megatop412
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:00 am

This situation you all are reflecting on is the end product of many years of frustration felt by many members. I'll never forget the debate I had with someone, years ago, about exhaust being mistaken for "soft'. I went elsewhere, and now enjoy a large community of other spotters/photographers in a congenial, low-stress atmosphere. Yes I still come here to see some awesome images from time to time, but for the most part I'm conditioned to not even bother trying to upload anything. So, a.net is now reaping what it has sown. Coupled with how the new layout was (mis)managed, many people were driven away.

The other part of this is, quite simply, visual information overload. The hobby exploded, and now the internet is flooded with imagery. After a while, there is the natural inclination to say, less than enthusiastically, "Oooh, another airplane picture". There are SO MANY people who take excellent aviation photos there simply isn't time to keep up with it all. Plus you have all these 'look at me, I'm an aviation photographer!' attention hogs that are driven to create these narcissistic "I just had my 500th picture accepted here!" posts that get filled with all this congratulatory drivel it really makes you wonder what the point of doing it is anymore. This, in addition to the intensely competitive environment it has become, fueled by ridiculous screening standards, results in an exodus of people who just can't be bothered by it anymore. People want to move on to other things, lives change, and photography ends up not being the be-all end-all of existence.

If you're going to have such exacting standards, and activity at other sites shows that many people are quite happy with what they're seeing there and not noticing the 2% difference(or whatever it is) in sharpness or noise, then...it will be quite lonely at the top won't it.
 
JakTrax
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:57 pm

Hi Gasman,

Your image looks a little yellow to me, and I personally feel it's a somewhat awkward crop (and too tight). Finally, with no consistent visual references by which to level, to my eye it would benefit from some CCW rotation. But it got in so the heads clearly didn't agree with me.

And thus I demonstrate just how subjective the whole process is.......

Megatop, agree with much of what you put above, particularly with reference to the 'look at me' types. But they aren't hurting anyone I s'pose, so they can carry on for all I care. Their attention seeking at least gives me something to cringe at when I'm bored! ;-)

Karl
 
Gasman
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:25 pm

Cheers Karl

So just out of interest - would you have included my photo as evidence of "slipping standards"? Please be honest!

From my point of view - I think the quality is fine - more than fine (although I can see what you mean now about the slight yellow tinge). In my view, if there would be a reason for rejecting such a picture, it would be because it's just another photograph of an aircraft - it doesn't stir emotion, nor does it "speak" on any real level - and to me, it is that which is the marque of a good photograph rather than barely perceptible issues over noise or flatness or whatever.

Gerard
 
JakTrax
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:55 pm

Gerard, I'd have to say that your image is indicative of what I perceive to be slipping standards, however I'm referring more to screening inconsistencies than bad photos. Re your image, it's very difficult to gauge the quality of the original file from a small edit - most files straight from our cameras need a little colour work and basic processing, so a below-par edit often isn't a result of a poor photograph. Frequently I've noticed that slight colour casts/hues only become evident once the light in your editing room changes, which is why I try and edit in total darkness (and even that method isn't infallible!).

Like others, I have to criticise some of the screening mentality, particularly that involving photos shot in low light above ISO200. Here's one from this morning:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/130333117 ... /lightbox/

20 minutes after sunrise, ISO400, with IS on, and a shutter speed of 1/320th. Given the light, ISO400 was the sensible option, yet this site often seeks to disregard the laws of physics by very likely branding the image too noisy. It's as clean and crisp as the physics of photography allow, given the light/time of day. As long as the noise isn't distracting to the viewer, the screeners should really assess the conditions and realise that, inherently, some images will be noiser than others. Yeah, you can run it through noise reduction software (which basically blurs images) but to me that's manipulation.

A blanket rule on noise is plain silly if you ask me.... even with sunny side-ons, which are often taken close to dawn or dusk.

Karl
 
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airkas1
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:25 pm

JakTrax wrote:
yet this site often seeks to disregard the laws of physics by very likely branding the image too noisy. It's as clean and crisp as the physics of photography allow, given the light/time of day. As long as the noise isn't distracting to the viewer, the screeners should really assess the conditions and realise that, inherently, some images will be noiser than others.

I can agree to the above. For me, your image isn't noisy at all by the way.
 
JakTrax
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:48 pm

Thanks Kas - I bet to some screeners it would be though! ;-)

What I find odd is how a night panning shot with slightly blurry parts will be accepted 'because there's not a lot you can do about it under the circumstances', yet a slightly noisy shot almost instantly gets the boot. Noise is a fundamental and unavoidable part of photography; blur is not.

Karl
 
Gasman
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:19 pm

JakTrax wrote:
Thanks Kas - I bet to some screeners it would be though! ;-)

What I find odd is how a night panning shot with slightly blurry parts will be accepted 'because there's not a lot you can do about it under the circumstances', yet a slightly noisy shot almost instantly gets the boot. Noise is a fundamental and unavoidable part of photography; blur is not.

Karl

Completely agree with all the above. The "standards" (and I hesitate to use that word; I'd prefer "arbitrary criteria") have reached a point where even with the best will in the world; consistency - even within one screener/operator - is impossible. And yes - some noise can be appropriate - only if its presence detracts from the visual impact and enjoyability of the photoghraph should it be a reason for rejection.

Another one that irritates me is "flatness" - a subjective term that seems to exist only on airliners.net, which I suspect really means "contrast". It seems every shot must look as though it was taken in bright sunshine, even if it wasn't. That being the case, why not simply reject photos for "poor quality light" - rather than implying the fault is that the contrast slider is too far leftwards?
 
Psych
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:07 pm

Hello Guys.

Gerard - thanks for posting your image. I think these visual examples help the discussion. I would agree with Karl about the very close crop, which I always find a little awkward - I would try to give it a little more breathing room were I editing that one. Interestingly, the first thing that struck me was the sharpening issue, with which I am struggling at the moment. I wouldn't have been at all surprised if you had told us that it was initially rejected for being soft.

What really frustrates me is that sharpening was not something that caused me angst in years gone by, but in recent weeks, boy it is. This, in tandem with the knowledge that, dependent on the kind of screen on which you are viewing, things can look wildly different as regards sharpening, has left me feeling very uncertain re the standards required. Here's another one to consider:

http://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/air ... 49f76e4b2f

Rejected for oversharpening and compression - these two reasons were upheld on appeal, with a couple more added for good measure. I will admit one of these was levelling - and I am open to the notion that I might have been stubborn about that one. But can someone explain to me this compression issue? The photo is taken with a full frame 5D and an 'L' lens in good light (and edited with my usual OCD-type behaviour) with no adverse air conditions. I challenge anyone to edit these kinds of titles, and reduce the photo size, without the gap between oversharp and soft being paper thin (remind anyone of Monarch titles :white: )

Back to the theme of the debate here - the photo doesn't set the world alight, but is it of such poor quality that it doesn't deserve a place in A.net's window? Clearly I wouldn't have uploaded it had I thought that. I'm just not sure I get the thinking behind some of the decision-making any longer - given the crisis of identity/huge internet market place for images we're discussing.

