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Author Topic: Forum etiquette—keep calm and carry on  (Read 8956 times)
rogerxnz
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« on: February 22, 2013, 12:02:33 AM »
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I am a recent contributor to this forum but I have been struck by the heat generated in some of the threads I have read.

It seems that some members do not like in-depth or long critiques or those that deal with feelings and emotions. In the threads, members have used derogatory expressions, such as, "verbose" and "fluff" to refer to such critiques.

I, initially, thought we should try to categorise the poster or their images in some way to avoid mismatched critiques. But now, I think we should avoid categorisation entirely. All we need to do is to follow an etiquette that says that, if you get a critique which you do not like for any reason, you ask politely for clarification or you just give thanks and move on.

After all, why would you ever want to be rude to someone who has spent time and gone to some effort to give their thoughts on your work?

What members should not do is attack the reviewer for any reason. In my opinion, attacking a review or a reviewer because you do not understand their critique only establishes doubt as to your own intelligence.

So, if all members would just politely move past critiques which do not suit their needs, we should have a calmer forum. That is not to say that members cannot ask critiquers for clarification but I would hope they will do so politely.

It should go without saying, but I will say it for completeness, that reviewers should be polite in their critiques and refrain from attacking images and their makers.
 
Let us all keep calm and carry on.
Roger
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Roger Hayman
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 12:13:46 AM »
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Applause...  Grin

Mike.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2013, 12:48:01 AM »
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I'm all about the photography Roger. Sounds good to me.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 01:20:44 AM »
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As I said, the scenario you are suggesting sounds awfully like the Emperor's New Clothes.
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Slobodan

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kikashi
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 02:47:14 AM »
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There's little excuse for rudeness; but there's little for pointless verbosity either. There's also an unfortunate tendency to mistake vigorous debate with lack of politeness and forcibly-expressed disagreement with that anathema of modern times, "bullying".

On the whole, it seems to me that the balance here is pretty much right.

Jeremy
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RSL
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2013, 04:56:03 AM »
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I agree with Slobodan and Jeremy. Anybody who feels abused can drop off. I'd much rather see some honest heat in debate than see a group of wusses constantly patting each other on the back.
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dmerger
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 07:50:47 AM »
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Roger, I agree with you, but it doesn't appear that your efforts will be successful.  Too bad.

I'd much rather see some honest heat in debate than see a group of wusses constantly patting each other on the back.
 
Russ, please point out what Roger wrote that prompted your reply.  What did he write that even remotely implied that he favors "a group of wusses constantly patting each other on the back"?  Damn, Roger very politely makes a sensible suggestion and you start talking about wusses.  Pathetic!
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Dean Erger
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 08:01:14 AM »
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....Damn, Roger very politely makes a sensible suggestion and you start talking about wusses.  Pathetic!

Damn, Dean, If you do not see how such "sensible suggestion" would turn the forum into a group of wusses, praising Emperor's new clothes, then it is indeed pathetic.
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Slobodan

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dmerger
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 08:05:04 AM »
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Perhaps you can explain it to me, please.
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2013, 08:28:59 AM »
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Hi Dean, Well, let's start with the statement: ". . . members have used derogatory expressions, such as 'verbose' and 'fluff' to refer to . . . critiques." Damn right they have. They've used what Roger calls derogatory expressions after reading critiques that were verbose and full of fluff. There's nothing derogatory about calling a spade a spade.

Then there's the statement: ". . . if you get a critique which you do not like for any reason, you ask politely for clarification or you just give thanks and move on." How about giving thanks and moving on when the writer of the critique, in effect, just called you an asshole? Would that be a reason to give thanks and move on? He goes on: "What members should not do is attack the reviewer for any reason." Come on, get serious. We've seen people on here who went completely berserk with their "critiques." Happily they've been kicked off. A classic was a guy who went by the moniker "dalethorn," to whom I've referred on occasion. He'd just plain lose it from time to time. According to Roger we all should have given thanks to Dale and moved on.

I, for one, can't see any reason why we should hold still for huge chunks of verbose fluff posing as criticism without suggesting forcefully that the writer learn to be more concise. Concise fluff is a lot easier to get past than verbose fluff. How do you and Roger react to the asinine "artists statements" you see in museums and shows? I see the same kind of thing developing here. Side roads, like delving into a poster's psychology, have nothing at all to do with the value of an art work. The things that matter are substance and presentation. If critics stick with those they tend to be concise.

To refuse to object to a smelly explosion of verbal diarrhea is a demonstration of wussiness. Nothing pathetic about it.
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Mjollnir
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2013, 08:53:32 AM »
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 09:01:11 AM »
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It should go without saying, but I will say it for completeness, that reviewers should be polite in their critiques and refrain from attacking images and their makers.
 
Let us all keep calm and carry on.
Roger

This is the interweb. Here, sometimes people believe that exchanging opinions is a contact sport.
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Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 09:10:59 AM »
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Now that's the Almost Moment; a split second more and you'd have caught the Decisive Moment. On the other hand, perhaps they would all have stopped in time, in which case there wouldn't have been one of those delectabe HC-B instances at all.

So how can this best be categorized?

I trust this is sane, helpful, relevant and coherently brief enough critique?

Rob C
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Mjollnir
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2013, 09:16:42 AM »
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Now that's the Almost Moment; a split second more and you'd have caught the Decisive Moment. On the other hand, perhaps they would all have stopped in time, in which case there wouldn't have been one of those delectabe HC-B instances at all.

So how can this best be categorized?

I trust this is sane, helpful, relevant and coherently brief enough critique?

Rob C

Boom!
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amolitor
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2013, 09:17:29 AM »
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HCB would have lowered his eyes to the next row on the contact sheet, and circled THAT tiny image with his red pen -- decisively, natch -- and sent it off to the printer.
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- Andrew

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Rob C
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2013, 09:31:19 AM »
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HCB would have lowered his eyes to the next row on the contact sheet, and circled THAT tiny image with his red pen -- decisively, natch -- and sent it off to the printer.


True: he often cropped feet; intentionally, no doubt, but also possible because of the lousy Leica finder: the perfect marriage of man and his tool...

Now, about that free M9...

Rob C
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2013, 09:39:41 AM »
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What is the correct number of words for a critique of a photograph? Is it 6? 60? 600? Why? Are some photographs more complicated than others to critique? Does every photographer want the same thing from a critique?

I think the complaint here boils down to a handful of people who are incensed to rage that anyone would write more than a handful of words about a photograph. Maybe it is a recognition that "nice shot Joe" isn't a critique? Maybe it is a standard too high to actually have to put some content into a critique? Maybe it is resentment that an outsider is daring to comment on 'club' photos? Maybe it is that people have been shielded from the normal world of criticism in their photography? Whatever the reasons are, they are confined to a small group which accounts themselves the control faction of this forum. But in fact, taking aside that small group, pretty much all the others which I have commented to, have been appreciative of my comments. And why wouldn't they be? A critique consisting of no analysis is a pat on the back, or in the many cases of no comments at all, it is a simple rejection letter. How is that useful to a photographer? Why bother posting the photo?

Of course I use a lot of words. That's how ideas are constructed - with words. The more ideas you want to express, the more words you will need. I don't see the title of this forum as "pat on the back club." Start one of those, if you hate words. Make a simple check box for thumbs up and down and you can reduce it to no words. Nothing wrong with that. But this isn't that. One of the longest critiques I made here was 500 words. And knowing it would be that, I even provided a single sentence summary at the beginning for people whose eyes cross at the idea of reading 500 words. And that proved to me that it wasn't the length of my commentary that was objectionable, it was the content of it. For evidence, look to the long battles over the simple concept that a photograph reveals something of the photographer. Oddly, people will write at great length to attempt to discredit that idea.

Yes, my view of photography goes beyond the views of most here, because I view it as a larger more important art than many of these here. That's the conflict - not the length of my critique, but the idea I would dare touch on more than what was customary and comfortable. Which I will continue to do.

The attempts to chase me away with gutter level crudity didn't work, and won't work. Keep trying if you like, but it's a reflection on you, not me.

 
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David Eckels
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2013, 09:46:35 AM »
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The attempts to chase me away with gutter level crudity didn't work, and won't work. Keep trying if you like, but it's a reflection on you, not me.

 
Keep 'em* coming RG. I for one am learning something--even from the intensity!
*The critiques
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James Clark
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2013, 10:14:18 AM »
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Hi Dean, Well, let's start with the statement: ". . . members have used derogatory expressions, such as 'verbose' and 'fluff' to refer to . . . critiques." Damn right they have. They've used what Roger calls derogatory expressions after reading critiques that were verbose and full of fluff. There's nothing derogatory about calling a spade a spade.

Then there's the statement: ". . . if you get a critique which you do not like for any reason, you ask politely for clarification or you just give thanks and move on." How about giving thanks and moving on when the writer of the critique, in effect, just called you an asshole?


Probably the writer simply feels as if he is "simply calling a spade a spade."  Nothing derogatory about that, after all. 
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RSL
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2013, 10:38:31 AM »
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What is the correct number of words for a critique of a photograph? Is it 6? 60? 600?

Try 6.
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