Successful Criticism

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by abraxas, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    10,417
    Likes Received:
    9
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    So what is a critique?

    _How and when should it be done?
    _How should it be presented?
    _When is it successful?

    What works for you in both giving and recieving critique?
     
  2. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    14,491
    Likes Received:
    206
    Location:
    Europe 67.51°N
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    the problem is, that often you do not know what the person posting the image expects/wants.

    successful: when the OP learns about what others think about his image without being mortally offended. ;)

    i know this is a very simple way of thinking, but that is the way i am.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,095
    Likes Received:
    3,763
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    How:
    First off I tell the person what I think they have done right in the shot and what I like about it - I consider this very important and put it first as it puts people in a more relaxed and less defensive frame of mind
    Then I go on to note what I don't like and what areas I think could be improved on - then I go on to suggest how this might be done if I know how to do it (if not I simply say I don't know how to).

    As for when - well personally I consider anything in the galleries barring the for fun ones to be fair game for comments and crits. There are some in the fun section that I will comment on occasionally, but I recegnise that these ones tend to be where people might not be shooting at their best.

    As for presentation I consider this a 2 part game - firstly a person that posts photos and just photos is hard to comment on - especially when I try to adise about change to the technical aspects - I mean was it a digital or traditional shot, was it shot with a point and shoot or an SLR, was it taken in rushed or bad conditions what were the settings of it - aperture, ISO, shutter speed - shooting mode etc....
    If these things are not said I will often ask the OP what they were in order that 2 things might happen:
    1) I learn of a usfull setting to get an effect on a shot
    2) I can be more helpful towards the op - for example if they shot with an all auto point and shoot most of the tech advice is not going to work as they can't change those settings.

    When it works - when the comments are constructive and educational and I would also say complimentary. A totally negative lean to a post is not as helpful as it makes the reader feel defensive and also more likley to consider the post spitfull -even if that is not intended, so I try to avoid simply listing out the errors and how to change them

    edit - unless the op specifically states what they want from comments or where they already know weakness is I just post all that I think I should - that is to say I don't worry about what they might want. They have not told me that there are any limits so I comment without them - composition, technical, lighting, colours etc.. they get everything that I can comment and know about
     
  4. bigalbest

    bigalbest TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Litchfield Park, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I think I've learned my lesson and will probably keep my opinion to myself from now on. Unless my opinion is specifically asked for. I will still give general technical advise also but no opinions, those are dangerous.
     
  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    5,454
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    A critique happens when a critic and a photographer love each other very much.

    It should be done when the mood is right and both parties are receptive. Sometimes it's very sweet and loving and sometimes it's rough.

    It should generally be presented in private, and sometimes with the lights on.

    It's usually most successful when both parties get what they want or need out of it and neither one feels guilty the next morning.
     
  6. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    14,491
    Likes Received:
    206
    Location:
    Europe 67.51°N
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    very bad! did that once! she never showed me any of her images for over a year following that incident!
     
  7. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    14,491
    Likes Received:
    206
    Location:
    Europe 67.51°N
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    if you ever stumble across any of my images ... comment... also personal opinions... be rude but fair.

    if you do not like it, tell me, i might cringe, but still it is valuable input.

    if i want love and kisses, i will phone up my mum, not TPF :p
     
  8. bigalbest

    bigalbest TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Litchfield Park, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Good for you, I feel the same way.
     
  9. saltface

    saltface TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Hell's Flower Box, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    :lol: For a moment, I didn't know what was going on.
    But allegorically all correct. I worry if I seem too dismissive with my critiques.
     
  10. Dioboleque

    Dioboleque TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Land O' Lakes, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Overread ~ are u a teacher in real life? if not u may have missed ur calling!

    Alpha ~ too funny!

    When? as often as possible
    How? factually, honestly, & respectfully
    When is it successful? When the OP learns quality information which they can apply to future photos :sillysmi:
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,095
    Likes Received:
    3,763
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    hehe you are the second person to think me a teacher - nope just someone who thinks that one should share what they know with others.

    And for the sake of consistancy -
    When I comment on a shot I often lean away from photoshop advice past suggesting a lighting or levels change simply because it opens up a whole new level of skills and technicallities - unless the op asks for it of course.
    Besides I always say where in a shot you might do things differently for "next time" because there often is a next time for many - maybe not the same subject, but similar conditions and lighting and if they shoot and make a mistake that they made before that means they are not learning - so I like to offer that advice.
    And even if the op does not "need" that advice (they are a pro who just slipped up or it was something that they had no control over -like lighting angle) then others who view the shot can still learn
     
  12. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    The aim of a crit should be to help the photographer improve.
    If this is to happen then the photographer first has to try to explain what he/she was trying to achieve*.
    Only then you can determine whether the image is successful or not and start to give advice.
    More often than not (and you see it happening on here all the time but I won't name names) people think they are giving crits but what they are in fact doing is merely pushing their own ideas of what a 'good' photograph should be. That is to say they merely state how they would have taken the picture.
    This does not help anyone. People should be encouraged to find their own approach and style, not be pushed into copying someone else.


    *Thinking about what you are taking and why you are taking it is the first step to improvement. And it's never easy.
     

Share This Page