt was sticking in your pantyhose on the way out of the bathroom at work, I'd run up to you and tell you while scooting you back into the bathroom (THAT HAPPENED TO ME once). But his is a different story.
----
If your entered photograph had an artifact in it that APPEARED to be something naughty, I'd write to you privately. If you entered a photograph that might look way better if you cropped something from the top or sides, I'd probably write it as a comment in a POSITIVE way so that others could learn from the suggestion.
----
If judges are influenced by others' opinions (and I have seen no evidence of that) then they are not doing their jobs. If they look at a comment that points out something important that they MISSED, then that is a GOOD thing. Do you want to win a contest with a photo that wasn't its best? I surely do NOT.
-----
My opinion may be in the minority here, but I have strong convictions about it, and I'm sticking to it. And as I wrote several times above, I'll continue to try to lead by example and if I'm criticized for it, then I'll reconsider based on reason and thought.
----

3/22/2013 10:25:23 AM

  Personally, I think everyone is giving great suggestions...

The best way to go, now that is a question!

Trial and error...let's give some of the suggestions a try ...after all we are critiquing BP on this discussion...another form of it. Right?

3/22/2013 10:32:43 AM

  Critiquing privately is not a bad suggestion, to keep nastiness out of the picture. But we are bigger than that. We can write well-meant, carefully worded suggestions for improvement, if we really see something that warrants it, and THAT can be useful. If we can't do it without figuratively slapping someone's face, what are we doing here?

But we are talking about something that comes up so infrequently. Mostly we are saying positive things about a photo. But I appreciate knowing WHAT is good about a shot, and not just "Nice Job" or "Beautiful" I also would like fixable things to be pointed out to me, if it will improve a photo.

---
OK. I'm done now.

3/22/2013 10:37:23 AM

  I agree with Michelle!
I too would like to know what makes the photo more than gorgeous, etc.
It is a way I learn from all of you.
I won't shoot the messanger, unless you shoot me first...lol...

Have a great day!

3/22/2013 10:40:18 AM

  A "pat on the back" is lovely, but "use your words" is what teaches. A combination of both most likely will be appreciated.

I still will wait until an entry-image moves past an award stage to critique.

3/22/2013 10:54:24 AM

  Well! I love BP because of how much I have learned from BP and the members! Enjoyed their classes too.
As for the difference in getting EFP's so far, they may still do them and we really don't know what's going on but I'll just continue posting and enjoying the members, the beauty of their work and not "get my pants in a wad!"
That's a southern expression! lol
I agree with Ken Smith and Chris, they can express it better than I can.

I found out when I get upset, to GET OVER it, if I don't then I am letting something or somebody take charge of my feelings! So I want to be in charge and go on with life! lol

Hang in there gang!

jo ann c.

3/22/2013 11:02:41 AM

  Great suggestions and ideas here! It's a shame that BP has hidden this discussion from view! What are they trying to hide?

3/22/2013 12:21:54 PM

  It is a bit late for Kerry's information, after I have deleted 9 images from the March contest!
Never mind, worse things have happened at sea!

3/22/2013 12:59:58 PM

  Cheri, I hope you don't mind that your conversation has been hijacked. But at least you have the distinction of starting one of the most popular topics in this forum.

Even though I don't contribute to the daily EP updates I always check out your thread. Your thread is a good place to check in order to see which day the judging is at.

Thanks for starting it.

3/22/2013 2:09:45 PM

  Hi Gang...

Agree with many points that all of you have made, including you, my friend Michelle. :) Just so you know for sure. xo

I have always been a firm believer in spending the extra time to actually tell the photographer how the image effected me as the viewer and what I appreciated about it...Anyone who knows me would attest to this. My comments are normally very generous. They also know I will write them privately with suggestions if there is an obvious technical issue I notice and they did not. It's my style and I wont change it.

And part of being a friend is to know if they do not want a critiques on their Contest Entry. And I do not want them on my contest entries and I wont put them on yours. Tell me in private and I will take it down and fix it. Gladly. And then in the end others can learn by the example of an awesome image I have now posted to the contest! :)))) Everyone wins.

I learn TONS just by studying a great photo.

* * *

I LOVE the idea, Michelle, that Judges on BP should leave a few words of wisdom as to how they came to pick the GOLDS.

A GOLD WIN of mine had a comment from the BP Judges once. It said, "Pretty colors"...What an honor it was to hear from them, my one and only time, but I'd have loved hearing why they picked mine as GOLD. Many images have pretty colors.

It would be fantastic (and a great way to learn) to know we could go to any GOLD winning thread and read a short paragraph from the judges on why it was the cream of the crop.

What a great idea. :)

Michelle you know how I feel about you personally and professionally and I do feel you would make a dynamic BP Judge or judge of any photo contest. Maybe among the best of them for sure. But not everyone is cut out for it and able to do this without it looking or feeling like mudslinging. I have seen people meaning well and it doesn't go over well at all.

Oh and one other point I meant to make about commenting on contest entries... Some of us give our BP gallery link to Songwriters, Authors, Book companies, Art galleries, Canvas shops, Family and friends and Potential clients.

They are able to read the threads. I don't want any of them reading things on those threads that would hinder present or future business with them.

Everyone here is making sense and we all are entitled to our feelings on this. The trick is to consider the feelings of others as well. Not just what we feel it should be.

Jo Ann makes a good point, too, that maybe we should get over it if upset by a critique on a contest thread...but will potential clients get over it when they read public remarks like that and are swayed to use someone else's services? $$$

Just things to consider...

3/22/2013 2:20:45 PM

  I surely hadn't thought of using a BP contest gallery as a marketing tool. For that I use a website (low cost) where I control EVERYTHING about it, such as the BP product or Zenfolio. If I'm selling my work, then I can probably afford toinvest the tax write-off $100/year.
---
But OK, that's a possible reason. You can bet that I will NOT make any sort of critical comments on your photos, Laura, or on those of anyone else's who objects.
---
I would cover the feelings issue by using my best judgment about what is reasonable and not unkind. I think pretty much ALL of us know how to do it in a way that is USEFUL and HELPFUL, and not mean. Who among us does not know "MEAN" from "Well-MEANING?" And nobody is forced to comment in any particular way. We can all judge for ourselves what is right and helpful.
----
Truly, I believe that we all benefit from honesty and candor, praising when we mean it, and helping when we can, privately if necessary. But if asked not to comment, I will, of course, comply. Commenting takes time and thought and it would be a shame to waste it.
------

3/22/2013 2:35:34 PM

  I agree that if we have something critical, we should do that privately by BP email.
And....I'm not interested in selling my images, I'm retired and don't want any pressure, just happiness but love to learn to do better too!
Have a great weekend!

jo ann c.

3/22/2013 2:42:50 PM

  I surely hadn't thought of using a BP contest gallery as a marketing tool. For that I use a website (low cost) where I control EVERYTHING about it, such as the BP product or Zenfolio. If I'm selling my work, then I can probably afford toinvest the tax write-off $100/year.
---
But OK, that's a possible reason. You can bet that I will NOT make any sort of critical comments on your photos, Laura, or on those of anyone else's who objects.
---
I would cover the feelings issue by using my best judgment about what is reasonable and not unkind. I think pretty much ALL of us know how to do it in a way that is USEFUL and HELPFUL, and not mean. Who among us does not know "MEAN" from "Well-MEANING?" And nobody is forced to comment in any particular way. We can all judge for ourselves what is right and helpful.
----
Truly, I believe that we all benefit from honesty and candor, praising when we mean it, and helping when we can, privately if necessary. But if asked not to comment, I will, of course, comply. Commenting takes time and thought and it would be a shame to waste it.
------

3/22/2013 4:12:04 PM

  OMG, HOW do I get out of this thread?

