On the photo sharing website Viewbug contests are offered with prizes of all sorts. They are items such as lens cleaning kits up to state of the art cameras costing several thousands of dollars. In a field of 10,000 to over 25,000 entries it would be a monumental task for the moderators to evaluate all of them. The site has enacted peer judging; after the competition has run its course gathering pictures it is open for voting. A choice of two in a field of six is offered, after chosing two it then ratchets to the next set. It is possible to vote on one set of six or every entry, with the exception of the evaluators own. It is not always easy, but it is enjoyable. A contest I entered recently is “Freckles”, a fun category.
The photos are mostly pretty females of all ages with freckles. Page upon page of human profiles, babies, women, girls and some men but not very many. Part of the success of a picture is for it to be unique, a better way of explaining it is different but remaining within the bounds of the contest. I have a hard time with portraits, it turns into a beauty contest for me. One other issue is I have difficulty not voting for the cute little toddlers and babies. So I entered two photos of birds, this Flicker above and one of a Starlin. They both have what could qualify as freckles and they are good quality. They most likely will place in the top 50% perhaps as high as in the 30% bracket; time will tell.
One other I entered was themed on “Orange”. I entered the photo above amongst a field of Pumpkins, Carrots and various Orange colored stuff. My photo finished in the top 30% out of 15,000 entries. When the rules state “be creative” I take it to heart. I’m not going to post a Pumpkin when I can create something. Some of the entries have no Orange in them at all. Some will post pretty half dressed models just to collect votes. These types of easily defined contests are fun to compete and judge.
There are a lot of good photographers on the web site, some professionals and some as I am a novice. People use every type of camera imaginable from the old Brownie film cameras to state of the art professional Mirrorless. A case in point is the image above, it was entered in a “reflections” contest. This ranked in the 30% group, it’s a good picture and is competitive. So are all of the others, this is a unique picture with good composition. However those in the top ranking are breath taking, the type one would exclaim “how in the world did he/she capture that?”
My point with all of this is Peer judging is fair, when thousands of people are the judges the results could not be better.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter