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  #1  
Old 11-01-2005, 01:05 AM
jbasman jbasman is offline
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Default Where is the meaningful criticism?

I'm new to Trekearth, having given up on PhotoSig with its draconian rules for uploading images.

Having spent some time looking at the critiques people are posting here on TE I'm left somewhat disappointed. There are simply too many pat on the back critiques like "great photo, I really like it". What's the value of this kind of "critique" to the photographer? It's just noise. I assume people post their work on TE not only to share it with others, but to also learn from others how to improve their skills. Isn't it frustrating then to have to weed out these pats on the back from feedback that actually has some meaningful criticism or ideas? I am amazed at how many people don't even mention what it is they like about the photos, let alone how the photo may be improved.

I would encourage users not to post these "great photo" critiques unless they can describe exactly what it is about the photo that appeals to them.
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2005, 01:16 AM
Homerhomer Homerhomer is offline
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Default Re: Where is the meaningful criticism?

James this has been brought up many times, and I agree with most points you make, the thing is that with thousands of members you can't expect all to act the same way.
I agree that here we have way too much pats on the back and in many cases no matter how bad the image, it will receive glowing comments. My suggestion: ignore it, if you want to be a member of this site (happy member I should add), take it for what it is, partake as you wish, am I sure you will notice that among all those glowing reviews and pats on the back there are many meaningfull critiques, and you will also be able to identify the members who tend to issue them.

As for your statement that "people post not only to share...", well I don't know, I think some (many) just want to share.
Peter
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2005, 05:10 AM
mlopes mlopes is offline
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Default Re: Where is the meaningful criticism?

Hi James,
Pat on the back exists and always will... here or in china... of course china can be here also, but forget that anyway :P

You will get pretty good tips and advices also, if you ask all older members (and there's no need to ask the oldest...) all will say that improved their skills, i can advice you to do some gimnicks (hope i spelled correctly)

1. see some gold stars with some points... compare the first and last photos... and try to see the 7 diferences
2. see my last photo critiques, don't want to make free-publicity to me, but you'll see the critiques, please read the note and the critiques... that's what i expect from TE... friendship, honesty, tips to improve.
3. forget babelfish... you'll end saying bullshit :P

Actually i find TE the most helpfull photo community in the net so far, i'm a member of a couple more and believe me... this is by far the best :)

Mario
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  #4  
Old 11-01-2005, 06:12 AM
gringofil gringofil is offline
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Default Re: Where is the meaningful criticism?

Welcome to TE James! This is how this place runs...as for PhotoSIG...I don't care about the photo upload idea, at least there when I post a photo the single critique I get is almost always meaningful, not like here. Treat this site more tongue-in-cheek and you'll like it...if you take it seriously, though, you'll walk away with a bad taste in your mouth.

Green later!
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2005, 07:37 AM
sohrab sohrab is offline
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Default Re: Where is the meaningful criticism?

i've been having a look at the photosig for a while now.. since it was mentioned in this forum

a few of the critiques are long yes..
but i have hardly come across any meaningful ones....

most of the critiques are extremely biased.. and infact these guys tend to stick to rules etc a little too much... it seems more like they're not very exposed to photography and go on cribbing about about the petty things...

to add to that, even the people who post their photographs there seem to be really touchy about other's comments.. you and a few others might be an exception but on the whole... it's quite a depressing environment there..

now i'm not TE is the epitome of the perfect place to improve photography or anything like that..
but i strongly feel that despite all the shortcomings and everything.. this place on the whole is a far superior environment to grow in..
now i'm being very subjective here.. but i'm seeing more of a dialogue taking place here..
while many members will give their usual pat on the backs.. or whatever.. there are quite a few others ( in absolute numbers and no proportionate terms ) who will actually give you a piece of their mind in an honest mind..

to add to it.. with the so called community atmosphere, many people are even willing to take the hard critiques and not just accept it blindly.. but trying to understand them..


i feel quite stupid saying all this.. because i'm usually one of those who keeps cribbing about what's going wrong with TE.. but i do it basically because i'd like this place to improve ( once again being very very subjective here by what i mean "to improve" )

maybe if you spend a little time here, and if you go through the forums and critiques, you'll be able to identify those whose critiques you might find useful..
regards...


p.s. oh yeah.. personally i find discussions more useful than critiques.. there is a greater scope of broadening your view in the forums than the critiques themselves..
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  #6  
Old 11-01-2005, 09:45 AM
Davids Davids is offline
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Posts: 585
Default Re: Where is the meaningful criticism?

James,
I agree with your point, I also had the same question a couple of month ago. What I did is I looked for the members who I think write meaningful critiques, and try to work with them.

Another thing you can do is look for the people who are good in workshops (not me), if it is something you think would help.

The thing with TE is that we have a mixed community, and this means it's not always about photography per se.
Anyway, take some time to see what you can get out of it, you'll hopefully find the fish that are swimming in your direction.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the forum,
regards
David
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2005, 01:48 PM
joseelias joseelias is offline
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Default Re: Where is the meaningful criticism?

Welcome to TE James.

As said, this issue is raised from times to times and many good explanations and tips have been given to you so far. I would still like to point out the following:

-TE is not a purely photographic site. So, people here may enjoy some photos even if they are not perfect just because they show something interesting to them. Not all are here just for photography. I know Iím notÖ

- Here, almost all are amateur, so many find hard to propose improvements as they do not feel qualified.

- Many members have difficulty in expressing in English so itís possible that they are not able to critique in a complex and polite way not to offend the other member. This way, they go by the easy way. Try to critique in Portuguese in a correct way and youíll see how difficult it can beÖ ;-)

- In many critiques improvements are suggested even if the photo is moderately praised. Itís a subtle way to help the others. TE is quite friendly and Iíve learned a lot this way.

- Finally, TE is what you want it to be. If you search and explore youíll find like minded people. But this will only happen if you participate. This is the key.

About Photosig, not a good exampleÖ From the critiques Iíve readÖ I felt like stepping on dog crap!!!

I donít find most of those critiques honest, but offensive, made by presumptuous people thinking that they know all. They donít try to help but to destroy. TE may be very mild but people will respect you.
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2005, 06:08 PM
gnangarra gnangarra is offline
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Default Re: Where is the meaningful criticism?

"great photo, I really like it". to me means exactly that, after all praise is best form of encouragement.

Critique doesn't need to be negative if you like something say so, if you dont say why. I find most critiques explain the reason, though as the number of critiques increase the detailed reasons drop off why repeat what others have said when you can say i agree with XXXX.

I have left some critiques where i've said "my 3 yr old wanted to look at this well done." is that not meaningful

As to describing exactly what appeals, can you not just enjoy the picture as a whole. I see photography as an artform the beauty of an image alone can this not make it worthy of a 'great picture, i really like this' comment.

Where the member has very few points accumulated i tend to heighten the positive aspects, while pointing to only the very worst negative aspect. By the time you start looking at pictures of long standing members there a very few negative points as they have already learnt along the way. Eventually everbody produces WOW shots that dont need detailed critiques, is that not the ultimate when learning.

Great Post, I really liked it.
Well Done
Gideon
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  #9  
Old 11-02-2005, 11:27 AM
simonekarl simonekarl is offline
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Default Re: Where is the meaningful criticism?

One must remember that when writing a critic, it is also important to be honest but also diplomatic.
Writing a harsh critique don't neccassary do much other than offend the person who posted.
Whilst a critique written clearly and honestly without being rude is going to more useful.
The way TE works is that we help each other, and this is done with constructive critisim. Remember that is NOT primarily a photographic site. Not all members use flash and expensive cameras, and many members have never had any training. So critisim is also subjective. I am very honest and sometimes hard on Mario, because he has a lot of talent, but some othe members I am softer, beacsuse for them to improve they need positive critisim and a helping hand.
I'm jibbering now, but I hope this answears your question.
You could try photo.net if you are after a real photography website.
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  #10  
Old 11-02-2005, 02:52 PM
PixelTerror PixelTerror is offline
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Default Re: Where is the meaningful criticism?

I fully agree with Simone, it is possible to write a meaningful critique without being rude, but the starting point is to find something to tell about a photo. Because I signed here to learn about both the world and photography I for example do not find any appeal in some abstract street shots that can be found here.
Okay now when I have a photo that tells me something I try to find positive points to outline and mostly if I've been attracted by the thumbnail I do find positive points. Then, if I see something that could have been done better I tell it as well, but since I do not have the ultimate knowledge I try to do it in a suggesting way. Mostly this works and with some people you get encouraging friendly replies that are good bases for further discussions.
Because this place is not about praise and smileys, it's about photo and friendship.
A last word, writing meaningful critiques is good, offering workshops to help others visualize what you mean is a lot better, so if you have time, DO workshops. If you think you don't have enough skills to do that, study the workshops on the site, there are many and they are an essential learning contribution on this site.
Been long eh ? Thanks for your attention :-)
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