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View Full Version : Poll: Text use in the Photo Contest


Bud Helms
August 6, 2009, 07:38 PM
So, let's see how you guys feel about the use of text in the Photo Contest.

Cast your vote.

We will implement this poll result and a simplification of the rules (compliments of PDBreske) in the September contest.

Al Norris
August 6, 2009, 08:54 PM
Been following this discussion ... Voted for no text. Anywhere.

alloy
August 6, 2009, 09:06 PM
I don't mind it particularily, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, I don't see how 4 or 5 more is gonna make it a winner.

Shadi Khalil
August 6, 2009, 09:38 PM
I also voted no text anywhere. I like the way th voting is going.

Rich Miranda
August 6, 2009, 09:53 PM
I chose Option 2.

Sometimes a very short explanation of what is in the picture is valuable, but I wouldn't sully the actual photograph with a text overlay.

IdahoG36
August 7, 2009, 12:27 AM
I agree with limiting the text in the post to a line or two, but photography is an art and creativity should not be limited. I say text in the photo itself should still be allowed.
If somebody wants to make their submission look like a gun ad, so be it. They took the time to create something and share it for others to enjoy, and had fun while doing it. That is the first and foremost purpose of this contest.

PDBreske
August 7, 2009, 02:10 AM
Since this is the only "photography contest" thread on TFL, I voted to prohibit any text from any part of the posts. There are several hundred thousand other threads for people to share their versions of a gun brochure, but they don't belong in a pure photo contest. When TFL starts a digital editing and publishing contest, those images will be welcomed to that thread.

I also don't need to know that your young niece just received her first rifle on her recent birthday to fully appreciate the photo of the gun she's holding. Let the photo stand on its own merits.

Freakdaddy
August 7, 2009, 11:34 AM
I voted for the second option as I believe if someone wants to describe their gun's make and model or give their picture a title, then so be it. If we didn't have the "Mona Lisa", everyone would be wondering who that chick was. I'm also concerned that if we go with no text at all then a member's submission would get removed and they would quit participating in any future monthly contests. No text is also going to require more moderating as well.

I'm in agreement with all views pro/con regarding text and I believe a picture should stand on its own. I don't care if you do claim it was General Custer's Peacemaker, if it's not a quality picture then I won't vote for it. The original inception was for this to be a "fun" contest to see some gunporn and to show off photography skills whether professional or amateur. We need to keep the rules relaxed to maintain member participation and in the end, the votes will decide.

PDBreske
August 8, 2009, 06:43 PM
No text is also going to require more moderating as well.

I disagree. Allowing "one line of text" is a rule that will be abused by some and followed by others, and some people won't add any text at all. A simple "no text" rule is easy to understand and comply with and even easier to recognize when it's broken.

I doubt it will require much extra work by a moderator because anyone who accidentally breaks a rule is usually reminded by the rest of the group. I know there have been times when someone posted two photos in one post and a quick PM reminder had it fixed in a few hours.

And do you know the reason people break the rules of this contest? Because they don't read them, that's why. They are too long and complicated and no one is going to bother to read through two pages of rules for what should be a fun competition. A handful of simple rules will do wonders for the future of this contest by encouraging more people to enter.

alloy
August 8, 2009, 06:48 PM
Where does the photographer's name/logo fall?

Bud Helms
August 8, 2009, 10:09 PM
We had a discussion about what we need in the poll here (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=366116).

Dingoboyx
August 8, 2009, 10:20 PM
It is a photo contest.... let the photo do the talkin' I reckon :D

I almost went for option #2, but it opens the door to potential abuse.... therefore arguements/complaints might arise.... so, IMO, no text in or on the pic means the only thing in the pic is the 'star' item :D

alloy
August 8, 2009, 10:22 PM
We had a discussion about what we need in the poll here.

And after reading that...that's most likely why I am unclear, particularily the last 7 or 8 posts.

Does no text mean no text at all, or no text except for some text, logos, and watermarks?

It's no matter, I vote for the pic I like best text or not, but the subtle distinction between a gun flyer and a photog's flyer is lost on me in a monthly for fun contest.

Anyway, my vote is in. Text OK, or lose it ALL.

Bud Helms
August 8, 2009, 10:27 PM
Well, maybe we should have let that discussion go longer. That would have been the place to bring it up. A little late now.

PDBreske
August 9, 2009, 08:32 AM
And after reading that...that's most likely why I am unclear, particularily the last 7 or 8 posts.

