3 / 3 Raters, If You Can Spare A Minute...

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by whoz_the_man_huh, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. When you dish out a 3 / 3 you mean:

    1) The image scores 3 / 7 in your view. In other words it's slightly less than mediocre.
    2) Since ratings of 1 and 2 are not counted, the image scores 1 / 5 in your view. In other words it's the quintessence of point and shoot rubbish.
    3) Something else.

  2. I think the Admins do it because they just haven't seen enough of the "why 3/3" threads yet.
  3. "1) The image scores 3 / 7 in your view. In other words it's slightly less than mediocre ."​
    No. Your math is bad. '3' is "below average". Look at the radio buttons in the rating interface. '4' is AVG (average). '4' is the mid-point between 1 and 7. Therefore '3' means below average.
    "Mediocre" would qualify for a '2' or lower score.
    A more pointed question might be "Why can't some people accept that someone else might think a photo scores "below average" given the standards of high quality work uploaded to this site" ?
  4. I don't rate, but I don't see that it is too difficult to figure out that when you get the lowest possible score, that will be counted, someone didn't thing your photograph was very good.
  5. I only rate 3 when the photo pisses me off. Eg. too pretentious ones.
    Usually even if it's crappy pictures but as long as it's honest I will give at least 4. But then again I don't rate pictures that often anymore.
  6. <please,not again..... >
  7. Shouldn't that be:
    When you dish out a 3 / 3 you mean:
    1) Since I'm a clueless beginner who's lived in a cave all my life, I can't tell the difference between your work of art and a bad photo.
    2) I'm a sad, pathetic little person who can only make it through the day by posting hurtful ratings on people who are better than me.
    3) I hate you and the horse you rode in on. Die! Die! Die!
  8. Michael L, I'm having trouble making sense of your post.
  9. Michael F, you misunderstood me. I meant mediocre in direct relation to the high standards of this site.
  10. The P/N Servers generate random 3/3's so that more threads like this will be posted. Keeps the forums looking busy.
  11. Don't look at me. I quit rating photos last month after reading too much whining and drama here and in the feedbag forum.
    I tried, but too many folks on photo.net don't want honest feedback in any form, whether ratings or critiques. They want affirmation of what they already believe, unfettered praise and someone to pat 'em on the head and stick their purty pitchers on the refrigerator door.
    If you want honest ratings and critiques, you'll have to personally invite someone to do so, and learn to graciously accept their feedback. I did that several years ago when I invited the colorful and cantankerous .[.Z to rate my entire portfolio. He did. Mostly 4/4's. And he was absolutely correct. Most of my portfolio was very average - competent, but nothing special.
    If you prefer gratuitous praise, just look for the high raters. Join their club. They're a cheerful bunch and always happy to accommodate new members to their mutual admiration societies. You don't even need to go to Flickr anymore. We've got the same thing here.
  12. JDM, my apologies if this is repetitive.
    My goal is merely to gauge whether most people's idea of 3 is closer to mediocre or disastrous.
  13. If your goal is taking good or excellent photos, is the distinction between mediocre and disastrous really important?
  14. Excellent list, Mike. Except it's missing:

    4) I'm just honest and you just stink.

    That's the mindset of most people who drop 3 / 3 on me.
  15. Michael L, I'm having trouble making sense of your post.​
    See JDM's or Sams posts....same thing.
  16. My goal is merely to gauge whether most people's idea of 3 is closer to mediocre or disastrous.

    If you get some responses it will be so far from a representative sample that there is no way you reliably attain your goal. Since there are no reponses from such people and there likely will not be any, the whole excercise is futile.
    You will be better off not fretting about the meaning behind ratings. Generally the better images will be rated higher, the not so better, lower. There will be many deviations for many reasons, rational or not. If you must know details of what people think of your images, follow the suggestion above and find people to give you detailed critiques. Wondering about the meaning behind ratings is pointless.
  17. Outstanding post, Lex.
    I think your thoughts should be published as a disclaimer that appears whenever a critique request is about to be submitted.
  18. 3/3's, in general, suffer precisely the same problem that 4/4's, 5/5's, 6/6's, and 7/7's have.
  19. Ray House

    Ray House Ray House

    When I give a 3/3 it usually means the photo has a little less of something in the quality I would expect, such as OOF, crooked horizon or maybe exposure is off. Also that the photographer didn't give much thought to lighting or composition. I consider most 3/3's to be a lower than average snapshot. I went to look at your portfolio and I wouldn't give you many 3/3's, but I found it annoying to have to go through so many folders with just 1 photo in most. Because of that I didn't take the time to rate. Just my opinion and trying to be helpful.
  20. Mike, I am curious.
    Besides, I don't know if I should aim for more than mediocrity by photo.net's standards because, speaking honestly, the ability to attain excellence simply isn't there.
  21. I like Mike's 1 - 3 explanation of the motives of the all-pervading 3/3. I do wonder if the malevolent 3/3ers outnumber the sycophantic 7/7ers. It is kinda funny (funny ha-HA and funny peculiar).
  22. "Since ratings of 1 and 2 are not counted"
    They count, you just cannot see them.
  23. Calvin, like most newbies, you worry about ratings too much. If you keep plugging away, you will move out of the grasshopper stage and into a Zen like state where you will be able to dismiss 3/3's with a "I am sure that if they had a more sophisticated knowledge of photography they would have rated my photos much higher". The only caveat is that you have to treat 7/7's the same way as in "I am sure that if the rater had a more sophisticated knowledge of photography he would have never given me a 7/7".
  24. 5) "I am" boy/girl of the clique ****** rules (* hint geography) all the rest take 1/1, 2/2, 3/3.
  25. I stopped rating. Next move is to only submit for critique only. I only care for comments...the ratings are just hogwash. Especially the anonymous ones. If you can't stamp your name next to the rating, then you're too chicken to show me you meant it. Therefore, you didn't. Thanks for looking at least :).
    FWIW: That goes for ANY rating, not just bad ones. If you want to give it a 7/7, put your name on it.
  26. --- "people's idea of 3"
    You will never find out ...
  27. To paraphrase Beyonce...

    "All the PNetters! (all the PNetters!)
    If you like it then you should put your name on it!
    If you hate it then you should put your name on it!
    If you rate it then you should put your name on it!
    Whoa oh ohhh..."
  28. 3/3 means your photo is not a nude or a landscape or an HDR of a horse and you're not in the club.

    A7/7 means your photo is an HDR of a nude horse at the beach and you are in the club.

