Ander
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Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:32 pm

Good morning,
I would like to have the opinion of my fellow A.net photographers regarding this matter: let us please assume a hypothetical situation; you have just received your last rejection e-mail and it includes a screener's personal comment that says just this: "Poorly cropped". Would you consider that to be constructive criticism? Or maybe an insulting comment? Or maybe none of those?
Looking forward to your replies,

Ander
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wilco737
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:37 pm

Quoting Ander (Thread starter):
Would you consider that to be constructive criticism?

I appreciate the comments coming from the screeners as it could help to see that flaws and do it better next time. Poorly cropped is not the politest way to say that it is not a good crop but it is not insulting at all.

The screener put in a lot of time for the screening and adding a comment takes some times as well, so I would say, keep them short and simple, but clear what is meant. With "poorly cropped" the photographer should get the idea that the crop isn't perfect, so would be fine for me in that case.
For further help or assistance one can use the feedback forum to get other suggestions for a crop.

wilco737
  
 
codeshare
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:37 pm

Whoa, kind of a surprise you got it. Your shots are non-standard, but excellent. Many of us would like to see the shot that was rejected. Then perhaps you'd see constructive criticism  

KS/codeshare
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wilco737
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:40 pm

Quoting codeshare (Reply 2):

I agree with you partly. his shots are unique and special, but still they need to be somewhat good enough. I had many rejections as well for various reasons. So that's the game.

wilco737
  
 
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Fly-K
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:53 pm

Depending on the rejected motive, to me a comment like "poorly cropped" wouldn't add too much value as it basically just repeats the rejection reason (centered or motive). What would be more helpful is a suggestion how to crop it in a better way. Having said that, I appreciate the screeners taking their scarce time to add a comment now and then.
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whisperjet
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:21 pm

Quoting Ander (Thread starter):
Or maybe an insulting comment?

You need to be very sensitive to understand a personal message such as "poorly cropped" as an insult.
We (hopefully) all know that rejection reasons express what the screeners think does not 'fit' in the database - nothing more. Their meaning (with exception of the more objective reasons, for instance 'level') is strictly limited to the context of airliners.net.
Personal comments are always meant to be constructive and helpful to the photographer. However, it is not always easy to explain certain things, especially motive rejections, with a few words so that it can happen that the message is not explicit enough or in the worst case not helpful at all. For this case there are two possibilities: First is a post in the feedback forum and second is an email to the screeners.

Stefan

[Edited 2011-03-23 06:24:46]
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saintex
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:49 pm

Quoting whisperjet (Reply 5):
You need to be very sensitive to understand a personal message such as "poorly cropped" as an insult.

Maybe screeners could refrain from using terms such as poor or poorly to which some folks may take umbrage. A rejection simply annotated as "cropping" would surely suffice ?
 
wilco737
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:55 pm

Quoting saintex (Reply 6):
A rejection simply annotated as "cropping" would surely suffice ?

But then there would no comment be needed at all here. Rejection reason: unmotivated crop! According to this rejection guide: http://www.airliners.net/faq/rejection_reasons.php?

wilco737
  
 
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alevik
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:06 pm

I think the hypothetical situation is difficult to discuss without context. In this case, the situation isn't really hypothetical, and there really is an image associated with the rejection and the comment.

I would argue that many photographers who see the image that was associated with the "poorly cropped" comment would not find the two things - the image and the comment - undeserving of being together in the same rejection email.

There was a discussion amongst screeners sometime ago about the use of the term "poor crop", and it was generally agreed that it was not a bad thing, and that most photographers are mature enough to interpret it correctly, seeking more information from several sources that are available to them as Stefan has pointed out.
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sulman
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:02 pm

'Unsuitable crop' might be a better way of putting it.
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JakTrax
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:13 pm

Some comments, while appreciated, are unhelpful. I know the workload is high but if taking the time to write something personal it's often nice for it to be specific.

I had one a few months ago (contrast) which just said, "Bad contrast". It would hardly be good with a contrast rejection would it? I fumbled trying to figure out whether to apply more or less contrast and not seeing a great deal wrong with it I added more - only to face another rejection and be told that the original was for excessive contrast. If I'd known that in the first place it wouldn't have gone back in the queue as it did and ultimately screeners' time wouldn't have been wasted.

