UKAPS Aquatic Plant Layout Contest?

Would you like to see a UKAPS hosted Aquatic Plant Layout Contest?

  • Yes

    Votes: 47 88.7%
  • No

    Votes: 1 1.9%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 5 9.4%

  • Total voters
    53

Geoffrey Rea

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So what are people’s thoughts on having categories? Or is simply having one competition to enter more appealing?
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Depends on the number of contestants really.

It does, the poll may help gauge whether this idea gets any traction or just disappears into the backdrop.


But biotope/specialised should have its own category:)

This would be cool 😎
 

Wookii

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I think it would be a great idea. I think three categories feel appropriate, Nature Aquarium style, Diorama style, and Biotope style.

Each category can be fairly broad - our community probably isn’t large enough for them to be too rigid (hence why I’ve added the word ‘style’ at the end of each category). Ultimately each contestant needs to decide which creative ‘style’ their scape best fits into based on their goals when they designed it, and the scape will be judged on the criteria specific to that category.
 

Tim Harrison

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Ultimately each contestant needs to decide which creative ‘style’ their scape best fits into based on their goals when they designed it, and the scape will be judged on the criteria specific to that category.
Good idea, that could work.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Voting has been set to private so no names, just an overall count for each option. Enables honest voting without being associated with your vote.

There is always the option to change your vote as time goes on should the proposed competition become more/less desirable. ‘Change Vote’ button at the top of the thread in the bottom right corner of the polling box.

If anyone has any thoughts/gripes/insights about how competitions are currently run this is an opportunity to discuss this. If prior feedback is taken into account, the hope is to create a competition the community agrees is inclusive to as many levels of skill and entices people to enter and discuss future improvements for them in a supportive manner. Encourage everyone to comment on what they think and feel is a APLC they would want to be part of.
 
Last edited:

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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989
Location
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Voting has been set to private so no names, just an overall count for each option. Enables honest voting without being associated with your vote.

There is always the option to change your vote as time goes on should the proposed competition become more/less desirable. ‘Change Vote’ button at the top of the thread in the bottom right corner of the polling box.

If anyone has any thoughts/gripes/insights about how competitions are currently run this is an opportunity to discuss this. If prior feedback is taken into account, the hope is to create a competition the community agrees is inclusive to as many levels of skill and entices people to enter and discuss future improvements for them in a supportive manner. Encourage everyone to comment on what they think and feel is a APLC they would want to be part of.

If we want this to be an aquarium scaping/plant layout competition that is as inclusive as possible, and encourages beginners to participate, I personally I think there needs to be a way to level the playing field on the photography side somehow.

When I look across this site alone, there are some people that take some amazing photos of their tanks, who clearly have decent quality cameras and who have a good level of skill and working knowledge for getting the best from them both within the camera, and within post (and by that I mean legal post - editing exposure, levels etc etc). However others struggle to get decent shots because they don't have the gear, or don't have the skills to get the best shot or the best from the final shot in post.

The difference in photography skills can make a good tank look great, but conversely the reverse - can make a great tank look only average. It's particularly evident when you occasionally see IAPLC prize winners interviewed on video next to their tanks. Ignoring the illegal editing that has been the source of recent discussion, those aquariums never seem to look nearly as impressive in the videos as they do in the submitted contest photo.

I don't really have a credible solution to offer (yeah, I know, "don't bring me problems, bring me solutions"), however I can envisage it might be a factor in both judged competition results (judges can't necessarily be expected to see past a great photo, and likewise the potential though a poor one), and also potentially in the willingness of many to submit their aquarium images to the competition if they feel they can't grab a prize winning photo.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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I personally I think there needs to be a way to level the playing field on the photography side somehow.


I agree with @Wookii
Also not sure of solution. Video? Smartphones only?

This is tricksy. Even using a modern iPhone for example, pictures are actually a composite of a short movie stitched together to render it into a single ‘photo’, then enhanced all automatically. There is irony in that all modern phone photos are heavily enhanced photos, but using phones kind of standardises the process.

However others struggle to get decent shots because they don't have the gear, or don't have the skills to get the best shot or the best from the final shot in post.

Let’s change this. If you remove all the secrecy that is encouraged in other competitions (which is enforced through the rules as the competition owners have the rights to publicise your submitted photo thereafter, so it serves their interests for your work not being seen prior to submissions) then people can get support setting up their final shot as a process. Basically, bucking the trend that everything is kept secret.

The counter argument is seeing a fellow competitors work may influence people to copy, but it is a weak argument in a small community if the purpose of the comp more broadly is to improve everyone’s skills more generally ‘for next time around’.


grab a prize winning photo.

There has been no conversation around what the prize would be. This is a big one as it will influence people’s behaviour towards fellow competitors drastically, shaping the nature of the competition.
 

Wookii

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There has been no conversation around what the prize would be. This is a big one as it will influence people’s behaviour towards fellow competitors drastically, shaping the nature of the competition.

Just to clarify when I said 'prize winning photo' I didn't mean a physical prize, just a top ranked (e.g. Gold, Silver, Bronze) placing. Personally I'm not particularly sure there should be a physical or financial prize.
 

Nick potts

Member
Joined
25 Sep 2014
Messages
267
If we want this to be an aquarium scaping/plant layout competition that is as inclusive as possible, and encourages beginners to participate, I personally I think there needs to be a way to level the playing field on the photography side somehow.

When I look across this site alone, there are some people that take some amazing photos of their tanks, who clearly have decent quality cameras and who have a good level of skill and working knowledge for getting the best from them both within the camera, and within post (and by that I mean legal post - editing exposure, levels etc etc). However others struggle to get decent shots because they don't have the gear, or don't have the skills to get the best shot or the best from the final shot in post.

The difference in photography skills can make a good tank look great, but conversely the reverse - can make a great tank look only average. It's particularly evident when you occasionally see IAPLC prize winners interviewed on video next to their tanks. Ignoring the illegal editing that has been the source of recent discussion, those aquariums never seem to look nearly as impressive in the videos as they do in the submitted contest photo.

I don't really have a credible solution to offer (yeah, I know, "don't bring me problems, bring me solutions"), however I can envisage it might be a factor in both judged competition results (judges can't necessarily be expected to see past a great photo, and likewise the potential though a poor one), and also potentially in the willingness of many to submit their aquarium images to the competition if they feel they can't grab a prize winning photo.
This is a good point.

I have a decent DSLR and lenses but absolutely no clue when it comes to taking photos, especially of aquariums so I tend to just use the phone as it is all around easier.

I think maybe having a video and a picture could help, doesn't have to be a long vid, just a quick view of the entire scape/tank.
 
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