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By Pete      
This photo has been uploaded to sound you out for a new feature I've come up with. I'd like to create a fun competition that would, if accepted, create a Gallery of Excellence.

The idea would be to put up a picture in a new competition gallery that we'd build if you like the idea.

You'd be able to add one pic per week and you'd invite other members to beat it by posting better versions.

So, in this example, picked because it's a popular subject and easily accessible, I'd claim "I think this is the best shot of a blackbird you'll see." Then it's up to you to post one that you think is better in the area below (In this test version that's the modification area)

Then, if a picture below the main one gets more clicks it goes to the top and becomes the new challenging blackbird. The competition never closes and leads to a Gallery that should have the very best photos of everything?

The pics uploaded in the area we build can be of anything and any challenge can be set. For example, either very wide such as someone posting a sunset and asks to see a better sunset. Or filtering down to a more specific challenges someone could post a sunset with a tree and want to see a better sunset with tree. Or a sunset in Derbyshire with a specific point of interest would need to be beaten.
You could post a blue bell or a blue flower or a flower. Get the idea?

So come on post up your blackbirds now. And leave your views about this idea below. If you like it we will build it.
Ask questions and discuss below.

Tags: Competition General Wildlife and nature

Voters: lloydee, starliz, Glostopcat and 8 more

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Big Bri 21 16.7k United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 6:24PM
Excellent idea. So I just need to photograph something nobody else has access to and mine will stay at the top!
(Only chance I'll have).

... now, where did I put that blackbird...
starstriders 18 1.6k United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 6:25PM
I think it's a pretty damned fine idea. It'll be really interesting to see multiple versions of the same subject for quick and easy comparison. Look forward to it being implemented Smile
CathyT 16 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 6:26PM
Sounds good...
Imagine23 16 241 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 6:29PM
Sounds like a brilliant idea to me. Sometimes its nice to have a specific thing in mind to go out and try and shoot.
Ceciliat 17 6 Philippines
7 Aug 2006 6:37PM
Pete I think it is an excellent idea, sure my husband would love this too. Since you only stated blackbird with no other clarification I just assumed you meant any blackbird, so I posted my red winged black bird, hope that is ok?

starliz 18 1.6k 3 England
7 Aug 2006 6:45PM
Good idea be nice to see different versions and what can be done...or in my case how it should be done : )
jeanie Plus
18 6.0k 6 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 6:48PM
Sounds like a lot of fun, and its purely that, no prizes.... Hope it works out.

KarenFB Plus
16 5.9k 184 England
7 Aug 2006 6:57PM
Yes, I like the sound of that! Though I can't start with this one. . . I don't have a blackbird! :-(
MaryMac 16 258 1 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 6:58PM
thought the same as Cesie as we dont have a lot of uk type birds etc and certainly not Derbyshire type scenes in Botswana its all scrub and sand nice idea Grin
cattyal Plus
17 9.2k 6 England
7 Aug 2006 6:59PM
Presumably then you will have a click system in place as, for fun, we can't currently click on modifications?
Atlas 19 621 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 7:04PM
Sounds like a good idea to me too
User_Removed 18 17.9k 8 Norway
7 Aug 2006 7:08PM
This has to be in the main spirit of EPZ - the furtherment of the individual's photographic abilities. An excellent idea Pete.

When do we get to 'Transport' and Cars in particular?


Seriously. Gets my vote and complete support.
brian1208 19 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 7:08PM
Its something I'd enjoy, so I have offered up a Juvenile Blackbird trying its hand at "Worming".

Meant to add - it could be an interesting way of enhancing both creativity and photographic competence - sort of a "Set subject challenge" + a competitive element
Boyd 19 11.2k 11 Wales
7 Aug 2006 7:09PM
Would my nude picture of Naomi Campbell qualify then?
User_Removed 18 17.9k 8 Norway
7 Aug 2006 7:10PM

Quote:Would my nude picture of Naomi Campbell qualify then?

Tsk! Tsk!

philipr 17 392
7 Aug 2006 7:11PM
I think its a good idea ... but really open to abuse!

let me think picture of my big toe, best picture of my grifriend naked (would be very worrying if someone beat this one though!)

