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I agree

A few thoughts for incoming IOTD staff on image assessment.

07 Feb, 2019 06:29
Having been an IOTD judge this past year, I  thought I'd share my thoughts on image assessment.

This is just my approach and for anyone coming onboard the team, it may prove useful.

Firstly an image needs to have impact!
-Have I seen that object before?
-If so have I seen it treated/processed like this before?

Is it well composed or has the photographer merely stuck it in the middle of the frame?
-Have they considered the objects' context relative to it's surroundings?
-If NB, is the colour palette harmonious and pleasing (or in the case of LRGB, accurate)?

Assuming all these criteria have been handled favourably, I then look closely at the technical aspects.
ie: detail, sharpness, noise, treatment of stars, (round stars, star colour & density), resolution, dynamic range etc.

Finally I consider degree of difficulty, eg: if there were two very similar high quality images of the same target that passed all the above assessment criteria and one was from a backyard and the other from remote data, I'd likely lean in favour of the backyard image. (apologies to remote imagers, I'm not starting a flame war here!)

That being said, I have previously awarded IOTD's to outstanding remote images, not because they are technically perfect, (that's mandatory in my opinion for images from remote data)  but because they are impactful, original & beautifuly processed!

I have also overlooked some remote images that whilst being technically perfect - lacked impact, originality, composition & aesthetics.

There are many reasons an image is awarded IOTD, but these are the ones I generally consider.
Other judges with experience may take a different approach of course!  smile



PS: It's been an honour & privilege to judge and award so many of your wonderful images this year!  smile
Edited 07 Feb, 2019 07:40
07 Feb, 2019 16:04
Thanks for posting this Andy, and thank you for your time spent as a judge for the IOTD. I really like your approach, especially this part:

Is it well composed or has the photographer merely stuck it in the middle of the frame?-Have they considered the objects' context relative to it's surroundings?
I see many astrophotographers miss this, and it can really separate a good photograph from a great one. I understand that some people have a personal philosophy where they present all their astrophotos with north up and the object centered, but I personally can't get behind that. There are so many opportunities to make a much more pleasing, and interesting photograph just by rotating the camera and paying attention to where interesting and colorful bright stars are in relation to the DSO.

Cheers, Nico
08 Feb, 2019 14:04
Thanks Andy, and to all of the rest of the IOTD team who volunteer their hours to help make this hobby a bit more fun and rewarding for us!

The IOTD selection process is well known and sound, but the actual criteria has always been a bit of a mystery to me.  Your note helps to shed light on that part of the process.  It is a good feeling to know that such considered thought goes into the IOTD selection.
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