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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 01:51 pm
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Huw Griffiths
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I'll admit that I don't often get involved in challenges. I'm not too worried about not winning - but I don't want to be the guy that everyone makes fun of (or is too polite to do so), for coming out with a steaming heap of ... errm ... something unpleasant.

However, I can see that some people might generate a personal popularity vote. OK, this is less likely on an international site like this one, where few members actually know each other, but it could still happen. If there were to be a challenge, do we even need to know who's submitted which entry until after any judging / voting has finished?

OK, it's quite possible that one person might be the only one round here interested in a particular topic (say one very distinctive loco, or something else that sticks out like a sore thumb) - it's also possible that they might be interested in this, to the point where it becomes an all-consuming obsession.

I don't think anyone would have much trouble identifying their entries - but would many people be likely to vote for them?

 
At this point, I should perhaps mention that there's another reason why I wouldn't be likely to enter any challenges at the moment - I'm just not in a position to do so.

I've mentioned in the past that I don't have a layout - in the future, I'd like to be able to rectify this but, at the moment, I have neither the time nor the space.

It's noticeable that the last contest (of any sort) that I entered was on Carl Arendt's site - the Trackmobile challenge. When compared with "main line" locos, Trackmobiles are small and capable of operating in tight spaces - Carl invited us to come up with a layout idea to pack the maximum amount of track into a given space. I took this literally - and came up with something based on (even narrower) HO tramcars being shunted round a depot.

This layout only exists as an Illustrator PDF file. It wasn't placed - but this wasn't an issue to me, as I was actually using it to sound out ideas. (Just for the record, I also think that the winning entry in this contest was definitely the best.)

My reason for entering a challenge on Carl's site was actually nothing to do with any prizes - I wasn't expecting to win. I'd seen how Carl had treated other people's ideas on his site. Some of the ideas had been good - some not - none had been shot down in flames. This sort of encouragement was one of the things I really liked about Carl and his site - it's also one of the things I really like about this site.


The previous time I thought about entering a contest, I didn't even finish my entry (time constraints - family commitments). A while back, the UK magazine "Railway Modeller" printed some drawings of a Parry People Mover - and invited people to build a model of it. Although I never finished my model, I learnt a lot in the process and worked out a number of ideas which I'm likely to use in the future.

Ironically, the guy who won this contest used a number of very similar ideas - and they worked. His model was also a lot better than mine would have ended up - and was used in the Parry company's publicity - I'm glad he got somewhere with it.

 
As for photography challenges, I wouldn't be in a position to do much here either. A number of years back, I used a Praktica SLR - one of the 35mm ones, with manual controls all brought out to real dials etc. It was a pleasure to use - everything was easily accessible - I could use it instinctively and I got results I was happy with. I never entered any photo contests (they never interested me - but I don't think I would have won any) - but I really enjoyed myself.

These days, things are different. I can no longer afford film (and especially decent processing) - so the SLR is sidelined. In time, I'd like to afford a digital SLR - but that's currently out of the question. Right now, I've got a basic, hand-me-down, "point-and-shoot" - and I'm struggling.

I don't have loads of time to work out how to use it - all the virtual menus get in the way - and the instructions are about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Their sole purpose seems to be to say: "look at all the amazing things this thing can do - look at all the hundreds of modes and programmes". Strangely enough, the manual doesn't tell me how to do the one thing I want to do - take photos, where I'm in control.

To be brutally honest, it takes a lot to irritate me - but they've managed it here. If I'm using any piece of equipment, I don't wish to "virtually" be in control - it's no fun. (This might be why I've never driven a car with automatic transmission.)

I think you can see now why I won't be doing a lot of photo challenges any time soon - nothing personal, just the way things are.

Thoughts of modern digital "point-and-shoots" (and their "instructions") are making me tired and thirsty. I think I need a mug of tea - in an Arcoroc mug (heat treated glass) - and I think I'll use a Pyrex teapot - at least I can see what's going on. (I think I'll leave the "debate" about whether glass might actually be a supercooled liquid to another day.)

 
Rant over - I think it's time to get back to the trains.

 
Regards,

Huw.

