Old 11-30-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
Ron Flanary
Senior Member
 
Ron Flanary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Big Stone Gap, VA
Posts: 1,327
Default A Case for a Juried Review Panel for RP.net

In my never-ending effort to seek constant growth and improvement for RP.net (whether anyone else agrees with me or not!), I would like to float—on the Forum—an idea that has been percolating in my head for a few days.

If you’re reading this on the Forum, I don’t have to explain how train images are either accepted, or rejected on RP.net. In fact, the primary purpose of the Forum is for those whose works have been rejected to bring their images before others for a peer review. More inexperienced photographers certainly learn from veterans here, and I would say the end result is a better product. There are downsides, as well, since RP.net tends to hammer photographers into a common mold, whether folks understand that or not. That’s not a goal, but merely an undesired outcome, at least as I see it. But—I digress.

As it now stands, if a photographer’s shot is rejected—for whatever reason—there’s an appeal process. He or she can make their case, and the shot is (at least as I understand it) rolled over to another of the five (5) screeners for RP.net for a different set of eyes for adjudication. Sometimes another screener will say, “yes,” but more often it’s another “no.” Most frustrating, of course, are rejections that are made for one reason---and then another appeal rejected for other reasons. The most logical way to get a positive answer is to redo the image to address any technical problems (if that’s the reason), and resubmit the image. No matter what path, all roads to acceptance lead through an RP.net screener. As a group, theirs are the final, and only judgments.

I would thus propose a juried review panel, similar to a process used in most photographic contests. The annotation ‘juried’ means you must submit images which are reviewed by a jury (a knowledgeable committee) and your work will be accepted, or rejected, based on technical skill, creativity, and/or other requirements as expressed in the broad standards of RP.net.

That said, I don’t think a jury would work at the initial phase of the process. I would thus propose a jury of an odd number of people (five would be perfect) of accomplished photographers (based on their own demonstrated abilities as a railroad photographer) be appointed by RP.net to review rejected images after----we’ll say two rejections (initial, plus one appeal). Those shots would roll over to the jury for review, and it would take three votes (of five) for a shot to be accepted.

I do think this would address much of the angst expressed here (or uttered elsewhere in harsh and condemning tones) because someone’s “precious” image was turned down. As it is, there is too much perception that shots are unilaterally accepted or rejected---and that’s actually the case most of the time. If you brought a range of learned eyes into the mix, perhaps it would also bring a better sense of fairness and objectivity to the process. If a majority of the jury still said it should be rejected, only a dolt or a fool would continue to stand there and argue (and admittedly there are many out there). This is a much more desirable multilateral decision process.

Remember, there are two rules of any organization, one of which comes into play here: Nothing new or different should ever be attempted for the first time. The other one says that when you’re in doubt, you should just mumble. (For those of you who are confused, I’m kidding…but there’s also some wisdom there.)

Comments and rebuttals are welcome, and encouraged.
Ron Flanary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 07:21 PM   #2
Mgoldman
Senior Member
 
Mgoldman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,661
Default

Or... admin could just lighten up.

That, I believe was another one of your ideas and works on the principle of KISS. Keep it Simple Stupid. (Not implying anything here, lol).

Outside of technical issues, I think the best bet for both admin and it's members, new and old alike, would be to simply allow a little more discretion in regards to the creative aspect of it's member's submissions - ie; crops and aesthetic appeal. Maybe in such instances, such an image can be initially rejected with hopes of improvement (a second set of eyes) but would have to be given more discretion on appeal if it's not a technical issue.

That was the RP I had been accustomed to and enjoyed very much. Maybe that's the current RP, but it sure wasn't the RP a few months ago where I had near as many rejects as I had accepted images. Instead of aggravating it's membership, an accepted appeal, puts a positive spin on things - a welcoming concession on part of the site's management. I think we all like to live in a world where we believe we have someone looking out for us rather then everyone out to get us, lol. After all, like everyone states - it's just a hobby and I think that applies to BOTH sides of the fence.

