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March News - Themed Week and misc

Journal Entry: Thu Mar 1, 2012, 8:58 PM

March 15
Happy belated International Women's Day and Pi Day!

The Themed Week this month is going to be "Birds and Flowers," chosen by our contest winner MorrighanGW. That'll start on March 19th!

Our affiliate MountainShots is having a new contest titled The loneliness in the mountain! Check it out :aww: Deadline is March 31st.

Congratulations SnowPoring on your DD!
Breath by SnowPoring
Check out more member DDs here.

Random feature time! Here are some green birds in celebration of a certain upcoming holiday :shamrock:
:thumb289327108: PRIZE: Amazona Amazonica by Carcaneloce
Hungry Parrot by pun2et Colibri by MichelLalonde

March 4
The winners of our trio of "Emotions" contests have been declared! Without further ado, here they are:

Photo Contest
Bond by El-Quivira Really Bad Feather Day III by MorrighanGW Scorn by mydigitalmind
:trophy: First place: Bond by El-Quivira
:trophy: Second place: Really Bad Feather Day III by MorrighanGW
:trophy:  Third place: Scorn by mydigitalmind

Unknown Artists Contest
Sweet Love by amaliabastos Defiance II by pteronychus Heartbroken by wildroseblossom I'm just shy... by Ptitenanette
:trophy: First place: Sweet Love by amaliabastos
:trophy: Tied for second place: Defiance II by pteronychus & Heartbroken by wildroseblossom
:trophy:  Third place: I'm just shy... by Ptitenanette

Art Contest
Calling Us Home by LuxDani The Dispute Cat and Wren by FuzzyCreaturePainter The Emotions Of Snowy Owls by youlittlemonkey
:trophy: First place: Calling Us Home by LuxDani
:trophy: Second place: The Dispute Cat and Wren by FuzzyCreaturePainter
:trophy:  Third place: The Emotions Of Snowy Owls by youlittlemonkey

While we had many beautiful entries, I'd like to address some issues that came up with the contest.

First, I had to disqualify 23 entries because the entrants did not vote.
  • The rule that participants must vote has been a contest rule for at least four years.
  • There is a warning that people should not participate if they do not agree to this rule during the submission period.
  • There is a reminder of the rule in the news journal, on all the voting forms, and in all the contest journals.
  • I made the voting period long (3 weeks) so people would have time to vote.
  • And I posted at least four reminders to vote.
The rule is in place because we used to get dozens of entries and only a handful of votes - people were entering contests and then forgetting about them. So I am disappointed that people still managed to forget to vote. It's even more disappointing because two of the disqualified entries would have placed, and a third entry got a DD!

Next: I posed a question in the photo contest voting form about imposing an age limit on photos. For example, the contest entry must be taken after 2008. I originally suggested it because I saw that many entries were taken several years ago, yet the artists in question had better newer works in their galleries. However, you all have convinced me otherwise! 18 people were for the idea - but 23 people were against it! You said things like:
  • "If it's not required that the photo be taken specifically for the contest I don't see the point in putting an 'age limit' on the images"
  • "i dont know but when i read the STRICT guidelines for submission i lose my half morale"
  • "Personally I would not agree with an age limit on a photo, some people only shoot in the wild. If you were going to the zoo to get your photos where your subject is available on a daily basis, or any form of captivity, sure. But if you have only seen a species twice and the last time was 4 years ago, and it's a top quality shot, why should it not be eligible as an entry."
  • "I think it doesn't matter. Personally we're judging on the piece itself, not the date it was submitted on."
However, some people also suggested that an age limit would be better on contests with a less abstract theme than "Emotions," or that the rule should only be used for some contests. We will make sure to poll for your opinions if we want to institute this rule!

Some other points brought up during voting:

"Some of the entries I didn't think showed any emotion. Or the emotion assigned to them were inaccurate. I think 50% were relevant to the actual competition."
Our contests are democratically run - if you think an entry does not fit the theme, then do not vote for it. That's why we encouraged you to think about whether the art evoked the emotion listed under it. We decided to run contests this way because we moderators felt guilty and frustrated about pre-judging contest entries; it didn't seem fair for us to decide whether an entry fit a theme. If the artist thought it did, what gives us mods the privilege to disagree? So we leave it up to popular vote. Plus, it saves us more time if we don't have to evaluate entries ;P

"I'm a little confused as to the requirements of what made an artist 'unknown.'"
The requirements were clearly listed in the contest journal at all times and I specifically asked people to note me (meihua) if they were curious about my methodology. If you still want to know, then don't be afraid to just ask!

(re: Unknown Artists) "Perhaps consider if that person has also received any DDs as well?"
Only one person in the Unknown Artists contest had a DD, and he got it during the contest, which is not something we could have foreseen. :XD: Besides, the requirements would most likely prevent people who already had DDs from participating (less than 2500 faves total OR less than 150 average views per deviation), and he was disqualified for not voting anyway.

