I have no doubt that there is no "inner circle" of members who only vote on each other. I know that, you know that, but do new folk know that?
I compiled a small list of ideas. As I want to help this place, that has given me years of fun.
- A new format. Not which one is the prettiest, but which one is the most original, or follows the theme the best?
- Even the playing field and scrap the whole "editing is allowed if you know how to do it". Of course, it will never be equal as not everybody has the money to invest in a powerful machine, capable of fantastic graphic, but to eliminate some variables so everyone is as close as possible might be something worth striving for.
- Changing the vote system to a jury instead of community decision. Like, the last winner decides who wins the next competition or something like that.
- Put in a pause in the competition. Because you don't know what you got, until it's gone
I'm not here long enough to know the entire NZFF history, so if (some of) these things have been done already, I didn't say anything
Off topic: For those who are interested to improve their screenshot quality:
This worked for me, I hope it might work for some others: Since a few years I have a powerful PC, but before that I used a laptop for FSX. (Point, it was not the worst laptop out there, but it wasn't really great for FSX/P3D). But I still managed to get pretty nice looking screenshots with fine looking graphics, since you don't need any performance for taking screenshots,. First, at low settings I just positioned myself in the way I want my screenshot. When I was satisfied, I then maxed the sliders that would've had most effect for the screenshot. (over water you want nice looking water and boats, but you don't need good looking mountains or high res terrain) Adding lower visibility also helps in both performance and ambiance. I got 3fps or less, but who cares. Of course you are limited by the available RAM (which was 4gb on my laptop) but I hope most members here have at least that. That laptop had a 1st gen i5 clocked at 2.2ghz coupled with an ATI Radeon HD5470 (512mb memory).
This was my first 'proper' screenshot I've made, eight year ago. Not up to my nowadays standards, but still not really bad imo. It was slightly colour corrected by a friend (I didn't know how to do it back then)