UKH

Are my photos getting worse?

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 PPP 11 Aug 2020

I typically struggle with self critiquing photos, so I do use UKC as a way to gauge what people find as a nice photo. However, it feels like lately the votes on UKC have been quite low. I do like the photos I upload, but perhaps they have more of a sentimental value than aesthetic one?

I might just be in a low point in photography with no good light (there’s some truth in that), but how do I come back from it? The question is... are my photos actually getting worse? 
 

Not pleading for good votes or nice comments, just want to get back to the track! I take photos for myself than UKC, but it would be nice to share it with the community. 

In reply to PPP:

For what it is worth, I think your photos could often be improved by having less sky in them, either by composition when taking them or by cropping. Try 1/3 of the photo as sky as a default starting point.

 Basemetal 11 Aug 2020
In reply to PPP:

As a non-photographer, looking at the last 8 images on your gallery they're much less dramatic than the ones that went before. Meaningful personally perhaps, but bland to someone who wasn't there or can't identify with the situation. Lack of background tones and points of interest leave nothng to hold the eye.  Some are nice enough pics but postcardy rather than engaging. Your earlier images have much stronger structure, colour and composition.

But I wouldn't call 8 images a losing streak....

In reply to PPP:

I've asked Andy to look into how things are trending more generally, as he'll be able to run a query on the database and comment from a more statistical perspective.

From a personal perspective I've always been a little confused as to which of my own photos get good or bad votes, as it's infrequently the ones I like the most that perform well. My conclusion was just that different people have different tastes.

In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

As an aside, one of my photos today dropped from average 4.9 with 18 votes to 4.0 with 19 votes. This would require a single vote of at least -10 which is beyond even the most malicious downvoter, so there is clearly a gremlin in the voting system somewhere!

1
In reply to Robert Durran:

I'll leave Andy to comment on this one, because I have absolutely no idea how the voting system works.

On the note of personal preferences, I loved your latest shot of Mangertsa

In reply to PPP:

Your night photos are actually realistic in that they are dark! Unfortunately, dark night photos are a bit dull. You will see lots of night photos on here which are absurdly bright with stars in a blue sky or moonlight as bright as the sun and which get lots of votes for some reason. Getting an interesting night photo without losing a night look is very difficult.

1
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> On the note of personal preferences, I loved your latest shot of Mangertsa

Thanks! That's the one I'm talking about.

 jethro kiernan 11 Aug 2020
In reply to PPP:

Viewing your gallery ranked by vote throws up some really nice pictures, other photos seem to be a more on the Snap side of things, it’s a personal Thing but if you’d like your gallery to be a best off then you need to be pretty harsh with yourself and judge everything by your best ten photos. Even then the obscure UKC photo algorithm will disappoint you 😉, keep posting the photos 👍

In reply to PPP:

I'm no expert, but I would agree with comment above about a bit too much sky, but I think you are missing a subject; not necessarily a thing, but a foreground or just a focal point to pull your eye into the shots.

Have a look at Nigel Danson on youtube (if you like his stuff) for some ideas he does some good discussions on foreground & composition e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_RDaOoebBM&list=PLTyNXCMBOiBBkl54pxjKmjD_9PagCtB1M&index=13

In reply to PPP:

Looking at average voting over the last decade, there is a slight (but apparent) dip in the recent months, which I suspect is due to people having more time to trawl through photos, or maybe even people being fed up and venting by voting!

If you'd like me to privately send a graph of averages for just your photos over the years, let me know.

Graph I have attached shows the average vote since 2010, with the current average for August being 3.67.


 compost 12 Aug 2020
In reply to PPP:

What jumps out to me in the last couple of months' photos compared with your older ones is the lack of foreground interest. There are lots of pics of distant hills that I've never been to and so they don't really hold my attention.

Your older photos (February and older) have some great little details in the foreground - a bothy, footprints or a loch and I'm drawn to those much more. 

Edit: Also, your older photos have some great leading lines, whereas the newer ones don't have those rivers, valleys, cliffs, viaducts etc to draw the eye into the focal point.

Post edited at 10:07
 galpinos 12 Aug 2020
In reply to PPP:

I would say your recent photos lack a subject/leading line/etc. My eyes don't know where to look, they just dart around the image. They feel more like a memory jogger for the photographer than a "composition", if that makes sense.

(Caveat - I'm not a very good photographer)

In reply to PPP:

Your photos look pretty good to me in lots of ways but it feels a bit like the composition is a bit dull in some of them.

I'm a shit landscape photographer but my photos are always better when I take into account the rule of thirds (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds). 

In reply to Robert Durran:

Do you remember which photo this was?

It actually sounds more like an int/float issue, whereby it is rounding the vote to the integer 4.

 Flinticus 12 Aug 2020
In reply to PPP:

I think the earlier posters have provided enough guidance.

I'd just say that with my own photos, taken during sunrise / sunset, the contrast or exposure issues arising from using only a phone camera, means an awful lot of great views are inadequately captured, so that my sentimental ones often remain unposted here.

Same goes for those skies which are bereft of cloud or landscapes with no flashes of illumination.

In reply to Andy Ovens - UKC and UKH:

> Do you remember which photo this was?

> It actually sounds more like an int/float issue, whereby it is rounding the vote to the integer 4.

It has resolved itself with the next vote! My most recent  upload "Mangertsa, Lewis"

Post edited at 12:06
 PPP 12 Aug 2020
In reply to PPP:

Damn, I’m so happy for the feedback everyone’s provided. Many thanks! Lockdown, lack of taking camera out and gear change probably made me a bit rusty. I haven’t looked at others’ photos for a while to draw some inspiration either. 
 

Easy to blame gear, but I miss the wide 8-18mm Panaleica (16-36mm eq) lens and I need to work on composition. It was easy to pull something close by and get a wide background, with still a lot of sky. 
 

Thank you very much, everyone! 

In reply to Robert Durran:

As suspected, there was a scenario whereby the average vote value could be saved as an integer. Fixed that and rectified the handful of photos it had affected..

Cheers for letting me know

 wbo2 12 Aug 2020
In reply to Robert Durran: that ain't no minus 10 🙂🙂.  Great picture Robert 

 jethro kiernan 12 Aug 2020
In reply to Andy Ovens - UKC and UKH:

Can you fix all mine 😂😂

 ChrisJD 12 Aug 2020
In reply to PPP:

The subject/content and capture/processing are generally all good.

I reckon you just need to crop (and perhaps add a  bit of vignette), and you'll be away with the high votes..

In reply to Andy Ovens - UKC and UKH:

> As suspected, there was a scenario whereby the average vote value could be saved as an integer. Fixed that and rectified the handful of photos it had affected.

Thanks!


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