PRO Critique suggestion


hmm I recognise this place! And some of you!
Staff member
Supporting Member
May 1, 2008
Reaction score
UK - England
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Well since we don't have a specific forum section for this and previous attmepts have not worked out well we are left with a gap in the forum. Essentaily its a way for one member to tell others that they want more than just a few hints, pointers and compliments.

So here is my suggestion:

Method of operation: members wishing to request for more indepth review of their photos place "PRO Critique Requested" in the title of thier post along with the general name of the thread itself.
With that title added the member then can make the post as normal, but it must stick to the following outlines:

1) Only 1 - 3 photos are allowed in the thread first post and they are not allowed to make additional posts to promote other works - however after comments they are allowed to post the same photos as in the first post for the purposes of displaying alternative editings after comments made by other members.
This is to remove the problem of a poster flooding the thread with too many photos for comment and it should be noted that a single photo is the prefered option.

2) The poster must also state the following information for each photo (as possible) in the thread - equipment used; settings on the camera (ISO, aperture, shutter speed, shooting mode, other settings eg mirror lockup and flash); general description of the shooting conditions; thought that went into the photo (grabshot - planned landscape - etc...) as well as their own views of the photo(s) submitted in addition to any thoughts on weaknesses and how they might improve the overall result themselves.

This is to help then show that they are thinking about their photography and are also willing to put in effort to further their own understanding and not just waiting on handouts from other members.

That done the member has thus flagged the post to the community at large - it does not ganratee a more indepth review nor does it exclude other forms of commenting on the photo - its is mearly an "offical" message to the forum members that the poster is after a more indepth assessment.

That is the general outline for the idea that I have in mind - it will require that mods (and members using the report post command and NOT backseat moderationg) do keep an eye on posts made with this notation - to ensure that the post contains the required components from the OP - if they are not met then the member should be contacted and given time to edit thier post and failing that have the title edited so that the "PRO" aspect is removed.
I also accept that the word "PRO" might be better changed to a more suitable word to reflect the nature of those who might post more indepth reviews.

Well anyone got any thoughts?
I think that PRO Critique probably gets the idea across that what is wanted is a Critique from someone with a background in that area. Someone who has judged the quality of other photos or has had their own work judged for inclusion in an exhibit, display, or publication. Not necessarily a pro, someone with broad camera club experience, or participation in contests might also have this experience.

I don't think it would work the way you have outlined it. Most people who post images on here are basically asking for critique already. What you are effectively asking is: Only qualified people can comment on this posters image. So, who's qualified? Now, there is obvious standout photographer's who can describe how to achieve an effect. There is also plenty of novices who throw in their .02. What there is an abundance of is, people who have a reasonably good understanding of their body/lens combination capabilities, but have extreme different opinions in what they like. For example, go to any subject in the "Gallery" section. Now go to any post that has a reasonably high view count and a low reply count. Ask yourself, is it a tecnically bad image/composition?, does it just not appeal to me?, or this photographer has a long way to go? It is probably a good combination of all 3.

Now look at a posted image that has a healthy reply count. Most of the replies are usually great shot, or #3 is my favorite, very little technical help. But if you notice, a healthy reply to an image is usually "atta boy" and the OP is seemingly happy with that.

I don't know how many times i've seen replies of "great job", "love it", blah blah, and i've wanted to reply with a "that just outright sucks, these people replying are dillusional", but I never will, because I know what I like, may not be what you or other's like. What this does is make the OP look at my work and ask how I could possibly be credentialled enough to comment on his/her work. So, there goes the personal aspect of a critique. This leaves us with only technical advice on how to or how to avoid certain effects.

Lens flare is harder to achieve on purpose than it is to accidently have it in our image. All of us have blown out a grey sky or two, but there are plenty who actually want this effect. Motion in an image is easy to achieve, but how many can actually do it purposely. These are technical aspects that any photographer must know to achieve the shot they set out to get.

So, to provide my comments on your post, i think it would be better if photographer's showcased their best work and included all the information you said, without getting any replies. That way, people can flick through and see what they like and how it was achieved.

Car Shoot
Equipment Used
Canon 5D, 35mm/1.4, flash, lighting, ...etc
Fill in blanks, shot in RAW
Tips or Advice how shot was captured
Waited for the sun to catch the rear fender to create star gaze. Make sure you reflection is not in the car panels, get low to the ground showing elongation, move any distracting backgrounds, use grey card, turned headlights to high beam, etc, etc, etc.
Editing Details
Include all editing details (PS, Tone Mapping, Noise Reducers, Plug ins, Lightroom, etc, whatever you use and whatever you did.

Attach a "was this useful to you" kind of poll next to the image and eliminate any images that are useless...(for lack of a better description).

This will never make it either, but it's an option to your post.
It is an option and encouraging the posting of such information would be a good move - but I would say that it would be a better move to just have it throughout the forum as a standard rather than just have a single mega post with them all in.

As for the idea I think its clear that the word "PRO" needs replacing with something else - anyone got any suggestions? I think the idea is sound, it just needs a better and more accurate lable.
PRO replacement options : skilled, expert, competent, learned, experienced, polished, proficient ? Just thinking out loud.
Perhaps this purpose would be better served with a crew of volunteer "experts" ...

Hmm. I seem to remember this approach being tried here once before with unhappy results.
The problem is with the word 'expert'. Everyone has their own definition and none of them seem to match the one in the Dictionary :lmao:
A crew could be a good move - though as Hertz has pointed out it could lead to long and endless arguments (and not just here I know if it in other places were "Pros" vote on photos of the day and week and there are endless debates about that).
Perhapse an unoffical group - just those who are willing to put in the time for more structured commenting and critiquing on a post and will look out for the designated posts in the forum. At least that way there is no "system" for people to target with the grumps and it would help keep the idea afloat rather than just floundering and falling apart if people don't respond to it.
Whilst the more structured posting and thinking by the OP in such a case would help them if they were met (and others to) by either the wall of silence or only got the "great shot" comments they might just give up and not bother.
On another forum I'm on, this sort of an idea is called a whipping post. Where the person is supposed to show an example of what they consider to be something of their best work, and then people are supposed to comment and critique it as extensively as possible.

That way if you just post in that section you are automatically asking for extensive critique (thus every nit-picky thing the critics can find)

they also have a limit as to how often one can post, they say once per week.

I'm not saying we need to do exactly this, but something along these lines might be an idea.
On another forum I'm on, this sort of an idea is called a whipping post. Where the person is supposed to show an example of what they consider to be something of their best work, and then people are supposed to comment and critique it as extensively as possible.

That way if you just post in that section you are automatically asking for extensive critique (thus every nit-picky thing the critics can find)

they also have a limit as to how often one can post, they say once per week.

I'm not saying we need to do exactly this, but something along these lines might be an idea.

It might also easily show who the critique specialists on this forum are.

Agreed a section would make things easier - though from what I understand we are unlikley to get one due not only to past experiences but (I belive) because the new site owners are not keen on such a project -- being as it has in the past turned good members away I can understand that point.

As for weight of words that I something that I feel has to be earnt by the commenter in the eyes of the people who's work they are commenting on. Experience in the real world is not going to cut much if any ice since its not something that is easily displayable on the net (we can all be professors if we choose to be) thus it would be down to the language used in communication as well as the content of the communication. This is the own personal devil of the commenter and is something they have to deal with themselves. I have seen people (and I am talking about the whole net here) get very offended and rude because their view is not being held as gospal and that is something that can lead to bad experiences. In the end this whole project is about communication - if a person has little skill in it then they are going to meet setbacks - either on the part of the OP trying to get comments or on the part of the commenter trying to get their view across.
Thus I think it important for those commenting to understand that their comment might not be listened to by the OP - they could be ignored or even challenged. I do not mean to say this in a bad way, but it is up to the OP as to who's advice they listen to in the end. If this does occur then in the past it seems it has lead to long flame wars, bruised egos and missing members - and the person giving the comments is not exempt from blame.
I would hope that maturity and respect for each other could be things that people have as part of a community.

Also its interesting that no one has pointed out that I forgot to mention which section people had to put photos (since we don't have a dedicated section for this sort of project) into for this project. I delibratly left that detail blank (but forgot to mention it) since some people never leave the beginners section - whilst others won't be seen dead in there - however both groups are going to have members looking for more advanced and indepth input on their works, creativity and methods. Thus leaving it with no section and using a key work in the title leaves things open and also means people can use the galleries (all with the exception of the fun gallery) as well and still get good feedback
Whatever happened to the stupid ass mentor program- aren't they providing enough valued and essential critique in thier curriculum?
Oi I read that!!!
and as far as I know the system is still working - though a few members have gone very quiet on the TPF front I have been told that they were still supporting/aiding their students. However its a more personal one to one setup and its also more private in operation.
The move with more open critique is to not only allow a wider range of people to benefit but to also allow things to remain on the open forum - good talks are valuble parts to the community here and help more than just one person to learn.
The mentors system is still open to new members and to new mentors
I'm not seeing the point in a separate 'special' section. Why not just have at it when you see C&C on a post?

Most reactions