Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 2 3 [4] 5 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: How does critique work? Why do we post here?  (Read 9495 times)
John R
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1013


« Reply #60 on: July 08, 2009, 09:49:13 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: ckimmerle
Rob,

I agree with that statement, to a point. Too many people offering critiques offer suggestions on how THEY would have shot the photo, which is often worthless input. I've heard many comments, mostly unsolicited, over the years about cropping, horizon placement, rules-of-thirds (ugh) etc that were little more than an ego stroke for the person giving the critique. A way for them to say that they know better than I. Most of those were by people with just enough experience and knowledge to make them dangerous.

On the other hand, critiques by experienced photographers can be life altering...in a good way. One particular very well-known photographer, whom I cold-called a few years ago asking for a critique (I cannot say who, by his request), offered suggestions and insights that helped improve my work a great deal. Simple things. Things I had, due my over familiarity with my own work, overlooked. I gleaned more in that 1/2 hour conversation than in most of the week-long workshops I have ever attended. I am forever in his debt.

Critiques can certainly help elevate ones work to another level but, as Russ has pointed out, we need to know where the critique is coming from, both in terms of experience and of talent. Without such information, the critique has no foundation for which we can judge validity. That IS a big problem for forums such as this one.

Lastly, we all have the final say with regard to our own work. If we listen to, and are compelled to change, due to poor advice, the blame rests squarely on our own shoulders. The critiquers are, while perhaps ignorant and selfish, blameless.
These are excellent points. It doesn't take great genious to see that relatively few people post in this section and fewer still render critiques. So we are dealing with mostly the same people most of the time. And there appears to be a lot of fighting and mud slinging and some bad blood, and that is one reason I suggested a 'Post it' only section.

JMR
Logged
dalethorn
Guest
« Reply #61 on: July 08, 2009, 11:04:32 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: shutterpup
For myself, the reason I started posting photos here was a curiosity about the quality of my shots. I felt that my friends and family were selling me a bag of goods when they said how good the photos were. I wanted some opinion from folks who don't know me, and from folks who could dispassionately comment on my pictures. This is not a panacea for me; it's not a "please tell me I'm wonderful" place. It's a please tell me your opinion and let me consider it.

Your photos are as good as your family and friends say they are.  But they're not as good as "the very best ever" with which they're compared to by some elite thinkers on photo forums.  So if the comments you get here are specific as to certain details, that will help you.  If the comments you get here say anything about your quality and other nebulous items, you can probably ignore those.
Logged
dalethorn
Guest
« Reply #62 on: July 08, 2009, 11:09:18 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: russell a
Artists show their work to others for one of two reasons:  1)  to seek adulation, 2) to irritate.

Free test marketing.
Logged
dalethorn
Guest
« Reply #63 on: July 08, 2009, 11:12:40 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: dalethorn
Your photos are as good as your family and friends say they are.  But they're not as good as "the very best ever" with which they're compared to by some elite thinkers on photo forums.  So if the comments you get here are specific as to certain details, that will help you.  If the comments you get here say anything about your quality and other nebulous items, you can probably ignore those.

Quoting myself, there is one other teeny, tiny thing many folks may have missed.  If you say something negative about a piece of current gear being hawked by one of the big mfr's, you may get slammed, insulted, and otherwise castigated by one or more of their not-so-secret agents who monitor these forums for such heresies.
Logged
popnfresh
Guest
« Reply #64 on: July 08, 2009, 11:36:40 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: dalethorn
Quoting myself, there is one other teeny, tiny thing many folks may have missed.  If you say something negative about a piece of current gear being hawked by one of the big mfr's, you may get slammed, insulted, and otherwise castigated by one or more of their not-so-secret agents who monitor these forums for such heresies.
That's usually being done by people who either own that gear or want to own it. They seem to take criticism of the equipment as a personal affront. To me that seems ridiculous. After all it's only a camera, not your mother.
Logged
cmi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 491


« Reply #65 on: July 08, 2009, 11:54:38 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: shutterpup
For myself, the reason I started posting photos here was a curiosity about the quality of my shots. I felt that my friends and family were selling me a bag of goods when they said how good the photos were. I wanted some opinion from folks who don't know me, and from folks who could dispassionately comment on my pictures. This is not a panacea for me; it's not a "please tell me I'm wonderful" place. It's a please tell me your opinion and let me consider it.

I also think that (since you are comparing you images anyway to whats around) everybody has a feeling about the level where he is at. Family and friends may just see the positive part of whats there, also in technically bad images, they just dont give you so much technical relevant critique. So, if you have an image, where you are like "Hey, that just ROCKS", well then you have a good image, regardless if it is conventional or whatever. But when you are not so sure about it, then usually the image *as is* is just not as good. At least thats how I would view it.


