My photo didn't make it!?!?

Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in ResidencePosts: 3,165Registered Users Major grins
edited March 20, 2007 in The Dgrin Challenges
OMG!!! I worked for twelve years on this photo, spent billions of dollars, and only have 3 fingers left...and my photo didn't get chosen?!?!

Thoughts similar to this may cross someones mind from time to time, and it is a natural thought, we all equate effort to worth. The more effort expended the more worthy it should be because of how much has been invested in the task. But it seldom works out that way. Why?

When it comes to artistic endeavors, effort does not equal worth. And investment only benefits the financial types on wall street. The only things that really matters is content. That content can be easy to come by or hard, it doesn't matter. All that matters is the content as viewed by the viewer.

And that viewer, while they may determine the immediate outcome, does not determine the ultimate value or worth of the photo, only it's relevance at the time for the task at hand. So while it might not have been chosen for the particular contest it was entered in, that doesn't mean it might not be perfect for a national ad campaign, a time photo of the year, or some other uber prize for the most awesomest photo ever taken. Seriously!

It just means it didn't work this time for this task for some ephemeral reason you may never know or understand. That's the breaks! And one of the best things you can learn, as early as possible, is that the world is a fickle place, people can be spitting on your photo one minute and praising it the next. So learning to take rejection and move on without it destroying you is vital. Rejection doesn't mean worthlessness, it just means rejection, for now.

Like my signature says, failure is feedback, and feedback is the breakfast of champions. The more you fail, the more you learn, and the greater the chances for repeatable success later. So don't let failure stop you. Use it to your benefit. Learn what you can from it, but don't let it rule your life or taint your own worth and enthusiasm for what you are doing.
Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
"Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie

Comments

  • windozewindoze a life long newbie Posts: 2,846Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 20, 2007
    very well said Shay,
    As a matter of fact its so well said that you just encouraged me to try again.....
    Im not upset that my image wasnt chosen, but its the time and effort that went into it ( no matter how good or bad it is ).
    There are very few people who when they write, make an everlasting impact about how I think about things. You are one of them. Maybe thats why you're such a great photographer... you not only see the outside of people, but also the inside as well...


    troy
  • TentacionTentacion Click On ! Posts: 940Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 20, 2007
    :D Laughing.gif..I think I said that in 10 words (ok maybe 11) or less in the other rolleyes1.gif semi-final thread...

    Ya know sometimes ya win, sometimes ya don't..but life goes on and if you got the "blankety blank" you dust off your rump and go on with it, with one more lesson "hopefully" learned...thumb.gif
    You're only as good as your next photo....
    One day, I started writing, not knowing that I had chained myself for life to a noble but merciless master. When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended solely for self-flagellation...I'm here alone in my dark madness, all by myself with my deck of cards --- and, of course, the whip God gave me." Truman Capote
  • Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in Residence Posts: 3,165Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 20, 2007
    Tentacion wrote:
    :D Laughing.gif..I think I said that in 10 words (ok maybe 11) or less in the other rolleyes1.gif semi-final thread...

    It's a truism we all know, but can easily forget in the heat of the moment when it affects us personally :D
    Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
    "Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie
  • DRabbitDRabbit Artsy-Fartsy Type Posts: 181Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 20, 2007
    It's a truism we all know, but can easily forget in the heat of the moment when it affects us personally :D

    So very true Shay.

    If you put your all into an entry and it doesn't make it, well, it sucks! I know I've entered contests and challenges along the way and though I thought I'd do better than I did, was disappointed in the outcome. But most often, that disappointment is more with MYSELF, not with "the system".