3/22/2013 4:25:10 PM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Songbird, you can disable the notification feature of any Forum Thread you contributed to, by signing in to your Member Center, then go to Forums. At the very top, before any Forum headers or Photo Q&A, you'll see a link to "Browse Questions & Discussions In Which You've Participated"... click that, scroll through until you find this particular thread in the Discussions You've Responded To, and "uncheck" it.

3/22/2013 4:34:40 PM

  Yes! Chris is right- And also in the e-mail notifications you were sent to your personal mail there is a link there (in blue) that asks if you wish not to receive any more notifications to the thread. Click it and click on the next step, too, that it offers to complete it. :)

3/22/2013 4:54:01 PM

  aaaaa....the never ending drama thread...
It has been wonderful, with great ideas, and much venting...
Who is getting missing EP's now? anyone?

3/22/2013 5:37:21 PM

  Ok... critiquing my photos is ok as long as they haven't reached the EP level or higher...
at that point if something said wasn't something that everyone should see, I wouldn't be as free to delete what was said.
However, one way to delete an unsaid comment no matter what it is, is by asking BP to remove said comment. They do that when requested.

Things being said in private is the better way...but being open to see how others critique openly is worth a try... doesn't mean one has to continue to stand that ground if they don't want to.
I just want to post my photos, some in the contest, and hopefully get atleast EP's. I know not ALL of my photos will get there. Critiquing if constructive is welcome privately after the date EP's are given out.... mmm but now who knows what date that is.

SO what do we do...? what does each person decide?

Maybe BP should put an option for each entry if we want our threads to become private or public. I would prefer private to members only... not public.
That might solve some of the issue.

Night...and yes this thread is mighty long...

3/22/2013 5:43:25 PM

  Great idea! Our threads SHOULD be closed to the public and limited to members only! Or at least have that option...It should be like facebook, too, where we can delete comments if we so chose to have more control over our galleries! Hey- Michelle! Then you and others could leave their great advice, we could take it all in, then delete the suggestion later if we so choose.

Fantastic idea! WOW!!! :D Thanks for your great entry here, Nancyj!

3/22/2013 5:55:03 PM

  Just to be clear, when I brought up critiqing I did so specifically related to images passed over for EPs. Not those in the contest or random images. It would be a monthly thread about EPs, like this thread usually is but members could submit pics that didn't get EP only if they wanted feedback on maybe why it didn't. I don't have time for a club either and am not keen on the critique on an images comment thread. A thread like this one is voluntary, related only to skipped EPs and not part of your images comments. Thanks Marcy, will see how all of this plays out :-)

3/22/2013 8:24:20 PM

  thank you kindly for the reply..I have UNchecked the thread box and Im still getting comments..
and for the record Im also not getting EP's which I usually do get..
I also agree with someone above that the EP's are a very good marketing tool.. If this crap continues I may quit as many older BP friends have already done.
I am unclicking the box again.

3/22/2013 8:30:20 PM

Brian M. Jones
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/28/2012
  I came back to this forum after being away for a few days, and I noticed that Kerry Drager communicated to us what is going on.. Thank you Kerry very much.

That is all we ever wanted was an answer of some sort to what is happening..Now we have it...

3/23/2013 5:59:51 AM

  Kerry Drager, thank you. I'm assuming that the '2nd round' started...since I got an EP of my March 3rd entry :)
Everyone, keep up with the good work, and with hope that noticeable shots will indeed be recognized at the end.
Beatriz

3/23/2013 12:14:48 PM

  still no EP for me in the month of march.... :-(

3/23/2013 2:53:02 PM

 
 
BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest Finalist
 
Metallic
Metallic

Finalist - Elements of Design - March 2013

From a photowalk in my kitchen ... this is a wire whisk.
Basic adjustments in CS5.
 
 
Woo-hoo!!! An EP on a previously passed over photo (March 5th)!

3/23/2013 4:08:50 PM

Lola M.
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Lola
Lola's Gallery

member since: 3/29/2005
 
 
  Braving the Cold
Braving the Cold
 
 
3/1 Animals

3/2 Details and Macro
Lunch

3/3 Detials and Macro
Flowers and a Bug

3/7 Flowers
African Violet

3/20 People
The Bench

3/23/2013 4:51:27 PM

  I have two EP's but nothing since the 5th. I don't know if they are still catching up or not. I don't know how to post links to them like Lola did in the post above me. If anyone has some instructions on how to do that, I would be grateful for them. :-)

3/23/2013 4:56:20 PM

  Well, thanks to instructions from Kathy, I'm going to give this a try.

Nature and Landscape

13730196>Sunrise at Galveston Beach

Monthly Theme

13728554>Sea Gull

Nothing after this. Hope they get to the dates after the 20th next week!

3/23/2013 6:18:27 PM

  Looks like I still didn't get it right! Oh, well......

3/23/2013 6:20:00 PM

 
 
 
I got one today from a March 6 entry.

3/23/2013 6:28:01 PM

  I'm going to try one more time to see if I can this this right!

Nature and Landscape

13730196>March02-GalvestonBeach

Monthly Theme

13728554>March03-SeaGull

If this doesn't do it, I'm stuck and wish I could delete my posts since they are messed up. :-)

3/23/2013 7:09:00 PM

  I swear BP gets a kick out of getting us all scrambled up by not saying anything about big changes! :-) Looks like Kerry got a tiny bit of information from them...3/7/2013
Picturesque
Catch-All
Go figure! Seems like it would be more work to back-track with the EP's!

3/23/2013 8:46:12 PM

  Kalena - those are the wrong #'s. It's the first one in the url (7 digits.) Sent you new BP. Sorry for the bad info.

Got one for the 1st and 7th: String of Pink and Rack 'Em.

3/23/2013 9:00:14 PM

  March EFP -

Sea Gull

Sunrise at Galveston Beach

Both in early March. Hope they get caught up soon. I have two more out there!

3/24/2013 6:27:46 AM

  I've been giving Kalena wrong info for two days. Sorry, but glad to see you made it.

Flowers
March 01 – String of Pink

3/24/2013 11:11:51 AM

  Kathy, could you post instructions as how to post the link. I have never gotten it right and would appreciate it. Still no EP's for me, have only a few entries for March.

3/24/2013 12:07:05 PM

  I agree about the comments, but personally have found some folks get very offended if you try to offer suggestions. I think if you start by saying what you like about the image and then gently suggest how it could be even better, it is helpful. My first instinct if somebody criticizes one of my images is to get upset...but then I take another look to see what they are talking about. Many times they are just pointing out what I already am aware of, but sometimes things I miss are drawn to my attention.
I usually will go look at their gallery too to see what level of photography they do themselves. I think it would be great if people would be more outgoing with there comments. Nobody learns anything by hearing "Pretty picture"...especially if they have a crooked horizon or if they used too heavy a hand saturating colors...
I remember when I first joined BP, I used to get 30-50 comments on an image, now I am lucky if I get 10...Membership was free back then. I had probably close to 120 members I interacted with and it was loads of fun and I learned lots. Then BP started charging for memberships and took away the prizes for 2nd place and first place...then the membership price almost doubled...then less and less folks were posting and commenting. Now I have maybe 25-30 members that I try to keep up with, reciprocating commenting, but sometimes life gets in the way :-)BP is still one of the best photo sites around. I have come and gone on several others and this one is still the best fit ...