Does no text mean no text at all, or no text except for some text, logos, and watermarks?

It's no matter, I vote for the pic I like best text or not, but the subtle distinction between a gun flyer and a photog's flyer is lost on me in a monthly for fun contest.

Anyway, my vote is in. Text OK, or lose it ALL.

On the other thread I made it clear that I was hoping to get rid of ALL text, logos, watermarks, etc. I know I have added watermarks to my own photos in the past, but I'm perfectly willing to do without if the new rules require it.

Charger Fan
August 9, 2009, 09:31 PM
I voted for text.
I agree that an essay included in the post isn't necessary, but maybe just listing the make & caliber of the gun would be ok? Merely because sometimes pics get posted of guns I'm not familiar with...and I get curious.:)

IllinoisCoyoteHunter
August 9, 2009, 10:05 PM
no text. a picture is worth a thousand words.

arcticap
August 14, 2009, 04:56 PM
With all due respect to the folks who think that a line of text shouldn't have any part in a photo contest, aren't photos like paintings or other works of art that are given names or captions?
Life Magazine photos always used to have captions and many works of art in museums have names.
Why shouldn't entrants be allowed to creatively caption, name or simply describe the subject of their photo? Because of fear that some folks might go overboard or because others have a philosophy of all or nothing? That not only seems to be impractical, but being overly restrictive is not what having the freedom to help make our own rules should be about.
The original rules didn't allow captioning, but it was allowed because it made sense and didn't hurt the spirit of the contest. And now we're trying to fix the wording of the rule so that a caption or description isn't confused with allowing an entry that's too much like a commercial ad and less like a purely artistic photo.
Rather than vote for all or nothing, I'm voting for the compromise solution to correct the wording of the rules. It's the same kind of compromise that led to passing the U.S. Constitution which created the two chambers of Congress, the House of Representatives based on population and the Senate based on 2 Senators per state in an equal fashion a.k.a. the Connecticut Compromise.
Now at least an entrant can name, caption or describe their photo which should suffice for most every practical & artistic purpose, and is preferable to allowing computer generated text to be added to a photo.
Thanks for letting me voice my opinion.
Since I missed the first discussion thread I now feel much better and more certain about the reasoning behind my vote. :)

PDBreske
August 14, 2009, 05:20 PM
With all due respect to the folks who think that a line of text shouldn't have any part in a photo contest, aren't photos like paintings or other works of art that are given names or captions?

None of the photos or works of art that hang in a gallery are entered in a contest. They are for display or sale.

Speaking as someone who has entered a few photography contests (and not just on internet forums), I can say that no contest worthy of the name would allow the artist to sway the judging with some manner of written description accompanying the entry. The photo stands on its own. In fact, a true contest would have the entries posted anonymously, but as I've said before, this would demand far too much effort from the moderators. In the real world, the entries are given a set of display parameters that usually include the size and type of border, how the photo must be mounted, etc. The entries are lined up with no identifying information and the judges make their decision.

I'll say this again: If you want/need to know the make and model of the gun, ask the owner in a PM. Whether the gun was made in America or Britain, purchased in 2003 or 1933, or owned by a dead President of the Senate should have no bearing on your ability to judge a good photograph.

arcticap
August 14, 2009, 11:37 PM
I'll say this again: If you want/need to know the make and model of the gun, ask the owner in a PM. Whether the gun was made in America or Britain, purchased in 2003 or 1933, or owned by a dead President of the Senate should have no bearing on your ability to judge a good photograph.

Then why does every beauty contestent in the Miss America or Miss Universe pageant have their titled announced each and every time they come on stage?
Or an Olympic contestant like a gymnast, skater or diver that's based on subjective scoring?
Why should any photo entrant potentially be sent scores of repetative PM's asking the same question about what kind of gun it was that they photographed?
That's impractical, and one thing that America has always stood for is practical solutions rather than ideological ones.

I can say that no contest worthy of the name would allow the artist to sway the judging with some manner of written description accompanying the entry.

Every contestant has the choice of deciding whether to enter or not. Simply having a caption alone doesn't make it an unworthy contest.
Every judge has a bias, and art and judging art is biased. The simple act of voting is the highest form of exercising bias. So please let's not try to say that art is judged in a vacuum without exercising personal bias and subjective opinion.
At this point the polling is more than 2 to 1 in favor of allowing some form of text which shows that more people believe that it shouldn't be considered to be a negative but rather as something positive.

