Assignments going forward - with poll!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Applespider, Apr 23, 2006.

?

Photography: should we keep monthly assignments?

Poll closed Apr 30, 2006.
  1. Keep monthly assignments

    22 vote(s)
    75.9%
  2. Don't bother; just have threads without time limits.

    7 vote(s)
    24.1%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #1
    There's been a lot of discussion about assignments and whether or not we should do them in a monthly format (or move to people just posting something that they're interested in shooting and asking others to join them with no time limit)

    My view is that we should keep the monthly topic but not restrict anyone setting up a thread for comments on their own pics and asking others to join them. This is entirely because I like the idea of having a deadline so I actually carry my camera with me and having a monthly topic really has made me look at the world in a new way as I try to find something that works.

    There have also been comments that the rules are too restrictive and allowing those who weren't around last November when these ones were 'agreed'

    I've set up a poll on this thread to see whether the majority view is whether we cancel the monthly assignments - with the time limit of a week (since that's when the next one would be planned).

    There's a post on the rules here - where we can go over them (just in case we still need them and avoid wasting time next week)
     
  2. Blong macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #2
    Although I am a newbie and only participated this month, I agree with the time limit - looking for a subject to satisfy the topic every time you are out is a good test of your creativity.
     
  3. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #3
    Put me down for another vote to keep mothly assignments. When there are bad assignments participation is low, so that is an incentive to come up with good assignments. If everyone could just do whatever we would have tons of categories with only one or two pictures, and that's no fun. Furthermore, the no time limit thing would kinda be a bummer.

    If you have a picture you want to take, suggest a topic that would let you use it! That would also have the benefit (if your topic were to be chosen) or letting you see what other people came up with when facing the same task. It's interesting to see, and a great way to learn.

    As someone who has only submitted one shot, maybe I'm not the best one to talk (though, in my defense, I have only been paying attention for the past two months), but I can see my interest quickly fading if the format changes.

    /deposit $0.02 U.S.
     
  4. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #4
    i absolutely second that.

    /also deposit $0.02 U.S.
     
  5. Lau Guest

    #5
    I third it! And deposit tuppence. :)
     
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #6
    You know how I feel about the way the assignments have been run. A select few deciding on what should and should not be allowed (like multiple images of the same subject and requiring a separate threads for post outside the "deadline") to non-mods being allowed to delete images posted (if the post by Clix was an indication). This runs counter IMO of how MR should run.

    But based on your poll, there is a desire for a more restrictive nature here on MR when it comes to assignments. But maybe not when it comes to "general" themes.

    But if you look at the sunrise/sunset thread and the some comments made there and and the participation in actual photo posts, you will see a depth that is missing in the assignments threads overall IMO. (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=2355513&posted=1#post2355513)

    Broader themes seems to work. And by some of my and others contributions in this thread, it seems that broader participation is also accepted.
     
  7. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #7
    Chip... you've made it very clear how you feel.

    There is a desire to have a monthy challenge and there is also the desire to share other images. If I have a good sunset picture then I'll put it in the, as you said, excellent sunrise/sunset thread. If I'm at a funfair and take a great picture, then similarly I might start a thread asking for other theme park, rollercoaster whatever shots. But with the assignments, They're not mutually exclusive.

    The rules for the assignments have to be there if the process is going to work - and there's a thread open to make suggestions on what they should be. They were designed to be fairly comprehensive in order to avoid having mods. I don't think anyone was trying to set themselves up as what you've described as a 'mini-mod' ; they were just using the rules as laid out and their knowledge of discussion to apply some common sense to questions.
     
  8. tektonnic macrumors 6502

    tektonnic

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Location:
    Bucks, UK
    #8
    Could we make the assignments a little bit more competitive, so set a title, have a 3 week entry period, 1 week poll on which was the best photo, winning photo gets posted on the front page of mac rumors or something...

    Just to make it a bit more fun and seemingly less pointless?