I'm feeling somewhat lost with this process right now.

Cheers.

Paul
 
JakTrax
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:34 pm

Paul, your TCX image does 'feel' unlevel, however the few verticals available to use as a reference are too insignificant to matter I think. Closely examining them I'd day 0.1 CW would make them perfect, however that still leaves a rather awkward looking runway camber (port MLG higher in frame than starboard MLG - although MAN's 23L does roll downhill at this location it would be realistic to expect the runway camber to be even). It's the old argument between technically level and aesthetically level I guess.

I've never understood the sharpness issue here as it's the most subjective of all the rejection reasons. Just because an image is soft doesn't make it a bad photo; in other words, it's not a flaw in the way that colour casts, unlevel, blurry, etc. are.
 
vikkyvik
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:25 pm

A lot to comment on here....

JakTrax wrote:
however I have to be pedantic and ask the question: are HDR images really photos? I think they may have a place here but there needs to be some kind of restriction so that we don't end up with images so far removed from the original photos


It depends on what you define as a photo.

Keith Richards once said, regarding acoustic guitar: "As soon as you put a mic in front if it, it's automatically electric. Even if Segovia's playing".

You can apply a similar sentiment to photography. As soon as you take a photo, you are by default applying several filters to what you actually saw. These filters include the lens, camera, film/sensor, digital processing, and of course the photographer's decisions.

HDR allows you to capture a larger dynamic range than is possible from a single frame. So in that sense, one could easily make the case that HDR might be a better representation of any given scene.

I don't think there's any use whatsoever in trying to figure out how far removed an image is from the original photo. Hell, I've horribly underexposed photos, shot them on completely wrong white balances, shot them in very flat light and had to add a lot of contrast, shot them at ISO6400 and had to use a lot of noise reduction, etc. At a certain point in my own shooting/editing, I start to consider them as "images" more than "photos", but that's really a personal preference of my own, and shouldn't influence how A.net sees them.

JakTrax wrote:
Going back to my point about poor quality side-ons, is it not a good idea to impose restrictions on them too, in so far as to raise the bar for their acceptance?


Again, I think you will lose more photographers than you will gain. After all, most aircraft I shoot are ones that are rather well-represented in the database. And for a typical side-on, I have little interest in exceeding the already-existing great quality in the DB.

Gasman wrote:
- Firstly, the site has never really defined what it wants to be. Is it an aviation photography site, where the aim is to have pictures that are simply pleasing to look at through global artistic criteria; or is it simply a photo database of aircraft?


I'd have to somewhat disagree there - it's always been pretty clear to me that the site was both. That said, I think it erred on the database side quite heavily in years past.

Gasman wrote:
- Secondly - and I'm going to pull no punches here - the screening process is poor. I would say "the standards are too high" but it goes further than that - the demanded quality has reached a point where opinions between observers and screeners cannot possibly hope to be consistent. We are exceeding the limits of human perception, not to mention differences in opinion. I recently had a photo rejected on TWO criteria - sharpness & noise. I appealed it straight away without changing anything (of course) and it was accepted. Who is to say who is "right" here? Here's the photo in question


Looked a bit soft to me as soon as I opened it. But I don't have any qualms about it being accepted. Color looks perfectly acceptable to me.

megatop412 wrote:
So, a.net is now reaping what it has sown. Coupled with how the new layout was (mis)managed, many people were driven away.


Agreed.

JakTrax wrote:
Like others, I have to criticise some of the screening mentality, particularly that involving photos shot in low light above ISO200. Here's one from this morning:


Shot looks perfectly fine to me.

JakTrax wrote:
Noise is a fundamental and unavoidable part of photography; blur is not.


That's a subjective....subject. If you're shooting a moving airplane in the dark and you're already wide open, you may have the option to kick up the ISO, or kick down the shutter speed. But what if you're already at high ISO? I've done quite a bit of after-sunset shooting up to ISO6400 and with shutter speeds down to 1/20 or so. If you get the center of the fuselage nice and sharp, the winglets will likely be noticeably blurry, and even the nose and tail may show some small signs of blur.

What if you want to add background blur to a shot, for aesthetic purposes? Same deal - you may get a nice sharp fuselage but blurry winglets. That is indeed an unavoidable part of photography; objects at different distances from the camera appear to be moving at different speeds across the frame.

Gasman wrote:
Another one that irritates me is "flatness" - a subjective term that seems to exist only on airliners.net, which I suspect really means "contrast".


It's been stated hundreds of times that "flat" means low contrast here.

Gasman wrote:
That being the case, why not simply reject photos for "poor quality light" - rather than implying the fault is that the contrast slider is too far leftwards?


Because the site criteria allows for shots not in full sunlight, but the site still likes them to span the full dynamic range from black to white. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing, just stating how they've generally judged images.

Psych wrote:
Rejected for oversharpening and compression - these two reasons were upheld on appeal, with a couple more added for good measure.


I agree with OS - it looks like it was a soft image with lots of sharpening added. Compression can be difficult to judge, but I do see some blotchiness in the clouds. And compression can badly affect sharpening too. The image also looks dark to me.

JakTrax wrote:
in other words, it's not a flaw in the way that colour casts, unlevel, blurry, etc. are.


Why do you say that? Softness can certainly be as much of a flaw as any other flaws. Just depends on your personal criteria.

I always take multiple images of the same airplane as it goes by. I'd say 95% of the time, I'll pick the sharpest of those images to use (the other 5% would be if I was going for a particular framing, or if the light was better in one shot, or if a pesky lightpole got in the way, etc.).

I think we all need to remember that A.net is not judging original photographs. It is judging edited images.

Last (and maybe most important) comment:
It's striking (and kind of amusing) that 50+% of the contributors to this thread do not upload to A.net anymore. That's a problem in itself.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
Psych
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:42 pm

On that image I posted - I'll accept the point about it looking unlevel. But Vik, that sky has had no editing applied to it - straight from the original file, just resizing. I never apply sharpening to a sky. Other than a few areas, that aircraft has no sharpening applied either, due to the fact that it was sharp from the get go. This is what is currently frustrating me; minimal sharpening applied to a shot that gets reject for being over sharpened. I even uploaded that one at a larger size to improve the jaggies caused inevitably by making a large file small. It really doesn't feel like a soft image to me.

