« First Round Semifinalists—For Discussion | Main | Wishful Thinking »

Friday, 18 November 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I was told that this polling widget doesn't use Flash. Hope that's right....


You can vote twice, one time from the front page and when you click to the article you can vote once more?


I know vote early, vote often is part of the democratic process, but is it possible to review the votes periodically without voting again?

Any indication of the format? I meant film - negative - FC or all inkjet?

I got the feeling one can vote several times... (perhaps you shoudn't publish this comment )

It doesn't use flash! Hence I could vote :D

All the images are getting some votes, indicating that there is plenty of quality in this selection! My two favourites are in the running, so I'm hoping for a reasonable pricing strategy!

Mike - I voted, left, when I came back to TOP, voting interface is up again... asking me to vote again and not view the results.

Previous polls worked just fine in that respect, just FYI. I guess that people will not abuse it, perhaps someone more knowledgeable can advise what went wrong with this poll setup.

From Win Xp on latest Firefox...

I can't even see the pix, so how can I vote?

120 would have more impact if the top of the waterfall is cropped out.


Not sure if you are aware of this but every time I want to see the results of the voting I have to cast a new vote!


I don't see any pictures. (I have a new Windows 7 computer, so my guess is that others are having the same problem.)

Works on the iPad.

Sorry about the Chicago voting. As I said before, this is the first time I've done this, so there are still a few bugs in the system. In the setup pane there are TWO options, one for allowing multiple choices, one for allowing multiple votes, and I had them both checked. Should be fixed now, and sorry....


I learned more from this exercise than I expected. Since the photos were so disparate, it made it quite clear where my taste (#111) lies and how much I'm in the minority. I look forward to more of these.

#105. watery reflections, gets my vote. Well seen, gorgeous light patterns and colors, and would be stunning printed.

No, no yet fixed. I can still vote even though I already have.


Are we supposed to vote for what we think should be in the print sale (i.e., those that might do well), or for those that we like personally?

I already see the steamcar BW pic coming up for sale.... :((

Sorry, can't see any that I feel deserve a vote.

I do like the carpark image but not surprised to see that others, easier to dance too, are being picked..the big train plume..

I think you should pick the ones that will make you the most MONEY, honey.



It would be interesting if one or more gallery owners could give some input on the images. It would be a different perspective.

Always fun and interesting to see how your tastes compare to others. I voted for four images -- one of them is extremely popular, but the other three are all in the less popular half of the group.

I am unable to glean a lesson from this fact, despite preparing an exhaustive choice-preference matrix that also included ice cream flavors, novelists deceased at least fifty years, sports involving a spherical or ellipsoidal ball, lip balm brands, and members of the opposite gender, sub-category certain brunettes I once knew.

But I do know that I love that hummingbird shot (and every image, even the ones I didn't vote for, is pleasing to my eye).

Steam train. I am a sucker for sublime. Ansel 4eva.

The steamer will probably be coming up for sale.... :)

The humming bird is by far the best yet!

Yes I am with the people who can't see any shots....am in my laptop (mac)..Would love to vote though±

The only thing disturbing about #101 is that they guy in the chair has nothing to rest his feet on.

If I owned a print, I would have to pencil in something for him so he could take the weight off his feet.


I agree with robin p. there is not an option to vote non of the above. I am serious.

Robin P- that's quite a definite viewpoint. Perhaps you could share with us one of the photographs that have set your bar so high? One of your own perhaps?

"there is not an option to vote non of the above."

Sure there is. It's called "not voting."


Just scroll down a bit. The pictures were all presented yesterday.


I voted in only one because IMO, there is a clear winner from the perspective of pure aesthetics. I was a fast choice.

After voting I confirmed that there are some level of common sense about it since, (untill now) it granted more votes than others photos).

This is not surprise, because aesthetics has universal parameters and I suppose, we are thinking about primarily aesthetics, to this poll.

But I'm sure - not all people voted based only on this parameter. "Vive la différence"

I looks like you can vote as many times as you want via this comments page vote/view interface.

For those "not seeing the pictures", the easiest method for me is open TOP in two browsers. Scroll one to the article showing the pictures. Scroll the other to the vote ballot. Resize the screens to show both side by side. This way you can scroll both a little at a time seeing the picture for each number as you decide your votes.

Technically, this page seems to be working just right for me (Firefox on Windows 7). The first time I saw it, I got voting checkboxes. Once I voted, I get a results bar-graph instead. If I refresh the page, the results are updated.