    2p
     
  9. javabear90 macrumors 6502a

    javabear90

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #9
    I love the idea of assignments, however it seems the past few topics have not been that good. If we could choose some good topics, that would make things a lot better and participation higher.
    -Ted
     
  10. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10

    chip,

    you seem to miss the point entirely.

    you want a not restrictive MR site and a non restrictive format for monthly pictures. you already got both. you can post whatever you like, you can start any kind of picture thread you like.

    but truth is that you don't want some of us to have the format we like. so you are the one putting restrictions on the people who want this format. (i'm referring to your statement that DEMI's have more right to speak out than we ordinary members, you saying that there shouldn't be more than one monthly picture thread, you saying the monthly assignments are over and the W/NW threads should be used, your posting of page long complaints in the picture thread instead of the appropriate threads, your using very similar thread titles for a very different thing).

    as i said in another post before: please start your own format. your ideas are good and the format you suggest may turn out to be better and more fun than the monthly assignments. but please let us have fun with the format we chose for now. both formats or any number of formats can exist in parallel. so everybody gets more choices and more and better pics can be posted.
     
  11. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Location:
    serendipity
    #11
    another vote for keeping them. it's a good way to motivate people to capture with intent. likewise, there is still more than enough capturing spontaneously, or just on another topic, and those photos can certainly be in threads on their own.

    where is the poll option for reduction of drama regarding the photo forum? :rolleyes:
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #12
    I never understood this confusion or disagreement. People can post photos whenever they want. That sunset/sunrise photo thread is just a great example of that, and people can post whatever they want, whenever they want.

    The assignment only exists because it's different. A theme is set, and hopefully due to natural competitiveness (despite not being a competitive "assignment" with winners and losers), people can take a great photo, or take a photo that's just a ingenius idea and very fitting to the topic for that month. There are some restrictions and guidelines that anybody is welcome to contribute to with comments and recommendations and such. The rules have even been changed during assignments to accomodate a few very good suggestions. However, if the assignments are going to be less restrictive, then we may as well call them what they really are --- "normal threads" --- threads that we are free to start up any day of the week without restrictions, because that's what any regular thread is like anyway. Of course we can have normal threads where any photos from any time can be posted, but I don't think that's what an assignment should be about -- going out and shooting.

    And if enough people want to be able to post as many photos in a month as possible, or make it more exciting by having a vote for the best photo that fits the monthly theme, then so be it. Maybe we can add this into the mix if people want a bit of competitiveness as well. If that's what people want, then lets try it out.

    Just remember that it's April 29th right now (where I live, anyway), and next month is coming very soon. ;)
     
  13. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #13
    I definitely agree that with the assignments we need to have broader, "easier" topics in order to have more participation. The last two assignments have caused problems because of the vagueness of the topics. "Metal" produced more images because clearly it was a topic easier for most people to get an idea about and easier to find and shoot.

    As for the comment about non-mods deleting images from the thread, I believe that the only people who can delete an image from his or her post would be the person who submitted the post in the first place and/or one of the mods. I haven't checked back but I don't believe anyone deleted any of my pictures. nor did I do that myself. There was no specific pressure from anyone to delete one or more of my images even though I had inadvertently submitted two of the same subject, albeit a different perspective on it.

    I like the idea of perhaps voting on the best photo that fits the monthly theme so that there is a sense of purpose and a focus for this whole assignment project in the first place, culminating in a sense of closure and completion. As it stands now all we're doing is seeing a few images posted, a few comments actually addressing the images and then a lot of discussion around the actual topic, the format of the assignments, etc., etc. I think that this is discouraging people from submitting images, too. Perhaps if there were an actual competition there would be more active participation.

    Clearly one reason for the high level of activity in the sunset/sunrise thread is that this is a topic which many people felt they could join in either because they already had an image or two in their photo files or they recently were able to shoot a sunrise or sunset..... I'll bet if we had used sunrises/sunsets as a topic for the assignment there would have been a lot of participation, too, as again this is something which is fairly easy for us to go out and shoot. The sun rises and the sun sets every day in every part of the world....

    Lesson learned? For May let's pick a fairly broad and "easy" topic for the next assignment! And before we commence to discuss potential topics and vote on one, let's also think about making this a more definitive assignment or challenge with an actual competition....
     
  14. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #14
    Let me say that I sought to add some discussion since some members had voiced private concerns about how the assignment threads were being handled.

