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Author Topic: This needs to be read  (Read 16072 times)
Wayne Fox
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« Reply #60 on: July 09, 2013, 01:29:40 PM »
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My point was that I didn't get proper feedback and learn from my mistakes until I started working professionally.  What I learned on the job I applied in my technique.  I think feedback is important, as long as it's genuine and from folks whom are in the know and have good reason for their honesty.  It's encouraging to have managers, directors and designers to be open and direct in their feedback.  Not many folks would have the patience or skin to remain in a room of several folks giving direction/input.  Nor spending all day shooting 1000 images, and then the next working 8 hours just to get one.   I find it satisfying in solving their problems and their repeat business is the best of compliments.

It's not about the business, or having a room full of expensive gear.  The best part of the job was having the access to these folks' feedback, and knowing that my work matters.  So when a small group of judges write about their frustration in not finding any "winners" in their contest?  I do understand what they're coming from.  Case in point:  I was in Baltimore harbor, shooting boats, and I can't tell you how many other photographers were rolling through and blindly shooting click-click-click-click... hardly taking pause to even bother with the subject matter.  Things like too many people in the way (including them being in my way), waiting for the wind to get a flag going, or waiting for the right moment when a passing boat would frame correctly in it's surroundings, didn't seem to bother them.  Stuff that was not much different when I was shooting product on table, or a location set.  It's a fairly good guess that such attitudes were reflected in their shots, lacking anything of merit and attention to detail, and that's why the issue.

-Keep shooting

the point I was trying to make is this feedback that you found valuable because it help you solve their problems to me seems very limited in scope (and by that i don't mean not valuable or unimportant, certainly it was that).  And the feedback you so distrusted from "non experts" may have been far more valuable than you realize had you interpreted and listened to what they say.  "Oh that's nice" often is easily interpreted as "gee, that's not really that cool but what do you say to a friend".  Feedback from all sources is important, including the raw instinctual feedback from those untrained.

The last line of your post was really what pushed me to respond, because I'm just the opposite.  For 35 years I mainly shot for "you" meaning the customer or critic.  I made them happy, made money, but quickly wasn't much fun.  Now I shoot pretty much for myself, and life is much better.  Fortunately there are some who have similar tastes to mine and enjoy what I shoot.  

I like the line in the signature of Bob's post right above this one.  (and I agree whole heartedly with his post as well).
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 01:36:35 PM by Wayne Fox » Logged

Isaac
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« Reply #61 on: July 09, 2013, 02:33:09 PM »
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This notion that every picture has to tell a story...

Huff and puff.

No, not "every picture" - saying "every picture" is "utter nonsense".

Just pictures that are to be accepted according to the stated competition rules.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #62 on: July 09, 2013, 04:39:05 PM »
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Just pictures that are to be accepted according to the stated competition rules.

I think that sort of is the crux of the issue ... it really wasn't a standard competition in the sense most photographers are used to but the article and most of it's criticism seems to be directed at ideas as though it was a standard one.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #63 on: July 09, 2013, 04:47:03 PM »
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Huff and puff.

No, not "every picture" - saying "every picture" is "utter nonsense".

Just pictures that are to be accepted according to the stated competition rules.

The idea that a photo has to tell a story period, is utter nonsense.  The organisers of the competition are idiots.
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Isaac
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« Reply #64 on: July 09, 2013, 05:53:20 PM »
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... but the article and most of it's criticism seems to be directed at ideas as though it was a standard one.

I have no sympathy for that tendentious snobbish article.

Nor do I have sympathy for the antagonistic buffoonery.


Feedback from all sources is important, including the raw instinctual feedback from those untrained.

I think the point was: that in one case the quality of the work actually would have an impact on the people giving feedback, they had skin in the game; but in the other case the quality of the work would have no impact on the people giving the feedback, words are cheap.
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Rob C
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« Reply #65 on: July 10, 2013, 01:32:44 PM »
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The world is full of folks doing things they don't want to, but feel they have to, and are miserable for it.  Truth is, I've met and worked with folks who were happy as security guards, janitors and everything else under the sun considered boring and mundane.  They were generally happy, with great attitudes and easy to get along with.  Likewise, I've met some unhappy photographers whom hated the job for all kinds of reasons, and despite the common interest, I found them to be unpleasant as person and avoided them like a plague.  I enjoy photography, whether I'm getting paid or not, and I'd rather hold a camera, than a broom, a pen, or a steering wheel.  My motto is simple.  -Keep Shooting.


I think you are right, and I've met several people in photo-related occupations who generate a feeling of discontent both with themselves and those with whom they interact.

It probably isn't a universal thing with them, because different minds react differently to the same people - just look at some of the folks who, in the face of probability, manage to get wed! - but I have this suspicion that it isn't so much the actors as their play: it's not the easiest of jobs in which to do well nor even to survive; pressure and competition is usually pretty fierce and not many people you meet professionally can be trusted to refrain from slipping in the little stiletto if it suits their ends. There used to be this 'joke' that fashion photographers held hands just to prevent themselves from picking each other's pockets... not always far from reality, I'm afraid.

That's always been the downside of the 'arty' occupations: competition and the difficulty in showing yourself superior to that competition, which when push comes to shove, revolves around opinion and not much else. How do you measure the value of that, other than by money? And those paying could be mistaken - how do they (and the photographer) know that they are not?

Rob C
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #66 on: July 10, 2013, 01:46:39 PM »
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Like it or not, and whether intentional or not, you always shoot for others. 

Very few statements regarding something absolute hold up.  I do not always shoot for others and I think there are plenty of photographers who do not always shoot for others..  Yes sometimes I do.  There are some images I take because I know others will like them.  However, just as often I shoot just for the pleasure of shooting, without care as to the opinion of anyone else.  That doesn't mean I don't show that image to others and see if they like it, but it certainly isn't the reason I shot it.  And that doesn't mean others don't like it and buy it.

As I mentioned earlier, those making a living at photography often are forced shoot for others. For those which it is just a job perhaps they only shoot for others.  But I do not believe the two are mutually exclusive, and those who find time to shoot for themselves have opportunity to better themselves.

As far as feedback, if one is trying to improve then the feedback must be from sources that are widely varied, and then the feedback must be taken in context of the skill, opinions, and agenda's of those providing the criticism.  I believe if you are trying to sell images for people to hang on their wall, the opinions of an uneducated public is pretty valuable.  If you are shooting commercial stuff, I would guess the art director and agencies obtain that feedback, so you job is to give them what they want.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #67 on: July 10, 2013, 01:48:19 PM »
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but in the other case the quality of the work would have no impact on the people giving the feedback, words are cheap.

I'm not sure that means such feedback never has value, and it's pretty easy to tell when the feedback is sincere and when it's just being nice.
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Isaac
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« Reply #68 on: July 10, 2013, 01:58:31 PM »
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I'm not sure that means such feedback never has value, and it's pretty easy to tell when the feedback is sincere and when it's just being nice.

Perhaps.

otoh that sincere feedback may not be an accurate indication of what someone would prefer if they actually had to choose and to pay for their choice and live with their choice.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #69 on: July 10, 2013, 04:44:49 PM »
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Like it or not, and whether intentional or not, you always shoot for others.

Don't agree.  As Wayne said, sometimes I do, but not always.  When shooting for a client, yes.  When out shooting otherwise, no.  And I don't think that participating on websites or social media necessarily means that I'm shooting for others.  It's also a method of gaining exposure to an audience for the purposes of, perhaps, selling prints to buyers.  Or selling images as stock.  But that doesn't mean I'm shooting for someone else.  When not shooting for clients, I shoot what I want in the manner I want. If someone likes it and wants to buy prints to hang on their wall, great.  Or if someone wants to license as stock, terrific.  If not, so be it.  But I'm not necessarily going to change the way I shoot nor change the subject matter to serve that end.  The end doesn't justify or direct the means.

I'd go further and say that, in opposition to your position, shooting for others is not the sine qua non for many photographers.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 04:46:29 PM by BobFisher » Logged
Wayne Fox
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« Reply #70 on: July 10, 2013, 06:59:41 PM »
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Perhaps.

otoh that sincere feedback may not be an accurate indication of what someone would prefer if they actually had to choose and to pay for their choice and live with their choice.
Agreed.  Being  sincere and honest as opposed to being "nice"  only means it might be worth listening to.  And while they may choose not to pay for it, it might be they aren't in a financial position to do so but would if they could, and their opinion might reflect how others who are in a such a position may react as well, and in turn choose to purchase it.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 01:56:33 PM by Wayne Fox » Logged

stevesanacore
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« Reply #71 on: July 30, 2013, 08:46:34 AM »
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I can't help feel that the author of the original article was another sour photographer jealous and sick of seeing non-seasoned professionals shooting technically good photos. I know quite a few older photographers who have almost given up in their profession because of the deluge of photographers as a result of high quality digital cameras. It's a silly and non-productive state of mind. In my opinion a great photograph will always be a great photograph and it doesn't matter if it was from an iPhone or 8x10 view camera. Just because the amount of crappy snap shots has grown exponentially since the arrival of the digital camera doesn't mean you have to look at them.

The other issue was the ability to tell a story with multiple photos. That is a different skill set that many great photographers don't have or need for their type of work. Although the contest seemed to be looking for that style, it seems that the negativity was a broad stroke on everyone with a digital camera.

I couldn't care less about the millions of people out there snapping photos with their phones every day. Some will discover they have talent. Good for them.





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