Criticism - want or not to want?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Mattithjah, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. Mattithjah

    Mattithjah TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 17, 2013
    Czech Republic
    Dear all,

    one of my most favourite idea (or quote) is "I have never learnt something from a person, which agreed with me".
    I´m always glad that somebody praise my work...
    But I thing, that it does not move me onward...

    If I see some new image in new thread, I mean simple shot, which see like many other "test shot", there are plenty of coments::: """Well done"""; """Nice job""" etc....

    There are same comments when there are new wery good pictures, some streets, landscapes, etc...

    Why don´t we tell the truth? Are we affraid? Are we thinking, that negative comments (for images, which belongs to rubbish bin) don´t move author onward?

    What do you thing?
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    I totally agree. But this may be the wrong platform to criticize photos, as many of the contributors here are totally new to photography and don't know anything. And just saying "That's rubbish" won't help. Now you may argue "but you can give a helpful critique" - well, in some cases, there are so many things to criticize, it would be better to just say "Go learn the basics". You see, it's hard to find a good solution here.

    Also, this problem spreads to far more platforms. You hardly see a good critique on Flickr or 500px. Some communities have the opposite problem - everybody says "rubbish" to everything, no matter how good a photo is. Prominent examples for that are DPreview (where most seem to not have shot a photo ever in their life) or (where everybody thinks he is a photographic genius). Where you actually get good critique is - at least if you request critique for your photo. The "problem" there is that the standard is on a VERY high level, so it's totally not suited to beginners.

    As for the forum, I don't know a solution to the problem. But it's true, writing "Well done" or "Amazing" might encourage beginners to go on, while it doesn't help intermediate photographers forward a bit. If someone knows a solution with which everybody is happy - please tell us!
    • Like Like x 4
  3. Azon

    Azon TalkEmount Regular

    Jul 31, 2013
    The truth is simple-this is a place for photo equipment owners and mostly the members of this community much more interested to understand their gear and help each other in this field.
    The criticism on the web sites almost always leads to wars, who needs that?
    • Like Like x 4
  4. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    It doesn't need to get there, but it's hard to predict what happens in such cases.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. suntoryjim

    suntoryjim TalkEmount Regular

    May 17, 2013
    Whoa....the quality of photos on that site are a real kick in the stomach, not to mention the lengths those photographers go to to get their shots. Makes me fee lazy and not dedicated enough to this art. :)
  6. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Civility is what we expect here.

    There is nothing wrong with pointing out things that you think could be better, just do it in a helpful, kind manner.

    Often I will use the short responses when I like a photo, but don't have anything really to say or critique.
    • Like Like x 4
  7. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    If someone asks for criticism of their photos, then I try to respond in a kind and helpful way if I think I can be constructive. If they don't ask, then I only post a response if there's something about the photos that I really like. I try to live by what my mom taught me: if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all.

    The way I see it, it's not my duty, nor am I qualified, to attempt to teach anyone anything about photography. There are classes and books and web sites for that. If someone is motivated to learn, it's not hard to find the sources of great information.

    But no one needs me to tell them that their photos don't do anything for me, and if they'd just do this or that, then maybe I'd like them a little bit more. Life is full of people eager to let you know that you fall short in their estimation.

    In the end, I shoot for my own pleasure and gratification, and I expect that most people do the same. Shouldn't that be enough? We can't all be great artists, nor should we be have to be.
    • Like Like x 5
  8. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Fully support your first sentence. As for your second sentence - we all CAN be great artists, we just need to learn and be confident in ourselves. Sure, it might take a lifetime, but my deep belief is that everybody can be whatever he wants if he just trusts in himself and in what he does.

    Like James Raynor said: "We are who we choose to be.".
    • Like Like x 1
  9. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue Subscribing Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    I'm pretty new here but have become a regular quite fast (I love a good forum!), I think most of the regulars have posted on this thread already as well...

    I usually put on my pic posts 'any comments/critique welcome' as I am still very much learning - I put myself in the 'advanced beginner' category for now, so a long way to go before reaching pro/semi-pro (which would be nice one day)...

    If you don't put this statement then it's hard for other forum members to gauge if you are open to critique or not - with the hostile world that the internet is, any mention of a friendly suggestion can be construed as 'hate' and lead to the crap I'm sure we have all witnessed on many sites...

