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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 23 May 2014 (Friday) 13:23
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Brutal Critiques vs Silence

 
Karl ­ C
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May 23, 2014 13:23 |  #1

A question for the collective POTN brain trust...

If you posted photos for critique, what form of feedback would you prefer...

Brutally honest constructive critiques?

Or silence?

To me, silence is the most painful of critiques since it's apparent the quality of work is such that folks don't even want to comment. I once submitted some photos for critique and they weren't even presented for critiques. To be fair, the folks offering critiques may have been inundated with submissions and had only limited time available to offer any feedback.

Just curious about how others feel.


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jetcode
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May 23, 2014 13:33 |  #2

A comment that often comes up is that many don't feel qualified to critique therefore remain silent. Some remain silent because they are jealous of your work. Some remain silent because the piece doesn't move them. Some simply remain silent because it takes energy to talk and they already had their experience with your piece. I have one local friend who can only show me the defects in my work and usually on opening night at the show. Best advice is to listen to and ignore critique. If you can't parse where your art is you haven't yet arrived. The day you know full well whether a piece works or not you won't need critique.




  
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Scatterbrained
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May 23, 2014 13:46 |  #3

Reasons why I won't say anything:
1) The image is so bad I don't know where to start. I feel it would be a bit too much to say "that's so bad I can't find a single redeeming aspect of the image". Granted it's rare, but it happens.
2) The image might be technically sound, in the way a snapshot from a P&S might be sound, but it does nothing for me. I feel this way about 99% of bird/macro/sports/airp​lane photos, therefor I just don't say anything.
3) I may see an obvious issue with the image, but the thread is so full of attaboys that I feel it would be out of place to point out what I felt was obvious.


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Rabid
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May 23, 2014 13:47 |  #4

jetcode wrote in post #16925054 (external link)
A comment that often comes up is that many don't feel qualified to critique therefore remain silent. ...

I'm one of these. I've also received negative comments on photos (not here) where it was evident that the person did not understand what I was going for. Example: telling me my photo is underexposed when I was going for a dark mood. I don't want to do that to someone else.


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Scatterbrained
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May 23, 2014 13:50 |  #5

As far as people not commenting on my own posts, I'm used to it. ;) It's very rare that I start my own thread here because they tend to disappear quickly and quietly.


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May 23, 2014 13:51 |  #6

Rabid wrote in post #16925076 (external link)
I'm one of these. I've also received negative comments on photos (not here) where it was evident that the person did not understand what I was going for. Example: telling me my photo is underexposed when I was going for a dark mood. I don't want to do that to someone else.

Maybe your image was underexposed? ;):lol:


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gonzogolf
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May 23, 2014 14:08 |  #7

I dont mind a good sound critique. But there are a few too many keyboard jockeys here who love to put the brutal ahead of the critique in brutal critique. Like others I will only comment if I can add something useful, and be constructive about it. As mentioned above you hate to be overwhelmingly negative so there are some that are so bad that I just skip them.




  
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joedlh
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May 23, 2014 14:39 as a reply to  @ gonzogolf's post |  #8

I'm with Gonzo. I usually review images that have the least number of responses. I figure that those with many responses are pretty well covered and don't need anything more from me. I will comment if I have something to offer. If the image is totally abysmal, I don't bother tearing it to pieces. It sounds sappy, but I like to encourage people, not knock them down. I'll offer tips for places to go to learn more. If the subject just doesn't do it for me, I pass. This is especially so with guns and cars, which I find boring beyond tears.

As for my own images, I prefer a hearty critique. But I'm experienced enough to know when a response is simply ill-tempered. If I don't get any response, then I assume that there's nothing in the image worth addressing and/or the subject didn't sufficiently engage somebody to the point where they wanted to offer a compliment. My last one got one response. Oh well.


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venom3300
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May 23, 2014 14:42 |  #9

an honest constructive critique is what I always prefer. Thats how you learn and get better.


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pwm2
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May 23, 2014 14:47 |  #10

I wouldn't mind bad critique.

Just that most bad comments aren't critique but internet junkie jumping into thread and seeing an opportunity. So it ends up with a "it's ugly" which doesn't help anyone. "I don't like the pose" would at least have given some hint about something to look closer at.

Some people are able to give good descriptions of way to improve. I don't expect everyone to be able to do that. But just about anyone should at least be able to give some hint why they like/dislike a photo.


