Unsolicited Critique

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by ChristopherCoy, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    What is it about photographers looking at the work of others, that makes them think that they need to critique a photograph even when it isn't asked for?

    We've closed our studio, and used a previous photo as an example of a background that is for sale, in an ad.. Someone actually critiqued it. A for sale ad.

    Does it make you feel better about yourself, or like you know more than someone else? Do you think that your opinion is just that important? Or did you buy your masters certificate with your entry level camera?

    Why do people feel the need to do this?

    Am I just having a bad day?
     
  2. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Member

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    Chris... Yes, you're having a bad day... as we all do. I'm sorry to read about your studio closing. Hey... at least you had a studio... which is more than what most folks here can say. Buck up and try again maybe?? :smile:
     
  3. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    My closing the studio was a personal choice, its a good thing. I'm trying to move to Houston to be closer to my family. I'll have another one some day, I'm sure of it. :smile:
     
  4. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I think it's just a nature of photographers (of all levels) to critically view all photographs, including our own and others, to see if there are any improvements to be made.

    Common courtesy should tell individuals, sometimes it is the best to keep those ideas and opinions to themselves. But, that doesn't stop some people. Today, some of us are so used to having opinions about everything and being able to express it without facing any consequences, especially on Internet. I wouldn't be surprised if that behavior bleeds into ones everyday real life.

    I'd just ignore it.
     
  5. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I actually agree with you except perhaps your critique of your day. A lot of people who share or display work aren't interested in if someone doesn't get it or think it is good. Myself generally included. People share or display work that they have already found successful for themselves and are only interested in if someone can see what it is that is successful.
    I think there are quite a lot of people who think that good can be definitely defined so that we can all aspire to the same correctness. To me that is the same as to say they aspire to the cliche'. They aspire to do acceptable cliches. The same person who wants to be taught composition and thinks that there is right composition and wrong composition. This type of person is still valid and camera clubs are full of them and they enjoy the giving and receiving of critique. However some of those people don't understand that some of us are not like that. On occasion I will ask what others think but for the most part if you don't get my work or like it, it is your problem and I would rather not hear about it.,

    Dennis
     
  6. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Member

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    Keep trying...

    March forward...

    Don't give up...

    Don't give in...

    Listen but don't be hurt...

    Keep going...

    Or lay down and give up...

    It's up to you!!

    I allowed myself to be controlled and gave up...

    I have nothing to show for the last 30+ years...

    Where will you be in 30 years??
     
  7. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Problems in photos stand out to me, because I have to notice such things in my own photos. I've also been involved in photo editor and layout tasks in print media in a former age. Now I either keep the thoughts to myself or tell me wife if we're looking at something together. She's picked up a lot through such discussion and can take great photos now. It'd be rude to complain to other people about their photo unless they've asked for it or are getting paid by me.
     
  8. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Any photo can be picked a part, because a photograph is never "perfect" for "everyone".

    And if it was then it "is too perfect and boring"
    :smile:
    Critique should be kept to the correct forums, but not everyone seem to get that, maybe lack of social skills, envy perhaps?
     
  9. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    People throw images at our faces, so why can not one throw words back? Putting images out there to be seen is a form of communication -- and once communication has started, why does one party get to determine the course of the communication?

    If one is willing to accept positive comments, one should also be willing to take negative comments. People making comments should also be willing to accepts critiques of their comments.

    But due to the need of politeness and brevity on this forum, I can see restricting critiques of posted work here, unless critiques are invited/requested by the poster. Without the permission to freely critique, people just have to realize that all the positive statements about one's work are nice ego-strokes, but should not be taken as true critiques...and that the work may not be free of glaring problems.

    Vaughn
     
  10. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Member

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    Thank gawd I no longer have an ego. My ex-wife destroyed that a long time ago. :wink:
     
  11. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    It's people's own insecurities and its sad. One time I was fortunate enough to have a photo of mine included in an online article a year or so ago showing 10 "excellent" examples from a certain type of camera. Most of the comments to the article were: "These are not so good, you can see mine at www.myphotosareyaddayadda.com....". People sometimes need to critic others to feel better about themselves. It's a well-known and common affliction. Luckily I could not give a crap about what people think about my work. I do it to please myself and no others. I love doing it, I have fun, I like my results (sometimes). If people like it too, sure, I'm thrilled and I like that. If they do not so be it. Fortunately it's the ones with taste who like my work. ;-)

    I'm always tellig people: "Actually my photos are much better than they look..." :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2012
  12. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    In the event that I request critique, I fully accept the negative, and the positive, and use each to better my skill.

