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#1 iverp

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:22 PM

While it is not in the rules, I wonder if we can come to an understanding on who should (or should not) post entries in the imaging challenges. I'm thinking especially of the Beginning Challenge, but these thoughts may also apply to the others as well.

Once you have won a certain challenge once, twice, or maybe three times, you should refrain from entering that challenge again. You have demonstrated your expertise at that level and should now "play in a higher division".

I suppose this idea could be incorporated into the rules, but it might do just as well to have general agreement on this issue. There should probably be an exception for the months when only one entry is submitted.

We have some imagers here who do awesome work, and I assume we are all here because we want to have fun and discover ways to improve. The encouragement and constructive criticism found here is great. Thank you to all who participate.

#2 Madratter

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:59 AM

I could certainly support that idea for the beginner challenge only, after two or three wins.

#3 Jeff2011

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:18 AM

I think most people see it as an unwritten rule or right of passage that once you win the beginner DSO challenge, you graduate to the intermediate DSO level. The win would not count if uncontested.

#4 jrcrilly

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:20 AM

I could certainly support that idea for the beginner challenge only, after two or three wins.


Already there.

2. In order to provide a level playing field and to encourage participation by novice imagers, entrants in the Beginning Imaging forum who win the semi-finals poll in the CN Imaging Contest a total of three (3) times - or who win in the finals regardless of the number of times they have won the semifinals - will have demonstrated sufficient proficiency at astrophotography to no longer be considered a "beginning imager".



#5 Jeff2011

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:24 AM

John,

My understanding of that rule is that it is for the big contest where we compete against the other forums. What about the small contests like the bright, wide, intermediate DSO and beginning DSO challenges. I think that is what iverp is refering to.

#6 jrcrilly

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:33 AM

John,

My understanding of that rule is that it is for the big contest where we compete against the other forums. What about the small contests like the bright, wide, intermediate DSO and beginning DSO challenges. I think that is what iverp is refering to.


Ah. Those are the only rules I found. There must be rules somewhere for the small contests; maybe Charlie will pop in here.

#7 Gary Minder

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:42 AM

I guess I've been misunderstanding the intent of the categories. I assumed the terms "beginner" and "intermediate" referred to the complexity of the target, not the experience of the photographer.

I say that because in many cases in the last 6 months since I joined CN, I've seen entries of a quality far in excess of "beginner" or "intermediate" status.

I've been working on a NGC 281 Pacman image for the October "beginner" contest and I saw a Pacman image posted yesterday which was stunning and clearly the work of an advanced imager and processer. If it shows up as an entry this month it would pretty much make the word "beginner" meaningless.

Maybe there needs to be contest categories for "Advanced" and "Expert" I know this is the "Beginner and Intermediate" forum, but there are many accomplished APs submitting entries who are at or near the top of the learning curve.

#8 Madratter

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:54 AM


Already there.


Well, I guess that shows how much I have bothered with the imaging challenges to this point!

#9 iverp

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:13 AM

Already there.

2. In order to provide a level playing field and to encourage participation by novice imagers, entrants in the Beginning Imaging forum who win the semi-finals poll in the CN Imaging Contest a total of three (3) times - or who win in the finals regardless of the number of times they have won the semifinals - will have demonstrated sufficient proficiency at astrophotography to no longer be considered a "beginning imager".


There is no such rule set out in the Beginner DSO, Wide Field, Bright, or Intermediate DSO Challenges.

#10 jrcrilly

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:16 AM

There is no such rule set out in the Beginner DSO, Wide Field, Bright, or Intermediate DSO Challenges.


That does appear to be the case. I agree that there should be such a rule.

#11 Phil Hosey

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:51 PM


There is no such rule set out in the Beginner DSO, Wide Field, Bright, or Intermediate DSO Challenges.


I know for certain that there *used* to be rules governing this. The rule used to be that if you won the beginner challenge twice then you could not submit entries to it anymore and you had to move to the intermediate level, then, once you won that one twice, you could not enter it anymore.

#12 Phil Hosey

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:02 PM

I just picked a post at random from a time when the rules were stated for each challenge, there is one such post from two years ago, post #4086595. I apologize I can't seem to create a proper link to the post, but in that post, rule number 9 explains how to deal with winning a challenge twice and then graduating to the next level. These rules used to be included in every challenge post in this forum but they stopped some time a while back.

#13 Charlie Hein

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:29 PM

John,

My understanding of that rule is that it is for the big contest where we compete against the other forums. What about the small contests like the bright, wide, intermediate DSO and beginning DSO challenges. I think that is what iverp is refering to.


Ah. Those are the only rules I found. There must be rules somewhere for the small contests; maybe Charlie will pop in here.


Sorry I'm a bit late to the party, I'm off work this week and hadn't checked in since Monday.

I'm really glad you folks have brought this up. The rules for the Challenges are posted in the submission threads. They are the same for all Challenges:

The rules:

1. All entries must be captured within the same season as the contest. For example, if the subject was Orion Nebula, than any photo captured during this particular winter (or period that it was visible) would qualify for the contest. Entries must be made prior midnight of the last day of the month.