    That should clear things up.
  29. Thanks for the sage advice, John.
  30. What problem are you referring to, Michael Y?
  31. Stamoulis, what do you mean they count? They're not reflected in either photo or photographer totals, correct?
  32. Calvin the 1 and 2 count in average as 1 and 2, you just cannot see the number 1 and 2. Instead you see number 3, but they do the "damage" of 1 and 2 not of 3. Often 1 and 2 are used for moderation/"moderation".
  33. "Often 1 and 2 are used for moderation/'moderation.' "
    You really think moderators have nothing better to do than moderating some stupid rating number by adding 1s and 2s. Why would you just make stuff up and post it? Geez.
    These numbers only do "damage" if all that was at stake when you posted something for ratings and critiques was your big fat ego. Did you ever consider that a bad rating might be meant to help you learn. Maybe your photos truly do suck and someone is telling you to practice more. Don't see it as damage, see it as an opportunity to improve your photographs. Or better yet, ignore the ratings, since none of us has any idea who or what motives are behind them. THEY ARE A GAME.
  34. Fred I do not care about ratings and I stop rating. But Calvin cares. Please far from me the "big fat ego", I have few people here that we teach eachother, not with numbers. Please also do not dictate to me how I will think and feel. YES, IT IS A GAME. It happens sometimes (in games) the players to complain to referee. I do not see anything bad in this. Referee is human. We respect the referee but we do not have to agree with the referee. Goodnight.
  35. Thanks for the advice, Tim.
  36. Ryan, I bet you also like that Destiny's Child song. "Say Your Name".
  37. Stamoulis Theodorikas [​IMG] , Jun 27, 2009; 01:23 p.m.
    Often 1 and 2 are used for moderation/"moderation".​
    I'm not sure what you mean by that statement, but if you are implying any of the following, you are incorrect:
    • That only moderators use the anonymous ratings system.
    • That moderators deliberately low-rate photos to manipulate the statistics.
    • That only moderators give ratings of 3 or lower.
    I sincerely hope that's not what you're implying. Because if it is, I'm going to start forwarding my e-mails to you.
    Here's one I received earlier this month:
    "Can I ask you who do you really think you are that you put 3s without any comment on my work Mister Moderator? ? ? ? ? Further action will be taken! be sure!"​
    Dunno where the fellow got that idea. I rated three of his photos (via the anonymous queue) giving a couple of 'em 4's and 5's, with a single 3 for one category on one photo (don't recall the details). There's no way he could have known that, so he just assumed that because his buddies loved his photos anything lower than a 4 must have been my fault. If anything my ratings would have actually pushed his photos into the TRP by adding to the sum of anonymous ratings. I could have given him a 2 and it wouldn't count toward the sum of ratings.
    I had hoped my ratings and critiques would be considered a positive contribution to the site. Silly me. I underestimated the fragile egos. And I probably made trouble for other moderators, simply because of this mistaken notion that only moderators give anonymous ratings. Not true. We enjoy other forms of anonymous harassment, such as deliberately hiding the prompts that tell people where to attach photos they want to upload to discussion forums. We don't really hide the prompts, we just slap some mojo on the page that apparently makes the prompts invisible.
    And Ryan, if you sincerely believe that all ratings should be attributed, be sure to keep us updated on how things are going with you when you honestly rate photos, using your name as attribution, so the recipients will know who gave them 3's and 4's.
    Just try it for a month. Resume rating photos, using the attributed system, and rate every photo you see in a genre or category, honestly, without cherry picking. Let us know how long it takes before you receive complaints from recipients, harassing e-mails and retaliatory remarks on your portfolio. Be sure to keep copies to share with us. Some of 'em are amusing.
    Here are a couple of fun examples:
    This fellow apparently objected to my characterization of one of his photos as being more suitable to street photography or a genre other than photojournalism. Good photo, I liked it, but no real news content. I don't care if the newspaper did publish it, there's still no news content. Some newspapers have low standards for news content, or have a hole to fill so they'll stick in whatever is available. So he left an odd remark on my photo of a duck . I guess if it walks like a newspaper photo and quacks like a newspaper photo... Anyway, after that incident I stopped rating or critiquing his photos. His mind is made up so he doesn't need my feedback.
    And this gal disagreed with my comments regarding composition , but rather than continue the conversation within the context of her photo, she decided one of mine would be a better place to leave a disjointed remark. Again, she doesn't need any feedback, just affirmation of what she's already decided.
    If it were up to me, anyone who either harasses another photo.net member over ratings or calls anonymous raters "cowards" would be suspended for a month from participation in the critique or ratings system. During that month they'll be sentenced to listen to Noel Coward's My Heart Bleeds Purple Peanut Butter for You, My Poor Suffering Darling .
    One of the reasons the system is dysfunctional is because of the constant negativity from whiners. It's not the only reason, but it's been cited as a factor before by other photo.netters. My experience with the system over the last year revealed to me why some people stopped offering any form of feedback. It's very time consuming even to use the anonymous ratings queue, which helps drive the TRP, and in return for those efforts you get to enjoy a weekly performance from the Lamentation Choir, complete with teeth gnashing and garment rending, accompanied by Woe Is Me, I Got a 3/3! .
    That's why I actually admire the mate ratings and mutual admiration cliques. Instead of whining and calling other people cowards, they found a solution. Maybe it's not an honest solution, but at least they did something about the problem and are behaving optimistically, rather than making unsupported accusations and disparaging comments about people who have at least tried to work within the guidelines.
    BTW, I actually had a rather pleasant and positive experience with a notable participant in one of those mutual admiration cliques. We exchanged e-mails and he invited me to critique a revised version of one of his photos. Overall it was a very positive experience.
  38. I have been lurking around this site for quite a few years now, and threads on critiques are as numerous as "what ... should I buy".
    I think we have to acknowledge that we will never find a system that everyone likes, and that is repellant to mate raters and others who thinks "i can take just as nice pics as you - so therefore I give you 3/3"
    For me, I prefer a well written comment to any rating (unless it is 7/7 ;) )
  39. Thanks, Stamoulis.
  40. You are welcome Calvin!
  41. Funny that this discussion was created recently. I stopped using photo.net awhile back because of the lack of critique of my images and partly because of the age old annoying 3/3s.
    I don't think any of the 4 images I submitted today are less than average so I really don't get the 3/3 on all of them, this one in particular:
    What category do you think that 3/3 giver belongs to? Any or all of Mike Dixon's categories?
  42. Okay, Greg, I just picked out the first one of your four most recent critique requests:
    I'm having a nap attack so I didn't get around to the other three. Maybe later.
    Hopefully, it will help illustrate, in somewhat blunt crash-course fashion, why things work the way they do in the ratings and critiques. Don't take it personally. It's just an example.
  43. Okay, I did another one: http://www.photo.net/photo/9399931
    But that's it. No more. Even playing devil's advocate and trying to justify why someone else might give a 3/3 rating... it's not fun for me. It makes my head hurt. But maybe it will help demonstrate the thought process behind the 3/3 ratings that aren't accompanied by explanations.
    You don't really want to know why some photos are rated 3/3. You think you want to know, but you don't, not really.
    Visit 4chan /p/. Just lurk there awhile. Read the "critiques". They range from blunt to harsh and even insulting. Because there's no consequences - it's all anonymous or pseudonymous, and the moderators don't care, they don't want to hear your complaints. But is it honest? Nope. Gratuitous insults are just as dishonest as gratuitous praise. But at least gratuitous insults motivate the recipient to ask questions. Gratuitous praise is just slow poison, pouring sugar on a diabetic. They'll die of syrup intoxication.
    If you're insulted by unexplained 3/3 ratings, just be sure you ask the right question. And the right question is not "Why are you persecuting me?" The right question is "What are the popular photographers doing that I'm not doing?"
    Figure that out for yourself and you'll never need anyone to explain any rating. And if you still need someone to explain ratings to you, well... there's no hope. If you can't figure it out, just find a clique and join the mutual admiration society. There's nothing really wrong with that. A lot of people enjoy it. If it makes them happy, that's a good thing.
  44. i'd rate the pic the same as Lex ...for pretty much the same reasons.
  45. What problem are you referring to, Michael Y?
    Calvin, I am referring to the idea that--in general--one doesn't know if it's a failed, drunk, Russian cosmonaut with absolutely no knowledge of photography, on a laptop, rating one's photos from a strip club in Vladivostok OR if it's Annie Leibovitz or a senior editor of Newsweek rating them.
    You simply don't know the rater's qualifications.
    That was the main point.
    Even then however, in a world saturated with exceptional imagery, much of which our brains automatically filter out, is it fair to say that a 3/3 from an "unqualified" person has no value? I don't think so. It tells us that whatever we posted simply did not register with someone somewhere. If that somehow proves instrumental in keeping one on one's toes then I'd have to say it has some value.
  46. The one thing I was curious about was the thinking behind some 3/3's ... did they give a 3/3 because they really think it's 3/7 O, 3/7 A or were they thinking 1/1 or 2/2 but decided not to since it doesn't show.
    Anyway, Lex, if you're not tired, I wouldn't mind some brutal feedback too (you only comment now, no ratings right? I wouldn't want my average to plummet overnight LoL). Thanks.
  47. Dale, I might take another shot tomorrow. Kinda worn out tonight. The kind of stuff I wrote on Greg's photos is not my usual style. I usually try to offer constructive critiques, not just over the top rants. I'm just playing with polemics to make a point, to underscore the possible rationale for anonymous 3/3 ratings without comments.
    It's one thing to set up a hypothetical situation here on the casual conversations forum. But it doesn't have the same impact as seeing the same harsh or sarcastic words aimed directly at an actual photograph submitted by another human being.
    Just wanted to reiterate it's not intended to be a bad joke at Greg's expense.
  48. Lex and all, thank you for the insight into the 3/3 "stuff"... I personally don't much care about the ratings (well almost) but would love to have honest critiques, not "great pic" comments but the ones that say "I like XXX because... but you might try ZZZ" I joined this site to learn new and re-learn fogotten stuff. I also joined because this is the site with the best overall photographers, general and specific equipment info, and a fun group of people.
    I want to become a better photographer and feel this is the place to learn.
  49. this is my annual response to the 3/3 thing...so bear with me. if it's TOO LONG don't read it ...just please don't whine in response and lecture me about how unimportant the ratings system is. my ego is intact...i have a strong sense of self-worth and don't need high ratings to bolster it, i am a self-actualized person...i've heard it all before. my apologies to those for whom my opening remarks do not apply. (i'm serious as a heart attack...but smiling as i write...so don't think i'm just being grumpy...i just know the room)
    for what it's worth...here's how i rate. if a photo is really bad ...i go to the person's community page and attempt to find out info about the photographer. if i sense it was taken by a novice, or there's no indication...my comments won't be quite as blunt as with someone who announces they've been shooting for 30 years.. and should know better than to post such a terrible photo if they're looking for praise. but on the other hand, i probably won't offer a comment to that guy...because if after 30 years they're still posting shots that look like a 4 year old took them...i see little hope that anything i could offer could be of any help. with a novice...as i said, i won't be quite as blunt...but neither will i blow smoke up their arse. sometimes, instead of critiquing...i'll ask what the photographer had in mind. what they thought the shots strengths and weaknesses might be. by this i get an idea if they actually are seeking honest critique and want to learn...or if they just want a 7/7 and a pat on the back. i usually don't rate photos that i know come from a novice...instead i just point out the flaws, and just importantly the strengths and try to offer encouragement. if you look at my ratings stats you'll see that i've offered few 4/4s or the like...with no philosophy behind, except that subconsciously perhaps i'm thinking that if someone is shooting "average" photos...that's not bad at all...and those who are steadily shooting below average shots might need the attention more. i've given out an abundance of 1s and 2s...just on principle. personally, i think it's a disservice to the photographer that these ratings get translated into threes...and unless you make a point to tell the photographer...they never know that you felt the shot was deserving of a 1/1...2/2. i generally reserve these ratings for shots that are not only "bad" but that somehow say to me that the photographer didn't make much of an effort to do his/her best work. very subjective...yea, i know. one click photoshop effects almost always get a low rating. a bad shot of a cat that has been solarized would be a 1/1. if i must be honest...it takes a damned special cat photo for me to even bother to rate. with Gordon's pet peeve...herons eating a fish...i grimmace and move on. and if i see another dragonfly photo...just take me off life support. on occassion...i'll give a one, two, three word comment...if i'm too tired to think or write...or nothing witty comes to mind...or i'm just generally lost for words. but generally i try to put the kind of effort into comments that i'd like to see when it's my photo being critiqued. i've commented on over 73% of all the photos i've rated...and the ones i haven't...they're in that stack of "hopeless" photos that someone seemed to have thrown in as an afterthought...and nothing more.
    as for the discussion Lex touched on concerning Ryan's "cowards" remark...i see the point of both. i know ryan well enough to know that he wants honest critique...and doesn't mind the 3/3 ...he simply knows that that rating (along with 4/4....the "new 3/3") is often given out as retaliation...or by idiots screwing with everyone's ratings. that's what he's referring to. and it pisses me as bad as it does Ryan. not that i'm beyond getting miffed when i think someone has given me an unjustified 3/3...but when i see an incredible photograph someone else has taken get such a rating...that really pisses me. it's just the principle of the thing. yes, many people give out 3/3s and have legitimate reasons for not wanting to attach their name...but we all know too well that the "cowards" with bad motives are out there in droves. i'm satisfied that nothing much can be done with it...and if we just stop and think about it....we all get hit by these unjustified ratings at the same rate. so in the end...it pretty much balances out. i went back to read again what Lex said about dealing with the use of the term "coward" when referring to anonymous raters...and couldn't easily find it (forgive me if the comment is attriutable to someone else)...but anyway, id don't know if i would go to the point of censoring the use of the word (unless directed at a specific individual of course)...but i don't think that it's fair...or accurate to assume that all 3/3s are given by cowards. some are....many are not.
    as far as how blunt is too blunt? where does rudeness begin? well, i was up late one night...in a bad mood, and i found a photo posted in the critique forum that showed a group of ladies "of size" that were very naked and wrapped in various shades of shimmering cloth. off the top of my head...i commented that it looked like a "hillbilly harem". not a very nice thing to say...a bit too blunt I would think? of course. but recently i told someone that a shot was perhaps "the worst photograph that i had ever seen"...but i padded the statement with so many " i hate to tell you this...", and "with all due respect"....type of statements that the photographer had no problem and wanted to know why i felt that way. is that the norm? unless you're quite lucky...no. but what do you do with the absolute worst photograph you've ever viewed in your life? i'd want to know if i took it! fortunately...the guy had some other really good shots in his portfolio that i was honestly able to praise...and he apparently accepted the fact that i wasn't just trying to be insulting and/or mean spirited. on the other hand...i once told a guy that i felt the lens glare in one of his shots was a distraction. he went to lengths to explain that lens glare can be a useful component in a photograph...and that this was one of those photographs. i agreed to disagree and thought that was the end of it. a few minutes later he went through my portfolio and dissected ten or so shots with a microscope...pointing out every flaw he could find...and giving me 3/3s on any available for rating...although I didn't even rate his...one way or the other. i e-mailed him and asked...(not accused) if this was an act of retaliation ...never heard from hiim. aside from one retaliation i deserved...and one i didn't...i just haven't had much of an issue with people getting pissy with me for honest criticism. i don't know if it means anything or not...but i've never received a single three rating that had a name attached. for that matter...only one rating of four...and very few even for a rating of five. much of this could be attributed to the fact that it's much more fun to give a good rating to a good photograph, thus more names and comments attached to higher ratings...fear and timidity based of fear of retaliation for low ratings and criticism, some don't want to hurt people's feelings, and then...there's the cowards and the idiots. if members choose to rate anonymously when giving out low rating...that's their choice. as for me...why be afraid? the worst thing that can happen is you get some 3/3's. big deal.
    Gratuitous insults are just as dishonest as gratuitous praise. But at least gratuitous insults motivate the recipient to ask questions. Gratuitous praise is just slow poison, pouring sugar on a diabetic. They'll die of syrup intoxication.
    best comment of the thread.
  50. one last thing...of those that don't rate the photos of others...and decry the value of ratings...i think it's interesting to note that many if not most of those individuals accept ratings for their own photos. what's up with that? i've got my own theory but i'll be nice for once and keep it to myself.
  51. Hey John, in the beginning I was scared of retribution (not for unwarranted 3/3's but for the malicious 3/3's) because I read all about retribution and stuff at the time and somehow just remained status quo on that ... what's your theory, I can take it?
  52. Thanks Lex ... honest rants I can suck it up and take as well .... it's the malicious ones that bother me a bit - like in the old days when we used to see photos in the critique queue ... well when I see a 3/3 followed by another 3/3 then another ... up to 20 in a row on all different genres of images and different levels of quality (to my eyes anyway) then i think there's something wrong and it appears it's the same person doing it. But I guess the admins feretted those out pretty quick.
    Admins, is it easier to spot people playing the fool with ratings under the new more randomized system? Do you guys have sophisticated scripts to search out the trolls?
  53. BTW, I just wanted to clarify that I'm not pointing to Ryan with my comment about calling anonymous 3/3 raters "cowards". I don't recall seeing Ryan make that specific comment. But it did remind me of dozens of comments over the years from other folks who do use the phrase "anonymous cowards". In fact, I used a hot link to Google that phrase, to show how often it comes up.
    I have no problem at all with Ryan. We definitely see eye to eye on the value of critiques vs. ratings. I think we disagree only on the value of anonymous ratings. But if you dig way back into the archives, going back several years, you'll see why the anonymous ratings option was offered. The retaliation John described is precisely what prompted the anonymous system.
    The thing a lot of folks forget is that the ratings are not only a game, but completely voluntary. Complaining about it is like entering American Idol and blaming millions of "anonymous" viewers for not liking their performances. But contestants all know how it works before they enter these popularity contests of any kind - People's Choice, whatever. I'm not sure why so photo.netters can't come to grips with the concept. But a quick Gargle of YouTube indicates ratings are a touchy topic there as well.
  54. Lex, you are a photo analysis dynamo.
  55. Dale...it's just that everytime people complain about the 3/3 deal, there will always be some who take this elitist attitude that anyone who actually cares about ratings has self-esteem issues, i.e., that their sense of self-esteem/worth is directly tied to whether or not they receive high ratings on their photographs. while i'm sure this is true in some cases, trying to hoard everyone that has concerns about the ratings system into that category isn't accurate and is just plain"wrong". Anytime you find someone berating those who do care about ratings (whether it be direct or subtle...if you check to see whether they accept ratings...more times than not...they do. The word I was attempting to avoid is...hypocritical. There...I've said it. (and to be certain I'm not misunderstood...I haven't checked the rating habits of anyone in the room)
    Choosing not to rate is a matter of choice and no one has to justify the decision to me or anyone...but doing so doesn't mean you're smarter than those who choose to rate, it doesn't mean that those who rate have a large ego that needs constant stroking, and not rating doesn't equate to sophisitication. I believe that ratings do have some value. Obviously there are exceptions, but in general...if you see someone on PN who has hundeds of ratings and an average rating of (for instance) 6.o or better...you'll either see some really great pictures or some really naked women...or both. I can't recall finding consistently good photographs in a portfolio in which the average rating is 5.0 or less. So, to at least some degree...ratings can show you at what level of development you've reached. For me...ratings have proven to be a fairly good barometer for how the buying public will respond to my work. The pictures that receive high ratings here...are almost always good sellers. Nothing scientific, no control group studies...just a reliable, but not infallible tool to measure popularity...and that's all I need when it comes to selling prints. Do i get a little rush when I get a string of 7/7...sure. What's wrong with feeling good when your peers put their stamp of approval on your work? In one sense I feel just as much gratification when a ten year old tells me they like my pictures...as when a well respected pro tells me the same thing. But when the big boys and girls start paying attention to what you're doing...including favorable rating, but more importantly with their comments and advice...it can give you a big boost of confidence and encouragement that can help propel you toward your goals. Excuse the digression...jg
    p.s. -
  56. Lex...just so you know, I didn't feel...or mean to come across as implying that you had any issue with Ryan. Your last post came up after I posted my response to Dale's question and it is even more abundantly clear that you understand Ryan's issue, and that you're in agreement with him...save one aspect of the discussion.
    The anonymous rating system appears to leave a very convenient and inconpicuous hiding places for those with evil on their minds, but although I don't have a clue how it works...I understand that administration has the means to ferrett out the scoundrels that give out the low ratings in mass...and I've seen it happen from time to time, e.g., massive amounts of 3/3s suddenly disappearing. So, it seems the worst of these guys can't hide for long...and that leaves mostly the random retaliations that we just have to live with. My understanding was that there were flame wars constantly roaring...and in that case, I can understand why the policy is what it is. Do I like the fact that people can give a photo that 100 people would rate a 7/7 ...a 3/3 just to be an arse...no. Doesn't sit well with me at all. But as we all know...ya can expect to be successful when trying to legislate morality. Until someones comes up with a system that is better than what we have... (and some very bright minds have worked for years on it)...why not make the best of what we have? I don't mind an occassional thread like this because they're usually generated out of a lack of understanding of why the system is set up like it is...and there is much to be learned if you have the patience and stamina to read all of the responses.
    almost forgot: when those 3/3s are removed...some 6/6, and 7/7 ratings may disappear as well. then...you hear the inevitable whining about all the "good" ratings being taken away... ;)
  57. Wow. Thanks for the lucid and deep thoughts, Michael Y.
  58. all these people who put so much attention on ratings would be well advised to put more effort into their photography so most of them would have at least a chance to rise above mediocrity.
    It isn't a game. It's deadserious. Egoboosting for fragile and insecure minds under the pretense of trying to learn something. Well listen here, ratings don't teach you anything other than to get off on other people's (more often than not) insincere praise.
    Try getting a pro review for once or try to exhibit your work in a serious gallery. All good photographers are good because of hard work and perseverance and an enduring eagerness to learn. It isn't like it is rocket science.
    There is a photographer here who regularly adresses the anonymous 3/3 raters. If you fail to notice your own lack of talent I guess it's understandable if on the other hand all your "friends" rate them a lot higher although they are utter crap. What goes around comes around I guess.
    Because of it's popularity it will stay in place but the sooner people will get it in their thick skull that rating has nothing whatsoever to do with photography the sooner this will become a photography site without those nitwits who think a good rating is consistent with good photography. Idle hope of course.
  59. "So now almost everyone owns a camera. Yet, of all the commonplace tools available to us, the SLR is probably the least understood and certainly the most under exploited. All too frequently the average amateur will purchase a fine modern camera and proceed to use it for making the most elementary simple snapshots".
    Sam Haskins
  60. It's a good thing I didn't look at the rest of the photos in Greg's folder last night. I couldn't have played the part of the harsh critic nearly as effectively. Some of the stuff in his Polaroid folder is pretty good, especially this one: http://www.photo.net/photo/9399899
    Not to everyone's taste and would probably still get 3/3's. But I liked it. The monkey stuff wasn't bad either, especially this one .
    Also shows the problem of taking things out of context. Without reviewing associated photos in a folder or presentation, it's not easy to understand a photographer's intent. Photo.net tends to be very single-photo-oriented. Context isn't often considered. Not a good thing for documentary photographers, or folks who like to explore themes over the course of more than one photo. The ratings system just isn't compatible with that.
  61. "one last thing...of those that don't rate the photos of others...and decry the value of ratings...i think it's interesting to note that many if not most of those individuals accept ratings for their own photos. what's up with that?" --John Galyon
    John, I think there's a perception (I'm honestly not sure whether this perception is true or not) that if you put your photo up for ratings, it will stay in the queue longer and is likely to get a bit more attention and, perhaps, some critiques. I think I've noticed that when I put a photo up for critique only, it has never gotten a critique other than from the regulars that know me. When I put things up for ratings, though I pay little attention to the ratings themselves, there seems more likelihood that I will get a comment from someone who doesn't already know me, thereby increasing my PN circle. While I'm one who decries the rating system, I still feel I should give back to the system and because I know I rate with integrity, I still do try to give out rates, hoping that my little contribution will balance out some of the raters who are just playing games. I do that anonymously not to avoid wrath, although that's certainly part of it, but because anonymous rates count more toward what goes into the TRP and I would like my own taste and aesthetic to be represented on the TRP, which it usually is not.
  62. I don't rate, since my natural inclination when I see a hackneyed self-portrait of the photographer with camera stuffed in his face, is to rate is as a 1 for cliched and unimaginative work. Same goes for those who post 10 pictures of their girlfriends or children in a single category. Words of of criticism and praise are far more constructive than numbers.
  63. Mr Lex I respect you, though not allways I agree with you.
    I do not write about you, nor PN mods.
    I write about "on duty" raters.
  64. Awesome Lex. I really appreciate the critiques and am replying to you personally about them in a minute.
    "A 3 is not a "bad" rating, just a little below average if one's expectations are high. A 1 or 2 are bad. But you'll never see a 1 or 2."
    Maybe since we don't see the 1s and 2s I'm viewing the 3s as meaning this is pure crap since it's the lowest rating I see.
    "BTW, if you think I'm harsh, visit 4chan /p/."
    I grew up on unmoderated Usenet so I'm no strange to the psychology of unmoderated discussion. I haven't checked out 4chan but many of my friends do so I have a good idea of what you're talking about.
  65. I think Lex summed it all up with his American Idol analogy.
  66. Fred, I appreciate your response, and it makes perfect sense. I think that many people truly enjoy giving out a high rating for a deserving photograph. It's like a gift of sorts. And many members are reluctant to offer comments or critiques because they don't feel they're qualified, or have the writen skills necessary to offer anything of value...and numerous other reasons, so to be able to rate is their contribution for a job well done. Like you I often give out ratings in order to balance things out. For instance...if I find a photo that I would rate as a 5/5...and someone has given a 3/3 that I just don't see as being justifiable by any stretch of the imagination...I might give a 7/7...and that brings the average of those two rating to 5/5. And that holds true with giving a 3/3 when someone has thrown in a 7/7 to a really baaad photo. I usually do so in anonymity as well. No need to stir up trouble needlessly. I honestly try to rate with integrity as I know you do.
    Looking through your porftolio on numerous ocassions...I'm familiar with your style and taste to a degree, but if I may ask...how would you describe your particular aesthetic and taste in photography? I'm asking because, first...i always think it's interesting to hear photographers expound on their own work and what appeals to them about the work of others...and secondly, because I can't seem to put into words what I think or feel when I see your photogaphs...and that isn't a good or a bad thing...just the way it is. It's not unusual for me to have problems articulating my reaction to the work of other photographers...(we probably all do at times)but your pictures give me an especially tough time of it and I truly have no idea why! Now...after having written this, I'll have to go back and take another look at your pictures!
  67. I have put up about 20/26 of my photos for ratings. Out of all the ratings, usually 2-5 per picture, I have had 2 people only who have repeatedly given me constructive advice which can help me develop my skills, and another ten or so people once leaving a useful one-liner. The rest is a large dose of 5/5 and 6/6 'very good', which is sometimes merited, and often not, and of no practical use. It is much more valuable for someone with very high standards to point out the 10 aspects of an otherwise good shot that can be improved upon, I am not especially fussed about the numbers unless they are an important part of the analysis. Please do not stop rating truthfully and with generosity of intent, as those of us who are trying hard to improve our technique need and deeply appreciate it!
    Photo.net is currently the only place where i can get feedback from photographers who are better than me, so ego stroking aside, please keep giving the gift of constructive critiques.
  68. John--
    It's very hard to describe. Generally, I prefer to let my photos speak for me on that score. I will say that I tend to like photos that are creations rather than captures (and that doesn't mean photoshop creations, it means creations by the photographer with his or her vision and photographic tools). I tend to like photos where technique emphasizes content. I don't think there are objective standards for good technique that apply to all photos, though I think technique is very important and lots of practice has to go into it. I like photos where I find the kind of technique used expressing something pertaining to the subject or content of the photo (perhaps blown highlights, perhaps colors that bleed into each other, perhaps digital noise in some cases, and perhaps very crisp and fine tuned processing in some more classical cases). I like intimate photos and photos where I have a sense of the photographer and that they are expressing something personal rather than something "beautiful" or "pretty." I like seeing energy in a photo and it comes in different guises. I love when light is used expressively. My tastes are much more eclectic than my abilities, so my portfolio doesn't yet reflect a lot of my own tastes, nor do I think I will ever cover with my own photographs all the stuff I respond to in others' work. I often respond to pictures that take a while for me to fully grasp, ones that age well over time rather than ones that hit me with an immediate WOW, though there are many exceptions to this. I like stories and I like my eye to be moved around a photo. What others will often consider distractions (I find many people like "neat" or "orderly" photos), I often consider of value. I like photos that tell stories. And I love my own family snapshots but am not always up for seeing those of others, though sometimes I do love to look through a well-done family album of someone else. I also like to be challenged and don't always like to be made to feel good. I like some stuff that others consider a downer. I am drawn to dark sides.
  69. By the way, John, I don't always rate based on my taste. I try to figure out what the photographer is into, what he's trying to achieve, and rate based on how well I think he's doing. Often, before rating an individual photo, I will look at his portfolio or at least part of it. It takes a little longer that way, but I'm here to learn as well and that's part of my own learning process.
  70. I see much has happened on this thread since I last logged in!
    Yes, I agree with Lex. We do disagree on the anonymous ratings. John has me right to a T. And even though I have stopped rating, there were times that I rated a 3 (or lower) with my name attached. I never got retaliated upon (that I know of). In fact, I got personal e-mails asking what I didn't like, or follow-up comments on the image by the photographer. Oh, yes, did I mention that most of the time, I COMMENTED on WHY I gave a low score? :)
    I'm done anonymously rating. I haven't in nearly a year I think. Never again. If/when the critique forum separates into a choice of either ratings or comments/critiques, you will find me on the latter forever and ever, unless Adams, Arbus, Cartier-Bresson, Leibovitz and Josh Root personally appear to me in a dream threatening to glue a Kodak P&S to my face if I don't join the ratings group.
    I only ask for ratings for hoo-hahs. If it truly bothered me that much, I'd just check the "for critique only" box.
    And yes, I stand by my stance that anonymous ratings should be abolished.
  71. "And yes, I stand by my stance that anonymous ratings should be abolished."​
    Fair enough.
    I wrote a 500 word reply, let it sit for an hour, drank a beer, reviewed the reply and realized all I really had to say was... fair enough. I know you've considered this thoroughly and that's all anyone can ask. And I won't say my mind is completely set on any particular point of view.
  72. Personaly I have much more difficulty to understand the sincerity of high rates on some images than to understand and accept low rates (including on my photos). Given the exceptional number of images submitted I think everybdy should accept the right for other to find their image below average for whatever reason as much as they accept high rates again for whatever reason...in both cases the reasons are sometimes not so hard to understand and/or accept...
  73. Hi every body,
    we rate photos that deserve 7 by 7,
    and we do rate photos that deserve 3 by 3,( I hate the 3 too much on my photos)
    would any one give 7 for a shot that deserve 3 ?
    or would anyone give 3 for a shot that deserve 7?
    I wonder just who could do that ?
    deliberate under rating of good photos does not harm or underscore them,because of the high number of raters,and the high number of fair raters,
    if we are going to give all the shots above 4, then all the students will pass the exams and become a doctors.
    I think it is very obvious to me (at least) when I do not have high rating,or no rating at all,to understand that my shot does not satisfied the taste of the community.
  74. This argument goes on and on for one reason: The rating system here on photo.net sucks!
    Don’t get me wrong, I believe PN is one of, if not the finest site on the net, to display and view great photos. But, the tools we’re given to evaluate each other’s work are open to all kinds of problems.
    The number one problem is; and I’m just going to lay it on the line… There is way too much “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” going on!
    This talk of anonymous ratings being abolished could help but personally I would rather see anonymous postings instead. Let people with the guts post their photos with no fan base established. Then take the critisms based purely on the image itself and not necessarily who took it!
    And since I’m already ranting I might just as well say it… How the hell can someone rate a photo based on only aesthetics and originality? From what I’ve seen here on PN, most people can’t stray more than one denomination away when rating photos on two completely different topics.
    And could someone please explain to me what, “less than average” for originality even means? Especially when I’m still seeing sunsets on the beach rating sixes for originality?
  75. Major--
    I agree with you.
    I think anonymous submissions are the way to go, and I've suggested more than once over the years. I hope it's being considered.
  76. I think the problem with the rating system lies in the very subjective of nature categories that are to be rated - aesthetics and originality..... these lend themselves to the vagaries of subjectivity and personal taste, just as happens when one reads poetry or prose or views other art forms. Many people too often forget to leave personal taste at the door when the enter the ratings room. Interesting how often the same photo can get 3/3 and 7/7 (and the signed 7/7 is from someone who is a stranger)....
  77. Fred... I like the concept of anonymous submissions. No system will ever be perfect...but one flaw that comes to mind with this idea is that many photographers have such a recognizable style that even without a name attached many of us would recognize the photographer behind the shot as soon as they laid eyes on it. I don't know if it's within the rules to mention a member by name as an example...so I won't, but I'm thinking of a member who exclusively shoots female nude photographs...and I'd know his work from a mile away. I realize that many members are so diverse in style and subject matter that this wouldn't be an issue. Is this "flaw" that big a deal? Not sure. But I'd take most anything over the system we now have in place.
  78. Some people are never happy. For example, I received a nasty email for rating a photo 5/6, the person who sent me the email said that I should have rated the photo a 6/6, and the photo did not even belong to them!
  79. Christa, if you or anyone else ever receives a harassing e-mail from any photo.netter or any harassing, abusive or threatening message on a discussion forum on critique comment section, please report it to: abuse@photo.net
    It's essential to eliminate this type of harassment. In my opinion anyone who attempts to badger another photo.netter on an individual basis about ratings or critiques should be suspended or banned from the site. And some photo.netters have been banned for exactly that reason, including for badgering on behalf of someone else's photographs.
    As a moderator I'm accustomed to a certain amount of harassing e-mails - it comes with the turf - but no other photo.net member should have to put up with that.
    Disagreeing with another photo.netter within the context of a discussion online over a critique is not harassment. But in my opinion e-mailing another member to harass them or badger them is crossing the line.
  80. John
    It’s interesting that you should make this statement :
    “many photographers have such a recognizable style that even without a name attached many of us would recognize the photographer behind the shot as soon as they laid eyes on it”
    This is precisely what I’m thinking when I suggest an anonymous submission! Perhaps there are others out there that are capable of producing these works that are every bit as good (or better) as the ones that you/we have preconceived as trademark to another artist. And if you leave favorable remarks and/or ratings you would actually be accepting the photo and not just the artist.
    I’m reminded of a story by Eric Clapton… When the song Layla was released, it was not an instant hit… No one realized that Deric and the dominoes was actually Eric Clapton among others. As soon as people realized Clapton was a party to it, the song sky rocketed.
    I know this may seem a little naïve, but maybe it would be a nice change of pace to start judging photos for what they are and not necessarily for where they come from!
  81. no rating system might accomodate the vast spectrum of behaviors and expactations that the different people have in
    photo.net which is a fantastic photo dedicated site with social ties...the problems some have or seem to identify have no easy
    solutions and I personally think it is illusory to think there can be...mate rating and/or revenge/retailiation/bad behavior will
    always exists...the only thing that can be done is fight against unacceptable behavior from case to case and let people be what
    they are for the rest...

    If people want high quality qualified judgment on their work there are contests with jury, publication requests, workshop with pro
    etc...but I agree it's probably easier and less costly in terms of effort and time to get a couple of high rates from relatives one
    way or another to let you think you're a photographer (I say it freely because I am not a photographer and never will be) and
    then complain about the rating system in general...
  82. "...maybe it would be a nice change of pace to start judging photos for what they are and not necessarily for where they come from
    Major, I just woke up, didn't sleep well...so maybe I'm missing something from your message.
    I totally agree! My point (and maybe I didn't do a good job of expressinig it) was that because the style of some photographers is so easily recognizable that friends and mate rating buddies would still have the ability to find their pals photos and rate based on (as you said) where they came from...and not for what they are. As I said, not so cure that this is a major issue...as, how many photographers have a style that is that easily recognizable? Perhaps not so many as to greatly nullify the intent of anonymous submissions. Probably just a minor imperfection in such a system.
    As for Derik and the Dominoes...I knew who they were, knew Clapton was in the band, bought their first album. But...was so used to playing Cream on an absolute daily basis...an almost religious experieince, that I had a hard time dealing with this new band with it's dorky name. But Layla...knowing that it was Clapton and Duane Allman playing dual leads on the axe was great in itself, but the song could easily stand on it's own as a rock n' roll anthem for the ages...and it has. Still get chill bumps anytime I hear it. God I miss those days! ;) jg
  83. Hey John
    I shouldn’t have directed that statement toward you. My intentions were not to negate what you wrote or to suggest that your point wasn’t clear. I was merely thinking out loud and what you wrote triggered a thought. I am in wholehearted agreement with you on one thing for sure… Derek and the Dominos! Really? They couldn’t have come up with something better than that?
  84. I think that in reality people won't mind getting a 3/3 if they know that it is a 'genuine' 3/3. Unfortunately there are many clear cases when people are just being ar2eholes for the 'fun' of it. Trolling is ubiquitous throughout the internet, and there is no reason why it shouldn't happen here as well.
    Collective backslapping and/or hero-worship can be just as annoying as well. Some people can put anything up and they get a pile of marks. I have noticed ancedotally that there seems to be a correlation between the marks a person gives and the marks they receive. I suspect that testing could well show that this hypothesis as correct.
    Nude photos average much higher than street photos, that is also annoying especially as I don't do the former!
    I have only ever had 2 people be brave enough to give me a 3/3 with their name visible. And it actually made me think and realise that the photo in question was rather boring. I soon removed it.
    My suggestion for this issue would be to have some control over average ratings. If the average rating that the person is giving is over say 5 or under 4 (or whatever figure the mods feel appropriate) then they are warned or whatever.
  85. “no rating system might accommodate the vast spectrum of behaviors and expectations…”
    I shudder to think that PN has reached the very pinnacle of perfection with the current rating system.
    “to let you think you're a photographer”
    1) Pick up camera
    2) look through view finder
    3) make adjustments and release shutter… Congratulations! You’re a photographer.
    Now whether or not you can sell your photographs… that’s a whole different critter. I really doubt there’s a very large percentage of a people on PN making a living through their photography but, they are paying the yearly subscription fees and would like to believe that the little elves here at PN are endeavoring to make this site everything it can be! Personally I think they’re doing a pretty good job.
    And to whom it may concern… When you whine or grumble about others expressing an opinion… You’re complaining!
  86. agreed....apart maybe on the complaining generalisation, but I am not a philosopher and thus won't argue...I particularly enjoy the American idol analogy from Lex on the rating thing...
  87. Yea, I would probably retract that statement about complaining if I could. You're right, Lex does have a pretty good slant on it, in comparisons to American Idol...
    That being said (for those who don't suspect already) a couple of my many flaws include the fact that I’m thin skinned and egotistical… Not a great combination for photo hack throwing it out there for the world to chew on. Have a good day!
  88. Sorry, changed my mind about posting something. Enjoying the conversation.
  89. no irony about philosophy intended Fred...I understand your points and agree with them..it's just that I feel caring too much about the other's behaviour is well above my shoulders and everybody should feel responsible to make this place a worthy experience which it is anyway to my opinion...getting rates (good or bad) is a consequence but can never be part of the intention of someone serious about photography...besides and just to clarify, for me it's the intention that defines a photographer and not the collection of pretty images as pretty and as numerous as they can be...
  90. Ok.... so we have it on the table what people possibly think 3/3 means.

    How about 3/3 anon? Does it mean, "I think your photo stinks, but I don't have the gumption to rate it directly....yet at least give you a critique to tell you why I think it stinks" ?

    If someone wants to give me a 3/3, fine. But I think they should at least comment on what it was about the photo that they thought was so below average or what it was about the photo they disliked so much.

    It just doesn't make any sense to me why someone would even BOTHER to rate a photo 3/3 w/o leaving a comment on why they didn't like the photo. Unless of course, they had a less than positive reason for rating 3/3.

    IMO (and only my opinion) if you want to rate a photo AT ALL you should be REQUIRED to leave a comment. Yes, this may be tedious, and probably generate a lot of 6/6 Great work type of posts, but at least people's names would be attached to their rating, giving them more incentive to put thought into the photo and what rating to give .

    I realize that the anon rating system is probably there to get more plentiful and honest feedback. But I think that it has gone in the opposite direction. By being able to rate anonymously, you can rate however you want, with little thought . A non-anonymous rating system would probably provoke a little more thought when leaving ratings.

    Maybe I'm just missing something.

    NOTE: Thank you VERY VERY much to those P.Net users that do take time to write feedback and also do put a little thought into a rating before posting it. Thank you very much, your critiques have helped me greatly!
  91. Keith--
    A couple of things to consider.
    You've been very gracious here to thank those who've commented on your work. That's quite nice. I know you've mentioned in other threads how much you'd like feedback. We all like it. Part of the way the system works is dependent on give and take. For instance, having read your comment in one of the threads a while back, I looked at your portfolio and commented on one of your photos (Conscript) on June 16. You never responded to my comment, either by acknowledging my own comment on your photo's page or by continuing a dialogue with me about it or by coming over to my portfolio and commenting on one of mine. I certainly don't expect a tit for tat -- I commented on one of yours so you need to comment on one of mine -- but some give on your part would be nice. You have made only one comment on anyone's work since June 16 and only 32 in the whole time you've been here.
    I'm here mostly for dialogue. I am less interested in sole comments than I am in establishing some relationships with various photographers, whereby we begin to know each other, trust each other, and speak openly to each other about our photos. That takes a bit of work. Had you responded back to me with some substance, either about your own photo or portfolio or about one of mine, likely I would have engaged you again and we might have established some sort of dialogue and photographic rapport. As it is, you didn't give much in return and I fear you're reaping what you've sewn.
    Also, you've insisted on comments to go along with 3/3s but say nothing about comments to go along with 6/6s. It sounds as if you may only want negative rates to be backed up with justifications whereas you may be more willing to assume that the positive rates are genuine and well thought out. Doesn't it seem reasonable to want comments to back up positive and negative rates, thereby enabling you to assess the rate either way and whether you can truly learn from the positive or negative rate. Even when I get a positive comment, I go to the portfolio of the person commenting to put their taste and comment into context.
    Though I consider myself a philosopher, I didn't take negatively or personally anything you said. I admire both your photography and the things you contribute to me and to the site in writing.
  92. Keith--
    As for my last paragraph, in rereading your post I see you made it clear that ALL ratings should be accompanied by a comment. I guess I was focused on the emphasis of 3/3 in your first three paragraphs, but want to acknowledge that you did go further than that. Thanks.
  93. Hi Fred,

    I agree with everything you have said. Thanks for your response and for your comment on my photo. I have looked at your portfolio, and do plan on continuing a dialogue, its just more of a time issue. I really want to make sure to take in your portfolio before I leave any comments. I feel that I owe it to you to take the time to do that, rather than leaving a blind comment.

    Just to let you know, I have continued dialogues with most of the people who have critiqued my photos or left me comments. It is just a matter of having the time to get back to everyone. I don't know how anyone would be able to tell, but I have not been nearly as active on this site for the last couple of months. This is due to it being our busy season at work. I haven't had much time to make photographs either. Which is a shame, because this is one of my favorite seasons (in Montana).

    As far as how I view the rating system. I personally would prefer not to rate if I don't have time to also comment. When I was new to photo.net I did make quite a few ratings without comments, but that is because at the time I really did not understand the value of leaving a comment (for both the rater/commenter and photographer). Now I try to comment any time I rate. I feel that commenting/critiquing is more valuable than ratings numbers. Of course, this is just all my opinion (as I said before) and other people may feel differently. I don't think the ratings system is bad, actually I think it is great. I personally just feel that critiques are much more valuable.

    So why don't I post my photos for critique only? I would, but when you post for critique only, you do not get the same visibility as you do when posting for ratings. I could be wrong about this, but it seems that it has also been confirmed by others.

    Anyways, I'm not trying to trash on anyone or any part of the site. I think the site/community is great. If I didn't, I wouldn't come back or subscribe. I'm just trying to provide a little feedback, that's all.
  94. "It just doesn't make any sense to me why someone would even BOTHER to rate a photo 3/3 w/o leaving a comment on why they didn't like the photo."
    It's common practice on customer service surveys to require comments for low ratings. Personally, I like the idea of encouraging comments for 3/3 ratings. I want to know how to improve much more than I want to know what I'm already doing right.
  95. Greg--
    If someone leaves you an unaccompanied 7/7 all you know is that they think you are doing a lot right. But you don't know what that is. So nothing in particular is positively reinforced and you really haven't learned anything other than they like it. Pretty much the same, on the other end of the spectrum, as what you learn from a silent 3/3, simply that they didn't like it.
    Very often, I get comments along with high ratings or even words of praise that I learn a lot from. Because sometimes, even though someone likes a photo of mine they will say something that leads me to believe they didn't get what I was after and if enough people miss my point, I learn that I have to communicate what I wanted a little differently. Also, sometimes I will just learn something about "seeing" from what someone says, even something positive. It doesn't just tell me what I'm doing right, it communicates to me about photography. I learn from that kind of communication.
    People tend to think of critique as specific suggestions, which may be part of it. But a significant part of learning about making photographs comes from reaction and discussion as much as suggestion. Often, I want the photographer, especially when it's me, to consider other ways they or I might have approached a photograph. It's the photographer, not the critic, who should be doing the problem solving. The good critic will help with that process but not always supply answers. So, opening up a dialogue about various considerations can help that as much as telling someone, for example, to lighten up the foreground or crop out the telephone pole.
    Many 7/7s are given out because the rater likes photographs that are "beee-autiful" or "pretty." If that's the case, I want to know that. Because it's very important information. Not all 7/7s are equal. A good explanation will enlighten, not just please.
  96. "Pretty much the same, on the other end of the spectrum, as what you learn from a silent 3/3, simply that they didn't like it."
    I completely understand your point. Just to elaborate more on why I think explanations of 3/3s are more helpful for me:
    It's more likely that if I get a 7/7 then I'm going to have a good idea on what's good about an image of mine. Also, if I get a 7/7 I at least know I'm doing something right, and I can focus on the problems with my 3/3s because there's a good chance they're not the opposite of what was good about the 7/7. I just think I would learn much quicker knowing what to fix.
  97. Rating is a bit like making love when you are young. Either you meet a frigid one which is impossible to satisfy or you end up with one who simply can't get enough of it. Either way it leaves you feeling inadequate.
  98. Comments are great and everybody loves them. The problem is that who is going to waste their time commenting on an image they don't like and that they consider bad?
  99. Tim I don´t know if that is true and even more importantly on the other side of the scale there are a lot of people who state that they don´t comment on photos that they think are good. If you take all that to its obvious conclusion nothing much is left, is there.
  100. who is going to waste their time commenting on an image they don't like and that they consider bad?​
    People who are interested in helping others learn and become better photographers.
  101. Based on popular demand, I followed up Lex's critique on "DJ stuff animal."

    "Hey, daddy-o
    I don't wanna go down
    to the basement
    There's somethin' down there"
  102. Exactly Keith. Why are there forums here and why are they what I consider to be the best photography forums on the 'net? Because people want to help. I consider a request for critique the same as a question in a forum but with much wider scope. E.g., instead of asking "how's the exposure on this image" in a topical forum it's "can you tell me everything that's bad or good about this image?"
  103. "People who are interested in helping others learn and become better photographers." I like your optimism Keith! The photographers here on pnet that I have seen improve the most are the ones that got off their butts and did the following: study photography through books, classes, and workshops; went to as many photo galleries and museums to see good work in person, took a lot of photos and constantly experimented while doing so; and, last but not least, never gave up even though they didn't get good ratings or a lot of comments.
  104. Tim--
    I think your advice is really, really good and you stated it extremely well!
    Looking at photographs in galleries and museums and looking at them really carefully is so helpful.
    Also, beware of random advice on PNET. A lot of it is given. Seek out a few people that you might really develop a relationship with, especially ones whose work has at least something that you admire, and then try to work with them individually, by commenting on their work, asking questions, developing a relationship. I have a few people, both on PN and here in San Francisco who I show my work to regularly and we discuss it a lot. That helps a lot. Ratings don't really help me much. Random critiques are often not too valuable but, to be honest, several times a passing stranger said something very short and to the point that really made me see something significant and had a great effect on me. Those should be savored because they are rare.
    Considering this thread was about ratings, it seems like it's been a useful thread. That in itself says something very hopeful about those who have participated.
  105. It would be nice if the rating system could be a learning experience for the rater and photographer using some set of standards or basic criteria that form the foundation of good photography, such as ..in the process of rating the image based on these “criteria” (developed by PN), the rater gains some knowledge of photography and becomes a better photographer.
  106. Bingo, Tim. What I've observed is that people who get lots of ratings and lots of comments to go with their ratings on photo.net improve in one area: their skill at getting lots of ratings and lots of comments on photo.net. It's a uniquely insular and useless talent.
    I've see the same effect on other websites. Mostly it leads to big frog in little pond syndrome. Many sufferers of this syndrome believe they are improving in photography when they're only improving their social networking skills. The difference is that capability in photography is a transportable quality and will travel well. But unless the social networker also takes the same group of admirers to other websites, galleries or museums, he may find himself a small frog without very good swimming skills in a very big pond. Or they'll have to cultivate a whole new group of mutual admirers. But the big frog in little pond condition is good enough for a lot of folks and if they're enjoying themselves, that's fine.
    I saw an interesting example today of what happens in the real world to photographers who are more interested in developing their own vision rather than worrying about appealing to lots of people and fretting about justification for numbers with gratuitous comments. Someone on the b&w forum asked about Jacob Aue Sobol . I'd never heard of him before, so I Googled. It's fascinating to see what happens when a contemporary photographer pursues the craft in pre-web fashion: by getting out there and doing it without regard to current trends or trying to find the best way to be popular. And, quite fittingly, opinions about his work vary from admiration to bemusement. As it should be. Apparently he's either a nominee to Magnum or has been accepted. So far, I haven't seen a plaintive comment from Sobol exclaiming "But why don't you like my work, tell me whyyyy!?!? I can't understand unless you justify your dislike to meeeee! "
  107. Just when I think I have a clue, I look at the works of Margaret-Bourke White, Sebastiao Salgado, Ernst Haas, Minor White, Gregory Crewdson, Larry Clark, Mario Giacomelli, Roy DeCarava, Abba, Catherine LeRoy, Dana Stone, Harry Callahan, Diane Arbus and many others and realise, I have no clue whatsoever.
  108. Would it not be possible if a 3/3 rating was given then a default box could appear for a comment before it was administered? Quite often i see an obviously fantastic picture with really high ratings and some potato head has given it 3/3, this really does make me suspicious of the integrity of some people.
    Maybe make it a little harder by way of some positive and constructive means that if a picture is given a 3/3 then you "have" to make an obligatory comment, after all you must have pretty strong views against the picture in the first place, so let the raters bring on their wealth of advice as to why this picture is so poor

    If you are at the 7/7 end of Photography well you probably know it and can shrug off silly ratings, but at the sharp end it's a different matter if you don't know why your picture is a total disaster.
    I think it might make people think a little more before they hit the Atomic 3/3 Detonator that they will have to back up their rating with some words, even if it can be done anonymously just for this score because it is the lowest and people need a good steer.
    Probably a stupid idea but there you go, just an idea.
  109. if a picture is given a 3/3 then you "have" to make an obligatory comment, after all you must have pretty strong views against the picture in the first place, so let the raters bring on their wealth of advice as to why this picture has insulted their eyesight.
    That's absurd. The biggest reason I find an image below average is that it makes no impression at all--it's unengaging, uninspiring, uninteresting. It evokes no thought, no emotion, no reaction but boredom.
  110. I could not agree with you more Mike and it's probably why my recycle bin is always stuffed to the hilt. But i would rather if somebody rated my picture 3/3 and wrote "boring" as a comment because they had to write a comment than nothing at all, as i said this was an idea aimed more to help non Goldy cup people, of which that is most ;)
  111. Mike
    I notice you don’t spend much time rating photos
  112. If some members give a ratings like 4/4 and 5/5 for the same photo, it's alright. But some members give 6/6 and 5/5 and one member gives a rating of 3/3 for the same photo, then he may give an explanation. Without explanations the newcomers may feel frustrated.The coments about the plus points, minus points and how to make improvements are precious for the newcomers.
  113. But i would rather if somebody rated my picture 3/3 and wrote "boring" as a comment because they had to write a comment than nothing at all
    Plenty of people said that before photo.net started requiring comments on very low or very high ratings. Unfortunately, many people were even more upset by the comments than by the low ratings themselves. The consequent flood of revenge ratings, flame wars in photo comments, and nasty emails helped to bring about the anonymous rating system. Requiring comments was an experiment that has been tried already, and it failed miserably.
    I notice you don’t spend much time rating photos
    That's right. I spend my time on photo.net weeding out spammers, keeping "my forums" on track, trying to provide useful information, and doing other things more worthwhile than assigning numbers to random strangers' photos.
  114. Major, I can't speak for the other moderators like Mike, but I was active in the anonymous ratings queue from around March 2008 until May of this year. I stopped for a few reasons:
    • It's very time consuming and my main priority is looking after the forums I moderate.
    • I have no evidence but I suspect it makes some folks uncomfortable to have moderators rating and critiquing photos.
    • I have seen comments indicating that some people believe that only moderators or admin assign anonymous ratings.
    • I'm tired of the whining about ratings.
    It was an interesting experiment. I tried it for a year to educate myself about the system and why it was a continual subject of so much controversy. I even submitted my own photos for ratings, to be fair. I engaged in more conversations than I can count, all exactly like this one.
    But in the end it was no longer worth the effort. Most of the people who complain about the system haven't read the previous discussions. Some apparently don't bother to even read every post in a current thread before posting. So the same issues get rehashed endlessly, the most common of which is that there is some connection between ratings, critiques and lessons. There isn't. So we're perpetually stuck at "Ratings Complaints 101".
  115. "Without explanations the newcomers may feel frustrated."​
    Then don't ask for ratings. Ask for critiques. And if you don't understand the critiques, ask for lessons.
  116. "i see an obviously fantastic picture with really high ratings and some potato head has given it 3/3, this really does make me suspicious of the integrity of some people"
    This is the often seen and now typical complaint that 3/3 ratings inhibit the learning process despite ability complaintant's announcement that they are able to discern the motives behind the 3/3 ratings. Also typical is no such clamor for comments to be attached to other ratings.
    Since there is no need to worry about 3/3 ratings if one knows they are invalid (i.e. made by "potato heads"), the only reason anyone would complain then is due to the senstivities of the image poster. This brings us full circle to the reason ratings became anonymous. The fragile sensitivities of people posting images.
  117. Photography is not that much different from many sports -- if you want to improve then get a damn coach.
    - Cycling
    - Tennis
    - Golf
    - Running
    I've had excellent coaches in those disciplines, going back to the '80s. Guess what? It works. Photography is no different. Read the books and find a mentor if you are not naturally technical. [except I've always sucked at golf!]
  118. I deduce that being new to pnet somehow means that I’m completely incapable of discerning a useful rating system from one that’s sorely inadequate (or anything else for that matter) so I’ll stop “whining” and go to the corner and shut up. But before I do I’ll have this last remark:
    I suppose the best course of action in concern to the rating system is to abandon using ratings altogether, like so many others have already done. My car has been making a whining noise in the transmission but I suppose I’ll ignore that as well. The mechanic who’s been paid to fix it already would most likely be annoyed if I were to bring it back!
    Lex and Mike, I do appreciate that you guys have a lot on your plates and I do agree that having moderators rating photos may present a conflict of interest to some degree. But not everyone on pnet has carved little niches for themselves (no disrespect). I’ve read many of these rating “complaints” by others (not all are newbie’s) and I don’t see it that people are upset because they aren’t receiving more or better ratings. Most folks here are frustrated by the obvious mate rates and other rating games being played on pnet. Like them, I thought maybe if people of this community put their heads together something better could come of it. Have the powers that be here at pnet brought us the finest rating system possible? Do they even care? Or are they merely content to receive subscription dues and wish people would just shut the hell up!
    I guess after I’ve been here for several years I’ll probably gasp when this subject comes up again and again and… but who knows, maybe some other venue on the net will address these issues and I can give them dues instead. (Tongue in cheek)
  119. Pfft, ratings and "critiques" are of no importance whatsoever. They're of comedy value only.
    I mean, if you're really that desperate for attention then you may as well walk down the street asking people what they think of your shoes... The vast majority of people will simply ignore you (obviously), and those that stop to offer their opinions are probably complete nutters and are best avoided.
  120. Sorry, but the ratings issue wasn't worth reading 119 responses. I think Paul's got the matter well covered.
  121. people are upset because they aren’t receiving more or better ratings. Most folks here are frustrated by the obvious mate rates
    Once again, since the invalid rates are so "obvious" and identifiable, there's no need to be concerned about them. You can just ignore them. Problem solved. Unless your're in it for being part a photo contest or something.
  122. My apologies for bothering you guys with it. I suppose I expected to much from photo.net
  123. As often, all the confusions seems to come from either too pessimistic view (like Paul's which I respect anyway) or too much expectation (like
    Major said)...unless there are good reasons no experienced photographer will offer his time and experience to comment the image of a complete stranger...like Fred said the dialogue must be established one way or the other...I think it's already something if an experienced photographer is trowing 3/3 to an image he could have simply ignored...

    Why not just simply consider PN for what it is...a photo sharing site where everyboby can participate and/or even rate (from newbie to
    professionals)...like everywhere and everything you do it's your responsability to make it a valuable experience...you want rate absolutely, why
    not (Lex told the way to go)...you want honest intelligent comments: just start to offer honest intelligent comments yourself and after a while
    you'll have a group of people offering honest comments as well...as simple as that...

    Why would anyone be interested in your (or my) images if they are no reasons for it...like:

    1) they are exceptionally interesting

    2) you've built a relationship and mutual interest for commenting ranging from sincere passion for photography and exchange to
    backscrapping/mate ratings and everything in between...

    Everybody should determine for himself what he's looking for here...I don't think changing something on the rating might help you decide where
    you are and where to go...that's up to you...
  124. I suppose I expected to much from photo.net
    Major, there's a lot that can be gained from participating on photo.net, but if you expect a ratings system that will make everyone happy, then, yes, you're expecting too much. Admins have devoted a lot of time and effort over the years (and are currently working on major revisions) to "fix" the rating systems. While various abuses have been reduced by these changes, the changes have never satisfied everyone. I'm sure the next set of changes will lead to a host of new complaints. In fact, even though various changes have reduced problems of abuse, I don't think complaints about the ratings have ever gone down.
  125. nor will they. If it helps though you can redirect all 3/3's to me because I couldn't care less. Except, people will start to complain about the 4/4's next before you know it. I think it tells a lot if you felt forced at a certain point to make 1 and 2 rates invisible. But then, if ego exceeds talent you will always be encountering childish behaviour by a certain amount of people.
    Separating the rating from the critique section though will be a good start.
    "..you want honest intelligent comments: just start to offer honest intelligent comments yourself and after a while you'll have a group of people offering honest comments as well...as simple as that..."
    You're right Laurent, it can be that simple.
  126. "I suppose I expected to much from photo.net"
    Major, it's not PN. It's part of human behaviour, plain and simple.
  127. I understand… and I would like to thank everyone for opening my eyes. After all, we can’t legislate morality.
  128. major, post some photos and join the fun! Once you get your feet wet and get a little thicker skin, you may learn a thing or two.
  129. "'critiques' are of no importance whatsoever", it really depends on the writer. I value critiques from folks like Lex very highly. You're probably right about ratings, though.
  130. Comments are great and everybody loves them. The problem is that who is going to waste their time commenting on an image they don't like and that they consider bad?
    People who aren't totally selfish.
  131. For a slightly different perspective, there are some "top rated photos--all time" with over a million views that have their fair share of 3/3's mixed in with their overall ratings.
  132. "People who aren't totally selfish." You are killing me John! I bet you can't show me one comment you have made on an image that was really bad. Show time John!
  133. Tim--
    Some people do put their money with their mouths are:
  134. Thanks for pointing out that exchange, Fred. Gives me hope for the critique system. I've allowed my own judgment about the critique system to be distorted by a transient feeling of being burned out over the issue.
    Sometimes these discussion forum debates may give the misleading impression that there aren't many constructive critiques going on. Perhaps it's another example of satisfied customers not voicing their opinions.
  135. Fred, you obviously missed my point. The photo John so eloquently commented on is not a bad photo according to the ratings(over a 4 average, no 3/3's even). I would like to see expamples by anyone where they have taken the time to comment on really bad photos (3/3 average). I just don't think it happens very often.
  136. Tim--
    Sorry, I didn't realize you were being that specific. I have, indeed, missed your point. Good luck with your photography.
  137. I bet you can't show me one comment you have made on an image that was really bad. Show time John!
    Tim...i think you're quibbling a bit over the definition of "bad". Granted...this particular photo wasn't "that bad"...but I could find you plenty of 3/3 shots that I've commented on...if you need me to further dispel your assumption. And since Fred was nice enough to weigh in on this...I feel certain that he has commented on many "bad" photos as well...and so have many others. Your mistake was assuming that others think and act as you do.
    I just don't think it happens very often.
    I think it happens more often than you think...but I'm certain, not as often as it should.
    Comments are great and everybody loves them. The problem is that who is going to waste their time commenting on an image they don't like and that they consider bad?

    I don't think that Fred missed your point...nor did I. You made it abundantly clear that you feel it is a waste of time (yours as well as others) to comment on images you don't like and think are bad. If I'm to believe your words... then I think that you're the one missing the point. Offering comments and critique that are intended to help people take better pictures isn't a waste of time.
  138. I think we all know that ratings and "critiques" are largely driven by self-promotion, self-interest, ego, conceit, sycophancy, politeness and plain, simple boredom. Add a little good, old-fashioned jealousy (and joking around...) to that lot and then the fun really begins... :)
    Hardly crimes against humanity in my book - that's just human nature, after all - but I think you'd have to be remarkably naive to take ratings and critiques all that seriously.
  139. You ask for a critique -- you get one. Use it as you want to. If it makes sense, use it -- if not, forget it. What's the problem?
  140. "but I could find you plenty of 3/3 shots that I've commented on." Still looking, haven't seen any by anybody.
  141. Sometimes being wrong is better than being desperate to be right at any cost. And almost always, the more we try to save face...the more we just end up looking pathetic.
  142. Just show me one, by anybody!
  143. Tim, I had to dig through my list of ratings which is difficult because there's no sort or search parameters to speed things up. But I did find at least one photo I rated 3/3 via the anonymous queue and added a comment:
    I mostly used the anonymous queue for speed and because that's what I thought people wanted when I got back into the game last year. So most of my critiques and comments were generated via that process. Considering the gripes about "cowardly" anonymous ratings of anything less than 5, (I guess anonymous 6's and 7's are "heroic"), I'm no longer sure it matters whether a viewer explains the reasons for a 3/3 rating, whether anonymous or attributed. Because a common rebuttal is "What makes you qualified to even rate or criticize my photo at all?" So there's always something to whine about.
    I'll see if I can dig up a few other comments or critiques attached to ratings lower than 4, but most will have been generated via the anonymous queue since that's what I used most often.
  144. Oh, I'd nearly forgotten one of my favorites. I already mentioned this one earlier in this thread. According to my ratings breakdown record I rated it 1/1, something I haven't done very often. And I explained why, which was not considered acceptable by the photographer. The rating wouldn't have shown up anyway, whether via the anonymous or attributed queue, since is was below a 3. But now my stinky laundry has been aired. I'm worse than an anonymous 3/3 coward. I'm a dirty rotten 1/1 scoundrel.
    Here's one by a very popular photo.net photographer that I rated 4/4 and explained why, altho', again, being via the anonymous queue the rating is not attributed to me. At the time one of my goals was to clarify the purpose of the News/Journalism category, which was being filled with photos that ranged from only marginally related to anything newsworthy (which I considered honest mistakes) to completely unsuitable for the category and obviously a ploy to game the ratings system by planting photos in a seldom-used category to make it easier for mate rating cliques to find and rate via the anonymous queue, which is harder to use for cherry picking.
    Anyway, I'm pretty sure I've also commented on photos that I rated 4 or lower via the attributed system, but it takes too long to sift through my ratings history since there's no way to search via custom parameters.
  145. I don't know enough about ratings. I thought as long as I was logged in anything I rated had my name attached?
  146. Depends on which queue you choose, Greg. If you rate via the Critique Forum or any of its variants, your ratings will be visible to anyone else who looks.
    But if you rate via the "anonymous" Rate Photos queue, your numerical ratings are hidden from everyone but you and authorized persons within photo.net administration - which, BTW, does not include most moderators like me - most of us are just regular Joes like yourself where ratings and critiques are concerned. You can review the ratings you've given others via your "My Workspace" page after you've logged in. It's a hassle to wade through once you've rated hundreds or thousands of photos, tho'.
    Either way, you may still offer written comments or critiques which will be attributed to you. This is one of the overlooked features of the anonymous Rate Photos queue: it's very efficient for viewing, rating and even critiquing lots of photos. Another advantage: it minimizes the cherry picking factor. Photos are presented one at a time.
    The Critique Forum queue and its variants seem to invite more cherry picking. I have no data to back this up, but tendencies seem to indicate that most viewers select only the photos that appeal to them in some way (including appealing to the viewer's desire to yell "WTF were you thinking when you took this photo?!?"). It probably also promotes selectivity in terms of name recognition. So photo.netters who post lots of photos, rate and critique lots of photos receive lots of ratings and critiques due to name recognition.
    Personally, I find the anonymous Rate Photos queue more democratic and less prone to favoritism. That's one reason I tended to be very critical of what I perceived as attempts to abuse the system through mate rating, such as by deliberately miscategorizing photos in low-volume genres to make them easier for buddies to find each other. So some of my "critiques" were more along the lines of requests for clarification such as "Why is this completely unrelated photo of an HDR landscape/etc. in the News/Journalism category?" Some of those were honest mistakes but some were blatant ploys to game the system.
  147. Tim, You've already been given an example...but apparently it wasn't good enough...or should I say, "bad enough". At first you were asking for a really bad photograph that someone had commented on...but then you moved the goal line back and requalified your statement to only include photographs with a 3/3 average. I could be wrong...but I doubt you'll ever find a 3/3 average on even the worst of photographs posted on PN. I know I've never seen one. Solid 3/3s isn't likely to happen and I think you would realize this is you give some honest thought to it. We all know that even the photos we deem to be the worst will likely get at least a rating or two that are obviously too high...and that doesn't mean that those pics are suddenly "good" photographs...it may just mean that someone felt sorry for the poor guy/gal who posted it...or it may be a mate rate situation. And...some people feel that they're offering encouragement by rating higher than is deserved. Whatever the reason...having an average of 3/3s...with no higher ratings mixed in just isn't a reasonable criteria for determining if a picture is bad ...or not.
    I can tell you this...for what it's worth, it hasn't been long since I commented to a photographer that the photo he posted was the "worst photograph" I'd ever seen...using those exact words. I told him why...and he responded positively. I don't recall what his ratings on that shot were...they weren't good, but according to your criteria for what determines a "bad" photograph...even a single 4/4 would have disqualified the shot. I tried to find this particular photo/comment...but apparently the photographer deleted it, which is what I suspect that most people do when they have a shot that really gets "drilled". I recently gave a pretty harsh critique and the photographer e-mailed me to say that he would be deleting the photograph...and would contact me after a re-take. The point is...many, probably the majority of bad photographs and the accompanying comments get deleted. Doesn't mean that they weren't posted and critiqued...just means they're no longer there to view.
    I agree with the fact that many people consider it a waste of time to comment on photographs that are "really bad and they don't like"...but I don't agree that no one comments on such photographs. Of greater importance...it's simply a shame that anyone would have that attitude...and if I thought that way...I'd be embarassed to tell anyone...
  148. Wow, thanks Lex. There's little I hate more than people who try to game the system, be it online or in the real world.
  149. John, this thread is getting far too long, you should start another post and expand on the thoughts you have expressed here.
  150. need i remind you Tim...you've certainly done your part in keeping it going with your requests for examples of comments on "bad" photos. have a good day....Tim.
  151. P.S...
    Tim, despite our disagreements...I sincerely appreciate your photographs. Lots of great work in your portfolio....John
  152. 3/7 simply means the photo is in the opinion of the rater not as good as an average photo.net gallery image. People generally post their best images here. Therefore a 3 is merely a hint that the photographer isn't standing out here with this image. It obviously doesn't mean that the photo is "bad", it's just less than the average portfolio image here.
  153. In April I was slammed with 3's. I had been hit on every photo with a multitude of 3'. I did complain and Mr. Lex DID look into it. The administrators found that person or persons had set up bogus accounts and were pumping in 3' to upset the members. The bogus 3's were corrected and the bogus members were taken care of. I have not had a problem with 3's since............
    Until now.
    I have been getting slammed with 3's again on every photo, even the ones that all my other ratings are 6's. And.... I get these 3's even before I am done uploading them for ratings. I do immediately delete the photos from my workspace, then do re-upload them again after the rush of 3's is gone.
    Now.... what seems to be the factor that appears to set off this chain of 3's against me? It is always after I have taken the time and rated some photos, which I did the same day as I received my 3's as an alleged on my part as apparent punishment for my ratings.
    I am just making this point and observation as this has occurred twice recently.
    Thus, I have resigned myself to ignore the ratings I receive and ONLY give reliance and consideration to actual critiques of my photos. I do believe that critiques are very valuable in my learning photography and my own development.
    I think there will always be someone who loves to piss some photographers off. And there will always be a photographer who, including myself, that relies on the ratings as a way of improving our work.
  154. "...Mr. Lex DID look into it..."​
    I don't actually have access to any data or insider info to determine whether ratings are legitimate or bogus. All I did was forward the info to folks in admin who do have that access.
    Regarding the anonymous low ratings, while there are occasional abuses, often these are nothing more sinister than honest ratings from clueless people who honestly do not understand or appreciate certain genres of photography. For example, street photography never has been and never will be a universally appreciated genre. It will always be regarded with some suspicion by those who consider it an invasion of privacy, and as little more than unskilled snapshots by those who appreciate only photos of unpeopled decorative scenes.
    Similarly, those of us who have seen tens of thousands of all-the-same landscapes tend to be bored of that genre and may give lower than average ratings, while we crave something fresh and new in the genres that others dismiss as mere snapshots.
    Mostly, it's just an inconsequential popularity contest. The only way ratings can help anyone to improve is to improve in unqualified popularity by deliberately pandering to current pop trends. At the moment, that's anything with overcooked HDR, pseudo-HDR, Lucis fx, tonemapping or overdoing the "clarify" filter repeatedly until saturation resembles 1960s psychedelic poster art, regardless of oversharpening artifacts, halos and just plain ugliness. Several years ago the trend was Velvia, polarizers, colored graduated density filters and orangey pix of rocks in the Southwestern U.S.
    Nobody knows what the next trend will be. But the key to high ratings has always been: (1) ride the wave of the current fad; (2) nudes.
  155. Well, Mr. Lex.... I am sorry is mis-stated. However, it was your effort that corrected a big bogus injustice against us all and I must give you the credit even if you do not want it.
    And yes, I do agree that photo trends vary depending on acceptance. I, as one who is still searching for my own, also vary my photography subjects while finding my niche.
  156. The way I see it, I think if one is going to rate another, then a reason should be given for the rating and possibly a suggestion for improvement. Just like any internet site, there are those who have nothing else going on in their lives and so get some sort of sick satisfaction being unkind and belittling others to make themselves feel superior. There are also those who abuse the system and get 15 family members to join and rate their photos. Those people care nothing about photography or improving, they just want to play a popularity game. I will be perfectly honest, just as I was when I joined up; my son is a member here...he doesn't rate my photos and I don't rate his; in fact, I don't rate anyone because I don't agree with the way the system is set up.
    I comment on photos but say nothing negative because I am a novice and do not feel qualified. Of the photos I comment on, some are very artistic, some aren't...but there is a sort of beauty in each one because of how it speaks to me personally. Some may be funny, some eerie, sad or just down-right gorgeous. Some photos on this site may be absolutely artistically and technically beautiful, but I won't comment on them because it seems to be lacking the emotion that would draw me to it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so I find it difficult to rate one's interpretation of something they saw as beautiful if it doesn't appeal to me.
    I think it would help members if the rating system were changed to include reasons for the ratings and made to be more specific. I think knowing why always helps in any kind of situation where one is wanting feedback. My children are very gifted musicians; when they went on auditions, if someone placed higher at least we knew why. Many times my daughter would come in second instead of first although she was technically and artistically superior. The judges' reasons were her lack of confidence; they needed someone to command the stage and lead the section. It helped her immensely to know why she came second. She worked on improving her self-image and confidence and then there was no stopping her!
    As I said, I don't agree with the way the rating system is set up and think it should change. Some people care about originality and others don't. Me? I just want to take a quality photo with my little power shot camera, and learn, learn, learn. In my dream world I would have a studio with shelves full of great lenses and great cameras and I could play all day. The reality is, I have bills to pay so I am just trying to learn and do the best I can while still having fun.
    Btw, John Galyon...Aw...c'mon...let's hear your theory about people like me who accept ratings but don't give them. I gave my reasons...I can take it.
  157. Angela, I just found your comments...as I hadn't checked on this thread for a few days and thought it had run it's course.
    To be honest, this thread is far too long for me to read back over everything I've said...trying to find a connection (if there is one) to your asking me to express my theory...lol. Tell me, do you have some expectation of what I might say? You seem to think that I'll disagree with your reasons for accepting...but not giving ratings. Fill me in? john
  158. Angelas...on second thought, I'll respond without context to your "challenge". ;) I'll start with a question. Am I correct that you don't rate as a protest of a ratings system you don't agree with...that you'd like to see changed? That seems to be the only reason I could find in which you addressed your choice not to rate.
    As for my theory about people who don't rate...but accept ratings? I have no difficulty understanding your reasoning behind not rating...but I can't say that I understand your reasoning behind accepting ratings. If the system is flawed to such a degree that you see no purpose in rating...what would be the purpose in accepted ratings that are so flawed by "the system"? I simply don't understand your reasoning.
    The only time I've had a problem with those who don't rate, but accept ratings is when one of those members begins characterizing people who put any importance on ratings as being pathetic people who need constant affirmation of their worth as human beings..via the ratings system. Frankly, I just don't understand why anyone who thinks the ratings system has no value...or who would mock those who do think it has valuable...yet gladly accept ratings on their own photographs. Perhaps I'm missing something...but it seems clearly hypocritical. If their are reasons that I might not be considering...I'd be glad to correct my stance. I've actually asked for such reasons in the past...but no one was ever willing to offer me a coherent explanation.
  159. John,
    You are correct about my reasons why I don't rate. As far as why I accept ratings: I accept them because it is the person's perogative to choose to rate me. I could refuse ratings but some people don't want to take the time to write a comment. I prefer to write comments. I don't agree with people leaving a low rating and not explaining why; I think it serves no purpose and no education or improvement can come of it. That's all.
    I wasn't really challenging you anyway, I singled you out because I was just being a smart-ass and having fun. :)
  160. it


    Ratings say more about the rater than the 'ratee'. They don't help for making you a better shooter.
    Ignore them and go take some photos.

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