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“But then again good observations usually stand out because they have a high confidence level.”
I thought of that, but realized there was a complicating factor: the species of the mushroom itself. If it’s an LBM it’s harder to identify than if it’s a fly agaric. If it’s a red Russula you really have to go above and beyond to get it to species. So observations that are equally good as far as the amount of characteristics noted and/or photographed are concerned might have lower or higher confidence depending on how tricky to ID the broad category containing its mushroom is.
“I also would like to see how many votes any one image has”
You sort of can: the more votes the thicker the bar below the image, up to a point. I think it tops out at about 8.
Noah and Darv’s suggestions.
and there should be a rating for the stunning art photos, even if they are not that useful for an ID. Some are very cool but worthless for a book ID page.
I like your idea on observation ratings. Because as we all know it’s next to impossible to get all the features from a single fruiting body in one photo.
But then again good observations usually stand out because they have a high confidence level.
As far as picture rating goes, I don’t think four options is enough. I like 1-10 scales. 1-3 is bad 4-6 is average 7-9 good and 10 is great. It gives more room to nitpick (which is something I do a lot of)
I also would like to see how many votes any one image has, I don’t really care to see who voted on it. I don’t have a bone to pick with people who vote “Okay but not so useful” on my pictures
And I believe that Voting on Observation usefulness or quality is some thing that may be being worked on right now, I have talked to Jason about it
My own scheme, when I deign to rate a photo:
Okay — only used on photos that show no real identifying features whatsoever. Blurry mushroom-shapes in a non-unusual color, say.
Useful — Any poor quality photo with some identifying features. You can at least eliminate numerous genera within the broader category (e.g., the agarics) based on the photo.
Good — A photo that is nicely illustrative.
Great — Top-notch photography that is nicely illustrative.
For that, “nicely illustrative” doesn’t mean “perfect storm of identifying features”. I consider it the job of the as a whole to supply those, with multiple photographs in a typical case. An individual photo is good to me if it can help significantly narrow things down, even if it does not go “all the way”.
“Good enough for a field guide”, then, (for non-microscopy shots) to me means “consulting this photo in the field, I could eliminate most specimens as not resembling the photo and gauge the few remaining ones as candidates to be of the species depicted in the photo”.
Perhaps we should include a rating on the observations themselves, separate from the images. Observations with no photo showing something critical (stipe base for Amanitas, for instance) and no text about the same feature would get a poorer rating than an observation with such. Photos would get poor ratings if they added next-to-nothing to the observation, and be judged more on the photography (aesthetic suitability for documentation) — though, two major aspects of that help with usefulness too: exposure and focus. The better the photo quality the more detail tends to be visible and the more the photo can narrow down the ID. But it would be up to the other photos to fill in any gaps. I wouldn’t rate a bolete photo badly for not showing a cross-section; I would rate it badly for being badly out of focus or (especially) not even recognizable as a bolete or as to cap color, pore color, and general gestalt. If the observation lacked any photo with a key feature the observation would potentially get dinged (the text could make up for it though). And obviously if there was a strong consensus as to species the observation would clearly have to be judged good-enough.
I was accually looking through some of Dans obs yesturday and was amazed at the quality and artfullness of his pics. I actually enjoy the challenge of fungal photography. I think all obs are useful no matter the quality of the pic.
I admit I tend to give great photos a better rating, I tend to give rare spieces a better rating. I also give photos that will help me in the field a good rating. With that lies or debate. Are we here to show off our finds and handy work with the camera or are we here to learn and help each other better understand our passion for mycology.
My thing is MO is a very important tool for me. Its not a competition, a social networking site or even a photography site for that matter. Just a modern day guide for this wonderfull hobby of ours. Thank you Mushroom Observer.
P.S. I wish there was a sight like this for fishing!
I rarely vote on pictures. I agree with Christian, the wording on the votes is silly at best. There are totally worthless pictures being posted on here but because we don’t have a way to rate them as such they often get lumped with “Okay” pictures.
Then there is “Great! Beyond the work of mortals”
Yeah… this is one I don’t use often. Do we even know what beyond the work of mortals looks like? (Okay, I guess Steve Axford may be immortal. http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/... )
I have probably only used “Great” about five times on MO (is there easy way to check this?)