PDBreske
August 15, 2009, 06:08 AM
Then why does every beauty contestent in the Miss America or Miss Universe pageant have their titled announced each and every time they come on stage?

Wow. What an amazingly profound analogy.

flight954
August 15, 2009, 09:10 AM
Been following this discussion ... Voted for no text. Anywhere.

+1

CraigC
August 16, 2009, 12:03 PM
This ain't a professional photo contest and any attempt to make it as such will go a long way towards taking all the fun out of it. A single line of text letting us know the make and model of firearm depicted would not sway voting the tiniest little bit. No accompanying story, just a little objective information. Personally, I'm not just voting according to the quality of the photo, the subject matter is also important. I'd much rather see a quality photo snapped in the field, in a natural setting, of a firearm that gets used than a magazine quality, studio shot of a Glock. We're not professional critics, we're shooters.

PDBreske
August 16, 2009, 01:30 PM
How can you suggest that text would not sway the voting the "tiniest little bit" when you also state that you're not only voting on the quality of the photo but the subject of it? You also flaunt your prejudice by saying you'd rather see mediocre pictures of a well-used gun than high quality shots of a Glock. Maybe some people don't own anything but a Glock? Not everyone owns so-called "classic" weapons that might fit your definition of a "gun that gets used" (although I know for a fact that my XDs and XCR do get used).

Again, ruling out any text is the purest, simplest way to eliminate prejudice. If no photo has any description, all the photos are judged on an equal basis. If some photos have some text and some do not, there will be bias. This can't be argued, no matter how well you think you can read the minds of other people.

EDIT: Is this the only thread that people visit to view pictures of guns? No, of course not. There are dozens (or hundreds) of those already established on this forum, so saying that taking away the ability post a text description will ruin the thread for everyone is preposterous. You can post pictures of your guns on any one of the other threads and include ten paragraphs of description if you like, or you could even start your own thread. No one is forced to post on the Photo Contest thread. For those who do enter the contest, there should be a means of establishing fair judging for all entries, not just the ones you like because the gun is interesting.

arcticap
August 16, 2009, 02:36 PM
Again, ruling out any text is the purest, simplest way to eliminate prejudice.

IMO the statement above represents a disconnect with reality.
Opinions, votes in polls and judging anything are all based on bias.
So are jury trials.
Only prejudicial evidence or statements shouldn't be aired during a trial.
We're mostly adults here and can easily differentiate between what is predjudicial and what is not.
Labeling the photo and info. about the gun is not prejudicial in the eyes of the great majority of voters so far.
The purity argument wears thin after a while.
It sort of smacks of ideological elitism and not being able to respect other people's opinions if different from their own.
While some folks seem to think that condescension is a strong suit, I think the following quote is just a reflection of sour grapes.

Wow. What an amazingly profound analogy.

Maybe a machine could be invented to judge a photo without any bias? :D

PDBreske
August 16, 2009, 03:58 PM
The disconnect with reality appears to be your belief that people will adhere to a rule that allows "Labeling the photo and info. about the gun...." I give that rule four posts into the first month before someone disregards it and two hours before that person is complaining that they should be allowed to write whatever they want to write.

That is reality.

CraigC
August 16, 2009, 05:08 PM
If you're so against it, why have you added a descriptive line of text in every entry of yours that I've seen? You really think adding " Springfield Armory XD45 Compact Tactical" or "Robinson XCR-L 5.56 with Aimpoint Micro H-1 RDS", " Browning BPS "12 Iron" For the really rough stuff:", or "Savage 10FP .308 with Choate stock and Falcon scope" promotes bias???


If no photo has any description, all the photos are judged on an equal basis.
I agree, total disconnect with reality. No photo here or anywhere else will be judged without bias. And yes, I freely admit to my bias. Guess what? Bias isn't against the rules but what you propose is exactly what I mean by taking the fun out of it.


...there should be a means of establishing fair judging for all entries...
What, you want to censor our thought processes?


You also flaunt your prejudice by saying you'd rather see mediocre pictures of a well-used gun than high quality shots of a Glock.
I never said mediocre, don't put words in my mouth. Yes, I give far more credit to an average shooter who is able to take a quality photo in an imaginative setting than a professional photographer like yourself taking one in a studio environment. That is my right.