Being brief doesn't always conserve time.

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Kukkudrill
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:07 pm

"Poorly cropped" might not be the most informative piece of feedback in the world, but it is obvious that whoever wrote it meant to be helpful. I simply fail to see how it could be taken as an insult.
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raedervision
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:20 pm

I might take it as a compliment. A bad crop for Anet maybe but possibly a very good photograph.

Jim
 
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airkas1
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:02 pm

I consider everything the screeners write as personal text to be helpful. I appreciate the screener taking the time to guide me in the right direction. A comment like "poorly cropped" will immediately focus my attention on the way I cropped the image and I will usually see what I've done wrong (according to them). By no means do I find a comment as "poorly cropped" insulting.
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Ander
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:26 pm

Quoting airkas1 (Reply 13):
guide me in the right direction

And what direction is the right one Kas?
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vikkyvik
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:29 pm

Quoting Ander (Reply 14):
And what direction is the right one Kas?

The direction that results in a less poor crop  

Nah, seriously, yes it's an ambiguous comment, but I don't find it insulting at all. We upload to Anet knowing that the site has certain photographic requirements, and also knowing that the screeners have a huge number of photos to edit at all times, and can't spend too much time on any one.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:31 pm

Quoting Ander (Reply 14):

The right direction as to where they think my photos is flawed. So if my photo were to get rejected for motive and a screener writes "poor crop" (I've had that happen to me too), I know the problem is with how I cropped the photo. Usually I see fairly soon what the problem might be, with the remark from the screener in the back of my head as a guide. If I agree is another discussion though  
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ckw
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:38 pm

For me this is one of the big problem areas of A.net. If we assume that an image is otherwise technically fine, then the crop is an aesthetic choice, or in other words, a matter of personal opinion.

I think when a photographer of the proven ability of Ander chooses to crop an image in a certain way, I think we can take it that this was a thought out decision. Whether or not I, a screener, or anyone else doesn't like the crop is not relevant. Indeed I think that some of the strongest images can provoke negative and positive responses in equal measure.

Insulting? Perhaps not the right word (but then neither is 'poor') - but I think there is a certain arrogance in this sort of comment, in that it says "my aesthetic values are better than yours". I don't suppose that was intended, but, in cases where the rejection is essentially a value judgement, then the photographer should be accorded enough respect to be given a decent explanation. Time, in a case like this, should not be a factor - perhaps the screener didn't spend enough time looking at the picture in the first place - not all images are immediate attention grabbers ... some are more of a 'slow burn'.

Of course all that is hypothetical - maybe Ander had an off day, and it really is a 'poor crop'!

Cheers,

Colin
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scbriml
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:01 am

Quoting ckw (Reply 17):
Of course all that is hypothetical - maybe Ander had an off day, and it really is a 'poor crop'!

We'll never know unless we see the image.
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:19 am

We'd have to see the original image here to determine - but the crop is something very personal, I may not like the look of the image, but that's not to say I'm right, and the photographer is wrong. I'm not going to say the screeners are right or wrong either.

I just hope this remains civil and certain people don't come here with the "tough guy" attitude to villify the photographer, who can back his words with many great images.

All said, everyone needs to remember that words written on a forum or in any other similar medium don't have the same meaning as when we are talking to each other in person - so it's easy for the "innocent" comment of one person to be misunderstood by another.

[Edited 2011-03-23 17:23:59]
 
EliaLechner
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:01 am

Quoting ckw (Reply 17):


True story!
If they can write "poor crop" they also could write "crop tighter" / "crop less" without any additional effort... One of these surely wouldn't be seen as somehow "insulting" and it would help the photographer to solve the cropping-issue itself a lot more than a "poor crop"...   
 
Ander
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:12 am

Quoting ckw (Reply 17):
I think we can take it that this was a thought out decision. Whether or not I, a screener, or anyone else doesn't like the crop is not relevant. Indeed I think that some of the strongest images can provoke negative and positive responses in equal measure.

Exactly my thought, Colin. Thanks

Quoting EliaLechner (Reply 20):
If they can write "poor crop" they also could write "crop tighter" / "crop less" without any additional effort...