And then the problem with “Good enough for a field guide”. Well as immortal as Steve Axford is I wouldn’t want to see most of his photos in a field guide. There is a difference between documentary “Field Guide” pictures and pictorial “Coffee Table book” pictures.
After MO got the voting system on pictures I voted on some of mine;
Personally I liked it better when it was done by a handpicked few who knew mushroom photography well.
Dan, as far as my votes on yours.
Okay, but not so useful;
You know the issues I have with your carnival colors.
There are so many subtleties when it comes to mushroom identification, especially with colors and it’s already hard enough trying to ID stuff from pictures…
that was exciting.
For more useful-for-identification pictures you can see this observation: http://mushroomobserver.org/observer/show_observation/63341
The two were growing within a two hundred yard radius, although at different times of the year.
Christian, I find your condescending attitude just a little bit annoying. I said I do not like it when people vote useless on my photos. “Ok but not useful” is pretty much the same as “useless”. I do not post useless photos, and I do not like it when people mis-rate my useful photos as useless.
I wasn’t talking to you, and I don’t care what you think about me. Have a nice day.
who I am – it’s me. Christian Schwarz. No more, no less. My real name is always attached to my opinions and always will be.
We can all keep our sympathies. You could have refrained from commenting.
But you didn’t and I didn’t.
There’s a difference between preaching (ie. evangelizing), and reasoned discussion with conflict resolution in mind. Get it?
Welcome to the internet – a public space for collaboration.
“just because someone rates one of your photos ‘Okay but not so useful’ (note, there is no ‘useless’ rating), I can’t sympathize with wanting to give them an earful because of it.”
You can keep your sympathies, cuz i don’t really care Christian. Your opinions about such things are not so useful to me. I mean really, who are you to preach at me about this?
just because someone rates one of your photos ‘Okay but not so useful’ (note, there is no ‘useless’ rating), I can’t sympathize with wanting to give them an earful because of it.
What does that accomplish?
More importantly, why take it personally? We know by now that people have their own criteria for utility, and varying (sometimes completely ineffable) aesthetic taste.
I do agree that the current titles for the rating system are more than a little silly (the bottom end should be harsher, and the top end should be less grandiose), and it should be either completely hidden to everyone except the admins or completely visible (ie. not anonymous).
I really pisses me off when somebody votes “useless” on one of my photos. I’m sure other people don’t like it either. Maybe if people’s names went beside the votes it would be better. That way you could know who is calling your work useless and give them an earful.
I also see a lot of so-so snapshots with “great beyond mortals rating”, which is kind of silly.
The mushrooms in this Ob are not especially useful for identification, not because the photos suck, but because the mushrooms are old and many species of boletes look like that when they are old. Still, there are only so many species this could be, and we have a good location and date, so the observation is not worthless just because the species is indeterminable.
I use the “Ok but useless” rating sometimes, but I save it for the really bad photos, which are thankfully rare these days on MO.
I agree with Walt that it would be nice to see the top of the cap and a clean focus on the stem. But even with better photos I doubt the mushroom could be identified.
people vote high in colorful beautiful fungi images,
e.g a colorful bright Russula totally or nearly useless for identification would be voted much higher then a drab yet descriptive image of Boletus.
Secondly if it is a rare or interesting find I think it may also get a higher vote, perhaps
That is the main problem with voting on images here on MO, and it may be a big problem…
From an identification standpoint these pictures are bad; few details are visible.
From an artistic standpoint… each to his or her own. They do not appeal to me.
The problem is more with the photo rating system on MO. You can have good/great pictures that have no place being in a field guide because they are useless for identification.
That joker would be me. The quality of the photos is not the issue. Both are very good except for the out of focus stipe on one photo. The issue is their usefulness for identification. We can’t see the pileus or the flesh.
keeps voting the lowest possible rating on excellent images like these.
Any more pics or info on this??
Created: 2011-02-09 08:12:17 EST (-0500)
Last modified: 2011-02-09 15:20:50 EST (-0500)
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