What are you expect from critique?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by jekamobile, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. [edit]: i was responding to 'expertise' as photography expertise, not critique expertise, possibly exaggerating my ignorance......
    I think I'm in over my head....
    mikemorrell likes this.
  2. The critiques I receive work this way. I listen. I listen to what's said. I listen to what's said and the reasons given. If it makes sense to me and rings true, if it causes a bit of a pang in my tummy because it rings true but I'd rather deny it, if it causes an "aha" moment, I take stock of it. If none of that and nothing of any other kind of significance happens, I thank the critic and continue on.
    In a lot of fields, expertise is not all that subjective. That sounds like either an excuse or expertise-denial. Something fishy there. If Edward Weston was still around and was offering you a photo critique, and you dismissed it as non-expertise, that would say much more about you than expertise. Likewise with a recognized Magnum photographer. You might not agree or what he says might not work for you in terms of your own photography, but that doesn't equate to his not being an expert. Even an expert can be disagreed with. But not recognizing the expert is a different story.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  3. [our last posts overlapped]
  4. I know Sam. In my earlier post I acknowledged that, and was hopeful people understood I wasn't being perjorative of we here on P.net, I'm one of them. I was just trying to point out there was the difference you noted but hopefully not saying one needs to be one or the other.
    Yep. And I hope you don't think I'm judging people asking for critiques or those providing them. I do it too. just pointing out there's other levels of critique, that is supportive but brutally honest. For myself, I never put down another's photograph or discourage anyone from shooting if they're honest about their intentions.
    Allen Herbert likes this.
  5. Who said anything about "pejorative" or "judging people"? You seemed to be relating your preference for professional-standards-based critiques to the "level" of photography of those seeking critiques. I was saying that, at any level, a photographer can benefit from non-professional-standards-based critique, from even non-photographers, from just average viewers, who can often have an important perspective to offer (especially on what a photo communicates to the public). I have a different sense of critical theory than you and what type of critiques can be beneficial to all photographers at all levels. That's it.

    And, I read a direct contradiction in the 2nd and 3rd quotes of yours above. 2nd quote: "I don't seek critiques here." 3rd quote: "I do it too." [talking about asking for and providing critiques]
    Wayne Melia and Allen Herbert like this.
  6. The Beatles sold a lot of music to a lot of amateur listeners. It's good to hear from non-professional photo viewers. After all, they're your main customer too.
  7. McDonald's sell a lot of burgers.

    Is there a correlation here?
  9. You're talking about yourself and you're talking about photographers at a level of requesting a critique from Magnum. That's what I was thinking about when I said an average viewer's take on your/their photos could also be helpful, if there's an openness to hear from average and lay viewers.

    At your and their level, I would hope you/they would know if someone doesn't know what they'ere talking about and wouldn't get screwed up by whatever they offered, from opinion to critique.

    It might be a good idea for anyone offering an opinion or critique to a beginner requesting help to clarify their degree of expertise or lack thereof.
  10. I was talking generally. I might recognize certain things, but I was thinking of people who might not.

    "It might be a good idea for anyone offering an opinion or critique to a beginner requesting help to clarify their degree of expertise or lack thereof."

    I think that's a good idea. Since its on-line, you could always end it with FWIW as well :)
  11. FWIW, all I've been saying is that, at any level, a photographer might well benefit from both expert and non-expert critiques and opinions, which could offer an array of perspectives. This does not seem controversial to me, especially if we add, as you suggest, that those critiquing a beginner consider explaining their degree of experience as well.
    jekamobile likes this.
  12. I get what you're saying. I'm not disputing you. So this is becoming circular. It seems like you want to maneuver me into some position. Is there really any more to say on our particular lines of reasoning? I think not really.
  13. No. I felt you misinterpreted me and was clarifying my position. If you felt maneuvered, that's on you.
  14. Thanks for the clarification. Understood.
  15. Wow. It is quite a discussion here. Thank you very much, folks, for an expression of your opinions and for your honest feedback. It sounds like this is a vital topic for many people.
    I agree with Sam, that any critique, both from professional and non-professional has to be taken into consideration. First, very often I rely on my wife's opinion who can tell me what she feels when looking at my picture. Yes, I agree this is "like - don't like" opinion mostly, but we can talk about details. On the other hand, professionalism and expertise are more important for your growth as a photographer, and at this degree the more you progress in your development the more you can benefit from the advice and more attention of professional photographers you can get when you asking for a review. If you are a beginner and do not understand the main principles of photography there is very little chance that real photographers from Magnum or 1x will even bother to stop by. IMO, critique is very important in all stages of your learning process.

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