And - heck, to your point, Ron; How about a forum where a rejected image can be posted and later accepted once it reaches "x" number of "likes" over a period of time. Or instead of likes, votes as the current system can handle. Sure, 100 FaceBook "Please vote me back in" links can skew the results but the site seems to have survived previous campaigns in regards to accepted "notes" and other "crap". Apparently that made people HAPPY and once done, got buried in less then a week - out of site, out of mind, but RP gets to keep it's patrons rather then risk losing 'em. Again, it's just a hobby and no prize money is being offered, after all.

/Mitch
Mgoldman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 07:21 PM   #3
Missabefan
Senior Member
 
Missabefan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 344
Default

Ron,

First off, this appeal process--who has that anymore?

But... good ideas both here and in the leveling disagreement thread from you and the regulars here on the forums. That thread has generated 105 posts (and still going) about a photo or two being level or not.

Anyway, I'd like to see a screener actually patrol the forum (not just lurk in the shadows) and actually participate in these dicussions about certain rejects and the reasons why. Obviously not every one of course but once in awhile chime in to show some interest and maybe add a little insight into the game we all play.

Maybe a comment to clarify the too much or not enough or the unlevel rejects.

Enough people are reading these threads that maybe some knowledge from the inside as to why and how might help everyone out.

Just my thought.

Back to my rejects....
Missabefan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
Ron Flanary
Senior Member
 
Ron Flanary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Big Stone Gap, VA
Posts: 1,327
Default

To Todd and Mitch....both of you make some really solid points. No disagreement at all from me! There is frequently a sense of "cursing the darkness" on the Forums at times, since RP.net is absent from any feedback.

It makes we wonder why any of us would even care about suggesting ways to improve the site and its selection process. The "it's their site, and they can do whatever they want" argument never holds water when you consider that "we" provide their product.

No one should feel the need to grovel for acceptance of a shot. Instead, RP.net should be grateful we "give" them our images. Again--not to suggest this should happen--but if there was a mass exodus of contributors, the party would be over, and quickly.

In a nut shell, that's why I think they should crank up the sensitivity settings to hear what their "customers" say...
Ron Flanary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 07:44 PM   #5
Missabefan
Senior Member
 
Missabefan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 344
Default

I don't think there will ever be a "a mass exodus of contributors".

Someone drops off for one reason or another and someone else joins in for one reason or another.

In the end, the big machine rolls on!
Missabefan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 07:50 PM   #6
oltmannd
Senior Member
 
oltmannd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 361
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missabefan View Post
Ron,

First off, this appeal process--who has that anymore?
This appeal process is available to those who don't use it. If you use it, they revoke it.

I used to get 10 uploads a day, too. So, during a period I was doing some slide scans, I'd upload 10 decent ones, get 5 in and 5 rejects, appeal 4 of the 5, get 2 of those in and then one day....POOF. No warning shots fired. No explanation. Nada.

Two uploads, no appeals. That was annoying. Finally found out I was "abusing" the appeal process (despite batting 50% or so...)

I kind of like the "vote for the best of the rejects" idea...
oltmannd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 07:55 PM   #7
KevinM
Senior Member
 
KevinM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,087
Default Practicality problems and appeal strategies

Hi Ron,

A couple of things....

First, my understanding is that only the two Site Admins actually review appeals. That's probably appropriate since one of them probably rejected the image in the first place. Both Admins have previously stated that they do the vast majority of the screening. I'm guessing that the other three folks fill in when one of the Admins is away, or on weekends, to give those guys a break.

Second, even if the site would consent to your idea, I wonder how it could be practically implemented. Obviously, if the submitting photographer is really enamored with the image, they're probably not going to want to wait a week or so until a group of folks get around to reading their e-mail and voting. That's especially true if the image is news-worthy. What if four of the jurors vote and there's a tie....and no one has heard from the 5th person in a while?

I hate to be a kill-joy. I get as frustrated with rejections as anyone. It's especially galling late at night if you've been fussing with something all evening long and get the dreaded news just before hitting the rack. I will say that with the vast majority of the rejections, I just lick my wounds and try my best to make it fit the RP mold....whatever that requires.

I appeal relatively rarely. Since late 2008, my records say that I have appealed a total of 12 times. All but one have been accepted. The one rejection was over a pixel dimensions issue, but did result in a note from Admin that helped me understand the problem better.

