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  1. #1
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    A little rant about critiques

    What does it take to get a simple comment in the critique section?

    This has happened to me several times now and to be honest it is quite disheartening as a hobbiest to post something that you really like and get no comments on it whatsoever....not even negative. Now I suppose I should simply accept it as no news is good news....but thats not the point of posting it for critique now is it?

    I don't post pictures for critique often anymore because of the lack of comments I get. I now tend to stick to the nature forum or the sports forum as I do get comments there and they are always helpful regardless of whether they are negative or positive. When I honestly need an opinion of an image that doesn't fit in either of the above categories I have no where left to turn but the critique forum. Then I get nothing.

    When I read the critique forum I will almost always post something that I like or dislike about the image that I am viewing. I am not a pro, never have claimed to be, most likely never will, but I do have 35 years of image processing skills due to the fact that my eyes have not stopped working for the entirity of my life. I know what it is that I like and dislike, and I have no problems telling someone. To be completely honest I think it is either rud or arrogant to not post a comment since that is what I have been asked to do by being there.

    My feelings on critiques are very simple: tell the person your true feelings about it and why. If they don't like my answer well hopefully they have seen anothier view point that may make them approach the subject a little differently next time. If not well then maybe my opinion differs so greatly that I am way out of line with the rest of the world....well then, so be it.... can't say as I blame the rest of the world.

    Remember when you are looking at the critique forum that the people on the other side of the world are asking you for your opinion, not necessarily your expertise, and your feelings about something that they have put a lot of time and effort into. Imagine how it feels to see your work posted and have no idea what anyone thinks about the image because no one said anything.

    And lastly, keep shooting no matter what anyone says or doesn't say. If you had fun taking the image and it brings back a memory or a feeling of something special to you ... then don't worry about what someone said about it, snap shot or not it is your image and the feelings it brings back or the memories you have captured are still and weill always be yours to remember.

    /rant off
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  2. #2
    Senior Member swmdrayfan's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Jaedon.....it took me a long time to get past the very thing you mention. I was wondering just why nobody cared to comment. Some folks live by the adage "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all", some subscribe to the thought that if a picture is well done, then no critique is necessary. A lot of folks just want to see as many photos as they can in the limited time they have on line, or just feel they aren't 'qualified' to make a critique. Has nothing to do with you or your work. Eventually I came to grips with all of that, and realized that not every photo I post requires comment. Still--you want to know what people think, and whether they can help you improve.
    John

  3. #3
    AutoX Addict Mr Yuck's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Yeah once in a while I'll go through the forum and hunt down posts with 0 or 1 replies and make a point to comment on it.

    I've gotten as far as page 4 finding 0-reply-threads with incredible pictures in them.
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  4. #4
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    a straight forward nicley taken picture that isnt arty-crafty posted by someone who isnt part of the forum hierarchy is most likely to get no comment..

    a simple "i like it" is against the rules.. the forum is very cliquey as well.. some folks get lots of pats on the back some get no comment..

    its a cosy little club of regular posters and it shows..

    if u dont fit in with "consensus" u soon give up and go away.. the "consensus" being the common opinion of the little group that inhabit and control the place.. lets all get along with each other and dont rock the boat being the orders of the day..

    not a very effective environment for genune critique.. but forums are funny places.. and a consensus oppinon is never a "correct" one..

    i have stopped posting images and offer little comment.. soon i will go away completely.. and the "group" will think good riddance.. he he he

    trog
    Last edited by trog100; 03-11-2007 at 10:54 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member payn817's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Quote Originally Posted by trog100
    a straight forward nicley taken picture that isnt arty-crafty posted by someone who isnt part of the forum hierarchy is most likely to get no comment..

    a simple "i like it" is against the rules.. the forum is very cliquey as well.. some folks get lots of pats on the back some get no comment..

    its a cosy little club of regular posters and it shows..

    trog
    Amen trog.

    Jaedon, it has been that way at least since I first signed on, nearly 2 years ago. As others have stated, and I think you already know it is not a sign of anything meaningful.

    A "solution" to this is fairly simple, and far more rewarding than any forum. I do really enjoy these forums for the most part. Anyway, find a photography club in your area. The club will have critique sessions, workshops, field trips, and competitions. You will likely meet those at your skill level, as well as complete beginners, and a few working pros. Along the way, you'll likely make some great friends. The dues are usually around $25 a year, and our club meets 2 times a month.

    Below is the link to your local chapter.
    http://www.torontocameraclub.com/index.htm

  6. #6
    photo gallery Mod. starriderrick's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Yuck
    Yeah once in a while I'll go through the forum and hunt down posts with 0 or 1 replies and make a point to comment on it.

    I've gotten as far as page 4 finding 0-reply-threads with incredible pictures in them.
    You're a good guy mr.Yuck.