3/24/2013 12:21:41 PM

  I agree that the comments definitely have cut way back..especially since I'm not able to do much myself,anymore due to the severe arthritis in my hands. I feel like you, Jill..I tend not to like it if somebody says something in the comment section. I'd rather they BP mailed me or something..I also get the part about looking at their gallery to see their level..I caught something on one of our monthly first place winner's pictures once, and I sure am not on her level, so I emailed her, and got a nice thank you back..she hadn't noticed the problem and appreciated me not saying anything in the comment section.
This is, I agree, one of the best sites, way out in front in the social aspect, not necessarily so much in the communication department, as we have seen in this thread..Now I'm going to take a pill and put on my compression gloves.

3/24/2013 12:40:02 PM

  I wasn't aware of this thread until today. First of all I'd like to say that I thought that all of a sudden my photography sucked. Now I realize I'm not alone. lol... But this all boils down to poor communication..... something a businessman can't afford to have, unless he can afford for his business to fail. It would have been nice to know (before I deleted several images) that just because an image didn't get an EP, that it wasn't "dead".

3/24/2013 3:24:02 PM

  Patiently Waiting

This did not make EP, just trying to make a link.

3/24/2013 3:25:10 PM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
 
 
  Waiting
Waiting
 
 
This one is from the 9th, and turned up with an EP today.

Waiting
Entered: 3/9/2013
Category: Monthly Theme

3/24/2013 4:31:48 PM

  I've used this method since coming to Cheri's thread and it's worked if I don't have a typo. You can get the picture id# by clicking on your picture and looking up in the URL.

Now, here's my format. In order for you to see the whole string (and you MUST use the whole string) without it activating, I added -------. You have to remove them completely. For instance it should look like...
://www.
=33334444 (specific # of your image)
33334444>March 01 - Title of Image

Category Name:
Date and Title

I messed up with Kalena because I didn't realize we were already into 8-digit ID#s.

3/24/2013 4:47:15 PM

  Have we all lost our names and became WXEAPINI WXEAPINI or is just me/my computer???? I can't see any names on any of BP sites, including galleries, clubs, context...all appear as wxeapini .
If this is indeed over the board BP is up to much more serious problems than a simple EP delay.
Beatriz

3/24/2013 5:03:08 PM

  It has happened to me too! We all seem to have the same name.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

3/24/2013 5:07:56 PM

  Test

3/24/2013 5:08:41 PM

  Seems that we are now all related!

3/24/2013 5:10:20 PM

  Yikes, what an awful name we have!

3/24/2013 5:12:23 PM

  Well Hi, Wxeaplni wxelplni ! Is that you?! Why, I have seen you since the 1984 Family reunion! HeeHee...

3/24/2013 5:14:27 PM

  How FUNNY! Those of us who use our middle initial's here, still have our middle initials! Lol...Mine is "E"...I see a "B' on one up above, too!

3/24/2013 5:16:50 PM

  I have sent an email to Jay@betterphoto.com

3/24/2013 5:23:02 PM

  Whoops! Computer glitch! We all have a name change and to the same one! Too funny!

3/24/2013 5:25:36 PM

  Can't log into BP either.... tells me my email and password is invalid

3/24/2013 5:34:25 PM

 
 
  How to make a link
How to make a link
 
 
Someone who was trying to type code for a photo link screwed up and now this whole thread has a problem.

It is impossible to type out the correct photo link code because that typing becomes a code.

I have made a jpg of the correct way to make a photo link.

3/24/2013 5:35:38 PM

  Look at everybody's address that has commented....all are the same...I can't get in my site either...I did write to betterphot but probably won't here until tomorrow???

jo ann c.

3/24/2013 5:37:16 PM

  Ditto on the attempted log-in!

3/24/2013 5:39:22 PM

  I was wrong, the glitch isn't just on this thread, the entire BP site has a problem.

Hey, I bet I can forcast who the next winner will be...wxeaplni of course.

3/24/2013 5:46:36 PM

Jack Gaskin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/2/2007
  BP is run like the House & Senate

VERY VERY POORLY W/no-one knowing what anyone else is doing or NOT DOING !!!

3/24/2013 6:54:01 PM

  HELLO wxeaplni w. etc family...
we now all have the same names,
the same gallery?
Yikes.... I didn't know my family could grow so large so fast...
and it happened when I was uploading a photo to my gallery... made me wonder what I did wrong...lol...

3/24/2013 6:58:50 PM

  Check your BP mail wxeapini; I sent you a private message.

3/24/2013 7:09:58 PM

  To this post, there are 1492 wxeaplni in this thread alone! lolllllllllllllll

3/24/2013 7:45:36 PM

Tammy Espino
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/29/2007
  Well good luck to all. I bet I can say who the next grand prize winner will be. Of course it will be...((((drum-roll))))....Wxeplni!! :)

3/24/2013 7:56:47 PM

  At least, we're all getting a good laugh! Good-night Wxeaplni's! See ya here tomorrow!

3/24/2013 8:35:38 PM

  Site up and running for me now: 1:10 am Mountain Time. Our names are back to normal too...Don't know what the morning will bring??? Lol...

3/25/2013 12:10:28 AM

  LOL, what fun...it was very confusing... to say the least. But I AM glad to have my real name back... that Wxepli was different! 8o)
Good morning everyone...

3/25/2013 2:58:55 AM

  I guess they went back and picked up some EPs from the ones they missed. I guess mine weren't "worthy"..

3/25/2013 3:12:48 AM

  Mine either!
What a different feeling we are getting now with less EPs!

3/25/2013 3:34:46 AM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  Mine either! This feels more like when they pick finalists. You're hoping to get a nod on some of your favorites and then nothing.

3/25/2013 4:08:26 AM

  I tried to upload one in the middle of the night before the 3:00 am DST deadline, but it wouldn't let me. Then, after 3 tries, the message popped up saying that I had already entered. It didn't really happen, which made me think they were working on the odd name episode problems.

I'm just going to let March go, and start fresh with April. By then, BP ought to have worked the new kinks out.

Good Luck, Everyone - that last week in April ought to be fun, eh?

3/25/2013 4:29:55 AM

  I wonder if it was their kink or ours..
Lots of people trying to make links when they don't know how. Could be?? I don't know anything about that stuff, so I don't even try.

3/25/2013 4:36:07 AM

  Carolyn, the link issue wouldn't cause the problem of BP not getting the EP's done. Remember Kerry said they were working on something and would get things caught up. BP was behind. I don't know if they are totally caught up or not. The name issue could very well have been caused by something they are working on. We will never know for sure. Let's just hope they get everything fixed. :-)

3/25/2013 5:16:30 AM

 
 
 
Wasn't able to post last night or enter the contest. I was a little worried about our new names, only because we'd have to start a new thread to discuss pronunciation and that would surely be as long as this one!

In BPs catch up, I picked up EPs on 3 earlier entries; 3/2 Vintage Vito, 3/6 Shine and 3/8 Angel Soft. Has anyone seen any back EPs beyond the 8th?

New one for 3/21 attached. I'm pleased with this one because I wasn't entirely happy with the background.

3/25/2013 6:38:57 AM

 
 
 
hmmm...the pic wouldn't attach. Another try...

3/25/2013 6:40:31 AM

  oh forget it! 3/12 Rilly Frilly - Flowers

3/25/2013 6:42:12 AM

  Susan, you're comment about starting a long thread on how to pronounce our name is funny.