    But with this thread, and my ill named poll/thread :eek: , some of these same members have remained silent. But there are 24% that seem not to like the direction of the assignment threads.

    What I felt would make the assignment threads more friendly and more lively was a looser, what I call "MR approach". It did upset me that a few were deciding on whether multiple views of an image should be allowed. My take is that if we are to learn from each others posts, then multiple views should be allowed. There was even a post in the current assignment that called a post in to question whether it fit the time frame of the assignment. And the requiring of a separate thread for those that were not taken in that time frame. "Personal feelings" as one told me in the recent assignment thread does not have a place in a public forum such as MR IMO

    I will be honest, my view on assignments has been tainted by the way some true camera clubs works; but more so by the rules and regulations of some of the Practical Photography Magazine works their yearly, monthly theme contest. They encouraged submitters to shot for that month (and they posted for a year in advance what the monthly themes would be); but any image would be accepted for consideration. And this from a true contest with great prizes.

    Also limiting shooting time, and even more so limiting the time to think about an assignment is not very healthy to get really compelling images. As Clix pointed out there has been much more activity in the Sunset/Sunrise thread. And a couple of members even caused me to think beyond the title by mentioning or showing images that were dawn or dusk, or even a room view.

    To me assignments should lead us to images that we truly say "wow" over, but that is just me. :) It should also lead us to say that we do better ourselves. While there has been some great images in the recent assignment thread, many have not inspired me much (sorry to many that posted there :) ). Not in the way the Sunrise/Sunset thread has. Or even the Landmark thread has.

    That is why I have suggested time and again more open "rules". A simpler theme format. More time to consider the theme. Even posting prior images that a poster feels meets the theme. This may give some to consider their approach to a theme, as I mentioned above that a couple of posts did for the Sunrise/Sunset thread.

    To be fair Applespider and Abstract are due credit in trying to keep monthly assignments/themes alive. And they do deserve thanks for that. But some of the way they chose to run it, runs counter to the MR culture IMO.

    Maybe in the end it should be Arn that decides on just how abusive multiple views of the same subject truly is. Or how much bandwidth is too much for the idea of sharing photos and and developing photo skills truly is. If I missed Arn's response (or other mods) to some of what has been said, I apologize.

    In the end I think our posting of images or assignments should be about helping each other develop our photographic eye. We are not a photo forum; so there should be few restrictions to reach that goal. Whether that image was taken yesterday or 10 years ago should not matter. A unified space should. It should be about the photography, not rules.
     
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #15
    Since you're all so interested, why not make one of the options "Sunrise and sunsets" for the month of May? :confused: Of course the photo can't be an old photo and must have been taken in May (after voting for a topic has been completed), but that's the only catch --- no old photos from last month or year. I know it has already been done, but not as an assignment topic.
     
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #16
    This is where you and I agree to disagree upon. :) I think it is possible to do both. At the start of a monthly assignment (IMO this would be a month before the official "start"; meaning that the theme might be announced lets say on May 1, but the requested shooting not start till June 1) would be more of an open season for those of us with prior images to post them. This would help feed those wondering how to approach the assignment, some ideas. But at least for me it would not limit late comers in contributing prior images.

    There is fun in trying to look for images that fit the assignment. But in some ways for many on MR the assignments are too narrow. Just witness the depth of the Sunrise/Sunset and Landmark threads.

    In the end looking at the Sunrise/Sunset thread, there have at least of a couple ideas as I mentioned that could in the end expand on that theme of that thread. And if it were an assignment thread, might even give us many more great images to inspire us. Is that not the reason for the assignments?

    Looking at the most recent assignment, there is not the same feeling of desire to do better, or look at things in a new way. In my post above about Practical Photography, I used to look at the offerings with the eye of would I want to buy that image. In the Sunrise/Sunset thread there have been quite a few that I might want to buy for my wall. But in the assignment threads, there has been few to meet that mark.

    I know that in these two threads I mentioned, I have posted images. I have gotten some positive feedback. And that I say thank you. But I also would like to have gotten some other comments on as to how it may have missed the mark.

