Old 11-04-2009, 03:45 AM   #1
KevinM
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Talking View-Killers: A tale of two snow shots

During last week's discussion about photo characteristics that tend to be "view-killers", yours truly took a fair amount of ribbing from the gang for my suggestions that view-mongers might want to avoid portrait format shots as well as black & whites....and CERTAINLY avoid shots that are both. My observatons have been that such shots, however meritorious, TEND to get fewer views than color landscapes.

Just for grins, I decided to try a little experiment myself. On Sunday, I selected a couple of Nevada Northern snow scenes. Shots from that railroad have tended to be popular and there hadn't been any posts in while (at least until my first shot hit ).

I decided to go for the double-downer on the first one.....a B&W portrait . To give it a fighting chance, I selected a scene that had proven popular in the past. A nearly indentical color shot by another RP contributor (taken seconds before mine) had pulled down a Screener's Choice last winter with this scene and to date, that shot had over 4,000 views. While my rendering of it might have been sub-par, at least the scene itself had been interesting....and it was a snow shot with some human interest to boot. On Sunday night, I put it up:
Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 302549
Photograph © Kevin Madore


For the second test article, I selected another snow scene, shot just minutes later, and only a few feet away. Many of the elements were the same, but there were no people in the shot. Like the previous shot, there wasn't a whole lot of color in it, but this time, I elected to show it....and in wide, landscape format. That one went up 24 hrs after the first one.
Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 302673
Photograph © Kevin Madore


The results?

Well, they pretty well proved my point. In the first 24 hrs, the B&W portrait hauled down only 166 views....and it's still not over 200 now. It did garner 8 favorites and one comment by the 24 hr mark and 3/4 of the favorites were folks who had pictures on the site. It tells me that photographers will probably deal with the scrolling to view a portrait B&W, while many of the more casual viewers would probably skip it.

The landscape color shot on the other hand did very well with 515 views after 24 hrs, including 7 favorites and 2 comments. Fewer than half of the favorites were folks with pictures here. One of the commenters even mentioned the color...even though the shot is mostly grey scale! Color matters...even in the snow.

So there you go! Go wide, go color....and triple your rewards! .
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:31 AM   #2
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I never went as far as you have to see how they do, But it is right on I think.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
During last week's discussion about photo characteristics that tend to be "view-killers", yours truly took a fair amount of ribbing from the gang for my suggestions that view-mongers might want to avoid portrait format shots as well as black & whites....and CERTAINLY avoid shots that are both. My observatons have been that such shots, however meritorious, TEND to get fewer views than color landscapes.
Kevin, I couldn't agree more as that is something I have observed for a while. It's a strange phenomenon to me that people don't like to look at train pictures in the portrait format, even when the scene dictates that is the best way to compose the shot. I have quite a few shots over the last six months that were shot vertically, and to be honest, I couldn't really care less if they garner less views because I'm not a view-monger. But I still find it odd that people don't appreciate them as much. I will continue to shoot them, and continue to submit them, and if it brings down my overall view count, oh well. Besides, to me, a nice vertical 10x13, 11x14 or 16x20 looks GREAT hanging on a wall!
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:28 PM   #4
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It is too bad that our monitors are set up for horizontals. It would be cool if, for example, they would automatically rotate vertical so as to display portraits in their full glory.

I do think that part of the problem is that verticals often or always display cutoff so one has to scroll or reduce their size to get the entire view. I suspect, with no evidence whatsoever, that subconsciously this reduces people's willingness to click on those.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:39 PM   #5
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When I view photos, I view them in full screen which is an option in your browser. This way I see the entire photo without having to scroll up and down. A also view horizontals this way because now there is so much crap in the browsers that it even cuts off horizontals.

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Old 11-04-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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When I view photos, I view them in full screen which is an option in your browser.
What is the setting in Firefox? I use a plug-in that allows me to right click and select a size, including "image fit" or some such, but if that were to happen by default that would be cool. Although I'm not sure when I would want that feature active and when disabled. Sounds like it is worth a try.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:56 PM   #7
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At the top of your browser, click on view, then scroll down to the bottom of the drop down menu and click on full screen.