    And I don't mean the "beat myself up" kind of disappointment, but the motivating kind! It just makes me strive to want to do better next time... makes me asks questions about how I could make the photo stronger, how it could go from uninteresting to eye catching, what PP techniques can I improve on, etc. etc. Geez, even when I've received accolades on a particular photo I'm always asking those questions mwink.gif

    And that's what makes us better photographers in the long run, right? Even if, in the end, the answer for you is "my photo was just perfect the way it was - it conveyed what *I* wanted it to" then you've learned something... because at least you asked.
    Amy :D
    Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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  • eoren1eoren1 Major grins Posts: 2,391Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 20, 2007
    Shay-
    Couldn't agree with you more.
    Yah I was bummed for a few minutes when I didn't see my photo in the list of qualifiers but then I just started thinking harder about the next theme.
    As it is, the last theme forced me out of my comfort zone/element and that is always a good thing! I'm hoping that I can stay creative and keep up with ideas for each round and maybe, just maybe, get one in for a semi-final!
    Thanks for putting this together.
    E
  • Lee MasseyLee Massey Major grins Posts: 274Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 20, 2007
    When it comes to artistic endeavors, effort does not equal worth.
    Great point Shay... I might have to add that quote to my signature. :D
    Like my signature says, failure is feedback, and feedback is the breakfast of champions. The more you fail, the more you learn, and the greater the chances for repeatable success later.
    Couldn't agree more... It is rare when someone can produce greatness without failing many times. Those who get through the failures will increase their respective abilities.

    This is definitely an exercise which benefits the people who continue to try to raise their game. The prizes are just a bonus. thumb.gif

    Lee
  • JESTERJESTER Major grins Posts: 369Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 20, 2007
    Well Shay, I don't understand why your photo would not have make it either. I have been to your web site several times to admire your work. You are an awesome Photographer. But I guess if you actually won there would always be someone who would say it is rigged. (No matter how great the photo!)
  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkPosts: 50,151Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 20, 2007
    JESTER wrote:
    Well Shay, I don't understand why your photo would not have make it either. I have been to your web site several times to admire your work. You are an awesome Photographer. But I guess if you actually won there would always be someone who would say it is rigged. (No matter how great the photo!)
    rolleyes1.gif rolleyes1.gif rolleyes1.gif

    You do know that Shay is speaking metaphorically, right? naughty.gif
  • TentacionTentacion Click On ! Posts: 940Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 20, 2007
    Hi Shay & Andy and Other Grinners
    I want to say thank you for the opportunity. I really look forward to the competitions, and the chance to win something, anything..heck even a little vanity button would make me happy...LMAO:D

    It is great to have a "game" for photographers....TV has so many for every other area such as , Top Designs, Top Models, Top Singers, Top Dancers, Survival, heck they even have a competition Who Wants to be the Next Super Hero (ain't that the pits) etc. and though we are not publicly going to be acknowledged on the media...it is nice to be able to compete with fellow peers, it will be quite interesting to view all the compositions for the different themes.

    I wouldn't want to be a judge it is not easy, because as we all know, everyone has an "opinion" and different thought process, and we all view things, no matter what they are differently.

    My only fear (and I hope I don't get a lot of neg. feedback on this) is I have entered many contests and have been disappointed...i.e., as judging was viewed during the contest as a "popularity" contest, being a NEWBIE here I hope that judging will not be biased, and this is not directed at anything here, just previous experiences.

    Anyway with that said....Good Luck Everyone and May the Camera Click in your Favor....wings.gif clap.gif :ivar
    You're only as good as your next photo....
    One day, I started writing, not knowing that I had chained myself for life to a noble but merciless master. When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended solely for self-flagellation...I'm here alone in my dark madness, all by myself with my deck of cards --- and, of course, the whip God gave me." Truman Capote
  • VisualXpressionsVisualXpressions Major grins Posts: 860Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 20, 2007
    On my soap box...
    Tentacion wrote:
    I wouldn't want to be a judge it is not easy, because as we all know, everyone has an "opinion" and different thought process, and we all view things, no matter what they are differently.

    My only fear (and I hope I don't get a lot of neg. feedback on this) is I have entered many contests and have been disappointed...i.e., as judging was viewed during the contest as a "popularity" contest, being a NEWBIE here I hope that judging will not be biased, and this is not directed at anything here, just previous experiences.