I wanted to insert a photo on a different thread. I tried to first type in the photo number but that didn't work so I tried to upload a new copy but that didn't work either.

I then typed code for a link and the link did work.

BP has a few issues to work out yet.

3/25/2013 6:59:43 AM

  hehe...I couldn't resist, Irene! Our BP mail appears to not be working as well. I'm sure they'll work the bugs out. Kind of curious what other changes we'll see and if we'll like them.

I realize that EP awards are still "up in the air" and many of us are getting them on previous submits that were passed over. But I'm going to go ahead and start a thread where we can ask for suggestions on our images that were passed over. It will be sort of a companion thread to this one each month (which I expect will go back to the way it was...lol). I have several images that I'd like to get feedback on and, like others here, I'd rather get that feedback in a thread rather than in the image's comments. I will post the link here soon for anyone that's interested :)

3/25/2013 9:26:19 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
Pat's Gallery

member since: 11/26/2006
 
 
 
Freedom
Entered: 3/23/2013
Category: Catch-All

3/25/2013 11:02:21 AM

  Susan s., I like your idea of a separate thread for the passed over EP's. Let us know when you have it up and going. Does anyone know if they are still going over the photos for the missing time. I have a couple from 3/20 and 3/21. I wonder is they are going thru them by groups and are still catching up.

3/25/2013 11:09:16 AM

  3/21..T/P..Clayton Lake Creekbed
3/22.. Skipped
3/23..Landscape..Beavers Bend Autumn Fantasy

3/25/2013 11:20:16 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
 
 
 
Fortunate to get 2 more EFP's

3/25/2013 11:39:33 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
 
 
 
Fortunate to get 2 more EFP's

3/25/2013 11:40:59 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
 
 
 
Woops the Entry did not post...

3/25/2013 11:42:28 AM

  I got two EPs today: for 6th and 23rd (both for EODs), no EPs for images in between these dates yet.

3/25/2013 11:43:54 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
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member since: 8/22/2012
  PhotoID: 13762929
Title: Junco Day
Entered: 3/19/2013
Category: Nature & Landscapes

PhotoID: 13763106
Title: Birch
Entered: 3/20/2013
Category: Nature & Landscapes

3/25/2013 11:49:52 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
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member since: 8/22/2012
 
 
 
Just picked up an earlier entry

PhotoID: 13740984
Title: Glenn Onoko
Entered: 3/10/2013
Category: Nature & Landscapes

3/25/2013 2:05:56 PM

  Well, things are looking up...I had six!

3-17 Look What April Showers Bring
3-19 Mabry Memories
3-8 Clusters Leather Leaf
3-5 Colors Alive
3-3-3 Sunflower Fantasy
3-5 Beauty in Living Color

At least they are "back in business"! lol

3/25/2013 2:16:15 PM

  3/22 Morning Has Broken - Flowers

3/25/2013 2:33:29 PM

Jackie M. Sajewski
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/21/2010
  3-4 Orchid Up Close, Flowers
3/5 Simple Lines, Flowers
3/6 Skipped
3/9 Orchid, Flowers
3/10 Gathering, Details & Macro
3/11 Skipped
3/18 Skipped
3/19 Cala, Flowers
3/23 Skipped
3/24 Cactus Flower, Flower

3/25/2013 2:55:12 PM

  Me - Picked up one flower, one EOD, and one animal (all from last week.)

Guess that's it. Can't wait until February Finalists are announced; maybe, just maybe....

3/25/2013 3:20:45 PM

  I'm still missing everything from the 8th through the 13th and from the 14th through the 19th...and the 22nd. They really really don't like me this month!

3/25/2013 3:36:03 PM

  They like me even less Carolyn. I have had only one and it wasn't a favorite of mine. :)

3/25/2013 4:09:58 PM

  I got one, which in my opinion was the worst of my entries LOL... I too am saying "whatever" for march and moving on to april..

3/25/2013 4:11:57 PM

  Got this from Jay at BP:

We had some maintenance yesterday so this should all be resolved now.

Thanks,

Jay

3/25/2013 4:57:13 PM

  3/23 Framed - Flowers

Tony and Patricia, resubmit! BP going back to award EPs looks to be really spotty. Sorta all over the place :)

3/25/2013 6:38:19 PM

  The March 2013 - No EP Feedback Thread is up. I've submitted an image to get the ball rolling if anyone is interested :)

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=35944

3/25/2013 7:03:35 PM

  An odd one popped up early this morning. As it was one of my favorites, this EP made me especially happy.

Flowers:
March 12 – Orchid Cloud

3/26/2013 2:34:13 AM

  3/12..EOD..Looking Down
They are way out of order..I guess we better not delete anything til they get through.

3/26/2013 2:50:29 AM

  I got one for 3\11 First One Out - Flowers
That was the one I posted in the no EP thread! lol

3/26/2013 3:46:01 AM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
 
 
  Library Bench
Library Bench
March 2013
Catch All
 
 
Finally received my first EP - on a photo I almost didn't submit! GO figure.


Library Bench
March 23, 2013 – Catch-All


3/26/2013 5:02:26 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
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member since: 11/26/2006
 
 
  Destruction
Destruction
This is an engine from one of the planes that flew into one of the towers on 9/11. Photographed in the Newseum in Washington DC.
 
 
Another one from earlier in the month just turned up with an EP. This is kind of fun!

Destruction
Entered: 3/11/2013
Category: Catch-All

3/26/2013 6:24:06 AM

  Pat, I have almost the same photo. Wasn't the Newseum a great place. I loved seeing all of the Pulitzer Prize winning photos.

3/26/2013 6:33:49 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
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member since: 11/26/2006
  Patricia, I've had a total of 5 1/2 days of very packed sightseeing in DC. The Newseum is by far my favorite museum so far. I was in there for hours - nearly six! The Pulitzer photos were very moving. I wanted to purchase the book, but didn't want to carry it. I need to order online - I enjoyed learning about the stories behind the photos.

3/26/2013 6:41:07 AM

Jackie M. Sajewski
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/21/2010
  3/25 Spring Is Popping - Flowers

3/26/2013 7:33:31 AM

  3/17..Macro..Basket Macro 2

3/26/2013 7:46:59 AM

  in my opinion my two worst photos got EPs and the ones I was really pinning my hopes on so far have nothing...

3/26/2013 2:42:58 PM

 
 
  Capture The Dancing Light
Capture The Dancing Light
 
 
2nd EP for the month

Capture The Dancing Light

3/26/2013 3:07:26 PM

  Hello everyone,
Nancy Hovey so kindly pointed me to this forum last week. I had no idea that there was a monthly forum for which images might make it to the Finalists. When I’ve looked through the forums they didn’t seem to have community engagement. The club that I joined was geographically based and was dormant with the administrator not replying to emails. It seemed that this was a neglected area of functionality in BP, so I didn’t pursue things further not knowing the richness of community here in a few threads. I’m sorry I missed all these past months of great conversation.

I am so appreciative of the BP experience. I have benefited greatly through the online courses, the contest, and the professional site hosting. Your support in comments has been wonderful and encouraging. You have each and all been wonderful mentors to someone who started in 2008 with the idea of being a photographer.

This contest change in March might be small to BP, but it has an impact on me.

The first awareness was the presence of extremely limited numbers of Editor's Picks in the usual timely manner as previous months. The second was the addition of the 'second round' where some of my images got EP designation out of date sequence with initial EPs.

