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Author Topic: How good are you?  (Read 6736 times)
kikashi
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« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2010, 11:55:26 AM »
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Quote from: michael
Bad idea.

There are some people in the arts who are excellent critics but not so great practitioners. Cutting off their input, or denigrating it, would be counterproductive.

Michael
Very true. I've seen surgeons who are wonderful teachers and trainers but whom I wouldn't let anywhere near me with a knife. As Brendan Behan wrote of theatre critics: "They're like eunuchs in a harem. They know what to do, they see it done every night, but they can't do it themselves".

Jeremy
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2010, 12:47:11 PM »
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Lots of folks post their website or online galleries in their signature. I've found some really good photographers here on the site just by clicking through the links.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2010, 03:25:54 PM »
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Quote from: stamper
I think that I can definitely disagree with that comment! Deep technical knowledge and doesn't  create their own interesting photographs? Why would he/she go to the bother of learning and then don't do it?

They surely want to create interesting photos but don't have the artistic skill or aesthetic sense needed to do so. Photographic technique is, well, technique, and anyone with half a brain can learn it. The art of photography is something else, and I am not sure how much that can be taught. Look, for example, at Cartier-Bresson, who had other people develop and print his photos. He wasn't at all interested in technique but made some of the most memorable photos ever. On the other hand, think of all the technically excellent but dull-as-dirt photos that you see.
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Peter
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feppe
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« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2010, 04:58:37 PM »
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The last thing I want here is a monoculture of landscape photographers dedicated to technical perfection and pleasing aesthetics. In addition to those photographers I want photojournalists, glamour photographers, bird shooters and amateurs. Anything from MFDBs to LF to iPhones.

Wait, we already have that.

And I find the notion of "bad" photographers being sidelined at best misguided, although I'm inclined to think it would lead to a forum of sycophants catering to the needs of the lowest common denominator - which admittedly would not be so low given the caliber here, but still. Some of the most appropriate and helpful critiques I've received have come from non-photographers who wouldn't know the difference between ISO and dSLR.

If you insist on following up on this, there's a handy ignore user function on the board, so you can just ignore all the posters who don't link to their images, or who's work is not up to your standards.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2010, 07:26:36 PM »
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Harri put it very well, IMHO.

It seems to me that those pushing for this form of censorship believe that the only suitable audience for a photograph is a photographer. 

I wonder how many of the pros on LL sell their services only to other photographic pros? Most of the folks who have commented in any meaningful way about my own photography have been non-photographers. Real people are my audience.

Anybody who wants to check my "credentials" can visit my website, but that's not why I have a link in my signature.

Eric

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ckimmerle
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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2010, 09:07:13 PM »
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Quote from: Eric Myrvaagnes
It seems to me that those pushing for this form of censorship believe that the only suitable audience for a photograph is a photographer. 

The word "censorship" is unduly harsh and provocative in this instance and, if you read the entire thread, not really accurate. Second, this has nothing to do with "audience". Instead, the OP asked the question in regard to PEER critiques and assistance.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2010, 11:31:46 PM »
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Quote from: ckimmerle
The word "censorship" is unduly harsh and provocative in this instance and, if you read the entire thread, not really accurate. Second, this has nothing to do with "audience". Instead, the OP asked the question in regard to PEER critiques and assistance.
Chuck,

I admit that the word "censorship" was a bit harsh, but having reread the OP I see no mention of "PEER critiques and assistance," but rather a suggestion that posting an image every so often be a "condition of membership." Some subsequent posters seem to agree with this idea and others (myself included) do not.


Quote
I have been lurking and posting here for a few years. A lot of good information and some not so good? A lot of posters come across really well and they write what seems to be knowledgeable information. What I would really like to see how good they really are as photographers? Michael could you make it a condition of membership that every so often a member should be compelled to post an image proving that they can take good images? This would mean that they would be taken more seriously as posters?


Eric

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wolfnowl
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« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2010, 12:33:00 AM »
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I don't want to get on one side of this 'conversation' or the other, but it reminded me of a thread someone started a while back where every reply had to contain an image.  Seemed like a good idea at the time, but the thread died.

Mike.
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stamper
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« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2010, 05:46:11 AM »
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Quote from: Joe Behar
So what you want is information that you can trust, information that comes from someone that you consider to be a good photographer, technically knowledgeable and generally accepted as having good credentials to guide you in areas that you are not as well educated on as you would like to be.

And you want to compel the owner of this website and the people who contribute to it to provide you with that FOR FREE.

You're also asking that anyone that does not meet some vague concept of being a "good photographer" be shut out from having a voice, regardless of the fact that they might just have a style that does not suit you, or they may also be a relative novice in some areas and want to learn...just like you do.

May I suggest that you find a photographer whose work you admire, approve of and want to learn from, and then contact them and see if they might be willing to take you on as an apprentice and teach you what you want to learn? They might not offer all this for free, hell they might not offer it at all, but that would certainly satisfy your needs.

I have picked this post out to formulate a reply. It is - imo - way over the top and misrepresents - I don't know if it is deliberate - my original post. Perhaps compelled was too strong a word. I didn't mean it in the sense of compulsion but encouragement might be a better one? When I was a camera club member my images were criticised and rightly so. If the critic was a good photographer - if I had seen his work -  then I listened intently. If he wasn't then my attention wasn't the same. In the six years in the club one member submitted I think two images to competitions but was the biggest critic of others. One poster states

Very true. I've seen surgeons who are wonderful teachers and trainers but whom I wouldn't let anywhere near me with a knife.

Sorry I don't get that line of reasoning. Theoreticians and practitioners spring to mind. If someone is both that is fine but if he only is one please make it a practitioner? My intention wasn't  to censor or bar anyone but rather to encourage them. If I can see that he or her is good it is very helpful. There are a lot of posters I admire and take in what they say because they have - imo - proved them selves by showing their work and I take hints from them. There is another poster with over 3,000 posts who states he can't take a good picture to save his life but wants to be taken seriously?

Quote

Who says one has to be capable of creating "interesting photographs" for their deep technical knowledge to be accurate or relevant? Being a good photographer is not a requisite element of having technical knowledge of things like software, sensors, etc.

Unquote

My post is about photographers. This is primarily a photographic forum? There are other posts worth commenting on but it would possibly take up too much bandwidth. Hopefully this adds light to my original post?
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2010, 08:17:48 AM »
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IMO it's a poorly thought out idea for many reasons, most have which already been discussed at length. It is possible for someone who is very adept at the technical side of photography but weak artistically to provide useful critique, even if his own portfolio is artistically mediocre. Some photographers are artistically gifted but technically inept ("I don't want to have to mathematically analyze DR and noise statistics, I just wanna make pictures"), and while they may have many excellent images to their credit, their technical advice may be suspect at best. Others may be gifted in both areas, but be unable to post images due to model release and usage rights issues. Limiting the scope of those allowed to critique may weed out some chaff, but will also eliminate a lot of good advice from people who fail to meet the criteria for whatever reason.

And who gets to play God and decide who's "in" and who's "out"?
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Chris_T
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« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2010, 08:43:34 AM »
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Quote from: michael
There are some people in the arts who are excellent critics but not so great practitioners. Cutting off their input, or denigrating it, would be counterproductive.

I cannot agree more.

"You don't need to know how to lay an egg to be able to tell a good one from a bad one." I think I heard that from Dick Cavett. That's a critic's privilege.

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Let comment stand on its own. We learn soon enough to distinguish who has insight and can contribute valuable opinion, and who doesn'

As mentioned in other threads, I value the posters who provide *context* along with their comments. I ignore those who claim camera xyz is the best without telling us comparing to what. I also ignore those who "like" or "dislike" an image without explaining WHY.

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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2010, 09:50:55 AM »
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I tend to undervalue comments by those who don't post a URL to a personal gallery.
RSL

I totally agree.
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Thanks,
Kirk

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stamper
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« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2010, 10:08:59 AM »
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And who gets to play God and decide who's "in" and who's "out"?
[/quote]

Nobody is in or out. It is meant as a guide for any one who views posts and wants to make up their mind as to how good the person is who is making criticisms. I thought I made this clear in my last post? I am not playing God but I think that there are some here who possibly are. I would like to see their artistic efforts before I accept their judgements. There must be a lot of them who have passed judgement but never posted any of their efforts to prove their worth. I have read a lot of demeaning comments  on here about images posted. BTW this isn't about me being hurt by a comment as someone suggested. In camera clubs judges have to prove their worth before passing judgement, therefore I respected their comments but didn't always agree with them.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #33 on: February 01, 2010, 10:28:58 AM »
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Quote from: Chris_T
I cannot agree more.

"You don't need to know how to lay an egg to be able to tell a good one from a bad one." I think I heard that from Dick Cavett. That's a critic's privilege.



As mentioned in other threads, I value the posters who provide *context* along with their comments. I ignore those who claim camera xyz is the best without telling us comparing to what. I also ignore those who "like" or "dislike" an image without explaining WHY.

I agree with you. Also, I think a critique is more valuable when it suggests ways a photo might be improved. After all, the main reason people ask for critiques is (I think) because they want to improve their work. Saying a photo needs improvement is not that helpful unless you suggest how.
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Peter
"Photographic technique is a means to an end, never the end itself."
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fredjeang
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« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2010, 01:27:56 PM »
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A truth anecdote from Picasso to feed the debate:

Pablo Picasso, old, was sitting in the stairs of his manor, in the south of France. He was just sitting, doing nothing, apparently bored.
His gardener was there and asked him: "Hi master, resting?"
He replied: "No, working!"
Then, the next day Picasso was at work, painting and apparently concentrated in his studio with the windows opened.
Came the gardener and asked: "Hi master, now you are working no?"
He replied: "No, resting..."

Fred.
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2010, 05:23:39 PM »
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Why "fix" something that IMO is not broken?  I suspect that most here can quickly sort out the poseurs and trolls from those who make useful contributions.  LuLa is not perfect but it's one of the best photography forums I have frequented.  Adding such a "qualification" for posting does not make it any better.

And if you are trying to decide how seriously you should take this particular post, here's my work (as if that has anything to do with my opinion):

http://www.pbase.com/pauls

Paul
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 05:29:33 PM by Paul Sumi » Logged

walter.sk
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« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2010, 09:56:27 AM »
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Quote from: stamper
In camera clubs judges have to prove their worth before passing judgement, therefore I respected their comments but didn't always agree with them.
I happen to be Director of Competitions in a well established camera club (Westchester Photographic Society) and enjoy all of the club's activities.  Members range from rank beginner to pro, and we have a very high percentage of particiaption in our competitions.  

However, one of the things that I struggle with is that newcomers begin to take the criticism of the judges so seriously that it alters their perception of photography in a way that limits their creativity.  While we don't hew to PSA "rules" as much as some other clubs, some members begin to think that if a photograph has a horizon in the middle it cannot be a good picture;  they come back from galleries and museums saying that they don[t understand what people see in the works of well proven photographers of the last century, as well as contemporary works.  While those of us with a longer view of what makes good photography constantly urge members to develop their own likes, dislikes and style in shooting, sometimes the tail begins to wag the dog and the photographs become predictable, with every subject at the intersection of thirds, etc., etc., etc.

Regardless of the "authority" of a judge or a critic in a club or here on LuLa, it is the responsibility of you to look at the criticism, see if it helps your image accomplish what you had intended or impedes it from doing what you wanted.

I would also remind all of the pros here that each of us has had the experience of "helping" somebody pick their best shot for some purpose and having it shot down, while a picture we had said was "not as good" received great kudos from a judge, a critic, a gallery owner, curator, etc.

To me, the "rules" are just suggestions for compositional organization that teach a beginner ways to develop awareness of all of the factors that are involved in a picture.  I weary of hearing that "this picture is good even though it breaks all the rules," or, "you have to know the rules before you can break them," when, in fact, for some really good images the rules were not "broken" but were not relevant.  

What I am saying, I guess, is relax.  Do a lot of shooting.  If you submit some pictures for c and c, try each suggestion on for size and if it helps, you're ahead of the game.  If it doesn't help, nothing is lost.
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RSL
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« Reply #37 on: February 03, 2010, 01:31:03 PM »
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Right on, Walter. This is why I refuse to enter anything in a juried show. The judges always are insane. For two years running I judged a photo show here in central Florida. Year before last, a couple weeks before I judged the show, I gave the group a lecture on the history of Photography. During the lecture I explained that photography judges always are insane. Both years they agreed.
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EduPerez
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« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2010, 05:57:01 AM »
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I do not think it should be obligatory: there are some understandable reasons why someone might not want to show his / her work;
and the value of C&C is not determined by the quality of the poster's work. But I think it is a healthy exercise of honesty to do it; I did it on my first post in this forum, by the way.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2010, 10:58:13 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
Right on, Walter. This is why I refuse to enter anything in a juried show. The judges always are insane. For two years running I judged a photo show here in central Florida. Year before last, a couple weeks before I judged the show, I gave the group a lecture on the history of Photography. During the lecture I explained that photography judges always are insane. Both years they agreed.
That's funny!

I have a presentation that uses famous paintings, from renaissance, baroque, impressionistic, modernist and other periods, and I ask the audience to spot the "rules" of composition that are broken in these paintings.  The "errors" run from cutting off hands, feet, heads, etc at the edge of the frames, to "mergers" between subject and background, to subjects looking or walking out of the frame, to "distracting" brighter areas than the subject, as well as many others.  I ask them why they think these "violations" exist, and they often state that the artists "were unaware" of the rules, or that the paintings were done before the rules were devised!  Finally, some of them respond that these are paintings, and not photographs.  When I ask why the rules should be different for photographs when paintings and photographs can depict the same scenes, what they ultimately come out with is that  "the judges have only  a few seconds to view the picture so the impact has to be more instantaneous, and they need  some more objective criteria on which to make comparisons."

When I point out that 95% of the photographs in museums and galleries, ranging from the accepted masters to the latest works of living photographers, would do poorly by the judges' rules, they agree that something seems wrong about that but they are uncomfortable about the whole situation.  The result is dozens of pictures of single tulips against black bacgrounds,
all tilted diagonally from bottom left to top right, and off-centered appropriately.  Or wide angle landscapes with the requisite large rock looming in the foreground with a path or road leading to a river or mountain in the background, and lo and behold, a red canoe one-third of the way in from the right, just below the non-centered horizon.

Beatiful, but ho hum all the way!.
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