But how can there be compression? I've uploaded thousands of shots, almost never being told my images are suffering with that. Plus, I just don't see it, which is alarming (for a guy of my age!). Cloudy skies can look grainy, surely? But back on one of the points at hand - who cares these days?

Paul
 
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Kaphias
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:49 pm

vikkyvik wrote:
Last (and maybe most important) comment:
It's striking (and kind of amusing) that 50+% of the contributors to this thread do not upload to A.net anymore. That's a problem in itself.

An accurate, as and you said, important point. I took the last year off from uploading as I was discouraged by multiple rejections, low view numbers, and the difficulty in getting unique shots accepted here. Not to mention graduate school. Now a few months into full-time employment, I had another try at uploading a month or so ago, and got six photos into the database.





I also had five photos rejected for a total of eight times- including this one on appeal. It was initially rejected for underexposed, I reuploaded (with fixes) and it was then rejected for over sharpened and banding. I then appealed, where it was rejected for blurry, noise, and quality. One photos, three rounds of screening, six rejection reasons. Look, I'm not saying it's a perfect, amazing, beautiful photo. But if you don't want something like that in the database, then too freaking bad, right? I love this hobby, I love being able to have hundreds, if not thousands of people enjoy my photography, but I simply don't have the time in my life to be toyed with by the ridiculous, inconsistent, and frankly stupid screening process here.

I'm not in high school anymore, as I was when I first began to upload photos here. Then, I would put hours into editing and re-editing photos in order to have them be accepted into the same airliners.net database that hosts the photos of so many great photographers- several of whom have posted in this topic. Now, all I want to do is (1) grow the database by uploading photos of aircraft new to the database, and (2) share unique shots that may not fit the definition of "creative", but aren't your basic sunny side-on.

It's becoming increasingly apparent that this isn't the place for me to do that. I'm not sure where is, and as a result, over the last few years I've not taken as many aviation-related photos.

At one point, airliners.net was instrumental in growing our hobby.

As of late, it's certainly played a part in killing it.
Matthew
 
Gasman
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:02 pm

Kaphias wrote:
I love this hobby, I love being able to have hundreds, if not thousands of people enjoy my photography, but I simply don't have the time in my life to be toyed with by the ridiculous, inconsistent, and frankly stupid screening process here.


This ^

Kaphias wrote:
At one point, airliners.net was instrumental in growing our hobby.

As of late, it's certainly played a part in killing it.


And this ^
 
Newark727
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:09 am

I stopped uploading two years ago after I got a rejection, upheld on appeal, for an issue that was completely invisible for me on three different monitors, and three other a.net members in the pre-screening forum also couldn't find. If image standards are slipping here compared to that, I can only consider it a good thing!
 
Gasman
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:31 am

I once read somewhere here that the screeners' mantra is "look for a reason to accept".

That is clearly bollocks.
 
sausten
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:08 am

What an interesting read. Always nice to be reminded the screeners aren’t just picking on me!

Are image standards slipping? Well for me, it’s never been harder to get shots accepted here. Despite experience and increasingly optimized settings for my camera, scanner and photo editor, my acceptance ratio has been a the decline and stayed low for the past couple of years.

Gasman wrote:
- Secondly - and I'm going to pull no punches here - the screening process is poor. I would say "the standards are too high" but it goes further than that - the demanded quality has reached a point where opinions between observers and screeners cannot possibly hope to be consistent. We are exceeding the limits of human perception, not to mention differences in opinion.


I totally agree. I believe it’s almost impossible to produce an image that all screeners would independently agree on accepting. One screener likes images a bit sharper, while another prefers them slightly softer. Another seeks more contrast while a fourth sees only blur. Such is the variable nature of human screeners.

What I think needs to happen to combat this, is for the Head screeners to develop a better understanding of the screening tolerances of the whole screening team, and apply that broader tolerance when looking at appealed images. That is, to look to accept images that fall within the teams accepted standards, not merely within their own personal standards. This would improve consistency.

I also believe that when screening appeals, heads should only be judging the original rejection criteria rather than re-screening in an attempt to discover new reasons to reject. The majority of my appeals are actually successful, in that some or all of the original rejection reason(s) are removed, only to be replaced by addition and often more subjective reasons. A total re screen does not build consistency amongst the team.

Another way to build consistency and rebuild community would be more screener input in the photography feedback forum. I know the screening team are volunteers and we all value their contribution to the site, but they are the 'keepers of the keys'. There explanations, tips and advice would surely be well received by all photographers, regardless of their a.net experience. The few that do regularly participate there do an outstanding job keeping guys like me enthused and motivated to upload here. There advice is frank but fair and generally delivered with encouragement.

Anyway, just some of my thoughts.

Steve
 
Psych
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:07 am

Steve - what a useful addition to the thread. I could quote most of it because I find myself agreeing so whole-heartedly with so much of what you say.

sausten wrote:
What I think needs to happen to combat this, is for the Head screeners to develop a better understanding of the screening tolerances of the whole screening team, and apply that broader tolerance when looking at appealed images. That is, to look to accept images that fall within the teams accepted standards, not merely within their own personal standards. This would improve consistency.


This fascinates me - I was deeply involved in discussions and debates with certain key members of the site about this very matter - some 7 ,8, 9, 10 years ago! I am loathed to mention names here without their express consent; over the years I have been fortunate to have really useful discussions on and off Forum with key individuals on the site, some with more power to influence than others. What frustrates me, having recently returned to uploading a number of photos, is that the very same issues we were talking about addressing then are alive and kicking so far down the road. I think we all realise that it's an almost impossible issue to resolve here because, ultimately (and I am only talking about the photo element of the site), what gets in is dependent on subjective decision-making by a constantly changing group of people. I have always hoped the key role of the Heads would be to smooth the process of inconsistency, which will always be there, and also communicate with the community. There's one particular guy who is really working hard to do that - and I can vouch for his helpfulness, politeness in dealing with queries, and generally talking sense. For all I know the others are just the same - but the community doesn't see much of them. I understand why - time is precious, lives are there to be led outside of duties here, so if you are constantly debating with irritable community members/photographers then you are not doing 'the day job' of screening uploads and appeals. But, for me, A.net was always at its best when there was full and frank (polite and respectful) discussion and debate to be had.

I think there's a desperate need for this now - due to the changing environment within which we are all operating now. Having only just recently started to have a couple of trips out to the airport, the conversations are so different. In my old days it was always about A.net and 'the other site' (are we allowed to talk openly about that site now here?), whereas now there is a little talk about the demise of A.net, and how the views are so much better now elsewhere, and much more about people sharing photos on Flickr and Facebook. Non-screened methods for sharing photos have developed so significantly over recent years - it calls into question the role and place of 'screened' sites such as this. As a place to share aviation photogaphy I think more change needs to happen before even more photographers chose to display their work elsewhere.

Photographers being p**sed off about rejections has always been with us. It's a combination of frustrated people who can't bear to 'kill their kittens', as they say; people who haven't learned much about editing; and many more. But, in there are people like me - 13 years uploading, with a generally good success rate, who can't understand some elements of the rejection reasons and cannot get clear clarification to help him move forward. It was different in the days when, once through the rigorous process, many views were to be had and many on the look out for photos to use would come here with requests. But views are a pale imitation of what they were before (unless your photo gets to the top few) and, if my experience in anything to go by, people interested in sourcing an aviation image are going somewhere else.

Karl started by questioning whether image standards are slipping; my (very personal) experience - like Steve above - is that it's harder to get my images through the process than it has ever been. That's a fascinating juxtaposition.

I really hope there is an opportunity to get more crew to come here and discuss matters.

Paul
 
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cpd
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:18 am

It must be said that Kas (airkas1) is spending a lot of time on the forum offering explanations, advice and generally being helpful. And kudos for that.

JakTrax wrote:
What I find odd is how a night panning shot with slightly blurry parts will be accepted 'because there's not a lot you can do about it under the circumstances', yet a slightly noisy shot almost instantly gets the boot. Noise is a fundamental and unavoidable part of photography; blur is not.


Night panning shots can be extremely difficult to pull off, try doing 1/2sec panning and getting the entire shot absolutely pin sharp and crisp. Those deserve a little more leniency - sometimes the blur is something that will be outside of your control, such as the wings shaking.


Image
(2013-03-04 18:44:12) 150mm, 1/10sec, ISO1600, F/8.0, no edits

So the shutter speed isn't really that low - but you can still see wing was shaking.

Image
(2011-12-23 20:54:01) 200mm, 1/2sec, F/5.0, ISO5000, no edits

That's a harder shot, took that back in 2011, a very long time ago. The standards certainly shouldn't be quite so exacting for that kind of shot otherwise you'll discourage people from trying that, and then everyone is worse off for not seeing some interesting photos. Maybe nowadays with the most modern cameras and clean images at ISO12800 it is easier, but many years ago things weren't so easy. You had a fine balancing act between aperture, ISO and shutter speed. An F/2.8 lens helps somewhat, but using F/5.6 instead gives a much nicer image, provided you can bump up the ISO or on the flip side, handle a very slow shutter speed.

Image
(2011-12-10 08:49:43) 380mm, 1/25sec, F/8.0, ISO100
Image
(2011-12-04 18:48:14) 350mm, 1/10sec, F/8.0, ISO200

Not night shots, but lower shutter speeds none the less. People should be encouraged to give these a go. Especially if it's some old 737 of which there are hundreds of them flying in and out, give it a go, if it doesn't work out, then a few minutes later there will probably be another 737 coming along and then you give it another attempt. I'd even use ND filters to make these kinds of photos possible during daylight. I saw very few others even trying that, which was a shame.

What kind of encouragement then? More liberal standards for these kinds of shots. I can't say for sure what it's like for regular photos, but when people like Paul Markman raise concerns, he is a savvy and experienced photographer who has been also editing these images for a very long time. He knows what he is doing.

vikkyvik wrote:
Last (and maybe most important) comment:
It's striking (and kind of amusing) that 50+% of the contributors to this thread do not upload to A.net anymore. That's a problem in itself.


People change. Maybe some are driven away by screening standards, others just move on to other interests as I did. I've not taken a plane photo since November 2015 according to the logs on my site, and even before that, it was very infrequent. I do still take photos (sports, event photography), but even those are only when needed. Otherwise I'm on two wheels, that takes up my time and it is more rewarding.

Psych wrote:
and much more about people sharing photos on Flickr and Facebook. Non-screened methods for sharing photos have developed so significantly over recent years - it calls into question the role and place of 'screened' sites such as this. As a place to share aviation photogaphy I think more change needs to happen before even more photographers chose to display their work elsewhere.


Even quite some years ago, whenever some nice new or different plane would fly into Sydney, the photographer on the tarmac working for an airline would rush to upload his photo to facebook well ahead of uploading it to any of the aviation database sites. I think that was in the interest to be first online with the shot. There is little airliners or jetphotos could do about that.
Last edited by cpd on Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:30 am, edited 3 times in total.
 
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airkas1
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:21 am

vikkyvik wrote:
Last (and maybe most important) comment:
It's striking (and kind of amusing) that 50+% of the contributors to this thread do not upload to A.net anymore. That's a problem in itself.

That's an interesting observation indeed. I understand why not. In any case I'm grateful you are all still willing to participate in this thread/on the forum.
If at any point you want to try again, contact me on my A.net E-mail (*username*[at]airliners.net) and I'll try to help out as much as I can.


vikkyvik wrote:
What if you want to add background blur to a shot, for aesthetic purposes? Same deal - you may get a nice sharp fuselage but blurry winglets. That is indeed an unavoidable part of photography; objects at different distances from the camera appear to be moving at different speeds across the frame.

Which should be passable since it can't really be solved and is, like you say, unavoidable.


Kaphias wrote:
Now, all I want to do is (1) grow the database by uploading photos of aircraft new to the database, and (2) share unique shots that may not fit the definition of "creative", but aren't your basic sunny side-on.

That's kind of why I upload as well (even though I do shoot and upload regular not-so-interesting photos). But I get joy out of a new/rare reg. (growing the DB/historic record keeping) and experimenting/trying new techniques.


Kaphias wrote:
It was initially rejected for underexposed, I reuploaded (with fixes) and it was then rejected for over sharpened and banding. I then appealed, where it was rejected for blurry, noise, and quality. One photos, three rounds of screening, six rejection reasons.

Those occasions annoy me as well. I can imagine if a shot gets rejected for soft and then blurry on appeal, but this is. I can fully understand why someone would get demotivated by that. Another example is when I'm screening an appeal and think the photo isn't that bad. Then I check the rejection reasons and there are 6 of them. I'm just like "...".


Gasman wrote:
I once read somewhere here that the screeners' mantra is "look for a reason to accept".