    The point there is that we should have been told almost 30 days ago IMO as to what we are to shoot beginning May 1. To give some thought as to how we might approach it. And to see some ideas as to how we can see the theme.

    Competitiveness is all well and good. I know that I love a good contest. :) Been lucky that I have won a few in my years. :) And I have had the pleasure in sitting as a judge in some competitions.

    Maybe that is the problem as I see it. It is a competition without a "real" prize. Rules are there for when something is at stake, not personal pride.

    There are sites like photosig.com that you can post images to their monthly assignments in order to get VERY honest critiques. The MR DPF should be more fun than that. Honestly as member there, some of my images did well and others not so well. Only a small handful of the current assignment thread would do well. But there are many more from the likes of the Sunrise/Sunset thread that IMO would have done very well in.

    They have no prizes for the best image. Just VERY honest opinions. Your competitive nature can be measured by the overall ranking of what you post.

    And if you are involved for the competition of the assignment, one would hope that in the Insanity thread you might have had no more than two images by my count. If I am wrong sorry.

    And in that same thread I saw none from Applespider by my count - sorry Applespider if I got that wrong. If we are to have leaders in a thread, should there not be visual participation - unless I missed the rules that thread leaders could not post images. Why limit those that want to share their multiple takes, other than for a personal bias?

    At least i posted some prior images that I thought supported my position.

    As I said, i do thank you both for trying to keep the idea alive. I do like it from a general POV. But the way it has gone it does not (despite the poll results) related to some great images or discussion of those images.

    Maybe in the next round we can see prior and recent images in order to have a meaningful "competition". Just give us more time is the biggest request I have.
     
  17. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #17
    Not yet, I have one which is still sitting in my camera since to be honest, I've lost much of my interest.

    I for one, don't like the idea of having them going a month ahead - you're the only one calling for that and I've already suggested perhaps starting the process earlier in asking for suggestions so that we could perhaps start looking a week or so ahead. I do think it will be confusing having one assignment to shoot and one to think about at the same time.

    I'm concerned that you're now suggesting choosing your own theme (like Sunsets) without a poll (which is what another poster suggested doing - adding it as an option to the poll) without any other involvement which seems even less like MR.

    Whatever... I really don't need the aggravation that this is causing and the casual tossing away of what had been working reasonably well for a new system that only you really seem to believe in or really want. The majority of votes here are to keep the assignments after all.
     
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #18
    For someone who doesn't like two people taking control and making decisions without consulting everyone first, it sounds like Chip wants control over this himself and have things run his way. I don't think assignments at other forums is bad, but we're predominantly a computer board, and it's not like things went badly here, other than this bickering and politics.

    Just say it out loud, man. You're pretty much saying it anyway. The assignment wasn't what you envisioned, and you weren't really mad at Applespider and I. We didn't really steer the assignments the wrong way, we just didn't steer it in the direction you wanted it to go, and so you were a bit upset.

    Before you edited most of your post above, you even asked for 1 or 2 co-mods to work alongside you in organizing the June assignments. Thanks. I just can't believe we got so much bitching about taking too much control when nobody asked us to organize things. Who voted for you? :confused:

    You're the only person who's vocally against the way things work now, and with the number of changes you think should be made to these assignments in order to fit your "ideals," then by all means go ahead. I just post here. I'll still be glad to participate in anything you devise. If you really wanted this to be the same or more similar to assignments in Practical Photography and other similar places, go ahead. I'll look forward to May topics. I'm going to Perth, so hopefully there will be opportunities to take some photos that are on topic.

    I just want someone to tell me what the rules are and to make quick decisive on how things work. This includes topics. Voting isn't really necessary for something like that. If you can provide this, then perfect. Go ahead, chief.
     
  19. annk Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    #19
    I was looking forward to the assignments starting up again a few months ago, but life has been too busy and I haven't been able to participate.

    I have been following along, however, and I think Applespider and Abstract have done a great job of making a framework. Those of you who have been complaining about various things, should relax. If you don't like the way this particular thread works, start another. If you don't understand someone's picture, ask them and learn, and accept that people will see the assignment differently, and that's what makes the theme interesting. But don't waste anymore time discussing things others than the pictures. :)
     
  20. MacMosher macrumors 6502

    MacMosher

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #20
    I love the Assignments they have inspired me to become a better photographer and look at how I can make each photo better.

    Each assignment inspires me to actually look at the area Im living in, most of the time I drive past things with out even thinking about it. However sence Ive tried to join in these assignments Ive tried too look into my everyday life looking for the topic, and for this month I just realized that theres a massive escavator by me that I just kinda never realy noticed.

    I love these assignments and would love to see them continue, especially with topics that can apply to everyone. With that being said whats next months topic?

    I can't wait

    Mark
     
  21. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #21
    Actually, Applespider is the one who has been carrying the responsibility right along; Abstract came along rather late in the game and kind of horned in on things, giving the impression he was trying to take over or was working in conjunction with Applespider, which really has not been the case....

    I think once we get past this current round-and-round discussion and can actually just get back to doing pictures, whether they be for a specific monthly assignment or for a spontaneous "Post your best...." thread, things will be much better!
     
  22. annk Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    #22
    I agree with this, but I do hope there won't be an effort to make the assignments "simple". Even though I haven't had the time to participate, I've been looking at the world around me differently, trying to see things that might fit in with the assignments. And I really enjoyed seeing how different people interpret the assignments. The connection is not always immediately apparent to me when I see the images people post, but when the poster explains why s/he thought that particular subject fit the assignment, it tends to broaden the way I view/see. That's one of the fun and interesting things about this for me.

    Sorry, didn't realize this. What I meant to say was that whomever has been taking the time and energy to set up and "run" this thread, has been doing a good job - despite a lot of bickering. I would've given up long ago due to arguing and lots of (in my opinion) unnecessary discussion about how to interpret things, so I really appreciate the fact that Applespider hasn't given up.
     
  23. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Location:
    serendipity
    #23
    sorry, is this as the world turns, or days of our lives? certainly not general hospital.

    it's about time to change the channel. :rolleyes:
     
  24. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #24
    What you just said should be one of the main reasons for participating in these assignments -- looking at the world in a different way, figuring out how you can get that captured on a memory card..... I think what people are saying about the asssignment topics -- or at least what *I* am saying -- is to make the topics a bit broader, a bit more "concrete" in some ways while still leaving room for creativity and flexibility in interpretation. You posit a challenge such as "insanity of humanity" and, well, as we've seen, that doesn't seem to come up with as many results as a topic such as "metal." Why? Because most people can wrap their minds around "metal" a little easier and can go out there and shoot something. How they interpret "metal" is still going to be very unique and interesting, and that is the nice part of this. Using a topic such as "metal" gives those who are creative and who think outside the box a chance to show their innovative approaches but it also leaves room for those who are a little more literal, a little more pedantic, to show their interpretations as well. Therefore, the overall topic going to have more participation. It IS fun to see how different people interpret the same topic.

    Many years ago i took a class in photography and one of our assignments was "light." Shoot the topic of "light." The members of the class all presented very differing interpretations of this, including one guy who took this very literally and, yes, displayed his image of -- a lightbulb! That's what we need to do here in these assignments, leave a lot of latitude for interpretation of a given topic because, yes, there are going to be those who take things very literally and there are going to be those who artistically reach into a new realm to present a new and different interpretation..... That's what has been the problem with these assignment topics so far, people voting on something which sounds intriguing but which really isn't broad enough for everyone to take his or her own understanding of it go out with the camera and come up with an image....
     
  25. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #25
    Yeah, Applespider organized things the entire time and in April, I decided to help out by simply starting a thread to keep things going in April. Once I did that, I just volunteered to keep on going just like Applespider volunteered her time. I really don't know how Applespider walked into this in December or January (forget when), but before her, it was just "Ok, lets have assignments every month. Soooo........who wants to start?" This is sort of the reason I'd rather have just a few people, even a mod or 2 if need be, think of a topic and just give it to us. Why bother getting everyone involved in sorting something like that out. I'm sure a lot of people just want the decisions to be made, and the opportunity to go out and shoot.

    And Chip wants to give us the topics beforehand, and that's something I always agreed with before and now. Instead of making this an annoying "process" for everybody each month, just feed us the topics. It can even be beforehand.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page