    Anyway with that said....Good Luck Everyone and May the Camera Click in your Favor....wings.gif clap.gif :ivar


    I’m fairly new to dgrin and I can attest to the fact that your fears of possible bias due to being new, in choosing winners in the contest is pretty much unfounded in the fact that in the last 2 contests my photo was chosen as one of the top 10… So don’t worry keep plugging along and enjoy the competition…

    Everyone should consider that the judges will base their decisions on a subjective basis, arising out of or identified by means of the persons perception, states and processes, as well as an objective basis, expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations… consequently it is incumbent upon us as contestants to create the most pleasing and technically correct image that meets the challenge criteria… and let our work stand on it’s own…

    I totally commend the moderators of dgrin for their honesty and forthrightness in all areas of the community… I must add that the swift handling of childish, ugly, confrontational people is also very commendable…

    Winston
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,843Super Moderators moderator
    edited March 20, 2007
    As one of the judges, I would like to explain something about "my" thought process, and I guarantee this does not represent any other judge's process or opinion.

    When I was asked to be a judge, and I consider it to be quite an honor, I started to explore what I would look for in the entries.

    I went back to the theme of the contest, in this case "Chilled or Steamy". For me, this meant the ideal image could contain one or both elements of "Chilled" and/or "Steamy". It also meant that I would discount images beyond the scope of the theme; not dismiss but discount.

    I thought of an image that I had produced maybe 5 or 6 weeks prior and wondered how well that would work in the context of the contest.

    After seeing the submissions, I was taken back by the inventiveness and ingenuity of the photographers. My own image paled in comparison and I would not have considered it for the top 50.

    I am in awe at the talent that was exposed in this contest, and I only imagine the talent that still exists and is to show.

    Care not about rules and limitations, guidelines and such. Care for your craft and care for the exposure (pun intended) your images can enjoy in the stage of the Internet and The Digital Grin. (OK, care a little about the rules that could get your image disqualified.)

    If your image didn't make it to the semi-finals, it doesn't really matter. Try and try again. Persistence and attention to the art of photography will prevail to the benefit of all.

    In short, pay no attention to the judges behind the scenes. Don't try to figure it all out to your advantage, that won't work. Submit your best and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe your work will be recognized as best, maybe not, but unless you create you cannot even compete.

    Get out there and shoot already!
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • TentacionTentacion Click On ! Posts: 940Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 20, 2007
    ziggy53 wrote:

    Unless you create you cannot even compete.

    Get out there and shoot already!

    Thank You Ziggy and Old Salt....I am truly impressed by your ability to express on page, the written word without turnabouts, and I am pleased to say that my fears have subsided. wings.gif

    You know that "Resistance is Futile, you can and will be assimilated" I will be at the next round...:ivar Donna
    You're only as good as your next photo....
    One day, I started writing, not knowing that I had chained myself for life to a noble but merciless master. When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended solely for self-flagellation...I'm here alone in my dark madness, all by myself with my deck of cards --- and, of course, the whip God gave me." Truman Capote
  • JohnCJohnC Nikon D300 Shooter! Posts: 222Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 20, 2007
    I am just happy to have the opportunity to participate in this competition with such great photographers. I have no skills or years of experience, so I’m just doing this for fun. Win or lose, in the end I will have still enjoyed trying my luck against the best.

    Thanks Dgrin staff and voluntary judges for this fun little competition.

    thumb.gif bowdown.gif iloveyou.gif
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  • lynnesitelynnesite Horses of Courses Posts: 747Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 20, 2007
    windoze wrote:
    very well said Shay,
    As a matter of fact its so well said that you just encouraged me to try again.....
    Im not upset that my image wasnt chosen, but its the time and effort that went into it ( no matter how good or bad it is ).
    There are very few people who when they write, make an everlasting impact about how I think about things. You are one of them. Maybe thats why you're such a great photographer... you not only see the outside of people, but also the inside as well...
    troy


    LOVED the whimsy in your chilled to the bone shot, the final pose was spot-on. Shay, agreed, extremely well said. I think that's why I enter so much over at dpc, getting the chance for rejection and feedback over and over makes the successes all the sweeter, and has definitely firmed up my skin. I've learned there's nothing wrong with not being a "great" conceptual thinker, and I learn tons seeing other people's interps, there and here. I'm happy to be able to capture the moment instead. rolleyes1.gif
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