Photography is art and art is subjective. So why argue about it. And then again why not?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by GerrySiegel, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. I’ll just add, Tim, that I certainly won’t offer you any future critiques of any kind, whether in a forum or anywhere else on the net. It’s clearly a waste of my time to do so. But, I will feel free to offer criticism to others, if I’m so moved, anywhere they publicly share a photo outside of No Words, the one place back and forth dialogue about photos is obviously not allowed.
  2. "I'll say it your comments, criticisms and opinions toward the subject of the OP, not toward individual commenters (unless they specifically ask for it)."

    NO? is your answer?

    I believe what I stated above is a PN forum rule and pretty much what's expected in other internet forums. If all that anyone can contribute to a discussion is opinions on what someone else says, then factual information will never rise to the top.

    Fred, I guess you're not as sensitive toward other's feelings and intent behind what they contribute in forum discussions as I thought.

    I have never asked you personally for a critique in all my ten years as a PN member so I don't know why you have to make it a point about no longer providing them to me.

    And you're basing your judgement on a what you perceive as a flaw in the portrait restoration on a downsized for the web jpeg. You haven't seen what it looks like full resolution.
  3. Tim, I suggest you report what you consider to be my transgression to a moderator and see if they agree. If they do, they might delete that post where I dared make a suggestion about the cheek in your portrait. I am now going to put you on IGNORE, which should hopefully put an end to any further communication between us at all. Bye.
  5. LOL. Fred turning the tables. But it's good that you're finally seeing the light about the safe space and political correctness BS.
  6. Critique does call for more moderator attention. So keeping it out saves moderator involvement. I haven't seen a moderator seriously engaged and activde since Lex was on board. I hope I exaggerate!. I really do. Maybe we need auto pilot moderation. Beyond the six dirty words algorithm. One day we will have internet Gorts to do this thankless job. Gort (The Day the Earth Stood Still) - Wikipedia
  7. Gerry, do you think what I wrote about Tim's portrait in the other thread needed editing or deletion? Please be specific. Thanks.
  8. To save you time and hassle, here's the post in which I critiqued Tim's kodachrome portrait. Tell me what could have used editing or deletion due to offensiveness, in appropriateness within a photography forum, or violating PN guidelines. I am open to learning and always open to criticism of the substance or tone of my own critiques. Thanks again.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  9. Fred, although you asked Gerry, I would like to answer this as well (in the spirit of giving well intended opinion even when not asked for).

    No it doesn't warrant moderation (IMO). You commented on a photo that was posted in a public forum. Your tone of comment was respectful, and it was clear that was a passing comment, to make the creator aware of something he may have missed in an otherwise great editing. It didn't feel like, you wanted to distract from the main discussion or prolong the discussion on Tim's photo. In a 'Casual Conversation' thread, I welcome occasional off topic comments, because that allows the discussion to breathe and explore new grounds. IMO, a good moderator should be aware of that aspect as well.

    That said, you and Tim both seemed to have concluded the argument over the issue, but the feud seems to be starting again, and this has the potential of a long drawn conflict that can easily overshadow the main discussion. If that happens (which very well may not, since we all have become wiser over the years), moderation may become necessary, not for the original comment, but for the feud that ensues.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    Fred G likes this.
  10. <Gerry, do you think what I wrote about Tim's portrait in the other thread needed editing or deletion? Please be specific. Thanks.>

    Fred, I did not notice anything unseemly/ amiss at the time and now see nothing that would have given me myself heartburn.

    My comment on moderation goes back to the original topic of no critique and why that forum on FB chap wanted to have no hassles on his watch. Hassles being something to ruin the appetite for even lively discussion or debate if you will. Stifle disagreement and what is left, after all, but talking to one's self.....editorial thought on the whole business. It depends of course on the purpose of posting any image. We have enough show and tell stuff. And this PN certainly has or had educative goals. Developing a tougher skin is not a bad thing at all for all.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    Fred G likes this.
  11. Supriyo and Gerry, thank you both for your replies. The reason I came back to the subject is that I thought Gerry's comment on moderation was, in fact, referring to our PN situation here. Thanks for clarifying what you were referring to. I think Supriyo is right and at least my part in the specific critique discussion will conclude here.
    Supriyo likes this.
  12. I think Internet forums by and large are tools for discussion and it's hard to have real discussions if expressing an opinion is frowned upon. I do enjoy "No Words" as well, but if that were the only type of content on PN, I'd find somewhere else to go.

    But as Fred said, it depends on the relationship between those critiquing and those receiving the critiques. Plus context matters. Sometimes praising what is good is better than pointing out what isn't. And sometimes just the opposite is true. After 20 years of marriage, I'm still learning that the former is true more often than the latter.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  13. I agree. My point is, such subtleties in personal choices of receiving critiques do not work as well in an internet forum, as they do in a personal relationship. I think, when I am exposing myself or my work in a public forum, I have to have an awareness of what it entails, that my work will be received and reacted upon by people of different tastes, attitudes and philosophies. Additionally, I have to be aware that I may not like all of them and (this is the most important part), I have almost no control over what people write about my works. The only alternative I can think of is to not post.
  14. The only moderators fully qualified to maintain a free and open forum are its participants.
    Give and take with a measure of patience, humility, and humor.
    Good conversations are worth that.
  15. To sort of address both Gerry's topic and "the Tim & Fred feud" I can only add the following.

    In a forum of well established intelligent individuals who come to know other member's motivations through years of posting history tend to develop expectations and understandings of intent behind each other's decision to provide an unsolicited critique. If there hasn't been one then why now? Something seems amiss.

    I don't think much can be helped or gained critiquing member's photos with this level of personal familiarity. It's an established environment that can easily be misread if one or the other decides to change their normal routine and thus motivation behind why they posted with the understanding that person has exhibited a level of intelligence of knowing better and making smart decisions in the past on what, when and where they decide to provide an unsolicited off topic critique to another long established member.

    Some people in social groups like this understand the other should know better and, when they do the opposite, it points to some other perceived personal issue, animosity or the possibility that person just has a bug up their arse that particular day.

    When one of the members is usually ignored by and large while another is quite active in intelligent give and take among many members, the one primarily ignored is quite comfortable with that situation and has become used to it. So when the active give and take person who doesn't frequently offer feedback voluntarily to the ignored one does so but on a minor petty point that has nothing to do with the topic, the ignored person perceives something is up especially since the feedback is off topic, doesn't help and is from someone who isn't a proven authority on the subject (i.e. photo restoration).

    So really how useful is a photo critique when it's given by people who know each other only in online discussions where there's really no emotional skin in the game and no proof that the critique helps or is appropriate? I haven't seen one photographer make better photos on account of a critique in my ten plus years online.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
    marksmith likes this.
  16. So this site has quite a few retired educated doctors, lawyers, programmers, college professors, etc all "enthused" in photography as a hobby with maybe a few pursuing it professionally. Reading some of the critiques and forum discussions you'll find quite a few gravitate toward those that write in an intelligent style as if they're English Lit. majors showing them special attention like they're talking only to them with soothing speech about their photo submission. Clearly there is an expression of enthusiasm that both share and thus both feel good about the exchange. But is a photo produced that reflects an improvement as a result? I haven't seen it.

    And besides I don't think anyone providing this level of feedback has enough time and energy to do this for everyone and so some folks don't get the same level of attention. That might create problems. Some may feel slighted or ignored because maybe they can't write like English Lit. majors and all they want is to know how to make a better photo when in fact those kind of heavy conversations have nothing to do with photography but merely act as a back rubbing session between educated people who maybe aren't even aware that this is what's really happening.
  17. Re Mark's comment. "
    The only moderators fully qualified to maintain a free and open forum are its participants.
    Give and take with a measure of patience, humility, and humor."

    Well yes and no, Mark. Some of us have humility and humor. I myself have a lot to be humble about and my humor gets on my wife's nerves more than now and then. ( Oh gosh has it been over 50 years ? ) Patience is best after long sessions of meditation but who has time. Internet is a free fire zone. Cluster bombing from 30, 000 ft mostly. The sense that there is someone in charge who will intervene and keep dialogue from becoming tempest will in itself keep tempest under control. Now, it is oft argued that a little spirited bare knuckle stuff is kind of good sport. I find it does not help my reflux so I avoid it in web talk. Most of the time. I do not think that Tim can be mind melded with Fred for what it is worth. But we all know that. I recall how Lex Jenkins gave a frank appraisal of one fellow's general bitchiness- that he may took for cleverness- and sort of ameliorated his clever put downs. ( No Lex or Lex like moderation that I can see...low budget operation. Off shore lowest bid site who knows,- not me for sure, so much mishmash of structure so substance is for the future tense methinks. We can hope. Yet we make the content. And not moderation too. Not in real world)

    KInd beats clever. But speaking for the male gender it is easier to be clever than kind.
    So mark's spirited advice is directed to the kind and not the clever. If that makes sense. Aloha nui.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  18. The best moderator is the browser's scroll bar. Use it next time you don't want to read something.

    However, if someone threatens another person, you call the cops. That's when you don't scroll passed what has been said. And you certainly don't rely on site moderators to catch it.

    I haven't seen one person threaten anyone in all the years I've been reading these forums, but then I may have missed more than I can count seeing I don't have the time to read every thread in all those years.
  19. Good points G.S.
    Kinda clever......
  20. It looks like the site is for lighting diagrams and technique and wants to keep it restricted to that. They are concentrating on the mechanics and that is helpful, especially for beginners who don't yet know how to reverse engineer. If resulting photos are posted with diagram, it really helps learning what lighting will do or how to produce the look you prefer. That allows someone to master the mechanics then incorporate it into their artistic expression. A caustic critique could stifle newbies submitting their diagrams and photos. I think it makes sense. Thanks for the diagram program. Will have to try that. When I stumble onto a set up that is unique or cool, I take a photo of the set up. I can figure out the ratios looking at the resulting photos. When I decide to try it a few years later, I can view the set up and quickly reproduce it.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018

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