It's actually "screen to accept". But we have to remind people too often for it to really be a good slogan.


sausten wrote:
I totally agree. I believe it’s almost impossible to produce an image that all screeners would independently agree on accepting. One screener likes images a bit sharper, while another prefers them slightly softer. Another seeks more contrast while a fourth sees only blur. Such is the variable nature of human screeners.

sausten wrote:
What I think needs to happen to combat this, is for the Head screeners to develop a better understanding of the screening tolerances of the whole screening team, and apply that broader tolerance when looking at appealed images. That is, to look to accept images that fall within the teams accepted standards, not merely within their own personal standards. This would improve consistency.

I agree with this. We are all expected to put personal standards aside when screening, but it's still a very fine line. I often see ways that an upload could've been even better and then I have to ask myself "is it really that significant that I should reject this?". If yes, then a rejection follows. If not, then I add it.


sausten wrote:
I also believe that when screening appeals, heads should only be judging the original rejection criteria rather than re-screening in an attempt to discover new reasons to reject.

I'm not sure on this. I always thought the fairest was a complete re-screen of the image, but perhaps I'm mistaken (any other opinions on this?). Some rejections can be paired though, without being rejected for a completely new reason. So for instance if a photo gets rejected for soft and I reject it on appeal for blurry. But in those cases, I would write a personal saying "not soft, but blurry".


sausten wrote:
Another way to build consistency and rebuild community would be more screener input in the photography feedback forum.

I will see if I can inspire more screeners to participate on the forum.


Psych wrote:
(are we allowed to talk openly about that site now here?)

I don't see the harm in that as long as people don't advertise other sites.


Psych wrote:
how the views are so much better now elsewhere, and much more about people sharing photos on Flickr and Facebook. Non-screened methods for sharing photos have developed so significantly over recent years - it calls into question the role and place of 'screened' sites such as this

I wouldn't say that the views are that much better elsewhere. A quick comparison:
Axalp 2017 (same photos, same photog.) - doing better on A.net
N202HA (same photo, same photog.) - is doing a bit better on A.net
Air Berlin final flight - thousands more views on A.net

But perhaps we do better in terms of events and newsworthy photos, where others perform better in other fields. That would require time and effort to research, which I now do not have :)

It's true that non-screening methods have developed, but I personally find that at non-screening sites, the quality is less. If the viewer doesn't care, then yeah... but I care for quality and am quick to not visit a site anymore if I notice the trend that the general quality is down. (and no, I haven't had that with A.net).
I just thought of the idea of having A.net as a non-screening site, but quickly discarded that. Not only will it be more work for the crew (where screeners in essence become DB editors as well), but removing photos after acceptance will likely introduce even more incomprehension.

Psych wrote:
But views are a pale imitation of what they were before (unless your photo gets to the top few) and, if my experience in anything to go by, people interested in sourcing an aviation image are going somewhere else.

Yeah, that's something we still need to try to improve. I did get a photo request a few days ago through A.net, but I imagine it's become far less since the rise of social media, where images can now be sourced from all over the net in stead of the few sites that catered to out niche hobby. Kind of the evolution of the internet and nothing much to do about it.
 
Psych
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:47 pm

Kas - I could quote so many elements of your post above mine now (especially now that I know how to - thanks for that as well!): it's contributions like this from senior personnel - not just the content, but the respectful manner in which it is written (both here and in private correspondence) - which persuades me that A.net is still worth it.

Thanks for this, and your work behind the scenes.

Paul
 
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airkas1
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:32 pm

Thanks for the kind words (and cpd)! I'm happy to help out anywhere I can. In Paul's case, I'm very happy that our correspondence is paying off as his edits are looking good!
 
JakTrax
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:09 pm

Since I have only ever really uploaded sunny side-on type images here I'm beginning to wonder if, subconsciously, there's a drive by many photographers to upload more diverse/challenging images? In other words, as the site claims to increasingly look for something extraordinary, the community has responded by becoming less discouraged from uploading more subjective images.... ultimately resulting in a more ambiguous screening process and increased rejections.

I'm one of those who stopped uploading a few years ago, but it's not because of rejections (at the time I was at 98% acceptance ratio); it was because I felt that the community in general was becoming more concerned with hits than with showcasing quality images. Social media was beginning to play a big part and it was clear that some (including a couple of screeners) were effectively manipulating the top 5 to elevate their own images. I will never be convinced that this isn't still going on, however that's a story for another discussion....

The bottom line is that, for whatever reason, certain individuals seem to be able to control the top 5 at will, and probably receive help 'from the inside', let's say. The site should be encouraging and promoting fresh talent, yet the same names have been dominant for a number of years now.... often with very unremarkable or 'done-to-death' photos.

The transformation from a genuine place for enthusiasts to display their work to somewhere where guys' egos compete is what put me off uploading here. And I feel it will only get worse.
 
vikkyvik
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:43 pm

cpd wrote:
People change. Maybe some are driven away by screening standards, others just move on to other interests as I did. I've not taken a plane photo since November 2015 according to the logs on my site, and even before that, it was very infrequent. I do still take photos (sports, event photography), but even those are only when needed. Otherwise I'm on two wheels, that takes up my time and it is more rewarding.


That's not really my point. I totally understand that people may move on. The point is, the photographers who DO still upload to A.net don't participate in the discussion here.

Of course, they don't have to. But they are the ones who would be affected....
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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airkas1
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:45 pm

I didn't really want to comment on this (off-topic), but to avoid any misunderstanding of this process, I will say a few words.

JakTrax wrote:
it was clear that some (including a couple of screeners) were effectively manipulating the top 5 to elevate their own images. I will never be convinced that this isn't still going on

This is still going on, as it's now easier than ever to get to the top 5 by just plugging a photo on social media. And yes, I know of 2 screeners that I'm pretty sure do the same. There is nothing to do about this and it does mean extra traffic for the site.


JakTrax wrote:
certain individuals seem to be able to control the top 5 at will, and probably receive help 'from the inside', let's say.

People do not get 'help from the inside' in the sense that we favor one user over another. Photos get promoted by A.net's social media at random (I haven't noticed any real trend that proves that statement wrong). We try to use image that have had their 24h expired, to not influence the top24h too much. But newsworthy and interesting photos always stand a good chance of being promoted/plugged within their first 24h on the site.
 
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cpd
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:56 pm

vikkyvik wrote:
cpd wrote:
People change. Maybe some are driven away by screening standards, others just move on to other interests as I did. I've not taken a plane photo since November 2015 according to the logs on my site, and even before that, it was very infrequent. I do still take photos (sports, event photography), but even those are only when needed. Otherwise I'm on two wheels, that takes up my time and it is more rewarding.


That's not really my point. I totally understand that people may move on. The point is, the photographers who DO still upload to A.net don't participate in the discussion here.

