Posting for Critique

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by ed_farmer, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. I hope that I didn't miss something somewhere . . . But, where do we now post images for critique? The "No Words" forum is great for it's purpose but I'm looking for more discourse about images. Breaking them out into "Street Photography", "Nature", "Sports" and so forth would be OK but, again, I'm looking for something more general to get input.

  2. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Click on Explore / Seeking Critique / Submit a Photo S/B good to go.
  3. What Sandy said.
  4. Ed, there's a single step after you upload images to your portfolio. Click on "Critiques".
  5. What Sandy said and David corroborated. :p

    Many many years back, when critique forum was more popular and people were meaner ('keeping them honest' kind of mean), someone (who obviously didn't understand the utility of asking for critiques) posted random pictures including one of dog food taken with a flash for critique, and someone came and just wrote "bad!" in every photo he posted. Those were the days ... LOL!

    In another instance, someone wrote a comment in someone else's portfolio: "Your photos are all crap! This is what you get for asking me to improve my exposure!". Of course, commenting on someone's exposure is as bad as hitting on one's girlfriend, ... or even worse. Who knows.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
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  6. It is sort of problematic and better solutions should be worked out - if possible at all. On one hand you want to get feed back on your pictures. On the other hand you do not want to be emtionally damaged. On the third hand you want insightful and honest opinions. And what happens these days? Mostly nothing at all, no comments from anybody. Or you get mostly these useles remarks like "Nice!" and so on. And then you furthermore reply with an equally useless and empty or overly submissively greatful: "thank you so much for your very kind comments, they are highly appreciated." In reality only to enhance the numbers of comments registered. On the fourth hand: Who has the time and energy to REALLY give insigthful, lentghty, detailed and useful comments all the time to so many pictures, right? And are there in reality that many pictures that deserve it?
  7. On the old Pnet I found it far easier to engage in and offer feedback. For a while I even received a "golden critiquer" recognition, but that was when my day job was very slow. Even then I was careful to only comment on the work of photographers who appeared to sincerely desire honest feedback, and to give meaningful critiques addressing specific compositional and technical criteria. Today my day job is extraordinarily busy, and, for whatever reason, I find the new site format far less inviting as a critiquer. I would like to be more engaged as a critic, but I find I spend my limited time in other areas. There have been a number of threads dedicated to what makes a good and useful critique.
  8. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    In order to critique it might be useful to have the price of entry be posting photos of your own to be critiqued. I also wonder if it wouldn't be good to have a"best if used by" type expiration date on shots posted for critique. I do think just participating and posting images in various categories helps advance skills, if only by self evaluation of personal contributions compared to others. The Physician's creed "do no harm" should be a given.
  9. Many people is of the opinion that many things were far better on the old Pnet. But who listens to the avalange of complaints and adjusts accordingly? The result is clear: People have left in enormous numbers. My pictures are now visited by in average a tenth of the amount before. What is the point of all ones efforts, if only a couple of people watches? And sometimes none at all? I still do not understand that the owners of Pnet do not take action on all this and save their business, because soon there will be nobody left other than a very small clique?
  10. I don’t have a current public portfolio. When I used to have one, I got some great critiques from people who didn’t have photos posted. They didn’t, for different reasons. Some didn’t want their images stolen, some preferred their photos only to be seen in print, some didn’t like’s background or interface, some wanted to maintain private, some didnt like scanning negatives. I’ve had thoughtful and helpful critiques from folks whose photography isn’t that great and shallow critiques from some great photographers. I judge critiques based on the critique, the wording, the insights. Many well-known and talented critics did not practice the art or craft they critiqued.

    A good critique can ask questions and can simply say what a photo makes you feel. It needn’t address lens usage or camera make and model or come from a photographic background. Some “lay” responses to my photos have been more helpful than some by other photographers. Non-photographers who are lurking in these rooms: I encourage you to participate if you want.

    Something I’ve noticed, and this is just my anecdotal observation which I offer without stats or proof, is that there has been a growing chorus of folks on the site who insist that words and photography don’t mix. To me, it’s a pretty shallow way to think, but it seems to be a popular sentiment. The more you say about a photo, the less it’s worth listening to. If this is gaining in popularity, it might explain to some extent the dwindling number of critiques. I do think it’s an overall trend of online sharing, to just throw up photos and not get feedback, so I wouldn’t blame the site completely, but the site does seem at least a bit complicit in not supporting a more vibrant critique forum.
  11. For reference I just went to the critique page and posted a critique on a recent submission by Philip CJ. In doing so I was reminded why I so rarely do this anymore: First, the page is incredibly slow to load. I had to sit around and wait quite some time while the actual critique page loaded, which proved to be as long or longer than it took to write the critique. Then, I could not see the entire image at once. It used to be the images came up initially to fit the screen, and then we could zoom in if desired. Now, I could not find any way to view the whole image at once, at least from within the critique page. Overall this makes being a critiquer more of a pain, hence making it far less likely that I or anyone else will take the time and effort to offer critiques.
  12. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    If you have to Explain a photo, to me (heaven knows there is almost no humor allowed anymore) it is like having to explain a joke - in either case, the vehicle did not obtain the desired results. Anyone can post whatever dialog they like with a photo ex. No Words - if folks aren't viewing a lot of photos, will the text be read? As to critique, any quantity of verbiage that the critic is willing to post and may be of value the photographer and to other participants, all ahead full.

    I used to do a bit of critiquing as well, but it just became difficult in one of the reiterations of PN.
  13. Many great documentary and journalistic photographers would disagree, especially those who intended their photos to be accompanied by explanations of what they were documenting and the circumstances around that. Street photographers such as Frank included explanations. It’s not limited to photography. A lot of art isn’t simply about seat-of-the pants response. Shakespeare is better read with some explanation as is Joyce. Pollock’s paintings are better related to when his process and method are explained. Most conceptual photography desires explanation as part of the final result. Duchamp and Man Ray went to great lengths to explain what they were doing. There are important explanations that help us understand why Stieglitz, for example, started photographing so differently at a point in his career. Without that explanation, the work will not be appreciated for all it has to offer.

    The misleading part here is that photos “need” an explanation, which always makes it sound like explanations mean the art is somehow less worthy because of the explanation. The more honest way to approach it is that a lot of art invites explanation and insight. But “invites” doesn’t sound quite as damning as “have to” or “needs.”
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  14. We've had this conversation many times before in a number of threads. I think that the intent of an image can weigh heavily on how it might be critiqued. Some images are intended by the photographer to be evaluated/experienced on their face value alone, while others are part of a larger narrative. For example, a technically inferior image that captures an extraordinary moment under extremely challenging conditions (many combat images come to mind) will be critiqued far differently and using alternate criteria than a still life image. In fact, the combat image may or may not benefit and be made more meaningful by appropriate narrative, while the still life is unlikely to benefit therefrom. I try to apply these principles when I offer critiques. I hope others do the same when critiquing my work.
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  15. Photos (and art in general) often include many cultural and contemporary social cues. Providing a brief context would make many works more relevant and understandable. I don’t think that makes these works any lesser or limp. I do sometimes like to view photos without reading the adjoining introduction, but that is mainly to compare and contrast my own thoughts with that in the commentary. I like how some photos can mean different things to different people. Success of a work I think Is related to whether it can move its viewers, albeit in different ways.
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  16. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    That you find these kinds explanations and context useful does not make those who do not need or like them dishonest or misleading. I find Shakespeare quite easy to understand, and Joyce turgid with or without footnotes. I am profoundly suspicious of Art that you have to be "educated" to appreciate - sounds rather too much like a marketing ploy. Pollock, Man Ray, certainly interesting, wouldn't hang one even given the money and the wall space - I'll give Duchamp a bit more credit. As with many things what one values / appreciates is subjective - we all like what we like - personal taste. I am much more interested in What an Artist produces and my appreciation of that, than the Whys and Wherefores of production. We all have freedom to choose - plenty of room choices for all.
  17. "On the old Pnet I found it far easier to engage in and offer feedback"

    The old feedback page was way more intuitive and free wheeling. Almost every weekend I use to surf that page and give feedback. Sometimes good sometimes bad. I tried not to be to mean, but I didn't hold back when I saw a bad picture. Some people avoided giving negative feedback altogether to avoid retaliation. Sort of like what happens on eBay. I didn't get a lot of feedback, but I did get a lot of Views which I considered to be a type of feedback. If the Views were good then I knew I had a keeper that I could maybe do something with. These days I rarely post or give feedback because I find it a little too complicated. Why do you have to keep clicking on a [LOAD] button ? Plus you have to did through a bunch of links just to get to it. The good thing is that technically it IS more advanced than the old page.
  18. Did these photos include a nude female model by any chance? Just kidding. :p:p
  19. You’re right, which is why I’m glad I didn’t say anything of the kind. What I said was that I find it dishonest to paint with a broad brush when the topic comes up and talk in terms of photos or art “needing” an explanation. That seems to me a red herring, since the majority of explanations don’t come from a sense of need and so many explanations of art come from interest and desire. Talking about the subject of explanation consistently as if people think they’re needed starts out with a denigrating bias against explanation. I’m fine with anyone liking explanations or not. I’m not fine with the pretense that art explanations are supplied out of need.
  20. I was here back in the "good ol'days" and did many critiques without posting very many of my own photos. I was one of the people who could be brutal with some of my, honest, comments.

    I posted few of my own images because I was shooting film, for the most part, and wasn't happy with the digitalization methods available to me at the time.

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