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  1. #31
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    .. This is simply a repeat of your comments on the thread about critiquing as well as another thread. It's been covered over and over.
    It is the opinion of others here, that even if one is magically delivered to another universe or tranformed in a state of perpetual rapture, it still doesn't help the person asking to be critiqued to be showered with just this message.
    I know, you are an empowerer. Everything is great. It's so original. Don't mess with their little egos. They may be damaged for life.
    But let me put another spin in it. Don't you think that your gushing over everyone and everything will actually lead them to tune you out as a serious critiquer (is that a word), because in essence they learn nothing from you. With every situation they get the nice pat on the head and sent on their way.
    The statement was made that: "Posts like `I like it' or `gorgeous' are useless and don't lead anyone anywhere..." I disagree with that statement. It is true that I disagreed with it in the past: I hadn't recognized any limit on replying - that I could only write something I had not written before. I believe that positive comments- critique -- whatever one chooses to call them - are MORE *"useful"* to the submitter than fault-finding.
    I believed it then: I believe that now.

    Hmm ... "In the opinion of others here, that even if one is magically delivered to another universe.... it still doesn't help the person asking to be critiqued...."
    I'm sure this is true.
    In the "opinion of others here" (different "others"), It does help - a great deal

    "I know, you are an empowerer."
    Thank you. That is what I want to be.

    ..continuing... "Everything is great. It's so original."
    A great deal of "it" *IS*.

    ... continuing, yet... "Don't mess with their little egos. THey may be damaged for life."
    That is written in an irritating tone. I'm going to ignore what is implied and respond to the words, hopefully, sans emotion:
    Yes, we should be careful with others egos. The neophyte is apt to be - in fact PROBABLY IS very "fragile". I do not see photography, or any other art as requiring the toughening and hardening of the beginner - as a matter of fact, I think the reverse is true - we should sensitize and inspire.

    "Don't you think that your (.... Hah!! This IS directed at me, personally!) gushing over everyone and everything will actually lead them to tune you out as a serious critiquer because in essence they learn nothing from you..."
    This assumes that I WANT to be perceived as a "serious critiquer". I don't. I only would like to express my reaction to a work that has an effect on my senses. Come to think of it ... the reaction of others to *my* work ahs always been a area of moderate interest to me. Not the all-consuming raison d'etre ... but interesting. Far more interesting that "how I can fix my "mistakes".

    More later... I have a model at the door...
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  2. #32
    blansky's Avatar
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    ED.

    This debate is fascinating and





    ...damn I have a Jehovah's Witness at the door.


  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    ED.

    This debate is fascinating and





    ...damn I have a Jehovah's Witness at the door.

    :)
    Holy S*** the suspense is killing me...Where you swayed at all?

  4. #34
    Aggie's Avatar
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  5. #35
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    This debate is fascinating and
    ...damn I have a Jehovah's Witness at the door.
    Thank you for your patience.

    Eight rolls of Agfacolor later...

    I have a theoretical situation, I'd like you advice on... I Know what I would do - obviously there are "others" here that view my reactions as something close to "toxic". What would you suggest?

    A rank beginner, who I *know* has had very little experience in photography, presents an absolute *gem* of an image to me, for my critique. I feel the same reactions as when I viewed Renoir's "Torse au Soliel" for the first time. I am simply awestruck. I cannot, in my wildest stretch of imagination, think of any possible way to "improve" that image. What is my next step? Do I hide my reaction? Pretend, dishonestly, to experience *nothing* emotionally? Do I invent some sort of "flaw" to be corrected? Do I disallow them to evaluate this as I would ... that it IS a wonderful photograph?
    To do so, I would have to lie, at the basest level -- Is that lying justified by saying, "I'm only doing this for their own good"?

    One other thing deserves clarification - You infer that I "gush" over everything here --- and that I really do not honestly feel that way ... or am I mistaken?
    However, I'll bring your attention to one simple fact - I don't respond to every image posted here. The only ones that I'll post comments about are those who have affected me - that have fit *my* standards of "excellent" work.

    Now... I'm going to chill out, if that is all right with you. I hope to have made my position known ... If I find some confusion about where I stand, I'll write more.