In February, the EP experience was one of inclusion. In March it has turned to quick choices and long waits. It seems like some sort of drama. I am disconcerted by the experience. I ‘think’ the few but immediate EPs of my work are excellent images. When I look at the second and third round of EPs I’ve received, I doubt they will get to Finalist, only that they are now filling out some numbers, so why bother. I may be off the mark, but without communication and clear purpose, I make sense of things myself.

What an impact: I’ve rejoined other contest sites in the last week. I decided I got complacent with the BP experience and it’s time to manage the risk that this is a problem site.

I make decisions based on actions and not intentions. BP has not told me the intentions behind the changes. I experienced Kerry as an amazing and wonderful photographer and mentor in his courses, but his post wasn’t helpful to me. While many were thankful Kerry responded, I consider it poor performance for BP to have only one post in this long thread while sending me many ‘course selling’ emails. My professional site is here and I wonder what the impacts might be.

My cautionary note is that this experience is similar to redbubble’s changes over the last year and a half. There was no indication of change to come, the changes were implemented with bugs and problems, and there was no acknowledgement of them when reported. Members left for other sites. The site has shifted its purpose and market to T-shirts with graphics. For fulfillment, I’ve started loading images to Fine Art America thinking that I am a better match there.

I hope February’s Finalists and Winners are coming up shortly. It's part of what makes BP a great site - a wonderful experience in which we celebrate and appreciate the great accomplishments of artists and photographers.

My thanks to each of you in making this an amazing conversation and community.

Marilyn

3/26/2013 4:06:44 PM

  March 24th missed my image of the Eagle Speaks (showing the inside of his beak while calling out).

Thank you Marilyn, for such a wonderful response to the issues here on BP. I went to look at your gallery and was amazed at the photos that did not get an EP. Interesting!

3/26/2013 5:17:50 PM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
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member since: 11/26/2006
 
 
  Freedom
Freedom
 
 
Freedom
Entered: 3/23/2013
Category: Catch-All

3/27/2013 5:24:39 AM

  Is anyone getting EP's that were posted from the 15th through the 23rd? Just wondering if they have skipped these and are coming back to them.

Thank you! :-)

3/27/2013 7:08:07 AM

  They are all over the place..I just got this one..
3/16..Landscape..Rain At Last

3/27/2013 7:10:46 AM

 
 
  Party Girl
Party Girl

(Resubmitted)
 
 
I got one for the 22nd (attached), but it appeared right away.

My entries for 3/15, 3/16, 3/17, and 3/19 have no EP so far.

(By the way, I don't enter every day.)

3/27/2013 9:57:41 AM

  p.s. Hopefully they are working on judging the February contest ... :)

3/27/2013 10:01:04 AM

Jackie M. Sajewski
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/21/2010
  3/26 Leaves. Macro close up

3/27/2013 11:11:07 AM

  Finalists are out.

3/27/2013 12:34:44 PM

  Carolyn, you got 5 finalists for February???!!!!!????

3/27/2013 12:42:48 PM

  YES! I'm sure everybody else did better.

3/27/2013 12:48:32 PM

  Nope. None for me.

3/27/2013 12:50:04 PM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
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member since: 11/26/2006
 
 
BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest Finalist
 
Reading in the Library of Congress
Reading in the Library of Congress
 
 
Reading in the Library of Congress
Entered: 3/26/2013
Category: Travel & Place

3/27/2013 1:00:41 PM

  If you didn't get a Finalist, here's the link for you to view the ones that did...

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=55897&contestCatID=1

If you did, congratulations and Good Luck in the next round.

3/27/2013 2:45:57 PM

 
 
 
Got these EPs for older entries:
3/15 Understudied - Flowers
3/16 Synchronized - Flowers

3/25 entry skipped (What Trash Can? - Animals)
3/26 Stop & Smell the Flowers

Congrats to all the Finalists!! None for me, which ends my winning streak since June 2012 :(

3/27/2013 7:28:46 PM

 
 
 
Got these EPs for older entries:
3/15 Understudied - Flowers
3/16 Synchronized - Flowers

3/25 entry skipped (What Trash Can? - Animals)
3/26 Stop & Smell the Flowers

Congrats to all the Finalists!! None for me, which ends my winning streak since June 2012 :(

3/27/2013 7:32:35 PM

  Carolyn, one finalist does not beat five! :-) Why to go!

3/28/2013 3:20:41 AM

  Just curious: did anyone on this thread get a GOLD badge for the February contest just out?

3/29/2013 8:00:05 AM

  Congrats to all who are receiving EFP's, Finalists, and Winners since the new rules/programs have begun... WTG...

so far mine have been passed!

3/29/2013 8:05:34 AM

  Usman is the only one I know of.
Doesn't it seem a bit weird to have that many finalists and they gave so many wins to the same people? Surely they could have found something else "worthy"..

3/29/2013 8:06:59 AM

  Brian Jones got two golds. I did not get any. And I don't think there's any correlation between posting to this thread and getting or not getting a gold.

3/29/2013 8:09:23 AM

  I agree with Nikki..this thread would have nothing to do with it.

3/29/2013 8:15:32 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Agreed, Nikki...

And everything that happens in the contest has a precedent in the past here... ;) We had months/years where some excellent photographers always had multiple golds---you could almost bank on it---month after month. Then we had months/years where those same photographers disappeared entirely from golds, even though they continued to enter consistently great stuff...

Regardless of the ups and downs we may see in multiple wins for a single person, photography judging always carries a subjective element, no matter how hard a judge may try to be objective... For myself, I'd hope the judges award for whatever grabbed them, whatever they truly loved or admired, whatever they felt was excellent, etc., -- and ideally, they'd have no quota measures to abide by, for say, "How many have I selected from this member? Oh---that's too many, I better go pick from someone else, just to try to spread the golds around..."

3/29/2013 8:17:21 AM

Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Pat
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member since: 11/26/2006
  Carolyn, although I would like to see more people win, I would hope the judging is done w/o visibility to the photographer's name. I'd prefer winners to be selected on their own merit. Which, I'm sure, is why mine don't make it past finalist. :)

3/29/2013 8:20:04 AM

  Just my legal training to keep digging for answers. Our legal teams, sometimes digging for months had our persistence pay off more often than not, even thou we lost the final battle more than once. I still have a problem with letting go, but what is considered a good trait in one field, is so often not in another.

3/29/2013 8:22:00 AM

Jackie M. Sajewski
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/21/2010
  I agree Pat with thinking that's how winners are selected.

There has been so much drama this month keys not start creating more.

Congrats to all the great winners.

3/29/2013 8:53:28 AM

Jack Gaskin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/2/2007
  ????? Food for THOUGHT ????????

When do minor adjustments end ( how much Photo Shop / Aperture on Mac ) before a capture should be only entered in DIGITAL DARK ROOM

At What POINT does in CEASE being a CAPTURE and become a CREATION ????

I'm certain many of you have similar thoughts about certain areas of the contest . I'd like to hear some of your thoughts before My membership expires on the 6th.

Happy Shooting

Jack

3/29/2013 9:31:36 AM

  I don't think the names are not visible to the judges, but even if they are, I can pick out some people's (quite a few) work just by looking at it. And so can they.

3/29/2013 9:36:09 AM

  I totally agree with Carolyn. Jack I have wondered the same thing too. Do we take or make a picture?

3/29/2013 9:53:39 AM

  For Jack- First off, please don't leave. Part of the BP family will be missing if you do. I promise to try harder to visit galleries for the rest of the year and yours will be one, okay? :)

Okay- To answer your question:

(Since I am big on using DDR I think maybe I am able to help you on this one).