Of course, they don't have to. But they are the ones who would be affected....


Okay, I get what you mean now. I think there has always been a lot of people who just upload photos and never say much if anything on the forums, that's never really changed. What has changed is that the people who used to participate on the forums now don't. So it seems so quiet.
 
Gasman
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:16 pm

Here's another example of what I (we) mean, using a couple of mine as an example:

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Korean-A ... djnhfh4yu6

This was one of the first shots I uploaded to the site, I was super proud of it and thought it was a fantastic shot. But I had to work so hard to get it accepted because apparently it was "soft around the nose" and there followed several other relatively trivial rejection reasons after that. I almost walked away from the hobby altogether at that point.

The below photo, which I submitted around the same time was accepted immediately. I really don't know why I submitted it - perhaps I was trying the shotgun approach - but the point is, it was accepted immediately. Looking at it now, it seems to me to have no artistic merit whatsoever. It says nothing. It's just a bunch of tails on a ramp. The lighting isn't even pleasing.

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Delta-Ai ... djnhfh4yu6

My photography and editing is slowly improving, but my acceptance rate isn't. It's only inertia that keeps me posting to airliners.net at the moment; but that is unfortunately likely to change soon. Like others, I've had enough.
 
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johnr
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:27 pm

In regards to Facebook exposure it's definitely not random. There are five or six photographers whose photos get promoted almost daily, most are not newsworthy.
 
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airkas1
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:01 pm

cpd wrote:
Those deserve a little more leniency - sometimes the blur is something that will be outside of your control, such as the wings shaking.

Agreed. The photos you posted look great. I'm more than fine with the wings/engines/winglets being blurry when shutterspeeds that low are used. It's unrealistic to want everything pin sharp.


cpd wrote:
People should be encouraged to give these a go. Especially if it's some old 737 of which there are hundreds of them flying in and out, give it a go, if it doesn't work out, then a few minutes later there will probably be another 737 coming along and then you give it another attempt.

I would love to see more people attempting such difficult photos. Personally, I love the winter season. I just got a new lens too and can't wait to go to a busier airport to shoot night arrivals. It's very challenging, but when I pull it off, it's so much more rewarding. And like you said, when one aircraft doesn't work out, go on to the next one. And the next one. Etc.


Gasman wrote:
My photography and editing is slowly improving, but my acceptance rate isn't.

Feel free to shoot me an E-mail if I can be of help.
 
JakTrax
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:35 pm

Don't get me wrong, I fully agree about slightly blurry winglets/wings/tailplanes in panning shots, however the image discussed at length concerned a blurry nose/front section, which is not typically an area one would expect to suffer from blur in a panning shot. Heck, even at 1/125th shutter winglets can turn out blurry if the subject is pivoting/turning, since they are effectively moving independently in a separate plane (pardon the pun) of the frame. IS of course won't help much in such instances.

I briefly discussed parallel and pivotal panning in a previous thread a while back (Vik, you actually had an inkling about what I was getting at and asked for clarification), and how each affects the final image.

I think for challenging photos there needs to be less ambiguous acceptance criteria, and a limit to how much blur is acceptable given the individual circumstances. For example, blur caused by shooting wide open with insufficient DOF should not be confused with blur caused by movement within the frame. Unfortunately it isn't always easy to tell which is which.

Karl
 
sausten
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:12 am

airkas1 wrote:
sausten wrote:
I also believe that when screening appeals, heads should only be judging the original rejection criteria rather than re-screening in an attempt to discover new reasons to reject.

I'm not sure on this. I always thought the fairest was a complete re-screen of the image, but perhaps I'm mistaken (any other opinions on this?).


I take the point about some rejection reasons being paired (soft/blurry) however I am curious about the logic behind a re -screen being the fairest way to judge an appeal. If a photo has been through screening (likely by more than one screener) then only the rejection reasons identified in that process should be considered during appeal. That is fair. A total re-screen means another roll of the dice in regards to satisfying screener preferences and introduces yet another set of variables into the mix.

Steve
 
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airkas1
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:45 am

I understand that thought, I guess what you described could work for the more subjective issues (sharpenng, exposure, etc.). But it wouldn't work when I handle an appeal and notice dust/cloning/whatever, which the previous screeners didn't pick up on?

In any case, I'll send an E-mail to my fellow HS to get their opinion on the matter. Will report back here with that result.
 
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Moose135
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:03 pm

sausten wrote:
I take the point about some rejection reasons being paired (soft/blurry) however I am curious about the logic behind a re -screen being the fairest way to judge an appeal. If a photo has been through screening (likely by more than one screener) then only the rejection reasons identified in that process should be considered during appeal. That is fair. A total re-screen means another roll of the dice in regards to satisfying screener preferences and introduces yet another set of variables into the mix.

In the past, the claim has been that when a screener finds an issue worthy of a rejection, they stop looking at the photo, so it supposedly doesn't get a thorough screening, and other items can be found during an appeal.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
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airkas1
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:25 pm

Moose135 wrote:
In the past, the claim has been that when a screener finds an issue worthy of a rejection, they stop looking at the photo, so it supposedly doesn't get a thorough screening, and other items can be found during an appeal.

I'm aware of that claim, but this should not happen. So if anyone suspects that this is happening, please do let us know so we can investigate.
 
vikkyvik
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:31 pm

airkas1 wrote:
I'm not sure on this. I always thought the fairest was a complete re-screen of the image, but perhaps I'm mistaken (any other opinions on this?). Some rejections can be paired though, without being rejected for a completely new reason. So for instance if a photo gets rejected for soft and I reject it on appeal for blurry. But in those cases, I would write a personal saying "not soft, but blurry".


I feel strongly that the fairest way to do this is to have a complete re-screen, without knowing the original rejection reason.

I think by having the original rejection reasons listed, you're biasing the screener to look - and perhaps see - those rejection reasons, even if they don't exist.

Exceptions might be made for something like cloning, where the appeal screener really should look specifically for that, since it can be very easy to miss.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
Psych
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:58 pm

vikkyvik wrote:
I feel strongly that the fairest way to do this is to have a complete re-screen, without knowing the original rejection reason.

Hi Vik. I couldn't agree with that. The reason being that when I appeal I am literally 'appealing' - i.e. looking for a specific review of a previous decision, from those whose purpose I believe is to ensure as much consistency as is humanly possible in such an endeavour. So, for me, it is not so much a general 'I don't think this photo should have been rejected' so much as 'I don't agree with the screener who thinks that this sharpening (or centering etc) is not within the site limits'. I will always make a comment which draws attention to the issue at hand, with which I am in disagreement with the screener. I would go as far as to argue you can't appeal without giving a reason why.