    Now- my first priority --- I have a bottle of Sempe' V.S.O.P. Armagnac (Ole said something or other that struck a nerve), and one or two ounces of the stuff are doomed to never again see the light of day.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  6. #36
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    ..
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #37
    blansky's Avatar
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    Hi Don, welcome back from your travels.

    Yes, I'm in. Converted. I was skeptical at first. But after they went through the entire brochure, I was sold. The good news is now they are coming back every week. This is great. I can't wait for those nice mormon boys to come by also. Sometimes I get so lonely.

    Ed,

    If you were asking me, and I saw a photograph from a beginner that blew me away ( and I have) I would sit down with them and probably ask the following:

    What were you using.
    What were you trying to achieve.
    What does the photograph say to you.
    Did you achieve what you were trying.
    etc,

    Then I would tell them exactly how much I loved it and what it said to me. And perhaps ask them to show me more of their work.

    Thats about it.

    I would always encourage, I would always tell the way I felt.

    If the photograph didn't blow me away, I would ask the same questions.

    Then I would tell them what I would try to improve, technique wise. If during the time I asked "what were you trying to achieve" and "did you achieve it" and they described what it was, I would give my opinion on how to perhaps do it.

    I would also praise them on a good attempt.

    Thats about it.



    Michael McBlane

  8. #38
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    I wasn't planning on contributing to this thread, but then I realized that I did have something to offer.

    I've only really been doing serious photography for about 4 years - started with 35mm, didn't like it, jumped right to 4x5, and that's where I am. As part of my ongoing photographic education, I've taken a few workshops along the way. The first workshop I took was with Ray McSavaney in Yosemite about 6 months after I started LF photography.

    I really thought I had some good images to show. In fact, the images I presented were really quite awful. And I'm not exaggerating - they were bad! It's not that the printing was bad, the composition of the actual images was bad, there was no thought put forth in making the image, etc, etc.

    Ray carefully looked at each image, and asked me what I was trying to say with the images - I had no clue, and as a result the images were (to be nice) weak. We then spent a good amount of time talking about what it means to make a photograph, and how you can best interpret the emotional 'value' of a scene and best get it onto the negative, and then onto paper.

    Ray didn't pull any punches when he looked at my images, but he gave constructive criticism that helped me immensely. Those negatives have been filed away (but not tossed), and the knowledge gained has been applied to start making good images.

    I therefore think that critiques are an invaluable tool in developing as a photographer. Yes, you can print and be satisfied with what you've done, but unless you can emotionally disengage from your photograph and impartially critique it yourself, you'll have a tough time improving. I know I still have a hard time critiquing my own prints, so I use another photographer from my parts to help me out. And so the learning continues.

    Lastly, even if you really like a person's print, don't just say it's a great print - tell them *why* it's a great print. You may tell them something that they completely missed - perhaps they like the image for a completely different reason, and by telling why you like it, you're only helping them expand their horizons.
    Cheers!

    -klm.

  9. #39

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    Without access to workshops or fellow LF photographers who live nearby some of us use APUG's gallery to get critique. Naturally, space constraints prevent it from being a one-to-one affair, like a workshop. But most contributors here are articulate enough to be direct to those that submit and are experienced enough to understand what was written about their submitted photos. At least this is my assumption about those that participate here. I do not think less of the critique gallery because it imposes space and time constraints which make it difficult to tackle all the metaphysical and psychoanalytical issues related to the creation of the photograph.
    Francesco

  10. #40
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    What an excellent thread. Ken has succinctly described my experiences when proffering my first pictures into the public arena, in my case a camera club competition. I later got involved in monochrome work on the advice of someone whose work I respect, as a means of concentrating on the basics of the image; colour is a distraction it seems.
    I am loath to offer criticism to others, as I’m not expert in that field, but I can record my feelings about their work. This may, or may not amount to the same thing. We have many on this site who are chasing quality, at the expense of compositional interest. Quality that is often lost in the transition to the web. What do I say to these folk? Do I record my feelings or keep quiet? If my feelings have already been recorded by someone else, do I repeat them, or keep quiet? If I feel that what is posted is complete rubbish, do I record my feelings, or keep quiet? Often I see an image that has translated to the screen, and which I find satisfying, am I permitted to gush, or should I keep quiet? I think I shall continue doing what I have generally always done; shoot from the hip, and put my foot in it, time and time again.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye




 

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