Contest Judging

nosferatu

New Member
I just wanted to say that I think the photo contest is a great idea and hopefully more contestants will participate as the forums become more popular (I really think Brad is doing a spectacular job with this site and it has potential to become one of the best cham forums on the net). I just wanted to give my suggestions on judging the photo contest and hopefully we can get some more input...

Anyway, I think that the judging process could be expedited (as of the last contest it could take as long as 2 months from photo entry to final voting before a winner was decided...not that there is anything wrong with waiting but it might deter people from submitting pictures). Perhaps, allowing an open vote like the first contest but limited to one week could be the first step. The problem of limiting it to member votes like the first contest is, of course, that there were so few votes and most people who submitted photos voted for themselves I would guess. Of course, having it completely open would likely lead to abuse (even if Brad were to limit it to 1 vote/IP address...people could vote for their photos multiple times using different computers or if they had a dynamic address). The top 3 photos from the initial open vote could then go on to a private judging session comprised of perhaps 5 members (or whoever wishes to be a judge...as long as they maybe have a minimum number of posts and did not submit a photo that month). The judging system should be objective...perhaps based on a point system from a number of different criteria (e.g. quality of overall photograph, quality/beauty of cham compared to others of its species, interesting/fun pose, ability to draw interest to noncham owners, etc...). A scoring system might prevent a somewhat blurry, average picture of a Parsons cham from beating out a gorgeous picture of say a veiled cham. This part of the judging process could be done pretty fast I think. I don't feel that strongly about the open vote very much so I could also see how it could just be eliminated entirely for the panel judging part. Finally...ideally...although probably not possible (as people may recognize another members cham from their gallery or other posts)...I think that the photos for the contest should be posted anonymously.

Hope to hear what others think (I think this maybe similar to something you posted earlier Brad)...I would think the main goal of the photo contest (besides attracting new members) is just to have fun and show off everyone's chams...so hopefully it does not cause any controversies, bad feelings, etc in the context of the judging process...

nosferatu
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for your suggestions.

A group of judges is a good idea. The only thing I have not figured out yet is when that judge wants to enter a contest. Possibly a substitute judge could be used at that point. By combining the use of judges and normal member voting, I think most of the restrictions on which members can vote could be lifted.

Anonymous contest entries would be the preferred method, but with this kind of community I don't know if it would work. I am assuming more often than not, a contest entry could be recognized from some earlier picture of the chameleon that might have been posted on the forums or gallery.

The judging process and member voting could be combined using a point system. These are just initial thoughts, but something like this might work. Five judges who have 1 point to award a contest entry. The results of the member voting could give 2 points to first place and 1 point to second place. The member voting could last for a week, and then the judges would privately cast their votes. This could shorten the voting/judging time to 1-2 weeks.

These are just my initial thoughts and I am very open to other ideas and suggestions.
 

AlexF

New Member
Judging

I would like to add my 2 cents.

I believe that the second round judging system could work great, and it would be wonderful if the judges had specific guidelines to judge besides the species of the chameleon being photographed (as said before "poor picture of a rare cham pix being better than a good common cham photo").

I think that showing how the photos are doing regarding votes is not a great idea and could induce fraud. Let's say I'm not very honest and want my picture to win at all costs. If I could see that my picture is loosing first place by one or two votes, then I can call my brother, sister and mother in law to register, and post 5 stupid messages saying "great picture" and then to vote for me and secure my picture first place.

If the voting results are given at the end, no one really knows how many people have voted and who's winning, so there might not be a big reward for cheating, but then, by doing the second round, that would be eliminated as well.

I believe that if we all try to vote for the photo we like every month, then fraud, even if done, won't add up against the whole community. Voting should be easy to do if everyone is to vote.

I'm new to chams and the forum, and have only one chameleon. I understand the no repetition rule although I don't agree with it so much. The chameleon is not the one receiving the price, so why attach the rule to the chameleon and not the photographer?

I would say that the photo environment should not be the same again, ever, but if I take a good picture of my cham just basking in the sun, end up winning the contest and next month I spend 200 hours watching my cham with my camera ready and take an outstanding photograph of the cham snatching a butterfly out of the air, then what would be the reasoning for not allowing the picture to enter again?.

If the idea is to have someone win only a few times, then lets limit the photographer, not the subject being photographed.
 

nosferatu

New Member
I think both Brad and AlexF make some good points...great to see some ideas about this. After reading the new comments and pondering some more...I think until maybe membership becomes higher that the contest winners should just be selected independently by a panel of judges (5 seems like a good number if 5 willing members who did not participate in that months contest can be found). In other words...just forget about the open voting for now. If one were to eliminate the self votes from the first contest, then the first open contest was basically decided by a small panel of members (probably about 5) anyway. AlexF brings up some good points about an open voting system in that displaying the current poll results can encourage cheating (this did not occur during the first contest though...issues I think were mainly that the process was too long and not many people voted) and can also encourage bias (e.g. people may unintentially lean toward the photo with the most votes or even may sympathize with one with the fewest votes).

The simplified point system that Brad mentioned (2 points for 1st and 1 for 2nd) seems fine as long as maybe they are based on some objective standards/criteria which as AlexF alluded to that may take into account other features of the photograph. Don't want to make the judging too complicated/burdensome but do want each photograph submitted to be scrutinized equally based on some guidelines.

As for the repetition rule (actually would have to reread the rules)...I think it is more appropriate if there were more people participating in the contest. I do think there should be a waiting period for a particular winning chameleon before that chameleon could be allowed to enter the contest again (also limits as AlexF said on the winning photographer). Obviously we don't want different angles of the same #1 "screamer" racking up the majority of the votes each month...eventually no one would bother submitting pictures anymore. Some of this though depends on how the photo contest is being judged...i.e. is it the best chameleon or best photograph (taking into account the scene, pose, lighting, and other aspects not inherent to the particular chameleon itself). But at this point I don't think a losing chameleon should be punished from participating in subsequent months.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
AlexF:

I believe that the second round judging system could work great, and it would be wonderful if the judges had specific guidelines to judge besides the species of the chameleon being photographed (as said before "poor picture of a rare cham pix being better than a good common cham photo").
I agree with the judges having a specific system to adhere to. We just need to come up with a fair system.

I think that showing how the photos are doing regarding votes is not a great idea and could induce fraud. If I could see that my picture is loosing first place by one or two votes, then I can call my brother, sister and mother in law to register, and post 5 stupid messages saying "great picture" and then to vote for me and secure my picture first place.
Good idea. One reason I kept it transparent and the results viewable to members is that I wanted to ensure others that it was a fair contest. The kind of fraud you mention has been my main concern all along, and the reason for the strict voting requirements. A combined voting/judging system though could take care of a lot of these problems.

I'm new to chams and the forum, and have only one chameleon. I understand the no repetition rule although I don't agree with it so much. The chameleon is not the one receiving the price, so why attach the rule to the chameleon and not the photographer? ... If the idea is to have someone win only a few times, then lets limit the photographer, not the subject being photographed.
Hmm, I understand what you are saying. The only reason the repetition rule for a specific chameleon is there is because I wanted a variety of chameleons. However, the more I think about it the more unnecessary it seems. I will probably remove this rule.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
nosferatu:
Some good points. These rules will definitely have to change as the site grows.
A losing chameleon is never restricted in any way.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Trying to come up with some ideas on judging criteria.

photo quality
-- focus, lighting, etc

unique among species
-- color, pattern, other features

originality
-- original compared to other contest winners

other
-- apparent health

There are some things I still want to add, and probably some things I am not thinking about. Let me know if you have any suggestions.
 

nosferatu

New Member
Brad,

Your categories sound good. I need to ponder about it some more but additional cateogories could be related to background/setting/scenery (may just include this in photo quality...or not at all lol) and cham "pose" (to give some consideration to that average looking cham caught in an interesting/unique position/action). Maybe give each of these categories from 0-3 points or 0-2 points which will then be added together to make a final score. I guess you could either add up all the points for each pic among all the judges...orr somehow convert the scores back into the 1 and 2 point system you mentioned earlier (e.g. each individual judge would tally up the total scores for each pictures and award 2 points for their 1st place and 1 point for their 2nd place vote). Of course, any judging like this will always be subjective (e.g. who defines "unique" or would even know what is "not unique"...) but breaking it down into categories like you mentioned I think makes the judging more systematic so that each aspect of the picture/cham and every picture will be scrutinized in a similar manner.

Anybody else with some comments/suggestions?
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
My thoughts on judges:

advantages:
  • helps prevent cheating (ghost members, etc).
  • Allow for the removal of all the voting restrictions.
  • helps counter the possible disadvantages of a biased vote.
  • helps ensure the winning photo is up to the rules and standards listed in the contest rules.
disadvantages:
  • Makes the voting process less transparent. Could promote distrust.

After weighing the pros and cons of adding judges to the contest process, I have decided to use them. I think the success will be dependent on creating a judging system that is as transparent as possible.

How does all this work? Basically, I am planning on using a point system. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place photos from the open vote will receive a specific amount of points. The judges will then give a specific amount of points to their favorite three cham photos. The amount of points for each situation is what I am still considering. I want the public vote to account for a large percentage of the overall vote. I think a very large consensus vote among judges would be needed to change the public vote in a major way.

As we have discussed above, the decisions by the judges should come down to a specific criteria point/rank system. I think the results of the judges should be made public, but not necessarily by name.
 
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