2. Images to be considered for entry to the Challenge must be posted to and visible in the challenge submissions thread. A link to an off-site image without a version that is actually displayed in the Challenge submissions thread will not suffice and is subject to disqualification.

3. Images to be considered for entry to the Challenge must conform in all respects with the site wide image posting requirements. Entrants may elect to set this "entry image" up as a "clickable link" to a higher resolution image if they so desire, and entrants may also elect to instead provide a separate link to such an image if they so choose. If the entrant provides a legally sized and working "clickable link" as their "entry image", that "clickable link" will be included in the polling thread so that voters can examine the high resolution image before voting. However, any "entry images" displayed on the CN site that do not meet the file size and pixel dimension requirements will subject the entry to disqualification. Any questions on this rule? Just ask.

4. Please include the equipment used to take the image. Scope/Mount/Camera/Focal reducers/Barlows...whatever. Also include your location.

5. Please do not post comments in the entries thread. It is just for these wonderful images you all will be submitting.

6. The equipment must be yours. Doesn't matter what it is. 20" RC, ETX70, 2" Tasco or an 8" TMB.

7. No collaborations. You must be the operator. You must setup, align, take the exposures and process them yourself. You can have help mounting that 26" RC if need be. No remote scope images. Unless you own that remote scope and have set it up aligned it and hooked your camera up. Then you can use it. No pay by the hour renta-scope images will be allowed.
*If you have a physical disability which prevents you from being able to set up your equipment, you may still post images in the contests. However, you must own the equipment.

8. Most importantly! Have fun. Support one another's efforts. As we all can learn from this and enjoy each others accomplishments.


Seems to me that if you are posting in the Intermediate Challenge you consider yourself to be good enough to win the day. If that's the case, it also follows that you do *not* consider yourself a beginner. There's no rule stopping it per se, but it only seems fair to a)give the real beginners a place to enter where they have a real shot and b)take note of folks who don't do so and vote (or withhold your vote) accordingly.

That said, there's nothing to be gained by pointing fingers at anyone - the rules were not broken. The best thing to do in my mind is that going forward, we give some weight to the level of experience that should be on display in a contest, and vote for the best submission that falls within that criteria.

As an example, I would not consider narrowband imaging and processing to be a skill set that a beginner would be able to easily master even if they decided from the start to buy the gear and learn it - it takes time and practice to develop the skill set. Your average beginner needs time just to work out the basics, like guiding and basic stacking and processing. This should rightly show in their work, as well as improvements they make over time. We should keep all this in mind when judging a beginner contest and vote accordingly.

Charlie

#14 Charlie Hein

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:33 PM

Maybe there needs to be contest categories for "Advanced" and "Expert" I know this is the "Beginner and Intermediate" forum, but there are many accomplished APs submitting entries who are at or near the top of the learning curve.


There are already challenges in the DSLR and CCD forums that folks can "graduate" to from here, so there is an outlet for the very best of us...

#15 Charlie Hein

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:20 AM

I just picked a post at random from a time when the rules were stated for each challenge, there is one such post from two years ago, post #4086595. I apologize I can't seem to create a proper link to the post, but in that post, rule number 9 explains how to deal with winning a challenge twice and then graduating to the next level. These rules used to be included in every challenge post in this forum but they stopped some time a while back.


@Phil: Excellent hunting, sir! Here is the link to the post you mentioned, and indeed the rules are a bit different than what we are using today.

Copied from that post:

1. Have fun! Support other contestants and be polite with your comments.
2. All entries must be captured within the same imaging season. For example, if the December target is the Orion Nebula, you must use images taken during the current winter, not any other year. For Lunar targets the image must have been captured within the 12 months preceding the
date of submission
3. Image size is limited to 800x800 pixels and 98k in size. The image may either be posted in the appropriate thread, or you may use UBB code to import the image from another site on the web. Imported images must meet the size criteria. Please note the kb size for the challenge is not the same as the size allowed by the forum.
4. A separate submission thread will be created for each category. Please post your submissions in the proper thread.
5. Please do not post comments in the submission threads. You may post your comments about the submissions here in this thread.
6. Any equipment is allowed to be used in the images including rental equipment.
7. All image taking and development must be done by you. The one exception to this is that husband/wife teams are permitted.
8. Each person (or husband/wife team) may submit only 1 entry per month in each category. However, you may edit your submission and replace the image with a newer one if you wish using the Edit function. The edit function is available for three days after the original post. After that contact one of your moderators.
9. If you win a Beginning Challenge 2 times (2 times for DSO or 2 times for Bright Objects), you will officially "Graduate" from that Challenge Category and may no longer submit images in the category that you have "Graduated" from. If you win the Intermediate Challenge 3 times, you will officially "Graduate" from that category. This is intended to encourage successful imagers to continue to sharpen their skills and increase their level of challenge, and also to give those who have not yet won one a clear shot at the title! When determining how to cast your vote in the beginner or intermediate challenge polls, it is encouraged that consideration be given to what the entrant's actual skills are. For example, advanced imagers, entering the beginner challenge just because they are permitted to do so by the rules, should be judged accordingly. We also caution that: some true beginners enter stunning images.


