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:
Thanks but I didn’t post the setup for feedback/critique, it looks good to me and I achieved my goal.
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.
Nice, but I would raise the light about a foot.
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.
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.
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.