(Going in with a different browser gets me the voting checkboxes again, as I expected. Probably clearing cookies would as well. But we're all reasonably honest, or at least afraid of getting caught, right?)

Robin P. and George C. -- I'm finding that, as I get older, and expose myself to a broader range of photography, I'm finding more and more I can appreciate in some way. This is nice, for me; also probably good for my blood pressure.

Given the apparent popularity, I now know what my next submission should be: a train ;-)

Being a numbers guy I have been watching the progresion of the days voting. All was looking normal until the last hour. Me thinks there is some ballot stuffing going on!

Wow - 118 just shot up by around 400 votes in the last half hour!

Sorry to disagree with you Mike but surely "not voting" could mean that a reader has not taken any interest in the photos or merely skipped the whole series. I looked at them long and hard before expressing my opinion, the option to vote "none of the above" would have been welcome.

118 was one of my top three photos, but I feel there is questionable voting going on as it appears to have shot up by over 800 votes in the last couple of hours?

@ Tom Higgins
"Perhaps you could share with us one of the photographs that have set your bar so high?"
Sure - any of the previous print sale offerings.

That's a bit apples 'n' oranges, don't you think? This isn't a print offering--it's merely the first of three semifinal rounds for one. There are five finalists from this round, and will be four or five from each of the last two rounds. Then the final print offering will be selected from that pool based on what the prints look like. So you really don't know if this print offering will be better or worse than the others, because you haven't seen it yet. For all you know, all of the prints in the offering will be drawn from the second and third rounds. (Not saying they will be, just that it's possible.)


the hummingbird shot was very nice.
the minimalism shot of the wall and floor was fine.
the night sky with the water sprout was excellent.
just my opinion. i was not going to make any comment until i saw robin's view.
i felt the same. nothing rung my bell.
i do not want to get on Mike's bad side.

What happened to the poll? I wanted to see the final results, but only see a non-clickable 'Poll Closed' sign.

I've been trying to sort out my thoughts about those who vote multiple times. It seems kind of cheesy or selfish or something?

I thought carefully before voting and would be upset to see the results skewed by vote stuffing. That ruins the feedback aspect of the poll for an individual who is interested in how their taste stacks up against the overall vote.

And multiple voting could perhaps influence which photos get selected for print (at some websites -- not here!). I think that if one person voted for Photo #X 100 times, then that does not really translate to 100 sales.

However, I have faith that our good man, Mike Johnston, is on to such schemery and is hardly one to be influenced by it. "-)

"Poll Closed"

Well, that was quick. Maybe I should cut-down on the social life. Terrific entries all around, great viewing for a Saturday morning!

How do you tally the number of viewers who looked at the 20 pictures and did not vote? A selection of "None of the above" can be tallied.


Thanks for doing this. It's been enlightening and enjoyable. Looking forward to the next rounds.

Is there any way to see the poll results? Did CNN et al call it? :)

There were a couple of comments that the man's legs were dangling in Photo # 101. That's a rather unnatural way for one's legs to dangle. In fact, he's using a footrest. You can even see the metal rod behind his right leg. The empty barber's chairs show the footrests clearly.

As for one of the photos reportedly getting a large late bump, well, that's one risk of an open public poll. You can always tweet or email or facebook (is that a verb now?) your friends and ask them to vote for your entry. Not saying that that's what happened here, though. In fact, I think that goes against the spirit of this competition.

This is a cool thing you are doing. Hope you choose to do it again.

Hmm... I wonder how Zoomerang calculates those percentages. They add up to well over 200%.

Dear Robin and George,

I think you may not be understanding the import of the survey. I don't know how many prints either of you have bought from previous sales, but understand that any purchases you made put you in a very tiny minority. The best sale, numerically (not dollar-wise), hit 2% of the readership. Most sales hit 0.5-1% of the readership. I don't know how much overlap there is between sales, but I'd be surprised if much more than 5% of the readership has ever bought a print here. So, if you're asking the general readership, "Would you buy any of these?" the answer is always resoundingly NO. A "None of the above" box would get vastly more votes than any entry in the competition... and it wouldn't tell Mike anything he doesn't already know.

This is purely a popularity contest, about finding out which candidates are most favored by the hopefully-potential buyers. Absolute level of popularity doesn't mean a whole lot, and that's all "no" votes would indicate.

pax / Ctein
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

Finally able to take the time to comment. I'm glad the Locomotive is winning the day, just because I can see the silver gelatin print of it hanging on a wall (not likely my own, for financial reasons). I've been floored, though, at the success of the parking garage photo. Count me in the small list of readers that just doesn't get the appeal.

