One of my duties as a moderator on the Digital Photography School forums is to contribute my votes for the weekly assignment.From the entries posted during the first week which meet a couple of simple criteria (including the assignment title and the date the shot was taken) we end up with a winner and a couple of runners up that get the glory of being included in the weekend round-up on the (widely read) DPS blog.
There are often some very good photographs submitted and I will be quite content if some or all of my picks make the front page this week. However, the process can be a little frustrating. The contest that has just closed had about 280 posts before we drew a line under valid entries on Wednesday. That is a lot to wade through although a good number of them are non-entries, where people simply want to make a comment or share their admiration on someone else’s post. By the time you also weed out photos that are not being entered (either deliberately or because someone forgot the regular criteria), the number to pick from is probably down to a quarter or less of the total posts.
I can live with the fact that some of the photos are not particularly good. Everyone has to start somewhere and the site includes people just getting started with a camera as well as those who have been shooting professionally longer than I’ve been alive. However, I do struggle with the volume of submissions that are properly labelled (suggesting a certain amount of care) but which apparently fail to give any heed to the subject of the assignment.
Over the past three weeks we have had a series on lines – horizontal, diagonal and vertical. Some shots don’t seem to have any lines at all and others have lines that are either incidental to the composition or which point in all different directions. What I understand least are the shots where the subject had potential to be a great example of the category of lines under discussion but in the wrong orientation.
I will not single out any examples but I do wish more contributors could show that they have actually considered the subject matter. If it was a real classroom, I would be handing out a lot of low grades and, knowing how long it can take to shoot and present a photo, I wish more people were making a better use of their time.