When I first started posting here, if someone posted a photo for C&C, you could usually, within the first 2 or 3 replies get some honest and direct feedback on your photo. A trend I've seen lately, as highlighted by some recent threads (that I will not mention here) is saying "Good job!" or "Nice Shot!" to what can be called mediocre, or even bad photographs. The justification to this is usually one of two things: 1) "I'm not really experienced, and cannot give good feedback, but I like the shot!" 2) "I don't want to hurt the feelings of a new photographer with negative feedback!" Although these all seem like legitimate excuses for poor C&C, which, by the way stands for Comments & Critique (emphasis intended), they really aren't. Let me address each of these individually. 1) We were all new. We were all inexperienced. We all, at one time, would have trouble giving good feedback on a shot. Of the two, this one is probably the most legitimate. I personally have no problem with this excuse. I believe in order to become a better photographer yourself, you need to be able to look at someone elses work and give honest feedback. If the extent of your C&C is, Im not very experienced so I dont know if I can help you get better, but I like your shot, then so be it! There is a caveat to this. If this is the only C&C you are giving, you are doing a disservice to your fellow photographers. Just as photographers photos should get progressively better the more they shoot, your C&C should be progressively better the more you post. Learn as much about the technical and compositional aspects of photography as possible, then apply that when giving C&C. 2) I've actually seen this excuse before, and of the two, this one makes my blood boil. Let's say Jim (a fictional Jim) goes to the Doctors office because he's feeling sick. The Doctor checks Jim out and realizes that Jim has a week left to live. Jim says, "So Doc, what's wrong with me?" (Jim is basically asking for C&C on his health). The Doctor answers, "Jim, you're as fit as a fiddle, and there's nothing wrong with you." (In essence, the Doctor is giving Jim bad C&C) Jim leaves the Doctor's office in a great mood, and very happy, even though he doesn't know it, he will die in a week. When a collegue asks the Doctor why he didn't tell the truth, the Doctor just says, "I didn't want to hurt Jim's feelings by telling him he was going to die." It's a great thing, to make people happy. Unfortunately, if it's at the expense of helping them become a better photographer, you are hurting them in the long run, and may frustrate them out of this great hobby. Telling someone they took a good photo for the simple sake that it will make them feel good doesn't let them grow. If you want them to be a better photographer, and want them to be happier as a photographer in the future, then you need to give honest, direct feedback. Do you need to be snarky or rude? No, but just because someone gives nothing but negative feedback doesn't mean it's bad feedback and shouldn't be listened to. I thank all of the people who gave me direct and honest feedback when I was first beginning. Did I get my feelings hurt? Sometimes. Did I take things personally? At first, yep. Did I eventually realize that these people were only trying to help me, and that they weren't attacking me as a person? Yes, of course. One thing I continually hear is people saying that this is a beginners forum, and there are going to be a lot of bad shots. Because of this, people should be nicer. Unfortunately, this is a classic straw man. No one here has ever denied that. No one (that I know of) has told someone to post better pictures in the Beginners forum. The problem is people getting defensive about their photo being critiqued honestly, and not applying what people have told them they should do. Most of the time when even the most rude and abrasive posters (and you know who you are ) give critique to a new photographer for the first time, its actually pretty good, and they arent rude. They only get that way after its obvious this poster isnt listening to the feedback hes given. Here's an example of the problem, as I've observed it. 1) New user posts pictures. He thinks they're great and he'll get lots of praise. 2) Veteran photographer/poster replies and gives honest and direct C&C about the flaws of the shot, and how it can be made better. 3) New user gets defensive and says that those flaws pointed out by the veteran were intentional, and that critique on those isnt valid. 4) Veteran posts again stating that even if the flaws he pointed out earlier were intentional, the photo, because of those flaws, intentional or not, still isn't good. 5) Goody two shoes poster, who isn't very experienced, and just wants to make everyone happy chimes in with something along the lines of, "Don't let the Internet bullies get to you. You had a great shot for a beginner, and don't let anyone tell you different!" 6) New user replies to goody two shoes with, Thanks for the kind words, I knew they were good shots, I appreciate your C&C. 7) New user continues to post new threads, with new photos, without listening to good feedback, and without improvement. 8) Veterans, who are tired of trying to help new user out, quit replying to his threads, and new user starts to only receive "Good shot!" and "Nice Work! I like your photo!" without ever improving. Please dont insult my intelligence and say this hasnt happened, because it does and has happened. Ive seen it as recent as this last weekend. Let me end this thread with a few tips for giving and receiving C&C. Giving C&C 1) Point out flaws in photo, while explaining how to go about fixing flaws 2) If theres something you like, mention it 3) There's no need to be rude, or snarky, if someone isn't listening, just stop trying to help them Pretty simple and straightforward. Receiving C&C 1) Dont take it personally! People are trying to help you and negative (but constructive!) C&C isnt a reflection on you as a person, just you as a beginning and learning photographer 2) The people giving C&C were in your shoes before, and its comments like what theyre giving that will make you better. Dont alienate them simply because you perceive what they are saying as rude, or abrasive. 3) Ask for clarification if you arent sure what they are talking about 4) Remember that emotion is difficult to convey on the Internet. Something may come out as rude, but was never intentioned that way. Give the benefit of the doubt! 5) Thank them (or click the Thank button) for the time they spent help YOU become a better photographer Please, I encourage everyone who reads this to just think about it. Maybe you dont agree, but thats ok, youre allowed to not agree. I just want this to be a place of learning and growing as photographers, not a place where we sit around the campfire singing Kumbaya telling each other how great our mediocrity is.