Changing the fortnightly comp


Dr. Mhuni

Link Posted 11/11/2009 - 17:54
Have been reflecting on the subject of fortnightly comp subjects - in the absence of anything to photograph! I'm beginning to wonder if we might not change the way the comp works - or at least how the subject is selected.

I think this comp works best when a very open theme is selected. For example, Mike W's 'Half and half' lent itself to all sorts of interpretations. By contrast, I think both this round and the previous round were rather restrictive given the format of the competition (the 2 week time frame). Don't get me wrong, this isn't a criticism of judges for choosing inappropriate subjects - both White Shirts and Fires are around all over, but they aren't necessarily easy to find or to photograph. For this round I haven't seen a single fire in Colombo in the past fortnight - and I prefer to shoot what's out there rather than setting something up. Having said this, I should stress that I do realise it's difficult coming up with something on the spur of the moment, and I know I probably haven't always made the best selections.

But this has got me thinking that perhaps we should change the way the fortnightly works so that we consensually agree about subjects which we all think are suitably open for the two week timeframe. In fact, I'd go further and try to work out some way in which subjects could be selected further in advance - which would give us more opportunity to think ahead and would hopefully encourage greater participation.

I suggest discussion in a thread - the comments thread? - about potential subjects for the next but one comp. Perhaps we could compile a list of subjects and then vote on the subject of the comp that starts after the one running and the one that follows. Does this sound practical? Does anyone have other ideas?

I think this competition is one of the best aspects of the forum in that it gets you out and thinking about using your camera to a specific end, and in a specific timeframe. However, unfortunately it is often sparsely attended. Perhaps agreeing on more open subjects further in advance would result in more forum members entering the comp. What do people think?
Mhuni

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mikew

Link Posted 11/11/2009 - 19:06
I understand your point entirely and I for one thought white shirts was tough and when Lilly wouldn't allow T shirts or blouses I thought it was tougher still. However, those that entered did so on the back of ingenuity and imagination. As Lilly said if I restrict you enough I knew you'd get an idea.

I think that bonfire night was even tougher and didn't help non UK residents at all but it was relaxed to accommodate them. As you say in Colombo fires won't abound nor will fireworks - which I personally can rely on once or twice a month at a local hotel used for weddings (goodness knows why but people happily burn 2 grand doing this).

It might be an idea to have an agreed list of ten or twenty topics which we all think suitable and the winner chooses from that list or we just rely on common sense. I recall setting one topic where I thought I had killed the fortnightly stone dead!

Perhaps allowing 24 hours to negotiate an easement in the topic - white shirts for example we might have twisted Lilly's arm to allow T shirts and blouses or bonfire night became fire or fireworks.

I too like this competition and enjoy it no end even when it's a tough one. I like the idea of a deadline and as Lilly said being forced to think.

Good idea to raise this as a discussion.

Mike
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mecrox

Link Posted 11/11/2009 - 19:30
Well, one could simply insert a short paragraph into the rules along the lines of:

Judges are reminded that photographers from all over the world may enter this competition. Subjects that depend on such things as location, seasons, national holidays or festivals, codes of dress and so forth are unlikely to be suitable. The same is true of a competition subject requiring a particular item of equipment which some people may not have. Please choose a competition subject of a reasonably broad nature that will be equally available to photographers wherever they live and of all degrees of experience. If a competition subject is deemed to be unsuitable, then the forum moderators may alter or change the subject at their discretion.

Father Ted

Link Posted 11/11/2009 - 19:31
A friend of mine is in a camera club and they publish their competition subjects 12 months in advance. Could we do the same and leave the winner t judge teh competition without setting the subject? Obviously we'd leave in the rule about the shot having to be taken in the fortnight.

Just a thought.
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mikew

Link Posted 11/11/2009 - 20:00
I would prefer not to know the subject in advance as I actually do think about it quite intensely - yes I know it's hard to believe I can think that way but it is possible.

Also bear in mind I stage a lot of my shots so that if I knew in advance I could set them up and practice more. I like the time constraint and I like the lack of knowledge prior to the fortnight - but I'll go with the flow.

Mike
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Father Ted

Link Posted 11/11/2009 - 20:33
mikew wrote:


Also bear in mind I stage a lot of my shots so that if I knew in advance I could set them up and practice more.

