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Author Topic: What "Critique" means  (Read 3483 times)
RSL
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« on: June 07, 2009, 01:13:52 PM »
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Before we go further let’s talk about the word, “critique,” which is the operative word in “User Critiques,” the title of this forum. The Random House Unabridged gives this meaning to “critique” as applied to what we’re doing in the forum: “a criticism or critical comment on some problem, subject, etc.”

A couple weeks ago someone on here mentioned that he’d lost interest and was dropping out, partly because he’d discovered that if you pointed out a problem with a photo on User Critiques it was considered insulting. Seems to me that instead of dropping out he’d have been better off trying to correct the problem. So here’s an attempt to do that:

One problem with offering to critique the work on User Critiques is that everyone wants to be anonymous. Hardly anyone has offered enough information about himself in his profile to let the potential critic know whether the poster is a tender teen-ager whose fragile personality might be damaged by straight talk or an adult who’s actually asking for criticism. Seems to me that if you’ve posted your work on something called “User Critiques,” you ought to be ready to accept criticism. If you’re not, then you’re probably in the wrong line of work. You’d be better off on one of the equipment fora where you’ll learn that by buying a Leica M8 you’ll instantly turn into the second coming of Henri Cartier-Bresson, or that by buying a Nikon D3X you’ll instantly become the best wedding photog in town. There are no critiques of actual photographs on those fora, so you can relax and talk about equipment.

When I found Luminous Landscape, where we actually can talk about photography rather than equipment, I was delighted, and I thank Michael for making a forum like this one possible. I’m quite sure there are a number of people on here who are qualified to offer valid criticism, but I suspect some of the most qualified ones have been put off by the reaction from some that criticism is insulting. Who’s qualified to offer critiques? I don’t think there’s a universal answer to that question. Each photographer has to answer the question for himself, and the only way I know to answer it is to look at the work of the person offering the criticism and see where you’d place that work on your personal scale of excellence.

So lets get rid of the idea that criticism on a forum called “User Critiques” is insulting. Criticism should be constructive, but there’s no point in pretending something’s good when it’s not. If you’re serious about your work you should be learning a lot more from your failures than from your successes. I shoot photographs every day, but I figure that if I get just one really top photograph a year I’m doing well. I may get a bunch of second-tier, “very good” stuff, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but the stuff you’d stake your reputation on doesn’t come along very often no matter how hard you try. On the other hand, the near misses are the most valuable teaching material around.
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kikashi
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2009, 01:30:09 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Before we go further let’s talk about the word, “critique,” which is the operative word in “User Critiques,” the title of this forum. The Random House Unabridged gives this meaning to “critique” as applied to what we’re doing in the forum: “a criticism or critical comment on some problem, subject, etc.”

A couple weeks ago someone on here mentioned that he’d lost interest and was dropping out, partly because he’d discovered that if you pointed out a problem with a photo on User Critiques it was considered insulting. Seems to me that instead of dropping out he’d have been better off trying to correct the problem. So here’s an attempt to do that:

One problem with offering to critique the work on User Critiques is that everyone wants to be anonymous. Hardly anyone has offered enough information about himself in his profile to let the potential critic know whether the poster is a tender teen-ager whose fragile personality might be damaged by straight talk or an adult who’s actually asking for criticism. Seems to me that if you’ve posted your work on something called “User Critiques,” you ought to be ready to accept criticism. If you’re not, then you’re probably in the wrong line of work. You’d be better off on one of the equipment fora where you’ll learn that by buying a Leica M8 you’ll instantly turn into the second coming of Henri Cartier-Bresson, or that by buying a Nikon D3X you’ll instantly become the best wedding photog in town. There are no critiques of actual photographs on those fora, so you can relax and talk about equipment.

When I found Luminous Landscape, where we actually can talk about photography rather than equipment, I was delighted, and I thank Michael for making a forum like this one possible. I’m quite sure there are a number of people on here who are qualified to offer valid criticism, but I suspect some of the most qualified ones have been put off by the reaction from some that criticism is insulting. Who’s qualified to offer critiques? I don’t think there’s a universal answer to that question. Each photographer has to answer the question for himself, and the only way I know to answer it is to look at the work of the person offering the criticism and see where you’d place that work on your personal scale of excellence.

So lets get rid of the idea that criticism on a forum called “User Critiques” is insulting. Criticism should be constructive, but there’s no point in pretending something’s good when it’s not. If you’re serious about your work you should be learning a lot more from your failures than from your successes. I shoot photographs every day, but I figure that if I get just one really top photograph a year I’m doing well. I may get a bunch of second-tier, “very good” stuff, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but the stuff you’d stake your reputation on doesn’t come along very often no matter how hard you try. On the other hand, the near misses are the most valuable teaching material around.
Well said: my sentiments exactly.

I have found your comments, both on my submissions and on others', to be helpful and to offer insight. There are several other people whose comments here I read with interest and which I value (there are one or two whose views I reverse before consideration!). I hope that when I put forward my own views, they are regarded in the same way. None of us is right all the time, and opinion is just opinion, after all.

I think I know why you have chosen to post this message just now. I was going to write something in support of your original comment in that thread but you have addressed the problem with rather more courtesy than either I would probably have managed or than the somewhat intemperate response from the original poster merited.

I use a login name which isn't my own (although I sign off messages with my own name) not to hide who I am but because all anyone sufficiently interested has to do is to ask. (In fact, there's enough information in my posts to let someone who wants to play detective to track me down as it is.)

Let's hope that this part of the forum remains a place where thoughtful, if sometimes hard-hitting, criticism can flourish. I post occasional photographs I have taken because I think the responses might help me to become a better photographer. There are too many sites in which any posted shot receives uncritical adulation. What's the point in that?

Jeremy
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2009, 03:00:12 PM »
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I agree completely. The whole point of this sub-forum is for folks who want to get more meaningful feedback than just 'attaboys'. There are plenty of places on the web for that. If you post something here, you should be prepared to get honest opinions, some of which may be as positive as you were hoping for. While it can be disappointing to find that others don't share your enthusiasm for an image (particularly one that you put a lot of work into or think is one of your best), you should take it as a learning experience rather than getting defensive or argumentative.  

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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2009, 06:06:00 PM »
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Quote from: kikashi
Well said: my sentiments exactly.



Let's hope that this part of the forum remains a place where thoughtful, if sometimes hard-hitting, criticism can flourish. I post occasional photographs I have taken because I think the responses might help me to become a better photographer. There are too many sites in which any posted shot receives uncritical adulation. What's the point in that?

Jeremy


Hear, hear!!!

I must say I was astounded by Mr.Feesh's response to Russ's post. In a world where not much comes free these days, to respond to someone giving an honest opinion (and correct one at that) in that manner was bang out of order.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2009, 06:31:17 PM »
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This was coincidentally just posted on another forum I frequent regarding this subject:



How to critique photography- some handy guidelines:

One would think that the concept of critiquing photographs is simple- a photographer submits his or her prints to a competition or a “judge” or judging panel, ostensibly of his or her peers or perhaps a person or persons of a known quantity of higher expertise, for the purposes of constructive criticism or for validation of their existing skills and talents. The all encompassing reason for this exercise, in a perfect world, is so that the submitting photographers can get an honest reading, if you will, on the quality level of their work- an essential component of growing as an artist.

All one needs to do is turn on the 11 O’clock news to realize that we do not live in a perfect world, the status of photographic education being the least of it. Suffice it to say that in our smaller world of photography, continually educating ourselves in our ever changing craft is a formidable job in which the exchange of ideas, concepts and knowledge is the essential tool for success and survival. The concept of good- shall we invent a term- “critique management” is vital in keeping this exchange alive. Critiquing, in my opinion, is the most powerful device in teaching, learning and the stimulation of creativity. Since it IS such a powerful force, shouldn’t we pay some attention to the "art" of delivering and accepting critiques? When misused, the power of the critique can become damaging and discouraging, rather than strengthening and inspiring.

Taking the above philosophy in mind, it becomes apparent that critiquing has become a more complex endeavor than one might have originally thought and carries along with it some responsibility, ethical questions, diplomatic obligations and even sensitivity issues. To make things even more difficult there are endless variations in judging concepts and the motivations and expatiations of those submitting their work. To confound things even more, there is all the political, emotional and rhetorical stuff that often surrounds the critiquing process which, in turn, leads to childish behaviors, egoism, cronyism, one-upmanship and downright rudeness- all counterproductive elements that degrade and erode an otherwise proud and time-honored teaching and learning tradition. Some of these negative issues can be proven by participating in and observing print shows and critiquing sessions, acting as a judge at theses events. More importantly, to observe as a current issue, right here on our boards, some of the head banging that goes on. It is a shame when people refrain from posting their work for critique, for fear of being personally attacked- what a bummer!

So here it comes: my humble ideas and insights into the art of critiquing-

DISCLAIMER: In the following article, references are made to standards, print competitions, judges, photographic organizations, and rules and regulations. These references are only made to illustrate my experiences. This does not mean that I am suggesting that all the folks at this forum (you and I) and the administrators should adopt any such concepts (such as P.P.A. rules). All the suggestions herein are designed to enable photographers to enjoy the critiquing process, here on the boards or if people are submitting their work or are asked to sit on a panel or be an adjudicator at a competition- that they can raise to the occasion. Also remember that these are my own opinions, based on my experiences and are also subject to your criticism or praise.


THE SUBMITTERS- YOU are the folks who enter the competitions, go for the critiquing sessions and post their images here on the boards, especially when requesting a critique. The question is, what motivates you to do so? If you are strictly looking for ribbons, prizes, accolades, pats on the back and validation, you are bound to be disappointed , disillusioned, hurt, disenchanted or just plain ticked off. If you want to get a good reading on you images, suggestions for improvement and the best stimulation for creativity you can get- you are in the right place. Sooner or later all the other good stuff will come. If your goal is to progress as a photography enthusiast, to become a professional, or improve your professional status- this forum is where you want to be. As I have stated before, competing and accepting criticism is a little bit like boxing- if you are afraid to take the occasional punch- don’t go there. Those punches are ok if they go to your work- not yourself. There is no valid reason why anyone should accept personal attacks or rude comments- you have to learn to let that stuff go in one ear and out of the other- only the constructive stuff need remain in your brain. Any judge or photographer who delivers nasty criticism is probably someone to be ignored anyway regardless of their so called stature or personal savvy with a camera . Folks who do that, do so out of intolerance , jealousy, fear of competition, narrow-mindedness and or just plain old stupidity- all bad motivations- all to be ignored. Nasty critiques are generally not accurate.

When you attend a seminar, you pay your fee to listen to someone that you want to learn from. If a critiquing session is held during the seminar you might tend to more easily accept the criticism as part of the learning process. The same sort of acceptance usually occurs when your prints are being judged by a selected judge or panel of respected photographers of masters status. You know that theses people, have themselves, been through the mill, so to speak, and the medicine they dish out is a little easier for you to swallow. But even the best of judges might base their criticism on subjective rather than objective reasons- we are all human and sometimes that happens. When you post on the forums, the “judges” are your fellow members and it is hard if not impossible to assess their level of expertise, talent, or experience unless they are known to you or are one of the founders or administrators whose reputations precede them.

Sometimes you can tell by the way they deliver their critiques and sometimes it is difficult to tell. There are people who can absorb and later on can regurgitate lots of information and then deliver it with very little substance- lots of techno-babble. There are others who simply do not know what they are talking about but post comments just for the sake of participating- or worse yet, to start a fire fight. It is then up to you to TAKE THE CRITICISM FROM WHOM IT COMES AND DEAL WITH IT ACCORDINGLY. You must separate the wheat from the chaff using the good stuff and ignoring the bad.

”SHOW ME YOURS AND ME?LL SHOW YOU MINE”: Some submitters, when posting their images, will take offence to a negative critique and “retaliate” by challenging the “offending judge” to show his or her own photography- this to earn the privilege of commenting on the work in question. I hate when that happens because that whole exercise will more often than not become kindling for a forest fire. When you post an image on a public forum, like this one, you are exposed to anyone who wants to comment on you work- again it is up to you to determine the validity of the various opinions. When I receive a comment with which I disagree, I might post a reply explaining my reasons for doing what I did, hoping to engage in some good technical repartee. If the response becomes intransigent, I simply agree to disagree and get on with other things. If I am in a slightly combative mood I might politely respond “I am beginning to understand your point of view, but for the purpose of clarification, could you kindly post a similar subject illustrating your preferred method of treatment for that particular type of subject”- then I let the feathers fly and land where they will! it’s fun! That is about as far as I will go- I never suggest pouring gasoline on a fire! On the boards we can enjoy this kind of communication. When however, we send our prints to actual print shows and competitions- the decisions of the judges are final and you have to accept whatever you get and hopefully use the information to your advantage.

YOUR DUTY AS A POSTER OR A COMPETITOR. Prepare you submission, send it or post it according to the rules and size requirements. Take your results or score in stride and use whatever you have learned to your advantage. When you are on the boards, refrain from nasty or retaliatory comments. If you ignore bad comments, the absence of your angst will become apparent to others on the thread and you will gain respect.

ON BEING A GOOD JUDGE. When I started to sit on judging panels we used to have to take judging lessons. The lessons spelled out the rules and regulations and more importantly the criteria for actually analyzing and scoring prints. I am not suggesting that these rules be adopted officially but they can serve as good guidelines when you wish to give a critique or comment on photographs that have been posted on the site. Remember YOU ARE THE JUDGE and folks are depending upon you for fair and honest adjudication. Your job is to assign a score (say 0 to 100) to each print or body of work and or make a critique thereby sending an important, accurate message to the makers of those prints. The message has to contain an accurate assessment of the quality and craftsmanship in the piece, designed to set the maker in the right direction. If a critique is involved it should clearly and succinctly point out the areas that need improvement and if possible a remedy for the problem(s). When doing an informal critique, for the sake argument, you can set your own standards, Remember this is an exercise on the boards, not an official competition- have fun with this and consider it a learning experience for all concerned. My favorite method is to score on a percentile basis. 1-60= somewhat below professional or advanced amateur standards- needs a whole lot of re-thinking- would probably not hang in a professional level print show- one or two pointers would not fix things up. 61-74 Getting there but no cigar. 75-8O Professional level work. 81-85 Pretty Good Stuff . 86-90- Kick butt work and 91-100 Masterful exemplary photography. Criteria (what to look for)- here’s the list:

Visual impact.
Composition
Lighting
Posing (when applicable)
Treatment
Printing quality- contrast, density, color balance etc.
Finishing- spotting and retouching (where applicable)
Surface finishing and cleanliness.
Presentation- mounting.

Just some final Dos and Don’ts-

DO
Always give an honest objective opinion.
Always suggest areas for improvement where required.
Always encourage the maker to continue posting or submitting work.
Be specific on all your points.

DON”T
Judge or criticize work based on the photographer’s approach or style. Things like “That is a PJ style of image- I would have like for you to have posed those subjects in a more formal manner”. This just does not communicate anything constructive and contributes nothing to the education or improvement of the maker. By the same token don’t say ?I love that print- do you have a web site??- It’s better to say “I love the way you have captured the texture in the bride’s gown and managed to get a spontaneous expression all at the same time” or something along those lines to indicate a positive opinion.

Never criticize, especially in an unkind way, a model or a subject in a photograph as being fat, skinny, ugly etc- it is the photographer’s treatment of the subject that counts. Never attack a submitting photographer on a personal basis by saying things that are hurtful and serve no teaching or professional purposes.

PLEASE REMEMBER- being a “please everyone judge” is just as bad as being a “kill everyone judge”. Sending the wrong message to a contestant or poster is a gross disservice- they work hard to make their images and deserve your honesty and professionalism.

Don’t post disclaimers like- “I don’t know what I am talking about but here’s my 2 cents”. Say what is on your mind and how the image has effected you. If it a boring flat image and does no send you a message- it is probably deficient in some technical or artistic way- so put you cards on the table and communicate.

I think that the critiquing that shows up on the boards should be fun, entertaining and educational. It gives us all a chance to be the contestant or the judge. It is healthy and can serve as an interesting exercise as long as humility, fairness, decorum and sportsmanship prevail. Except for these “rules” please do not take the rest of my suggestions that seriously- it’s up to you. If you intend to “enter the ring” as a contender or someday participate as a judge in an official capacity- this is good practice. Remember- No pain-no gain! Whether or not you want to heed my advice is up to yourself because- YOU ARE THE FINAL JUDGE!
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situgrrl
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2009, 07:08:24 PM »
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If ever a post deserved to be sticky, it would be this one.  I often read this section and yet rarely post in it.  For me, pictures fall into 3 categories, excellent, probably very worthy but the subject holds no interest to me and crap.  The first catagory needs no advice, the second, I am not the person to advise on and the third  - "my mummy used to say if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"

Mummy isn't necessarily right - but often these photos just need binning and I don't have the heart to tell someone that.  Perhaps the concept of critiquing is the problem.  Do I submit my best pictures here?  The ones that didn't work?  Is there any point whatsoever anyhow, given that the moment has passed?  Perhaps the final statement gives away my main area of interest (street/documentary).  Equally, I fully agree that people need to be encouraged.

However, what is the point of me submitting my best work?  People will blow smoke up my ass and tell me I'm Ansel/Henri/Weegie reincarnated?  Thanks, but I'm happy being Charly.  Someone says "what's the point in street photography?"  What's the point in you with your pretty sunsets?  Someone says I'm shit.  Huh?  but it's my best photo!  I'd best find a bridge to jump off!  

So, I post shots that don't work out - yeah right!  I present myself here as a competent and knowledgeable photographer - I don't want you lot thinking it's luck!

I think here there are two more salient points here, firstly, Magnum would critique from contact sheets because they showed the working method and selection skills of a photographer.*  Secondly, it doesn't matter how good I am at photography if I don't know my subject, the photos will be rubbish.  Perhaps there needs to be some thought given to a "How to shoot xyz" section for people heading into unfamiliar territory.  For example, I've been asked to shoot wedding portraits for my brother next month.  I'll muddle though because I know them both well and understand basic composition.  I also was ignored when I told him to get a pro on the job as it's not a field I've experience in and will therefore be a learning experience for me rather than guaranteed brilliant results for them - obviously what is needed.

*As an experiment, I'm going to post a contact sheet for your critique later in the week.  You get to see all of the rubbish as well as keepers.  My website is old at the moment.  Should I post fresh material or something from which the keepers are uploaded and post processed for all to see?  What I post will be raw scans, no pp, retouching, blah blah.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2009, 07:19:05 PM »
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I would add to all the above that we should be flexible - read the critiques between the lines, and don't panic or react too quickly.  Every opinion is valid, even if it's wrong in the specific instance.  And best of all it's all free.

Attached: Borders, Santa Barbara.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2009, 07:34:32 PM »
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Here are a couple more articles on critiquing that I thought were pretty good.

http://www.naturephotographers.net/je1001-1.html

http://www.naturephotographers.net/article...7/je0407-1.html
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2009, 01:06:15 AM »
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Thanks to Russ for having the chutzpah to start this thread, and basically I agree with what he says.  I also agree with Charly that there are some images posted in these forums that just don't work for me and so I reserve comment on those.  To me, it's better to say nothing than to say 'it's crap', because the latter has a distinct personal bias and doesn't offer anything of value.  OTOH, if I really like I shot I do say so because I think good work should be encouraged.  

Bottom line, it's up to the photographer to decide if others' opinions, comments, suggestions, criticisms, etc. have any merit, whether or not s/he agrees with any of it, or not.  Getting defensive in the face of derogatory comments can be easy to do, but a thick skin develops over time, and all comments reflect those that offer them as much as the original image reflects the photographer.

Mike.
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RSL
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2009, 09:38:35 AM »
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Quote from: wolfnowl
Thanks to Russ for having the chutzpah to start this thread, and basically I agree with what he says.  I also agree with Charly that there are some images posted in these forums that just don't work for me and so I reserve comment on those.  To me, it's better to say nothing than to say 'it's crap', because the latter has a distinct personal bias and doesn't offer anything of value.  OTOH, if I really like I shot I do say so because I think good work should be encouraged.  

Bottom line, it's up to the photographer to decide if others' opinions, comments, suggestions, criticisms, etc. have any merit, whether or not s/he agrees with any of it, or not.  Getting defensive in the face of derogatory comments can be easy to do, but a thick skin develops over time, and all comments reflect those that offer them as much as the original image reflects the photographer.

Mike.


Mike, We don't disagree. I almost never comment on pictures of sitting birds or pictures of flowers. If I want birds I can open an Audubon book. If I want flowers I can go to the nearest garden shop and pick up a seed catalog. Almost invariably what I get from those sources is far superior to what amateurs shoot. If I see a picture on here that I consider "crap," I won't comment unless the poster asks for comments. But if someone who's posted crap asks for a critique I don't think ignoring the situation or handing out a pat on the back is constructive. The problem isn't just with the poster. If we have beginners on here looking at something like that and thinking it's good, since no one has said anything to the contrary, we're not doing what the forum is supposed to be doing -- unless I misunderstand what the forum is for.

Best regards,
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2009, 11:15:28 AM »
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Great thread- thanks Russ.  I have to say, though, that I don't understand why someone would post a photo on the "user critique" forum and then not expect critique- to me, a "comments, please" leadoff is redundant (unless no one has yet provided comment).  

I think everyone who posts a response to someone's work here should carefully consider what, and perhaps more importantly, how (s)he pens that comment.  I particularly disdain posts that include lectures, diatribes, etc that serve only to inflate the ego of the respondant.  These types of "criticism" at the very least insult and discourage the original poster.  I think well formed critique serves to inform and direct the poster to strive for excellence by providing consise, specific information.  Details, details, details.

I will add, though, that "this doesn't work for me" is a perfectly reasonalbe point to make, because that can lead to "what are you trying to do with this?  Could you please explain?"  This type of discussion can inspire the poster to figure out ways to create stronger work that speaks more clearly.

John
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2009, 12:26:12 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
But if someone who's posted crap asks for a critique I don't think ignoring the situation or handing out a pat on the back is constructive. The problem isn't just with the poster. If we have beginners on here looking at something like that and thinking it's good, since no one has said anything to the contrary, we're not doing what the forum is supposed to be doing -- unless I misunderstand what the forum is for.

Good perspective Russ.  I hadn't thought of it that way.

Mike.
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2009, 08:51:30 AM »
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For those serious about critiques, I will recommend again the following book posted in another thread.

======

If you are interested in "critical essays on photography", check out

Criticizing Photographs by Terry Barrett ISBN-10: 0072977434

A college course book he wrote to teach his students how to write "critical essays on photography". An eye opener for me, not only on how to write critiques, but how to view and critique a photo. Instead of just uttering "nice work", now I know the need to support my comments with "why" I think so.
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2009, 10:47:24 AM »
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Thanks for posting this Russ.  I think we're for the most part all adults here, so our skin should be thick enough to not be injured by a little negative criticism.  And I agree, with the idea that negative comments are an excellent learning tool.  So we all should welcome them.

If someone posts a photograph to a forum like this, they should expect some negative feedback, if for no other reason that we are all different with different tastes.  If we only want accolades poured on us for being the next Ansel Adams or HCB, we had better stick to sharing our images only with family members, who are more impressed with the equipment we wield than the images we create.

Personally, I've had bullets fired in my direction.  I think I can take a few negative comments on my work...  
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2009, 12:02:50 PM »
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Quote from: jasonrandolph
Personally, I've had bullets fired in my direction.  I think I can take a few negative comments on my work...  

Jason, I remember bullets coming my way too. I always found it particularly exhilarating to realize they missed.
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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2009, 04:58:47 PM »
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To me, negative feedback is part and parcel of criticism.

Yes, it hurts, but it's the kind of hurt that I hope I learn from.

It can also help me to see what it is about an image or scene that's simply not possible to solve.

I can only hope it works this way for others as well.

Also, I believe that a critique isn't there only for the photographer/artist, it's there for the other readers of the site. If it wasn't, it would be silly not to have the critique sent by PM or e-mail.

Pet peeve: there are people who remove their images from the critiques after a while. This makes it extremely inconvenient to go back and look at what's been said, and why; it cripples the critique.
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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2009, 08:09:02 PM »
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Quote from: wolfnowl
I also agree with Charly that there are some images posted in these forums that just don't work for me and so I reserve comment on those.  To me, it's better to say nothing


Mike.


That's all very noble, but for me, it makes it a waste of time me posting anything to be critiqued. If I just wanted a pat on the back, I'd take my photo to my wife and say, "Sweetheart, look what I've done", and she'd say, "Yes darling, thats wonderful" and I'd blissfully wander off not knowing there were a dozen things I should have done better....sorry, but I'm much more ambitious than that!

I post images here because I have access to people who have far more experience than I do that I can learn from....I appreciate them taking the time to even look, and even more for taking the time to express their opinion. Positive feedback is great because it will encourage and inspire me, but I also need to know what I could have done better. Everyone's taste is different, so there will be times when I might disagree with negative feedback I get....but I will respect your opinion and accept it in the good faith it was hopefully given.

I've updated my about me page for anybody that feels they need to know where I came from.

Cheers
Brian

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John R
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2009, 09:55:44 PM »
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There are many good points in this post, but I find all too often some criticisms are unneccessarily negative and unconstructive. Many are overly critical. We are all at different levels and have different interests but I don't find it necessary to comment on images just to say I don't like this or that kind of photography. Many comments are made in passing as an afterthought. Why bother? Anyway, hopefully things will stay on the civilized path.

JMR
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