Seriously though, I could see it getting out of hand and people getting so obscure that it would dilute so much that you might not get to see the really good stuff for the tosh that people would upoad. Maybe it need some system in place that deletes images if they dont recieve a certain amount of clicks with a certain time (30 clicks in a week for example, maybe starting with 1 month at first to get some momentum)
C_Daniels 17 399 10 England
7 Aug 2006 7:11PM
Great - just digging out a blackbird now...
JJGEE 17 8.0k 18 England
7 Aug 2006 7:16PM
Big Bri has raised a valid point.

Cecillait has raised another.
As Pete's blackbird was one word I assumed it meant exactly that and not a black bird.
But others voting may interpret it the way Cecilliat did.

There is a member who is based in another country whose landscapes are very "location" specific and so not many people, if any, are able to match the location, season, time of day etc.

Generally for this to work, I think, the criteria has to be a bit more open.

But on the other hand you could argue that this opens up the possibilty of an 'epz' meet competition. This would be limiting in scope but a bit of fun !

Summing up I think it is a good idea with just a few ground rules to be made clear.
C_Daniels 17 399 10 England
7 Aug 2006 7:20PM
I think the idea is good - the voters will fine tune things as they see fit but it is important to be absolutely specific with the original title idea..?
BundleBoy 17 57 Scotland
7 Aug 2006 7:20PM
Sounds like an excellent idea!
User_Removed 17 4.9k England
7 Aug 2006 7:21PM
Great idea....My very hot Blackie's loaded.
csurry 20 9.2k 92
7 Aug 2006 7:22PM
Not too sure won't it just be another place for the popular posters to gather. I think the same people will end up at the top of the pile no matter how good or indeed bad the posting - well somone had to say it Sad(
keithh 19 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
7 Aug 2006 7:22PM
In all honesty and from the bottom of my heart and with all respect and with arms wide open straight up no messin'......

.....there'll be tears before bedtime.
JJGEE 17 8.0k 18 England
7 Aug 2006 7:23PM
OK I know it is only a trial but

Pete, you are onto a winner here

We cannot vote for the other entries !
Boyd 19 11.2k 11 Wales
7 Aug 2006 7:29PM
I'm afraid I'd have to agree with Cheryl and, to a lesser extent with Keith. Though the idea is admirably it is flawed. Like has been said subjects could be so specialised as to be uncompetitive, popular people could win through the QPQ process.
You're opening a big can of worms here Pete which will probably cause you more grief than you need.
C_Daniels 17 399 10 England
7 Aug 2006 7:29PM
Pity :O)
C_Daniels 17 399 10 England
7 Aug 2006 7:30PM
(on voting for the other entries)
csurry 20 9.2k 92
7 Aug 2006 7:39PM
All posts could be anonymous Smile)

Any images where the poster is identifiable should be disqualified. Won't stop the serial QPQ's as they have their own network Smile

Nice idea, but definitely looks like more grief for you Pete, but if you're prepared for it and more importantly prepared to deal with it, then trial it.
Atlas 19 621 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 7:53PM
No good them being anonymous Cheryl, they might just PM or E-mail their friends to say vote on mine it's the second one on row three etc Smile

I think borders should not be allowed either, because they can be a big give away on who's image it is.
User_Removed 18 4.3k 2 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 7:55PM
Don't do it Pete - think of the Robins!!!!!!
albi 18 68 1 England
7 Aug 2006 7:56PM
Agree with Cheryl, all post should remain anonymous. Serial QPQ's.. what are they? I'm not up on all this text, it took me ages to work out what Lol stood for...

No harm in giving the idea a run though.

atlas30 you've got a point, didn't think of that.
bppowell 21 2.2k 2 England
7 Aug 2006 7:56PM
The idea is good but I could not find a way to click on any of the uploaded image.

KathyW 19 1.8k 12 Norfolk Island
7 Aug 2006 7:58PM
Great idea, but I agree that it needs to be anonymous, because some people are going to take it very seriously. Agree with Rob, no borders, and also randomly shuffle the pics around!

Pete - you're obviously at a loose end, or you wouldn't be digging such a big pit for yourself. Maybe it's time to start working on the next epz book...
Kathy Smile
JohnHawthorne 17 1.7k 5 Scotland
7 Aug 2006 8:04PM
Don't we already have that to a certain extent? e2 members can order the gallery photos with most votes first, then filter by category.

For example the best sports/action shot is this one .

