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Author Topic: Last Rays on Devil's Tower  (Read 7116 times)
rogerxnz
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« Reply #80 on: February 20, 2013, 07:27:54 PM »
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There is nothing wrong with people making pretty pictures just as there is nothing wrong with people making what they perceive as more thought-provoking (you know what I mean) pictures. What is wrong is people thinking that one group is superior in some way than the other. That is snobbery or elitism. Each group is entitled to be happy and proud of what they produce.

For the purpose of this discussion, I will refer to the first group as the "less intense picture makers" and the other group as the "intense picture makers". I have tried to select terms that are emotionally neutral but I am sure to have offended some already. Let me know what terms you prefer.

The comparison that comes to mind is that of marathon runners and those who only enter 10km runs ("fun runs").  Many think marathon runners are better and more dedicated than fun runners but many fun runners just like running for fun and think marathon runners are nuts. Then there are the ultra distance runners who are another breed again!

All runners, whether they are ultra/marathon/fun runners, put effort into their running and enjoy what they do. No one has the right to put any group on a pedestal or rank them. The groups are just different.

I think what is happening in this forum is that some less intense picture makers regard critiques from intense picture makers as "fluff", too verbose, and so on. There is a mismatch of purposes and the less intense picture maker feels he is being talked down to by someone who thinks he is superior. It's like a marathon runner telling a fun runner he/she is not running far enough. The marathon runner's comment is ridiculous because the fun runner does not want to run any further, no matter what.

If you accept there is a mismatch between the two groups (and the groups in between), is there a solution? Each group is perfectly valid and entitled to critiques.

I suggest that the starting point should be that all images are posted for serious critiques of any length. Then posters can say or indicate if they do not want intense critiques. They could say "this is a snap I took recently" or "please don't give involved critiques" or "I have posted this image just to show what I'm up to" or "I've posted this image because I like the colours".

It shouldn't be hard to indicate the kind of critique you want.

What do you reckon? How can we keep the intense picture makers "(IPM") from ruining the pleasure of the less intense picture makers ("LIPM")and from seeming superior to the LIPM?

Maybe LIPM should just skim over replies that exceed whatever line count they find acceptable for their efforts? Likewise, IPM can skim over comments which have fewer lines than they want.

Please note I have used "critique" throughout to match the purpose of this forum and not "criticism" which has an entirely different (and negative) meaning.
Roger
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Roger Hayman
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« Reply #81 on: February 20, 2013, 07:36:47 PM »
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Roger, I like your runners analogy very much.

However, you labeled my type of photography as something LESS (less intense)... I am offended!  Angry Angry Angry



P.S. Just kidding (about being offended, not the analogy)
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Slobodan

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James Clark
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« Reply #82 on: February 20, 2013, 08:41:21 PM »
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Roger,

I agree with almost everything you posted, but, as fate would have it, it was the very first part of your post that gave me pause.   Grin

But perhaps a small clarification could be requested - when you refer to "less intense picture makers" and "more intense picture makers,"  are you referring to people who make less intense pictures vs. those who make more intense pictures, or are you referring to those who make *any* pictures more, or less intensely?  That is to say, is your separation a question of the pictures/art itself, or is it a question of the attitude various people take in creating their art?

Does this make any sense?  Smiley 
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #83 on: February 20, 2013, 09:07:03 PM »
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What isn't being said here is that Slobodan early on agreed with my short "executive summary" of this photograph. Here he says, "Thank you for the "executive summary." It told me all I needed to know. There is a compliment ("beautiful" - thank you) and there is criticism ("plasticized" - thank you again). And I agree with both." He has repeated his agreement more than once. I gave him his due straight away before moving on to any in-depth comments. And, that due was positive.

There's an irony in all this whining about elitism now. The first few photographs I posted, had several of the 'gang' here waiting to salt their comments with "snapshot" - the oldest, and most pretentious put-down possible.  Every comment had to have "snapshot" worked in. Now, as I refer to this photograph as a pretty picture, the outrage is full-throated, and the indignant accusations of elitism are non-stop.

Here was the arrogant, and simply crude RSL on his very first comment to me, "Guy, Sorry, but what I see is one high-school type snapshot and two environmental portraits -- no street photography. You need to go to a library or bookstore, pick up a book of Cartier-Bresson's photographs, and study it."

And a few days later the chief complainer here, Slobodan said of my photograph, "The lesser the photograph, the more bloated the justification?"

Now, they are all indignant that I didn't fawn over this uninteresting photograph. I am an elitist. This is a classic double-standard. I'd suggest reading what I wrote for the many other photographs that I have critiqued here. Dozens, I think.

I have a well considered set of criteria for what I think makes an interesting photograph. Others have theirs. And just as we get to post whatever kind of photograph we want here, I think we can also post whatever kind of critique we want here. There are no objective standards for either.
 
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James Clark
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« Reply #84 on: February 20, 2013, 09:36:01 PM »
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Now, they are all indignant that I didn't fawn over this uninteresting photograph. I am an elitist. This is a classic double-standard. I'd suggest reading what I wrote for the many other photographs that I have critiqued here. Dozens, I think.

