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  1. #21

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    I do not participate in web-based critiques. On critiques in general:

    As bjorke stated: Comments such as "I like it," or "I don't like it" are not useful. Sure it is nice to know that someone likes your work, but without reasons, in terms of the photograph itself, those comments are not really helpful. Comments in terms of why the one commenting feels the way he or she does are not helpful either, unless they are able to be analyzed in terms of the photograph. In other words, Ed, what is it about the photograph that causes the reaction in you. That is what needs to be expressed. Just to express that you like or dislike something is not helpful; it does not help anyone improve. And the only reason one should ever give a critique is to help someone improve. This may mean making negative comments, but just as often means making positive ones.

    Now, as I have said numerous times, ultimately, visual art is visual and cannot be reduced to words. But giving a critique is not trying to reduce the art to words.

    It seems that Ed thinks that a critique automatically means negative criticism. I'm not sure why that is so. A critiique can just as easily mean positive criticism. In these terms criticism is not anything negative but is value judgement neutral.

    Just my 2 cents.

  2. #22
    Aggie's Avatar
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  3. #23

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    Constructive criticism is very helpful in improving my vision and my technique. I submit photos to this site primarily to learn and to learn from those with years of experience. I also feel that there are times when reason fails us to put our feelings into words and all we have is our subjective notions of what we like (more often that not we have reasons for what we do NOT like, and these should be expressed constructively). I consider these as words of encouragement. How are they useful to me? They spur me on to carry my heavy backpack to explore my vision and technique further, to know that there are those who feel I am on the right path because what I create pleases them. To be inspired is just as important as learning.
    Francesco

  4. #24
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie
    But to just give the nice platitudes as a matter of course gets the same value as a rubber stamp of the "oh that;s nice" with out the reall views.
    I agree completely, Aggie.


    My problem comes when people assume some measure of dishonesty in a favorable comment; "Oh, you LIKE it? Well. you'll just have to justify that." Approval does NOT *necessarily* mean that there is *no* value in the critique - or automatically deserving of the "platitude" label.

    *ALL* comments (a.k.a. "critiques") ARE helpful - to a point. They represent someone else's viewpoint, and vision - and are an indication of the interaction between the critique-er and the critique-ee.

    At the same time, there is a great danger - of losing individuality. To tell the truth, the *worst* work I have seen has been the product of Camera Club Critiques - where the poor victim took all of it to heart, and produced dead, lifeless, emotionless - technically very good - conforming - work pleasing to the "Judges" - totally devoid of individuality... and without satisfying the "victim".
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  5. #25
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francesco
    To be inspired is just as important as learning.
    Hear! Hear! *VERY* well said, Francesco.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  6. #26
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  7. #27
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    Great story Aggie.

    I forget who Adams was quoting in "Beauty in Photography," but he sets out three simple questions for critique: What was the artist trying to do? Did they acheive it? Was it worth doing?

    Adams goes on a riff for several pages on this, I won't repeat, but those three questions seem like a pretty good launching point.

    --

    A key distinction that I think is getting lost is that between CRITIQUE and COMMENT. When one is excited by an artwork, one may feel compelled to comment on that, with nothing more. It's too bad that the net is such a "thin" medium -- we can't see the person making the comment to get a notion of whether they are just tapping out the first thing on the surface of their mind or whether their words are delivered with some deliberation and thought.

    Sheer word volume is no indication, as I think I've often proved

    (I think it was Brancusi who said: "simplicity is complexity resolved")

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

  8. #28

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    Constructive criticism is very helpful in improving my vision and my technique.
    I guess I must fit into a different category. When I am attempting to improve, I already know what areas I do not like about my work. Therefore I would ask for an opinion or help and guidance on how I might improve on what I am not happy with. The difference as I perceive this is that I am seeking help on a technique or such and not a specific image that I have created.

    As for just submitting a print for a critique has little purpose for me. It is like saying....well I am uncertain if this work of mine is of any value...please tell me what your view and opinion is.

    Sorry... but it does not work that way for me.

    When I create a print that I truly like then it is done and complete. Should somebody wish to view and comment on the print..that is perfectly acceptable and welcome, BUT their opinion is just that...THEIR opinion and it does not change how I feel about my work.

    As I have probably said before, I take the journey to satisfy myself. I am fully capable of determining and deciding what this satisfaction is myself. No critique is necessary.

    As for those people who deem it necessary to be critiqued and accepted by their peers or perhaps others who have achieved a position of status within the photographic community. Well... it just boils down to the "Emperor's new clothes" as far as I am concerned.

    I guess that I do not see critiques as most folks do.

    Kind Regards,
    Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

  9. #29
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyWolf
    [I guess I must fit into a different category.
    ...Sorry... but it does not work that way for me....
    When I create a print that I truly like then it is done and complete. Should somebody wish to view and comment on the print..that is perfectly acceptable and welcome, BUT their opinion is just that...THEIR opinion and it does not change how I feel about my work.
    As I have probably said before, I take the journey to satisfy myself. I am fully capable of determining and deciding what this satisfaction is myself. No critique is necessary.
    As for those people who deem it necessary to be critiqued and accepted by their peers or perhaps others who have achieved a position of status within the photographic community. Well... it just boils down to the "Emperor's new clothes" as far as I am concerned.
    I guess that I do not see critiques as most folks do.
    There is a least one other here who operates in the same manner, with the same ideas ... ME!!

    I don't think this is so far off the mark. I've been fortunate in interacting with a few of the "bright lights" in photography, and it is my opinion that this is, by far, the most common philosophy held by those in the "upper echelons".
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  10. #30

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    I agree, one must first frame their own opinion of what they have done, of what it is worth to them. I think it is sad if people feel that contributing photos to any online site is simply to join a community, to gain acceptance from ones peers. Why not simply feel that a person likes to submit photos because submitting photos is fun. To much psychoanalysing of other people's motives, people we never met, people we do not know, people we have never seen. At the start of this thread I alluded to what I think is the problem with the personal attacks made in other forums - presumptious behaviour. Under the guise of objectivity our TASTES and BIASES still dominate our words and thoughts. I find that most people just want to have fun whether or not they submit photos, whether or not they join debates, whether or not they post their views.
    Francesco



 

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