Giving and Receiving C&C

Status
Not open for further replies.

Taylor510ce

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jul 20, 2010
Messages
702
Reaction score
1
Location
United States
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
:thumbup: I totally agree with the OP. I just figured that I would toss this out there as a simple conflict tool, but I am sure it could go a long way in C+C as well. Not that I think you should always have to be so delicate with people, but some food for thought. Its always good to use "I" instead of "You" in any type of conflict resolution.

Instead of:

"You shot this picture with the wrong settings, you didn't level the camera first, you cut half of the subjects head off in the frame..."

Try this:

"I think you shot this with the wrong settings, I notice the horizon is crooked, and I don't think the way the subjects head is cut off, works in this picture...."

I think people in general tend to be defensive when opening themselves up to people. Even the best of us sometimes catch ourselves trying to make excuses when we know we just flat out screwed up.
 

Skyclad

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
353
Reaction score
20
Location
Arizona
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I'm glad this thread got bumped to the top because upon reading it, I have learned to not do something that I have been doing..

Much like the quote(s) below, I have no photographic experience what so ever, and up till now, I would be very selective about what photos I would give C&C to. (and most of it would mainly be comments rather that criticism.

But upon reading this...
Sooo, as a newbie I guess I should not offer my C&C? OK then...lips sealed since I have no technical background or experience.

That wasn't the point I was trying to make when I posted this. I personally think it's important for beginners to get used to offering critisism to others for their work. How can you be expected to critique your own work if you can't even critique someone elses? One of the points that I was trying to make is that if your only critique is "Hey nice shot!" that maybe it would be better not to say anything at all. If you like a particular photograph, just explain why you like it, that's all.

The main point of this thread was to get people to take feelings out of C&C, and to offer actual critique on a photo. Too many people tend to say that someone has a great shot, simply because they don't want to hurt their feelings. This tends to hurt the photographer more than help them because it reinforces bad habits and bad techniques.

Please offer C&C. Just make sure to explain what you like or dislike about a shot.


I have learned that I haven't been doing enough to help the photographer just by commenting with a nothing more than a "Good Shot" comment. Usually I wouldn't say why I thought it was a good shot, because that would be my personal opinion rather than an educated comment. And as we know, opinions are like a$$h***es.. everyone has one. Also with beauty being in the eye of the beholder, I wouldn't describe why I liked the shot.

So from now on, when I give a "Good Shot" comment, I will definitely also include why I think it was a good shot. I now know that even if it is a personal opinion why I think its a good shot, it's still a form of critique even if I (or a commenter doesn't realize it).

As of currently, I still keep my critiques limited to what (little) I do know (such as aperture, ISO, Rule of Thirds, levelness, composition, and other basic stuff). But if all I can do is comment and not critique, I would reserve comments because I am still uneducated and am still training my eye for all said things. But I do hope that when I offer my untrained critiques, that the other, more experienced members will let me know if my critiques are correct or not, (and some have, fortunatly) because this also helps me to learn.

And I realize that even if I can only offer a comment (be it good or bad), that I should be descriptive in my reasons because as stated above... even comments are a form of critiquing.

/end jibberish talk


And I have to agree with others in that this should absolutely be a sticky. Maybe people will read the thread, maybe they wont. Either way, it will be stuck at the top for all to see, rather than to drop down and fade away into the "archives".
 

TiCoyote

TPF Noob!
Joined
Apr 28, 2009
Messages
626
Reaction score
4
Location
New England
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I took a lot of creative writing classes in college, and the best prof I had put it this way:

Diagnose like a dentist. A good dentist won't say, "I like your teeth" or even, "you have really nice teeth." If he does, he is just being polite.

A good dentist will say, "these parts are working, and these parts aren't, and here's why..."

When you use phrases such as "I like" or words such as "interesting" you are just presenting your subjective opinion. The photag's goal is to present a technically correct image that is aesthetically pleasing to many people, not an image that makes one person happy.

Words like "good" and "bad" are weak as well, because they are not specific. The poster probably knows that something isn't working, be he needs to know why so he can fix it.

I'm a little split when it comes to adding phrases like "I think" or "IMHO." It feels more polite, and people may be more inclined to listen when the advice is gentler, especially when it comes from a stranger.

However, I also see a lot of OPs who defend their images to the hilt. I guess some people just shoot for themselves, and that's fine, but why ask for C&C? Maybe they're just fishing for compliments. I can name an instance in which I pointed out that colors in an image looked washed out because it was shot a noon. The OP came back by saying that it was noon, and it was a really hot day, so that's the best they were going to look.

I feel like C&C is anticipation of what a magazine editor or an audience in a gallery would say/think. You can't argue with the editor, because he knows what he wants, and you can't argue with the audience, because you're not there.

By all means, ask as many questions as you like. But don't start making excuses or explaining why you think the C&C is wrong. If you were going something specific, and the audience doesn't "get it," explain what you were looking for, and then ask how to achieve that.

And of course, there are always jerks out there who give one line of feedback. "Nice shots" or "These aren't interesting." I guess the best thing to do is ignore these and don't take it personally.

If anyone is still reading, my question is this. How long, minimum, should someone look at an image before making comments? I think there should be a minimum amount of time we need to really study and take in an image before forming and stating an opinion.
 

