# 12 Feb, 2018 20:54
As discussed with Salvatore, we both think it's a good idea to discuss IOTD and Top Picks.|
The main guidelines are:
• reduce subjectivity in decision making and
• extendthe Top Pick, (TP) and Image of the Day (IOTD) awards to a wider number of members.
and they are divided in 3 points: Decisors, Images and Election.
To begin the discussion, I present my ideas below.
About the decision makers:
• Maintenance of the decision makers formed by the 3 current groups: Submitters, Reviewers and Judges.
• Decision makers have to hold an astrobin index greater than 100 and have published at least 2 images in the previous year. This rule is intended to ensure that
decision-makers are understood in image processing.
• None of the decision makers may have commercial interests, such as being an image data provider.
•Decision-makers cannot vote on the images themselves.
About the images:
• The images under consideration may come from professional telescopes, remote observatories or be acquired by third parties (mentioning the respective author).
• The scientific aspect of the image must be evaluated and only afterwards the artistic aspect.
• The rare character of the image should be valued.
• IOTD andTop Picks cannot be about objects that are human artefacts, e.g. satellites. Nor can be terrestrial phenomena such as lightening or even Northern Lights.
About election (TP or IOTD):
• Each member can not have more than one IOTD per month.
• Each member can not have more than 2 TP per month.
• Half of the TPs selected on a daily basis should lose the distinction of TPs, more specifically the least voted, thus avoiding the attribution of hasty distinctions.
Please feel free to take part in this discussion and enrich the ideas to make Astrobin an even more enjoyable place for everyone.
# 12 Feb, 2018 23:12
You've presented some good thoughts here but I don't agree with every point. Here are my comments:
1) What do you mean when you say that "The scientific aspect of the image must be evaluated…"? Does that mean that images must have been a part of an official scientific paper and published in a journaled publication before it can be considered? As far as I can tell, virtually all of the images that are submitted to AstroBin are simply "pretty pictures" with little (if any) true "scientific" value. So help me understand what you have in mind with this suggestion.
2) I agree that spreading IOTDs around among more participants is a good idea but I wouldn't pass up awarding a spectacular submission simply because the submitter might have received another IOTD earlier in the month. It's a beauty contest and if a submitter receives more than one IOTD in a month it should be because the images deserve it. If you are going to impose this kind of limitation, I'd set it at 2/month.
3) The Top Picks idea is a wonderful way to spread the love and to reward the hard work it takes to produce a top-notch image. Who cares how many of those are spread around or how often they are awarded? The Top Picks designation is a fantastic way to keep folks motivated and involved and I wouldn't mess with it. It's not an award. It just says that the judges thought that an image is good enough to consider for an IOTD.
4) You can limit IOTD to celestial objects only, but I think that's mostly unnecessary. Some of the images that I've seen of the International Space Station have been stunning and well worth an IOTD given how hard they are to produce. I agree that night-scapes of observers, buildings, or other terrestrial scenes are less deserving; but, isn't that what the judging panel should be culling out?
# 13 Feb, 2018 03:19
Please don’t take offense, but in my opinion, there is just so much wrong with these proposals. I’ll only touch on a few issues I have.|
At the end of the day, these are just pretty pictures. While I’m not an astronomer, I doubt there is much left of the scientific aspect of an image after we’ve processed it, so that really only leaves subjectivity as the criterion for judgment. In fact, unless one is an astronomer, it’s unlikely one would even know what the scientific aspect of the subject is. So to base most of the value of an image on its scientific merit is most likely not possible since most, if not all, of that value has been processed out.
Requiring the decision makers to have a certain Astrobin index really does little to ensure someone understands processing. While ideally, a high index would indicate a person has good processing skills, it could also mean they simply started with better data, perhaps from a professional source. I feel that someone ending up with a good image from poor data from truly amateur equipment demonstrates far better processing skills than someone using minimal skills to get an outstanding image from professional data. Unfortunately, the person with better processing skills will most likely end up with a lower index because of their starting point.
I look at IOTD andTP, in particular, as a means of encouraging improvement. But imagine the poor person that received IOTD on the first day of the month with a reasonably good image, but later in the month posted a phenomenal image. What would you do? If you don’t award IOTD to the superior image, that would not be encouraging. If you take away the first IOTD to award the superior image IOTD, that too would not be encouraging. The same is true of the proposal to limit TP to two per month or to take away TP daily after awarding it. What kind of encouragement are we providing if we take away an award or don’t award truly deserving images because the person won too many times already? While it is admirable to award more people, this proposal might actually be confusing and serve to discourage people, especially if they see less deserving images winning.
