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

donny1963

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Yeah I would agree with that, I see people just post a portrait, and then say nothing, people will check it out and they think to them self,
"yup, that's a portrait" and then move on, As you stated always a good idea to lead some one to a comment, and that is a fairly easy thing to do, both positive and neg lol

I like this post..







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 » 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:
Notice on image sizes in the forum
 

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