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Old 11-04-2009, 08:12 PM   #8
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At the top of your browser, click on view, then scroll down to the bottom of the drop down menu and click on full screen.

Chris Z.
For me that eliminates the header and toolbars and yields more space, but it does not resize the image so as to fit the (larger) space and in particular a 1000 pixel vertical gets cut off, even my 900 pixel verticals get cut off a smidge. I'll stay with my right click.
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
For me that eliminates the header and toolbars and yields more space, but it does not resize the image so as to fit the (larger) space and in particular a 1000 pixel vertical gets cut off, even my 900 pixel verticals get cut off a smidge. I'll stay with my right click.
Sounds like your resolution is set a bit large.

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Old 11-04-2009, 08:45 PM   #10
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I have three shots in the database with over 10,000 views. Two of them are portraits.

The only reason people click on shots is because they need to be compelled by something to see the larger version. What paint scheme is that? Is that a girl? How many locomotives are there in that shot? Look at that clown, they're about to get splattered!

As nice as that example steam portrait shot is (15.8 views / favorite is crazy high), I don't think a click on the photo is necessary to see what's going - a quick glance tells you it's a photo charter steam locomotive in snow with a crew member... that's not terribly interesting to everyone. The landscape shot got clicks because you couldn't get the whole story by glancing at the thumbnail - the detail in the building in the background and the caboose account for a bunch of that, I think.

If you want to play the "views" game, the orientation doesn't matter, it's getting on the front page that counts. That means:

- Solid shot for PoTW / SC / EC / PCA (actual artistic merit)
- Girls, girls, girls (bikini, cute jeans, etc.)
- Far away train (where is the train?)
- Something crossing the tracks (hey, look at that moron!)
- Special paint (OMG, 100% Retro Belle!)
- Wreck (OMG, train asplode!)
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:55 PM   #11
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It's crazy, it's all craziness. I myself only wanted to see the portrait shot. Why? Looks like it was better done. Better processing, composition, interesting frame, and human interest.

I didn't even notice the caboose in the second shot untill Nick pointed it out. I also don't click on many steam photo charter stuff.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottergoose View Post
I have three shots in the database with over 10,000 views. Two of them are portraits.

The only reason people click on shots is because they need to be compelled by something to see the larger version. What paint scheme is that? Is that a girl? How many locomotives are there in that shot? Look at that clown, they're about to get splattered!
Nick,

Yes, that was my original point.... The average shot here doesn't have a "magnetic" wreck, a hot woman, an idiot, or anything like that. So, given that one has an average shot, and one still wants views, going portrait or B&W will not help the cause. That's not to say "don't post"....just don't be terribly disappointed if the view-count tanks.

I laced my post with smiley faces because I wanted everyone to know these observations don't necessarily drive my posting habits. They are just observations that I chose to share because others occasionally complain about low view-counts. Sure, I care about views to some degree...we all do. We wouldn't be here if we didn't. But, if I have a shot that I like....portrait, B&W or otherwise, I still submit. Some end up being hits, some are dogs. That's the way it goes. I still would have posted that dull, uninteresting snow shot even if I hadn't decided to make an experiment out of it. I liked it when I saw it in the camera and I was disappointed that someone had already posted the scene before I even returned from the trip. Given that the other guy got an SC out of it...and 4000+ views since, I'm pretty sure that I wasn't the only one who thought it was an interesting scene.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:22 PM   #13
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BTW, Kevin, nice to see a shot narrower than 3:2 get on the database. I see shots from time to time that needed a bit more cropping, you gave this one a bit, it probably is the better for it, and it got on.
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:24 PM   #14
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When I view photos, I view them in full screen which is an option in your browser.
Quote:
What is the setting in Firefox?
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:30 AM   #15
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My point is that the clickability of a thumbnail has no correlation to monochrome vs. color, nor portrait vs. landscape. In other words, if we say that going black and white isn't going to help an average shot, we have to agree that it isn't going to hurt it either

Speaking of black and white portrait shots, did anyone see the front page today?
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