Rosshole

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
534
Reaction score
14
Location
WI
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
When you use phrases such as "I like" or words such as "interesting" you are just presenting your subjective opinion. The photag's goal is to present a technically correct image that is aesthetically pleasing to many people, not an image that makes one person happy.

Aesthetically pleasing IS a subjective opinion... and I could post images all day long that are technically correct, but that doesn't mean that anyone is going to like them for anything other than being "technically correct"
 
OP
Gaerek

Gaerek

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
May 2, 2009
Messages
1,341
Reaction score
98
Location
Tucson, AZ
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
When you use phrases such as "I like" or words such as "interesting" you are just presenting your subjective opinion. The photag's goal is to present a technically correct image that is aesthetically pleasing to many people, not an image that makes one person happy.

Aesthetically pleasing IS a subjective opinion... and I could post images all day long that are technically correct, but that doesn't mean that anyone is going to like them for anything other than being "technically correct"

I think it's important to give both objective AND subjective critique. If one person thinks a shot isn't aesthetically pleasing, then it's likely that many people don't. The important thing is to make sure you are explaining WHY you don't think it's aesthetically pleasing. Then it's up to the photographer to agree or disagree.

Thank you for bumping this, btw. I think it's starting to be needed again.
 

Rosshole

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
534
Reaction score
14
Location
WI
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I think it's important to give both objective AND subjective critique. If one person thinks a shot isn't aesthetically pleasing, then it's likely that many people don't. The important thing is to make sure you are explaining WHY you don't think it's aesthetically pleasing. Then it's up to the photographer to agree or disagree.

Thank you for bumping this, btw. I think it's starting to be needed again.

Sure, I know what you mean and I have noticed the snarky asshole comments are gone while the "too nice" comments are on the rise. It is a endless fight to maintain a comfortable balance...
 

gsgary

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Messages
16,143
Reaction score
2,978
Location
Chesterfield UK
Website
www.gsgary.smugmug.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
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 else’s work and give honest feedback. If the extent of your C&C is, “I’m not very experienced so I don’t 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, it’s actually pretty good, and they aren’t rude. They only get that way after it’s obvious this poster isn’t listening to the feedback he’s 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 isn’t 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 don’t insult my intelligence and say this hasn’t happened, because it does and has happened. I’ve 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 there’s 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) Don’t take it personally! People are trying to help you and negative (but constructive!) C&C isn’t 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 they’re giving that will make you better. Don’t alienate them simply because you perceive what they are saying as rude, or abrasive.
3) Ask for clarification if you aren’t 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 don’t agree, but that’s ok, you’re 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.

You wont see me posting Good shot if they are crap
 

TiCoyote

TPF Noob!
Joined
Apr 28, 2009
Messages
626
Reaction score
4
Location
New England
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
When you use phrases such as "I like" or words such as "interesting" you are just presenting your subjective opinion. The photag's goal is to present a technically correct image that is aesthetically pleasing to many people, not an image that makes one person happy.

Aesthetically pleasing IS a subjective opinion... and I could post images all day long that are technically correct, but that doesn't mean that anyone is going to like them for anything other than being "technically correct"

I agree with what you're saying here. When I say "aesthetically pleasing" I mean pleasing to a wider audience, which is difficult to determine unless you have a lot of experience.

Yes, an image can show good technical skill, but not be interesting or attractive to the viewer. However, a lot of people here (including me) are still trying to clear some technical hurdles. Concrete technical advice, particularly for a beginner, is often easier to understand and follow.
 

c.cloudwalker

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jun 15, 2009
Messages
5,394
Reaction score
405
Location
An American in Europe
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I had forgotten about this thread. Good one. Although I should stop talking about my last post, lol, since I keep making time to come back. This place is too darn addictive.


When you use phrases such as "I like" or words such as "interesting" you are just presenting your subjective opinion. The photag's goal is to present a technically correct image that is aesthetically pleasing to many people, not an image that makes one person happy.

Aesthetically pleasing IS a subjective opinion... and I could post images all day long that are technically correct, but that doesn't mean that anyone is going to like them for anything other than being "technically correct"

What about images that are not "Aesthetically Pleasing" on purpose? And I use the term images on purpose because I have used this technique both in photography and painting as a way to say "this is not pleasant but I want you to think about it."
 

Carson38

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jul 8, 2010
Messages
95
Reaction score
0
Location
Idaho
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Thank you for taking your time to post this! Nicely done! :thumbup:
 

pgriz

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jul 30, 2010
Messages
6,734
Reaction score
3,221
Location
Canada
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Very good discussion. As has already been noted by several posters, the best critique is "this works, that doesn't - here's why". Bonus points if the critique also includes "and this is how to make it work...". But if your motivation as a poster is to participate in a social network, then different rules seem to apply. I've also been witness to a weird dynamic where a really, really good photographer (both technically and artistically) would post his shots, and would get almost uniformly high praise. However, occasionally, someone would post a dissenting opinion and the poster would just tear them apart with his superior knowledge and many publishing credits. It took some strong and self-assured people to tell him that he was out of line, and to bring some decorum and meaningful dialogue to that particular forum. So posting for ego gratification isn't limited to newbies.
 

marmots

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
818
Reaction score
35
Location
wisconsin
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
i remember this one...
i think it should be a sticky myself
 

Canosonic

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
660
Reaction score
0
Location
Germany, Bonn
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
?

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
G.Patton
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Most reactions

ClickASnap

New Topics

Top