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Davids 03-23-2007 09:59 AM

Re: Will critique for food

lcelvenes 03-23-2007 01:04 PM

Re: To the TE elite
Why is this discussion suddenly all about points? I thought we were talking about ways to critique better. Lets focus on that. What I've started doing (though it's not been a whole lot of critiquing or posting lately because of other engagements), is to give an explanation for why I like a photograph and commenting on a) why it caught my attention b) the composition c) what in the composition I like (lines, symmetry etc) c) colors, shapness, light d) the note to the photo e) my suggestions for improvement, unless I've mentioned them already, and not necessarily in that order. It depends on what I see in the photo. I may be flying high mentally, but then I don't know what TE used to be like, so I don't mind (and I'm sure STASI and KGB won't track me down as long as I keep flying ;)

How about we start with some basics. It's been mentioned before (maybe on this thread, I don't remember right now), but how about generally looking for 1) composition 2) exposure/color/light/sharpness 3) suggestions for improvements (if any) 4) note on the photo.
I'm not saying my way is the best, but after I changed my critiquing style, I've gotten some positive feedback from people appreciating it. I'm no master photographer by any means, but I like to think that my thoughts might help. In any case, my goal is to make it constructive, and if people appreciate it, GREAT, if not, that's fine as well. They're only my thoughts.


rushfan2112 03-23-2007 03:07 PM

Re: Improving critique quality? An idea, thoughts?
I used to be a haphazard critiquer but have learned that the more I critique and post, the more responses I got to my photos.

Then an interesting phenomenon began to happen. I started to notice that I was in contact with what is now what I feel is a good, steady cross-section of TE members from a wide geographical background as well as different styles. It's nice to think that some of them could become long-term friends.

This is fantastic; a great website, the chance to learn about the world and improve my photography simultaneously and also to "meet" and make new friends. I'm more than happy with this site as it stands but, if it can be imporved, happier still.

What we seem to be trying to do on this thread, however, is to build an objective framework around a very subjective issue.

Commenting on "technical merit" and "artistic impression" simultaneously is very difficult to do without making it "personal".

Moreover, some members may adore a particular photo but not be able to express "why" (tis is not a comment on laguage issues). This doesn't mean that their opinion is worth less than an "expert", does it? Aren't we all equal in this respect?

For what it's worth, the way I try to critique is by saying what I like about the shot and what I think might (repeat, might...) be done to improve it.

If I don't think it can be improved, I'm not going to try to make something up. Does that mean that my "critique" is only a "comment" and that I can't allocate points? Hope not. If it were the case, the better photographers had better watch out as they won't get many points in future! (joke).

The key, I believe, is to criticise the photo and not the photographer. If you do the latter, you make it very personal and lose the chance to make a friend. Worse till, you could make an enemy.

Comments like "You should have done this..." or "You got this wrong....." should, in my opinion, be replaced with "If you had tried this.......the composition (etc) might have been a little better. Do you agree?".

Lars-Christian's suggestion seems, in my view, to be very good indeed. A combination of a reasoned commentary about what one likes about the shot and one believes might be done to improve it would definitely get the best out of me.

jrj 03-23-2007 05:45 PM

Re: To the TE elite
My engagement here was not about points, but the repeated negative reference to members with more than xx points and xx critics – as if you are so poor in arguing that the only way to participate in a thread is to ‘en bloc’ call all their critics for crap – why not just focus on the actual topic.

The wish for an extensive use of moderators: I am very much against it as the moderators already have exposed casual attitude where some very good members have been either removed or have deleted their accounts, where maybe a little more flexibility could have solved issues of the conflicts. And I strongly believe more in working with motivation and improved insight than having controllers all around us.

With regard to your own ideas of how to improve critics. For me it looks quite OK – but the most important is that if this way to work is good for you, then keep it up, maybe even others will like to do it your way.
The thing with TE today is that there are a variety of reasons for members to be here and there must be room for a variety of ways to participate without being insulted for how you interact, or be forced into a world where moderators is looking over your shoulder all the time.

I have received some 12.000 critics, everyone welcomed. But I admit without blushing that having one or two lines from an obvious inexperienced member who writes of enthusiasm and by hart pleases me more than a clinical and technical report of my merits.

And I also note that when I have met some 60-70 TE members on TE gatherings or private, even at my mountain cottage, we talk about many things – points is never an issue.

lcelvenes 03-23-2007 08:33 PM

Re: To the TE elite
Hi Jack.

I realize that you may feel like a target when it comes to the whole point discussion (given that you've got a few of them), but the reason for my last post was basically because I didn't want to read another 50 posts regarding points, when improving critiquing styles was the issue at hand. Having said that, I had another reason for posting, that I didn't mention. Your use of "Sir Adrian", and with "3 posts in 2006" and so on, as well as the STASI and KGB comments (which I did joke a bit with), I think were simply uncalled for. Now, maybe you two have some inside thing going on between the two of you, that I've misunderstood (if so, my apologies). However, to me it looks like you're trying to get Adrian to back off, and anyone else with a different opinion than yours for that matter, by being rude. Looking at the photo on your account here, I can only assume that you're old enough to know that that kind of behavior is childish, and does nothing else than make you yourself look bad. I realize that this isn't the most constructive comment, but I'm just giving you the impression that I got when I read your post. The way I see it, that kind of behavior gets you nowhere, and I hope you'll refrain from that kind of feedback to people in the future. If you can't comment on other people's posts in a grown up, constructive and professional manner, please don't comment at all.
I'm sorry to be so blunt, but I think it's a shame that a long time TE member, with very well improved photography skills as well, feels a need to try to (the way it looks to me, anyway) belittle other members for whatever reason.

My thoughts. Take 'em or leave 'em. I hope I can focus on being a 100 % constructive from now on. Sorry everyone, as this post really doesn't touch in on critiquing.


jrj 03-23-2007 08:40 PM

Re: To the TE elite
Smile Lars Christian... and read the whole thread..

BobTrips 03-23-2007 08:45 PM

Re: To the TE elite
And I'd suggest you take some time and carefully consider what you've posted in this thread.

From one old dog to another....

jrj 03-23-2007 08:58 PM

Re: To the TE elite
My smile is even wider Bob..

I was betting with myself how long time it would take before this turned into some personal harassing - and now we are there.

Well, good thing then that we have the moderators around..

BobTrips 03-23-2007 09:04 PM

Re: To the TE elite
We were "there" with your first post.

I think you owe Adrian an apology. You were way, way off base. IMHO.

jrj 03-23-2007 09:33 PM

Re: To the TE elite
I suggest Bob to read this part of the thread:

I do know that English is not my native language but pls. enlighten me in which points that do not honour our Adrian here..

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