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Why No Negative?

9 Oct 2004 1:39AM
Is it just me or does anyone else feel that there is a complete lack of negative but constructive criticism? I've had one piece of negative criticism on here and believe me, my photos warrant a lot more than that. I feel that it's the negative criticism that is most useful. It's all very nice for someone to say your pic is lovely or great or compsed very well but it's much better to get tips on where it falls down. That's kinda why I started uploading things onto here. Are we all too British?

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snapbandit 13 2.3k 3 Northern Ireland
9 Oct 2004 2:09AM
Yes, many (most?) people here definitly seem to be very polite and you are lucky if your pic gets noticed & critiqued by some of the more (choose my words very carefully here!) 'helpful' advice givers. There are many experienced and knowledgeable photographers here, but (as has been proven by some recent forum threads) many people do not take kindly to sometimes even the smallest criticism, and that may put people off being 'brutally honest', with their opinions.

Personally I love to get 'negative' criticism as long as whoever is giving it can tell me what it is they do not like about the photo, even if they cannot tell me how to fix it it is always food for thought.

There are, i'm sure, people who genuinely can only give a 'nice pic' type comment without going any deeper and that's OK, but (and I'm as guilty as anyone here) often with the amount of photos uploaded many will only check out thumbnails which catch the eye, rather than trawling through them all, so many (most?) people who will view your photo find something attractive/appealing in the thumb, before even checking out the main pic, so that will reduce the chances of getting negative opinions.

Just my 2p!

Joe B
mwatkins9801 13 190
9 Oct 2004 2:51AM
yes, most people skim over the thumbs and click on the ones that interest them. once we see the larger image we usually hit the back button or comment. i also love it when people point out things that i didn't catch. that's constructive. if i am put off by a photo i usually say nothing, unless the owner either asks for comments or comes off really cocky.

unfortunately, even when delivered in complete honesty and politeness, some feel offended by negative comments. i believe, however, that if you post it, take the good with the bad and learn.
kengreen 13 16 Sweden
9 Oct 2004 5:42AM
It could be that people are too british but lots of people at EPZ are not brits. Critizism is the reason many of us post shots here. I agree that if a shot doesn't appeal I usually backstep unless comments are asked for. Then again if the thumb caught my eye I feel there is something about it. No click but a comment. Anyway it the shooter who owns it and critizism is not objective but subjective.
Big Bri 16 16.3k United Kingdom
9 Oct 2004 7:49AM
I started uploading to the site a loooong time ago, in the hope I would receive constructive crticism of my photos and suggestions on how to improve - the sort that my C&G teacher seemed unable to give, just "that's nice" to just about everything. However, many of us have stopped giving negative feedback over the years because:
1. there are many more uploads than there used to be, so you tend to comment on the ones that really stand out,
but mainly,
2. many people respond to criticism badly and reply to genuinly constructive criticism with comments such as "who asked you?" "yours are crap as well" etc etc
It's not worth the trouble.

There used to be a box you could tick to say "no comments", so you could feel reasonably free to comment on those that allowed it, but even then it was risky. Now I just don't bother with stuff I don't like. There's far too much of it.
I've been testing this recently, sometimes I get lots of clicks and not many comments and sometimes I get no one at all (and I know when this will be now). When I got negative comments about my Post Box I knew that what I had put up was not how it could have been. So I changed it in response to the comments and the same people came back and commented on how much better it was. This really helps. But when it comes down to me putting negative comments down in writing I feel that maybe I'm not in a postition to criticise. Although I am getting better.
I still cannot bring myself to say 'nope I don't like it, it's rubbish, what made you think that anyone would want to see this anyway'. And believe me I sometimes do feel this, but beauty is in the eye..... after all. Sometimes I don't think that the thumbnails do the photo justice. I do feel, however, that going into someone's folio that catches your eye is better than trawling through all of the entries every day. Popularity breeds contempt or something like that....
snapbandit 13 2.3k 3 Northern Ireland
9 Oct 2004 8:13AM
Sorry Cathy but 'nope I don't like it, it's rubbish, what made you think that anyone would want to see this anyway'. as a comment, may be how you feel about a certain pic, but, it's not letting the author know why you do not like it.

Criticism works both ways, if you analyze your own reasons for not liking a photo then you will find it makes you think about what, to your eye, makes a good photo and can be just as useful to make the viewer think about photos as well as the person who posted the photo. It does not have to be a technical evaluation, sometimes just a simple the tree on the left distracts me is stiil very helpful sometimes.

Joe B
9 Oct 2004 10:29AM
I agree with mwatkins in "that if you post it, take the good with the bad and learn". I would assume from the nature of the site that everyone wanted their photos to be critiqued. I must admit that for a long time I'd only ever give positive criticisms for fear of offending anyone. But recently I've thought I'd just go for it and leave the negative comments too. I'd never say someone's photo was crap as that's offensive and meaningless to anyone. But I don't mind giving my opinion, for what it's worth. I am certainly no expert but I hope my criticisms are meaningful to some people some of the time. I think there's a two way responsibility with criticising: you have a responsibility to keep your criticisms constructive and in good faith, and they have a responsibility to not get offended and take it in the good faith that it was offered in. Being told that your photo is "great" is rewarding, but being given constructive critcism is useful.
heidilee 14 901
9 Oct 2004 11:07AM
I often check the persons profile before critiquing an image. It may sound silly, but I check for age and experience etc. For example there are some young kids on here (I've commented on an 8yr olds portfolio) and I would not want to offend or put someone off posting at a young age.

If it asks for feedback in the description, I'll say what I like about the photo that I think works. If the description asks for improvements I'll say what I think may improve it, if I think it needs improving. Recently I've been put off though by some rather rude remarks that people get back after commenting, and if I see that I will not comment on that persons work at all. If you post work for critique, you should be able to handle it whether it be positive or negative.

UserRemoved 14 4.2k
9 Oct 2004 11:13AM
Do I really need to reply to this thread - lol!!!
agoreira 14 6.0k Wales
9 Oct 2004 11:54AM
Criticism is extremely rare in this site, and for good reason. As Big Bri says, often when a criticism is made, people seem to take it very personally and become very aggressive. There are shots here with comments like "brilliant" etc, etc, which are pretty dire, but if you dare to criticise them, most take umbrage. When most here say they welcome feedback, what they really mean is they only welcome positive feeback.

Carabosse 15 41.0k 269 England
9 Oct 2004 12:51PM
I think you have to read between the lines on EPZ.

If your pic gets little or no comment, that may well be a comment in itself.
mwatkins9801 13 190
9 Oct 2004 4:46PM
agree with carabosse last comment 100%. but i have also seen lots of stuff that gets lots of clicks for reasons other than it being that good. the order of business seems many times that people are a lot more interested in getting praise than they are getting better. there are a few people on this site that have such a following that they could take a photo of a dog pile and get more love than a new york hooker on dollar night.

it's all relative and you have to learn how to read what it really means over time. heidilee makes a very good point as well, check the profile.
Carabosse 15 41.0k 269 England
9 Oct 2004 4:49PM
"there are a few people on this site that have such a following that they could take a photo of a dog pile and get more love than a new york hooker on dollar night"

What a wonderful turn of phrase you have Michael!! Hee hee! Grin
agoreira 14 6.0k Wales
9 Oct 2004 4:55PM
Not very often I'm in agreement with our American cousins, but the man is right on the money there.

Frank W

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