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Photographers overly critical of others work?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Pilum, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. Pilum

    Pilum Member

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    I'm surprised at the number of people on the forums recently who've been criticising work which people have put up for comments with suggestions that the shot is somehow "wrong" and should be changed. In some cases, drastically.

    I don't think anyone can say that a particular shot is "wrong" except perhaps the photographer that took it. He/She had an idea in mind when they were looking through the viewfinder. Surely it's an insult to suggest what they've captured is "wrong" and should be changed. What you're really saying is that photo isn't enough like what you'd have done if you were the one behind the camera. But you weren't.

    I think people need to remember this when making comments and criticisms. Opinions and suggestions are great, but don't try to change other people's work into your own. Otherwise all photos would look the same - and imagine how boring that would be :)
     
  2. undef

    undef Member

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    i guess then maybe the posting photographer should put a small statement on what was trying to be achieved so that the viewers have framework to critcise within...

    i see your side of the argument, but sometimes we all convince ourselves that our shot is great.. when it really does lack in certain areas... and nothing like a good kick in the chops to get grounded again..

    also keep in mind who is doing the criticising and take it with a grain of salt...
     
  3. mosaic

    mosaic Member

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    I feel that constructive criticism is a good concept however you are right in that sometimes it is more criticism than constructive.

    Perhaps we should "change our perspective" before posting our critiques to see if it really is helpful or is just a criticism. :)
     
  4. Dropbear

    Dropbear Member

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    I have found that other photographers are extremely willing to provide criticism.. perhaps a little 'too' willing. but this is the only sort of 'art' medium I am involved with, so I don't know whether that also occurs in painting or any other sort of circle.

    A great number of criticisms seem to be photographs not falling within the 'basic rules'.. ie cropping, lighting, rules of thirds etc.. This can be valid when helping newbies learn the basics, but it's often annoying when you've broken the rules deliberately..


    of course the number one pain in the arse criticism that sends me running to the gun-rack is the old "What story is it telling?" line or "it's just a photo of..."
     
  5. l00b3r

    l00b3r (Banned or Deleted)

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    Thank YOU.
    Finally, someone else who noticed.

    Wheres the fricken love forum 48 once had.
    As a result of many members here, (maybe myself included) some pro's have stopped posting activly, some pro's stopped looking here all together, and even some forum members make no effort to post because they know that if they do, someone will dis-agree or bitch about it.

    Dropbear hit it on the head. ;)
     
  6. chamellieon

    chamellieon Member

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    I guess in terms of art mediums, (and i feel qualified giving my point of view as i am a painter/printer/photographer/ sculptor...) photography is one of those mediums where a work can be changed an unlimited amount of times with post processing, so its quite unique, especially in this digital age, and you can get both good advice and bad advice.

    Its because of this flexible manner of change that multiple criticisms are given, because each person can be their own expert. Yes i agree with Dropbears' comment about the basic rules, and yes it is good to educate people, especially those who are new, as to how to maximise the impact of the photos they take, by using the basic rules.

    That's where photography becomes an art medium, if its "just a photo of" then its more documentary and lesss art, if its "i wanted to get the shot of the cat's eyes as there's a myriad of colours" then it becomes art, i think. But that's my opinion.

    People do tend to let loose a little with criticisims, we post knowing that we will get C+C... some even ask for it, but people should remember the a third C... Constructive. Im all for C+C+C....
     
  7. LINUX

    LINUX Member

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    Hmm, I'd agree that there's been a bit of overly-harsh crit of late. But in general it only takes a little bit of bad taste to ruin everything. I've found that in general people are helpful.

    Also, I find that only getting certain crit can be an encouragement. One of my earlier threads with a few shots of the beach got feedback along the lines of "boring composition" and the like, whereas my most recent pic of the same rock formation just got technical feedback (and one post which earned a user an ignore list upgrade). Anyway, the fact that the worst thing people could say about my shot was "poor lighting, retry at sunset yadda yadda" was a great encouragement because it meant that the other aspects (composition and what not) had improved.
     
  8. djjc

    djjc Member

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    Ive noticed it too. When i offer crit, i try to focus on 3 things. First, i like to point out something i like, secondly, i point out what i dont like and third i discuss what i would have done to capture the same image in a better way. I think without all 3 points, especially the first and third, youre largely wasting someone elses time, as well as your own.

    I dont think people should be afriad to hate an image, but if they hate it and cant think why, i would think thats a good time to keep your opinions to yourself.
     
  9. Dropbear

    Dropbear Member

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    I am extremely guilty of this, but I'll say it anyway

    Often our coments and criticisms are harsher than they would be in real life, because of the nature of the internet. It's unlikely that anyone here would walk up to a photographer holding a print and lay into a 5 minute tirade of how 'bored' they are with "yet another ...................."

    Knowing that, I tend to 'auto-moderate' a lot of criticism that I receive, and deliberately remove a lot of the perceived venom to try and see what the person is saying.. Is the person completely fed up with looking at candid photos of t&a on the street? If so they are likely to be opening a can of whoop-ass on your photo like you've taken a photo of satans nuts and sold them to kids as lollypops..

    Some people are 'thicker skinned' than others and can receive critcism more easilly, but it pays to remember that at the end of the day, you are putting yourself out there when you post a piece of art. It helps to remember that when posting comments on someones work, you're likely to be commenting on something that is personally valuable to that person and you should treat their efforts with respect.

    It also pays to remember that if you DO post something out there, that you're likely to receive more critiques than pats on the back. If you don't want C&C comments, then say so in your opening post.
     
  10. Jab

    Jab Member

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    Bingo, absolutely !

    This would have to be the harshest forum, photographically speaking, to post into on the net. Hence why I do not post here anymore (and others I know as well).

    Nobody like's there work continually being ripped to shreds, nobody's perfect.

    Constructive criticism is fine but for some reason some here take delight in not only ripping an image apart but also questioning the photographers ability to take anyshot and even making it personal.

    /rant

    This ain't a nice place anymore it is sad to say.

    Jim. :(


     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2007
  11. Zzapped

    Zzapped Member

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    As Jab said, there's very little in the way of constructive criticism here, its just plain bagging out of most pics, I dont post much now except for the odd one or two as Im sick of the negativity shown by some here, Its a shame as I used to get a lot of help and tips but that doesnt seem to happen any more :(

    Cheers

    Z
     
  12. Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

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    Some very valid comments. I get nervous posting photos here, even though I've had one which made the front page and ended up as the album cover art of an Australian electronic music group.
     
  13. Pirki

    Pirki Member

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    People in general are helpful, but one comment on Linux's thread was particularly harsh, and uncalled for.
     
  14. l00b3r

    l00b3r (Banned or Deleted)

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    When I first started here (forum 48) back in.... maybe 2005, people told me what i need to do, what would help the shot, and gave input, now it seems to be a race to rip people up.

    I dont wanna see the forum become a FM "GREAT SHOT" when its obviously not, but I think some style and poise might help the forum. I'll continue to stir the pot, but I'de like to do it in a most constructive way
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Pilum

    Pilum Member

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    It's encouraging to see so many people who have also noticed the overly critical nature of some of the comments here. It's sad that even pro's are too scared to post their shots here for fear of the grilling they'll get.

    Rather then dwelling on this fact, is there anything we can do that might change things and bring back the "fricken love" as l00b3r so eloquently put it? :)
     
  16. Wodan

    Wodan Member

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    If photographers are being turned to not post their work because of it, we all lose out.

    I've enjoyed looking at the gallery from time to time and posting when I found one picture stood out more than others.
    Hoping a general comment from someone with no background in photography may be useful to the artist in some way. :)
     
  17. l00b3r

    l00b3r (Banned or Deleted)

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    Make me a Mod, I'll quickly clean out the forum (I should probably be included in the clean out) :p



    but seriously, if peolpe stop being so negative, I think it would help. Sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind, but there is a line. I'm tempted to name a few who always brought the love and no longer post, but I think they silently browse.... so i encourage the pro's and others, to post up!
     
  18. brasher

    brasher Member

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    Im all for constructive C&C, but when I see someone go on and on about composition, lighting etc, then scroll down the page and see the Critic's photo's and every single thing they picked up the original poster with is evident in their photos.
     
  19. Heist

    Heist Member

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    To be honest I'd rather put up with the 'bad' or 'un-constructive' criticism and get the odd useful comment, rather than simply get a whole bunch of lovey dovey "that photo is pretty" comments.

    Don't get me wrong, I appreciate both but for different reasons - they balance out. Lots of people here want to improve, and as long as you have a thick enough skin and can see where someone is coming from, no matter how harshly they word it then there is some benefit. There is generally some thought behind what they are saying, e.g. they don't like it because of x y and z, not just outright criticism.
     
  20. mliuboy

    mliuboy (Taking a Break)

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    I'm only a bit hesitant to put things up due to the lack of feedback, not negative stuff. My last few galleries here haven't generated much interest (perhaps they're just not interesting photos to begin with!) but I'd rather have the "negative" feedback l00b3r gets annoyed with than none at all.
     

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