I think it is important to remember that Astrobin is a great way for astrophotographers of all skill levels to have their images viewed by others of like mind. If one’s aspirations are for IOTD, there are plenty of sites for which that IS their purpose. I certainly don’t post on Astrobin looking for IOTD or even TP, although currently either would be encouragement, but instead look to see if more people like my images this year than last. I take that as improvement and recognition. It is this value that prompted me to volunteer this year as a submitter for IOTD, however, if Astrobin becomes yet another APOD or similar site, it might not be worth the cost of admission for many people.
# 13 Feb, 2018 09:09
1) When I say that the images should be preferred by the scientific part and not by the artistic part I mean that we should evaluate the interest of the image (forget the official scientific paper). For example, some images of the M95 have recently been published. This galaxy had not yet been photographed in such detail. So, in my opinion, why do you choose images of the Moon, M42 and M45, leveling these less interesting images with the M95? The answer is that we are choosing beautiful artistic beauty.
2) Ok. We can adjust to 2 IOTD per month, noproblem.
3) I agree with your thinking. However, this issue is more about decision makers and it is fundamental that they be understood in photography. It must be remembered that when we choose a Top Pick image, we are distinguishing a positive image and motivating its author. But at the same time, we are saying that the rest are worse images and with that we discourage their authors.
4) I recently saw a photograph of a Top Pick rocket. Does it make sense? I think not. Again, if decision-makers are understood in photography they can discard less meritorious images.
# 13 Feb, 2018 09:27
I also don't agree with many of the proposals above.|
Indexing of image pickers
ruccduI agree with this wholeheartedly. Whilst it is desirable that those judging good images know what they are doing, I think this indexing of Astrobin is not a good standard to judge this by. There are many good imagers on this site who do not choose to use data they did not capture themselves and struggle with poor skies and equipment foibles, and I don't think it is fair to compare those who do the entire image capture and process themselves to those who merely download ready acquired data from locations with good skies and first class equipment they don't even own.
Indeed I have had my own conversation with Salvatore on this topic and requested we have a separate IOTD for the Backyard imagers (i.e. those who do the entire capture and processing themselves using their own equipment which they set up and made work).
Image pickers having had 2 images published in the last year
Not every-one is in the habit of submitting images for publication - this should be changed to 2 images published with no date requirement.
Limiting IOTD/top pick to only 2 per month
This to me would lead to on occasions a really good image being bypassed.
Images of satellites and nightscapes & aurora
Why should these be excluded?
What I think should be excluded and this is going to "light the blue touch paper", is images done using data from professional telescopes. To me this is just plain cheating and should not be competing with other images.
# 13 Feb, 2018 09:32
We are exchanging ideas to improve Astrobin. Assuch, I will not be offended because there are points of contention. There will always be and that is what evolves a discussion.
1. About the scientific value of an image, I have already clarified the meaning in my previous post. I recently saw an image of Andromeda without stars. Was the scientific or artistic aspect distinguished? An image rarely seen (like a supernova) will have no more scientific interest? I think so.
2. Astrobin Index. I do not disagree that what you say but what other way do we have to ensure that a decision maker is understood in image processing and astrophotography? I do not believe anyone who has a driving license knows how to drive Formula One. To know how to drive Formula 1, you first have to train a lot with it, very much. And even then you can not learn enough. With images is the same.
3. IOTD and Top Picks work in 2 ways. They are motivating for winners and demotivators for those who do not win. I think that this second part is not being taken into account. In this context, it seems to me better that they are not always the same ones to gain and hence limit the number of chosen images.
Do you have any ideas for improving the processof selecting IOTDs and Top Picks?
# 13 Feb, 2018 09:47
Yes, as stated above. Have different categories.
Sundays: Solar system images including things like aurora, landscapes and satellites (I put these together as probably will not be too many of each)
Mondays: Images processed using data from professional telescopes.
Tuesdays: Images processed using data from remote locations.
Wednesdays: Images done by Backyard imagers (i.e,. those who set up the equipment, captured it themselves and processed it)
Thursdays: Images processed using data from remote locations (2 days on this as there are lots of you)
Fridays: Images from Backyard imagers taken from a Light polluted location Bortle 8 & 9 for example.
Saturdays: Image of the week - the best image of the week covering all cetegories.