I have no idea when these rules were changed, although there have been quite a few changes in the overall rules governing images on CN and it seems likely that this may have been the catalyst for the change. Rule #9 seems to lay out my earlier suggestion exactly - I would not be opposed to adding it to the current rules.

What do you folks think? In light of this discovery, are there any other changes to the rules that you would suggest?

#16 rflinn68

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 08:47 AM

What do you folks think? In light of this discovery, are there any other changes to the rules that you would suggest?


This sounds fine to me. I would also like to add back these rules. I think we should be encouraging family members to work together when getting started and help each other, not just husband/wife but maybe father/son, etc......
7. All image taking and development must be done by you. The one exception to this is that husband/wife teams are permitted.
8. Each person (or husband/wife team) may submit only 1 entry per month in each category.

#17 Raginar

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:08 AM

I think the change is good. Might encourage more people to post!

#18 iverp

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:41 PM

As the OP, I like rule 9. But I think the last part about "advanced imagers" does not need to be included. It just complicates things, and can not be enforced. Who determines who is advanced, and how can we know? Anyway, if they insist on overwhelming the others despite their unfair advantage, they would be removed from the challenge after two or three wins anyway.
I do like to see what can be done by others with the same target I am working on. And the point of this is not about the "win" anyway. It is about enjoying what we do, and learning how to improve.

Also, and maybe this should be a new topic, is there a way we can comment on the entries submitted, other than to just congratulate the winner? For example, I would like to make a suggestion to NeilMac about his Moon Mosaic for the September Bright Challenge, but don't know how to do that except through a PM.

And also again, is there an easy way to find old challenge entries without going through the "Search" function?

#19 Charlie Hein

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 09:38 PM

What do you folks think? In light of this discovery, are there any other changes to the rules that you would suggest?


This sounds fine to me. I would also like to add back these rules. I think we should be encouraging family members to work together when getting started and help each other, not just husband/wife but maybe father/son, etc......
7. All image taking and development must be done by you. The one exception to this is that husband/wife teams are permitted.
8. Each person (or husband/wife team) may submit only 1 entry per month in each category.


Although I do recall the origins of the "husband and wife team" addition to the rules, I don't know when or why it was dropped. For what it's worth, I really don't have any objection to adding the rule back in as a "family team" exception, but I think that it might be best to put that sort of change to the vote. In that way if there was a valid reason for the repeal of the rule it should come out.

#20 Charlie Hein

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:55 PM

As the OP, I like rule 9. But I think the last part about "advanced imagers" does not need to be included. It just complicates things, and can not be enforced. Who determines who is advanced, and how can we know? Anyway, if they insist on overwhelming the others despite their unfair advantage, they would be removed from the challenge after two or three wins anyway.


Good thought. I don't see a problem with leaving that part of it out.

I do like to see what can be done by others with the same target I am working on. And the point of this is not about the "win" anyway. It is about enjoying what we do, and learning how to improve.


I agree.

Also, and maybe this should be a new topic, is there a way we can comment on the entries submitted, other than to just congratulate the winner? For example, I would like to make a suggestion to NeilMac about his Moon Mosaic for the September Bright Challenge, but don't know how to do that except through a PM.


I agree that this would be desirable, but it's also problematical.

For a while we had many complaints of having too many sticky threads in this forum. The first page was literally loaded with them.

Right now there are 5 imaging contests in this forum. With a commentary thread for each challenge and keeping the congratulatory threads until the next winners were chosen, these threads really needed to be trimmed down.

That is why things are how they are right now.

And also again, is there an easy way to find old challenge entries without going through the "Search" function?


If you're referring to the submissions threads, the only way I can think of to make it dead easy for folks to find them would be to create links to them in the "best of" thread. Frankly, that would be a lot of work to maintain, and that is an important consideration.

#21 Charlie Hein

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 07:22 AM

I'm pinning this thread to the top to see if we draw any more commentary.

#22 Jeff2011

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 08:46 AM

I support rule #9 as it gives clarity to what I have already assumed. The wins however should be contested to count.

I don't know if the rules were changed to increase participation since it seems like there is only a small group of people that participate in these competitions every month. If there is not enough newcomers, then participation will drop off to where no one participates in some of the challenges.

#23 Madratter

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 09:02 AM

Part of the problem as I see it is the targets themselves. I looked at the beginning target this month and it is the Pacman. I simply don't consider that a beginners target*. Not surprisingly, the submissions are fairly advanced with one exception.

*[It is Ha, it is large, and it is not particularly bright - try observing it visually and you'll see what I mean.]

#24 Jeff2011

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 09:51 AM

That is a good point MR. The winner chooses the next target. The choice of target is an indication of the level of participation. No offense to whoever chose the Pacman. The main issue I have with these challenges is the vague guidelines.

#25 Phil Hosey

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 11:41 AM

Another thing I'll throw into the mix. I remember in the past passing on the challenge because either the object selected for the particular month wouldn't be in a favorable position until well after midnight, or the object required a focal length that I didn't have equipment for. Unfortunately, restricting targets on this basis, including making sure it is a beginner friendly target, would mean that there are very few if any targets available for a given month.






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