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danielswalsh 09-13-2007 12:41 AM

Just an observation & PLEASE- NO POINTS...
Just an observation, but I find it sad that it's becoming harder and harder to find critiquers (let alone honest ones) here on TrekEarth.

I posted an image last night thats had 52 visits, yet only 2 people commented or critiqued. I don't care about points, but I do care about honest opinions.

I had to laugh as an image posted at about roughly the same time of a 'very shakey portrait' recieved about 3 times as much attention- and the real funny thing is that everyone gives it thumbs up as a good photo (what I commonly refer to as 'sugar-coated critiques').
I'm no photography expert and don't claim to be- yet I highly doubt that any semi-professional would find any photographic merrit in it.

Have people really become so point driven that they would rather 'sugar-coat' their critiques so people will return the favour with smiles vs. give an honest critique?

I feel bad for those people who join TrekEarth to improve their photography yet receive false praise from their piers.

I'd be interested in hearing other members thoughts...
All the best,
- Dan

PJE 09-13-2007 03:10 AM

Re: Just an observation & PLEASE- NO POINTS...
Hey Dan.. I would have to totally agree with you on your viewpoint here. The point factor on a photo is actually quite sad and detrimental to the success of the site itself. Everyone wants to be in the elite with a great following of praise behind them. Then there are those who critique to 20 different people for a cycle of three days to receive over a 100 points per photos posted. What has this site come to? On the other hand I think if anyone is going to post a photo on this site they should remember to post the best they can shoot and learn from the critiques of that posting, instead of posting average blah blah poor quality crap stuff that simply clogs up the site making it difficult to navigate through all the mess posted. I think its time to get serious with what we do, show an honest desire to learn and in turn take this trek earth to new heights of learning and adventure. Good on you Dan for starting this forum topic. No more sugar coating!! Here Here!!



kevinos 09-13-2007 04:17 AM

Re: Just an observation & PLEASE- NO POINTS...
Ah! This point has been discussed so much in this forum, Dan. It is probably the biggest complaint ever made about TE. Point swapping cartels dominate the site. I give you two points and say your crap picture is great and you do the same for me. Cozy isn't it? But it has nothing to do with honesty, integrity or learning. I know a certain member’s site where she he never got a picture in focus in his life, he wouldn't know what composition is, and the subject is always some sugary kid. Well he has never gotten less that 30 points and every critique is full of sycophantic praise. When you check back, surprise! Surprise! he has written equally repetitive and vacuous critiques about their crap photos too. It is a great pity; it spoils TE, but, do you know? Even though it’s all true, I still enjoy the site and get a lot out of it. Firstly, there is the small number of regular people who give useful and honest critiques and , whose opinions I value; secondly there are the ‘virgin critiques’ that is, critiques from people who you have never crossed before and just dropped by to comment. Every now and then I get annoyed by some points milker pushing out the sugar coated nonsense, but mostly I just get on enjoying the site and the pictures.

Davids 09-13-2007 04:53 AM

fast, fast faster
The two things that I don't like about TE are;
- what you mentioned;
- to many photo's get stolen.
More than a year ago I tried to get good feedback, and it took me a while to get to a point where I can say that I like TE again. TE is (see Kenvins motivation) also a place for people to be happy, or even be someone in this world. That's the part I don't like, but OK, it's been here since I joined.
Every now and then I post a photo, write some critiques and I get good ones in return. I don't care if a photo gets no points or 14, just one good critique makes it worth posting.
As a result, I come here very little, I'm too busy and my feel good factor I get from my friends and family.
Also, I give smilies/points as I feel it should be, and I explain this in my intro. There are lots of people who do the same, but most of them are like me; slow members.
The faster you become, the more crap you produce,
sort of Nike world where everybody is JUST doing it.

Just-A-Guy 09-13-2007 06:25 AM

Re: Just an observation & PLEASE- NO POINTS...
Yeah, there is this one member who took this approach to a level of a fine art. He/she posted only 5 photos, crappy photos I should say with np merit what so ever, but each one received more than 100 points on average. So how was it done you should ask? Very simply, you post your photo and then write 20 "sufar-coated" critiques for a few months. A certain percentage of those who received the critiques will give you a green smiley out of reciprocal courtesy. You wait just long enough to reach your goal of 100+ points per photo, and then you post a new crappy one and start the whole cycle again. Now, if you write 1200+ critiques and only 25% of the members reciprocate green smileys, that will reward you with 600 points which average 120 points per photo. Simple yet amazing and awe inspiring ! This is but a single yet extreme example of the main problem of TE which makes me feel attracted and repulsed by that site at the same time.

ktanska 09-13-2007 07:18 AM

Re: Just an observation & PLEASE- NO POINTS...
Maybe this guy just likes to give critiques. I see nothing wrong from his/her side. Harm is only done if the person really believes those praises he/she receives.

nicoz 09-13-2007 08:09 AM

Re: Just an observation & PLEASE- NO POINTS...
I finally got over this point issue. I don't display the points...
This had 2 effects:
1) the total number of critics on my photos dropped, because I can't give points anymore
2) the average quality of the comments I recieved exploded. Because honnest critics don't seem to care as much about points...

From my point of view, I'd rather get no point and 1 good comment that 30 points and a whole lot of useless flattery.

Yet I understand that people like points, it's good for your ego.

In fact I find this point exchange system rather cute and friendly, but I'm not not a friendly person :-) HOOOO NOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Keitht 09-13-2007 09:31 AM

Re: Just an observation & PLEASE- NO POINTS...
I use the points total simply as an indicator that I have received new critiques. If the entire points system was scrapped and replaced by a simple indicator advising that new critiques had been received I would be more than happy.
I believe it would achieve a number of objectives. The points hunters would go elsewhere; The number of people posting would fall to a more manageable level; Those remaining would be those with a genuine desire to give and receive honest critiques.
I'm clearly not alone in finding the misuse of the smileys an irritant as it has been raised time and time again. Back in the 'olden days' of 2003/4 people used the smileys in what I believe to be a much more considered way. Big green smiley was normally only given when the reviewer though it was genuinely a very good image. The lighter green smiley or the straight mouth were commonly seen.
It's rare to see either of these used now. An out of focus shot of the back of someones head gets 'Good shot' and a big green smiley.
And finally.... the occasional blatant mutual backslapping and point swapping. None more obvious than a situation a few months back where a bunch of people had clearly all attended an event together, posted very similar shots of that event, and then proceeded to give glowing reviews of each other's work along with the points. If they need their egos massaging so badly they're welcome, but it just strikes me as a bit sad.
Rant over :-)

vapours 09-13-2007 09:41 AM

Re: Just an observation & PLEASE- NO POINTS...
I had to laugh as an image posted at about roughly the same time of a 'very shakey portrait' recieved about 3 times as much attention- and the real funny thing is that everyone gives it thumbs up as a good photo (what I commonly refer to as 'sugar-coated critiques').

If its the same person I think you're talking about, then they gave me a negative critique on one of my recent images because the woman in it was (deliberately) blurred, which brought about the same thoughts to me as your post brings up.

Ive got a small number of people that regularly comment on my work, and I can usually rely on them to give me honest feedback...its those comments that I value the most. Even if people do sugar-coat their critiques on my gallery, the photos they choose to comment on and the photos they choose to ignore, still give me an idea of what type of photo works and what doesn't.

Davids 09-13-2007 09:43 AM

receiving critiques - how to know
There is a simple but not perfect way around this;
bookmark your received critiques page as your startpage for TE.
Then you know if you got any critiques.
I know, it's not perfect, you have to click on the logo, wait for the homepage to open and then login, but at least you know what you want to know.

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