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  1. #31
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    I would suggest - by asking (in a face-to-face situation). If a critic has to work blind (which is the case, more or less, with pictures posted on a website), then it is necessary to make some assumptions, which should be stated clearly (e.g. "You seem to be aiming at X (but please tell me if I'm wrong). On this basis, you might like to consider A, B and C. I feel D and E have worked in this picture, but E hasn't," etc.)
    I agree. We in accord here (hidden conditioned response here - I am now the proud owner of a new (!!) Honda Accord).

    I'll only comment of the inherent folly of "assuming" anything. My assumptions have, when weighted by the severity of the error, been disastrous. Enough so that the potential consequences of future assumptions are NOT worth the risk.

    One thing I have learned in teaching photography: The neophyte is invariably FAR too severely critical of their own work. I have never yet met a student where I haven't had to say, "What?? This photograph (image) is `no good'? The energy, the emotion expressed in it is wonderful!! Let's enlarge this one to 11" x 14", mat and frame it. Definitely in our next exhibition."

    I really don't critique photographs - at least not in the empirical sense of "critiquing". If I can provide, or add something to an inspiration ... if I can add to the joy in photography ... I will.

    Am I afraid of offending someone? Quite frankly, yes, I am. More often than not that "offending" is only another name for having a negative effect on their self-image. It has proven to drive many wonderfully gifted artists away from their art altogether. How can we, in good conscience justify that? By saying "I was only trying to help", or "They didn't have the right stuff, anyway"? And said over their bleeding artistic bodies?

    My advice: Keep going. Your work may be "odd". It may not garner critical acclaim. Persevere ... polish it! Strive for work that is "good" in YOUR OWN EYES - no one else really matters.

    You just may give the art world an inestimable gift... a whole new school of art.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  2. #32
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Hmmm....

    The work is the 'tree' the photographer is trying to grow.

    Critiquing should be like the watering -

    It should be nurturous ... fertilizing and encouraging future growth. Some - most - is acidic ... on the idea that if - and only if - the work, and photographer, survives are they worthy of existence.

    Strange image ... but, that is what I am trying to say.

    It fits.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    The neophyte is invariably FAR too severely critical of their own work. I have never yet met a student where I haven't had to say, "What?? This photograph (image) is `no good'? The energy, the emotion expressed in it is wonderful!! Let's enlarge this one to 11" x 14", mat and frame it. Definitely in our next exhibition."
    As a general rule I'd agree but surely you have also met those who think that they have nothing to learn, ever, about technique or aesthetics, and that the only thing that stops National Geographic putting them under immediate contract is a conspiracy of Freemasons or some such.

    All I'm saying is that for every 9 people to whom you need to say "Stay at it!" there is one to whom you need to say, "Sorry, National Geographic is unlikely to buy fuzzy snapshots processed at the local mini-lab. Spend some time learning the craft; looking at others' good pictures; and taking more pictures of your own."

    Cheers,

    Roger

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    That was why I wrote the critiques module I did in the Photo School, and why I suggested it. This offended Jorge for some reason -- he seemed to be upset that I should suggest that anyone might care to read something free, by someone with experience of giving critiques -- but I stand by it.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
    Plueeassee...dont flatter yourself, there is little you can say or do that will "upset" me. I am simply tired of "experts" going on and on about themsleves and failing to answer a simple question. After being proded you wrote to Alan, "well, looks like you can take portraits." Is this the quality of critiques we can expect from the exalted Hicks school of photography?.....well jeez...thanks but no thanks.

    I am sure Alan did not want a 5 paragraph critique, but a few simple pointers, even your so called critique was useless, so please do us all a favor and stop being the expert in all things photographic, you are simply not....

  5. #35

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    I will flatter you by responding to your sniping and complaining
    LOL....here once again you are flattering yourself, seems you cannot stop huh? For you to flatter me I would have to give a rat's ass about what you have to say...trust me, I dont!.

    First, when was the last time you tried to say something helpful instead of attacking someone else?
    Well, if you had read carefully, in this thread. Unlike you I tried to offer what little help and encouragement I could to Alan, and I managed to do that without trying to sell my "school" or pretending to be an "expert". Imagine that, help for the sake of help...a rare concept for you I guess.

    So far today I've had three letters from people who have found my advice helpful. Plus one attack: your customary whinge.
    Am I supposed to be impressed by this? LOL....I get them every week from people whom I have helped, the difference is I am glad to do it and have no need to advertise it. So once again you are nothing special.....

    Where I have some knowledge, I try to share it.
    You mean like you "shared" your critique, where instead of writing a simple adivce you went on and on about you and how critiques should not be done unless they are done at the Hicks photo shcool?.....do us all a favor and spare us your wisdom, I am sure we can manage without it.

    Yes, I've had 50-odd books published. Yes, I have a weekly column in one of the better-regarded magazines. Yes, I've written for a lot of other magazines. I am not completely ignorant on the subject of photography, and I get paid for not being completely ignorant. If this makes you jealous, it's your problem. But why not do something constructive -- such as setting up a web-site with a lot of free information -- instead of attacking someone who actually does things?
    Like I said before, never seen one of your books. Given that I lived in the US for 24 years, visited the books store about twice or 3 times a week and never not only saw one of your books, but if I saw it it did not stick with me....seems to me there is not much to be jealous about. As to a free web site, why dont you work for free bubba? Why dont you give us the "benefit" of your "school" for free?....

    Why have you a problem with free advice?
    I have no problem with free advice, when it is so, not when it is a thinly diguised self promotion offered as advice. Go back on this thread and tell us where your "advice" was useful and feeley given? You did not offer a "critique" until I goaded you into it, and even so it was an incoherent useless pìece of advice....I sure hope you wrote your books better than you did that "critique".

  6. #36
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    As a general rule I'd agree but surely you have also met those who think that they have nothing to learn, ever, about technique or aesthetics, ...
    Possibly I am too well insulated from the "Arts" community, but no, I never have met anyone who HONESTLY believed that. I have encountered those who have lied about it ... but as always, lies are really transparent.

    I have met posturing blowhards and simply put, phonies (to the extent of actually BRIBING juried show judges) -- but NONE have been neophytes - those just starting out in photography. Come to think of it ... those who do that have been the authors of "bad" critiques.

    Come to think of it ... One of the most memorable - and encouraging influences in my photography WAS, in fact, a photographer who did a great deal of work for National Geographic. He was the last one in the world I'd expect to beat down a beginner.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #37

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    Jorge,

    There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

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