Is a Good photograph an Average photograph?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by l._david_tomei|1, May 6, 2007.

  1. I have been reading the various threads on the rating system here on
    and I suspect that many members may have a different opinion about what is
    Average. I checked my average for about 3000 ratings and it is 4.07 for
    Originality and 4.23 for Aesthetics. This means that I normally give a 4 to an
    aesthetically good photograph, and a bit better than 4 to a photograph that
    exhibits average expected originality. However, I see rather nasty comments
    posted by members saying "how dare you give a 4 to a good photograph by a good
    photographer?" It seems to me that 4/4 is average and that if a members
    average rating of others is significantly above 4, then there is a problem.
    Either the member is rating only photos that are clearly better than average in
    order not to make any enemies out there (and therefore may attract vindictive
    low rating), or perhaps average photos are just not that interesting; or there
    may be the feeling that being "average" is tantamount to being a failure so
    photos that are just good average photos get 5's, 6's, or even higher.

    So, I am curious, what is the average of your ratings given to others? ...and
    is a "good" photograph an "average" photograph?

  2. Dave - Having a 7 rating on won't pay the bills or get you your next job. There are some pretty vicious comments out there from folks who can't stand that their photos don't rate 6 or 7. It's enough to discourage anyone from rating low by intimidation. Those comments, I should add, are from some pretty mediocre photographers. Anonymous rating allows you to work in peace without harrassment. [See threads enraged at anonymous ratings]. Don't worry you seem to be doing the right thing.
  3. There are so many problems with the TRP system, and so many complaints about it, that just discussing the problems deserves its own forum. The biggest problem is that people feel like it's a competition to determine intrinsic personal worth (rather than a method to learn from other people's opinions). Most of the other problems (bots, mate-raters, revenge-raters, etc.) spring from this first problem. That's why I almost never post photos here anymore, and I no longer rate anybody else's photos.
  4. What does "bots" mean?
  5. I rate with my wallet - if I like the work of a photographer I buy the print that I like. I don't rate online because there is no point to an arbitrary number and what shows on the monitor often has small resemblance to the actual print, so what's the point? If I find something that I really like I'll leave a comment about it, otherwise I skip on by.

    - Randy
  6. Fred,

    I *think* that 'bots' is a term used by people who don't understand that when browsing photographs and rating them using the 'Rate Recent Photos' feature the ratings appear as anonymous. Many people seem to attribute these ratings to an automated program that gives everyone 3/3 ratings by default as some sort of targeted insult or something...

    - Randy
  7. The more I rate the more I feel these guides work for me. They may or may not work for you. Use at your own risk. Results may vary. Don't run with scissors!

    My rating guidelines:

    1 and 2 have no use, no one will see them so no malice gained or lost.

    3 for an average image that has been screwed up by error or manipulation.

    4 is for average = I STOOD HERE and couldn't help but make this image. It may be beautiful, but you can't take credit for God's work.

    5 Hey, this is better than average. Pretty cool

    6 WOW, This guy can fool me by using Photoshop!

    7. I want to hang this on my wall ,tear my prints up, sell my camera and join a Monastery

    This is how I rate and I hope how people rate mine.
  8. Odd, in all technical terms, a bot is a robot. A robot is a program that is used to do specific tasks. Such tasks include crawling the web indexing websites (Google indexing), Spamming the crap out of forms on websites, or entering data on one specific form (perhaps for part of a denial of service attack). It would be possible to program a bot that came to and rated all photos with a 4 or 3, yes. However, I highly doubt it has been done. I mean, why would someone want to waste the time to do that.

    I think more the problem would be hot or not style raters. They just go through and keep clicking the same numbers, not really looking at the photos.
  9. So, Robert, how is the monastery?
  10. Why would someone want to waste their time going through the rate forums and clicking the same numbers, not really looking at the photos?

    I don't know if bots are used or not. But, if somebody is already experienced in programming/using them, it wouldn't be much work to make one for this site.
  11. LOL Barry, I sneek over to the Nuns chambers occasionaly. Always good for a laugh.

    Aaron, I believe that probably 10% of the people rate others images lower to make their images rate higher. I also think the majority of rates are honest. There are a lot of below average images posted. I am pleased if mine make the top rated but not desperate to waste time altering the ratings. I may not have much of a life but it is more than some of the people that play that game.
  12. To answer your question...
    Photo Ratings You have rated 1329 photos on this site, with average ratings of 3.89 for originality and 4.4 for aesthetics. You can view your ratings.
    I believe there are a lot of pretty pictures here, but originality lags behind.
    I also believe many people can?t understand the difference between the two concepts and collapse them into a single score, so the 3/3, 4/4 and 5/5 rates are much more common than, say, a 5/2 (for example, a beautiful sunset).
  13. I'm not interested in ratings.... which is why I don't post any pictures here. I'd much rather have a photostream on flickr where I get some constructive criticism, some nice comments, and I can easily find photos from people with similar interests.
  14. After reading these responses, I began to understand perhaps just how meaningless was my original question. I spent my life in the technical side of optics and photography and I suppose that I actually do take the rating system too seriously. I can see that an "average" rating is not the average but rather the "mean" rating and the frequency distribution of ratings often has no single mode. In fact, some have distributions of ratings that peak at 1 and 7 which I find interesting.
  15. "After reading these responses, I began to understand perhaps just how meaningless was my original question."

    L. David, NOW you are seeing the light. Just don't forget to take the camera.
  16. I remember the plaque hanging on the wall at my aunt's house with an old Pennsylvania Dutch saying: "Too soon old, too late schmart".

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