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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 13 Feb 2018 (Tuesday) 16:35
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POLL: "Do you want constructive criticism on your photos in the "Photo Sharing and Visual Enjoyment" section?"
Yes
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No
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31 voters, 31 votes given (1 choice only choices can be voted per member)). VOTING IS FOR MEMBERS ONLY.
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Photography Forum, What's the Point?

 
s1a1om
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Post edited 5 months ago by s1a1om. (3 edits in all)
     
Feb 13, 2018 16:35 |  #1

A discussion recently broke out on the "Show us your setup and final result" thread and I thought it warranted further discussion. To prevent completely derailing that thread, I thought I'd start a new one here.

The premise of the discussion was whether constructive criticism should be given in the "Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment" part of this forum. A couple years ago I was the recipient of a comment similar to the one given on that thread:

Osa713 wrote in post #18562615 (external link)
Thanks but I didn’t post the setup for feedback/critique, it looks good to me and I achieved my goal. ;-)a

And I was taken aback by that kind of aggressive response. In my mind the entire point of a forum on photography is to get feedback from other people in order to get better at photography. As such, I was astounded that somebody would post something and just want to hear, "beautiful shot". If I wanted that kind of response, I'd show the photos to my friends/family.

In fact, after my run-in with this mindset a couple years back I added "constructive criticism is always appreciated" to my signature to clear up any doubt. Even if I don't agree with the poster, I appreciate their feedback as it gives me something more to think about.

Ray Marrero wrote in post #18562021 (external link)
Nice, but I would raise the light about a foot.

vk2gwk wrote in post #18562571 (external link)
Understand where you are coming from, but now it is too bright on the central part of the body.

Seems Ray Marrero and vk2gwk have a similar line of thinking to me. In fact, I'd say they gave great feedback on a photo. They noticed a problem (in their opinion) and clearly stated what is was, why it is a "problem" and gave a possible solution. I'd be thrilled if someone were that helpful to me.

DaviSto wrote in post #18563024 (external link)
It's the constructive criticism that makes this thread interesting for me. I have plenty to learn about lighting.

"This was the set up, this is the result" ... then ... "Cool shot" type interactions generally provide very little that a person might find useful in building their understanding and skills. But I actually picked up a lot from the very brief discussion around Osa713's set-up and image before it was cut off.

I think aggressive criticism is wholly unwelcome and unwarranted anywhere on POTN but ... as I said before, there is not much point to a thread that is specifically about 'the shot and how I took it' if it doesn't feature any polite discussion of what could have been done differently.

PhotosGuy wrote in post #18562947 (external link)
OTOH, if you're willing to accept a "Great shot!" comment, you should also be willing to accept a, "You cut her ear in half!" comment, no?

I agree with both what DaviSto and PhotosGuy said, above. On the other hand, maybe the people I agree with are in the minority.

To me this goes right to the heart of the point of a forum (hence the title of the thread). Lets hear your thoughts.


Constructive criticism is always appreciated.

  
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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Feb 13, 2018 17:27 |  #2

C) I don't care either way.


However, I typically only comment regarding changes if it is asked for specifically.

If someone offers their opinion to me without my asking for it, I just ignore it.


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TustinMike
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Feb 13, 2018 17:46 |  #3

I welcome constructive criticism. I've learned a lot from this forum and I'm sure I still have a lot to learn. I try to be careful not to offer criticism unless it's been requested, though. Just today I saw a photo for which I had a suggestion, but decided not to make a comment because no request for CC had been made.


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Luckless
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Feb 13, 2018 17:59 |  #4

If someone just wants to share their work, then I say be supportive and positive, or don't comment.

If someone clearly indicates that they want more critical feedback and discussion, then engage with them on that subject.


Not everyone has the same personality as everyone else. No reason to not respect that, and acknowledge that some just don't want to, or aren't able to effectively, handle criticism.


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DaviSto
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Post edited 5 months ago by DaviSto.
     
Feb 13, 2018 18:12 |  #5

Really minor point of detail ... the "Show us your setup and final result" thread isn't actually in the "Photo Sharing and Visual Enjoyment" section, it's in the "General Gear Talk, Flash and Studio Lighting" section.

If they're in a 'talk' section of the Forum, talking about posted images seems to me to be exactly what is intended. For me, this thread is supposed to be about discussing technique and analysing the results. It's not supposed to be a show thread where posters put up nice images just to harvest 'likes' and where we all carefully refrain from making any remark that isn't 100% protective of posters' potentially delicate sensibilities.

For myself, I am happy to take comments on anything I post and I have decided to spell that out in my signature. I'd prefer it if people weren't aggressive or rude and that they stuck to telling me in which ways my technical and artistic capabilities are questionable rather than that I have ugly child with a bad complexion. But ... it being only the internet ... I'll also accept the risk of rude and insensitive remarks. After all, they aren't my problem.


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Comment and (constructive) criticism always welcome.

  
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Jethr0
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Feb 13, 2018 18:15 |  #6

I think the key word is _constructive_.
I have read some snarky comments on photos and wonder if that person would have said that if they were face to face with the person receiving the criticism. I think likely not.

That being said, I feel that POTN is one of the most polite forums I have ever been part of.

I ignore the members/comments that aren’t very nice. On occasion I may have indicated that someone is being rude if I felt strongly enough about it.