Several people said that the Unknown Artists requirements should be made even stricter if we have a similar contest, and others said they definitely want to see an Unknown Artists contest again. So we will see about that!

P.S. If you read all that, thank you for caring about my thoughts! Just to let you know, dA's group journals are buggy and I don't receive notifications on them. I apologize in advance if I don't reply to something!

March 1

Don't forget to vote in our Emotions contests! The deadline for voting is March 3rd. Due to my busy schedule, I will not have time to send out individual voting reminders like I usually do, so if you are a participant, please make sure you vote! If you are not sure whether you've voted or not, just cast a vote anyway. If you vote twice, I'll just delete the extra. If you don't vote at all, you will be disqualified.

Here are the voting links:
Photo Contest | Art Contest | Unknown Artists Contest

Our top faves from the February Themed Week, "Focus on Feathers," are:
Feathers by cycoze Primary Colors Revisited by DeniseSoden
Birds of a Feather 02 by s-kmp Bright hummingbird by Verenique

Our February joint news article with Bird-Photography is out!
Bird-Photography and Birds-Club February FeaturesBird-Photography and Birds-Club proudly presents some of the best submissions from the month of February, chosen by me, mydigitalmind. At the end of every month, I will go through submissions from both groups and choose the ones that stand to feature them in a News Article. I will also choose features from some of our special events that run during the month.
:iconBird-Photography: and :iconBirds-Club:
Special Features
Bird-Photography's Featured Photos
Every week, the admins from Bird-Photography pick a photo out of the previous week's submissions that will be featured on our front page for the entire week. The following photos were featured in February.

Birds-Club Bird of the Month
Each month, Birds-Club devotes a journal feature to a particular bird species. Members are welcome to submit as many deviations as they want with no pre-judging as long as they are photos

The March BOTM will be Tanagers!

One last February member DD:
LIBERTY by scumpi

Affiliate News

Animal-Photo' "Babies" winners!

:trophy: First Place:

:trophy: Second Place:
Candy In Garden by HelenaMim
:trophy: Third Place:
Lorien II by Ceadis
:clap: :winner: :clap:

Add a Comment:
Snowball4292 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Computer wont let me vote :S
meihua Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012
The voting period is over! Sorry!
Oliwil Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Conratulations to all the winners :D
KW-Scott Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh my gosh I can't believe people didn't vote! I know that I did... Did my votes show up? I even voted in the photo contest which I was a participant in but thought I should vote just to be sure I was counted in the others :-)
meihua Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012
Yes, your votes showed up :) Thanks for being such a good community member and voting in each of the contests! Exercise your democratic right! :w00t: ;)
Shadow-and-Flame-86 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
wow that is a lot of entries disqualified! I'm pretty sure I voted as soon as it was put up but that was a long time ago... I can't quite remember >.<

I think the way you run contests is fine =)
meihua Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012
Haha, you're on top of things :) Thanks for your support!
scarletdragon619 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I really would like to see another "Unknown Artist" competition again, I love hearing feedback on my photos and I loved most of the entrants! :)
meihua Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012
Great :D Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Canislupuscorax Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
Why was I disqualified? I voted the 1st or 2nd day voting started.
Canislupuscorax Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
I distinctly remember the process because finding entries that claimed to depict an actual emotion was a chore, and then finding ones that actually seemed to portray the claimed emotion was equally as annoying.
meihua Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
I guess you didn't press the submit button or something, because your vote didn't show up. I was surprised when I had to disqualify you because I've never had to do that for your entries before. Sorry :(
Canislupuscorax Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012
Then it is probably best if you do send out a notification specifically to participants who haven't voted in the future. All the general voting reminders didn't mean squat because I was sure I had already voted.
meihua Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012
Yes... Like I said in the journal, I usually do that. I just didn't have time this time around.
lightrae Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
Stick to your guns. You do all the work so you set the rules.
Any of us that can't or won't follow clear rules don't deserve considersation.
meihua Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012
Haha, I agree with you, but only to an extent! I'm sure some people just forgot because they are busy with other things, not because they didn't read the rules. And real life should definitely take precedence over dA life. :)
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Congrats to all winners and placers!

Bird-Photo had 31 disqualified entries for our last contest, but none would have placed. We did have one placer int he first contest who was disqualified though! It's a shame, but that rule should never change. If you want a chance to win, you need to participate!

People made some good points about the age limit. Though, what if we held a general contest for any type of bird photo but had an age limit? The theme could be 2011/2012 !
meihua Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012
That's a good idea, love it! It could be like, "Best of 2011," and people could share their fave photos taken in 2011.
amaliabastos Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Congratulations to all the winners and participants, it was lots of fun. :) I personally think we should keep the unknown artists' category, it helps artists who don't normally have any exposure to get a chance at it.
meihua Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012
:D Thanks for participating and thanks for your thoughts!
amaliabastos Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you!
LadyOkasu Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Can you give my the link to the voting place from the emotions contests?
meihua Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012
Yes, they're in the journal, where it says, "Here are the voting links".
LadyOkasu Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
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