Hi everybody -- I want to explain two issues that have cropped up in some comments from a few of you:
> New photos that show up in the Voting Machine after the original 25 or 50 have been selected for voting.
The Voting Machine uses the Flickr API to pull in all photos from Flickr that have the contest tags for that month. After our judge makes her or his final choices, we exclude the photos that didn't make the cut by adding their Flickr ID numbers into the code.
As you know, it is taking Flickr at least two weeks to find new accounts. Sometimes it finds those accounts after we have populated the Voting Machine, and those photos show up because we haven't excluded them. Sometimes enthusiastic photographers add the contest tags to a photo on Flickr because they are unclear about the deadline.
This month, 6 photos that were not chosen for the contest showed up in the VM, probably because Flickr just now found those accounts. It happens every month. Since those photos were not part of the judging, it wouldn't be fair to the other photographers whose photos were subject to judging to let those photos just show up as finalists. So we exclude them. It just so happens that this happened over the weekend and we didn't get around to excluding them until this morning.
One obvious solution is to include only those photos that qualify rather than exclude those that don't. Since we now are culling the field, and more photos are being excluded from the Voting Machine than are being included, it would be easier to simply include the qualified photos rather than exclude the nonqualified photos. We'll check on that.
But the Voting Machine is back to the 25 photos that Melissa chose. We'll allow voting for an extra day -- until 5 p.m. Wednesday. Vote here.
> Amateur vs. pro. P J posted a provocative comment that she believed that at least one photo in the Voting Machine was not taken by an amateur. I emailed her for more information, and she wrote back with a question about what is considered an amateur vs. a pro. She herself has sold some of her photos, so she doesn't enter contests that are designated as being for amateurs.
To be clear: Our contest rules state that we consider a professional to be anyone who derives more than half of their income from photography.
Many of us have sold photos at shows and exhibits (although in my case, it's been mostly to friends and relatives. It's so convenient to have a big Irish family). Some of you have shot weddings on the weekend. But unless you're making a lot of money from your photos -- again, the criteria is more than half of your total income -- we consider you to be an amateur and you can enter our monthly contests.
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