This will make it a fair playing field for every-one, allowing those at a disadvantage (poor skies etc etc) to have a fair crack of the whip.
# 13 Feb, 2018 09:57
|carissimi amici io sono solo innamorato dell'universo, e faccio astrofotografia dal lontano 1985 allora non cerano i computer come alleati ma solo le pellicole e scarse anche quelle, ma perché ho iniziato una cosa tanto complicata allora? semplicemente perché volevo far vedere ad altri cosa si nasconde nell'universo che loro poveri sfortunati, non avrebbero mai visto, e per questo continuo oggi con l'aiuto dei computer, anche se non sono molto bravo ad usare questa tecnologia, in parole povere su astrobin cerco e trovo nuovi soggetti da realizzare con il mio 9"1/4 sono abbagliato e stupito da immagini da me irrealizzabili, ma questo non mi impedisce di cercare sempre nuovi soggetti come gli ammassi di galassie, a questo punto ritengo giusto non per me, che si tenga conto del tipo di strumentazione in uso e anche del metodo usato, io amo stare li accanto al mio strumento e guidare la mia foto nel buio di un cielo stellato, sento la mia foto più mia, non ambisco a premi, è già un premio che esista questo sito ASTROBIN, cieli sereni a tutti voi c.colombo|
# 13 Feb, 2018 10:20
Well said, and that probably accounts for index rating which is why i don't think this should be used.
# 13 Feb, 2018 10:47
Carole PopeHi Carole, I think it is a great idea to have different categories for IOTDs:
(1) Public observatories data;
(2) Own equipment data;
and I would add another: (3) Solar System data (including satellites, rockets, auroras, etc.).
One important thing to consider is that the processing of public observatory data is not straightforward as many people imagine. It usually requires a lot of difficult programming and thinkering to assemble, register and flat-field very noisy images from multiple sensor cameras of professional telescopes. This is the reason why so few public images have been shown to the general public, compared to the lots of files that still remain untouched in the public libraries. Astrobin is one of the best places for those images to flourish.
We have several very high quality images being posted every day in Astrobin, acquired from space telescopes to cheap 50mm lenses, and everything in between. We could have three IOTDs everyday without any problem.
Another possible (and radical) solution should be to abolish the concept of IOTD entirely, and stick with the Top Picks only. Sincerely, I cannot distinguish the "best" picture among the Top Picks. The more I think about it, the more it seems the most sensible and just solution to me.
# 13 Feb, 2018 11:03
I would be happy with that as an alternative to my category suggestion. I am certainly not happy with the way things are at the moment with every-one competing for the same "prize" with a very uneven playing field.
# 13 Feb, 2018 11:15
We don't need to complicate things. We already have a process which is simple and effective (in my opinion). In this case, I prefer small improving steps than radical changes. Given that,
If we ensure that there is a good number of astrophotographers from each category Carole mentions, within the Submitters, Reviewers and Judges, good images from all aspects of astrophotography will be equally evaluated and credited. It is not difficult to achieve a good distribution of different kinds of imagers within the volunteers. This can be done whenever Salvatore and/or Judges asks for new volunteers.
ruccduKudos to that, and to the sayings Carlo Colombo (if I understand his sayings well by the aid of Google Translate).
Lastly, I think it is wise for the moment to give Salvatore some peace of mind in order to finish the transition to the new infrastructure.
# 13 Feb, 2018 11:32
Die Launische DivaI agree he has enough to do at the moment. any new changes should take place after that is completed.
I really think there has become too much competitiveness on this site from some people. I myself live in a highly LP location in the suburbs of London UK, and despite travelling to dark campsites regularly throughout the year and setting up my kit in the cold, damp and wind (and sometimes having to sit it out in the rain), the best I have achieved on Astrobin in 7 years of imaging is 1 Top Pick, though I have had a number of images published elsewhere. I do not have the opportunity to capture enough data from dark locations to get anything better as I am weather dependent and can only be there for a couple of days each time. I am therefore not expecting to get IOTD EVER!! But I hate to see unfair play and am standing up for fairness.
After using this site for over 6 years as a useful hosting site and source of information when researching possible images I could capture, I became a submitter this year and it was only at that stage (when I started to look into image submissions in more detail) that I realised how many people on this site process data they did not capture themselves and what an uneven competition this IOTD really is.
# 13 Feb, 2018 11:40
Carole PopeFor what it matters I totally agree with categories! I believe astrophotography is about the challenge of getting the best image with the actual conditions of the photographer (gear/location/light pollution etc.), not the best photography in absolute. For the best pictures we have already the Hubble telescopeRuben BarbosaYes, as stated above. Have different categories.
# 13 Feb, 2018 11:49
|We need a like button. I like that Michele.|
# 13 Feb, 2018 12:06
# 13 Feb, 2018 12:10
As someone who has not submitted an image to AB for over 18 months I have no hidden agenda….. It seems to me that this is the perfect solution. IOTD is contentious at every turn and this has been proved by the amount of time taken up by this discussion at regular intervals.
The system was changed about a year ago…… now it's being proposed to change parts of it again…..It's not going to be fair as long as it's there. Top picks is a good demonstration of the images out there - Perhaps that could be used as a rolling and purely random header that changes every time someone logs in so no one knows which pic they will see…. Then everyone can enjoy a whole number of images as well as things that they may not normally look at.
# 13 Feb, 2018 13:07
Oh boy, tying to read this without my blood boiling is really really hard… so I've taken my time to craft a reply. |
Sorry Ruben but I couldn't possibly disagree with you more about almost all of your statements….
So please sit it back, grab a coffee & some popcorn, settle in & and consider a few of the following points….
1) We currently have a fair & equitable system that allows the cream to come to the top
2) It's not like we're judging APOD or any other kind of international award, that said, we want to give fair & equal credit & encouragement where it's due
3) As a Judge, I can only select images from the pool given by the submitters and reviewers - this in itself is a vetting system that fairly removes prejudice
4) I am a decision maker with an Astrobin index of 99. something - but my qualifications are as follows…
Apod 2018 Jan 11
Apod 2016 June 24
Apod 2016 May 31
Aapodx2 2015 April 19
Aapodx2 2016 August 28
David Malin Awards 2015 Winner-Deep Space SectionDavid Malin Awards 2016
Winner Picture Editors Choice Deep Space Section David Malin Awards 2016 & 2017
AIPP Australian Science & Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 & 2016
AIPP Victorian Science & Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015, 2016 & 2017
Disciples of the Dark Arts image of the month (5 times)
Astrobin IOTD twice
Platform speaker - Astrophotography : Aipp Event 2016
Curator : "Wonders of the Universe Exposed" Astrophotography exhibition - Ballarat International Festival of Photography 2015
Professional Photography …
Aipp Grand Master (one of only 25 in this country)
Nzipp Fellow - New Zealand
USA Wppi Master - USA
Senior Judge & Panel chair from 1995-2017 Australian Professional Photography Awards
Reckon that makes me qualified, although my index is under 100 (& what does that matter anyway?)
5) Images from professional orbiting or ground based obs telescopes are in my opinion cheating & denigrating the hard work of the amateur backyard astronomer ant therefore ineligible for IOTD , unless you create a seperate category for images processed by individuals processed from Hubble, DSW etc.
6) The scientific aspect of the image must be evaluated and only afterwards the artistic aspect?
You're kidding right - seriously!…
We are image makers - not employed by JPL, NASA or CFHT - just a bunch of folks indulging in a hobby that occasionally (rarely) contributes to real science .
eg: Mike Sidonio, an accomplished Australian backyard astrophotographer who accidentally discovered a galaxy when deep imaging NGC 253.
7) I am a professional photographer with over 30 years experience - the whole point of being in business is to be successful- and of course we all want this in whatever field we choose. So, where's the challenge beyond making a buck every day?
Awards, Apods, Iotd's etc. are what drive creativity and passion to greater heights - and for those among us who are creatively driven, an AP award or IOTD is an opportunity to measure ourselves and our current skills against our peers.
In a hobby which is predominantly solitary and where largely we don't physically connect often, this is the glue that binds us together creatively - to celebrate each other's success's and commiserate with our failures. I was delighted to get my first APOD- after only doing this for only a few years it made me realise that I was actually catching up skill wise to the more established guys.
It also made me feel very humble to think that millions of people were enjoying an image created in my backyard with very modest gear.
I'm sorry but I simply cannot agree with the idea that in a creative pastime that we all enjoy, whatever ones motivation is, we need our images to be considered"scientific" before Aesthetic.
A scientifically perfect but boring same/same image of M42 should always score lower than let's say the first ever decent image of a previously unknown planetary nebula by a backyard astrophotogrpher who discovered it on a self commissioned research mission.
as such I'll agree with just one of your "conditions", that the rare character of an image must be valued.
