Guidelines for Submitters/Reviewers/Judges

tolgagumus
23 Feb, 2018 00:43
Roberto Colombari
BTW, it's not a mandatory rule. It must be up to the submitter/reviewer/judge to distinguish case by case.
OK so we are on the same page then.
Edited 23 Feb, 2018 00:44
rob77
23 Feb, 2018 00:47
Yeah.
Let's say the following.
Resize is not the main criteria.

If you really like an image (not being a mosaic, landscape, solar system, etc… ) and you want to send it up to the following tiers, keep an eye on the resolution.

Cheers
Edited 23 Feb, 2018 00:47
Jooshs
23 Feb, 2018 01:06
smile  we seem to be stuck on semantics now. The overall point, I think, is that if a picture is reduced so much that zooming in reveals super blocky stars with a high resolution setup, terrible mottling, or no detail, it probably shouldn’t be selected as a TP or IOTD.

Sometimes when you open a picture and it’s loading, you’ll see a compressed image that then loads into full resolution and seems to snap into focus. If that snapping into focus thing never happens because the image is really just posted in greatly reduced resolution, then it’s probably either trying to hide something or someone has reeeeaaally slow internet and maybe it shouldn’t be considered.  😊
Andys_Astropix
23 Feb, 2018 02:41
Jean-Baptiste Auroux
Hi,As a submitter, here is the way I look at images to make a choice :

1/ First selection on "aesthetic" base : do I like the general look of the image, the composition, originality , colours, general balance, level of detail considering the diameter of the optics, the signature or watermark on the image (size/color/place)…?

2/ Originality of the image : related to a hot event (comet, transit, eclipse, etc.), or addition of special data (mix of wide and narrowband for example, etc.) ?

3/ Technical appreciation (assuming all technical datas are filled), including :
- no visible issues with pre-processing : artefacts, doubled stars, bad correction of flats ;
- no visible issues with acquisition (drift, elongated stars due to bad tracking, etc.) ;
- quality of mosaic or animation if appropriate;
- gestion of noise (not to noisy, but not over-denoised) ;
- aspect of the background ;
- aspect and colors of stars + halos + quality of star reduction/deconvolution if relevant ;
- dynamic of the main objects ;
- gestion of colors and transitions ;
- saturation of colors ;
- quality of general contrast (and local contrat improvement if appropriate) ;
- quality of the mix with narrowband if appropriate;
- size of the image (highly reduced or cropped or not).

The technical appreciation is made in coherence with :
- the setup and the total exposure time : a bad image has in every case no chance to be selected even if made with a little setup, but it will be the same for a "just in average" image made with a high-class setup (many k$) and long exposure time (+10h). But a good image made with a little setup or not so many hours of integration will have a chance despite some little technical issues which do not compromise the global visual impression of the image.
- the difficulty of the object (size, magnitude..).
- the technique used for Imaging (long time exposure, Lucky Imaging, etc.).

4/ In case of equal value between many images, I usually favor the less common object or objects that have not been awarded in the last days.

And sometimes, I just have an instant crush for one image ! smile
For Professional data, I am obviously more demanding about processing… I will even say that no fault (or what I consider to be) is tolerated !

The elements I never take into account for selection :
- the author ;
- the number of likes of the image ;
- the number of IOTD/TP of the author (global or recently) ;
- the category (deep sky/planetary/pro-data/remote or not/terrestrial..)

I hope I have not forgotten too many elements.

Jb

PS : I forgot one thing : excepted special cases, I do not choose 2 or 3 pics of the same object on the same day.

PS2 : one HUGE omission : I do selection on a well calibrated pc screen ! smile
Imo JB's on the right track here.
Here's a link to the broadly similar judging criteria we use in the Australian Professional Photography Awards
Please review.  https://www.astrobin.com/301504/

I suggest something similar could be drafted up for IOTD & Top Picks.

Cheers

Andy
Sky-Jennersdorf
23 Feb, 2018 05:18
Good Morning!

Again I‘m missing one of the most important criterias to become an IOTD:

Images from commercial remote observatories should be excluded or put in an extra category!
You can‘t define on one hand that an IOTD should deliever some minimum basic technical standards but on the other side allow expensive equipment under perfect sky conditions someone else has perfectly installed, controlled and calibrated to be used too, that does not make sense.

Struggling with weather, equipment and the personal skills should be an essential part to become an IOTD, especially for all amateur astrophotographers. Staying up until 2am in the cold although you have to get up at 6am to go to work or being forced to drive 2hrs out of town to get to a dark location should be rewarded more, so my 2 cents.
Edited 23 Feb, 2018 05:28
sixburg
23 Feb, 2018 06:31
These issues of separate categories, classification, segregation have been discussed ad nauseam in a similar thread with the work "manifesto" in the title in case you haven't seen it.

What is the problems are caused by "commercial remote observatories"?  And, what category would you put them into?  I can tell you already that remote observatories cannot be simply categorized.  Neither can the "struggling" astrophotographer…what we might call "individuals".

For example, not all  observatories are remote, not all are commercial, not all  have expensive equipment, not all have perfect sky conditions (such a thing doesn't even exist), not all systems are installed, controlled or calibrated by "someone else".  Then there are the questions that would need to be answered that are nearly unanswerable:  what is expensive?  what are conditions that equate to a struggle?  how late is late?  What about those who have expensive rigs (lets say $50,000) and roll them out into a suburban, light-polluted driveway?

I'm not trying to be difficult, but the categorization you suggest is not easy at all.  In my opinion it has the potential to be very counterproductive.

These distinctions have as an underlying assumption that some astrophotographers have perfect conditions and should therefore be cut out of the main group.  Meanwhile, some other imagers, who suffer and stay up all night, in poor weather with substandard equipment are in a special category that should be "rewarded more".

Trust me, I get it.  We all "swim in the same race" regardless of skill level, equipment, investment, system building and management abilities, sky conditions, etc.  And I can tell you, with no disrespect to the fine people at DSW, good data <> a good image regardless of the quality of the data.  Conversely, those with rare skills like one of my friends here can make a beautiful LRGB image with <=30 minutes of total integration and missing a filter!

I'm in the commercial observatory business, I'm also a backyard imager and I understand that these distinctions are about IOTD.

Question for you:  Do "commercial remote observatories" receive  IOTD or TP disproportionately?

Respectfully,
-Lloyd
Edited 23 Feb, 2018 06:45
Sky-Jennersdorf
23 Feb, 2018 08:35
Good Morning Lloyd!

Your questions are easy to answer - mark those remote taken images, that's all. And I don't think Deep Sky West or Sierra Remote or or or have their locations because there is a "poor" sky as you called it.

Downloading files from a remote observatory shows your skills in postprocessing - no problem with that.
Driving out of town, putting your gear ourf of the trunk, calibrate, set up and so on, sitting out there for hours, maybe just half an hour because of upcoming clouds and so on, is a different pair of shoes for me…that's all.

I just say don't put them together, distinguish between the efforts taken…respect the patience shown more.

best regards,
Michael S.
Edited 23 Feb, 2018 10:08
Andys_Astropix
23 Feb, 2018 09:00
Lets get back to topic folks.
Any thoughts on my earlier judging guidelines suggestion?
carlocolombo
23 Feb, 2018 09:41
sono abbastanza d'accordo con Michael S. inoltre io mi vanto di essere un semplice astrofilo,  cioè un dilettante amante del cielo stellato, e cerco di fotografare tutto quello che l'universo mi mette a disposizione, tutto il resto diventa una polemica a volte abbastanza scoraggiante per chi è alle prime armi, e sterile perché prima di essere maestri bisogna ricordare di essere stati studenti    un caro saluto a tutti voi  w  astrobin  c.colombo
Die_Launische_Diva
23 Feb, 2018 12:33
Andy
Lets get back to topic folks.Any thoughts on my earlier judging guidelines suggestion?
Since a professional agrees with Jean-Baptiste's thoughts there is no need to reinvent the wheel. I like JB's guidelines too, but I am not a pro, albeit I have a very limited experience with photo contests. I am sure that there are acknowledged astrophotographers among us who had participated in established contests and who can add or refine Andy's and JB's guidelines. We have to keep it simple and show some trust. Cheers!
Edited 23 Feb, 2018 12:40
Sky-Jennersdorf
23 Feb, 2018 14:33
Andy
Lets get back to topic folks.Any thoughts on my earlier judging guidelines suggestion?
Hi Andy!

I've stayed with the topic…made my suggestion to distinguish between 100% selfmade and downloaded data from remote observatory.
So, I've not been off topic.

clear skies,
Michael S.
Jooshs
23 Feb, 2018 15:05
Michael S.
Andy
Lets get back to topic folks.Any thoughts on my earlier judging guidelines suggestion?
Hi Andy!

I've stayed with the topic…made my suggestion to distinguish between 100% selfmade and downloaded data from remote observatory.
So, I've not been off topic.

clear skies,
Michael S.
Michael, I appreciate what you are stating.  However, I just can't agree.  Please see some comparisons between data that was self made from me and data that comes from Lloyd at DSW who I hold in the highest regards for data acquisition and processing.  Look at some of these and see if observatory data is really necessary or if shooting from a red zone or having limited equipment really matters.  I think there are lots of things that can be done to get great pictures from red zones or limited sky time or limited equipment.

Does having access to downloadable data help?  Absolutely.  Narrowband is a great equalizer.  Traveling to dark sites is a great equalizer.  Ultimately, processing is a great equalizer.  I think we probably will have to agree to disagree on this, but as mentioned above, maybe this thread should focus on judging pictures here and classifications elsewhere.

my pic


DSW


1 hour through clouds and fog

8.8 hours DSW


Red Zone and small aperture


DSW


Lots more comparisons available if you look at both pages.  By the way, I see Lloyd as one of the best processors here, so this in no way is downplaying how beautiful his pictures are.
Sky-Jennersdorf
23 Feb, 2018 18:26
Josh Smith
Michael, I appreciate what you are stating.  However, I just can't agree.  Please see some comparisons between data that was self made from me and data that comes from Lloyd at DSW who I hold in the highest regards for data acquisition and processing.

Good Evening Josh!

Don't know why you brought this examples up - I can assure you, my full respect to the processing skills of those guys, I never doubted that.
I just made the suggestion for future votes to seperate them, as your examples perfectly show why.

best regards,
Michael S.
Jooshs
23 Feb, 2018 18:31
Michael S.
Josh Smith
Michael, I appreciate what you are stating.  However, I just can't agree.  Please see some comparisons between data that was self made from me and data that comes from Lloyd at DSW who I hold in the highest regards for data acquisition and processing.
Good Evening Josh!

Don't know why you brought this examples up - I can assure you, my full respect to the processing skills of those guys, I never doubted that.
I just made the suggestion for future votes to seperate them, as your examples perfectly show why.

best regards,
Michael S.

Hi Michael and hope you are doing well…

I guess the point was that I don't see a dramatic difference between my image examples above and the DSW images in each of those comparisons…  Perhaps I assumed too much then and humbly recognize that you believe the DSW images are in such a different league from mine that I should be given a handicap for my self made/collected data because it will be unable to compete with DSW.
Edited 23 Feb, 2018 18:32
carastro
23 Feb, 2018 19:19
I totally agree with Michael, we should not be trying to compare images from downloaded data to those taken with own equipment, they are a different group altogether.

I am not saying downloaded images are not good, of course they are, why wouldn't they be, but since they are acquired completely differently why should they be put together with non downloaded images?
If you were entering a professional competition they would not be put together.  Indeed they would probably say that only images actually obtained by the entrant would be allowed to enter.   Not saying that should be the case here, but just trying to make a point.

Many of you say you disagree with me, well I disagree with you and I am not alone.  They are different and should be treated as such.

I know I have said all this on a different thread, but am backing Michael up.

As far as the rules/guidelines go for selecting images for IOTD, surely they speak for themselves and if some-one uploads an image with stacking artifacts, poor corner stars and bad resolution, and no information etc etc then they only have themselves to blame if their image doesn't get picked.   I certainly wouldn't want to be governed by a set of rules whilst volunteering my services.  I think we should give credit to those who give up their time to do this job.

Carole
rob77
23 Feb, 2018 19:30
Guidelines aren't rules. No governance over anyone. That's quite clear.
Guidelines should be simply some tips helping promoting or not images to the upper tiers since there have been complaints about the quality of some TP images.

For what concerns downloaded data, I've been a backyard imager from a very polluted area for some years (and I got back in the game 2 months ago again).
I integrated many images in LHaRGB reaching 20-30-40 hours of exposure ( https://www.astrobin.com/162517/?image_list_page=5&nc=&nce= ) . Well, they have never been nearly comparable to DSW data. Never.

Cheers
Edited 23 Feb, 2018 19:31
Jooshs
23 Feb, 2018 20:28
Roberto Colombari
Guidelines aren't rules. No governance over anyone. That's quite clear.Guidelines should be simply some tips helping promoting or not images to the upper tiers since there have been complaints about the quality of some TP images.

For what concerns downloaded data, I've been a backyard imager from a very polluted area for some years (and I got back in the game 2 months ago again).
I integrated many images in LHaRGB reaching 20-30-40 hours of exposure ( https://www.astrobin.com/162517/?image_list_page=5&nc=&nce= ) . Well, they have never been nearly comparable to DSW data. Never.

Cheers
Guidelines smile  Agreed.

Since I've been out for quite a while, I just took some time to review the IOTD's all the way back a full year and I'm impressed.  I see a pretty good selection of images.  It seems the new process has helped a lot in my opinion.  Most of the top picks are pretty good too.  I still think a list of guidelines would be good, but there weren't too many that jumped out at me and said wow, this shouldn't be here.

