Monday, March 27, 2006

Should we rank our photos?

Hello All

Recently, I have signed up to a stock agency and as a result I have my images ranked. This is actually very satisfying because it provides an immediate measure of quality. The scale actually starts at 6 and goes up to 9. If you go below 6 then the image is not suitable. Images of quality 6 should also be deleted unless they show a unique image. Here is the scale in detail:

9 - Wow
8 - outstanding
7 - good
6 - average

The rank is based on composition, colour, sharpness, subject matter, interest, technical skill and originality. So this led me to believe that in addition to the critiques, we should rank the photos that are posted. If we all decide that this is a good idea we can think about how. For example, should we have a mark out of 10 for each of the seven categories above. I thought about 5 but it gives little latitude. Once all the marks have been awarded we simply divide by 7 to get an average score. You can easily set up an spreadsheet in Excel with the titles above in the first row and in the last column have an equation to calculate the average (=average(B1:B7). So our scoring might look something like this (quite difficult to have a description for each mark):

0 - Delete this piece of trash
1 - No effort made -not worth the post it sits on
2 - Little effort made - still not worth the post
3 - Poor - think twice before posting
4 - Below average, not satisfactory, still think twice before posting
5 - Satisfactory
6 - Average
7 - Good
8 - Outstanding
9 - Wow
10 - Cannot get better than this

I would imagine that we will never have a 10 and only occasionally would we reach 9. I have posted 15 images with the stock agency; one is a 6, three are 8 and the remainder are 7. These scores are also based on saleability which does not concern us here, but I would expect most of our photos to have ratings of 7 and 8 with the occasional 6 or 9. Let me know if this is getting to be too much work.

Having a rating system will make you think twice before posting and should stop us (or rather me) from posting too many photos, thus encouraging more discussion for each photo.

What do you all think?



Ivan said...

I'll need to think about this carefully, since some of the categories may be hard to judge due to the low-res nature of the files posted. How can one rank technical excellence if the resolution is low enough to make judging the focal point etc hard. However, I like the more formal approach to critique, and the focus on through review and discussion (in a more standardised way) of a few images rather than loads. On a similar note, if we are to gain the most from each post (in terms of our learning) then we should approach the post text in a similar way - tell us what you were trying to achieve and why, and something about the technical data. For example, in most photo mags, each shot comes with a short description of the image, the motivation behind it and some technical details like ISO, aperture, lens, shutter speed and focal length. We could also include the digital manipulation used. Maybe have less categories but try to rank in each one, and say why. Any further thoughts? Damian, I am in general agreement.

Critical Light said...

OK. I like the more standardised approach to posting images. Perhaps we should come up with a standard format (I will think about this and post something). As for the rank. It would provide a starting point for the critique that would follow. I threw those categories in because they were being used by the stock agency but we can define our, and perhaps have fewer. If we have fewer then it would be easier to give a score for each and explain why we gave that score.


bishopsindubai said...

The more standardised text inc. tech data is a good idea.

The ranking would be interesting but may create more "work" to evaluate all shots posted instead of quick responses which may generate more discussion?

The original poster could nominated a certain image every once in a while that should be ranked and analysed more closly than the rest?

bishopsindubai said...

p.s. a couple more contributors could help too?

Anonymous said...

Grant - do you know anyone who could contribute, and submit pictures too?