Absolutely, 100% correct - someone that researches the heavens and images something new or in a different and beautiful way will always get my attention.
9) A limit on the number of images awarded top pick or IOTD per month, c'mon, I live in Melbourne Australia - It's cloudy 9/12 new moons, but occasionally we get a run of 4-5 clear nights in a row. What if someone here creates a few brilliant images over that rarely clear cycle, are they then ineligible? How about J-P Metsavanio who is without imaging opportunities 6 months of the year because he lives in Finland? What if he creates 3 amazing images in a month?
Sorry but that's not on.
10) a great image is a great image - regardless if it's of the moon, a rocket, the milky way or a nebula - point is it needs to be a great picture first and foremost.
I offer my apologies if this is all too direct but IMO, what needs to be said has been said!
# 13 Feb, 2018 13:20
Well said Andy.|
I sort of get the feeling that somehow the judgement and qualifications of the existing submitters, reviewers and Judges is being questioned from the original post. I have no idea what my index rate is, but I suspect much lower than yours. Just like the IOTD it is a misleading concept based on unfair statistics.
# 13 Feb, 2018 13:35
I am not interested in any point of this discussion but this is something that I would like to clarify for the (n+1)th time.
Professional data DOES NOT MEAN easiness in producing a pretty image.
My pro data images are made of thousands of mosaic pieces, mix of different resolutions, optical trains, low SNR images, etc…and require months to be finalized.
It's nothing like a plug and play stuff.
I suggest you to have a try here, ruccdu: smoka.nao.ac.jp/fssearch.jsp
Have a nice day.
# 13 Feb, 2018 13:46
AndyBeing myself a humble amateur photographer, I couldn't agree more.
To be honest, I feel the same too.
# 13 Feb, 2018 13:55
These are my "qualifications", I haven't bothered to submit images for publication much in recent years.|
Astronomy Now 2011 – Witches broom
Astronomy Now 2011 – M42 (Imaged from Bortle 8 )
Astronomy Now (front cover) 2013 – Rosette Nebula (imaged from Bortle 8 )
Astronomy Now 2013 – Iris nebula
Astronomy Now Year Book 2016 – Witches Broom
Astronomy Now calendar 2018 – Bubble Nebula
Shown on TV:
Rosette Nebula – Stargazers Live 2013
Andromeda Galaxy – Sky at Night 2013
Rosette Nebula 2014 (imaged from Bortle 8 )
Veil Nebula (close up) chosen as cover image for the site (imaged from Bortle 8 )
I give regular talks on Astroimaging and have occasional requests for teaching astroimaging, of which I have taught two people from scratch.
# 13 Feb, 2018 14:17
Sara WagerThat sounds very reasonable to me! A concept that should be considered for the future. There would be a lot more people enjoying it, that their images are honored.
# 13 Feb, 2018 14:23
Hmm…. this is going well, isn’t it?|
I’m sorry but it will never, EVER, be fair. Even between backyard imagers there are orders of magnitude differences in equipment value and Sky conditions. We have to accept that the playing field will never be leveled.
As an aside, I also agree professional data is not easy to process correctly. I appreciate what is involved and the challenges. There is some serious talent in achieving an asthetically amazing result. I do wish there was a way to categorically separate it from my profile and I would post a lot more of it. Personally, I don’t want it to intermingle or affect my profile statistics which I use to judge my acquisition and processing progress. I don’t want to have to buy a second account.
Perhaps there is is some merit in being able to categorize images appropriately. But the boundaries can quickly become fuzzy.
# 13 Feb, 2018 14:39
As a relative newcomer, this thread has been a fascinating read.|
Astrobin is a wonderful site for amateur astrophotographers trying to move up the learning curve in a difficult craft. For a pittance, we have access to an excellent image storage system, fellow astrophotographers willing to take the time to comment on our images, and a great resource for finding new objects and the techniques to image them. As a bonus, there are generous volunteers who sort through all of the images to award the occasional top pick and IOTD to some lucky chap each day. No doubt, some of the details of the overall selection process are probably not exactly what I would choose, and some of the top picks and IOTD are a bit mysterious to me. But that is OK for me - it will always be a subjective process and one which creates excitement and some disappointment.
The process should occasionally be revisited and improved, as we are doing here, but hopefully it can be done in a constructive manner and in a way which respects the time and effort of all of you who are involved in the selection process. Thanks to all of you, and particularly Salvatore, for making it possible for people like myself to fulfill and exceed our ambitious dreams of creating beautiful images of the sky.
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