Bingo, Elia!!!

I would dare to say that writing "poorly cropped" is truly a "poor screener comment"

Cheers
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wilco737
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:27 am

Looks like we are again at a point where the screeners can only lose. I mean, they do add a comment, a lot more than they used to be and people were happy about it. Now the comments aren't good enough. Well, what should they do then? Not adding a comment at all? Or writing a longer comment? But then the screening takes a lot longer and the queue will be longer? Or we all can use the feedback forum a lot more. Many use it already and some good feedback is given there.

You cannot make everybody happy.

wilco737
  
 
dendrobatid
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:33 am

Quoting Wilco737 (Reply 22):
Looks like we are again at a point where the screeners can only lose. I mean, they do add a comment, a lot more than they used to be and people were happy about it. Now the comments aren't good enough. Well, what should they do then? Not adding a comment at all? Or writing a longer comment? But then the screening takes a lot longer and the queue will be longer? Or we all can use the feedback forum a lot more. Many use it already and some good feedback is given there.

You cannot make everybody happy

Touche Phil, touche!

It is pretty obvious to anyone reading this thread that there is a specific image that the thread relates too, not one of Ander's but that of another photographer. It has never been shown in this forum and I am not prepared to link it here. However, I will point out, something not mentioned by anyone else that the personal 'Poorly cropped' was not the only rejection reason, something that perhaps even the thread starter was not aware of.
It was rejected, NOA_motiv, NOA_soft, NOA_centered, NOA_personal (not by me I hasten to add)

We are now doing a lot more personals and screening is a lot better for it. I see no reason to change anything because someone does not like a too brief personal.

Mick Bajcar
 
JakTrax
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:14 am

I too think the current personal message situation is in the main fine, but I have to say again that a hastily put together and/or vague sentence won't do anyone any good as the uploader doesn't really have a clue what he/she is supposed to do. Subsequently the image ends up back in the queue and therefore screening - and if it's rejected again the whole process has been a complete waste of time.

My point is that sometimes (and I mean only sometimes as it doesn't happen often) a little foresight and two extra seconds can save a whole lot of time later down the line. Speculate to accumulate.

I know this doesn't have much to do with the direction in which this thread's gone but it is a good thread in which to bring it up.

Karl
 
EliaLechner
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:00 am

Quoting Wilco737 (Reply 22):
But then the screening takes a lot longer and the queue will be longer?

vs.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 24):
I too think the current personal message situation is in the main fine, but I have to say again that a hastily put together and/or vague sentence won't do anyone any good as the uploader doesn't really have a clue what he/she is supposed to do. Subsequently the image ends up back in the queue and therefore screening - and if it's rejected again the whole process has been a complete waste of time.

I understand Wilco737s point but then again, you can write "poor crop" in the same amount of time as "crop tighter"...
And like Karl stated, maybe the screening respective the rejection would take a few seconds more but the overall amount of time spended should be smaller...

PS @ (Head)Screening Team: You still owe me a reply on my deleted topic in the forum from 17. february...
 
wilco737
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:17 am

Quoting EliaLechner (Reply 25):
I understand Wilco737s point but then again, you can write "poor crop" in the same amount of time as "crop tighter"...

Yes, that is true. But many rejections (especially motive) cannot be explained in one or two words, not even sentences. And if a screener would take the time to explain every rejection, we would face a 20 million queue? Alright, I am a little exaggeration, but you get the point  

wilco737
  
 
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Fly-K
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:29 am

Here is a screener comment I received today which is much more useful than the infamous "poorly cropped":

"high in frame, too much space between top and bottom acft to make this motive work"

  
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EliaLechner
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:03 pm

Quoting Wilco737 (Reply 26):
I am a little exaggeration, but you get the point

Sure... And 'motive' is another issue... I could write a book about that!  
Quoting Fly-K (Reply 27):
"high in frame, too much space between top and bottom acft to make this motive work"

That's the way it should be!   
 
Dehowie
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:19 pm

I think the other guys have nailed it in that you really need to see a specific case.
It could be an aesthetic disagreement whereby the screener doesnt like that style
or it could just be it is a standard crop but poorly done with an edge to far or close clipping some cool parts of an image.
Really do we have to be so sensitive to feelings that we cant use the word poor????
I think it enables you to see either a) where the screener is coming from or b) enables you to see whether the screener actually is a non believer in artistic photography and loves side on's etc.
Makes it easy to see where you stand..
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timdegroot
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:11 pm

I think there will always be a certain " arrogance" implied in whatever the screeners write. After all the very fact that you are a screener means that you get to decide (along with a few collegues) what is ok for a.net and what isnt. Poor is maybe not the best choice of words but it only means " poor for a.net" and nothing more. Granted it's not a very helpful comment.

Everyone has certain standards and likes and dislikes. Often though in " normal" situations one mostly doesnt voice these opinions when they are overtly negative about the picture in question. When you are at the airport and someone ask you if he has taken a good picture you probably will not be overtly critical even if you dont like the shot, just to be civil. As a screener you have no choice but to do the opposite. Do do otherwise would make a.net very arbitrary, although some would claim it already is. I disagree - you mostly know exactly what you can expect here, except in that 1-2% of photos submitted. Those arent bad numbers.

That is not to say I agree with all decisions here but I do agree with the principle behind it. However screeners can also no longer hide behind the " I'm just following rules" perspective, especially when it comes to "creative" photography. Because there are no clear rules on that subject (centered, contrast etc go out the window with those special shots, or at least they should). It's a fundamentally difficult discussion but I feel that whenever one screener likes an image it should be accepted (on creative, not technical grounds). If one screener likes it I'm sure many viewers will like it. If some dont what is lost? Not much at all as each view is good for the guys over at DM.

When Johan ran things we could hide behind the " just following rules" phrase, after all Johan had his likes and dislikes whether we liked them or not. Now however the screeners as a collective and especially the HS are in charge of the rules (at least they were when I was still a screener). Affecting change in those rules is now a possibility. Not so long ago we tried to go into a new direction with the creative rules as I'm sure most of you will remember. In my experience that was a mixed succes. I do think more creative shots are being accepted but I also think many good creative shots are still being rejected because often the " dislikes" will win it from the "likes". I also think some community members are to blame for this mixed succes. Often when a creative shot was accepted some would start yelling that their " identical shot" was rejected. In that sense the screeners can never win with us.

Anyway just my 2 cents. I dont really care if things change. I know where I stand when I upload to a.net. Good shots (in my opinion) can be rejected. if they are so be it, I wont lose any sleep over it. And neither will the screeners  So everybody wins!
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Speedbird2025
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:17 pm

Well said Tim..

Now are you ready to come back?  

Hope you are doing good.

--Nate
 
sulman
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:43 am

Quoting timdegroot (Reply 30):
I do think more creative shots are being accepted but I also think many good creative shots are still being rejected because often the " dislikes" will win it from the "likes". I also think some community members are to blame for this mixed succes.

Probably the most useful contribution to the thread, because you are aware of the procedures.

So, it's a process problem, essentially. I've always found it weird that an image can be rejected by one screener, but seldom is one approved by just one screener, indeed if memory serves, this is unusual and normally a sernior screener privelege. Anyone see the problem there? Effectively this is approach promotes a rejection-focused attitude. If a photograph meets basic criteria, I really don't think it should be rejected because one person doesn't understand it.

Ideally a screener should only reject without oversight where an image has focus, exposure, or clear composition errors. Outside of that, you really need proper peer review.

The screening system as is is clearly efficient in terms of volume, but I would say that's really the only thing going for it. Unfortunately, from DM's point of view, this is the only thing that matters. I'm not convinced the screeners photographic facilities are being fully utilised; they are all excellent photographers, I'm sure there's a better way to utilise that. Process guys like Royal could probably come up with something much better.

The thing is, there are plenty of excellent images, but given Tim's remarks, I do wonder if we could be seeing an awful lot more.
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IL76
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:00 am

Quoting timdegroot (Reply 30):
Not so long ago we tried to go into a new direction with the creative rules as I'm sure most of you will remember. In my experience that was a mixed succes. I do think more creative shots are being accepted but I also think many good creative shots are still being rejected because often the " dislikes" will win it from the "likes".

I remember when I was a screener, we -as a team- stressed to 'instand-add' more photos to keep the screening time shorter. Personally, I used to often instant-add photos that I really liked, but where I worried that one of my colleagues would reject it for minor technical flaws (sorry guys). The big reward would be if you see those particular photos do really well and get positive feedback.
As I also posted on Facebook not long ago: Back in the day when questionable photos went past Johan (now the head screeners), these photos were often the ones on the edge or crossing the A.net 'rules'. When they did get accepted by Johan, these photos ended up being super popular. Makes you think, doesn't it?

Ed
 
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acontador
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:46 pm

Hi Ander and All,

Nice to see again some familiar faces  .

Quoting sulman (Reply 33):
I've always found it weird that an image can be rejected by one screener, but seldom is one approved by just one screener, indeed if memory serves, this is unusual and normally a senior screener privilege. Anyone see the problem there? Effectively this is approach promotes a rejection-focused attitude. If a photograph meets basic criteria, I really don't think it should be rejected because one person doesn't understand it.



Well, this is probably how you perceive the process, but it's definitely not how it's done! And this is not your fault (or any one else's for that matter), since you and most of the contributing photographers haven't had access 'behind the scenes' to see how the system really works.

All screeners have always been encouraged to accept pictures rather then reject, which is why they have the 'instant add' feature. I would venture in saying that a very high percentage of the pictures rejected by the first screener would also be rejected by almost anybody else here, as they are normally clearly outside the acceptable criteria of A.net. The pictures that get (and deserve) more attention are the borderline cases, when the screening team needs more than a pair of eyes to correctly judge a picture. And this is particularly applicable to the more 'creative pictures' (as Tim, I also never liked that term), where many screeners will give their input on the image. Even if rejected, that particular image still can be appealed, so that the headscreeners can have another look at it.

Now, to really grasp the idea of what screening means, you have to take into account the incredible pressure that screeners have in order to keep the queue down, which results in very little time per picture actually available for screening. Anyone can have a close look at any picture for 5 minutes and get a good idea if it meets A.net criteria or not, but can you do it in 5-10 seconds? And can you repeat this for another 100 pictures in a row?

Going back to Ander's question, I can sympathize that the comment might be misunderstood and that it could have been worded differently. But can you really blame the screener, who out of his 10 seconds for the picture took 8 to type it? Of course this is an exaggeration, but the idea is to put things into perspective. Without being part of the screening team, I can assure you that nobody would consciously want to insult a photographer.

Finally, please all remember that screening is done by humans, and it involves very big numbers, therefore it is inevitably subject to mistakes. Usually, what we see in these threads are those mistakes, and not the other 99.99% of correctly screened pictures...

Cheers,
Just sit back, relax and have a glass of Merlot...enjoy your life!
 
dendrobatid
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:48 pm

I too hate the term 'creative images' at least in the context of images on this site. A.net had pretty tight controls on what was and what was not acceptable and that made screening relatively simple with a result that some good images that were outside the rules were rejected. A lot more flexibility with regard to motive was introduced a while back, largely driven by Tim, and the site, I am sure most of us would agree is the better for it. The downside is that screening those different motive images is far more subjective, far more difficult and inevitably slower. One of my favourite images on the whole site is one of Tim's, one that would have fallen foul of just about every a.net rule before, and I love it.

Whilst one screener can accept this type of image, they should not be rejected by just one and are generally seen by a few until a concensus is found or they are referred to the Headscreeners. When you see from the stats an image that seems to be stuck in the queue, it is generally an image like that.

I don't think things are far off the mark in that respect. We do our damndest to be fair.

Other than that, Andres sums up screening very nicely !

Mick Bajcar
 
javibi
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RE: Be Prepared To Engage In Constructive Debate

Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:26 am

Quoting acontador (Reply 34):
Nice to see again some familiar faces

Nice indeed  

I have read the many contributions to this thread with interest and the one idea that comes into my mind is that often we all forget that behind our usernames, and at both sides of the fence, there are actual human beings, prone to make mistakes, and also to disagree, but capable as well of solving their differences and find a common ground when allowed to "engage in constructive debate".

Have a great day,

j

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Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos