Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Last Projected Image Competition

Well, both Gareth and I had successes in last nights CCC projected image photo competition. I'll let Gareth update on his news, but I got a "Highly Commended" for the image "Kent Clifftop Sunset". The other crashed and burned. Zip, na-da, zilch. I must work out why I can chose only one successful image each competition! Also, I do think that my second image (unplaced) was as good or better than some of the ones that were placed, but again it's all subjective.

On the face of it, my "success" trajectory is downwards: A "First" in the 1st competition, a "Second" in the 2nd competition, and now a "Highly Commended" in the 3rd. However - and I know this from my 15 years in the Pharma business - data can be cut many different ways. I prefer to look at it using a pharmacokinetic analogy (indulge me)...

For many classes of drug, efficacy (pre-defined biological activity against a nominated target or disease) is driven by achieving a certain concentration of drug in the bloodstream (Cmin) over a defined amount of time, t. The longer that the drug contentration, [drug], is above Cmin, the greater the area under the (time/concentration) curve, or AuC. If you imagine a curve of concentration points plotted against time, with a line (Cmin) bisecting that curve, the amount of of curve above the Cmin line is the AuC.

See here for more details if interested

Thus, in many cases, the efficacy of a drug is directly proportional to the AuC. Clearly, other factors impact this, so it's not a straightforward picture. Deviations within an AuC range may not translate into differences in clinical efficacy - within a defined range of AuCs, drugs with a lower AuC may be just as effective as higher AuC drugs. In otherwords, the "quality" of the drug in terms of efficacy is the same. With me so far?

The analogy with photography is thus: my pictures have fluctuated in their "AuC" - some achieved a higher AuC, some lower, but ALL were above the minimum of the range required for achieving photographic "efficacy". Put another way, even with the subjective preferences, moods, eyesight and character of the judges (equivalent to the biological variation in living systems and diseases), I managed to be placed in all three competitions. I can, therefore, feel reasonably confident that I can take and select images good enough to be placed in (at least internal) competitions. Having achieved a placing in all three, I want to be able to continue to have at least one image placed in each such competition, and to strive to have both placed.

On this latter point, my overall "efficacy" rate (achieving a standard good enough to be placed) is only 50%, as one of my images always crashes. This is a bit of a worry. I clearly know what to select in one image, but not in two. But these are independent images, so what is impacting from one to the other. What am I missing? I thought about this more last evening, and I think it may be that I put a lot of effort into selecting one image, then not so much into selecting the second. This has been borne out - all the images that did not place were my second images, the ones I chose after selecting image one. It's as if I mentally relax, thinking "job done". Thus, I need to independently put as much effort into image 2 as image 1.

All in all, very pleased. I am now looking towards the "Annual Digital Championship" and the "Photographer of the Year" competitions towards year end.


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