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Chet
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Feb 13, 2018 18:28 |  #7

If I think I look great and someone mentions I have something hanging from my nose, or I have lipstick from the secretary on my collar, I appreciate knowing. To me it also applies to my awesome mad photo skillz. Just let me know. I may not respond, but I do ansorb it and take a look. I've also seen a couple of the more hoity toity members post with their photos that criticism is not welcome.

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Gart
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Post edited 5 months ago by Gart.
     
Feb 13, 2018 19:26 |  #8

I am going to side with the member that posted the picture in question. The setup of the shot was shown which could be of benefit to someone else who is learning/trying to replicate a similar result.

If critique of their setup or the image was desired, the poster should ask for it or post the photo in "Critique Corner".

I normally don't give critique anymore even if posted in the C&C group. Too many people want their work to be praised and if something is said to the contrary, one gets a response like "I wanted it to have that look, kind of artsy and different". And by putting something in C&C without specifically asking what area (lighting, composition, pose, etc) the question is too vague in what feedback is being requested.

Gart




  
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OhLook
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Feb 13, 2018 19:43 |  #9

s1a1om wrote in post #18563039 (external link)
In my mind the entire point of a forum on photography is to get feedback from other people in order to get better at photography.

My mind says there are other purposes. For instance, one way to get better is to view others' images and figure out what makes them work or not. This is done silently, no need for feedback.

I often post images because I found (or did) something I liked and want to share it. My name is OhLook for that reason. If I'm walking with a companion and I say "Oh, look!" it's because I've spotted something the person may want to see.

Left Handed Brisket wrote in post #18563077 (external link)
I typically only comment regarding changes if it is asked for specifically.

TustinMike wrote in post #18563093 (external link)
I try to be careful not to offer criticism unless it's been requested. . . .

I follow Brisket's and Mike's guideline.

My signature doesn't ask for criticism. It says IMAGE EDITING OK, but I can't remember when anyone has edited an image. Sometimes people do comment, typically those who've followed my posts for a while, and those comments are helpful.

One kind of comment that isn't helpful tells how the commenter would have done it differently. Well, of course you would have done it differently! You're a different person!


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scokar
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Feb 13, 2018 20:05 |  #10

s1a1om wrote in post #18563039 (external link)
Osa713 wrote:
=Osa713;#18562615]Than​ks but I didn’t post the setup for feedback/critique, it looks good to me and I achieved my goal. ;-)a

[...]And I was taken aback by that kind of aggressive response[...]

That is not an aggressive response.




  
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Bassat
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Feb 13, 2018 21:36 |  #11

For the most part, I don't want commentary on my photos. If and when I do, I ask for it, specifically. When perusing the critique sections, I'll post if I have something positive to say. If not, not. My mother would be pleased.


Tom

  
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ejenner
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Feb 13, 2018 23:28 |  #12

On my photos, I don't care if criticism or comments is constructive or not.

I usually only comment on others if the photographer is clearly good. Good photographers are usually less defensive because they know they are good and so are less likely to care about your comment or take it personally.

Sometimes the reply, if any, can be instructive to me and usually this is why I would comment - I'm being selfish in a way and almost looking for the reason I am 'wrong' ot just tying to learn something.

But I figure in general the critique section is for making comments. I don't see the photo sharing section as a place for comments.


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soeren
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Feb 14, 2018 00:17 |  #13

Id like to know if members feel there is something not quite right with an image including others contributions. It help learning to see and evaluate. Even if I like something at first glance it gives me tools to make similar shots even better.




  
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DreDaze
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Feb 14, 2018 00:18 |  #14

at the end of the day you don't know what was in that photographers head when they took the shot...if it matches his/her vision, then any criticism doesn't really work for the person...if they were struggling and couldn't get the results they wanted then the criticism could help them achieve their goal...i don't think the persons response back was aggressive at all...but it's the internet, and it all depends on how you read things

i posted a photo in the black and white section for halloween...i said i overdid it, to make it dramatic, and spooky...someone came in and said they just didn't like it...i said i didn't care if they liked it or not, but it matched what i wanted for the photo...that was probably rude of me, but oh well...


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Nogo
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Post edited 5 months ago by Nogo.
     
Feb 14, 2018 00:23 |  #15

The members of this forum are for the most part great photographers. But, some appear to have little experience in business communications. A business letter no matter the basic format should first start in such a way as to connect with the recipient. Often the writer says why they like what the recipient does before they tackle what they don't like. Then afterwards you attempt to maintain the goodwill.

My description of a business letter may to simplified and also a little old fashioned. But all that is to lead up to the problem i see with much criticism on photography forums. Some members either fail to put the effort in or else do not know how to constructively encourage the other member by pointing out what has been done right when they imply that the posting member did something else poorly or even did it wrong

I would much rather hear someone say something like, I love how you nailed the focus of the eyes of that bird but it would have been even better if you had stopped down a little more so that the feathers on the back would have been in focus too. To me, that type of criticism is much better than someone who says the depth of field is too thin. The feathers on the back of the bird are out of focus.

Hope this explanation is not too long but I said all that to say, if a member does not encourage as they criticize, I would rather not be given so called constructive critism. Now having said all that, many members on this forum do an excellent job encouraging others with their comments. Please don't believe I think this forum is full of a bunch of old meanies. :lol:


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