New New Proposed Category Stucture - Feedback Wanted

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Hi All - We've done a lot of thinking about our category structure thanks to all of the feedback we have been getting on our proposed changes (see http://community.pixoto.com/pixoto/to....

We are working away on our Stock Photo service now and we have realized that in order to have an effective category structure to find images for stock or fine art buyers we need to have our categories be content based. In response we have endeavored to make all new categories reflective on the

The most controversial aspect of our new structure will surely be the change to our post processing/photoshop art rules. But the fact is that stock and fine art photo buyers don't really care whether a photo is minimally processed or not. There are no restrictions on Photoshop on any of the competing sites that we are aware of.

Here's the new proposed rule:
Photoshop/Post Processing Rules: In an effort to find the best, and most striking imagery, extensive use of Photoshop or other post processing techniques is allowed in all categories. If your image was minimally processed after capture you can mark your photo as a “Pure Photo” during submission. Leaderboards will have a “Show Pure Photos Only” filter and special awards and points will be awarded in addition to our standard awards.

The proposed category changes can be viewed at:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B...

Some subcategories will be moved to new categories. Some images will be re-subcategorized. All awards and points will be maintained and will be assigned to the new category for the moved image.

Some other potentially controversial category changes:

The merger of Pets and Wildlife: It isn't possible to determine whether a tiger is wild or at the zoo or in a circus. It's also not typically a deciding factor to the art buyer. So instead we'll create a subcategory for Big Cats and lump wild, zoo and domestic together.

The Elimination of Fashion and Fine Art - both of these are not content based often leading to a categorization dilemma for the photographer. Our aim is to reduce or eliminate these subjective decisions.

We'd love your feedback on this as we are planning on implementing it over the next week or two.
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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Posted 8 years ago

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Matthew Chambers

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I like it! The only issue may be the stock only categories, they made need to be a bit more cleary defined and will require closer monitoring. Otherwise I think its great!
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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We'll add subcategories that should help clear everything up.
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Sue

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What would happen to the photos in the categories you eliminate?
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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They will be moved to another category and maintain their score/awards
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Rafael Uy

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Will you be providing a more detailed description of each category?
My main concern is Travel and Holiday I believe some photos can be either of the two. As well as Architecture, if you see what is being posted now in Travel there are a lot of Architectural shots also being posted there.

Thanks,
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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Wow. thanks for this. really well put. In general I agree with your suggestions and will try to incorporate them into a revised structure.
We are definitely going to have to break up the current travel category (which is not content related) and move it into other categories. The new category will be based on locations and I am working on subcategories now.
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Rafael Uy

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Is there any reason to still compete in the travel category if it will be broken down? Or should I just wait until the new categories come out? Will the points you earned in the travel category be distributed to the new broken down categories once they come out. (Just don't want to waste my time in the travel category if its broken down:) ).

Thanks,
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If we move an image from one category to another it will retain it's points and awards.
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bluetoothDrummer

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Thanks, Jason, much appreciated. I know that what you are trying to do is not easy (not easy at all). In the end, you'll have to pick-and-choose from our ideas and merge them with yours and your vision Pixoto and hope for the best.
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Dipali

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It's good to move the Travel subcategories to other content related categories like Travel - People to People, Travel - Places to Landscape / Buildings & Architecture and Travel Things to - other related content of other Content Categories.
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bluetoothDrummer

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Albeit slow, I applaud the progress that is being made here.

Regarding the definition of novices, I'd like to note again that there is no clear definition of "graduating" from the category. Someone may stay there in perpetuity.

See: http://community.pixoto.com/pixoto/to...
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Dipali

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Wow! He was a Novice even when he got so many #1 in categories which is way better that 5% awards and that two for May and June months. I think Pixoto needs to correct their filter for novices.
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pacquiao

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I think novice category should be removed because this creates confusion. this category is redundant to other main categories. as far as I remember novice is created for members who are new in this site. I don't think novice togs have unfair advantage when they submit to main categories
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pacquiao

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if pixoto takes you out of the novice category then all photos (with awards and points) that a tog posted in the novice category will be reset to 0. remember this topic http://community.pixoto.com/pixoto/to... ?
the user was so upset that after he won no 1 in one main category all his images in the novice category we're recategorized to a main category and all his points and awards were reset. so i think to avoid this confusion again, this category should be removed imho.
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Di Elderton

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I experienced a similar fate recently, still feel somewhat gutted about it too, though images posted in novice category previous to one image being placed fairly high in a regular one (with beginner's luck!) have retained their points.
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Novice photos will not be eligible for stock photography or the Pixoto Gallery when launched. For the time being we are not going to require people to graduate. However if we find out that over the next couple of months there are a few players that consistently dominate the category we may change this...