    I used to feel like Jaedon, Then I realized if I'm having fun...Everything falls into place.I lowered my expectations, Learn from reading more of the images that are critiqued.
    Good thread :thumbsup:
    Rick









  7. #7
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Well I am glad to see I am not the only person who feels this way. I didn't want to slam anyone or make people feel that they HAVE to post a critique but it is definitely nice to hear something when you have taken the time and thought and effort into an image and have asked for others opinions.

    I know at first I was too shy to post a critique but I found that the more I did and the more I thought about what I liked and didn't like about someone else's image it made me a better photographer by not making those same mistakes when shooting something later on. The simple fact is that if you say what it is that you like or don't like out loud (or in type in this case) it resonates within your own head and is more likely to help you make the same corrections later when you are faced with a similar situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by swymdrayfan
    Some folks live by the adage "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all", some subscribe to the thought that if a picture is well done, then no critique is necessary. A lot of folks just want to see as many photos as they can in the limited time they have on line, or just feel they aren't 'qualified' to make a critique.
    I used to feel that way... but everyone is qualified when giving an opinion. If you have one, please share it, you will feel better in the long run as will the original poster. (not directed at you personally i am using your comments for example)

    Payn - Thanks for the info. I will definitely look them up as I recently left another photography club due to internal politics and I did not want that to Jade my feelings on Photography as a whole.
    Shooting with an Olympus Evolt E-510 and loving it


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  8. #8
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    For what it's worth, even some of the photographs I post go without comment, I don't know it's because my stuff is a little different or what.

    The one thing I know about critiquing photography, art, etc, is that it requires somewhat of a relationship and trust. And the best way to do that in this type of environment is to comment on other people's work. You said it yourself, that at first you were shy, which is OK, but it probably took some time for you to step beyond yourself and make that first comment. And again, in this type of environment a lot of people prefer to come here in anonymity and learn, which is also OK, but they won't get as much in their anonymity.

    I would also echo what Rick said, give it time and lower your expecations just a little, I think if you look at the photographs you first posted versus your most current ones, I am sure you'll see more improvement than you think.

    One more thing, I know your intentions and the others that has posted so far are great and I for one am thankful for that, but for anyone else that may read this post, please don't turn this in to a flame war or anything like that, that's not what this community is about.

    Brian
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  9. #9
    MJS
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Just keep trying. I am convinced that I am the reigning thread killer. Once I chime in, it dies. No biggy though, read, learn, keep posting and eventually you'll get used to it. We all have in our own time.
    Michael
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  10. #10
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    It is strange but feel it is no popularity contest either. I have seen Tunas pictures get absoulutly no comments one time and then dozens on others. I have seen newbies post and get featured photos. It is natural to make friends everywhere you go. But I still don't feel obligated to comment on everyones work and hope that works both ways. Sometimes I just don't have anything constructive to add or someone else already has and I don't feel repeating what someone else has already mentioned.
    I think the key is not to get discourged and keep posting, and critique others as well. That's what I did and will continue to do. I have thought about photography classes ,but why. I feel I have improved my skills very much here in these forums. Personaly I will try and critique more so keep'em coming guys and don't give up. From a personal stand point I enjoy all of your pictures and am glad you share them. I learn as much just looking at your pictures as reading a comment.
    Greg
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  11. #11
    Moderator Didache's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    I think many of us who visit the critique forum could make a little more effort at times. However, we all use the forum in different ways. For myself, I really do look at virtually every image that is posted there. I don't always critique because a) someone has already said what I would have said, b) it is outside my field (eg portraits rarely get a comment from me) and I don't feel able to comment sensibly, or c) sometimes the image does nothing for me one way or the other (I tend to comment on images that interest me, good or bad).

    The point has been well made though that, even if I don't comment all the time, I still get a great deal out of just looking and reading comments people have made.

    Cheers
    Mike
    Last edited by Didache; 03-11-2007 at 01:43 PM.

  12. #12
    AutoX Addict Mr Yuck's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Quote Originally Posted by trog100
    i have stopped posting images and offer little comment.. soon i will go away completely.. and the "group" will think good riddance
    Nope. Not good riddance, we didnt notice the other 99 trogs, but you stand out from the rest. Start posting more, I notice that I see far too few images from some of the more active members, especially the ones that give honest critique.

    I admit, I'm guilty of the simple "I like it's" I do try to make a point of saying what I like about a picture.

    I've noticed that it helps to say in your original post what you're looking for critique on. IE: "should I have backed up, should I level the horizon or keep it crooked for effect?" etc.

    Sometimes I'll see that the forum gets no activity whatsoever for hours on end, and then boom, 8 new images are posted by 8 different users and this kind of gets overwhelming.

    I am convinced that I am the reigning thread killer.
    Well this thread will prove you wrong eh? :P

    You're a good guy mr.Yuck.
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  13. #13
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Quote Originally Posted by trog100
    ..

    i have stopped posting images and offer little comment.. soon i will go away completely.. and the "group" will think good riddance.. he he he

    trog
    I am afraid you are wrong Trog, I have learned much from you and you will be sorely missed.
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  14. #14
    Firefighter Tyson L. Sparks's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    I have come acrooss pictures where I left a "Like it but I don't know why" just because an inage cought my eye. I have been replied to "Don't post comments like these then". The picture 9 times out of 10 just looked good to me and I just couldn't put my finger on it. Also I have left some negative feedback on a few and got slammed, well they asked didn't they? People well take a picture of there car bumper ( I do too ) and post it. What do you say to a no feeling "wish I wouldn't clicked on that one" picture?

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  15. #15
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Well I am glad my thread has caused a bit of a stir and yet has not degraded into a flame war (I was a little bit worried about that but I know the community here is above that for the most part) as mtbrian also seemed to be wary of.

    What I wanted to do, and I hope I have achieved, is to raise the awareness that the people who are posting for critique are looking for something...anything...in regards to their image both positive and negative. I know it's hard to give negative feedback but if you give the good news/bad news scenarios I find it a lot easier to give as well as take.

    Thanks everyone for you contributions to this thread.... I hope there's more to come too.

    Jay
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  16. #16
    Member benjikan's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaedon
    What does it take to get a simple comment in the critique section?

    This has happened to me several times now and to be honest it is quite disheartening as a hobbiest to post something that you really like and get no comments on it whatsoever....not even negative. Now I suppose I should simply accept it as no news is good news....but thats not the point of posting it for critique now is it?

    I don't post pictures for critique often anymore because of the lack of comments I get. I now tend to stick to the nature forum or the sports forum as I do get comments there and they are always helpful regardless of whether they are negative or positive. When I honestly need an opinion of an image that doesn't fit in either of the above categories I have no where left to turn but the critique forum. Then I get nothing.

    When I read the critique forum I will almost always post something that I like or dislike about the image that I am viewing. I am not a pro, never have claimed to be, most likely never will, but I do have 35 years of image processing skills due to the fact that my eyes have not stopped working for the entirity of my life. I know what it is that I like and dislike, and I have no problems telling someone. To be completely honest I think it is either rud or arrogant to not post a comment since that is what I have been asked to do by being there.

    My feelings on critiques are very simple: tell the person your true feelings about it and why. If they don't like my answer well hopefully they have seen anothier view point that may make them approach the subject a little differently next time. If not well then maybe my opinion differs so greatly that I am way out of line with the rest of the world....well then, so be it.... can't say as I blame the rest of the world.

    Remember when you are looking at the critique forum that the people on the other side of the world are asking you for your opinion, not necessarily your expertise, and your feelings about something that they have put a lot of time and effort into. Imagine how it feels to see your work posted and have no idea what anyone thinks about the image because no one said anything.

    And lastly, keep shooting no matter what anyone says or doesn't say. If you had fun taking the image and it brings back a memory or a feeling of something special to you ... then don't worry about what someone said about it, snap shot or not it is your image and the feelings it brings back or the memories you have captured are still and weill always be yours to remember.

    /rant off
    Ask an opinion and that is what you'll get. Say here is my volume of work, this IS what I do...Period. You'll get respect. An opinion is just that, nothing more nothing less. It sets the precedent for a different paradigm. It's your choice. Either you believe in yourself and who you are or you don't. It's your choice.

  17. #17
    Senior Member swmdrayfan's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    A couple of years ago I 'ranted' much the same way. In addition to my earlier comment I think people sometimes forget that we all need the constructive criticizm or critique in order to improve. Once I got those, I was able to learn and improve. I started to think more about composition, exposure, and how photos express a point of view.
    John

  18. #18
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    The same has happened to me with last two images I posted in critique. Got one comment each.
    I comment on some and not others, depending on if I feel I have something to offer from my bumbling amateur point of view.
    I go through them all to see what others have said as this helps me learn and looking at all the images critically helps me learn, too, as I can apply what I think is good/bad to my own.
    It does get discouraging when one gets little or no response.
    Keep Shooting!

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  19. #19
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Jaedon:

    I would agree with Payne's recommendation that you check out your local camera club. They often tend to have people that have years of experience in Critique at a very professional level.

    As has been pointed out, there is a tremendous range here from beginners to pros and throughout all ranges there is even more variation in the area of Critique. Personal likes and dislikes have very little to do with Critique, unless you have seen and looked closely at a considerable number of photos and can explain why you like or dislike them. As John has also explained numerous times, saying that you like or dislike a photo, does NOT help the photographer improve their work. At the same time, I have to say that a photo with no subject or no centre of interest is rather difficult to improve as is one with exposure or focus problems that are not fixable.

    It is also rather sad, that some posters react badly when for example you honestly point out that after close examination, you cannot spot any colour cast or whatever. The same for those who cannot seem to deal with a contrary opinion without characterizing it as flames or whatever. Why have a Critique forum at all, when so few people know anything at all about the process as it is done in an advanced amateur or professional venue? Perhaps it should be renamed as something else to please whatever some photographers and moderators want it to be.

    This is my opinion. I would prefer not to hear less than intelligent characterizations of it as something else.

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  20. #20
    Senior Member payn817's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Very well stated Ronnoco. I am in 100% agreement.

    Our club critiques are often carried out by art professors/curators, working pro photographers, and the like. It is a completely different experience to ANY online forum.

  21. #21
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Quote Originally Posted by payn817
    Our club critiques are often carried out by art professors/curators, working pro photographers, and the like. It is a completely different experience to ANY online forum.
    There in lies the difference...
    Doing this in person is always better, that way you are able to gauge a person's emotional feeling as well as all of the stuff.
    You can hear the tone in their voice, see their facial expression, etc.
    But if you can say something constructive online, you at least have a place to start.
    Brian
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  22. #22
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    it has been said that opinions are like ass-holes.. everybody has one..

    which does kinda devalue them somewhat.. i love forums and have spent lots of time on them over the past few years.. i thought all the answers to all the questoned could easily be answered..

    but i am becoming disillusioned with them mainly because of the "consensus" opinion thing that drives most of them..

    some guy asks a simple question he gets five different answers.. one answer might well be the only correct answer but the need to remain friendly and the consensus opinion factor will always guarantee that the correct answer is lost amonst the dross..

    sadly the dross by far outnumber the quality.. any attempt to prove the dross to be what it is will result in alienation by consensus and the fun soon goes out of it.. to be right too often isnt allowed.. even if u are.. he he

    as oscar wilde was known to have said.. "the majority.. apart from being right.. is invariably wrong"..

    forums are all about the majority and keeping the majority happy.. and the majority all have an ass-hole and an opinion..

    perhaps the internet is just another reiteration of gods tower of babel curse..

    trog

  23. #23
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyson L. Sparks
    I have come acrooss pictures where I left a "Like it but I don't know why" just because an inage cought my eye. I have been replied to "Don't post comments like these then". The picture 9 times out of 10 just looked good to me and I just couldn't put my finger on it. Also I have left some negative feedback on a few and got slammed, well they asked didn't they? People well take a picture of there car bumper ( I do too ) and post it. What do you say to a no feeling "wish I wouldn't clicked on that one" picture?
    I agree with what you say Tyson. For the most part if you sell a picture to the general public they aren't going to critique it from a professional stand point. They are just going to see a picture they like and buy it. So I enjoy critiques from all levels of photographers.
    You also have to understand to that if you put up a picture of a flower, how many critiques should you expect? But if you put up landscape with a lot of elements going on you are naturally going to get more critiques.
    I think that for every picture you post if you critique five everyone would be happier.
    Greg
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  24. #24
    Senior Member payn817's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    You also have to understand to that if you put up a picture of a flower, how many critiques should you expect? But if you put up landscape with a lot of elements going on you are naturally going to get more critiques.
    Greg
    Greg, I honestly do not understand how you come to this. Floral photography is still sought after by galleries, many publications, home decorators, and private buyers. It deserves the same attention to detail to sell in these markets. Therefore, it deserves the same attention and respect as any other photo. Remember, critique is used to address the technical aspects as well. In real critique, the mention of the subject is typically if it contains a technical flaw (i.e. not obvious, out of focus), or is not clearly defined.

    I can certainly imagine one could critique a floral in the following manner:

    -- The colors are wonderful, as is your composition. However, I find the depth of field too shallow to give the subject any real impact. Perhaps stopping down another 2 stops would have provided a stronger image.--

    Doesn't matter what that subject was. Not trying to give you a hard time, just giving an example.


    Brian, I do not mean by any measure to insult anyone or make any forum seem unworthy. That is why I capitalized the word ALL. The forum has it's place, and it helped me alot. The reply was simply to offer a solution to the OP, based on personal experience.

  25. #25
    Ghost
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    Dec 2003
    Location
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Posts
    1,029

    Re: A little rant about critiques

    Many people don't want a critique, they want to be praised. Too much butt kissing on the critique forums. Many are too sensitive and/or defensive to listen to critiques unless they are written in the most eloquent and tactful way possible. I'm not going to spend 30 minutes writing up a critique when some other poster that didn't even post the original photo will call my critique rubbish and tell the original photographer not to listen to others, etc, blah blah.

    Not everyone is like this, but there's enough of it that I don't bother too much any more.

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