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Old 04-15-2010, 07:54 AM
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smarcell smarcell is offline
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Default A suggestion for giving comments

I suggest a new way to comment the images here.
I propose that each member has a certain number (10 for example) of RANDOMLY SELECTED photos posted by other members that he/she can comment each day.
In this way comments will be genuine, as there is no way to create "scratch each-other back" relationships, and the focus will no longer be on the number of points given-received, but on the comment itself.
I am pretty sure that this would improve the ability of self-criticism.
Seeing pictures that receive tens of "wow !" for a less than average postcard view is ridiculous.
It does not help at all to improve in photography, and disabling points, as some authors do, does not help to solve the problem.
The problem here on TE right now is not "points yes or no", but that the critics are very rarely honest.

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Old 04-15-2010, 04:13 PM
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Roly Roly is offline
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Default This sounds reasonable but...

Your suggestion has advantages but overall I do not think it is reasonable. I agree that this would diminish considerably reciprocal backslapping, which is indeed somewhat annoying, but it would also force members to critique images that do not appeal to them, or where they do not feel that they can bring any constructive criticism. Both factors combined would reduce the number of critiques and the activity on the site, which is likely not desired by the owners. I thing that those who write constructive critiques often receive them in response, while backslappers also receive what they offer. Everyone is happy, the site has no problems...
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:52 PM
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Keitht Keitht is offline
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Easiest way to address the problem is to ignore points and ignore those who you perceive to be members of the back-scratching squad. It certainly works for me.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:27 PM
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Loic_bzh Loic_bzh is offline
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A not that bad idea but... I'm definitly not interested in writing coments about photos that shows subject or place I'm not interested in, or uploaded by people that never ever write coments. Sorry.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:38 PM
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romanaa romanaa is offline
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Arrow :-)

I can see your point, Stefano, but I agree with Loic, I would not comment pictures if I am not interested in their subject. I feel that your idea would certainly help the technical side of photography, but it might stop the interaction between members. What bothers me more than those "give me and I will give you" are people who never ever give comments or critiques and use this site only as a personal photo-album plus those who do not fill in the note. Also plain critiques do not help if they do not include a piece of advice, I think.

And , there are some very very strict critiquers on the site... they often have their own pictures overexposed and not sharp....

I have also seen many bad pictures very highly scored for the pay back reason, of course, and I have also seen many average pictures over scored just because the Senior or Expert members (lets see how useful those newly awarded titles can be) have huge fan clubs... I even think, that with the different size of the thumbnails the vertical pictures attract more attention and hence more points, which is also silly. I have no idea how to change it, and I appreciate your attempt very much, but I still think that nothing is better than self criticism for the improvement of the pictures. Some people lack it unfortunately.

Therefore I have stopped counting points. But I like giving and getting a SMILE, and for me it is a smile given, whatever the reason is.

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Old 04-20-2010, 09:33 PM
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Longroute Longroute is offline
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Default overscored photos

I wholly agree with Romanaa, the points one photo gets depends mainly (but not solely) by the number of "friends" one has. However there are different ways of gaining "friendship". Photographers who produce highly appealing photos will naturally gather friends easily. Others can obtain almost the same result through an obsessive (or compulsive) voting.
I agree with Roly who said: "while backslappers also receive what they offer".
If they are content with a false approval, let them live in their illusions! (:-)

One subject which has not been considered is the quality of critiques one does. I feel this is important. A backslapper can be easily spotted by the dull and repetitive critiques he/she does but alas! I know many good photographers who write miserable comments as well. I've discovered at my expenses, that if you stick to the rule of reciprocating each vote you receive, because either you feel it's a due act of courtesy or because you don't want to loose your potential voters, once your photos get a lot of points you need a lot of time to reciprocate all the votes. And if you are posting every day, or almost so, as some of those great photographers do, it's really impossibile to find the time to write a decent critique!
You got it?

So the solution could be not to feel compelled to vote back, and actually there are a lot of members who behave like that.
Another solution - mine - is to slow down the posting.

I feel that in a site like this it's important to try and write meaningful and constructive critiques, and not just - fine photo, nice colours, and so on. Not only because in this way the person will receive a honest and useful feedback but also because it's more fun and useful for the person who write it. I refuse to write a dull critique because it makes me feel an idiot. Of course there are moments when for whatever reason one cannot find the proper words. In such a cases I stop criticising and resume the critique in a better moment. I've discovered that in trying to assess properly a photo I identify myself with the author and his/her own way of looking at the world, and in this way my horizon widens and a real comunication takes place between me and the fellow. And I think that without real comunication posting photos here has no sense.

So Stefano, I'm in favour of frankness but with a real intent of estabilishing a relationship (if that is possible). Otherwise frankness it's just another way of keeping the distance.

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Old 04-20-2010, 10:29 PM
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Didi Didi is offline
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Thumbs up

Good sounds Donato it's a good answer; how we say in French : Tu es la sagesse même
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:44 AM
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romanaa romanaa is offline
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Thumbs up points or relationship

Thank you, Donato, I can subscribe every word you have written here.

"Establishing a relationship" it is exactly what I have had in my mind thinking about what it means being active on TE... I was scared to express it not to sound too sentimental, but this is really what goes on, at least for me.... little bit of critiques as a way of response, little bit of getting inspiration from others, little bit of chatting and enjoying the sharing pictures, knowledge, emotions and stories that go with the images....

As for the technical quality of pictures, it is not often a critique that helps but it is willingness of some members to help with the quality - I have received some helpful suggestions, some great workshops with detailed description of what has been changed and a few real tutorials which I appreciate the most.

On the other hand, I have also seen a debate between two highly respected members: "reflection of light? refraction of light? diffraction of light?
teach me pls, how this happened..." and the answer: "If I tell you - then I have to kill you... :-))) It's your choice, pal..."

It is sad, isn't it?

If I felt stressed by the number of points I or others receive I would have already left the site.

So, points or relationship, it is your choice, pals....


Last edited by romanaa; 04-21-2010 at 10:02 AM. Reason: punctuation :-)
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:29 AM
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smarcell smarcell is offline
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Default aome further comments

Hello all,

I understand what you mean, and I agree with most of your comments.
And I have to say that my "suggestion" was rather provocatory.
I just want to stress that ignoring the points does not help in my opinion, because in any case most of the "critics" are often meaningless.
I happen to give plain "good picture, I like it", but when I do it, it is because I really think it is a good picture. I think that in some cases it is not needed to explain why a picture is good. A plain comment, in that case, is just to stress that the picture is good, well above the average. But then I would also like to receive frank comments.
And if the purpose of TE is also to learn photography, authors who receive 100 smiles for each post of the same barrack in a field or a church under the sun are not really telling anything to anybody else on how to improve in photography.
I can ignore the number of smiles, but the 100 enthusiastic "whow what a fantastic great minimalistic average normal picture that anybody can do !" remain there !
Let's see it this way: suppose that a new comer wants to find out the best photos and authors in this site, to learn photography. This is what I would do, and what I did in the past. He would
probably pick up the best authors in the list, the ones that score more points. Then in several cases he would be, let's say, suprised by the quality of those photos. Neglecting the points, and just looking at the number of received comments, if this was possible, would provide the same result. In this site, if one is already able to understand the difference between a good photo and a normal one (not bad, just normal), that's fine, but otherwise the way comments are given does not help at all to learn this very important self-criticism attitude.

Anyway, lets' keep posting photos


Last edited by smarcell; 04-22-2010 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:04 AM
adelune adelune is offline
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Posts: 220
Red face ...

Part of my profile, on an other photo website, where I post my "poor" shots... now :

At the beginning... a thought of Claude Dityvon, a French photographer who left us in 2008.
"By dint of to watch, I saw!"
And I looked at... well...
And I continue to look at...
And I photographed what I saw a lot...
And I photograph what I see... again and always!
While letting me go to a compulsive practice of the photography!...
While having in my look the photos taken by others... recognized or no!
But photos... just the photos!...
"Reality is the photograph itself, a particle plucked from time and space"... Garry Winogrand
And this practice procures me so much pleasure!
Intrinsically, my photos are neither good nor bad... neither beautiful nor ugly... they are!
And for you who look at them, they are only worth by the emotion, the pleasure that they awake to you...
If it gives some emotion, some pleasure?!...
And this emotion, this pleasure are not mines... they are yours!
My photos escaped to me!!
And it's well thus!...
N.B. 2 : Do I put one of your pics in my favorites?! It must not create for you any obligation vis-à-vis my own shots! Be free! And that the photo remains a pleasure!!
N.B. 3 : my "philosophy"?... To see your pics... as a bulimic one I am... and to give to see the days of my life! Ordinary pics of ordinary days!... And ordinary nights!!
N.B. 4 : the photos are the "words" with which express itself the look… then personally I don't want to add other words to the pictures at which I look!
"A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words"... Ansel Adams
"Favorite's" star does seem to you a little "skinny" compliment?... And yet there are so much pleasure, passion and heat behind this... MEDAL!!

Interestless? Maybe! But only to show that it gives so much other paths to the photographic pleasure...
An infinite number...
Othewise, I have really so much pleasure to read your talks in this thread!
Very interesting!!

P.S. : please, excuse me for my so poor English… and for my too many suspension points!
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