Category Abuse

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  • Updated 8 years ago
  • Not a Problem
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Greetings, I'm a new member to pixoto and find the opportunity to compete with my fellow photographers a wonderful experience.

That said I see some very interesting trends in a lot of the categories that I personally believe should not be occurring.

An example would be the Nature/Weather category. If you look at the majority of the images they have nothing to do with weather. Nice images to be sure but they're putting scenic shots in the category and they have nothing to do with it. This skews the scores as real weather shots are competing against unrelated images. The rises and sets around the world every day, this is not weather. Weather represents an event outside the norm.

This also applies to images that are relying on the heavy use of HDR. I love HDR but don't think images that are created purely as photographs and rely on the photographers skill to create the image should be competing against images that have been drastically manipulated to enhance shortcomings or alter the dynamic range. Images that have been altered and enhanced in this fashion are no longer photographs but graphics and thus should be in their own category. We should be competing against images that reflect the pure quality of the photograph itself. There are categories that exist for heavily modified images under Photoshop.

Photography is the creation of an image as it exists, heavy manipulation moves the image into another realm entirely and should be viewed as an artistic rendering.

In policing the categories more closely it would allow photographers to compete on the merits of image integrity and not on their ability to manipulate and enhance an image to the point where it is more art than photography.

Just a thought but if you look at the images I've submitted in the last 24hrs you'll see that HDR and heavily enhanced images do that precedence over raw talent.


Henry Shaw
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Henry Shaw

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Posted 8 years ago

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Erik Luna

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Hi! I'm regular member, just like you and want to thank you for presenting the hot topic in such excellent way.

My moto is "You either photograph or photoshop" and it describes my photographic philosophy!

I can only hope that your contribution to blog / forum will be awarded by large community to follow it and support! And, naturally, that Pixoto will do it's best to finally differentiate these two approaches to let photographers compete with photographers, and graphic artists to have their own parallel contests.

Kind regards,

Erik Luna
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Henry Shaw

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Greetings Erik,

Thank you for responding to my quandary. So far you're only person who's taken the time to respond either way to my observations.

Makes me wonder if anyone at Pixoto reads these posts, let alone cares about this as an issue.

Only time will tell if they'll respond and level the playing field but my mind is telling me that they don't see it as an issue, and therefore don't see it as being broken, hence the status quo shall remain.

Their sandbox, their rules I guess.


Henry -
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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Henry. There is a discussion going on about this topic that I think addresses many of your issues:

Also - we do read all the posts and like to respond, when warranted, as quickly as possible. That said - we're a small team and usually only find time once or twice per day to get through these...

If you see an image that is in the wrong category or subcategory please report it using the report image functionality. We do review everyone. When it's an easy call to move the image - we do so. When it's not obvious why it should be moved we generally give the benefit of the doubt to the photographer.

Hope this helps. Please keep the feedback coming.
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Henry Shaw

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Jason, Thank you for taking the time to respond to my concerns.

Allow to apologize for the being so heavy handed in regards to your willingness to respond. Kudos to you and Pixoto for stepping up.

Here's a suggestion, within the context of each category Pixoto should define what IS and IS NOT acceptable in terms of images. This way you've defined the content and those who might be inclined to report an image aren't being arbitrary, but following your set guidelines.

Using the Weather category as I did in my previous example, the sun rises and sets every day. This to me does NOT constitute weather. It happens every day. Weather is rain, snow, sleet, hail, hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms (lightning), floods, etc..

What I see in that category is blatant misuse to gain recognition for images that would normally belong in a category that's overcrowded like Nature.

I'd would be interested in hearing your specific feedback on that one category and how Pixoto would react if I was go through and report every sun rise/set that were to appear there.

I don't want to develop a reputation up here as being the image police, that is not nor never was my intention but there are excellent images that are being lost in the shuffle of judging because people are abusing categories for personal gain.

As for the topic of HDR.......your sandbox, your rules, but I get the feeling that their is a lot of underlying support for the concept that HDR makes a photograph a graphic and/or an artistic rendering and that they are no longer photographs. Photographs rely on the inidividuals skills at shooting an image that exemplifies their ability to shoot. HDR on the other hand is graphic process that can take a marginal image and make a stunning rendition as ART but it's not what the camera created.

Thank you for listening to my rant, I'm an old school photographer that feels that images if being classified as photographs should be such. Don't get me wrong I LOVE what can be done with HDR I just think it should be in a category of it's own allowing those who can actually shoot a quality image in and of itself to compete amongst other photographers, not graphic artists.

Happy Friday,

Henry Shaw
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Natasha Shakhnes

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HDR and other heavily processed images are especially annoying. And they often get to the top of the leader's board because it's kitch that many people find stunning.

I also have an issue with a portrait category. The lady with a violin, horse and no expression on the face is not a portrait. A portrait is something that shows a personality and not just a beautiful pose. So it can be in Fashion (or Photoshop art). Most women's pictures in the Portrait category should be either in Fashion or in Artistic Nude. There must be a clearer definition for this category.
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Sandy Considine

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Natasha, I totally agree on the portrait category. WAY TO MANY images of children playing, distant images, backsides of people. We need a category for "portrait" faces only. Just what a portrait is (a face with expression).

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