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Mammouth Hot Springs In October


Enhanced in PS


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Nice scene, nice colours. I'd probably crop a little bit up from the bottom to get rid of some of those blown highlights.
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I think this is a lovely photo. Good colors and composition and an excellent sxposure. It is quite similar to several of my photos.


I am very curious why, given the similarity in our work, this photo has received so much more attention than mine, and higher rating to boot. Perhaps there is some technical deficiency in my work that I am not aware of (I am very aware of my limitations as a photographer). If so I could use some help. I would be happy for have someone give me a good comparative crtique in relation to this photo.


Or could it be that are we dealing with a kind of implicit in-crowd/out-crowd mentality here on photo.net. I am fairly new to this site, but have detected signs of a tacit rating/critique system by which certain people's work gets a degree of attention and enthusiasm that may not be completely related to intrinsic quality of their work. Forgetting about whether the subject matter has bare breasts, there also seem to be other biases on this site that will inflate the ratings and the rate and enthusiasm of comments. That is great for those who get the ratings, but a bit demoralizing for those of us who may be anxious to get reasonable and fair critiques so we can improve our work.


Are we not supposed to rate objectively here?


Based on my own ratings for quite similar photos in Montana, it seems to me that this present photo should reasonably get rated in the mid-high 5s, and would probably not make it to a Top Photo rating. Very good, but nothing that special. What puzzles me here is that the rating just seem to have been inflated compared with mine. I know I am risking being accused of sour grapes here, and I will accept that risk in the hopes of getting a conversation going and getting some clarity about how photo.net REALLY works. Bradd

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Hi Bradd,


I can't deny that I've asked myself some of the questions you're asking now. Sometimes I post what I think is a great photo for critique and it gets hardly any attention, then I post a comparatively ordinary shot and it gets more attention than I expect.


I'm sure a lot of the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, including the choice of subject matter. (Some like flower shots but not landscapes; some like portraits but not architecture.) Also, the day and time of posting seems to have an effect.


However, I think there are two even more important factors at work here. One is the "reap what you sow" factor. Robert has been a member since Nov 05 and has rated 867 photos. You have been member since June 03 and have rated 512. That makes your monthly averages roughly 433 and 17 respectively.


Assuming you and Robert offer critiques and comments in proportion to your ratings, Robert will have been noticed by more members by commenting on their work.


I've certainly noticed that PN friends of mine who put more time and effort into commenting on and rating the work of others get more attention to their work than I do to mine.


(I don't think this is down to a dramatic difference in the quality of work - but hey, you decide if you care to take a look at my stuff.)


So what's the second major factor? Simply the quality of the picture.


Robert's shot of a fantastic bit of landscape captures the scale and grandeur of the place, has beautiful light, shadows and colour, obeys the so-called rule of thirds and gives a great sense of place.


Your shot (Yellowstone 10, I believe) is much more confined, subdued in colour, taken from a poorer vantage point, confused with branches and shadows and simply does not make the instant impact of Robert's shot.


Many more people have viewed your shot; slightly more people like Robert's in the much shorter time it's been posted.


I'm saying all this because you asked. I hope you appreciate that I've tried to be honest and helpful to you.


Any comments you or others care to make on my pictures, I'll take on the chin.


Incidentally, I've rated hardly any photos since the first few weeks I discovered PN because I find it hard to be sure I'm giving points for the photography rather than the subjects!


I prefer to give comments - and would give more if I had more free time to spend on PN, which I think is inspirational and (despite the moaners) great value.


Cheers to all the PN family.





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Sorry, Bradd, forgot to mention that you've got some fabulous shots in your portfolio and that I've added you to my list of favourites. Keep on snapping.



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A very thoughtful reply, and a generall fair one too. Just a couple of clarifications to set the record straight. I think you're right when you say you get back what you give and part of the rating process is (and maybe should be) an acknowledgement of the degree to which a member has spent time rating and commenting on others' pictures. It is true that this is a reasonable expectation, though ideally I would still say that it should not affect the actual ratings the way it may. As to my own rate of rating, I didn't know that I had been a member since 2003. I have known about PN since then, but I actually started active membership of posting, commenting and rating only within the past two or three months. So I think that the figure you calculate for my degree of altruism is really not accurate. Still, you are right that I could (and plan to) spend more time commenting in detail on other photos, and whether it's right or wrong, that may be the passport to serious membership and serious consideration you were alluding to.

As to the defects of my photo, I don't think I have an inflated view of my own work. PN has been a very good corrective if I ever did, since the quality of the top tier work here is of such a high calibre as to be both inspiring and sobering. I think I have a fairly good eve, some good equipment, but that I have a lot to learn here on PN from the extraordinary skill and talent of the best photographers. That being said, it is also true that I mistakenly uploaded the wrong photo for comparison. I'll upload the one I think is rougly parallel to Robert's. By the way, I think Robert's picture is excellent, and in no way wanted to disparage his talent. It was the close parallel that set me off. He's a talented photographer.

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Thank you both for your comments and critiques on my photo. I too have entertained thoughts similar to yours about the ratings on photo.net. I firmly believe that with amateur photos like mine, timing is a critical factor in the ratings. I most likely posted this at a momment when the majority of reviewers preferred landscapes to perhaps portraits or architecture. A couple of my other photos are much more appealing to me, but received much lower ratings. Please check out my comments on your portfolio.



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Very good Robert - one of the most dramatic sceneryphotos I have seen! The compact heaven above keeps and balances effectually the whites in the chemicals from the hot springs!

Enjoyable maximum! mmmmmm! :-)


Greetings from Europe


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This is an absolutely gorgeous image! Having that blue sky in there really adds to the flavor, too.
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Robert - I like this image quite a bit. My two concerns are that the sky seems too dark given the other concern - the really bright limestone. The limestone isn't blown, but it's close, and makes it somewhat distracting in the lower right corner - once it's compared with the darkness in the scene, it seems, at least to me, as though the lighting is off here. Was the sky darkened? All in all though, I like the colors and composition. Would like to get out there myself some time. :)
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Kathy - The sky was darkened slightly to help balance the image. I agree that the bright white in the foreground needs improvement. It was impossible at the time to take several images and overlay them to help bring out the detail in this area. I was shooting with my "point and shoot" and did not have my tripod with me. The lighting difference is due to the sun being full and behind me with a cloudy sky over the mountain. Thanks for your comments.
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Exceptional work. Everything works in perfect harmony here. Lighting, composition, colour. The rocks lead us directly through the image, stepping up, rising, rising ... this is an incredible capture. WELL DONE.
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So, this AWESOME shot doesn't hang in a West Yellowstone auto repair shop?


I'm pretty sure I met you this past summer. (The guy from PA asking Qs about the shots on the wall)


Pop back an e-mail if you'd like.



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definitely a 6 photo, for me it's one of the best composition of this subject, I have been there many times never 'saw' this composition, but anyway what I like best is it was captures with a $169 camera.  validated the old cliche 'it's who's behind the camera

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Thanks for your gracious comments.  I agree about the camera, but I do wish I had a better camera at the time so I would be able to print this at a decent size.

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