I have my favorites, some more than the locomotive, but I do think that one makes the best print. But I think this has been great. I love seeing the photos of the readers of the site. And, for the record, I like the dog peering over the side of the swimming pool nearly as much as anything that has been featured, though perhaps not as much as an actual print. There's an important distinction in there somewhere...

Pity you couldn't have included an unattributed "control" photograph: an Eggleston perhaps. The results might have been illuminating.

While all of these images are nice. I don't think they compare favorably to some of what has been offered before in TOP photo sales. These have a very commercial feel to them. I don't sense an intimate connection between the photographer and the image like I did with other print offers. Perhaps that would change if I knew the backgrounds of the photographers, but...

The dog and cat pictures had a more personal feel than anything in the voting block. My favorite at this point would be the dog. Sorry.

Dear Folks,

If I may be so bold as to speak to a state of mind, some people are forgetting that the primary purpose of this exercise is to help Mike decide with whom he is going to be in a business relationship (a TOP print sale). These sales keep TOP solvent, and Mike takes care to choose artists for them who he can trust to act well and responsibly.

Some of you are also forgetting that the contests do not decide who gets to be in a sale. That is entirely up to Mike.

Regardless of the visio populi, how likely do people think it is that Mike will choose to work with someone he even suspects of having tried to cheat on either the letter or spirit of the game?

Think about it.

pax / Ctein

Dear Andrea and toto,

I am sure I am less forgiving than Mike, but if this were my contest and I figured out that someone was stuffing the ballot box, I'd not only disconsider that entry but I'd discard any future submissions I got from them. If I can't trust'em to behave ethically, I surely don't want to make them my partner in business.

pax / Ctein

Thanks for showing the poll results. It's always interesting to see what other people like. These are all very good photos so it really just comes down to stylistic preferences. Personally, none of them are the type of photo I'd want on my wall so the results are very illuminating.

I did see one tweet on Saturday morning that pointed out your post. I had already voted but took it as an opportunity to look at some of the comments, which was thoroughly enjoyable.

I would however caution about the conclusion that someone tweeting your post who also happens to have an anonymous image in the selection is intentionally trying to skew the vote. There is a certain power in social networking, and just bringing the post to the attention of a specific larger audience can naturally create lop-sided voting as the following of this photographer's social circle may share his type of taste.

Come to think of it, one of the images does look familiar, however, not knowing for sure or having seen the tweet, I cannot say for sure.

It seems to me that the behavior described in Update 2 is not "stuffing the ballot box" so much as "getting out the vote". Or, rather, it's not really either. In elections, it's standard practice to (often quite aggressively) encourage one's supporters to turn out and vote. As long as one's supporters are legitimate members of the electorate, this is usually not seen as cheating. The issue here is that the nature of the electorate was fuzzy. The intended electorate was clearly the ordinary TOP readership, or perhaps the subset thereof that would consider purchasing prints, but, as a structural matter, the electorate was the entire internet. Now, a contender who was paying attention, and acting honorably, would recognize the intent and not encourage people from outside the intended electorate to vote (although I don't know whether such a person might reasonably encourage friends who were somewhat less frequent TOP readers to swing by and vote during the relatively short window that the poll was open). On the other hand, even if the practice described is dishonorable or clueless or both, It doesn't feel quite as actively fraudulent as Ctein's phrase "stuffing the ballot box" implies. I also think that honest cluelessness is a possible explanation (although I'm too cynical to think it's an especially likely one) - after all, many public internet polls are intended to have basically the entire internet as their electorate, so it's not so hard to imagine that some people may have fallen into the habit of treating all of them like that.

"I am sure I am less forgiving than Mike, but if this were my contest and I figured out that someone was stuffing the ballot box, I'd not only disconsider that entry but I'd discard any future submissions I got from them."

Ctein, that presupposes that the box is stuffed by friends on the entrant. It's also possible to envision opponents stuffing a box merely to elicit the very response you're suggesting, and eliminate a competitor.

I do wholeheartedly agree with you that Mike is more forgiving than most of us would be given the same circumstances.

Dear Daniel,

Indeed, I can think of many scenarios by which this might happen. I didn't post my comment until reading Mike's "Update #2"which seemed to limit it to one.

pax / Ctein

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007