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As a relatively new photographer, well taking it fairly seriously anyway, started about 35 years ago, but started taking pictures rather more seriously in the last year or so, the comments are generally very helpful, and even if someone just takes the time to say "nice picture" that helps keep up the motivation. I have not uploaded all that many images but each and every comment has been helpfull, from the technical to the "nice image". Just the thought that someone out there took the time to bother to comment makes it more worthwhile. I must however admit that I don't tend to comment that often as I tend to feel that the standard of images is generally so high that my views would not be that pertinant, but then again perhaps I should , as looking at what I said above it may just encourage some one else to keep at it.
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Quote: So to sum up, Auntie Mabel is large, slightly out of focus (it's her age, you know), and bears some resemblance to a rock or a tree...
We still love her, though........
We do seem to have a few tenuously related comments in this discussion.
Basically, if you comment on a picture, be truthful. If you feel there could be some improvement, say so in a friendly and constructive way.
If you submit work, all that ACTUALLY matters is either that you want comment, or you like it whatever the comment! It is really of no service to say a shot is 'great' if there are obvious technical flaws.
Content and composition are, however, usually subjective and of personal like or dislike.
Quote: Content and composition are, however, usually subjective and of personal like or dislike.
But only up to a point. Few critiques that I've seen seem to mention aesthetic issues that are not purely technical, maybe for this very reason. I disagree. The whole point of a compostion should be to serve what the photographer is trying to say about the subject and if it doesn't do that or the photographer's intent is not readily apparent, it has failed. Ultimately, it's not about rules but about effective communication.
Quote: Ultimately, it's not about rules but about effective communication.
Quote: Few critiques that I've seen seem to mention aesthetic issues that are not purely technical, maybe for this very reason
very true - I've tried in the past to be more removed from the technicalities than others, commenting on "feel" and "balance" and things like that, but it's a far harder thing to articulate in a written comment than to say suggest things like "increase the contrast and up the sharpeness" etc.
Quote: Few critiques that I've seen seem to mention aesthetic issues that are not purely technical, maybe for this very reason. I disagree. The whole point of a compostion should be to serve what the photographer is trying to say about the subject and if it doesn't do that or the photographer's intent is not readily apparent, it has failed.
That is right for photos intended as art but not for those intended as craft (i.e., just getting a good image of bird in flight may be enough for the latter) - It would be nice to see more aesthetic criticism leading technical criticism.
I try to give a balanced critique - commenting on technical aspects I am familiar with and aesthetics where appropriate. And some comments can be defined as both - suggesting an image be cropped to focus in on what is plainly the focal point of the image falls squarely into being both a technical suggestion and an aesthetic one.
I also keep in mind a few things both when offering an opinion and receiving an opion :-
1. It is just an opinion - entirely subjective (unless of course the image was an OOF disaster with a finger in front of the lens) and as such can either be taken on board in it's entirety, in part, or just used to think about some aspect you didn't consider before.
2. The photographer, whether myself or some one else, can be too close to the image to see things other people see. It is so easy to miss small details and I both appreciate some one else pointing out something and try to point out small details myself that might be otherwise overlooked but can make that difference between so-so and WOW.
3. The intent of critique on EPZ is always to be helpful. To date I have not seen, read, or received (and hopefully not made) any critique that didn't have as it's base an intention to be helpful and in most cases impart knowledge. When making a critique I try to be helpful and remembering that the critique on my photos is intended to helpful removes (for me at least) any offence. I don't need to 'defend' my photo.
Beautifully said, Jasmine, and sums up the whole thing. I have an old book at home written by John Wade, a then magazine editor. Whilst not entirely on this thread, he judged at club, magazine and national level and said this......
Given a general photo competition with 1000 entries....
He would go through them quickly rejecting every one with any technical faults. He now had 500 entries.
Next, out go the compositional disasters - in is opinion. Now down to 250 entries.
Out go the over done subjects - Swans, Sunsets etc. (Treated conventionally) Now down to just 50 pictures to select the winner from!
A lot of truth I think.
I very rarely make comments these days although I do look through the first half dozen pages of uploads and give votes to the pictures I really like.
EPZ is a social site as much as anything and many members have made a lot of friends who they like to support and who am I to say that what they do is wrong.
There is the critique gallery for those who want serious feedback but I would suggest that the majority of members that upload their images just want to show others what they are doing and to have a bit of fun.
I don't know how but perhaps the critique gallery should have a higher profile so that it attracts more people who want to see comments and guidance from the more experienced members.
As for me, I am quite happy to just bumble along in the main gallery and if anyone wants to say that my pictures are OK that's fine with me. Spread a little sunshine and happiness - it's something that everyone needs in this troubled world.
I never vote, or expect votes. I spent some time a while ago looking at images in the general gallery. It is largley the same type of images that get the most votes, often landscape based. If lots of people put 'great picture' on something that is not in the critique section, they are going to vote for similar images elsewhere.
Thus votes mean nothing in the long term.
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