Brutally Honest Critique Section

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by Alpha, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Okay nobody seems to give any honest critiques in the critique section. It's partly because nobody wants to be offensive, and partly because the forum rules bar us from making generalized statements about photographs.

    I'm sorry but sometimes photos just suck and that's the end of the story. I'm sick and tired of all of this phoney [expletive hehe]-kissing, "work on this, work on that," "you're making good progress" crap. Way too often there's some photo in the critique section that's totally blown out and mildly out of focus, or some grainy, poorly composed shot that looks like it was taken with a $75 digital point-and-shoot. And what's the question asked? "Does this need more contrast." And the answer is, NO, it doesn't need more contrast. It needs to go in the trash can. There's no amount of photoshopping or chemical tricks that would make the shot look all that great. Go take another one and hope that it's better. And nobody ever says anything. I know I can't be the only one looking at a photograph and thinking that it sucks. It's a critique section, not an encouragement section. If I posted a photo that just sucked, I would want someone to tell me. Instead, i'd probably get a bunch of "constructive" bull.

    We need the old motto back. Don't post it in the critique section if you don't want a real critique. I'm not arguing that I should be able to say, "your photo sucks." But i should be able to say "I think the photo completely sucks, and here are 20 different reasons why it sucks," so long as they're real reasons.

    I also think that people are posting sensitive subject matter in there that they aren't really prepared to be critiqued. If you take a photo of your significant other, or your puppy, or your child, and the photo is bad, then you should be prepared to hear that. I'm not saying that your child or puppy or significant other is ugly, I just think the photo is. I would welcome anyone else on the board to post about how much they love it, but I shouldn't have to feel like an arse for giving a real critique of a photo.
     
  2. hobbes28

    hobbes28 Incredible Supporting Member

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    Don't hold anything back there... ;)

    If you think someone's photo sucks for x and y reason, let them know, by all means. The only rule is to not turn anything into a personal attack or give non subjective critiques.
     
  3. Chase

    Chase I am now benign! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Exactly what Hobbes said. Speak up if you don't like a photograph, it should be expected that some people won't like your shots when you are posting them for critique. What we do ask, however, is that it's at least a polite response. It is possible to let someone know you don't like their shot and that there are a lot of problems with it while keeping the tone polite.

    The goal of that section is to help people improve. Always saying "great shot" isn't helping them any, but saying a photo sucks isn't helping either. If you think something is a bad, let them know why and help them improve.
     
  4. JohnMF

    JohnMF TPF Noob!

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    any more thoughts on the anonymous critique forum idea i suggested a couple of months ago?

    This could, in some way, address the problem Max mentions
     
  5. hobbes28

    hobbes28 Incredible Supporting Member

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    The bad thing with anonymous critique is that folks can come in and post things like, "you suck" or "I hate it" which help in absolutely no way. I think what needs to happen is that we all need to realize that brutal critiques are welcome in the critique forum. There is even a warning in the description. As long as it doesn't turn in to a member bashing pool, pretty much anything goes. On that same token, if any of us post a picture in there, we have to realize that people could very well search out things that are wrong and only bring those up. That is a risk we take by posting things there. It shouldn't be a "nice photo"/"that's horrible" area.
     
  6. ThomThomsk

    ThomThomsk TPF Noob!

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    As I understand it, the critique forum requires posters to have a specific problem or question that they want feedback on. Generally people go easy with their criticism, but that seems to be to be entirely in keeping with the purpose of that forum as it stands now.

    A lot of the visitors here are young and many are new to photography. If you were to have a serious critique forum then I think it needs to be labelled appropriately and the rules need to be quite clear, because it would be a shame to have any confusion about the kind of tone that was appropriate or to put people off because they feel they have been unfairly treated. Over on the Poetry Free-for-all forum they put it like this:

    Here you will receive constructive comments on what needs to be done to your work to make it better. NOTE: "Constructive" does not necessarily mean complimentary, flattering, or pleasant; many are likely to be negative, even harsh. That is the nature of a workshop. You can't improve if you're just told that you're a good little poet and get patted on the head. If you can't handle negative criticism, don't post. We mean it.

    1b. The proper response to negative criticism is simple: "Thank you; I'll take your suggestions into consideration." No arguments, shouting, or self-defensive whining; these will simply get your thread moved to the "Outside" Forum where no one will comment on it. Repetitions will get you banned.


    I'm not sure I would want the kind of criticism that you see in that forum, but maybe I'm too sensitive. I can see that there is a place for it, but it needs to be on its own, with a big health warning on the front. If you have what you think is a great picture where you can't see how you could have made it better and you can cope with honest/brutal criticism then that's fine, but those kinds of posts must be treated differently from those where the photographer knows they have things to learn and comes here for guidance.

    Thomsk
     
  7. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Criticism is about helping people to improve.
    If someone takes a picture and you think it 'sucks' you need to be able to explain why.
    It's quite easy to rubbish a photo when what you actually mean is 'I don't like it'. A good photo and a picture you like are very often totally different things.
    You should also remember that a lot of people on here are total beginners and what may seem rubbish to you is quite often wonderful to them - simply because, as beginners, just getting a recognisable image can seem almost impossible.
    A good crit should look at a picture on it's own merits and take into account the abilities of the photographer. It should highlight things that work and flag up things that don't - with simple and sound advice to push the photographer along a little.
    The reason that I like to encourage posters in the Crit Gallery explaining what they want a crit on and what they were trying to do is to make them think about their pictures.

    And a good rule of thumb in the Crit Gallery is - if you don't like it, or don't think much of it or have nothing to say then don't say it ;)
     
  8. 'Daniel'

    'Daniel' TPF Noob!

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    I have done this in the past and got anonymous negative rep for it. I know that the mod/ admin team think it's fine but I think some people have problems with it.

    i tend to just not comment if I have nothing nice to say to save misunderstanding.
     
  9. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Change 'nice' to 'constructive' and I am so there.
    But now you know why I have my rep turned off :lol:
     
  10. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I read the critique suggestions or rules posted and I don't see how they can really be adhered to. I shoot a lot of stuff that I think is off a little, but have no idea why.

    If I posted something, I wouldn't be satisfied with, does this need more contrast. Tell me what is wrong in your opinion, but you better be willing and able to defend what you say.

    Thats what I think critique should be. Not this sucks throw it out. I'm also a big believer in illustration. If you tell me it needs to be recropped, I would like for you to take the time to copy the pic, crop it your way, and repost it. NOT AS YOUR OWN but as a tool for me to learn. Thats just my opinion and I am new here so it most likely isnt worth a lot...
     
  11. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    When you don't like something you actually do know why - but it means having to sit down and seriously think about it.
    The Rules were also intended to be guidelines on how to go about asking pertinent questions.
    You take pictures for a particular reason, not at random, but often people don't realise it.
    'I saw this and liked it so I took a picture of it. I don't really know why.'
    Well you took the picture because - for some reason - you liked what you saw. There was something about it that did something to you and you felt you needed to capture it.
    When you say there is 'something off but I don't know what' you are putting into words that you feel you haven't captured what you saw in the first place. To make any progress you need to try to work out what it was you saw and then you can start to figure out why the picture doesn't work.
    You must remember that when you take a picture then it is your picture, no one else's. Only you know what it was you were trying to capture.
    I was trying to get people to put in a little effort and try to figure out what they were trying to do so they could explain it - and then we can help.
    If that isn't done then all that happens is that the people giving crit are saying how they would have taken the picture. And you don't want to know how to take someone else's pictures - you want to take your own.

    Then if that is the case, remember to put OTE in your post and ask people to do it.
     
  12. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Okay then is this too dark? Mood wise....[​IMG]
     

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