Believe it or not, many of us only have a passing interest in the photography contests.
*GASP* How could this be?! EVERYONE must be enthralled with the Photo section!!!
Just kidding, of course. Personally, I liked the old way MUCH better. But whether or not folks are here for photography, it seems like it would be a "marketing" issue. What people see draws them in (or not). If what they see isn't accurate, or misrepresents what entries actually look like, or are found cognitively dissonant (the images you "expect" to see don't match with what you "do" see) it can make people less likely to join, or stay.