(we have been having a few issues with moderating the novice category but this should all be fixed in the next release)
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Joe Spandrusyszyn

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I like the proposed categories better than the current ones.

And to add to Rafael Uy's point of more detailed descriptions... I'd like to see the descriptions listed whenever a category is picked. It would also be nice to have a "Related Categories" list included with the description to make picking categories easier.
For example... if somebody picked Nature, the list should include Animals, Cats, Dogs, and Landscape; if somebody picked People, it should show Children, Sports, and Weddings; etc...
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Ralph Harvey

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I think its great ! takes out most of the stumbling blocks that seem to confuse people at the moment,
The photoshop rule is a good decission but could you introduce a section on this site to give tips on how to achieve an effect either by camera or computer ? I think it would be a great way to help photographers develope the skills which i think are now going to be more important.

Thumbs up !!
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Trey Larson

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I agree with Ralph. I think you did a great job with the new proposed category structure and look forward to it's implementation.
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Andy Halpern

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I like it. It is much better than the current structure.
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Terry Gower

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Just to clarify all those heavily processed, altered photoshopped images we see, where will those be placed now?
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Andy Halpern

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Photoshop/Post Processing Rules: In an effort to find the best, and most striking imagery, extensive use of Photoshop or other post processing techniques is allowed in all categories. If your image was minimally processed after capture you can mark your photo as a “Pure Photo” during submission. Leaderboards will have a “Show Pure Photos Only” filter and special awards and points will be awarded in addition to our standard awards
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Dipali

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Looks okay. Will only know how it is once it starts working though. One question- Where do we put splashes, drops and smoke, will Products & Objects cover them?

Also a question on Stock- Stock will be limited to Backgrounds, Holidays and Professional People. Can no other pictures be sold through your website?

So from the new rule what I understand is that all pictures can have composites except for the "Pure Photos", which can have minimal editing and they will separately be awarded?
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Ooops. I forgot the Abstract category from the list. I've added it.

No - stock images will be sold in all categories (except novice and instagram/mobile) but players may not submit to background, holidays, and professional people unless they are submitted as stock images.

Pure Photos will be part of all categories but will have additional awards and points and can be filtered separately. Does this help?
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Dipali

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Yes, thanks!
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Andy Halpern

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Apparently they will all be thrown in together but if you didn't photoshop your image you have to mark it as such and you will get "special awards and points" in addition to the normal awards. I personally do not think this is a good solution. Composite images are NOT true photographs and I don't feel I should have to compete against them as they have an unfair advantage.
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Andy Halpern

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Also we need a definition of "minimally processed"
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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Agreed. We will add that.
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pacquiao

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if pixoto takes you out of the novice category then all photos (with awards and points) that a tog posted in the novice category will be reset to 0. remember this topic http://community.pixoto.com/pixoto/to... ?
the user was so upset that after he won no 1 in one main category all his images in the novice category we're recategorized to a main category and all his points and awards were reset. so i think to avoid this confusion again, this category should be removed imho.
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Ivan Glasser

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A few comments :

I thing this new category structure is an improvement. The new photoshop rules is OK : it annoys me to know I will be competing against highly manipulated images, but then there will be less cheating.

Travel : could you define this category better please? Is a landscape/portrait I took when travelling a travel photography? Remember people here come from all over the world. For someone a photo taken in the US could be considered as a travel photography. I don't see any reason for this photography not to be removed.
Same problem of definition with holidays.

Nudes and boudoir : "Photos of women", "Frontal male nudity is forbidden."
I don't see any reason why there should be such a discrimination between men and women. Remember there are male and females models as well as photographers, and nude photography is an art that is not necessarily related to mens' magazines. Frontal female nudity can be as provocative as male nudity.

"Minimally processed" : please define.

