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flagman 03-22-2007 03:24 PM

Re: Adrian's original post: Improving critique quality?
Adrian, do you have any idea how many critiques are given out on this site every day? Tens of thousands I would guess.
Surely you don't expect moderators to read them all and check their usefulness?
No, any process which involves the moderator getting involved on a day-to-day basis, even for a short period of time, is just a non-starter.
Only an automatic system will work, e.g. disabling of accounts if someone always writes useless critiques.
I realise that this is open to abuse and unwarranted dismissals. Maybe something lighter, like a 'useless critiquer' star rating! :)
Such a change would only require a one-time change of the site.


Davids 03-22-2007 03:39 PM

Re: Adrian's original post: Improving critique quality?
A combination of a technical filter and more than one moderator would be sufficiant.
If you have a look at the critiques you or I received, you would see that it only takes a few minutes to moderate. No offence ment off coarse.

bazal 03-22-2007 03:41 PM

Re: To the TE elite
A few more thoughts...

First I would like to say I totally agree with Jack.

"The arguable part is that Adam could decide that critiques that only write about positive parts of the photo -even when this is motivated- are actualy comments, and if a member is persistant in only writing (largly) possitive comments that are marked as critiques, he could remove them."
- What is arguable in that? That Adam could decide to do that or that you would visibly like him to do that?

"The question Adam will have to answer is if it is still the intention of TE that the bulk of critiques only emphasise the good aspects, and if he will be more critical of these critiques? "
- Well, I tink he will answer that if he thinks it's useful to do so. From my own point of view (which might be not a good POV...). I'm not sure it is.

"I have a creative profession, and being not critical will mean...".
- I'm happy you have such an interesting job, but if this pressure can be a good thing in your professionnal life, I don't think TE is intended to become a place to put any pressure on the contributors. I think most of us spend enough time dealing with that in our real life.

And finally, "has TE become too common, where writing about the parts of a photo or note that needs improvement has become too rare to be accaptable? Do members understand it is part of TE to do so, and that it has no personal intentions, other than to help the person? Have TE members become too experienced, and are they posting only good photos these days?"
- I think this point is completely out out common sense: where did you see that negative comments were not acceptable and not accepted? I think that most of the TE members perfectly understand that and are more than happy to receive or send constructive advises as soon as they are written in a respectuous way. From my experience, I've never had any bad feedback from somebody I criticized in such a way.

Have a nice day.
Kind regards.

jrj 03-22-2007 03:49 PM

Re: To the TE elite
Lots of interesting arguments David. Also the reference to Jose Elias, for me an outstanding member of this site, - in fact so interesting that I made a special trip to Portugal in 2005 where I had the pleasure of meeting him and his friend Sofia - before he deleted his whole portfolio mostly of frustration to the endless discussion of points and the arrogant attitude by some few, who thinks very good of themself, at this site.

You are right David, there are several possibilities to improve how we work on TE. The good thing would be if this was done by discussing selected topics without hanging out the group of members that, by different reasons and agendas simply is more active than others. <a href=""target="_blank">This list</a> is the first page in a listing of those members - I can't belive that they all are here just to collect points.

Anyone is welcome to suggest improvements - especially if we can do it by using motivation and posetive values and not in the process being so empty for arguments that there is a need to do a regular insulting of some members. I am also on this list and it's not for the sake of the points.

AdrianW 03-22-2007 04:47 PM

Re: To the TE elite

All I'm trying to do improve my photography, and hopefully that of other people - and the way we're supposed to accomplish that here is through critiques and workshops.

The reason I'm suggesting changes is that I don't feel I'm learning much here any more - hence my low post rate, well that and illness.

I was trying to start a positive discussion on ways to correct the issues as I see them, so I (and hopefully others) could learn more here.

I was also trying to find ways to make this place more self moderating, so Adam didn't have to put so much time into moderating day-to-day - hopefully freeing him to take some more photographs (since he hasn't posted a picture here since 2003), or develop something new and exciting for us to enjoy, or simply spend time with his young family.

I don't think of the past on TE as being "the good old days", and I don't think the site has changed much in reality - but I'm starting to wonder whether it needs to if we're to mature as photographers.

Maybe my aims are wrong, perhaps my method's wrong, heck maybe I'm just plain wrong, period - finding out which was the point of starting this thread ;)

jrj 03-22-2007 05:05 PM

Re: To the TE elite
I'm the first Adrian to credit you for being a perfectionist and a highly appreciated member of this community.

And I think you should be the best to start threads, even courses, discussing all aspects of photographing, postprocessing, writing of critics or whatever.

My reference to the 'good old days' go to some guys who was here some 6-12 months before you and me and who can't forget this golden age of TE. And then of course you have the more 'professional' participants in the forum who time after time just have to make the negative reference to the most active members and who participate in as good as all threads in this forum.

My engagement here was only: Keep focus on the topics - and if anyone is out of arguments then just don't make cheap points of other members and how they act - rather invite to a wider discussion, including those that have the time and maybe also some competence to be of value to this forum.

Finally to your original thread: My hope is that we can develop with a minimum use of moderators, live or mechanical, development based by knowledge and insight for me seems a better way to go.

Davids 03-22-2007 05:10 PM


thanks for your reaction, even if you do not agree.
"The arguable part . . .", the point is that Adam could at some point decide that more constructive critiques are in the interest of TE and that the TOS should be interpreted different.
My persoanl interest is that TE would become more like it was in the begining. For instance I had many critiques about my cropping, I learned from that. Since the beginning of 2006 I have only learned a few more things technically, and I'm critical enough to know I need more improvement.

"I have a creative . . . ", the point is if people joined TE to learn about the world and improve their techniques, or because they want points. If points are their only motivation, than this will indeed put pressure on people. But if Adam decides that TE should be stress free, a happy-happy place on the internet without any pressure, than TE-principles will erode.

"And finally, "has TE . . ." It's about the fact that the amount of constructive critiques (as well as using the full cale of smileys) are becomming more and more rare, that this essential part of TE is disappearing, this results in the fact that many members -unlike you- do take it personal. I have experienced that if I am critical, or use the full range of smilies, people do not critique my photos.
So even if YOU do understand there is nothing personal about me being critical, I must have had the rarest string of luck of all TE members to run in almost every single one of them.
please Loic, try it; give one smily to the photos from total strangers where you think that the photo deserve this, and see what happens.

Loic, and other who read this; I am not 'against' TE, not at all, but I am speaking out my mind. I just want TE to be more like it was; a place where I (and others!) can learn to improve techniques, where a more critical approach is apreciated.

Davids 03-22-2007 05:50 PM

Re: To the TE elite
I respect many of the members with high points. Every now and then I bump into one of them, (smoetimes because of critiques they write), and when I look at their portfolio, I cannot help to think "there is nothing to critique here for me", just because their photos are GOOD, including the notes. I can only look at their photos and study them.
What I like about this discussion is that we do dicuss the level of critiques, and I liked Kevins remark earlier; that if you receive crap critiques, you start to write crap critiques yourself. This may seem harsh, but take away the negative feelings, and you end up with a funny self-reflection.
I know, others will not be able to look at it this way, but please understand, just because I have less than 1000 points, I have been on TE long enough to appreciate the effort of every member with lots of points. I also understand that all the effort it took to get the points, even when the number of points to them is irrelevant, makes them vulnarable.

It was great to see Jose back, His photos, notes, critiques are realy interesting to read, to study.
In the line of this dicussion today; did you read the last line of his last critique? I would be so motivated to do better :)))!

ronners 03-23-2007 05:29 AM

Will critique for food
OK then, the carrot works better than the stick, so I'm willing to put myself up there as a 'critiquer' (I have a gold star for such things so I must know what I'm talking about - right?). Forget all this moaning about who knows how to write a critique and who doesn't/won't/can't. If some of us here think that we can provide so much value then let's at least offer some kind of example to others. All we need is some kind of formal mechanism for this (I can probably handle a few a day, and I'm sure others can too).

If you are interested please be prepared to put a LOT of effort into this - not in the volume of critiques you write, but their value. Any 'volunteer' who doesn't put the effort in gets booted off the island. If no formal mechanism is made available, I can construct some kind of theme and do it that way.

Who is up for it then?

AROBN54 03-23-2007 06:55 AM

Re: walk this way...
Hi, Henk,
So much you said is true. I remember especially being really new and feeling intimdated to say what I might think was wrong with a photo. What did I know?? And you have to write critiques to get a feel of how to explain yourself. I don't like to ramble on and on, but I have been known to uh, 'gush' over shots I reallly liked. Sometimes it's still hard not to. And if I see a good picture that can be made a reeeally good picture?? I do a workshop. It's easier than explaining. If I can't make it better in a workshop? I don't say anything. I try not to make a BIG difference in the shots. Only like a woman wearing makeup. Enhance, not cover. Anyway. I still haven't made a shot in two weeks I have not deleted.

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