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jrj 03-23-2007 11:34 PM

Re: To the TE elite
Sorry, what I meant was:
I suggest Bob that you read this part of the thread:

I do know that English is not my native language but pls. enlighten me in which part that I do not honour our Adrian here..
(..who said that language is easy, not to mention points ;-)

And then from me:
TGIF -- Thank God it's Friday. Have a nice weekend.

With special thank's to Bulent and his in depth critic including this (for me) new abbreviation)

Davids 03-24-2007 09:07 AM

Re: Improving critique quality? An idea, thoughts?
you are right, "The key, I believe, is to criticise the photo and not the photographer."
If you look at the last, lets say 100 critiques, you will see that they are almost all flatering, have a dark green smiley and the bulk describes what people like.
When I joined TE I would get critiques like this;
"Very nice David. You have very good eyes. But I still think you should learn some post-processing software. It would be really great with more saturation and contrats. But nice shot." or "Hi David. Monks pics are always beautiful. But I think that you could put more color, contrast and sharpness." or "There is a nice feeling coming out of this shot, I like the pastel greens from the river and grass, and just a little work on the cropping or framing and trying to eliminate the bluishness on their skin could bring it out even better."
Was I shocked? Yes, but I learned that it is part of TE, and believe me, I noticed people would give me more feedback, if I tried. Now the guy who wrote the first two critiques, stopped in the beginning of 2006.
The last one is from Herve, better known as Kinginexile. He used to be very active, and now almost quit.

The fact that you have to spell it out that the key is to critisice the photo is a clear sign that something is wrong. OF COARSE we never should critisice the person, BUT we should -of coarse- write constructive critiques.
All the time I have used 'cunstructive' and not 'negative'.
So Yes, I agree, but it's seems SO logical to me, that now I'm afraid that in the last year something terrible must have happened to the people on earth, if they cannot make the difference anymore between a critique on a thing and that it is not personal :)

Aaaaaah, I'm getting old!!!

Davids 03-24-2007 09:40 AM

Re: Sorry...
Bob. As a hypothesis, I agree completely
I just noticed you do not give smilies, fantastic!

CliffW 03-24-2007 11:00 AM

Re: Improving critique quality? An idea, thoughts?
I thought I was firmly in the camp of one analytical and considered critique, when offered respectfully, has as much value as 20 "good job" postings. Well, at least it would for me. I'd be, and have been, flattered, to have a shot dissected with points where I could improve. I know I can - a lot.

But more than once recently, I've tried to make up for what I lack in volume with what I considered quality. A fairly lengthy critique explaining why I thought a change in POV might have helped, or why cropping a spare arm in the crowd out would improve the shot. Not harsh or anything, explaining that over all I thought the shot was good, or that their usual shots were great but that this one might not meet their usual good standards. I would hope that no one would take this critique at face value - it's just an opinion. And coming from the likes of me, for heavens sake! No pro, but maybe i think I see something to talk about on a shot. Maybe I'm wrong too. Surely though critism can be balanced between the positive and the negative. Both of these forces exist in equal measure nature for a reason, so....

Anyway, all that logic doesn't really end up mattering. The photo gets deleted along with the critique. *shrugs* Has happened a number of times lately. I can't tell who to offer a real critique to and who to just pat on the back. Could we get a setting in our accounts, scale of 1-5 or something, to show people whether we want the whole truth or a shot of sugar? I'd check first... beats tip toeing around or wasting your time.

oochappan 03-24-2007 11:54 AM

Re: Improving critique quality? An idea, thoughts?
Let's not forget the main idea of TE, learning about the world ... !

I have seen really technical bad shots but learning me a hell of a lot about the world and as such perfectly fitting TE,

I have seen also excelent materpieces of technical ingunuity of photography that didn't learn me less then nothing about the world,

evaluations on that level are too easily forgotten due to the quest for the technical perfection wich in fact should enhance the photo without becoming a target on itself.

A personal thought on the side, content versus techniques, of course, incongruency helps to make a shot stand out and when it has an at the same an enlightening info of the world, what could you wish more ... ?

rushfan2112 03-24-2007 01:01 PM

Re: Improving critique quality? An idea, thoughts?

I think you may have hit on something fundamental here and something I've wondered about (but not actively questioned) for a little while.

TE purports to be about "learning about the world through photography" and that was a big part in the reason why I signed up. I'm fascinated with the diverse nature of people and places.

However, I'm a very keen amateur photographer - as are most other TE members from what I've seen.

I can't remember a critique that asks (or suggests) whether there was a better way of showing more about the place that was photographed.

We are, in theory at least, taking photographs to enlighten the viewer about certain, potentially, unique features about the subject matter of the photograph.

As previously said, I think that the site is excellent as it stands. However, perhaps there is an argument for splitting the critique into a point (or a couple of points) for whether we feel that the photograph tells us something about the place photographed and a point (couple of points) for the technical / artistic merit of the photo. Red smileys and blue smileys?

Our points total could then indicate whether we were better at showing people about the places we've photographed or better at taking photographs. Just a thought.

Davids 03-24-2007 11:14 PM

Re: Improving critique quality? An idea, thoughts?
I can only speak for myself, but you won't scare me off. In my intro I have this standing now for more than over a year;
"If you critique, feel free to say what you feel that should be said. Right now, I need inspiration, because I have a feeling I am not developping anymore. How can I make a photo more interesting? Do you like the theme? Is it something that is typical for me, or are other theme's better for me? What to do with overexposures in the sky? What about colourbalance? How to create a better contrast in sunny photo's? Is there something in the note you like, or the other way around?
and also since about three month;
"Last year I tried to make meaningfull critiques, and get meaningful back in return, it was a change in the way I looked at TE.
I also asked for HELP with developing my photography, but I received little reaction.
I'm not offended if you do not give me smilies, or if you write a critique that doesn't flatter me, as long as the critique is helpfull, I will be very gratefull."
(not the best english, but the message is clear I hope)
if -1- is the whole truth, and -5- is sugar, I'd say I am 1 or 2.
I've read some of your critiques, and I would be thankful if you could have a look at some of my work.

Davids 03-24-2007 11:36 PM

Re: Improving critique quality? An idea, thoughts?
I know you have every right to bring up this point, and therefor I took some extra time to consider your remark.
I'm not sure if you ment in in the context of the discussion of the critiques here or if it is an addition to improve the quality of TE; but if understand you well is that the aspect for technical perfection becomes sometimes more important than the subject.
I can only add that the importance of notes is also not always understood. I have seen bad shots with exelent notes, making the photo valuable enough to me to write a comment, also explaining this.
Henk, maybe you have a thought about this, but do you know why people don't use the full range of smiles anymore?
Enjoy your travel and thanks for sharing your photos and stories!

ViktorVaughn 04-13-2007 08:39 AM

Re: Improving critique quality? An idea, thoughts?
I found this to be quite an interesting forum to read through. As a fairly new member, who only really got into the site 3 or 4 months ago, I also see some problems with the site and the way people critique. I have ran past some members that seem to have heaps of points for every photo (that in my opinion lacked imagination or quality) and I have ran past some members that have incredible photos that are largely unnoticed.

What I want to comment on here, is that many of you are veterans, while I am most-definitely an amateur. But, in the short time that I have been on here I have learned alot of things. From PP, to different perspectives for shots, and even noticing surroundings more. What alot of you forget I think, is that you have improved from this site (I am assuming) but the learning curve is quite steep. Hence, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep improving at the initial rate when you started this site. I have learned from people critiquing my photos, but probably more, from browsing galleries and other members. This is an invaluable tool. Perhaps this isn't possible for the semi-professionals, but I find it useful.

A "bad" critique is difficult to define though, as I admit that I am not fully capable of writing an in-depth "good" critique. I am not confident nor knowledgable enough to comment on alot of technical things. Therefore, I will try and note things I do know about, colours, horizon, unnecessary objects. I hope my critiques are useful, sometimes they may not be. But I don't consider myself a "bad" critiquer, though, I may fall into this category from a few members in this thread.

I apologize for the length of this post, but I want to keep everybody in mind, that a large number of members are new, and inexperienced. Should I not post critiques because I don't know as much? I don't think this is correct, like photography, one can learn how to critique as well.

This sounded very formal and, of which I am not that type of person, just some thoughts I wanted to add...cheers


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