To be fair, I don't typically appeal roster wedgies or wild experiments. I have to REALLY like the image or REALLY think the audience will find it interesting before I go attracting attention from Admin late at night....which is when most of my appeals get answered. Here are a few examples of my rejects that got in on appeal:

PEQ
Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 319956
Photograph © Kevin Madore

STP
Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 334324
Photograph © Kevin Madore

Unlevel
Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 351107
Photograph © Kevin Madore

STP
Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 363625
Photograph © Kevin Madore

Backlit
Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 366519
Photograph © Kevin Madore

Bad Cropping
Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 389753
Photograph © Kevin Madore

Completely chewed up and spit out by the dreaded "crop monster"
Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 413974
Photograph © Kevin Madore


I wonder how many of these would have passed in the jury system?
__________________
/Kevin

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Lots of Steam Railroad stuff there from all over the US.

Last edited by KevinM; 11-30-2012 at 08:07 PM.
KevinM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 08:02 PM   #8
bigbassloyd
Senior Member
 
bigbassloyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Hilldale, West Virginia
Posts: 3,865
Default

My Suggestion:

http://forums.jetphotos.net/showthread.php?t=44854

Do that here.

Then either expand upon the piddly information given in the rejection reasons (i.e. which way the leveling is off, too much saturation, or not enough, etc) or have the screener use the feedback area more. Confusion breeds anger, and anger breeds hate. Even if you do not agree with the outcome, at least you'd know why.

After those two items are addressed, I would expect to see a marked improvement in the RP experience for most users.

Loyd L.
__________________
Those who seek glory, must also seek infamy.

My personal photography site

Last edited by bigbassloyd; 11-30-2012 at 08:05 PM.
bigbassloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 09:21 PM   #9
KevinM
Senior Member
 
KevinM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,087
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missabefan View Post
I don't think there will ever be a "a mass exodus of contributors".

Someone drops off for one reason or another and someone else joins in for one reason or another.

In the end, the big machine rolls on!
I think that's a true statement. Even if the site's most popular contributors go away, the need for material will still be filled somehow. The quality may suffer, but the show will go on.

We already see this phenomenon to some degree in other outlets, but for different reasons. Some of the fan magazines figured out some time ago that the best photographers might boycott their publications if they stopped paying royalties for photographs. They elected to do that anyway and have found that there are still plenty of less experienced folks out there who are willing to give their stuff away to see their names in print. Digital cameras do take a lot of the sport out of photography. It no longer takes years of experience to get decent quality images, particularly when you are primarily looking for 3/4 wedges.

Supply and demand regulates the market.
__________________
/Kevin

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Lots of Steam Railroad stuff there from all over the US.
KevinM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 09:30 PM   #10
Ron Flanary
Senior Member
 
Ron Flanary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Big Stone Gap, VA
Posts: 1,327
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missabefan View Post
I don't think there will ever be a "a mass exodus of contributors".
No, that would never happen. I merely mentioned it as a hypothetical.
Ron Flanary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 09:32 PM   #11
Ron Flanary
Senior Member
 
Ron Flanary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Big Stone Gap, VA
Posts: 1,327
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oltmannd View Post
This appeal process is available to those who don't use it. If you use it, they revoke it.

I used to get 10 uploads a day, too. So, during a period I was doing some slide scans, I'd upload 10 decent ones, get 5 in and 5 rejects, appeal 4 of the 5, get 2 of those in and then one day....POOF. No warning shots fired. No explanation. Nada.
You're kiddin' me?! That's a terrible way to treat "customers"!!!
Ron Flanary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 09:34 PM   #12
Ron Flanary
Senior Member
 
Ron Flanary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Big Stone Gap, VA
Posts: 1,327
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post

I wonder how many of these would have passed in the jury system?
All of them, had I been a member...
Ron Flanary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 09:34 PM   #13
jac_murphy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 378
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Flanary View Post
Remember, there are two rules of any organization, one of which comes into play here: Nothing new or different should ever be attempted for the first time. The other one says that when you’re in doubt, you should just mumble. (For those of you who are confused, I’m kidding…but there’s also some wisdom there.)
You forgot:

"When in trouble, delegate."



-Jacques
jac_murphy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 09:39 PM   #14
Ron Flanary
Senior Member
 
Ron Flanary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Big Stone Gap, VA
Posts: 1,327
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbassloyd View Post
My Suggestion:

http://forums.jetphotos.net/showthread.php?t=44854

Do that here.

