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I'm a very new member to photo.SE and have been doing my best to answer some of the questions floating in. I truly believe in the SE format and think photography is a good fit. I have noticed however, that there is a lot of knowledge and experience in this community, but not a consistent way to share that knowledge. Yes, blogs are very helpful and generate traffic, but they hit on one subject and share the experience of one person when we can tap into the SE Q&A format to tap into more. This leads me to a clever way to fit contests into the Q&A format...

While abstract Photoshop work doesn't fit the scope of photo.SE, photo retouching does. Photoshop and Elements are very common tools and questions regarding these tools are welcome if they relate to photography and not graphic design. A post production contest is similar to a photo contest, but instead we use one image that can be considered "common" (ie. babies, or a particular effect). Anyone can submit to the contest, but this also gives the more frequent visitors an opportunity to stretch their legs and participate in a regular event that doesn't require us to dig through our catalogs.

Big Hitter Contest submissions would include notes on what the user did to accomplish that entry so others could learn about post production.

Here is how this would work:

  • A contest moderator would choose the "theme". This theme would need to be "generic" so that others could use information from the results: child portraits, landscape, wildlife, street photography, sports, cars, etc.
  • The moderator would accept suggestions to this theme and suggestions could include a RAW/DNG photo for post production. Otherwise the moderator could solicit for RAW photos.
  • The moderator would post a single original RAW image that everyone would use for the contest. (I would be willing to host the repository if necessary).
  • The contestants would use whatever software they wish and would use whatever post production techniques they would like to enhance the image.
  • Kicker: The contestants would be required to take notes on what they did to the photo (not extremely detailed, but something like "lightened eyes with such-and-such" or "applied such-and-such filter with these settings".
  • Contestants would then post their results onto the contest page with their notes.
  • Voters would choose their favorite edit
  • Big win: The post production methods would then be tagged and archived for search optimization.

This way someone could search "Post production portraits" and see multiple approaches to do post production on a single image.

  • The repository of post production techniques would drive traffic as a resource on post production techniques.
  • It will keep users coming back to see what unique approaches people are taking to a single photograph.
  • It will provide a sense of community and collaboration that keeps the knowledge flowing even when questions aren't coming in.
  • It offers another way to share without bringing in the risk of poor critiquing discussions.

Honestly, I'd love to learn from this myself, too!

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I had the same idea! But I'd see it for a "Picture of the week" contest!

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