That's a good point. Hadn't thought of that.
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gartmore

Link Posted 11/11/2009 - 23:25
I have to say that I thought we had sorted out geographically inappropriate topics from the start when Dr M drew up the initial guidleines.

I would have entered Lily's comp had circumstances not prevailed against me. Tim's by it's very nature excluded the entire planet, bar 60 million or so souls.

I like the idea of challenging and quirky topics and I fear that if a 'consensus' prevails we will end up with tired, hackneyed and cliched subjects which are the very backbone of the very worst in camera clubs.

Leave well alone, I say.
Ken
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thoughton

Link Posted 11/11/2009 - 23:45
Oh dear I've caused a ruckus, again In my defence I can only say that I did give some thought to the theme before posting it! I had considered non-UK people and stated that they could submit any photos of fires. That was in my original post, not added in later. I, probably naively, thought fire would be pretty easy for anyone to find a photo of

I'm fine with most of the suggestions made so far, with the caveat that I think that sorting out a list of possible topics and getting everyone to vote on it, every two weeks, sounds difficult.

I also agree with MikeW in that the announcement of the topic and immediate beginning of the two week deadline is a good thing. In my opinion it adds a degree of excitement to the competition, which I guess is why I prefer the fortnightly comp to the weekly comp. However I'm not so besotted with it that I would object to a change in format. I'm happy to go with the flow!
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Last Edited by thoughton on 11/11/2009 - 23:48

johnriley

Link Posted 12/11/2009 - 00:04
I would agree with Ken that leave well alone is the way to go. The system we have is essentially the same as the weekly competition, and is simple and well understood. A high maintenance version will I think flounder after a while rather like the somewhat cumbersome Raw Competition did.
Best regards, John

Aiki

Link Posted 12/11/2009 - 08:36
i wouldnt start changing the system !
Let it be as it is.
Just this was a little lesson and reminding to potential judges.
We all may slip in one or othe way. As a judge or also while entering a photo.

BTW, I liked White Shirt theme a lot. My imagination worked and I had several ideas. Time was just lacking, maybe model too etc. Although I didnt enter a sensible photo, I keep the theme in my mind and hope to do it some other day. And I defenetly have benifit from the theme then a lot.
The aim is not always to participate and win, but to push the imagination and to learn noticing potential shots around us.
Aiki

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Lilly

Link Posted 12/11/2009 - 10:42
I am very happy with it the way it is and I agree entirely with Gartmore and Mike, my reasons for participating in this comp when I do, is the opportunity to focus intensely on a theme that I have no prior warning of and the quirkier the better I say, that is the frision and nature of this comp for me.
To post up a list would kill it for me, so many camera clubs do the same and for me personally it is a total turn off.
This comp I think is for the 'more thinking photographer fraternity' and I kind of think of it as an assignment for my brain!

I can understand where Dr M is coming from, but as JR says it wd over complicate it, as long as we remind potential judges, by way of a note at the beginning of the theme set:

Judges are reminded that photographers from all over the world may enter this competition. Subjects that depend on such things as location, seasons, national holidays or festivals, codes of dress and so forth are unlikely to be suitable. The same is true of a competition subject requiring a particular item of equipment which some people may not have. Please choose a competition subject of a reasonably broad nature that will be equally available to photographers wherever they live and of all degrees of experience. If a competition subject is deemed to be unsuitable, then the forum moderators may alter or change the subject at their discretion.

I think we should leave well alone.

Lilly
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darlene

Link Posted 12/11/2009 - 13:07
Hey I don't mind the challange...It does make one think at times
Even if there are fewer enters...Maybe just maybe one of these times I may win Now that would be a WoW factor

Hyram

Link Posted 12/11/2009 - 13:24
Leave it as it is I think.

Most of these Fortnightly Competitions are not difficult to enter - the hard bit is having a good, original idea and executing it well
Hyram

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Dr. Mhuni

Link Posted 13/11/2009 - 17:21
Okay, okay - all your excellent arguments have convinced me that it should stay as it is. And Hefty's done us proud by selecting such an open topic - already have something in mind, just have to find the right location (and time).

Are we going to insert the para from Mecrox in the rules then? Seems sensible to me.
Mhuni

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mikew

Link Posted 13/11/2009 - 17:24
I think that sentiment is a good idea but possibly shorter?
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