However it definitely wouldn't be a gallery of excellence, more like a gallery of popularity. Anonymity would help with that problem but not solve it entirely.

I agree when people predict it will cause a lot of grief.
Atlas 19 621 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 8:19PM
No good shuffling them either Kathy, because they would just say something like (Mines the one with one leg and a worm hanging out of it's mouth) Smile
Pete 21 18.8k 97 England
7 Aug 2006 8:24PM
I understand where concerns are coming from, but if we build it with voting system that avoids issues that you are concerned about then I can't see a problem. (

No system is yet in place for those asking about why they can't click.

For those in different countries they can simply set different challenges. For example, Lydia may shoot Crete cats in doorways. Next time I'm in Crete I'm going to find a cat in a doorway and try and do better Wink And Cesie or Greg may have different native birds... well they will win that... unless someone else happens to take a trip or shoot one elsewhere.

We can have they system show unchallenged pics too, giving more reason to attempt to knock the unchallenged off the best slot.

Okay some people will try and play the system, but we think we may have an idea to get around that too.

I feel this could become one of the most fun things that's come out of ePHOTOzine and it's also (as far as I know) unique.
Pete 21 18.8k 97 England
7 Aug 2006 8:34PM
I've just looked at the first seven posted. So now if I could choose just one I'd click Albi's - for me it's the sharpest and best presented of the bunch. If the majority of voters agreed it would go to the top and then be the new "Best" If another better shot is posted it could challenge the current winner.
I hear what you're saying about click groups, but I think we will create a system to get around that.
daffydill56 19 190 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 8:55PM
If everyone is trying to better themselves on certain subjects,which I am sure we ALL are, and trying to get votes from friends, then in my eye, they are only cheating themselves!!

It is a great idea Pete, if the pitfalls can be overcome. At the end of the day it is a serious bit of fun, and to help to improve our skills.

JohnHawthorne 17 1.7k 5 Scotland
7 Aug 2006 8:57PM

Quote:I feel this could become one of the most fun things that's come out of ePHOTOzine and it's also (as far as I know) unique.

That is a very good point and I can see it attracting others to the site to prove they are better.

Don't get me wrong, it is a very good idea, but it's very open to exploitation.

Here's a few things to think about though:
- allow users to give a rating (0-10 say) instead of a click, or even a set of ratings based on certain criteria (technique, originality, etc.). Basing the rating on criteria helps it to be more objective. Currently, if you give a click to one you like, then someone else posts a much better one to that competition, but you can't give them a bigger click.
- the gallery should grow much slower than even the critique gallery, so maybe only allow one new competition entry per user per month. Users can still upload to existing competitions as many times as they want.
- include a different photo (or category if you like) on the homepage as a challenge.
JohnHawthorne 17 1.7k 5 Scotland
7 Aug 2006 9:03PM
Another thought for you Pete. The competition gallery will vastly increase the number of photos uploaded to the site. Simple question - can it cope?
kitsch 16 439 4 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 9:10PM
blimey i'm still trying to get to grips with the new critique's so addictive and time consuming is this site, i'll have to give up work soon (where i have no access to a pc unlike loads of people it seems! lol)

a good idea but prob cause mayhem for a bit Smile
Atlas 19 621 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 9:35PM
Oops didn't mean to post here again.

Boyd 19 11.2k 11 Wales
7 Aug 2006 10:21PM

Quote:I think we will create a system to get around that.

Sounds interesting but I'm yet to be convinced.
ghibby 17 101 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2006 10:30PM
I think this is a great idea.

But I feel that the competition gallery needs to be totally anonymous as there are too many people who have big followings and perhaps get a fair few more clicks for a similar or even lower standard of work than others. In addition each competiton should have a time frame in which it runs, perhaps a month or more. Once it has been exceeded that comp closes and the images creators are finally revealed.

StrayCat 18 19.1k 3 Canada
8 Aug 2006 3:58AM
If it brings back humour on the site for me, I'm all for it, and of course only one click per clique.
marto65 20 19
8 Aug 2006 7:45AM
I'd like to second John Hawthorne's suggestion of a set of 0-10 ratings based on certain criteria (technique, originality, etc.). A set of yes/no clicks gives very little qualititative feedback to the photographer, whereas an average of 3 on technique, 8 on originality, etc etc will tell him/her WHY they haven't been voted into the Gallery of Excellence.
csurry 20 9.2k 92
8 Aug 2006 8:13AM
By saying QPQ's I was saying the same as Rob, they'd just email each other. Quid Pro Quo, suggesting the click for click swapping Smile

As I said if Pete is prepared to take the inevitable flak then so be it.
C_Daniels 17 399 10 England
8 Aug 2006 8:14AM
I have to agree with you about Albi's being the best so far - the pose and feather detail are great...
conrad 18 10.9k 116
8 Aug 2006 8:17AM
With regards to making a system to circumvent or prevent the potential problems mentioned above, I'm afraid I'm with the sceptics on this one.

But I do like the idea itself!

Tooth 17 5.8k 227 Ireland
8 Aug 2006 9:38AM
First of all, fair play Pete for trying new things all the time. I like the idea of this but: maybe I'm slow today, but I don't see how it can evolve perpetually - would the challenges not go from a blackbird to a more obscure criterion about a blackbird to an even more obscure one? How would you make the occasional quantum leap from the blackbirds to a different subject - or would it be something like the "word association" thread that makes random leaps all over the place?
stix 18 924 87 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2006 2:33PM
I like the idea, but its made me realise just how bxxxxx boring blackbirds are!
Ps except Atlas's
StrayCat 18 19.1k 3 Canada
8 Aug 2006 5:42PM
If someone posts an altogether obscure image as a challenge, you would have the choice of accepting it or ignoring it. I would think that the most successful poster would be the one who recieved the most challenges to their image, therefore posting an image that others could honestly challenge would would seem reasonable. If you photograph something so obscure that it can't be challenged, you're #1 forever. Big deal, who cares. I don't think that's in the spirit of the idea. I think Pete is just trying to put some fun back into the site. But then, everyone is so bent out of shape about the click thing in general, there's very little trust left in the system. It's up to us to try and revive the fun experience it used to be on here.
Pete 21 18.8k 97 England
8 Aug 2006 6:10PM
Well said Denny Smile
It also (if we get it right) creates the gallery we've always wanted, where people can browse the very best (unbiased) images of everything. And these won't be picked by me, so I'll get let off the "picked-on" hook Wink
BenF 17 14 United States
8 Aug 2006 8:11PM
I like the idea as long as everyone is careful to not let the competition get too nasty, so to speak. Also, I assume this would be seperate from your daily upload in the reader gallery?
ade_mcfade 18 15.2k 216 England
8 Aug 2006 10:48PM
not read the comments, but from the intro I think it's a great addition to the site and you should set those techies loose developing it now!

I can jsut see the Robin section being the biggest gallery ever Smile
glazzaro 17 70 23 United States
9 Aug 2006 4:19AM
Come clean Pete, the only reason you want to do this is so you have a chance to get an award for once! Wink I think it is an excellent idea, I am all for it, adds some much needed spice and being a Yank I love a challenge! Hell, just for the challenge I will even drop the frames as Rob suggested. I am sure that you will have some problems, but I think the benefits might out weigh any problems. Hell I would have taken this challenge up except I did not have a blackbird shot handy! Sad Just for the record Pete this is the 2d suggestion in the last two weeks that you have made and I am 100% percent behind both, nice work.

Oh, again for the record I have to be honest that while I think Albi's blackbird is the best of the lot, no dinner for me tonight, I think Rob's bird is a lot better looking! Wink

Pete 21 18.8k 97 England
9 Aug 2006 7:31AM
lol Greg, thanks. I'm glad you like the new ideas. Who's coming to who's way of thinking here then? Wink
redstag 17 100 15 United Kingdom
9 Aug 2006 8:20AM
The best thing about this idea is that it is so open to imaginative interpretation. Love the idea. It will give us all an outlet for those me too shots we all do when inspired. Great idea.
stevebostock 17 244 England
9 Aug 2006 9:39AM
i think its a great idea, will give us a nice challenge and a good insight into peoples take on a subject

fossilized 18 79 United Kingdom
9 Aug 2006 10:25AM
I think it's a great idea, Pete.

There are bound to be the usual 'click' complaints but, personally, I will find it really interesting to be able to compare different interpretations of the same theme.
C_Daniels 17 399 10 England
9 Aug 2006 11:13AM
So, would you be able to upload more than once on the same theme...?

Could end up with someone with hundred or so shots which I suppose would be mad and obsessive but possible :O)
RipleyExile 19 1.6k 17 England
9 Aug 2006 1:14PM
Sounds good to me.
Pete 21 18.8k 97 England
9 Aug 2006 3:09PM
Yes you would you be able to upload more than once on the same theme. Maybe to gain back your winning status.
Boyd 19 11.2k 11 Wales
9 Aug 2006 4:20PM
So when are you going to trial it? Friday 6pm?
brian1208 19 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
9 Aug 2006 10:28PM

Quote:Yes you would you be able to upload more than once on the same theme
- I've had another go based on that Smile
glazzaro 17 70 23 United States
11 Aug 2006 2:08AM
Pete, I said I liked two of your ideas, I haven't caved in yet, I have a reputation to maintain... Wink

I say lets begin with the challenge and make the first official challenge a Heron! I am week in this area and it would motivate me to do better! Wink

Marian 17 62 England
11 Aug 2006 7:34AM
It took me ages to read all the comments last night, but I like your new idea. I think it would encourage ones like me, to branch out into other areas of photography instead of sticking to our normal type of pictures.
Therefore when I got up this morning, I went searching for my blackbird images, (all three of them) It's not the best of compositions, but it was fun to join in.


PS. Another idea would be for a Spell Checker, so that I wouldn't make so many spelling mistakes!! Ha Ha
chase Plus
17 2.5k 668 England
11 Aug 2006 9:09AM
Generally I think you have a good idea,this one made me look for a decent Blackbird shot so the concept must be effective.Pitfalls..well there are always going to be some whatever you do,the click debate will always remain.
Something different which can always be refined as you go..would have joined in the Blackbird shot..can't find a decent one,but it DID make me look !!
Coleslaw 17 13.4k 28 Wales
11 Aug 2006 12:19PM
I like the idea.
A_Harrison 18 261 Canada
11 Aug 2006 5:56PM
Caught my interest. Would make a person take picks not normally in their interest range and really think about how they are taking it
IanA 19 3.0k 12 England
12 Aug 2006 3:11PM
Another vote for.
Anything that helps put the fun back into the site is a worthwhile effort. How you work it is down to the mathematicians and backroom crew.
As has been mentioned above, it has made folks look for the subject and I think it would continue to do so. (Made me look, but the one I thought of turned out to be a thrush!)
And people on here have long memories, so it'd be a waste of time regurgitating Bertha! Wink)

VinceJones 17 862 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2006 7:30PM
I agree with what Cheryl said about the image being anonymous but with the winner after a week being pulled out of the bag by the person who posted the orignal image. The prize could be something from the person who posts the original. Just my views. Just think a selection of prizes from each other who choose to enter an image lol The bigger the prize the more entries.

Reference the SPELL CHECKER put forward by Marian above, that would be such brilliant tool that would be used by loads on here especially me!!!!
Westers 18 3.9k 1 Burkina Faso
16 Aug 2006 9:53PM
Good idea I reckon. Except I'd cheat and post a picture of my dog and say I think this is the best picture of my dog. And it would be 'cos none of you would have access to my dog, lol.


Re: Spell Checker. Try
tomelse 17 66 United Kingdom
17 Aug 2006 9:25AM
Sounds a great idea,
If run correctly even little minions like my self might be able to get something worth shouting about, I am a great believer in competition, it helps the learning process and spurs you on to achieving something
xanda 18 244 2 United Kingdom
17 Aug 2006 10:41AM
I think this is an excellent idea, Pete. I've never seen it done before and it sounds like a fun way of encouraging people to improve their photography.
Mayfly 17 485 2 United Kingdom
18 Aug 2006 2:41PM
Yeah love it cracking idea.
pcjackso Junior Member 17 7
24 Aug 2006 1:59PM
I know I am a bit late commenting,but I would like to say it's a great gallery,have been using it and think it's great.hope it continues to build.
User_Removed 18 4 11 England
29 Aug 2006 1:59PM
Great to go on when you are pushed for time & are not in a position where you feel bad for not having time to recipricate clicks - just simply look, choose and click. I feel the aninomity factor is great & that you can join in as many challenges as you like. Thanks Pete, Sylv.

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