    In the event I post a for sale ad, all I ask is that you say "yes I'll take said item" or "no I don't want said item."

    That is all.
     
  13. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I feel that people have lost a lot of manners and sensibility these days. Its best not to let these comments/critiques linger in your mind, and take them in stride.
     
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  15. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Ask 'em for their c.v. Recently got something similar on pro bono headshots done in a friend's studio. I politely endured one of the model's boyfriend's loud, ongoing, and baffling analysis of the lighting--one of the downsides of shooting tethered. Should have stuck to just film...
     
  16. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Member

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    A baseball pitcher must be ready to deal with whatever comes at him. Otherwise, he compromises the game. The only thing that really counts is numbers. Keep playing until the numbers are in your favor. Don't listen to radio critique. All "opinions" suck. They really do.
     
  17. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Critique should always be made in respect to the photographer and put in perspective. It is the easiest thing in the world to hold up an image and criticize it. It is another thing entirely too actually take the picture. The person looking at that picture does not know what was too left, right, above, below and many other factors about the environment in which that picture was taken.
     
  18. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    But my whole point is that if one publicly tosses an image in front of people, such as one might in an ad, one does not have the right to "ask" for any specific response. Just because on starts a "conversation", one does not have the power nor right to direct the conversation. One does have the power to accept, ignore or otherwise react to the comments in any manner one wishes. And if one is having a bad day, then ranting about it can help, I suppose.
     
  19. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    I guess I see your point. I can no more control other drivers on the freeway... I suppose this is just the same.
     
  20. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Member

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    * off-topic *
     
  21. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    OK, critiquing a for sale ad photo is absurd. But that aside, I welcome critiques of my photographs, whether asked for or not. I always learn something from them, whether I agree with the comments or not. For instance, awhile back someone commented on a photograph I posted here. I did not agree with the comment and thought his suggestion was a cliche and worn approach. It reaffirmed my more imaginative solution. Critiques make me think harder about my work, which helps my next pictures get better.

    Last weekend I was looking at an exhibit of Baldwin Lee's photographs at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia. Over my shoulder I heard a woman comment positively on a picture, then say that she just didn't like photography. I wanted so badly to engage her in a conversation about her opinion, but I waited a second too long and she left the exhibit room. I probably would not have agreed with her views on photography, but I am sure I would have learned something. Now I will never know what it was.
     
  22. Griz

    Griz Member

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    Just my opinion, but I think everyone, OP included, is reading too much into this. Sounds more like some troll just trying to get a rise out of you. Some people have no lives, so of course, they want a piece of yours. If you continue to let him get under your skin, then he gets what he wants.......
     
  23. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    That's a very good point. It's so sad and I see it everywhere these days. People doing and saying things just because they can. People having no regards to anyone else and doing things for their enjoyment - no matter how bad that would make the life of someone else.
     
  24. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    Perhaps.

    But what if you were enjoying your afternoon, and someone walked up to you and said that the shirt you were wearing made you look <fat, effeminate, ridiculous, insert adjective of choice...>? Now you didn't ask for input on your clothes, but by being out in public are you then subject to taking it?

    In the moment, and following few minutes, yes he did get under my skin. And I realize that he is probably some troll running around with the "in" crowd with their Canon Something "d" mark something's, and regirgitating something someone probably once told him with absolutely NO clue what he's saying... But what about any of that makes it ok?
     
  25. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Member

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    Frankly, I wouldn't give a crap what someone thought of my shirt... or my panties... unless she was turned off by them.
     
  26. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I'm not sure where this conversation is going but I think one thing is for sure.... If someone wants to run his/her mouth and criticize something or everything, there is nothing anyone can do about it. People used to hold value in being nice to others as an important part of being a good citizen. Today, it's all about rights. Rights to say whatever as he/she pleases being one of them.

    "Don't say anything if you can't say something nice" isn't true anymore. Having an opinion and taking side is.

    I don't like what I see and hear but that's my observation.