One of the things I find a little frustrating is that I often seek guidance in an appeal which is then not forthcoming. I understand people are busy, and it takes time to write a message, but in the recent rejection I posted here I am still yet to be guided about what the original screener and the Head considered to be 'compression' worthy of rejecting. I still would argue strongly that there is no compression there - because that suggests I have edited the sky, (I assume it was in the sky) when I hadn't. Therefore - for me - it is nature or the process of uploading itself. I would strongly arugue that it would be time very well spent for Heads to write messages with all appeals giving explanations - effectively, in that capacity, they are educating. Just receiving an email which says nothing more than that which the original rejection email said helps no-one.

I think Kas makes a fair point - if you see something that has been missed by a previous screener it isn't helpful in the long run not to point that out.

For me we're all in the same boat - screeners and uploaders alike - looking to learn, understand and operate on the basis of well understood criteria. This is the problem - some don't understand; some misinterpret; some look for reasons to accept; some look for reasons to reject etc. And don't get me on different screens showing things so vastly differently - the obvious example being sharpening.

Paul
 
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airkas1
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:55 pm

Psych wrote:
I would go as far as to argue you can't appeal without giving a reason why.

This has been tried in the past, but with many users not knowing the English language very well, the idea was abandoned.

I'd love to hear more opinions regarding the appeals.
 
vikkyvik
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:59 pm

Psych wrote:
Hi Vik. I couldn't agree with that.


I understand - I didn't expect people to agree.

Psych wrote:
The reason being that when I appeal I am literally 'appealing' - i.e. looking for a specific review of a previous decision, from those whose purpose I believe is to ensure as much consistency as is humanly possible in such an endeavour. So, for me, it is not so much a general 'I don't think this photo should have been rejected' so much as 'I don't agree with the screener who thinks that this sharpening (or centering etc) is not within the site limits'.


I get your argument. Here's why I feel the way I do:

I look at screening as A.net's Quality Control process. In my working life, I've seen people find a discrepancy because they were specifically looking for it, even if it didn't necessarily exist (or was within tolerances, or whatever). That's the reason I feel an appeal should be an unbiased look at an image.

More generally, I look at an appeal as a re-inspection. If there's a flaw that wasn't noticed the first time, the image shouldn't be accepted. If it is accepted, it will just lead to me sending Kas a PM, saying, "hey, I noticed this image has very low contrast" and lead to Karl staring a thread titled "Image Standards Slipping?". :biggrin: I don't think it's reasonable at all to expect the Head Screeners to accept an image because the original rejection reason was bogus, even if the shot has a giant dust spot that wasn't noticed the first time around. If we're really looking to establish consistency, then images that are acceptable should be accepted, and images that aren't should be rejected - regardless of at what stage they're identified.

Now I do think there should be some sort of effort toward alignment between screeners. But even with that in place, and proper monitoring by the heads, there will still be images that slip through. From a QC perspective, I've always been told that somewhere around 85% of defects will be identified in a given inspection. Now a fair number of images get seen by multiple screeners, so that percentage should go up. But it's unreasonable to think that the screeners will identify every rejection reason every time.

So based on that, I think the whole image should be screened again. And if we're going to do that, I think the fair way to do it would be to have it be a complete re-screen, meaning with no emphasis on the previous rejection reason(s).
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
JakTrax
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:10 pm

Without referencing specific parts of your last reply, Vik, I agree with much of what you say above.
 
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airkas1
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:09 pm

When asked how my colleague HS do the appeals, one said this:
I'm having a first look at the image, judge it for myself and then check the rejection reasons. If I think the rejection reasons were correct I also state the other reasons I found (so I start screening from scratch if you will). I also always look how many of this frame we already have in the database and let it influence my decisions.

The other 3 (incl. myself) do it the same way. So there is consistency in the way appeals are screened.
 
linco22
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:04 pm

Good evening all,

Firstly I'd like to say that it is great to see a sensible debate here on the forum. It is very much like the good old days. I recently posted a thread about some rejections and it has lead me to this thread via Psych. It's been nice getting in touch and reading some familiar names. I must praise AirKas for his contribution on this thread. Great to see you're taking the time to chat to the people who make the site what it is, and what it used to be. There have been some great points made by everyone and I don't think I have enough time this evening to make my own honest reply. I have been saddened by the change here at a.net, from the disastrous take-over, the revamp, to the standards changing. In some ways they have slipped, but I know I can still find the best quality images here too. That's something that brings me back. I love looking at the technically perfect photo, whether it's the lighting, the overall IQ, the detail, or the motive. And that's why I go out and take my own photos. I've been slowly getting back into it now and uploading more, which means more rejections! I have a diverse airport only 15 minutes away (MAN) and I don't visit enough. But if I'm honest, I used to only take photos to upload to this site. That was the wrong outlook. I've gone off to look at other genres, and got into videography.

Hope everyone has had a good evening

Cheers
Colin
 
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dvincent
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Re: Image standards slipping?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:00 pm

This thread's been quiet for a bit. As someone who's kind of stepped away from the community a bit (both as screener and as contributor) I can only offer my personal opinions. I still lurk and read the forums on a regular basis, as well as check out my local airports, but my contributions have gone way down, preferring to shoot for myself and make prints.

On the screening side:

At the time (This was 2010-2012 that I was on the team) the UI for screening was very aggravating to use. It hadn't really been updated since even the early days of the site. Making minor edits that you'd think screeners would be able to do were actually quite difficult because you'd have to have multiple tabs up (cross reference categories cause you had to actually type them in, for example) or trying to check against info errors. There's no tools for checking for dust or level, so you're constantly using the edge of your monitor or shaking the image around to detect spots. It made the actual act of sifting through the images a bit tiresome.

But there's always some people who are better at spotting some things than others. I always feel I'm good at spotting manipulation and color, while I tend to be more forgiving on noise and absolute sharpness. With the number of people on the team it's always difficult to get everyone to agree. The screeners I worked with at the time all had pretty sharp eyes and were wise to a lot of tricks that people would pull. There's also just a constant stream of actual crap images that come in. It's easy to reject something obviously bad, it's easy to HQ something that makes me go wow. The stuff that falls through the gap is, strangely, the ordinary. That's where the subjectivity and such comes in. But if you look hard enough, there's always a reason to reject something, especially when you're trained for it. Yes, yes, "Reasons to accept," but people still fall on a spectrum.

