How to structure your posts to get critiques on your work (C&C)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Overread, May 9, 2009.

  1. Overread
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    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member

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    A key part to getting good advice from other members on your photography is communicating this need from yourself to the rest of the membership. I have seen too many people just post a single photo or 20 photos with C&C requested and no additional information provided - simply put if you give nothing for people to work with they can't give you much back.
    So here is a guide for structuring your posts so that you can greatly increase your chances for getting good feedback and also a way to help further you learning yourself.

    1) The fewer the better. Detailed comments take time to write well and when a person sees 20 images in a single post it puts them straight off commenting. Further those people on slower connections will find such threads take so long to load that they click off them instead of wait. So post fewer images - post you best. 1-5 images is around the sorts of numbers you should think and make sure they are well selected for what you want to show and not just random selections.

    2) The how - an image alone does not convey how you took that photo – in fact its very hard for anyone to work it out and that will hamper the responses you get if people don't know your level of understanding or what you have to work with at the time - so always try to include the following:

    a) Settings - aperture, shutter speed, ISO and shooting mode (manual, program, auto, etc...). If you can't remember these details they are saved over every digital shot taken - just go to the image file on your computer; right click it; go to properties; in the properties window go to the details tab; scroll down to find the settings that you took the shot at.

    Also NEVER hide the mode you shot it - if you took it in auto then that is the mode you took it in - your not a lesser photographer for doing so, you just using one feature of your camera to get you the best result at the time. Others can then chime in to advise how you could use other modes to get the same result or better and to be able to recreate the look you got as well.

    3) Gear - what camera, any tripod used, what lens etc... tell us what you used to take the shot. This is key as it gives us an idea of your setup and any possible limitations it is having on your shot - or any advantages that you are not using.
    Also if your using a compact camera do state if it has manual control settings (aperture shutter speed etc...) or not - this is important as there is no point having people tell you to use a faster shutter speed if you have no direct control over it

    4) Lighting - were you shooting in bright sunlight, a dark room, at night etc.. - sure some of this we can tell from a shot, but some we can't - so give us an idea



    Ok that is the technical side of taking the shot - but there is also another side to things as well - a very key side that many people often overlook, especially at the start. So try to include the following as well:

    1) What look were you going for in the shot = what were you trying to display to the viewer in the shot you took. Also tell us if you think its worked or not (in your view) and what you might like to get better in the image. This is a form or teaching you to think about your shooting and also start being self critical of the results you are getting. Its key that you go through this process yourself since otherwise you won't be able to further your own studies - its also a very good display that your taking things seriously and not just looking for free handouts.

    2) What you would do next time if given the chance - it might be what your asking others, but tell us your thoughts on it as well. What (if anything) would you change if given a second chance at the shot - would you use different gear, focus on a different area, compose differently, go back in different lighting etc...

    Always post an image in the thread with image tags - never post links to an image alone. People are often to lazy to follow image links and some image hosts can have a lot of bloat on their websites which makes them slow to load (photobucket, imageshack and flickr do not have such bloat). Thus always have the image in the post itself - you can link to more examples if you so desire.
    And finally remember to use an appropriate image size as well - 600pixels on the longest side should be the smallest you upload for such commenting and larger images are easier to commet on as more details are clearer - I recomend images of 800pixels on the longest side be posted to the forum and you can then link to larger examples below a smaller image if you so disire.

    Ok that looks like a lot to put into this, but you get out what you put in - put nothing into a post and you can expect to get less to nothing back out of it. Put the effort into the post - self assess and view your own work with a critical eye and you can help yourself a lot.
    Further when getting comments always respect and remember the fact that people are taking their free time to comment on your work and though some posts might seem harsh, do remember that many people just have direct way of speaking on the internet and that they do not necessarily mean to be nasty, but that they are trying to help by setting a high standard and getting you to meet that standard.

    In all keep shooting - have fun and good luck :)
    oh and have a watch of this - its well worth it:
    Zack Arias - Atlanta based editorial music photographer ยป Transform :: A short film for ScottKelby.com

    I will also recommend his other "critique video" posts on his blog to watch as well - even if your not into people shooting and the industry side of things you can still learn a lot (plus they are fun to hear!)

    Further please give this thread a read here and be considerate when posting your images:
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-gallery/183599-notice-image-sizes-forum.html
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
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  2. Saddlebreds4me
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    Saddlebreds4me New Member

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    Invaluable input! Thanks Overread for posting that...it helps so much.
  3. manaheim
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    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member

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    Man I wish we stickied things... :thumbup:
  4. Overread
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    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member

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    if it gets stickied too quick nobody will notice it ;)
  5. Bitter Jeweler
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    Bitter Jeweler Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. This is helpful to some of us new folks.
  6. gdruss
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    gdruss New Member

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    Thanks. I know this will help. I realized after I did my first C & C that I should've put in more info. Thanks!
  7. Roey
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    Roey New Member

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    Thanks for posting that link to the Zack Arias video. Its time to get back in the game.

    Peace,

    Roey.
  8. Sherman Banks
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    Sherman Banks New Member

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    Great job Overread! Hopefully everyone can heed to your advice here and I'm sure we'll see the quality of the critiques improve here. I'm glad you put this together and if it doesn't get stickied, I'll bump it everyday for you!
  9. CyclonePWR
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    CyclonePWR New Member

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    Yeah thanks much, I'll be sure to include those things. I think it should really help out my learning process.
  10. AlexColeman
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    AlexColeman New Member

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    Very nice, someone needed to compile these.
  11. biancarose
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    biancarose New Member

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    Thanks for the info. The next time I post I am going to include everything I can. I know for myself a lot of the time, I am just tapping and twisting and changing things on my camera and IDK what I am shooting in LOL

    But, knowing that all of this will help, the next time I go to take pictures, I am going to get all the info and come back, and be waiting for some awesome feedback!! LOL
  12. Mtalicarox
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    Mtalicarox New Member

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    Great advice. I was gonna post a pic up right now for advice but will now wait until I am home and can get that info off my PC to avoid the quetions.. thanks again!
  13. TwoRails
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    TwoRails New Member

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    Very nice post, Overread! In regards to the number of shots to post; even folks with broadband, such as myself, will not wait for a large number of photos to load. If it's been 5 - 10 seconds and only 3 or 4 of 20 have loaded so far, I'm out of there.

    Links have two effects. Yes, first a lot of folks are "lazy" and don't want to go off on "tangents" and links, but there's a second side to that: security. You often don't really know where you are being redirected too. For "old timers" here, you can feel pretty safe if they post a link.

    However, and this is meant with no disrespect to the newer members, you just don't know what someone is linking to. I rarely click links but have run into several links from newer members that that take you to someplace that has nothing to do with the post or the photo(s) being posted. It might be a political site or even some "hotty" poster girl the OP might have the hots for. The bad thing here is it very easily could lead you to a malicious site, giving you a virus or the like.

    If it isn't already, links that go to "somewhere else" should be against the rules for the safety of members.
  14. Jon_Are
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    Jon_Are New Member

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    Great post.

    Bumping so it doesn't slip off the radar.

    Jon
  15. sburatorul
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    sburatorul New Member

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    bump again!

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