COW instead of POW.

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by phineas_tarbolde|1, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. I'm sure this has been raised before, but instead of calling it POW (Photo of the Week), which implies that it is favored by the elves as a "good" photo, it should be called Critique of the Week.
    As soon as it is labelled POW, I think there is a bit of hesitancy to give it any criticism that may be deemed "negative". Hence instead a lot of the messages left are: "Congratulations", "Nice work", "Good photo" etc. etc. etc.
    Even though the elves has stated that even baseless "praise" is not enough...that what most people seem to leave, in terms of spite of the "rules", are "baseless" praise on the forum.
  2. Phineas, I would like to offer my photos as the subjects of your pent-up criticism, that you feel compelled not to leave on the POW. JR
  3. Phineas, you will find among the comments on most POWs some insightfully critical and even some quite harsh and negative comments. There are some very good discussions over there. Other PN members seem not to let the title POW get in the way. No matter what something on PN is called (and on all the Internet) and no matter what instructions are given, this is too public a place to control or want to control everyone's behavior. There is a lot of picking through and choosing to be done on the Internet. Offer what you can to the POW discussions and get what you can out of them and ignore the comments that are of no use to you.
  4. Forget it. I was gonna say something, but there ain't no point. Go take pictures and forget jabbering about it. Most people never deal with critical or negative things because their lives are filled with enough hardship and drudgery or whatever as it is. If you're an artistic type that really wants to evolve and you need some serious feedback from serious people, I think you have to contact people you admire, and maybe you'll get an audience. Otherwise its hard to really grapple, cause people don't generally like that kinda thing.
  5. And, as a sidebar. I wish they would start a Philosophy of Photography forum for posts on the philosophy of photography and a Casual Conversations or Site Feedback forum for discussions about site issues and member behavior. Oh . . . wait . . . !
    [Note: this thread was originally incorrectly posted to the Philosophy forum. By the time you read it, one of the moderators may have moved it to a more appropriate location.] Moderator: moved.
  6. POW is just what it is, a selection made by some Photo.Netters (known as elves I believe) who have their own subjective values. If we knew with each presentation who these persons were and their own aesthetic in regard to photography, you might have a starting point for a critique or discussion, but does it really matter? All selections are subjective, and I remember seeing one critique that complained that bird photos were the darlings of some reviewing elves and led to a high percentage of the POWs. Whether this is true or not, is not very important. It is a selection by a group of Photo.Netters, but not all. Constructive critiques are probably best made to the portfiolios of the photographers who capture your interest, in any case.
  7. And yes, most of the POW entries are of interest and worthy of some admiration, whether stated or not, but as Fred says, Casual conversations would seem to be a better fit for this post.
  8. Which is proof that people who live in glass internet forums . . .
  9. While your pow cow discussion might belong in another post, more to the OP's point I believe is criticism and the general lack of it having any edge, or value. I think that would be an important discussion for the Philosophy of Photography and could entail many considerations regarding growth, purpose, audience, and even the dynamics of criticism and what it stands for outside of the personal.
  10. Kenneth, I agree with the philosophical aspect of what you're talking about and if the OP wanted to address that I'm sure it would be welcome. Generally, this particular OP is more concerned with the running of the site and naming conventions, things like that, which is why I suggested it would be more appropriate in another forum. I sense I'm not projecting here, because of past history, but if I am I do apologize.
  11. Fred. Yes, you've got it right. I'm new here and seem to be terrible at understanding what people are after. I got them anxiety jittery blues, and need to calm down, and read more sloooowly. On the upside however I did follow the links to your photographs and found many enjoyable and solid works. The issue of feedback and criticism, and where it does and doesn't belong, is interesting, but best left for another time.
  12. Phooey. I confess I find nothing to object to about the way it's handled now. It may not be a 'prize' but it's certainly an 'honor' and the emphasis in my opinion belongs on the photograph, not the comment.
    I may never get a POW, but I might have a COW or two
    [sorry, somebody had to do it]
  13. Time magazine heard the same arguments for decades regarding its Man of the Year cover stories, especially their January 2, 1939 issue. And for decades they explained it wasn't a reward or award, but a recognition of one of the most significant, influential and newsworthy persons (or entities, in the case of the Jan 3, 1983 issue) of the previous year.
    I'm sure this has been raised before, but instead of calling it POW (Photo of the Week), which implies that it is favored by the elves as a "good" photo...​
    Yes, and every week the POW manages to feature excellent, insightful criticism despite the perceived shortcomings in nomenclature and mistaken perceptions about the intent of the POW.
    One problem inherent to micro-managing an ostensibly open discussion or critique session is that it tends to discourage participation. If comments you perceive as baseless praise (or gratuitous negativity) are prohibited or deleted, there's a risk of alienating a member whose ability to discern and critique photographs is still developing. Perhaps that member isn't as articulate in English as in their native language, so a positive critique that is nuanced and insightful in their own language may read as mere puffery in the translation to English.
    Imposing higher standards for artistic criticism has certain merits, but there would need to be some tangible reward for those who take the time to offer critiques that meet those higher standards. Under the current model for most web discussions, including critiques, there are few tangible rewards other than those inherent to any shared community experience. Those who offer well considered critiques are generally recognized and respected by the community.
  14. Lex, something to point out is that the POW discussion used to be very astutely moderated by Mary and she routinely deleted one-line comments that were mere praise or mere negativity. I miss her. It did keep the POW forum the one place on PN where there was an insistence on more substance. I wouldn't want to see that kind of moderation all over, but to have ONE forum where it occurred was, indeed, a breath of fresh air. Mary would often send an email to the member whose post she was editing or deleting with an explanation and she had a grace about her than I'm sure most people accepted willingly. I agree with you that changing the name of the forum won't help with the kinds of posts that have little substance to them. And, since moderation is hard to come by these days for understandable reasons, I think the suggestion to simply pass over unhelpful critiques is probably worth consideration by the OP.
  15. I miss her.​
    Nobody misses Mary's contributions to more than I do.
  16. During my first year at PN Mary used to delete portions of my potw comments fairly regularly. This action was always followed by a a courteous email, explaining which lines I had crossed as well as occasional praise for other possibly useful portions of my comments. It got to be that I could reread my comment before posting, figure out what parts Mary would have deleted and delete them proactively. Beyond her ability to make the potw forum a wonderful education for anyone reading the comments she also, at least for myself, made it a great place to hone the skills of critique. Each time I read another " wow great shot" comment or " this sucks cuz I say so" I remember Mary and miss her.
  17. Thank you Gordon, Josh and Fred... I miss you guys too! I've moved to AZ and am doing photography for a local real estate agency, am pres of the HOA and have been busy decorating our new home.
    I have not had time for but if some time opens up in the future, I may return even if perhaps a day or two a week to help Josh out.. Just not in the cards right now.
    I was given very specific instructions when I took over the moderation of the POW from Philip and Patrick. The POW was to be a serious critique forum. It was to be a place where people could count on honest and informative feedback as well as a place were newcomers could learn how to critique by following the comments. I don't know how things are going there now or who is the mod - but perhaps people can get together and ask the moderator if they are willing to clean up any grandstanding and praise or neg feedback that is void of a critique and ask the contributors to give a reason why they did or did not like the image...
    I want to tell you that Josh pointed me here and I was so very touched when I read your comments. It's awfully nice to be appreciated.. Especially because every so often I'd get a really nasty email about my delete finger ;-) 98% of the time the contributor would happily or grudgingly see our point with regard to that special forum and how it was supposed to operate - but occasionally I'd be called every name in the book. I really never took it personally but reading this thread - it made it all worth while.

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