 



Last edited on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 08:43 pm by Huw Griffiths

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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 02:43 pm
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wclm
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This topic has really hit a sore spot with a lot of the members. I have competed in contest categories before but not expecting to win. I did it to see if I was right in the fact that I could do these techniques. The point is do we really need a contest to be able to get out the good ideas? If you want a topic of contest entries, fine and the persons interested will enter and those who don't like it will not. That seems really harsh but it does not stop me from going into contest rooms and looking for new ideas. I really don't care for a lot of the contest or quote unquote gurus. Some people just like to wear the badge. I think that if you always say "Look at my stuff" you are not really secure in the belief that you have worked to your level best. I don't need all of the associated hoopla to be able to have a good time. This is the first time in over 20 plus years I will open my layout for the public. Coming April 16th. The point is I doubt if I will ever be a MMR in the NMRA, not because I can't but because I don't want to be.
 How about a, What I Think Is Good, category.
 Hopefully Freerails doesn't change too much cause this envionrment is why I frequent the site.
Now you can have a good laugh and say "what *&#%&*&# is he babbling about".
:bg: :shocked: :bg: :shocked: :bg: :shocked: :bg: :shocked: :bg: :):):):):):):us::us::us::us::glad::w:



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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 03:03 pm
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Huw Griffiths
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wclm wrote: Hopefully Freerails doesn't change too much cause this envionrment is why I frequent the site.
:bg: :shocked: :bg: :shocked: :bg: :shocked: :bg: :shocked: :bg: :):):):):):):us::us::us::us::glad::w:

Well said - not just this point, but the whole post.

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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 03:31 pm
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Dave D
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My personal feelings.

I don't like contests.

The last one I entered, was a peanut butter lid contest on another forum.

The premise being, build something in the boundaries if a peanut butter jar lid.

I wasted a week of my time, and made a little waterfall scene.

After posting, as seems to be the case in a few others I entered, someone jumped in with some reason or other that my entry should not be allowed.

In this case it was that it was supposed to be model railroad related.

I for the life of me, could not think of anything more model railroad related than scenery but, I bowed out vowing to myself, never to enter another.

I like the free sharing of information,

I am happy to do so when asked.

I get a bur under my saddle when I ask and am snubbed, but nothing you can do about that.

The sharing, and the relationships formed in doing so, is why I even bothered with any of this in the first place.

Now, as has always been the case, I try to let the forum members have what they would like.

If you care to look, there is already a forum for modeling / photo contests.

Never a lot of action there, and I think that speaks volumes in regard to what the majority of the users think of them.

That's all I will say on the matter.






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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 03:35 pm
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W C Greene
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Well, I will change my mind if the photo contest winner gets a case of Shiner Bock beer...every week...for a year. Now, whar's them photygraphs??

                          Woodrow
BTW-Clif, you can be MMR #13 if you want..

Last edited on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 03:37 pm by W C Greene



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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 03:40 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Huw wrote-

" If I'm using any piece of equipment, I don't wish to "virtually" be in control - it's no fun. (This might be why I've never driven a car with automatic transmission.)"

My kind of person!!!  :glad: :glad:

Way to go, Huw



Herb  :old dude:



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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 03:54 pm
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Herb Kephart
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A number of replies have mentioned rules, constraints, etc. Each of these replies gave good solid reasons for what was proposed.

I know from past experience that getting entries is the hardest part of running a contest.

The more rules--even though necessary-- the less likely some one will send an entry.

Thank you for all your responses. Since it would seem that most of you have at least some reservation about entering.

And to limit the changes in FreeRails--which many of you don't want to see- at least in the form of contests

This idea is dropped


Herb  :dope:



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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 07:05 pm
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Dwayne
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Can I still get the Shiner Bock from Woodie though? ;)



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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 08:55 pm
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W C Greene
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DW-come on down, you can have Shiner Bock with me & Mopman while you switch the smelter.

                       Woodrow



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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 09:21 pm
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Dwayne
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Would love to Woodie. Gotta start looking for work again now that my wife is here in OKC. When the money starts coming in again I'll take you up on the offer. My little lokie should be completed by then (I hope).



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