Thanks for your efforts!
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Michelle Meenawong

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I also think, like Ivan, that it will be very difficult to compete against highly manipulated images (photoshop) and also would like to know exactly what you mean with minimally processed.
Keep the mobile category and get rid of Instagram
Like Dipali asked, where will we put the drops and water splash smoke pictures and I totally agree with Ivan on the following:
Nudes and boudoir : "Photos of women", "Frontal male nudity is forbidden."
I don't see any reason why there should be such a discrimination between men and women. Remember there are male and females models as well as photographers, and nude photography is an art that is not necessarily related to mens' magazines. Frontal female nudity can be as provocative as male nudity.
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Brandon Rechten

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Looking forward to the category changes. A few comments:

Instead of having the category "Digital Art" perhaps it would be better to name it "Photo Manipulation" or "Composite Images" instead? Digital art makes it sound like you'll accept everything from digital paintings to photo manipulations, which would make for confusing comparisons in ImageDuel.

As others have mentioned, the Photoshop / post-processing rules are still a bit hazy, since colloquially "Photoshop" had been turned into a verb that's typically used to describe adding, removing or significantly altering elements of a photo. Obviously, Photoshop can be used to make minimal adjustments as well as extensive ones. The real issue seems to be composite images. If all composite images were moved to a single category (like the one mentioned above) the "pure photo" designation would probably not be needed (and would probably be abused anyway, especially if special awards are given for it).

The "Travel" category seems extraneous and will probably just cause confusion since it overlaps other categories. I suggest axing it.

An additional category for "Stock only" would be something along the line of "Objects," which could contain images shot on solid backgrounds to make knocking them out easier for designers.

Very glad the "Fine Art" category is going away. It was quite confusing.

Thanks Jason and the rest of the Pixoto team for working on this!
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The Digital Art category is designed to be fairly broad but the sub-categories should help to separate the various types.

Part of the stock submission process will require that images are identified by background type so that stock buyers can easily find images where the background can be swapped out.
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bluetoothDrummer

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I applaud that now cats and dogs have their own separate categories. No more competing with bugs/reptiles/etc. in the pet category! Likewise, food & drink (related to food and preparation of food). However, I'd request clarification regarding, for example, vegetables/berries/etc. splashing in water photos. I, personally, don't consider these food photos as I don't know anyone eating these items in this fashion (they could be splashing any item in water). I would prefer food to appear in "natural-use settings" (e.g., on a plate, in a kitchen). This is a personal opinion, of course, but I'd still like to see some more clarification on this subject.

New category deployment could be staggered and clearer-cut categories like Cats / Dogs / Animals can be deployed earlier than others (such as holiday / travel / landscape).
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The problem with restricting the food category to "natural settings" is that it would require food being dropped into water to go somewhere else and I'm not quite sure where that would be.

Agreed about the deployment. It will be done in phases over a couple of weeks.
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bluetoothDrummer

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Understood, and I was wondering likewise myself so I was not planning to push too hard for this one. Nonetheless, please keep it in mind as you organize/re-organize things.

By thew way, I find this going the right direction: "News & Events – Photos of newsworthy events and images that are relevant to today’s news. The primary search for this subject will be 'date taken'." I had no idea what the current "photojournalism" category was covering.
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Brandon Rechten

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I would also like to make a couple more suggestions:

A category for HDR photos. After browsing around Pixoto for a while it seems there is a very strong favoritism towards over-cooked HDR landscapes / cityscapes. I have no issue with HDR in general, and use the technique myself, but unfortunately it's one of the most widely abused techniques, where people seem to forget about all the basic guidelines of good photography and instead rely on the HDR effect to make their photo. I'd guess that if an HDR photo is compared to a non-HDR photo (especially b&w), the majority of the time the HDR will win, because it looks flashier. If HDR photos are compared to one another perhaps this will force people to look beyond the effect and vote instead on the actual subject / composition / etc.

A category for contests. This would likely require a bit of extra work on the back-end to work correctly, but I think it'd make sense if contest submissions were judged against one another, instead of being mixed in with the entire category they're submitted to. Currently, when you submit a photo for a contest it's being judged not only against other contest submissions, but also against every other photo in the general category, which can vastly influence it's overall image score. Perhaps there could be an open submission period where all the contest images are submitted, and then once the submissions are closed you have a few days where the submissions will all appear against one another in ImageDuel.
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We are trying to keep our categories content specific. HDR could be of anything so it wouldn't fit into this methodology.

The weekly challenges are always designed to fit into a specific category. Our challenges, unlike other types of photography contents, do not ask the voter/judge to determine how well the image fits the theme - only to determine the best image overall. In this way we think our current method works for what we are trying to accomplish.