    As the regulars are all here, please take this note to say, always feel free to put any comment on my pics, kind or otherwise! I know many of my shots have a myriad of errors, but when I post I usually mention I am focussing on one area, so focus your critique on that. Equally a 'nice shot' if you just enjoyed it for what it is is always welcome :)

    This is a super friendly forum and I think most regulars feel as I do and are happy to receive any comments, its just when the noobs turn up you have to be a little weary until you have judged their character.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Zanner

    Zanner TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Wisconsin, USA
    I wouldn't comment/criticize unless it is specifically asked. Don't comment if you don't like it or want to suggest something.

    Being a customer service supervisor for 15 years has me very well versed in "biting my tongue". :)
    • Like Like x 1
  11. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    Constructive criticism is good, but negative criticism is not. It is harder to do it online esp when people from different locations/cultures/ages have different level of comfort and expectancy from their hobby also. I saw m43 forum started a criticism subfolder, but I haven't seen it much used lately.

    In US, there are local photo clubs that does competitions, etc. Some do photo evaluations. I used to go to a few. Lately meetups are popular also but I hardly make it after work from my current job location. I saw a local meetup group which is now managed by a pro photographer had a photo criticism meeting. Also one art center has monthly meetings doing same thing. Of course these need more effort eg printing/making a portfolio etc and having time to make their schedules, etc. So there are options for people who are more serious about their hobby...
  12. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Well IK have found many shots that I did like. I prefer to remain silent though. Taste is subjective
    • Like Like x 2
  13. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    I just assume when I post a picture I will receive critique.
  14. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    I also agree with what seems to be the general consensus here - critisim is good but it can sometimes lead to misconceptions and disagreements. Especially on the internet forums.
    The main characteristic of from its beginning has been its laid-back atmosphere and civil/friendly forum members and I hope we keep it that way ;)
    • Like Like x 6
  15. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    Collectively, the membership probably has a variety of positions on this issue, and I'll be glad to share mine, which is very simple:
    If I want a critique of something I've done, I'll ask for it, period.

    Otherwise, since the learning curve in most any hobby is a constant work in progress, if I post some photos I've taken, it's simply to share within the community some stuff I'm doing that for me I feel good about, given where I am in that learning curve, where I am with equipment available to me, etc, etc. I view others posts the same way.

    IMO, anyone who assumes a public Forum gives them some right to make unsolicited critiques of some total stranger's postings is completely and fundamentally wrong.

    As far as I'm concerned, the REAL question should be:

    What is the inner personality shortcoming / trait of someone who insists on / needs to make unsolicited critiques of someone else's activities??
    • Like Like x 2
  16. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Being fairly new at photography, I like when I get usefull critique. Not useless, "I could do better remarks," but ideas that might make my next shot better. I am here to improve and develop and some of the critique has really been helpful.

    Now if I post pictures on a sight like Facebook or Tumbler and someone starts critiquing me, that not the place and is odd.

    Posting pictures on a photography forum assumes that critique is going to happen, both good and bad, its a photography forum. To think otherwise is missing the point.

    Most of the time I have nothing to add other than a simple "good job" or "that's neat". However, on those rare occasions I have something valuable to suggest, I hope it is taken well and can help someone else improve their skills, or improve a shot they shared.

    I am proud to be a member of this forun, and of the friendly nature that's been cultivated.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Well said, David. I've seen too many posts lately in other forums where someone's composition or PP is criticized as "not up to snuff". I just take the stance that, if I don't like it, I move on. I don't think it's helpful at all to say "that does nothing for me", simply because we have our own styles and preferences.

    • Like Like x 1
  18. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    Thanks for the heads-up. Awesome work there!
  19. Azon

    Azon TalkEmount Regular

    Jul 31, 2013
    I think that helpful criticism could be in a real life not on the web and main condition for it your respect and trust to the judge. Internet gives to everybody who really want to progress in photography several ways to do it and the easiest and most progressive one is to look at the pictures that taking your breath away and trying to achieve the same result. It's not a fast way but it works... if you really want, of course.
    If you open critic tap, be prepared that on one constructive opinion to get dozen of not so...
  20. markoneswift

    markoneswift TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 17, 2012
    I think it's all subjective anyway. If you throw an image out there online, someone is going to like or dislike it. I think the best kind of comments are the ones where people clearly express an opinion, rather than just telling you that something about your image is wrong. 'Wrong' and 'right' are subjective, in photography there is neither. A perfect composition can be badly exposed, a technically perfect exposure could have less than perfect composition etc etc. If we are all clear about expressing our OPINIONS than surely no-one should be offended. Expressing an opinion is much more constructive than telling someone they did it wrong.