Getting the most out of the "Brutally Honest" section

This is a discussion on Getting the most out of the "Brutally Honest" section within the Brutally Honest Photo Critique Requested forums, part of the PHOTO FORUM category; Originally Posted by TCampbell There's generally always something positive -- even if it's "Hey you managed to stand on the correct side of the camera ...


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Thread: Getting the most out of the "Brutally Honest" section

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCampbell View Post
    There's generally always something positive -- even if it's "Hey you managed to stand on the correct side of the camera when you pressed the shutter button."

    Everyone is at a different point in their skill progression. If you've been shooting for decades, remember that someone else may only have started shooting recently -- even very basic things to one person may be a valuable learning experience for someone else.

    If you can't think of something positive, then re-evaluate the image at more basic/fundamental levels... How is the focus? Is it a correct exposure (even if it's not the best exposure)? etc.
    The problem is that you cannot generalize to the variety of posters with a wide range of skill, language and photography levels. Positive comments need to be accurate or they are not helpful and in many forums they are not accurate. Statements such as "great shot" or "I liked it." are too vague to be meaningful. (What did the photographer do right?) Moreover, if suggestions for improvement are left out when there are a lot of weaknesses, then that can compound the inaccuracy of the critique.

    I notice that camera clubs and photographic organizations emphasize credibility with positive comments only when warranted in their critiques, so that is the 'training/experience' of many enthusiasts and pros. Forums have tended to have problems with the concept of critique because no matter what approach the sites have taken, it has disturbed a certain percentage of posters.
    Last edited by Cameron; 04-17-2012 at 07:24 PM.

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    Most people are happy to receive feedback and advice on how they might improve their work, but this needs to come from appropriate sources. People in glass houses springs to mind when I read what some self-appointed experts have written on these boards concerning the efforts of other photographers. Would-be critics should be able to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Unless your own oeuvre offers evidence of your expertise, silence is the golden rule.
    Photography is a portal through which we are transported to other worlds

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
    The problem is that you cannot generalize to the variety of posters with a wide range of skill, language and photography levels. Positive comments need to be accurate or they are not helpful and in many forums they are not accurate. Statements such as "great shot" or "I liked it." are too vague to be meaningful. (What did the photographer do right?) Moreover, if suggestions for improvement are left out when there are a lot of weaknesses, then that can compound the inaccuracy of the critique.
    Positive comments can be accurate and meaningful. Sometimes a new photographer is doing something right even though nobody told them to do it. By pointing out specifically what it was that was right, they get a confidence boost and recognize that they should keep doing that.

    I notice that camera clubs and photographic organizations emphasize credibility with positive comments only when warranted in their critiques, so that is the 'training/experience' of many enthusiasts and pros. Forums have tended to have problems with the concept of critique because no matter what approach the sites have taken, it has disturbed a certain percentage of posters.
    "Only when warranted" varies by skill level. The point I'm emphasizing is that you have to recognize that people are at all levels of progression. A person at a fairly advanced point in their photography skill isn't likely to post a photo with fundamental flaws. They're probably looking for more advanced comments. Other people are just starting out. If you start picking at details normally reserved for advanced shooters you'll frustrate them or scare them away.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCampbell View Post
    Positive comments can be accurate and meaningful. Sometimes a new photographer is doing something right even though nobody told them to do it. By pointing out specifically what it was that was right, they get a confidence boost and recognize that they should keep doing that. .
    Yes, they can be, if the viewer has a lot of experience in looking at and evaluating images and can express that positive comment in specific, photographic language. In the real world of forums however, there are too many vague positive comments that mean nothing to the average reader. It would be more helpful if posters would explain their positive comments, so that readers and others could learn from them. It would also lead to more "conversation" and learning, if the poster with a vague positive comment were more willing to explain what they meant so that we could understand their view.

    Quote Originally Posted by TCampbell View Post
    "Only when warranted" varies by skill level. The point I'm emphasizing is that you have to recognize that people are at all levels of progression. A person at a fairly advanced point in their photography skill isn't likely to post a photo with fundamental flaws. They're probably looking for more advanced comments. Other people are just starting out. If you start picking at details normally reserved for advanced shooters you'll frustrate them or scare them away.
    Well, all I can talk about here is my own first experience as a teen in an adult camera club that was a mix of pros and amateurs. The judges of photos submitted every week would go through the photos on screen (everyone was present) with a detailed critique. Everyone and every skill level photographer was treated equally with the same type of comments and the same attention to detail. It may have been initially tough, but I ended up wining prizes by the end of the year.

    Cameron

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Berg View Post
    Most people are happy to receive feedback and advice on how they might improve their work, but this needs to come from appropriate sources. People in glass houses springs to mind when I read what some self-appointed experts have written on these boards concerning the efforts of other photographers. Would-be critics should be able to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Unless your own oeuvre offers evidence of your
    expertise, silence is the golden rule.
    Not quite a glass house, but with 4 sliding glass doors and floor to ceiling glass in many sections of my house, I come pretty close.

    Drop your spin about self-appointed experts, it is downright silly. Don't post, if you can't handle critique. I am sure that you are a big boy now, and no longer a newbie or beginner.

    Cameron
    Last edited by Cameron; 04-19-2012 at 07:11 PM.

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    Good clarification

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Berg View Post
    Most people are happy to receive feedback and advice on how they might improve their work, but this needs to come from appropriate sources. People in glass houses springs to mind when I read what some self-appointed experts have written on these boards concerning the efforts of other photographers. Would-be critics should be able to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Unless your own oeuvre offers evidence of your expertise, silence is the golden rule.
    Totally disagree with that. Photographs are viewed by far more 'non-photographers' than 'photographers' - photographers rarely buy other photographers work and claiming that the appreciation of other 'expert' photographers is a reasonable means of testing the attributes of a good image is a moot point. The viewer, regardless of his or her expertise as a photographic artisan, is the real judge. In fact most photographers make poor critics since they tend to be staid in their technique. However, giving advice about technical aspects is different. Then again there are always a million ways to skin the same cat in photography so unless the advice is downright wrong most of us are qualified to comment. So for critique relating to artistic merit anyone with reasonable eyesight must be qualified to pass comment. For technical aspects, all but the rank beginner will have something of value to say. It is those individuals at the receiving end of the critique who must possess filtering skills that enable them to put the critique to good use..a skill in itself and lacking in many photographers. If we consider photography clubs and competitions we need to be aware of their self imposed and often rigid criteria. For me this misses the point of artistic capture and throws the photographer squarely back into the rigidly measurable world of the artisan. There is room for both types of photographer provided one does not claim sovereignty over the other.
    Cameron likes this.
    "moved on"

  8. #18
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    This is a great guideline.Keep on!
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    Last edited by Aldrich1205; 12-10-2015 at 07:37 PM.


 
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