But then it wears on you after a while. You get tired of being the bad guy. The management (not headscreeners, the site management) at the time did not seem to care about the site making any kind of progress. Crew were doing things out of sense of duty because they really do care about this site and the community. The changes we kept asking for never came, and there were a lot of mailing list discussions from screeners talking about ways to improve things. But the future refused to change. Maybe things are different now with new owners. No idea.

I recommend everyone take a turn at the stick of screening sometime.

On the contributor side...

The amount of effort required for almost little benefit is a big part. Having to do masking sharpening for display sizes on every photo is such a time sink. Getting into arguments about leveling is also a drag. Getting a rejection because everything is not perfectly sharp despite difficult to control conditions. That's the usual stuff. But I think part of the reason for the decline is the fact that the lag time for screening kills a lot of interest for viewers. People want to see the comings and goings of their local airports and it's a big reason why i look at things here. But you can make a Facebook or other group and share images and chat there and get newsworthy (for locals) info lickety split.

I love high quality images, but the ratchet of image quality standards is a tough thing to keep moving. It does help that gear is comparatively cheap these days, even entry-level bodies have enough performance of yesterday's mid-range bodies that you can spend $1K on a good body/entry level telephoto lens and make decent images. But I found that I needed full frame to keep shooting with my friends as the sun went down. I don't regret the move (42 MP full frame at 8 FPS is the real deal and I enjoyed 24 MP full frame for many years) but it really ups the cost and not many can play in that area. Are decent images no longer enough, or do we always have to strive for superlative? If anything, I think the standards in some cases are too high for normal-looking side-ons when something that looks pretty sharp and decently exposed should just be waved in.

Hell, phones are even up there now. I'm still amazed at how good the iPhone 8+'s camera is for day to day shooting.

And then there's the politics/realities of spotting (for me) in the Northeast USA, where airports are outright hostile (BDL, which wasn't always the way) to playing the arrivals lottery at BOS. It does get a bit disheartening to go out for an afternoon and get no heavies on a 27 arrival pattern. The latest terminal construction has also killed some good garage spots that you could reasonably use. At least BOS now has official channels for requesting special dispensation for garages, which the community has not abused and while Central Parking isn't as good as Terminal B it's still something. I also don't live as close to the airport anymore so it's harder to go out for the afternoon.

I also dislike the kingmaking of social media despite being a beneficiary of it in the past. I don't believe I had any favoritism sent my way even though I freely admit to being friends with some of the staff, but the shots that I've had show up on the facebook/twitter feed have generally been interesting/different (my Sint Maarten or airshow shots). Unfortunately this shows no sign of changing and the site's need to be newsworthy is in conflict with its lag-time of screening and pretense of merit.

However, I believe there is a way to change the social media bit, and that's to change shots selected for that treatment to an "Editor's Choice" category that would separate the image from the normal "Top 5 of the day." That way the Top 5 of the Day would be unsullied by official a.net boosting (and would not be promoted until after that period expires). Otherwise, they would get moved to editor's choice. Top 5 would still be at the top of the site hierarchy, Editor's choice would be underneath. This could be an opportunity for the site as well, to make a sort of "Here's interesting shots that were missed yesterday" type of blog post, but without a real team of curators to actually produce content based on what gets posted on this site, it'd be a dead feature walking. And, as far as I can tell, the current owners of the site have no desire to hire staff or spend money on the site, so here we are, dying a slow death.

On the subject of different/creative shots, I for one am all up for it. This site squeezed out a lot of people from the 04/05 era (when I first visited this site) because of ever-increasing image standards and the "box" that you had to fit into. I've made a lot of interesting photos that were never uploaded here prior to the "creative" rule because they just wouldn't fit in the box. But the reckoning for things like HDR is coming, since cameras can do it now, seamlessly. Hell, the iPhone 8 doesn't even let you turn HDR off. What are you gonna do, ban all photos from iPhone 8s?
From the Mind of Minolta
 
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cpd
Posts: 5071
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:37 am

Dan, good points. I like your paragraph on the ratchet of image quality standards. I could accept a slightly lower standard of images below 99.98% if it means we see more images sooner.

Same with the special processes of editing images, masking, selective sharpening, etc. Or if you live away from the airport.

Some of the greatest images on here are the ones from the early days of the site. They are not technically perfect, but that doesn't detract from them.
 
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Kaphias
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:29 am

Re: Image standards slipping?

Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:30 am

dvincent wrote:
If anything, I think the standards in some cases are too high for normal-looking side-ons when something that looks pretty sharp and decently exposed should just be waved in.

cpd wrote:
Dan, good points. I like your paragraph on the ratchet of image quality standards. I could accept a slightly lower standard of images below 99.98% if it means we see more images sooner.
Same with the special processes of editing images, masking, selective sharpening, etc. Or if you live away from the airport.
Some of the greatest images on here are the ones from the early days of the site. They are not technically perfect, but that doesn't detract from them.

From the mind of a never-been screener... a photo shouldn't take more than five seconds to accept. If the photo is unlevel, blurry, overexposed, etc. to the point where is becomes a distraction from the subject of the photo, then it gets rejected (and additional time is given to provide the appropriate reasons). If nothing distracts you from the subject in those first several seconds of viewing, accept it. Boring (read: sunny side-on :duck: ) photos would naturally be screened more harshly because flaws will stand out, relative to the subject. Creative, unique, or unusual photos will have an intriguing enough subject or composition that flaws should not be immediately apparent if indeed a screener is looking for reasons to accept rather than reject.

"I've seen this same Delta 737 landing photo a hundred times on this site, and this one is overexposed. Reject."
vs.
"Wow, that's a really awesome night-time landing shot! I wonder how the photographer took that? I should try that sometime! Oh hey, it looks a little unlevel, but wow, cool shot! Accepted."

In practice I believe this is happening already, but it doesn't seem to be taken to enough of an extreme, especially in the latter case.

dvincent wrote:
On the subject of different/creative shots, I for one am all up for it. This site squeezed out a lot of people from the 04/05 era (when I first visited this site) because of ever-increasing image standards and the "box" that you had to fit into. I've made a lot of interesting photos that were never uploaded here prior to the "creative" rule because they just wouldn't fit in the box. But the reckoning for things like HDR is coming, since cameras can do it now, seamlessly. Hell, the iPhone 8 doesn't even let you turn HDR off. What are you gonna do, ban all photos from iPhone 8s?

With all due respect to the photography "traditionalists" here, Dan makes a good point. In my opinion, HDR can be best used to more accurately represent a scene by essentially increasing the dynamic range to be closer to a human's perception. A more "creative" example of a currently-banned editing technique might be image stacking, either used to reduce noise or to create long-exposure light trails.
Matthew

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