After those two items are addressed, I would expect to see a marked improvement in the RP experience for most users.

Loyd L.
Loyd, you still seem to be fixated on conforming to RP.net, come hell or high water. I assume there's no room to "grow" in the acceptance of photographic interpretation?

As a photographer, as I scanned through the Jet Pictures thing, I found it to be a real turn-off (other than the technical issues, of course). It was a real buzz-killer...
Ron Flanary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 10:16 PM   #15
JimThias
Senior Member
 
JimThias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 9,843
Default

Perhaps a new forum section where people could create polls specifically to have rejected photos voted on? Just an idea at this point inspired by Ron's "jury" idea that I'm sure would need some tweaking, but it could work.
__________________
.
Rhymes with slice, rice and mice, and probably should be spelled like "Tice."

This pretty much sums it up: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Thias
JimThias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 11:15 PM   #16
Mgoldman
Senior Member
 
Mgoldman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,661
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
How about a forum where a rejected image can be posted and later accepted once it reaches "x" number of "likes" over a period of time. Or instead of likes, votes as the current system can handle. /Mitch
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
Perhaps a new forum section where people could create polls specifically to have rejected photos voted on? Just an idea at this point inspired by Ron's "jury" idea that I'm sure would need some tweaking, but it could work.

Does anyone ever read past the first post in these forums?

/Mitch
Mgoldman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 11:23 PM   #17
JimThias
Senior Member
 
JimThias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 9,843
Default

Yeah, I read your post, but you said nothing specific about a poll, which this forum is capable of as a feature (at least other vBulletin sites I've seen are).

__________________
.
Rhymes with slice, rice and mice, and probably should be spelled like "Tice."

This pretty much sums it up: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Thias
JimThias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 11:46 PM   #18
JRMDC
Senior Member
 
JRMDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 11,202
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman View Post
And - heck, to your point, Ron; How about a forum where a rejected image can be posted and later accepted once it reaches "x" number of "likes" over a period of time. Or instead of likes, votes as the current system can handle. /Mitch
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
Yeah, I read your post, but you said nothing specific about a poll, which this forum is capable of as a feature (at least other vBulletin sites I've seen are).
"votes as the current system can handle" is close enough to "poll" in my book! Sort of like getting within 0.05 degrees of perfect level.

Oh, wait, Jim, you just won't understand that.

J

PS: sympathetic to the general theme of the thread; too tired to opine on specifics, or even think much about them
__________________
My RP pix are here.
My Flickr pix are here.

My commentaries on rail pictures are in my blog.

RP Photo Albums:
Cabooses
Engine Details
Farm and Train
Plumes!
Railroad Details
Signal Details
Switchstand Shots
JRMDC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 11:57 PM   #19
MassArt Images
Senior Member
 
MassArt Images's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Pittsburgh, PA area
Posts: 724
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oltmannd View Post
This appeal process is available to those who don't use it. If you use it, they revoke it.

I used to get 10 uploads a day, too. So, during a period I was doing some slide scans, I'd upload 10 decent ones, get 5 in and 5 rejects, appeal 4 of the 5, get 2 of those in and then one day....POOF. No warning shots fired. No explanation. Nada.

Two uploads, no appeals. That was annoying. Finally found out I was "abusing" the appeal process (despite batting 50% or so...)

I kind of like the "vote for the best of the rejects" idea...

I used to get 10 uploads a day too. I just figured since I wasn't an RP Elite member I got knocked down to 2 and that was the case for all non-Elite members. Unless I was a masochist, why would I want to pay to have my pictures rejected especially when the rejection reason was vague?

It would help a lot if the rejection reasons were more descriptive, i.e. "Needs rotated CCW.", and if there is more than one fault list them all so you don't correct the un-level problem only to be told that it is now soft(undersharpened)
MassArt Images is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2012, 12:53 AM   #20
Missabefan
Senior Member
 
Missabefan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 344
Default

obligatory text

Last edited by Missabefan; 12-01-2012 at 01:59 AM.
Missabefan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2012, 01:05 AM   #21
bigbassloyd
Senior Member
 
bigbassloyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Hilldale, West Virginia
Posts: 3,865
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Flanary View Post
Loyd, you still seem to be fixated on conforming to RP.net, come hell or high water. I assume there's no room to "grow" in the acceptance of photographic interpretation?
It's apparently what the owners want, otherwise the years of pitching and moaning about it would have made more of a profound effect. I say make their guidelines more easily understood, and that would improve the website for others and still keep it in the realm of how they want it.

