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Needs Improvement fijiphil 2006-06-19 7:03

Robbie, your photos put me in a difficult position. I don't like them, but they are extremely succesful. To my eye they are neither technically impressive (not particularly well composed, framed, sharp, or colourful) and not at all creative (no imaginative use of subject, viewpoint, angles, depth of field, no emotional connection, no challenge of any kind). Yet they seem to appeal to the masses in a way which my photos simply don't.

So now I have to think, why do I bother to continue to post photos which I consider to be somewhat superior to yours, but which struggle to get 10 points, 20 if I'm really lucky? What am I doing wrong? What can I learn from you to help improve my photography? Should I try copying your style, to get myself more points? It's a redundant question, because I can't figure out exactly what it is in your style that is so succesful.

Please don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge you your points, and I see from the amount of critiquing you have done that you are here to learn, just like I am. I expect I will probably get a flood of negative critiques now, that is what usually happens when I stick my neck out and tell things how I see them. But I invite that, because otherwise how can I learn?

So, on to the photo; I wouldn't ever have dreamed of uploading this photo, I doubt I would even have taken it; your note talks about an art festival, but your photo shows a straight-on view of a canal, with what appear to be (hard to tell) some ducks swimming towards us, some red balloons at the side, a bridge in the middle distance which gets kind of lost against some grey object (a lock gate?) behind it. Then in the background against a somwhat hazy sky we have half of a crane and some powerlines. I would have thought, it would have worked better as a shot from one of the banks (the right hand side as we look here), from a much lower vantage point and somewhat further into the scene, such that the bridge became a foreground interest. Maybe the ducks too. Or the balloons.The crane would be hidden, and maybe the powerlines wouldn't be so intrusive. But then, what do I know?? :-)

  #1  
Old 06-21-2006, 01:55 PM
Robbienight Robbienight is offline
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Default To fijiphil: My Reply

Hello,
yes, we are all here to learn and improve. Not to get points and say "Ohh.. I'm so goood in taking photos!!".
So it often happens that what is beautiful, interesting, attractive and fascinating to me, may be unworth and horrible to your eyes. That's life, especially when we talk about art and emotional judgements about things.
If so many people have written that they like my shots,it's just because they see in them something you just don't see, it's not a matter of style, method, POV, colours or other. It's just that someone has good sensations in looking at my images and someone hasn't.
For example, in reference to my photo called "Pedestrian bridge in Milan" I don't understand how you can say that it's not interesting. It represent one of the most beautiful parts of Milan, in a scenery that hasn't been seen in the last 100 years, since we had the strongest snow fall in 100 years last January.
So, it represents something really interesting, rare and unusual. And I can say that it's good even for POV, composition and light.
I've looked at your images, and as it happens, some of them I like,some of them I would not have posted here. For example the 2 images called "Valle d'Aosta and Naxi Women" seem really insignificant to my eyes. I cannot find any interest in them. But, once again, it's just a matter of.... personal taste, both for my photos and for yours.
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Old 06-22-2006, 07:07 PM
fijiphil fijiphil is offline
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Default Re: To fijiphil: My Reply

Hi, I agree with you it is entirely a matter of taste, and that's my problem. So many people have given your photos so many points, that they must be good. But I just don't see it. And if I can't judge what a good photo is, then what chance do I have of taking one?

Snow in Milan may indeed be interesting, but that doesn't mean any old photo of snow in Milan is automatically interesting; indeed just the opposite, such a rare ocurrence should give the opportunity to produce amazing photos, Milanese people out playing in the snow building snowmen or having snowball fights, for example. But you gave us a bridge covered in snow. Just because it is in Milan, doesn't change the fact that it's an exteremely mundane photo that anybody could take, and thereby completely unworthy (in my opinion) of so many points. The more I look at it, the more confused I get by its popularity. Your main subject (the bridge) isn't even in focus!!!

Regarding my photos you mentioned, I agree that they are two of my weakest photos. And they have probably earned the sort of points they are worthy of. But even my good photos, the ones I'm proudest of i.e. Jharkot, Man In Ghorepani, or View From Kala Pattar, have earned barely half the points of any of your photos. That's what I don't understand, and it's that, frankly, that depresses me a bit and makes me wonder why I bother.

So, I am looking forward to see your next posts, to see how your photography improves and to see what reaction people have to them. As you get better, your points total is going to surely through the roof. Good luck!!
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Old 08-02-2006, 04:23 AM
danielswalsh danielswalsh is offline
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Default Re: To fijiphil: My Reply

I have to say- I think your both horrid photographers...... ;-) hahahahaha

The discussion is quite interesting though.... some really good points being raised!

All the best guys ;-)
- Dan
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:44 AM
zenskat zenskat is offline
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Default my two bob...

Without waning to offend anybody, i think Robbienight is a case in point that proves giving lots of smilies with flattering critiques ensures receiving smilies. Robbienight has posted only 4 photos, but over 1000 critiques. His photos i would agree are nothing overly special, i think even he would agree to that. Fishing for smilies with smilies in shallow waters is a common phenomenon on TE. And to a certain degree, it works. That's cool, that's fine, but if you're not learning, or teaching constructively, why bother wasting hours writing critique after critique "beautiful image i love the light and the composition is great". Surely sooner or later that gets a bit tedious. But maybe some people just want smilies to feel good. And that's fine. I like them, I wont deny it. But those are some seriously shallow waters, and playing in puddles can only keep you satisfied so long.
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Old 11-25-2006, 04:56 PM
branley branley is offline
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Default Re: my two bob...

You've hit the nail on the head there Jez, over a thousand critiques but only four postings, a sure way of getting points because people will come and say thank you, it's just human nature and I know that from some of my shots. Sadly Robbie doesn't take criticism well either as with my critique. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, we'll see what Robbie's points total is after say posting one a week for the next 3 months. I hope you prove us all wrong Robbie and step out of the puddles into the deep blue sea.
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  #6  
Old 04-27-2007, 03:07 AM
ronners ronners is offline
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Default Re: my two bob...

It's probably not worth knocking Robbie just because he happens to get more points than you think his work deserves. Maybe he's just better at playing the TE game. If you are here to get good feedback on your work there are members here who welcome that kind of give and take (I'm one of them). I recommend that you add yourself to the <A HREF="http://www.trekearth.com/lists.php?lid=1267&ttype=mem">Critique Circle</A> list where there are a bunch of members willing to give thoughtful measured feedback on your work.

TE has in the last couple of years matured to have more than one 'face'. If you don't like the injustices there are still plenty of areas where you can get value out of the site.

Cheers,

Ron.
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Old 07-22-2007, 10:48 PM
IaKoop IaKoop is offline
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Default Re: my two bob...

I'm among the many who've been curious about Robbie's rather magical ability to not only gather points, but also to toss off some rather harsh but practical critiques as "just a matter of taste". While mathematically the theory that we're simply seeing the results of a highly ratio of critiques to photos seems reasonable, Robbie hasn't responded to this theory at all. He simply maintains that this many viewers can't be wrong.

So Robbie, if you will, I have a question for you. There is a group theme set up <a href=http://www.trekearth.com/themes.php?thid=6623>here</a> of pictures with over 100 points, just like some of yours. Take a look at these shots and tell us honestly: Do you personally believe that your photos are of the same calibre? Do you believe that your technical skills, your subject matter and execution are equal to or better than the ones you see here? The point is I'm not interested in what others have to say about your work... that's apparent in your critiques. I'd like to know how you see it.

Thanks for your time, and for appeasing my curiosity if you choose to,
Kai
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  #8  
Old 07-22-2007, 11:28 PM
IaKoop IaKoop is offline
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Default Re: my two bob...

My mistake... here's the link to the group theme of pics with over 100 points again: <a href=http://www.trekearth.com/themes.php?thid=7966>http://www.trekearth.com/themes.php?thid=7966</a>

Thanks again,
Kai
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  #9  
Old 07-29-2007, 01:33 PM
Robbienight Robbienight is offline
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Default Re: my two bob...

Ciao Kai,
sorry if I haven't answered before, but I had not seen the forum and your comment.
So, if you refer to the image called Art and Colour on The Naviglio, you're probably right. When I posted it I could not imagine it would get so many points. And surely, most of the photos in the group you've selected have more quality than my image (even if, of course, you have not choosen them random, but with the precise intention of looking for better images than mine: I'm sure you can find other photos with many points and less value than my image).
But if, for example, you take my shot called "Pedestrian Bridge in Milan", I think it can be compared at the same level of the group of photos you have choosen.
There's one thing you all seem not to consider: we don't live in a perfect world, where who deserves 100 gets 100 and who deserves 10 gets 10.
We live in a place where people have different tastes and where each one of us is attracted by different things. So it may happen that a photo which is not "technically perfect", gets many points and a perfect one gets few points. It just means that the first one is able to transmit something which goes beyond techinc aspects, POV, light, composition and so on.
Of course the fact that I'm very interested in other people works helps me a lot, because I leave several critiques to other people. In this way they may be interested in looking at my shots, but for sure they'll leave a positive comment and some points only if they do appreciate the image. Or do you think that everybody here is only stupid, and all the people who left points to my photos are ignorant and in-sensitive people. Because this is what you're saying.... more or less.
So, in conclusion.... being part of this community means to share our own images and thoughts, looking at other artists' photos and leave a positive or negative comment, if you like.
But it also means to respect each other photographer and the critiques each one of us can leave about whatever image.
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  #10  
Old 07-29-2007, 07:26 PM
IaKoop IaKoop is offline
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Default Re: my two bob...

Hey Robbie,

Just a few more thoughts.

First, the "over 100" photos truly are random, not specifically selected to better yours. If anything, I tried to keep away from those with far more than 100 points once I noticed that I had unintentionally grabbed one with several times that.

Next, I would not and did not call any of your critiquers stupid, ignorant or insensitive. If anything some may be quite the opposite, feeling obligated to offer reciprocal points as a matter of courtesy. I do notice, for instance, that your images have a disproportionately low number of selections as Favourites. While some do show a single Favourite, the selector is invisible... not sure why that is.

And finally, I agree completely that an integral part of this community (or any community, for that matter) should be respect. I have been respectful in my observations to both you and your critiquers. As with everything, I am just trying to understand.

I do appreciate your reply. While the Pedestrian Bridge shot is not bad, I still wouldn't place it in the same category as other photos with similar points. To me 100+ points generally means spectacular and that, in my humble opinion, it is not.

That said, I'm impressed with your confidence in your work. I have yet to post a photo I would declare to be worthy of such grand company as some of the best here on TE. Attitude is everything, and so your apparently unshakable belief in these photos will take you far.

All the best,
Kai
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