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D-Noc
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May 23, 2014 14:52 |  #11

gonzogolf wrote in post #16925101 (external link)
I dont mind a good sound critique. But there are a few too many keyboard jockeys here who love to put the brutal ahead of the critique in brutal critique. Like others I will only comment if I can add something useful, and be constructive about it. As mentioned above you hate to be overwhelmingly negative so there are some that are so bad that I just skip them.

But isn't it always possible to add something useful?
Isn't it a matter of trying to get a feeling of the current level of the person asking for critique?
For example, if a person who just recently acquired a camera, but really wants to be better requests critique on a picture of an overexposed duck, with a totally tilted horizon, wrong WB taken at 1/16 of a second at f/22, then instead of NOT giving feedback it might be an idea to give critique on the most important issues. Then as the person evolves, you could go further into the minor details.

I guess what I am trying to say is that silence is useless! Or worse.. The person might give up trying to improve. But suggestions for better camera settings (or maybe a picture so a kitty instead of a duck, if the technique improves) would help that person.

I understand that many of the things that makes a good picture is a matter of taste, but that should hold people back, if they don't like a picture. I think it is okay to say "I don't like it" as long as a valid reason is provided.


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WVUEerFan74
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May 23, 2014 15:02 |  #12

D-Noc wrote in post #16925184 (external link)
But isn't it always possible to add something useful?
Isn't it a matter of trying to get a feeling of the current level of the person asking for critique?
For example, if a person who just recently acquired a camera, but really wants to be better requests critique on a picture of an overexposed duck, with a totally tilted horizon, wrong WB taken at 1/16 of a second at f/22, then instead of NOT giving feedback it might be an idea to give critique on the most important issues. Then as the person evolves, you could go further into the minor details.

I guess what I am trying to say is that silence is useless! Or worse.. The person might give up trying to improve. But suggestions for better camera settings (or maybe a picture so a kitty instead of a duck, if the technique improves) would help that person.

I understand that many of the things that makes a good picture is a matter of taste, but that should hold people back, if they don't like a picture. I think it is okay to say "I don't like it" as long as a valid reason is provided.

Yes, I think it is. Even if you are reiterating something that someone else said, I feel that it validates it. If someone posts a photo and there are 10 positive comments about it, the OP would be inclined to think that one person either didn't know what they were talking about or something to that affect. So I have no problem reiterating what someone else has said, it creates validation.

As for me, I am quite amateurish and still learning a lot, so if I post something that is crap, just say so. I can take it, plus I'll learn from it and try to fix it.


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D-Noc
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May 23, 2014 15:10 |  #13

WVUEerFan74 wrote in post #16925208 (external link)
As for me, I am quite amateurish and still learning a lot, so if I post something that is crap, just say so. I can take it, plus I'll learn from it and try to fix it.

Me neither.. As long as the crap-sayer explains why they consider it crap.


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WVUEerFan74
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May 23, 2014 15:15 |  #14

D-Noc wrote in post #16925225 (external link)
Me neither.. As long as the crap-sayer explains why they consider it crap.

Yes, this. Please don't say "That is a crappy image"; say "This image needs work in this area or that area". It's over/under saturated; too bright/dark; etc.


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gonzogolf
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May 23, 2014 15:23 |  #15

D-Noc wrote in post #16925184 (external link)
But isn't it always possible to add something useful?
Isn't it a matter of trying to get a feeling of the current level of the person asking for critique?
For example, if a person who just recently acquired a camera, but really wants to be better requests critique on a picture of an overexposed duck, with a totally tilted horizon, wrong WB taken at 1/16 of a second at f/22, then instead of NOT giving feedback it might be an idea to give critique on the most important issues. Then as the person evolves, you could go further into the minor details.

I guess what I am trying to say is that silence is useless! Or worse.. The person might give up trying to improve. But suggestions for better camera settings (or maybe a picture so a kitty instead of a duck, if the technique improves) would help that person.

I understand that many of the things that makes a good picture is a matter of taste, but that should hold people back, if they don't like a picture. I think it is okay to say "I don't like it" as long as a valid reason is provided.

Yes, you could say something useful. But there are only so many hours in the day to comment and its easier to find someone that I can help with a more pointed and less comprehensive critique. Plus you often encounter the newbie with the justification excuses. "Ummm yeah, I meant to miss focus to make it appear more artistic, you just dont get me."




  
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