I don't see any indignation at the fact that you (or anyone) didn't "fawn over" This particular Slobodon photograph.  I can only speak for myself, but my reaction isn't that this particular photo is amazingly good and any opinion to the contrary is elitist, it's rather the question of what constitues a serious photograph. Put another way, good or bad technically, why is this Slobodon photo not "good art?"   What is it about your square B&W harbor shot, for example, that warrants more serious consideration (or less dismissal) than this Slobodon photo, understanding that I have no issue whatsoever with your square harbor shot, but I would take exception to it being labeled as obviously more "serious" art than is the subject of this thread.

Quote from: RedwoodGuy
I have a well considered set of criteria for what I think makes an interesting photograph. Others have theirs. And just as we get to post whatever kind of photograph we want here, I think we can also post whatever kind of critique we want here. There are no objective standards for either.

I'm down with that.  I fall firmly in the "if you don't want to read 4 paragraphs, skip them" school of thought.
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dmerger
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« Reply #85 on: February 20, 2013, 09:45:27 PM »
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Congratulations, a bunch of grown men have managed to do a great imitation of the movie “Mean Girls”.   Kiss
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #86 on: February 20, 2013, 10:05:38 PM »
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Congratulations, a bunch of grown men have managed to do a great imitation of the movie “Mean Girls”.   Kiss

Which one are you then? Which one of the Mean Girls, that is? Tongue
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Slobodan

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rogerxnz
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« Reply #87 on: February 21, 2013, 12:06:41 AM »
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Roger,

I agree with almost everything you posted, but, as fate would have it, it was the very first part of your post that gave me pause.   Grin

But perhaps a small clarification could be requested - when you refer to "less intense picture makers" and "more intense picture makers,"  are you referring to people who make less intense pictures vs. those who make more intense pictures, or are you referring to those who make *any* pictures more, or less intensely?  That is to say, is your separation a question of the pictures/art itself, or is it a question of the attitude various people take in creating their art? 

I am referring to the intenseness of the attitude behind the making of the picture and I agree refinement is required to what I posted before.

I feel that people should not be classified as belonging to one group (intense picture makers or less intense picture makers) or the other and everyone should be free to post intense and less intense images as they wish. The main thing is to avoid getting intense critiques on images which the maker does not require or appreciate. Horses for courses!

So, people posting less intense pictures can avoid grief and "fluff" by indicating either that their image is not an intense one as I described in my previous posting above or saying they only want brief comments.

If posters are pleased to accept any considered critiques, they can carry on before

In my opinion, if someone has spent time expressing a view on your image, it is simply rude to attack the reviewer or the review just because you cannot understand what has been written or you feel the review is too long.

So, please, if you don't appreciate intense reviews, make that clear when you post your picture.
Roger
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Roger Hayman
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« Reply #88 on: February 21, 2013, 12:18:30 AM »
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    What is it about your square B&W harbor shot, for example, that warrants more serious consideration (or less dismissal) than this Slobodon photo, understanding that I have no issue whatsoever with your square harbor shot, but I would take exception to it being labeled as obviously more "serious" art than is the subject of this thread.
 
We have to be clear here----
I have never said any photo I posted was more "serious" than some other,  or any other such word. Are you confusing me with some other poster? Not once, not ever, I have made any such claim. Nor would I.

We're over complicating this. If people don't like a photograph, they can why.

As to this photograph in this thread, I said exactly why.
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William Walker
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« Reply #89 on: February 21, 2013, 12:29:00 AM »
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So, finally  Grin - all is good in Lula-land...

Red, if I can make one final suggestion? I know you have had a hard time here, but, take a few deep breaths, don't be too defensive, and then please go to the "Valley Of Desolation" thread and tell me what you think of my picture (the second pic posted)!

Hold nothing back, I'm a big boy!

William
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stamper
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« Reply #90 on: February 21, 2013, 03:14:34 AM »
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Walter, I have to agree with what you're saying. It doesn't bother me that he's insulting. I've been insulted by far sharper wits than his. What bothers me is that in order to get to something in one of his extended critiques that makes sense you have to slog through all the other stuff that doesn't make sense. I think of the old saw about monkeys writing the Bible given enough time on the typewriter. But imagine the pile of random stuff in between. That's pretty much what I see. Yes, there's an occasional gem in there but a bit of brevity would be refreshing. With brevity he might be a valuable contributor.
[/color]

This is for me the best summing up of the debate. Not too long or to short. Concise and to the point. Something that a lot of members don't seem to appreciate and could state their point of view in half the amount of words they use.
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stamper
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« Reply #91 on: February 21, 2013, 03:16:55 AM »
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So, finally  Grin - all is good in Lula-land...

Red, if I can make one final suggestion? I know you have had a hard time here, but, take a few deep breaths, don't be too defensive, and then please go to the "Valley Of Desolation" thread and tell me what you think of my picture (the second pic posted)!

Hold nothing back, I'm a big boy!

William

It would be better if you started your own thread before inviting a member to comment on it?
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William Walker
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« Reply #92 on: February 21, 2013, 03:27:52 AM »
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It would be better if you started your own thread before inviting a member to comment on it?

Hey Stamp! Were you a policeman in another life?

Go and have a look what I wrote to Heinz, see if that passes the "Stamper Test".  Huh Grin
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stamper
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« Reply #93 on: February 21, 2013, 03:32:55 AM »
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If you agree with me about my post then why the personalisation in the above one?   Sad
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William Walker
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« Reply #94 on: February 21, 2013, 03:36:33 AM »
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If you agree with me about my post then why the personalisation in the above one?   Sad

You always give me a hard time here...but I still love you anyway! Grin
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stamper
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« Reply #95 on: February 21, 2013, 04:02:41 AM »
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If you think it is hard then you don't really know me.  Wink Grin Cheers.
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amolitor
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« Reply #96 on: February 21, 2013, 05:52:12 AM »
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Maybe we do have a double standard, I dunno.

There's definitely a difference between some fellow we do not know showing up and posting a collection of what appears to be vernacular photography, and a long-time contributor posting what is clearly a carefully thought out and made photograph. This is quite apart from whether we like anything in the first collection, and whether we like Slobodan's carefully crafted photograph.

I think we can be justified in approaching the second with more care and thoughtfulness, because of Slobodan's track record of insightful commentary and careful work, AND because of the evident care with which the photograph was made. It may not be nice, it certainly isn't generous, but it's normal and human to be dismissive of a collection of vernacular work. Why should we assume that such a collection was carefully made? There are 100 billion vernacular photographs out there, almost none of them were carefully made. Almost none of them are worth a second look. We would be foolish to assume that a sample of 5 or 6 shown to us effectively at random is anything special, is carefully made, and it worth a second look. It's not generous, but it's efficient.

And, for reference, I think many of us did take a second and third look. I know I did.

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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #97 on: February 21, 2013, 09:47:52 AM »
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Maybe we do have a double standard, I dunno.

There's definitely a difference between some fellow we do not know showing up and posting a collection of what appears to be vernacular photography, and a long-time contributor posting what is clearly a carefully thought out and made photograph. This is quite apart from whether we like anything in the first collection, and whether we like Slobodan's carefully crafted photograph.

 
If only time spent was a measure of quality, right? I see photographs all the time which have undergone 40 hours of photoshop work. They aren't an ounce better than the moment they were captured for all the "careful crafting." You've revealed another of your misunderstands about photography.  If only photoshopping could make great photographs! (I pointed out carefully that this type of work is an example of the graphic arts, but not so much about photography.)

And, this isn't a private club as you attempt to describe above with a nasty interloper showing up to spoil the day. Some fellow we don't know? Honestly. If anything, this began with quite the opposite story, didn't it? A "new" poster shows up, and the rudest and crudest come out to hector him. Not quite how you put it, is it?

Since I've been here Slobodan has posted two photographs, I have posted about two dozen. His two photographs then have to stand on their own as far as my critique goes. Since when does "time spent" add to the quality of a photograph, under any standard? How about the time it takes a guy to hike to the canyon top. Does that count too? A week of hiking automatically makes the photo good? This is an absurd notion now that all one has to do is spend more time. And for that matter, how would you know anything about the time I spend taking a photograph? (And wasn't it you who was just looking up the definition of "vernacular photography" a couple days ago?)

I see the photographer whining petulantly because someone didn't like his photograph, and I see all the faithful dreaming up reason after reason that he has been wronged. Here's what I don't see: I don't see anyone writing a critique of that photograph to justify their opinion of why it is so great. Nor do I see a rebuttal of my own critique. Nor, do I see many photographs that go deeper than a photoshop layer. Photography is one of our highest art forms, and these days it is also one of the most popular crafts because everyone can be a "home photographer". Snag an outline with a camera, run it through photoshop, out comes a nice craft.  I think Roger last night suggested an intense vs. less intense split. I think the more appropriate split is craft vs. art. I always assume photography as an art. If you are posting a craft photo, maybe identify it as such, I will look at it differently.

I did make a mistake when I came to this forum. I did not ask who was an artist. I considered it rude. I assumed everyone posting photographs here was an artist using the photographic medium. And, I based all of my critique on art principles. Now, I am being told there is more of a craft set here. I will adjust to that reality.

 



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stamper
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« Reply #98 on: February 21, 2013, 09:49:49 AM »
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Quote amolitor

Why should we assume that such a collection was carefully made? There are 100 billion vernacular photographs out there, almost none of them were carefully made.

Unquote

How long does it take to look at a 100 billion vernacular photographs and establish if they were carefully made? Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 09:51:58 AM by stamper » Logged

amolitor
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« Reply #99 on: February 21, 2013, 09:51:03 AM »
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How long does it take to look at a 100 billion vernacular photographs and establish if they were carefully made? Roll Eyes

Well, it took me about 2 and half weeks, but I'm pretty quick.
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