Quote from: dalethorn
Quoting myself, there is one other teeny, tiny thing many folks may have missed.  If you say something negative about a piece of current gear being hawked by one of the big mfr's, you may get slammed, insulted, and otherwise castigated by one or more of their not-so-secret agents who monitor these forums for such heresies.

Admit it Dale, you secretly want a P65 + complete lens set too!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 12:01:48 PM by Christian Miersch » Logged
popnfresh
Guest
« Reply #66 on: July 08, 2009, 12:01:16 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Rob C
I read this section on and off - seldom post. The reason? I simply donīt believe criticism - or critique, if you prefer - has a legitimate part to play in the life of a photographer or painter or, for that matter, musician.

In my mind, these are artistic endeavours that belong to the artist. To say that something would have been better if only... is, ultimately, only to say what the critic might or might not have done in the same circumstances and worth nothing in real terms.

I think criticism can be of value if it's constructive and not used as an ad hominem attack. It's an unfortunate characteristic of web forums that they so often degenerate into flamewars that only end up pissing everyone off.

Any artist who puts their work out there for people to see is inviting criticism. It's unavoidable. Everyone has opinions and everyone's a critic. So artists who exhibit their work need to be prepared for that and not allow themselves to be discouraged by negative responses, and conversely not let praise inflate their ego unduly. Either can poison the creative process. Ultimately, if you don't beleive in youself as an artist no matter what anyone else thinks, you're lost.

Presumably, everyone who posts their photos in the User Critiques forum is actively looking for feedback on their work. It takes some guts to do that, and I think those of us who offer feedback need to respect the artist even if we don't care for the art.
Logged
russell a
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 389


WWW
« Reply #67 on: July 08, 2009, 12:47:02 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: shutterpup
What about a deep-seated need to communicate through their art work? What about a desire to improve?
A deeply-seated need to communicate is based upon a model of human interaction for which there is little evidence and is often accompanied by essentially delusional thinking.  As others have pointed and, going about soliciting critiques from the qualitative equivalent of the rush-hour crowd in Grand Central Station is a dubious path to improvement.  It's best to be an individual with a strong sense of self.
Logged
cmi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 491


« Reply #68 on: July 08, 2009, 12:58:38 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: russell a
A deeply-seated need to communicate is based upon a model of human interaction for which there is little evidence and is often accompanied by essentially delusional thinking. ...

Well I would have thought communication and socialisation is one of the most essential things in life at least if I judge from myself. Maybe a misunderstanding?
Logged
russell a
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 389


WWW
« Reply #69 on: July 08, 2009, 01:51:15 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Christian Miersch
Well I would have thought communication and socialisation is one of the most essential things in life at least if I judge from myself. Maybe a misunderstanding?

Let me explain my position in a bit more detail.  We send and receive signals to and from others.  But,  I am convinced that what is sent cannot ever be precisely what is received.  The frames of reference and internal neural connections of each of us is unique so each interpretation of a message has nuances of greater or lesser degrees of difference from that of the message that was sent.   For simple messages the disparity doesn't create practical problems.  For more complex messages, such as embodied in artistic products as well as those for messages for which the frames of reference are strongly colored by emotional and instinctual components, the chances of isometric conformance are nil - this is true even when there is "agreement" between the sender and receiver.  Like the song goes, we just hope that we are "close enough for love".  So the assumption that there is a unanimity between two people is a delusion, which is revealed when the ground conditions undergo alteration (think: divorce, contract lawsuit, an artwork being unmasked as a "fake", etc.)  Too often, I believe a "desire for communication" masks an urge to impose ones own frame of reference on another, however it may be dressed in altruistic garb.   Given what I have outlined as the ultimate essential failure of communication, I do agree that our mucking around in this territory is one of the most important things we attempt and that we should, of course, continue.  We also hope not to have to confront traumatic events that reveal the underlying disconnect.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 01:53:11 PM by russell a » Logged
cmi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 491


« Reply #70 on: July 08, 2009, 02:21:19 PM »
ReplyReply

Russell, that took me a while to decipher! But now I get (without wanting to trivialize) that you just emphasize that we are for various reasons different persons and that communications mostly means manipulation for our own goals. Now thats perfectly true. You go on and say for yourself that we still get pleasure from it... and I believe that Shutterpup just emphasized that in #56 but then Im not sure.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 02:57:35 PM by Christian Miersch » Logged
dalethorn
Guest
« Reply #71 on: July 08, 2009, 03:10:00 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Christian Miersch
Admit it Dale, you secretly want a P65 + complete lens set too!

Actually, you'd make a good mind reader.  Very close anyway - I was taking a long look at the Leica S2, and you know how that goes.  By the time it's available I should be able to skip enough meals to pay for it.
Logged
dalethorn
Guest
« Reply #72 on: July 08, 2009, 03:23:23 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: russell a
Let me explain my position in a bit more detail.  We send and receive signals to and from others.  But,  I am convinced that what is sent cannot ever be precisely what is received.

I think there's a good possibility for passing useful critique information here, but many of us don't have a lot of time for that and we tend to minimize our comments, sometimes leaving out a bit of data that's necessary for other people to understand the points better.  Like someone might say "I'd crop that on the right side quite a bit", but not say exactly why, or in enough detail.  Then we can ask for a clarification, and that doesn't always work, but if it's important, I'd recommend it.  Some people might feel they're being too demanding to post followups that way, so they adopt a general rule of not doing that.

Funny thing is, I'd like not only to improve my own photos, but also be better at critique.  Not intending to be a a photo-art expert, but just be able to express more clearly and concisely what I see in various images, so I'm not wasting other people's time.
Logged
popnfresh
Guest
« Reply #73 on: July 08, 2009, 03:34:58 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: dalethorn
I think there's a good possibility for passing useful critique information here, but many of us don't have a lot of time for that and we tend to minimize our comments, sometimes leaving out a bit of data that's necessary for other people to understand the points better.  Like someone might say "I'd crop that on the right side quite a bit", but not say exactly why, or in enough detail.  Then we can ask for a clarification, and that doesn't always work, but if it's important, I'd recommend it.  Some people might feel they're being too demanding to post followups that way, so they adopt a general rule of not doing that.

Funny thing is, I'd like not only to improve my own photos, but also be better at critique.  Not intending to be a a photo-art expert, but just be able to express more clearly and concisely what I see in various images, so I'm not wasting other people's time.
I have no idea why something does or does not work in a picture, so I don't try to explain it. I just know if it works for me. If someone offers a suggestion on how to make one of my pictures better, I try it. If the result works for me, I run with it. If not, I discard it.
Logged
byork
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 123



WWW
« Reply #74 on: July 08, 2009, 06:37:00 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: russell a
Show your work to your Mom.  

Okay....who let their kid play with the real computer?
Logged
Ray
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8812


« Reply #75 on: July 08, 2009, 10:53:19 PM »
ReplyReply

This is my latest print, on my Epson 7600. I'm thinking of giving it as a birthday present to someone. Not sure, though.

It's a composite of two separate shots. Please feel free to criticise it to your heart's content. Don't hold back.

A bit of background. The monk on the left has been dead for 30 years. The beauty on the right is a bloke. Canon 5D.

[attachment=15232:Monk___K..._22x16_5.jpg]

Let all the poisons in the mud hatch out.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 11:47:20 PM by Ray » Logged
DarkPenguin
Guest
« Reply #76 on: July 08, 2009, 10:57:51 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Ray
This is my latest print, on my Epson 7600. I'm thinking of giving it as a birthday present to someone. Not sure, though.

It's a composite of two separate shots. Please feel free to criticise it to your heart's content. Don't hold back.

A bit of background. The monk on the left has been dead for 30 years. The beauty on the right is a bloke. Canon 5D.

[attachment=15232:Monk___K..._22x16_5.jpg]

What are the feng shui rules for decorating with dead monk knick knacks?  I'm betting Pier One doesn't stock them.
Logged
popnfresh
Guest
« Reply #77 on: July 08, 2009, 11:44:34 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Ray
This is my latest print, on my Epson 7600. I'm thinking of giving it as a birthday present to someone. Not sure, though.

It's a composite of two separate shots. Please feel free to criticise it to your heart's content. Don't hold back.

A bit of background. The monk on the left has been dead for 30 years. The beauty on the right is a bloke. Canon 5D.

[attachment=15232:Monk___K..._22x16_5.jpg]
What are you trying to say with that particular pairing?
Logged
Ray
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8812


« Reply #78 on: July 08, 2009, 11:59:26 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: popnfresh
What are you trying to say with that particular pairing?

I'm not precisely sure. Isn't that the point of all art?

There are intimations here of reincarnation. A 30 year old dead monk who perhaps became a monk because of his female tendencies which were strongly disapproved of. His female spirit, upon physical death, was reincarnated into another male, who had the courage to change sex rather than become a monk.

Just speculating!
Logged
kikashi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3690



« Reply #79 on: July 09, 2009, 02:36:10 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: popnfresh
I have no idea why something does or does not work in a picture, so I don't try to explain it. I just know if it works for me. If someone offers a suggestion on how to make one of my pictures better, I try it. If the result works for me, I run with it. If not, I discard it.
That's my "problem" as well, which is why I find it very interesting when someone does explain why a picture I like (whether take by me or someone else) works. It helps me towards that understanding, which I think is likely to help me to take more picture which work.

I take the same approach to suggestions that you do. Who wouldn't?

Jeremy
Logged
Pages: « 1 2 3 [4] 5 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad