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Lovely...I hate it..(Photo Critique)

J-P 18 396
14 Nov 2002 9:30AM
If I see the word 'lovely' once more in the Reader's Gallery comments I shall vomit. You know the type of stuff - 'lovely sky Dicky, reminds me of when I used to live there'

There's a lot of mutual back slapping going on here and not a lot of critique. Seems a lot of people are afraid of causing offence. Well chosen words of criticism are of great value.

So please tell us all WHY that bland landscape with a featureless sky is 'lovely' - I may be missing something. I often think comments are more a reflection on the beauty of the subject matter rather than any photogrpahic merit.

We all have teeth so let's use them, and we're surely all old enough to take well made comments. Even some of the superb photos here could be even better.

So lets have some more constructive comments, anyone in any doubt should read some of John (Railton) Tindalls carefully chosen words.

Kind Regards

kelkiwi 18 78 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2002 9:40AM
Soory guys but I have to agree with JP, there are some really bad shots on this website, and I only looked at the latest few . I did not want to go any further. Posted a couple of comments which are bound to upset people but such is life, if I have a bad shot I do not even consider submitting it. Get real and get some real good shots in there . Don't just post any old snap you have lying around!!!!!!!!
Pete 19 18.8k 97 England
14 Nov 2002 10:07AM
Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated. We are in a position where we have a wide level of abilities from beginners (who may not feel confident in making constructive criticism) to highly skilled professionals. At the moment everything goes into one pot (the reader's gallery). We were planning how to overcome this very issue only yesterday and think we have a solution. We are going to set up a system where every registered member can post up to 20 pictures in their own area which can still be commented on in the same way as now, and also searched by subject. Each member will be able to update their area add or remove pictures and develop their skills. The hope is eventually everyone will have superb portfolios and then be able to help newer members. But we will also have a gallery of excellence (not sure what we will call it yet) where only the best will be displayed (you can still comment) and anyone can enter as many as they like, but only a few will get through. I believe this will satisfy both requirements and keep everyone happy.
This just leaves one issue - helping those with pictures that don't make the "gallery of excellence" to improve their chances and we do need to see more useful opinions then, but that's up to you guys. The monthly competition that's planned will also hopefully ensure a healthy improvement of people's skills. Other opinions on all this will be highly valued.
Pete 19 18.8k 97 England
14 Nov 2002 10:34AM
Having looked at a few of the latest sets of comments I've had another thought, based on JP's comment about "John Tindall's carefull chosen words" How about we have of volunteer critique panel? If any one is interested we would create a page with a profile of the group and you'd be our experts reviewing the pictures. You could even be a guest judge when the competition starts.
kelkiwi 18 78 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2002 10:53AM
Do not get me wrong I am no expert , but I know a good picture when I see one, and frankly there just seems to be a lot of substandard shots being posted. I think you need a critique gallery where the pictures will be automatically deleted after say 14 days enough time for people to comment and then you can just have your gallery of excellence this wil also cut down on storage of a lot of pictures that no one will really look at more than once.
Big Bri 19 16.7k United Kingdom
14 Nov 2002 11:11AM
JP and Kiwilad,
If you are sick of the "lovely sky" comments, perhaps you should add some of your own. Instead of moaning about it, do something about it. If you think one of the pictures is bland, why not say so. Better still, say how you think it could be improved.
I don't put stuff on the gallery just to get false praise, I do it to get CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.
kelkiwi 18 78 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2002 11:16AM
BP if I did what you suggest I would be there all day and I have suggested a way around this dilemma if you read my message preceding yours.
Big Bri 19 16.7k United Kingdom
14 Nov 2002 11:22AM
I realise you suggested a way round it - I am suggesting another. If you do not want to spend all day writing critiques of other peoples photos that's fine, but don't have a go at those people who do.
There may be an element of "lovely sky, reminds me of when I lived there" but the only way to stop this is to get involved and offer genuine criticisms.
kelkiwi 18 78 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2002 11:31AM
BP you are missing the point mate! taht is the whole problem people are not writing contructive criticism they are just saying lovel sky blah , blah, blah to a not so hot photo. With these comments it might as well be crochet club meeting talking about the weather rather than some valuable comments or hints on a photography website. Maybe I just underestimated the calibre of people that contribute to this website and that it is just somewhere to store your snaps as that is what some people seem to using it for.
Big Bri 19 16.7k United Kingdom
14 Nov 2002 12:26PM
No, I get the point, but I don't think the gallery should be restricted to top shots.
Like I said, I WANT criticism. I know I'm not a great photographer, but the only chance to improve is if people tell you where you're going wrong. If the only pictures allowed in the gallery are top shots, what would be the point in allowing critiques ? And how are us beginners going to improve. Seriously, there's nothing to make you more determined to improve than the kick up the arse you get by having all your nice photos torn apart by those who know better.

And for those who can't take it, there's the "Don't allow comments" button.

kelkiwi 18 78 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2002 1:01PM
That is why I said in an earlier message that there should be a a critique gallery that you can post your pictures to so people can make constructive comments on a posting, if you want some help or someone to point out where you maybe went wrong But then it should be deleted after lets say 14 days which should ensure enough time for someone to comment and for you to be able to read those comments and then it is deleted so as not to waste space on this site. Then if you think your pictures are good enough try submitting them to the Gallery of Excellence and see if they get through.

Big Bri 19 16.7k United Kingdom
14 Nov 2002 1:08PM
OK I see your point (was debugging my film scanner code while reading your previous message).

I would still like more people to get involved offering critiques as it does tend to be the same 10 or so people every time. I know you don't have time to write about them all (and I'm the first to admit I don't either) but maybe a bit more genuine criticism will cut down the "lovely sky" comments.
14 Nov 2002 1:20PM
Blimey -we all got a little hot under the collar there, didn't we?

One thing I have always been aware of is the photograph you take needs only to satisfy one person really - that is maybe a little "beginnerish" for most of us, but that's what the "Don't allow comments" button is for...

Anyone who gets what they believe is un-constructive criticism or even dismissal criticism knows that they don't have to swallow it and can go elsewhere.

Has anyone here also visited the IDIG website - now there are some shots that supercede WOW!
kelkiwi 18 78 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2002 1:43PM
No body got hot under the collar, well I didn't anyway just getting our ideas across. Also I was thinking more along the lines of real photography not manipulated digital images.
Pete 19 18.8k 97 England
14 Nov 2002 2:26PM
Brian's made a good point about contributors. Would you believe we had our best month yet in October with 70,000 unique visitors! Hard to see how when, as Brian says, we only have 10 or so regular contributors. Come on have your say.

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