I guess in the simplest terminology, I'm not a sheep, I'm just indifferent. I know what to expect from here, and when one of my photographic interpretations (love the term btw) coincides with theirs, then I'll have another photo on here. If not, I'll throw that photo back into the pile with the other 480,000 without a huff, puff, or growl. I'm easy to get along with.

Loyd L.
__________________
Those who seek glory, must also seek infamy.

My personal photography site
bigbassloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2012, 01:18 AM   #22
Ron Flanary
Senior Member
 
Ron Flanary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Big Stone Gap, VA
Posts: 1,327
Default

The poll idea is a good one...but if you got 100 percent approval of a rejected shot...it would still be a rejected shot.

I think I agree with Loyd...I'll just give up trying to offer suggestions to improve RP.net. It is what it is. I'm tired of banging my head against an imaginary wall for no logical reason. Besides, I have no particular reason to be unhappy myself with RP.net. I was just thinking of the unwashed out there who are often treated so disrespectfully.
Ron Flanary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2012, 01:48 AM   #23
Mgoldman
Senior Member
 
Mgoldman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,661
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Flanary View Post
I think I agree with Loyd...I'll just give up trying to offer suggestions to improve RP.net...
You gonna eat that fly in your soup?

/Mitch
Mgoldman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2012, 08:00 AM   #24
Watain
-_-
 
Watain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Hiltons, Virginia, USA
Posts: 953
Send a message via MSN to Watain
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MassArt Images View Post
I used to get 10 uploads a day too. I just figured since I wasn't an RP Elite member I got knocked down to 2 and that was the case for all non-Elite members. Unless I was a masochist, why would I want to pay to have my pictures rejected especially when the rejection reason was vague?

It would help a lot if the rejection reasons were more descriptive, i.e. "Needs rotated CCW.", and if there is more than one fault list them all so you don't correct the un-level problem only to be told that it is now soft(undersharpened)
Pretty much what I was going to say, however.

In my masochistic opinion I feel that for those who pay for the membership should get more detailed information during the screening process, it would be so much better in my opinion, than going back and forth with them constantly submitting the same photo 10 or 15 times trying to correct a problem. Like a comment box where the screener can voice their own opinion either in the email or in the reject link itself.. The screening process would probably take longer, but I believe it would relieve some confusion, and frustration.
Watain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2012, 08:48 AM   #25
cblaz
Senior Member
 
cblaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Marlboro, New Jersey
Posts: 1,007
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbassloyd View Post
It's apparently what the owners want, otherwise the years of pitching and moaning about it would have made more of a profound effect.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Flanary View Post
I think I agree with Loyd...I'll just give up trying to offer suggestions to improve RP.net. It is what it is. I'm tired of banging my head against an imaginary wall for no logical reason.

As many have said before on this forum, it seems like the prevailing attitude is if you don't like the way RP works, take your ball, go home and don't let the door hit you when you leave. Just peruse the list of most Photo of the Week recipients I compiled in February:

John Ryan, John West, Mitch Goldman, David Honan, Michael F. Allen, Gary Knapp, Jean-Marc Frybourg, Alan-Crotty, Alex Ramos, Andrew Blaszczyk, Cinderpath, Dave Kerr, James Belmont, John Rice, Ken Kuehne, Matthew Hicks, Michael Biehn, Robert Palmer, Ryan Parent, Steve Carter, Steve Schmollinger and Travis Dewitz.

The PotW award has been around the longest, and is picked by the administrators of the site. Therefore, you would think keeping around the contributors that constantly provided quality images would be important, but most of the names on that list are former posters, not current ones. Sure, as Todd stated earlier, some members drop off and new ones come aboard and the big machine rolls on, but is it better?

- Chris
__________________
- Christopher Blaszczyk
My shots on RP: http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=284
cblaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.