The disconnect with reality appears to be your belief that people will adhere to a rule that allows "Labeling the photo and info. about the gun...." I give that rule four posts into the first month before someone disregards it and two hours before that person is complaining that they should be allowed to write whatever they want to write.
Then why have any rules at all? :rolleyes:

PDBreske
August 16, 2009, 10:26 PM
Yes, I give far more credit to an average shooter who is able to take a quality photo in an imaginative setting than a professional photographer like yourself taking one in a studio environment. That is my right.

I guess there's no use in discussing this any more, is there? With that logic, nothing I say will change your mind. So be it.

CraigC
August 16, 2009, 11:32 PM
...nothing I say will change your mind.
Not really. Studio-type photos just always look too......contrived. Maybe that's just me but I always preferred photos taken by gunwriters to those by Ichiro Nagata.

PDBreske
August 17, 2009, 08:37 AM
Studio-type photos just always look too......contrived.

Really? Do you have any idea how long it takes to set up one of these photos or do you just think expensive cameras and lights are magical in their ability to take a good photo with no effort on the part of the photographer?

At what point does the quality of an image go from a high-quality amateur photograph to contrived, professional artwork? Is it the location? Is the overall sharpness of the image that gives it away? Is it the lack of blown-out highlights? Is the precise control of shadows or focus?

CraigC
August 17, 2009, 10:19 AM
Do you have any idea how long it takes to set up one of these photos...
Uh, yeah! That's exactly what I mean by "contrived". The bottom line is that I can be thoroughly impressed with your skill as a photographer but the photo itself can leave me feeling, well....nothing. If it's "too" perfect or the subject matter is not inspiring, I move on. I'm passionate about firearms, shooting and hunting. I want a photo to take me back in time or to a far-off interesting place. I want it to make me want whatever it depicts. You know, stir my soul. I might be critical, but I'm not a "critic".

The difference between you and me is you put all your emphasis on producing the most technically perfect photo. I think your technical skill should be secondary and transparent. I want to be moved by the subject matter, not your photography skills.

PDBreske
August 17, 2009, 12:15 PM
I want to be moved by the subject matter, not your photography skills.

Then I suggest we change the title of the contest to "Pick Your Favorite Gun."

CraigC
August 17, 2009, 12:28 PM
If that's really all you took from that post I'm definitely wasting my time on this discussion.

Hawg
August 18, 2009, 06:37 AM
No text. Let the pic speak for itself.

grymster2007
August 18, 2009, 11:44 AM
I'll be voting for the entries that most satisfy my highly subjective requirements for a good photo and I'll not be swayed by a line of text any more than I will by evidence of extensive PhotoShopping.

I personally don't like photos that appear as manufacturer's brochures and I don't like grainy cell-phone shots of Lorcin L25s laying on a cluttered garage bench, so I don't vote for them. But I think the point here was to have a fun photo contest, rather than a professional photo contest. To that end, I say keep the rules simple and few in number, let people post what they wish and allow the membership to sort it out in the polls.

Charger Fan
August 18, 2009, 10:46 PM
To that end, I say keep the rules simple and few in number, let people post what they wish and allow the membership to sort it out in the polls.
AMEN!:cool:
This is, after all, a gun site...not a photography site. Some of us are better at shooting bullets than we are at shooting pictures. Some (me) are good at neither, but it's still fun to play...however, too many rules may end up being a killjoy in the end.

Bud Helms
September 1, 2009, 11:46 AM
Okay, it looks like option #2 won this poll:

Allow a short sentence of text in the post (one line), but none added to the photo.

So, we will have photos devoid of text, but a simple sentence of description will be permitted.

PDBreske
September 10, 2009, 08:22 AM
Here we are, the very first month of the new rules that you all voted on, and there is already a problem.

I wasn't going to say anything because it's down to a runoff and this is going to seem like sour grapes, but read Rule No. 4 and look at the entries.

Maybe they're not rules at all. Should we call them "suggestions?" Can I enter three photos next month? Think about it before you tell me to lighten up.

Al Norris
September 10, 2009, 03:52 PM
A simple PM to just about any of the mods would have taken care of the "problem," yes?

Instead, you just had to get in your "I told you so" quip. So I'll say, just as publicly as you: Lighten Up, Breske.

PDBreske
September 10, 2009, 05:20 PM
Can I enter three photos next month?

A simple PM to just about any of the mods would have taken care of the "problem," yes?

Since I didn't do it in a PM, does that mean I can enter three photos next month? I mean, as long as I do it and no one notices before the voting begins?

PDBreske
September 10, 2009, 10:58 PM
To all who are following this, I apologize. I'm retarded.