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RetouchPRO Sponsorship (trial balloon)

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Old 06-07-2004, 08:39 AM
Andrew Andrew is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3
I'm open to any suggestions! Each time I visit this site I wonder why I don't enter more often. I suspect its because I'm either retouching photos or goofing off. This place has been a valuable resource for me when I run across something that I've forgotten how to do or never knew in the first place. Would I take advantage of a contest? I like the idea but hoo nose.

I would support any reasonable moolah asked for!

I suspect it would take me some years to win a contest after seeing the splendid work around here but then again I'm my own worst critic. Photoshop has been my passion since I discovered it. Seldom a day goes by that I wonder how I ever used an air brush!

Blah blah. blah .. Another geezer rambles!

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Old 06-07-2004, 10:31 AM
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winwintoo winwintoo is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
Posts: 942
I see that I'm listed as a "senior" member - I'm old and I've been around a long time, but don't look to me as an expert!

I found RetouchPRO soon after it launched and soon after I started using PhotoShop. I made some friends here and learned enough about PhotoShop to make it very interesting for me, I know enough about it to use it in many ways, but what I know is a drop in the bucket compared to what there is to know.

I read the new posts on this forum daily as a way of keeping in touch and have posted enough that the vBulletin software has bumped me to *senior* status. When I need help with a restoration, or inspiration, I know where to look. This is without a doubt the best community of Photo professionals and amateurs on the web.

Doug is to be commended for allowing RetouchPRO to grow into what the community wants it to be while quietly guiding it along and never imposing his will on the majority. The bills do need to be paid though and sponsorship would be one way of getting that done.

If it is decided that sponsorship is the way to go, count me in. But, there needs to be a way to designate me as a batboy, and people like Flora (and others too numerous to mention) as MVPs.

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Old 06-07-2004, 12:33 PM
DannyRaphael's Avatar
DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 6,300

Wouldn't you prefer to be a batgirl over a batboy?

I share your feelings about Doug's steady, but not heavy-handed, guidance, the site in general, our membership and the personnal commitment to support it no matter what Doug decides.

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Old 06-07-2004, 12:40 PM
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winwintoo winwintoo is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
Posts: 942
Originally Posted by DannyRaphael

Wouldn't you prefer to be a batgirl over a batboy?

Maybe I've reached a stage in life where gender no longer matters

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Old 06-09-2004, 07:05 AM
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jch71566 jch71566 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 242

I think that I would support the site with a reasonable yearly sponsorship.

I would like to touch further on Danny's certification idea, though. I understand your concerns with bogus certifications and the anonymity of the web-medium. However, instead of a certification of completion of some course material, perhaps you could expand on the monthly challenge winner idea.

Certainly you could, and probably should, announce the winner -- this is a very special credential. However, the remainder of the entrys should be eligible for something. Perhaps you could use a star system: JCH71566 is ranked as a 4-star photo-art contestant at RetouchPRO. Perhaps you could give a certificate of completion for participating -AND- meeting the criteria of the contest: JCH71566 has successfully completed 7 manipulation contests at RetouchPRO.

I dunno, but I think the idea deserves some thought.

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Old 06-09-2004, 12:36 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,062
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I think the poor turnout for this specific thread gives me most of my answer. I'll need to make up my mind soon, since there's over $600 in site bills waiting for me in the next 3 months.

As for handing everyone a prize just for trying, that undermines the concept of any sort of winner, removing any incentive to try. But there's nothing keeping anyone from simply bragging about being a "RetouchPRO Sponsor". Depending on the number of entries, I could see eventually spreading it out to a first and second runner-up, but that would be down the line.

Think about it from a client's point of view. What could RP offer a retoucher that might impress a potential client? Would they be impressed that the retoucher has successfully entered some contests? I don't know about you, but I'd not only be unimpressed, but would actually get a negative impression from that. Would you rather eat some chili that was successfully entered in the Texas Cook-Off, or some that won it?
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Old 06-09-2004, 02:17 PM
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Duv Duv is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Posts: 1,213
Doug. I know the overall expenses to run something like RetouchPro has got to be a hell of a lot more than 600 bucks. Sounds to me that your ideas should be floated and inputed over the next year without the immediate financial concerns.
I'm submitting my annual donation of $50. I'll cover that by cutting down on my toilet paper usage each day. To cover the 600 that's just another 11 donations of $50 (that's less than a buck a week). Let's make it happen folks!

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Old 06-09-2004, 03:00 PM
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kiska kiska is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: mentone,ala
Posts: 623
I donated $50 a couple of months ago. Sounds like a good and fair amount.
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Old 06-09-2004, 04:24 PM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 883
In reply to Doug mentioning the lack of contributions to this thread:
I've been thinking about your question and couldn't come up with an answer or a suggestion (perhaps others are are still pondering too).
I'm just going to brainstorm here, and you can decide if there's anything worthwhile.

Regarding incentives: I've been trying to think of something that would "entice" me to purchase a membership. So far, all I've come up with is this: Honest and useful critiques, by one's peers. I'd like to have a voting system that critiques challenge/contest entries. It could be broken down into elements. Sort of like the Miss America contests. So many points for "effort", "technique", "creativity", "skill", etc. Points for different categories would allow "newbies" to rack up some points for their work, even if it wasn't the actual "winner". I'd like to go all out and add the ability to subtract points for similar items (not following instructions, taking too many artistic liberties, etc.) One MUST be a paying member to vote or submit entries for voting. A quick and easy method of voting might encourage members to provide some feedback, when they might not have the time or inclination to "comment" on every image.
I'm guessing that my idea is beyond the capabilities of the current software, but I was "brainstorming".....

Regarding your initial ideas:
"Sponsor" would become a new user title: I'd rather have a lot of gold stars next to my name
Higher upload limit in the Member Gallery: maybe, but I'm not happy with the way the gallery works now. It's like it has a mind of it's own. Maybe it's me, I just can't get it to do what I want.
Participation in new monthly contests: I like this one the best, although if the same people are always winning, the participants will likely dwindle (and therefore payments would too). Although, if a point system were used (as mentioned above) it might work.

I just had another idea. This would be an alternative to paid membership, and goes back to the donation method. Because I often forget about making a contribution, I was thinking that one specific challenge could be named the "Donation" challenge. In order to participate, members must make some sort of contribution. There doesn't have to be a winner. It would also be a way to acknowledge those that do make contributions.

Well, that's all I have for now.
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Old 06-09-2004, 05:19 PM
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G. Couch G. Couch is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 951
I'd pay for a sponsorship...all I would ask is that you keep any sort of contest simple. There are currently so many challenges and sections to this site that it overwhelms at's great that everyone has their own little niche but if you are planning on some sort of "pro" level monthly contests, just keep it to one per month and keep it simple (not that there could not be a restoration one month followed some sort of "photo art" the next)...I could care less about star, points, titles or anything else beside my name.

The other thing I would like to see is that any such contest be judged by a pro, whether it be someone who posts on this site or someone from the outside. That might not be feasible every month but I think it would go a long ways to giving such contests a legitimacy and real meaning if one were to win. That kind of contest would stir the competitive instinct of pros and amateurs alike...I'll be burning the midnight oil to win the first one!
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