1) Personally I think if DDR is used to *enhance* an image -only- then have at it. Put under flowers or travel or whichever category the photo was taken of originally, as if it had no DDR. This would include saturation and just very light DDR work. Curving the tones, background softening etc...DDR that makes your focal point stand out more but it's not over the top.

2) If DDR is used to *change* an image, then DDR it is!

That being said I did win Gold once when I changed categories from DDR one month to MACRO the next of a photo of frost on the window and a little squirrel peeking in. I did in fact have it set to macro on both images. The frost and the blended squirrel. (Macro being within 4 feet of the image shot on my camera).

But that is the order, (in my mind), that I use! :)

Enhance vs. Change

I hope this was of help. And now that that you know this great bit of information, how about staying on BP and applying your new and exciting knowledge??? Lol...

-Laura :)

3/29/2013 10:08:15 AM

  Perhaps if Ms. Laura would enlighten us more often on this thread, we would all be happier with something new to smile about. LOL

3/29/2013 10:10:44 AM

  :D xo

3/29/2013 10:21:59 AM

  How could they not know the names when we put our names on the photo, and the names are visible in the photo pool. As usual for me =always a bridesmaid and never the bride. :) 1 finalist--no win! Is digital manipulation allowed in all categories?

3/29/2013 12:31:25 PM

  Yes, as long as the digital manipulation isn't the main thing about the photo. (and possibly, even if it is)
I think they do see the names..they say not, when they address the issue at all, but I don't think they could ever convince me.

3/29/2013 1:02:47 PM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  My take is digital manipulation is allowed in all categories - but it involves a judgement call on the member's part, too---ie, edits that are obviously heavy, extremely stylized, highly "digital art" in nature, radically changing the underlying photo, adding brand new elements, etc. (just a general list of ideas here, not stated guidelines!) -- BP doesn't object to those kinds of images as entries in my experience, but the image may ultimately fare better in the Digital Darkroom category... a judge could potentially decide such an image is "mis-categorized" outside of Digital Darkroom, and could perhaps eliminate it in their judging rounds, based on the original category selected for the image. Other times, even with such heavy, clearly intended/obvious manipulations, an image can do well in any category...
There is no hard-and-fast rule for always knowing exactly when an image crosses the line into, "that should really be entered as Digital Darkroom."

3/29/2013 1:06:16 PM

  First & foremost, HUGE congratulations to ALL the BRILLIANT Finalists, Winners and Participants in the BP contest!!! Your work seizes to amaze me.

I appreciate this discussion thread as I learn so much here and can keep track of were the judging is at for EFPs.

Thank you to those you clarified the judging on digitally manipulation in the different categories. I had a lot of questions regarding this myself.

Some times it really bums me out to see changed images win in other categories than DD but now I realize that is just the way it is as there are no hard-and-fast rules. I know I have a lot more learning to do such as textures and layers.

Before signing off, I want to wish you all a Blessed Easter Weekend full of fun, family & photo opportunities!!!

Happy Shooting,
Sharon <><

3/29/2013 1:33:32 PM

  Thank you Sharon! Three times over!

1) You are very welcome for the help, 2)Congrats too, to all Finalists and Winners and
3)Happy Easter to you and yours, too! (And to all here on BP :D xo)

3/29/2013 1:54:58 PM

Jack Gaskin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/2/2007
  PEOPLE HONESTLY

OK No Specific examples as I have no wish to alienate ANYONE w/this topic.
There are pictures entered in specific areas of this contest every day that are OBVIOUSLY PS BIG TIME.
The results are GORGEOUS Beyond question and I applaud them regularly . Are they Captures or creations ASK YOUR SELF THIS
Is this what I saw with my naked eye or is this what I created with my soft-work abilities ???
I'm Techno Challenged as I've always said and have had PS for 5 years and NEVER EVEN ATTEMPTED IT.

Where do the Folks judging draw the line. The Obvious ans. is THEY DON'T This is not as I said in a malicious way but the fact is they say nothing.
Folks your NOT IN A CONTEST all the EP's Silver Gold all just window dressing from BP.

Look I don't take my own shooting super serious as it's not putting food on my table. I have always shot & posted what I like . It makes me happy and bottom line thats all that counts.
WHAT THRILLS ME IS COMMENTS FROM ANYONE SAYING THEY LIKE ANYTHING ABOUT THE POST.

Whats even better and what happen seldom is a constructive comment from ANYONE!!!
I HONESTLY APPRECIATE THE 4 I've gotten over the years. I'm not that good and I know It but those comments all made me better.

Forget the AWARD NONSENSE ENJOY THE COMMENTS from your fellow shooters.
Personal Note
I see your entry and comment its because I ENJOYED WHAT I SAW AND IT BRIGHTENED MY DAY.

OTHERWISE I missed your post or it just was not something I felt like commenting on . FOR ANY NUMBER OF REASONS. NO HARM
You Posted It & You Like so Be HAPPY WITH IT

Life's WAY TO SHORT TO SWEAT THE NONSENSE

HAPPY SHOOTING
Jack

3/29/2013 1:57:02 PM

  I have news that yesterday Jim Miotke wished me Happy Birthday in the comments of Nancy Hovey's wonderful image with a birthday greeting for me.

If you want to see the post it is at (and I hope this works) "LINK":http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=13781321

I am encouraged by his personal engagement!

M

3/29/2013 1:57:07 PM

  OK - sorry the link didn't work. I hope you can find the image.

I went through all the winners very carefully this month and will need another month to get some sense of trends. I really enjoyed the experience - there are so many beautiful and amazing images!

I am working on more DD images, so will follow the DD distinctions closely. This seems to be such an interesting area of discussion.

The old world of film was full of techniques with filters over the lenses. The new world is filters after the fact, and even lighting that was never there.
Got me on how it will play out...maybe we have a role in this.

M

3/29/2013 2:03:47 PM

  Bingo, Jack! Everything you said is absolutely TRUE! I have enjoyed, and think it is a treat, getting responses on my photos from you, and will miss you. Please send us a link, so we can pop in on you once in awhile to see your super shots!

3/29/2013 6:52:41 PM

  easter bunny photo: Tinkerbell Easter Bunny playboy_bunny_zps50f2f3bb.jpg

HAPPY EASTER TO ALL OF YOU (that celebrate/believe)...

3/31/2013 8:45:15 AM

  This has all been very interesting. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in wondering what is happening with the EP. I guess when you get used to a certain standard and it changes it can be unsettling. I will keep watching for further information/postings.....Thanks to all of you for posting your thoughts. Lots to think about.

3/31/2013 3:06:07 PM

  EP Update:

27th & 28th no entries
29th - skipped
30th no entries
31st Chasing the Blues - Flowers

4/1/2013 7:13:54 AM

  SKIPPED: 24, 25, 26, 28, 29 and 30!
This is BULLSHIT!
3/31..Landscape..The Beauty Of A Misty Morning.

4/1/2013 10:56:51 AM

  No EP's for 25; 27-31; got on on the 26th and do have one on 29th because it's a resub that already had one.

4/1/2013 11:01:46 AM

  LOL. Like your comment Carolyn.

4/1/2013 11:12:31 AM

  Ditto Carolyn, Nikki, and Tammy!

4/1/2013 11:46:35 AM

Ken Beatty
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 8/22/2012
  I think I only got 4 EPs out of 17 submissions in the month of March. Tough going...

4/1/2013 11:49:07 AM

  I'm out of the running for the March entries, that's for sure. What was most discouraging is that the Winter pictures I took in Niagara Falls which I thought were some of my best ever (supported by Jim Zuckerman's feedback, btw) - were totally passed over on the Finalist level.

Yes - Judging is subjective. Critiquing is subjective. The competition is stiff. It doesn't make it any less painful. 4 - 8 Finalists per single photographers seemed odd - no matter how well done the images.

Oh well, I shall not resume whining until later this Summer.

4/1/2013 12:16:22 PM

  My final tally for March was 8 out of 20 submissions - really awful. And, taking a cue from Nikki, one of those was a resub that already had one. I was so disgusted this month that I did not participate in the contest as much as usual. Thank heavens I have not lost my passion for photography! However, much as I have tried to be upbeat and positive à la Chris B, I find my enthusiasm for BP has waned slightly. Oh well, now it's on to April!

4/1/2013 12:27:28 PM

  I think it needs to be said again...that
EPs are the FIRST round..Surely most of these shots are good enough for that!

4/1/2013 12:37:56 PM

Jack Gaskin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/2/2007
  Face Facts Folk Jimmy M & BP CONTEST = BIG FARCE

Give UP on the EP & everything else !!! Carolyn got it RIGHT IT'S ALL BS

IT's the ONE AND ONLY THING KEEPING SOME OF YOU W/BP and thats a shame cause your not getting your Monies worth ...

YOUR ALL TOO WRAPPED UP IN BOGUS AWARDS that mean NOTHING

Take a shot you LOVE go to Staples and have it blown up to 16 x 20 if you still love it. Laminate it then frame it and hang it in your house for others to see .. THATS YOUR GOLD WINNER.

4/1/2013 1:12:14 PM

  Jack,
Yes, It IS subjective. I used to think I knew what the BP 'subjective' was. Oh well, like you say, it's gone.

Rona,
I know what you mean - there's hesitation now in my participation and there's a step away from BP - not as far as Jack's stepped, though...

As for March,
I am at 10 EPs out of the total March entries - 30 in total, I think.

We've got a while to wait to see what's next...

Marilyn

4/1/2013 1:26:54 PM

  :-( I posted about 15 images for March. I deleted some of them but I received one EP! I agree about not getting so wrapped up in awards but when one receives many EP's for their photos before and than receive just one EP now, how can that not be discouraging?

Carolyn, tell it like it is girlfriend! :-)

4/1/2013 1:59:52 PM

  I think we all fell discouraged and I'm glad to see Carolyn has the courage to say what we all feel about the EP's. March finalists will definitely be very interesting.

4/1/2013 2:05:45 PM

Jackie M. Sajewski
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/21/2010
  I thought they were going to come back with some type of explanation. Nothing even to start off April. I guess I thought something was going to come out of the changes before April started. I have seen so many images in the contest that would have had EP and nothing. Some of them even look like they could have garnered a finalist in the past. Maybe we should boycott putting images in until they better define the contest and criteria. Unfortunately I dont think they would notice.

4/1/2013 2:29:36 PM

  Jackie, nor would they care.

I submitted 10 and got 2 EP's. A very low number for me.. No matter who the finalist and winners are, for me, I feel that they aren't competing with all the best. That is a sad commentary. I have lost my enthusiasm for the contest and BP, it certainly wouldn't encourage me to take any classes here. It started when they said that you could compete for free because they didn't want the same people to keep winning. So now are those people being overlooked. I have looked at several galleries and some really great photos are being passed over. I know judging is hard and subjective but without a EP the second set of eyes never see them. Not a good thing! The second judge might like your photo or not. No info is also bad for customer service relations.

4/1/2013 4:05:43 PM

Jackie M. Sajewski
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/21/2010
  Patricia I agree my dis satisfaction started with the announcement that you no longer had to be a member to join. I dont understand the lack of communication from them. As many have said there are better places to store and make images available on line. The friendship is wonderful as are times when people comment on your images. I enjoyed the excitement of the contest thou. Almost always the image made the first pass. At least it helped draw the suspense if you would have any finalists. Now its just frustration on rather it will even get an EP.

4/1/2013 4:36:41 PM

  In February, I submitted 16 photos. All of them got EPs, and 6 were finalists.

In March, I submitted 11 photos, and only 5 got EPs (and 4 of those 5 were in early March when things were going along "normally").

Now surely my photography didn't change that radically for the worse in early March (geez, I hope!).

I am so confused!!!
And yes, as hard as I try not to let it, it does dampen my enthusiasm a bit ...

4/1/2013 5:13:48 PM

  Ok, so this is just my opinion, but here it is:

First, I haven't heard anyone saying that their opinion or enjoyment of their work depends on an EP. I have heard the opposite. Second, I haven't heard anyone say that the *only* reason they are on BP is the contest(even tho it would take a lot of the fun out of it). On the contrary, most value the friendships and support that they get from participating.

Jack, you are certainly entitled to your opinion but I have a problem with your statements that Jim Miotke and BP is all a big farce, BS, not worth the money and that, "we're all too wrapped up in bogus awards that mean nothing."

I can only speak for myself, but the contest and awards (here and at other sites) were the major teaching tool and motivation to learn, grow and become a better photographer. Seeing and learning from work showcased in a contest format became something to aspire to. Reaching an award level became a benchmark of progress. I didn't aspire to get the badge or award itself, I aspired to be as good as the others who did, and whose work I admired.

I have a long relationship with BP that has been satisfying and "worth it" to me. Apparently this is so for many others who have been here a long time, as well. In spite of your contest participation and the awards displayed in your gallery, you feel differently. Fine, but please don't insult the rest of us because we have had a beneficial experience.

Clearly, BP has changed some judging standard and everyone is feeling that change. Most here seem to be upset about the lack of communication, and rightly so.

Maybe I'm taking what you said the wrong way. I certainly wish you well in finding whatever suits your tastes. I also sincerely hope that BP doesn't wreck something that we've all enjoyed and benefited from over the years. Just my 2 cents.

4/1/2013 8:30:01 PM

Marcy B. Reman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/1/2012
  Well said Susan! I agree. I have totally enjoyed my BP experience. The classes are amazing and the friendship and camaraderie are wonderful.

Actually, now that I have adjusted to the change in EP assessment, I actually like the immediate feedback. I had 2 EPs this month out of 26 submissions. I interpret that to mean those 2 photos are very good rather than just acceptable. It is making me strive harder to improve my photography and I am definitley critiquing my own photos to a higher standard now. Also, it means those 2 photos are more likely to become finalists since the next pool of selections are from a smaller grouping.

Just my thoughts.

Here is my second EP photo for the March 31 entry.
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Lower GWB Arches
March 31, 2013 – Travel & Place


4/2/2013 5:36:14 AM

  One thing that I hope happens starting this month is for BP to return to awarding the EPs in date order. That whole mess in March had me checking out all my skipped images every time someone reported that there were more EPs.

Having most of one's images rejected for consideration was a new and miserable experience. Having to see the same thing over and over and over again while double-checking the missed ones to see if they survived the fortieth round of EPs was just mean! Gadzooks, BP!

4/2/2013 7:27:48 AM

  It took a while, but my final entry for March did get an EP.

Travel & Place:
March 28 – Connecting Nations

4/2/2013 6:39:57 PM

  I picked up 2 more from the skips..
3/24..Landscapes..Double Dog sunset
3/28..DD.. Grumpy

4/2/2013 7:07:19 PM

  BP editors must be having a Spring Break!??