Does this help?
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Brandon Rechten

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It makes sense to keep categories content specific (although technically the category "Digital Art" would break this mold as well). Will HDR images be excluded from being able to be marked as "pure photo"? It just seems that HDR has an unfair advantage over single-exposure photos when it comes to comparison voting.

Understood about the weekly challenges.

Thanks very much for the reply!
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You're right about Digital Art. HDR will not be considered a "Pure Photo".
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Steve Young

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Hi Guys, the new category structure certainly allows for pinpointing more accurately. Can we expand the Novice sub categories as well, at the moment they are very restricted
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Michelle Meenawong

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Agree also with the travel/holiday category. What does it really mean? I'm living on a island with beaches, sun and sand. For many people it will be a travel photo but for me it's my home but a photo of Manhattan would be, for me, a travel photography. It's difficult to decide what is a travel photography. It always depend on where you live.
HDR is another point. there are some "heavy" HDR and some where you cannot see it's HDR and what I really would appreciate is
A PICTURE OF THE WEEK CONTEST category and : yes a good definition of what is a "minimally processed" picture
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Bruce Martin

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A category for contests, consider making two separate categories under Commercial & Journalism. Define journalism as what it is and keep commercial images where they belong. The way it sits now, is a images that do not belong in either category, are creating a lot of loose interpretations. Under Journalism, have a sub category of "Street" real slice of life images. That would do a lot to clean up this very ill defined category I find very troubling
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Janette Fraser

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We can photoshop ... anything? ...Oh joy! :-)
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Bryan Rasmussen

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Overall I like the proposed changes. I'll be affected by the loss of the travel category. I am interested to see where you re-categorize some of those photos. I'm not sure where I'd put some of them.

I think having a separate category for cats and a separate one for dogs is a bit much. Why not put cats/dogs into one category?

I don't know if Statues is a good category for Architecture. I don't think that statues have ever competed well against other photos when the main topic is buildings. Maybe better to put in the Artistic Objects category?

It has always seemed weird to have Group/Corporate lumped together in a subcategory. These are very different things. Now that you will have a stock category for Professional People maybe you can finally separate the two.

Speaking of groups of people, I believe that many of these photos will/should migrate over to the Street Scenes subcategory of City, Street & Park. Look at the leader board for Portrait/People category right now. Photos of groups have never competed well against photos of individuals. It's a different subject matter. The photo at the following link is a good example of what I think should be in the Street Scenes subcategory...the subject is totally different than most of what goes into the Portrait/People category. (Right now I have it in Travel...if you disagree on the Street Scenes subcategory, I'd be genuinely interested to know where you think it would go).
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...

Again, I think most of the changes are great. Thanks for continually looking to improve things. You'll never please everyone, but I love what you have done with the site so far.
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Lucky E. Santoso

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Jason, I like the proposed category structure. But I think the only issue here is the retaining of ImageScores of images in eliminated categories.
So the images in an eliminated category will be moved to another category: In the concern for fairness, will their ImageScores be scaled first so they are more comparable to the ImageScores of the images already in the other category?
You once said that "If the images are in two different categories you CAN NOT compare ImageScores. Images currently don't duel outside of their category so the ImageScores in each category are effectively on a different scale." ( http://community.pixoto.com/pixoto/to... ).
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This is a valid concern. We have decided that the fairest thing to do is to maintain imagescore and awards in the new category. By continuing to play the images the scores will eventually adjust to be comparable. We are also going to make sure that all awards given are done on a consistent basis so that we are not mixing new categories with Old when running awards (or that at least we have given them time to adjust). Would happy to hear your thoughts if you think there is a better way to handle this...
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JoAnn Palmer

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WHAT?? do away with Fine Art...... thats rough for me, since I post so many of my photos there... where will all of us that post there a lot go???
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Dipali

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I also post a lot in Fine art. Our pictures would go to Content related categories. If it's food will go to food and if it's a drop will go to Abstract. Artistic Objects would also cover a few pictures. It would be nice to give definitions for each category.

You can view categories from here-
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B...
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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Fine Art is broken up into other categories so there will always be a place for your photos.
People - goes to the people category
Things - goes primarily to the Abstract and Artistic Objects category
Places - goes primarily to the Landscape category
Abstract - goes to the Abstract category.
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Dipali

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Thanks!
How soon will the images be moved to the new category structure?

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