Agreed that the data from my back yard isn't usually as good, but I still think processing is the name of the game.  I think there are quite a few here that produce better images from light polluted back yards with equipment that is at least as modest if not more modest than gear used at DSW and the images produced from there.  Not a blanket statement by any means, but I still think good astrophotographers produce great images regardless of their circumstances and some of the awesome IOTD's I just saw over the last year prove that to be true.
carastro
23 Feb, 2018 23:42
Roberto Colombari
For what concerns downloaded data, I've been a backyard imager from a very polluted area for some years (and I got back in the game 2 months ago again).I integrated many images in LHaRGB reaching 20-30-40 hours of exposure ( https://www.astrobin.com/162517/?image_list_page=5&nc=&nce= ) . Well, they have never been nearly comparable to DSW data. Never.
I am confused, so doesn't this back up my argument?

Carole
Andys_Astropix
23 Feb, 2018 23:43
I really don't see the relevance of the DSW/ Remote Obs/ Backyard discussion when we're here at Roberto's suggestion to establish guidelines for judging AP images.

When we judge professional Photography Awards, we view the images without knowing the author.
A brief description of 50 words, written by the author is read out to establish who/what/where /why which gives context when assessing the image.

Personally I don't care if an image is taken from a red zone with modest equipment or iTelescope/DSW as long as it's first and foremost a brilliant image!

Regardless if it's an AP or terrestrial image, for me an image must have …
Impact! - Does it move me on some emotive level?
Does it tell me a story?
is it beautifully composed (ie: rule of thirds) or is the subject simply stuck in the middle with no thought given to framing?
Is it original / have I seen this subject before?
Is it technically excellent in all areas of capture?
Is it well processed and presented?

Only after it passes all these criteria do I then give some thought to degree of difficulty, and frankly that's not a big consideration for me.
If someone puts their image up for assessment, then I'm going to be objective, fair and in some cases ruthless based on all the above.

FYI - I have been awarded three APOD's and all were taken in a red zone with very modest equipment!  smile
Edited 23 Feb, 2018 23:45
joelkuiper
24 Feb, 2018 00:06
So what if you set up your own remote observatory (own the equipment, calibrate it, etc)? What if you then share that with a couple of others? I honestly don't get the virtue signaling here "you need to struggle to be good". What if you use PoleMaster instead of doing drift alignment? In my opinion the equipment should play very little to no role in the selection.
It boils down to a philosophical point: the world isn't fair. Some people have more money, some have better skies, some people have more time. If you want to "equalize" that by placing modifiers on that you're imposing your own world view as fairness. "Someone who put 50k in it and lives on a mountain and doesn't have work/kids/struggles is more/less worthy of IOTD than an urban parent with 5 kids a 9-5 and 100$ equipment". I mean sure, you /can/ impose that, it's not my community … but it seems like a slippery slope to me. Just judge the image by its merits.
Edited 24 Feb, 2018 02:10
rob77
24 Feb, 2018 00:33
Carole Pope
I am confused, so doesn't this back up my argument?

Just agreeing with you about the DSW vs. backyard data topic. Which has nothing to do, BTW, with this thread (at least with the other one, "Manifesto blah blah" ) smile .
Just saying that, IMHO, DSW data can't be compared with (most of) backyard ones. It's a fact. I've processed both for years smile

Cheers
Edited 24 Feb, 2018 00:37
rob77
24 Feb, 2018 01:31
.
Edited 24 Feb, 2018 01:31
carastro
24 Feb, 2018 14:35
Roberto Colombari
Carole Pope
I am confused, so doesn't this back up my argument?
Just agreeing with you about the DSW vs. backyard data topic. Which has nothing to do, BTW, with this thread (at least with the other one, "Manifesto blah blah" ) smile .
Just saying that, IMHO, DSW data can't be compared with (most of) backyard ones. It's a fact. I've processed both for years smile

Cheers
Thank you Roberto for the acknowledgement.
I will get off your thread now which I know was not about this, but was just following on from another person's comments.

Carole
Fabio_Mirra
24 Feb, 2018 16:25
.
Edited 24 Feb, 2018 16:27
jeffbax
24 Feb, 2018 21:00
Hi folks. Sorry for the English level smile

I have read a lot of thinks these days about pictures, remote instruments, professionnal data processing. I am lost.

So I decided to come back to basics : my scope, my pictures, my feelings about the universe.

I will rename some of my pictures adding "personnal scope" to communicate on the fact that I am not only a computer user. But an astronomer. My new name on Astrobin is no more Jeffbax, but Jeffbax Home telescope smile

Regards. smilesmile

JF
Edited 24 Feb, 2018 21:27
 
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