4/3/2013 5:38:48 PM

  Or busy for spring cleaning or tax.

4/3/2013 5:57:51 PM

  Out of curiosity I looked through all 75 of my "Favorite Photographers" and noticed that either they had quit posting, had quit BP, had almost no comments on their latest images and not a single one of them had any recent EPs...These are most of the top Photographers here at BP that ALWAYS get winners and finalists... now I don't feel quite as bad about not getting any lately.
Maybe BP is going to go back to where there just aren't EPs anymore? Sure wish somebody could say a few words to let us all in on what is going on...

4/6/2013 2:49:00 AM

  I was wondering if they quit giving EPs, too..In view of all the crap they were taking over it, I wouldn't be surprised.

4/6/2013 3:02:49 AM

  Hmmmmm....seems like a possibility,or they've just cut way down on staff, and it is taking longer, as they have not even finished last month! I don't think they would answer that question anyway-feels like everything's going in the crapper!

4/6/2013 4:24:50 AM

  I think this delay is not at all unusual given the time of month and the fact that we are just moving through the Easter/spring break period. I expect them to resume - but not with their generosity of a couple of years ago :) Just a guess, of course.

4/6/2013 4:42:53 AM

  Jill has summed it up here. We get discouraged when we don't get EP's when we deserve them...NO EP and this means we are out of the running. ZIP. No more chance at silver or gold.

I really appreciate all you said on this thread Jack about this not really being a contest but YES. It really is. It needs improvements but it is a contest.

I joined in 2008 because of the contest.

Meeting all of you has been the unexpected bonus and blessing but I am also here to become recognized in my 3D life and have a place to display my Art.

Plain and simple, if I deserve to make first round I expect to make first round!

It should not be too much to ask for goodness sake!

Jill mentioned that many of the best photographers in her FAV'S area are now gone or not posting or posting and not getting EP's...They might be or already have considered leaving to other sites that have a better contest and prizes and more appreciation for our entries. They have left and took their money with them!

Bottom line: GREAT photographers and artists make BP look GOOD....BP should be concerned about the cream of the crop that is leaving. Why aren't they? Maybe this is the bigger question?

BP, if you are listening, please. We love it here. We want to stay or else we wouldn't be here upset and wondering together.

TALK TO US.

Get those EP's rolling full sped and FAST! So many gold and silver images are being witnessed by us all no one is giving them their due credit.

Can you please send us a group letter to explain what the heck is going on???

Do you need part time help with judging? Ask us! Many of us might be qualified to help!!! LET'S GET CAUGHT UP and running right!

Yours truly,
Laura E. Swan

4/6/2013 4:51:00 PM

  I've had emails from many long time BPers that say they are going to let their membership expire. I don't think is as much about the EP's as it is about the lack of concern with the disgust of all the members. I have to scratch my head and wonder, from a business standpoint, what the heck they are doing.

4/6/2013 5:04:30 PM

  I agree with Danny. Don't understand how all this is helping their business and the lack of concern. I don't know about everyone else but with all this going on I'm getting bored and losing interest in BP.

4/6/2013 5:46:01 PM

  Don't forget that this thread is now very hard to find - you are preaching to the choir (and a very lovely choir it is :) ) when you post to it.

4/6/2013 5:48:31 PM

Jack Gaskin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/2/2007
  This is my last comment on BP as I am GONE TOMORROW... BP has been Penny wise & dollar foolish for at least a couple of years now THEY JUST DON'T GET IT !!!! All they care about is sales PERIOD.

Like Danny I have had numerous members say they are letting their memberships run out. It's just common sense. You don't get your monies worth from BP regardless of what type/level site you have w/them.

I will miss some GREAT FOLKS and looking at their shots which I throughly enjoy but it's not enough to keep me and apparently many others.

There is NO CONTEST it's a social interaction thing .
BP never took it seriously as they could not follow their own guidelines regarding entries & how to judged them ... Everything was & Is aimed at selling people on their courses or bogus certifications.
NEVER HAS BEEN ANY DIRECT FEEDBACK or RESPONSE to questions raised with them.

I can Get more for less elsewhere so it's a simple decision to MOVE ON...

LAST BIT OF ADVICE GET OVER THE EP'S & other NONSENSE JIM M PROBABLY HAS A 6 YEAR OLD doing the SELECTIONS as IT IS NOT A PRIORITY AT ALL for him ...

Wishing you all HEALTH & HAPPY SHOOTING
Jack G

4/6/2013 6:03:12 PM

  Hi all,

I picked up one missed EFP last week for the 24th. Two other images I could see why they didn't get a badge and one I question. I'll just re-enter although I don't think it is finalist material.

Also I just emailed Jim and Kerry asking them to read this thread with hopes they will contact us and answer some of our concerns.

I hate to see BetterPhoto members so unhappy and dissatisfied.

We'll see what happens... if they read the thread or not... and if they will do something about it.

Wishing you all a good weekend with many photo opportunities.

Sharon

4/6/2013 6:07:59 PM

  OMGosh, this thread is still running hot!!!

I did finally get an EFP...on the EAGLE SPEAKS.... go figure.

4/6/2013 7:28:57 PM

  I really love BP and the friends I have made here. It is so sad to see the direction the site is moving toward. Some simple communications with its members might keep them from not giving up on the site. I have almost a whole year left with my membership, so I guess I have time to see what happens. I too have lost interest. For the most part, I usually post a new image everyday. Last month I only posted 4 new images.

4/6/2013 7:32:11 PM

  My latest from Jim and the gang asks if I want to take a beginning course in Ps-like a slap in the face. He must send this to everyone that has not taken more that 2 classes from him. I take my classes elsewhere for less money; belong to NAPP, and work daily on everything Photoshop related, and it doesn't cost me a thing, except a nominal yearly fee. I subscribe to different photographer's blogs-and there are many that are FREE! In this day and age, not all of us can fork over $400 for one class, when we can get many classes for a fraction of that price.

One thing I do like about BP's change in their site is the change of the photo uploader- it is super fast, and a great improvement. Other than that, it is business as usual, and I would miss my CLUB associations and the friends I have made, but that is about all. I feel I got cheated last month, but I don't think I'm alone in this feeling. I've heard from many not even on this thread about the same thing.

Good luck, Jack. Please let us know where you've landed, maybe some of us will follow.

4/6/2013 7:40:20 PM

  Yes!!! Happy days are wished to you Jack. I will miss your wit and fun and honesty. I didn't mean to make a fuss on your way out. I wish there was enough here to make you and so many others stay. I hope you go on to find whatever it is you are looking for. :)

I'd be a BP'er for life if they awarded great prizes like "View Bug" awards...Have you guys checked out that contest site yet? I visited it and there is no way a person can't tell it's a major and fun contest! GREAT PRIZES TOO!

For now I will hang on here and if the EP's start to roll back in for us all like they should I will stay...

My beef with not getting them is that I have clients and potential clients and family who come to view my gallery. I want EP or badges under them. I have heard BP has two judges and they are very qualified. Whether they still work there or not is the big question.

Night all.....xo

4/6/2013 11:15:23 PM

  Hearing that people are leaving BP due to the EP situation and the noncommunications from BP is sad to hear. I have been on BP since 2006, and one thing has always been since I first signed up. That is; BP has never communicated well with the general membership. They have only communicated well during a class and 'they' refers to the class instructor (with the class). Since 2006 I have only taken one class and it was a class on the Canon EOS T2i, so I could