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Judging and constructive comments.

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paulbroad
paulbroad  681 forum posts United Kingdom825 Constructive Critique Points
16 Mar 2009 - 5:27 PM

Comments on members images. I mentioned this on the Ephotozine stand last year and tend to blow hot and cold on my bothering to comment on images on the site, especially in the critique section.

Although I do think we have an improvement, I've just looked, for example, at an image of a racing motor cycle at speed. VERY unsharp - everywhere, but not is the speed sense - just blurred.

Comments are such as 'great image' and 'great shot' - not the slightest bit of good to the photographer who now thinks he/she has a 'great shot!'

I know much judging is subjective - I was a club PAGB judge for about 15 years and it's not easy - but technical matters are usually clear and not debateable.

Please, don't just put great shot - unless you actually think that - and in some cases that, in itself, is a problem. The guidelines on the right say it all - be polite, respectful AND HELPFUL. The last word means tell the truth.
Comments!

Paul

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16 Mar 2009 - 5:27 PM

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Eviscera
Eviscera  71093 forum posts United Kingdom149 Constructive Critique Points
16 Mar 2009 - 6:08 PM

this might help

Eviscera
Eviscera  71093 forum posts United Kingdom149 Constructive Critique Points
16 Mar 2009 - 6:09 PM

wahay , i did a linky thing lol

conrad
conrad e2 Member 910870 forum postsconrad vcard 116 Constructive Critique Points
16 Mar 2009 - 6:14 PM

I think many people might just really mean what they say.

Over the past month or so I've spent two evenings in the company of amateur photographers who have probably never seen EPZ in their whole life, and who have a completely different idea about what makes a good photograph. They would look at each other's pictures and even the ones with seriously blown-out parts, etc., etc. would get compliments. At first I thought they were being diplomatic, but after some time I came to the conclusion that their standards were different from mine.

And I think the same may apply here. It's quite possible that the people who leave those comments really mean what they say - they just have a different definition of a "great picture" than you.

Last Modified By conrad at 16 Mar 2009 - 6:14 PM
crookymonsta
crookymonsta e2 Member 6675 forum postscrookymonsta vcard England10 Constructive Critique Points
16 Mar 2009 - 6:48 PM

It is always difficult when there is a wide range of ability - absolute beginners may well see anything that is better than they can produce as a "great picture" whereas a very experienced pro will find fault with almost everything. As a relative beginner I do value honest appraisal but also appreciate some praise - the former helps me improve, the latter makes me want to!
Sandra

jondf
jondf  72470 forum posts
16 Mar 2009 - 8:13 PM


Quote: I think many people might just really mean what they say.

Over the past month or so I've spent two evenings in the company of amateur photographers who have probably never seen EPZ in their whole life, and who have a completely different idea about what makes a good photograph. They would look at each other's pictures and even the ones with seriously blown-out parts, etc., etc. would get compliments. At first I thought they were being diplomatic, but after some time I came to the conclusion that their standards were different from mine.

And I think the same may apply here. It's quite possible that the people who leave those comments really mean what they say - they just have a different definition of a "great picture" than you.

Very true even though I rate me a relative novice in comparison to many on here. It's symptomatic of the wide and varied cross-section of photographers that come on to EPZ that help make it what it is and in many ways it's a privaledge to be part of it.

Gushing praise can stem from lack of knowledge and experience and maybe the need to praise and hope for praise in return? I attended a few sessions at a photo club recently and found it to be very similar in respect of Conrad's comments. I guess the question that could be asked is - if they were that good, wouldn't they be elsewhere?

Just Jas
Just Jas  1225716 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
16 Mar 2009 - 8:34 PM

I made a well intentioned start this evening to pass some honest comment in the gallery.

However, after viewing some 'great' pics on which I was inclined to comment "Was the light really that dull - did the seawater really look like purple straw matting" I declined and gave up.

Perhaps I am in the wrong hobby?

Or perhaps after looking at the gallery pics for 7 years I am a little jaded?
jas

jondf
jondf  72470 forum posts
16 Mar 2009 - 9:06 PM

Is success to do with talent or perseverance, a good business head or even luck? Probably all those things but ultimately it's just you and the camera which can be lonely in some ways but not in others. If the passion's there and the knack of experimenting and remembering everything you did in the relentless drive to succeed, you might just make it....one day Smile

brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 109963 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
16 Mar 2009 - 9:56 PM


Quote: However, after viewing some 'great' pics on which I was inclined to comment "Was the light really that dull - did the seawater really look like purple straw matting" I declined and gave up.


I've more or less given up critiquing images these days Jas, for much the same reasons that you mention.

When I see images with 30+ votes that are technically poor and lack any compositional or artistic merit (in my view) then I feel that my eyes and my judgement are of no value to the recipient.

On a few occasions I have taken the time to PM the person who generated the image but even then wonder why I bother

I do feel that the standard of feedback has changed significantly over the last few years but feel its clearly me that's out of step - so I have decided to step back from commenting

Last Modified By brian1208 at 16 Mar 2009 - 9:57 PM
Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139367 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
16 Mar 2009 - 10:33 PM


Quote: I've more or less given up critiquing images these days

Why? You could always provide critique in the Critique Gallery.... which, of course, is a vote-free zone. Smile

f8
f8  109169 forum posts England22 Constructive Critique Points
16 Mar 2009 - 11:11 PM

Would it not be possible for only members with a proven track record of good critique be allowed to comment on 'critique invited 'pictures?
This would leave the run of the mill to the non- constructive critique brigade to leave their comments as they see fit.

joolsb
joolsb e2 Member 927107 forum postsjoolsb vcard Switzerland38 Constructive Critique Points
17 Mar 2009 - 8:00 AM


Quote: I think many people might just really mean what they say.

I think a lot of people simply respond to the subject and ignore the photograph, if you see what I mean.

It's the same reason why an out-of-focus, poorly exposed snap of Aunt Ethel can bring so much pleasure (to those who know Aunt Ethel) when an aesthetically pleasing and perfect photograph of, say, a rock leaves people scratching their heads.

It's one of the ways that photography differs from painting. A painting is intrinsically an artifact whereas a photograph is seen as more like a window on the world which you look through to see what lies beyond. And like looking through a window, your brain tends to filter out the imperfections.

Last Modified By joolsb at 17 Mar 2009 - 8:01 AM
ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014554 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
17 Mar 2009 - 10:36 AM

people used to leave meaningless comments to "register" their vote

however, now E2 members can see who's voted on each shot, so there's no need to leave a meaningless comment - you can just vote and know that the recipient knows you voted.

so I'd suggest you all save precious time and just vote UNLESS you've got something meaningful to say.

Then go into as much detail as you like Smile

Xiaoli
Xiaoli  5661 forum posts South Africa14 Constructive Critique Points
17 Mar 2009 - 10:48 AM


Quote: Quote:I think many people might just really mean what they say. I think a lot of people simply respond to the subject and ignore the photograph, if you see what I mean.

It's the same reason why an out-of-focus, poorly exposed snap of Aunt Ethel can bring so much pleasure (to those who know Aunt Ethel) when an aesthetically pleasing and perfect photograph of, say, a rock leaves people scratching their heads.

It's one of the ways that photography differs from painting. A painting is intrinsically an artifact whereas a photograph is seen as more like a window on the world which you look through to see what lies beyond. And like looking through a window, your brain tends to filter out the imperfections.

Very well said. I agree completely and being a person who has never liked photos of 'Aunt Mabel' or the 'Chubby Cherub' and has a preference for aesthetically pleasing rocks, clouds, leaves, whatever takes my fancy .... I can only concur wholeheartedly on the 'head-scratching' response.

riprap007
riprap007  91568 forum posts England37 Constructive Critique Points
17 Mar 2009 - 10:56 AM

It all depends on whose standards and what criteria are being made to make a judgement, for instance Donna Schwartz, writing in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 1986, about 'Camera Clubs and Fine Art Photography: The Social Construction of an Elite Code' found that artists and camera club members had very different aesthetic considerations:

"Camera club members praise photographs by Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Edward Weston, Yousuf
Karsh, W. Eugene Smith, and especially Ansel Adams. One
MCC photographer outlined criteria for pictures she likes,
criteria that typify the club aesthetic:

Quote: First, it has to be beautiful. Second, it has to interest methereís
a distinction between good pictures and pictures I
like. Not all good pictures are beautiful. Three, it has to show
good quality-in exposure, composition, detail (when itís
appropriate); in black and white itís not washed out, or
muddy in color-good exposure; the focus, the subject has
to be sharp (but sometimes selective). As for subject matter,
I donít like the &dquo;Ashcan school of art&dquo;-peeling paint and all that. Thatís not my idea of a pleasing subject. Woodgrain?
Yes, thatís OK.

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