Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by caimi, May 12, 2013.

  1. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Real Name:
    My most prized formal education was the study of American Lit. For me, criticism is not a four letter word. I like to read and consider an intelligent discussion of a book, a play, a movie a photograph. For me, an intelligent, thoughtful critique is not negative, it is positive. An intelligent, thoughtful critique of one of my photos helps me see it in ways I could not see it on my own. I like the recent effort of some of the forum members to instigate a little more thought about the images presented here on a daily basis. I wonder how it is being received by other members though. This is a very friendly forum but introducing a constructive critical element of the photos can make it even more interesting and retain the friendliness.

    What do you think?
  2. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I think everyone's photography can improve with constructive criticism, even other viewers can benefit from looking at a photo and then reading the comments, but not everyone wants to hear it. As long as the poster is open to feedback beyond "great shot" and we keep it in the spirit of friendly/helpful suggestions I'm all for more of it around here.
  3. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    Don't wreck the forum with critisism. You want criticism, there's forums such as DPReview.
  4. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    This sounds like criticism of the OPs post....:biggrin::tongue:
  5. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    Image critique can be a very sensitive subject. Some folks welcome critique because they feel that it makes them a better photographer. Others post only the images that they think are their best and therefore anything other than lavish praise from others is seen as an indictment of their skills. In the interest of avoiding offending someone, it's usually best to avoid critiquing others unless they specifically ask for it because you don't know which camp they fall into.

    What I think would be a good idea, and of course it's totally up to Amin, would be to set up a photo critique forum. That way those of us who want constructive critiques of our photos can post them there with the understanding that they are fair game. If it's not in the critique forum, don't offer a critique -- simple as that.

    Amin, your thoughts?
  6. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Real Name:
    Caimi -perhaps a better choice of words would be critique.

    Critique is commonly understood as fault finding and negative judgement, but it can also involve merit recognition, and in the philosophical tradition it also means a methodical practice of doubt.

    Though not as often as I would like, I offer both solicited and unsolicited crits of others' photos. What prevents me from doing more is time. I have always struggled with writing, to find the exacting esoteric words to precisely convey my thoughts. Often I accompany the crit with the suggested reworked into an accompanying image.

    One of the most important aspects of a crit is not the assistance you provide to the recipient but the understanding the critiquer learns from the process. (While finding out how to spell critiquer I found the following which is perhaps more succinct.

    The value of the critique is only partially to provide feedback for the author; perhaps the most important part is to develop critical skills that can be applied to your own work.
    -James Gunn
    How to Be a Good Critiquer
  7. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Real Name:
    This doesn't make sense?

    If a poster puts up an image here and asks for criticism, are you saying it shouldn't be given? The person has actively asked for it; I think that is what is being discussed here, not critiqueing every image that is posted.

    I think if person wants critique, they should be able to have it. It should be in a constructive and positive manner, not like on some other forums, but it should be allowed.
  8. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    I'm curious why you would offer unsolicited critiques of others' photos? Let's say this was a car forum and you bought yourself a shiny new car and posted pics of it on the forum. Then someone said something along the lines of "That's nice but let me tell you what I would have done differently. The white exterior is OK but it really would go better with tan leather rather than the black you chose. And those wheels are OK but the optional wheels are much more attractive and would make the whole car look better. And I can't for the life of me figure out why you would get the automatic rather than the six speed."

    Would that be OK?
  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I think that most of those who are interested in a helpful critique will ask for it or specify that they are open to critique in their original post. I've seen some excellent discussion recently as well and I hope it will continue in an open and friendly manner. It's interesting o hear other folks' perspectives and it's a great opportunity to learn. :thumbup:
  10. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Real Name:
    What the forum could do is offer a setting during post creation that when checked would display something under a users avatar or in the title that says "critique welcome". That way a someone replying would not be worried about unsolicited comments.
  11. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    I think it would be brilliant if the pros and hobbyist from this forum participates in providing detailed constructive critiques when requested, and also how the pictures can be improved. I hope the critiques in this forum would be one of the best around.

    When I was searching for photo critiques forums, I do see that some sites even charges you a certain fees to offer critique services, Ming Thein does that as well.
  12. Wizard Steve

    Wizard Steve Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2013
    Provence, France
    Real Name:
    David Ricketts
    I know my photographs are not very good. What I don't always know is why. However, once the problems in my photographs are pointed out, they're completely obvious to me.

    I need that helping hand and welcome it.
  13. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    Photography courses furnish knowledge and critique. But that costs money and a person has to get off their duff.
  14. thomastaesu

    thomastaesu Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2012
    ATL, GA
    Real Name:
    Why not have a forum called Critique this, and people that want their photos critiqued can post their pics there?
  15. GreenGhost

    GreenGhost Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 30, 2012
    Real Name:
    Peter Liakopoulos
    I have alot to learn about photography. That's why I spend a lot of time looking and listening.. I have come to respect the views of a number of members here. On the odd occasion that I do post a photo I do so because I am proud of what I have produced and if that photo brings some joy and a possible accolade from someone then it gives me joy. However, in doing so it is my view that to grow and learn to become better and more accomplished, it is not only the accolades I must take but the critique that may also come from someone's else's view. If given in the right spirit then good or bad it can only improve my craft. I personally welcome it, whether or not I agree with it. It simply adds to my knowledge.
  16. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    For me the word "Critique" conjours up an image of when I was studying and our images were often reviewed by working professionals who involved us in a discussion about the photo so best to understand the circumstances that led to the image and then in turn gave us their thoughts on how they would have portrayed the subject, that for me was very constructive and one of the greatest learning tools I experienced.

    Unfortunately, the way a photo is critiqued purely from viewing without the benefit of understanding the where, when,how & why it was taken leads to feedback that is often not achievable at the time of taking so is a subjective view from a viewer only and can be seen as abrasive in comparison to feedback at the time of shooting/or following a discussion about the circumstances surrounding the "coming together" where suggestions can be made about position to shoot from, lens/aperture/shutter speed choice and how best to frame the subject for the most impact.

    I am always open to criticism providing it is constructive and delivered in a polite manner, photography is an ever evolving art and as such there is always something new to learn and try.

    The people that feel they know it all, have nothing to learn and are happy to criticise others using their minds eye are often the ones who shoot the least and produce the worst so have little evidence of their skill set

    Debating an image always leads to the most constructive criticism, alas, forums/time do not always offer that and time lags between responses often kills the flow so anything introduced in a forum to allow constructive criticism must be done with these things considered.
  17. voltcontrol

    voltcontrol Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2013
    Hear, hear!
  18. unkabin

    unkabin Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 17, 2011
    One more voice for a "Critics Corner" or some such specifically for people who want criticism on a specific photo. I've found in other forums that the community is generous with feedback, and that it works best when the poster can articulate some specific concerns about the photo, even if it's only a feeling about this or that.

    Adding the phrase "Critique Welcome" in a post elsewhere is okay, but a house for this type of interaction would be nice, I think.
  19. the_traveler

    the_traveler Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 12, 2011
    Columbia, MD
    Real Name:
    Lew Lorton
    I'm not a gear-head who loves equipment and lives to discuss every possible combination and option so, from my point of view, Mu 43 offers very little without the chance to hear honest comments or critique on what I post. There is the occasional hard information as a reference but my need for that is limited; there is relatively little posting of individual images by people who want to get better at what they do.

    My experience in real life camera clubs is that people on the up slope of learning really want that help in the form of critique. It is hard to believe that it is different on the Internet. In fact, I believe that the best learning experience for any new photographer is looking at and discussing what about an image, not necessarily his/her own, either works or doesn't. A shortage of the opportunity to do exactly that means a shortage in learning opportunity for a newcomer.

    A huge amount of 'sharing' means a cozy environment for people with skills and perhaps a backlog of photos but just isn't helpful or useful to new photographers.

    The challenge is to keep critique objective and helpful; a single rule of behavior should be that posters must be civil and respectful to other members and their work. Adherence to that can best be accomplished by peer pressure and outright peer influence because the mods can't be everywhere.

    I've only come here to read about M 4/3 and only stayed a bit because I know one or two of the members from other places. As someone who taught for a long time (statistics and experimental design), without an environment of learning and helping, a forum doesn't have much to hold me.
  20. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Real Name:
    I've found critique on other forums to be very varied, some seem to just slag of your work (I had a post removed on one of these because it included the phrase 'I like this' even though it went on to give the reasons, and what I felt might improve it.)

    Comments such as ' Love the colours' are basic critique and no-one objects to those :)

    In many cases the suggested improvements are a matter of opinion. I critics should take that into account and phrase their comments appropriately. In some forums this is the norm and makes critique both more helpfull and less off-putting.

    If I can't find something I like in a photo, I won't spend my time on-line slagging it there are simply too many good pictures to waste time on dross.
    There have been times at clubs where I've had to offer suggestions, and struggle to find anything to like - fortunately it's been rare, and even then I like to think I've managed to be civil.