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Critique Gallery

Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
29 Jun 2012 10:23AM
Some members rattle on about others giving "the same old advice" as they call it and fail to realise that most of the beginners need to know basic rules of composition 'i.e. what has been proven over the years to be pleasing to the eye' before they can move on and decide for themselves the times when rules can be ignored. They seem to class this as prattling on, whereas they fail to realise that new members fail to read comments attached to earlier uploads and so the advice has to be repeated. I am sure that like myself, others do not like to keep on repeating themselves, but how else are members expected to help beginners along the chosen path?

I don't believe egos come into it at all, if that is believed then those who think that perhaps need to look to themselves! I believe members should limit their comments to the upload in question and not direct their attention to trying to prove others wrong. That is absolutely no help whatsoever to those seeking advice.

However a comment that I made recently I feel should be essential, before uploading to the Critique Gallery. I believe the uploader should attempt to give self-critique in relation to the picture intended to be used, before finalising his/her upload and should I feel, try to imagine the comments that he/she will receive based upon comments applied to earlier and similar uploads. That will help in two ways, firstly it will help the uploader to better assess Andmodify if necessary, what he/she intends to upload (Maybe obviating the need for repeated comments by critiquers) and secondly it will help the uploader to be better able to comment on the uploads of others. I have seen this happening with quite a few new members which is pleasing to see.

Most give their advice in order to pass on skills developed over the years from developing plates to 35mm and on to 6x6 and 6x4.5 films. People like myself need to learn more about computer software packages but experience of years of professional and serious amateur work surely is invaluable to new apostles to the craft.
I am yet to see any belittling within the CG but certainly I have seen pointed comments to those who ignore advice giver to earlier uploads and also to those who never give any feed back at all.

I have never said so until now and here possibly away from those concerned, but I feel we should encourage members to use cameras rather than camera phones, because with those, we are not able to help people in terms of settings, ISO shutter speed or even apertures. They all seem to be fixed which leads to pictures but without the chance of improvement. I donít know how it could be achieved but I think it should always be the aim.

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AndyD999 6 43 6 England
29 Jun 2012 2:18PM
I seem to have opened a can of worms here.

In no way, shape or form am i having a go at the people that offer advice when you up load to the CG. I myself have found this very useful and the people on there that have given me advice has been fantastic. It really has made me think about a few things when taking pictures and i really feel that to improve as a photographer you need input from other people and need people to assess your work.

My point was really that having looked at the CG over the last few days it almost seems people are uploading pictures because they were out somewhere and "they thought it looked nice". To me it defects the whole point of the CG. I feel it should be there to help people improve when they have going out and taking a picture and put some thought into what they were trying to achieve. Then asking for advice on if it worked or how it could be improved. Not to flood it with average pictures in hope that someone will say "wow what a great shot".

It almost seems like a Facebook and flickr mentality when you take a picture and feel you have to upload it to show everyone.

The CG for me is a place where you should be able to get honest and constructive feedback.

I like the idea Focus_Man about there being some way that you can only upload pictures if you have taken then on a camera and not a phone.

Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
29 Jun 2012 2:21PM
Has the change to the 'one a week' rule (for everyone) to 'one a day' (for e2 members) been a factor?
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
29 Jun 2012 5:57PM

Quote:I like the idea about there being some way that you can only upload pictures if you have taken then on a camera and not a phone.

According to today's Mail a lot of people are quite happy using phone-cameras. I've thought for some time that they're probably as good as a cheap compact, so where would you draw the line?
Do you exclude a person using an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy, both of which are capable of taking quite presentable images, yet let in someone using (for example) a Fuji A850 which my daughter used to own.
The images produced by the phones will, in almost all cases, be superior yet their owners would be excluded because they're using phones, yet the owner of the Fuji, who's images are unlikely to be better gets in because they're using a camera. One which has virtually no more or less exposure control than the phones do.
I've got images in my blog, taken using an old Samsung 'Steele' (I think that's how you spell it!), which could easily hold their own in one of these galleries, yet would be excluded by the simple virtue of having come from the wrong type of device.
It's probably fair to say that the people who upload these shots don't really want to know that, in somebody's opinion, they've used the wrong 'f-number' or that the ISO is too high. To them, constructive critique means hearing that the shot needs a bit more contrast or that it's a bit blurred. Things that they put right using software or can rectify with their next attempt.
Turning them away on the premise that they're deemed to be using the wrong equipment is, to my mind, detrimental. Some of these people just might take up 'proper' photography as a result of these initial uploads and the (hopefully) positive reaction that they generate.
SueEley 12 279 96 Wales
29 Jun 2012 6:20PM
A friend of mine showed me some fantastic art black and white prints made on matte paper from original iphone files. I wanted to own those pictures, and wished I had taken them. I don't feel very confident about commenting on the taking of phone pics, though my new phone has a good camera and I will get into it, I expect. I think one of the main problems is holding the phone steady, as they are less ergonomically designed for photography than cameras are, I think.

Btw I wasn't saying I critique for recognition (if anyone thought that Wink ) but it really is nice if you put time into something to know if it was going down the right road. I also sometimes give mild suggestions on the main gallery - especially when I see something great with a small but standing out flaw which could be remedied in post production. I am glad if people do this for me, but post a lot on the critique gallery as they are more likely to. I think I learn a lot from critiquing.

Also, in the last few days when I have looked at the main gallery I have found the standard of images really nice..... nicer than usual. What a treat!
Sooty_1 8 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
29 Jun 2012 8:46PM
I don't believe camera phones should be excluded, as mentioned above, they are improving all the time. However, the photographer needs to assess whether the picture is "good enough" to compete with pictures taken on cameras, as the lack of control really limits what the critquers can offer. Just offering up a quick snap expecting "nice pic" "great capture" and all the usual platitudes is not really good enough, and I would expect even the newest member to look through the gallery to see what to expect from previous entries. Repeatedly uploading images with the same faults is annoying for the critiquers as I'm sure it is for the readers, having to read the same comments again and again. I'm with Frank, I think every photographer should learn (as one of the first things they do) to be self-critical before uploading a picture anywhere. It is a common set of conditions we criticise: wonky horizons, not sharp, poor exposure, poor processing...before we get to the aesthetics of composition etc. Simple things even the most naive photographer needs to be able to see (even worse when these same photographers start forum threads like, "my friend has asked me to shoot their wedding...." and so on).

Photographers uploading to the CG should be looking for constructive criticism. The best way is to say a little about what they were aiming to achieve, then the members critiquing will have an idea of whether it was achieved or what is needed to improve. A little feedback from the photographer goes down well, as it shows not just that the comments have been read, but understood as well - a subtle difference. It also gives an opportuunity to say whether they agree with the comments made.

Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
29 Jun 2012 9:36PM
I think that you're right to a certain extent Nick but it's not really fair to expect camera shots to 'compete' with shots taken with cameras. As I said in my earlier post, some compacts have almost no control re. exposure, whereas some of the better phones, do.
It needs to be a level playing field where each shot is considered on its own merits and the person offering the critique needs to be aware, before they put in their two penn'orth, of what it is that they're dealing with.
Quite often someone will pitch up an option involving all kinds of exposure permutations, whilst blissfully unaware that the device that was used to take the shot cannot possibly fulfill them.
I agree though, that the 'cracking light, nice one' shots don't somehow fit because, generally speaking, their owners won't usually seek genuine opinion. But then, who's to say that that's always the case?
As for learning the so-called rules of composition before uploading to the CG, I don't believe that that should ever be a prerequisite. In fact there should be no prerequisites.
Obviously crooked horizons might need pointing out (there have been plenty of instances when straight ones have been wrongly criticised). Other things, poor exposure or lack of sharpness can be mentioned and possible fixes explained but there are proper and correct ways of doing so.
Things like the RoT and having the subject looking from left to right are wholly subjective and some would say more than a little pretentious.
I think that it's important to encourage people to say something about the shot, as you say, it does give us an insight into their ideas or aspirations. I agree too that some kind of response is helpful, not to mention courteous.

Beware though of asking for agreements, or otherwise, on the comments that have been made!
Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
30 Jun 2012 9:14AM


I like the idea Focus_Man about there being some way that you can only upload pictures if you have taken then on a camera and not a phone.


To be fair what I actually said was - and you can look back to verify it -

"I feel we should encourage members to use cameras rather than camera phones"

If members think I actually said that there could be repercussions.

AndyD999 6 43 6 England
30 Jun 2012 9:34AM
Sorry frank.

My apologise if I have misunderstood you.

arhab 6 43 2 Indonesia
4 Jul 2012 7:14PM
when i upload image to cg, i hope, i will get valuable input. and that's my way to learn. i started with image taken from camera phone, and right now upgraded to compact with manual setting. so what is wrong with this? i mean cg is for learn, is it?
NEWMANP 10 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2012 4:26PM
11 Oct 2012 6:43PM
Blimey, i,m going think twice about uploading my next photo for critique Sad
11 Oct 2012 7:08PM
When i joined a year ago i posted most of images in the critique gallery and had nothing but fair and extremely helpful critique, Bren and Willie were amongst the two most helpful and i wouldn't have improved as much as i have without them and the rest of the critique team.Thankyou guys Grin
My images now probably aren't anywhere near perfect but i'm happy now with what i do.
If i like an image i'll say so, i don't give critique as i don't know enough to comment on whats right or wrong or how it can be made better.


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