- Jun 9, 2013
- Reaction score
- Can others edit my Photos
- Photos NOT OK to edit
Good points. One thing I'll add is it's OK to comment if you don't have expertise in a particular type of photo or any art for that matter. Art is aesthetics. So people's opinions of how they affect them are the ultimate point of looking at art. You don't have to understand the craft and the do's and don'ts.I don't think this has anything to do with people being "so sensitive" or a decline in standards.
I think it's just a difficult time for literally the whole world, and people have a lot of other things going on right now that are taking priority. Maybe just don't have the bandwidth left to deal with writing out a critique to a photo. Or they want to contribute to their post count.
Just speaking for myself, I generally don't comment on portraits because a) they don't interest me, and b) because they don't interest me, I wouldn't even know to where to start to critique it. What the hell do I know about how to set up the studio lights or posing or whatever? So I stay mum. I also tend to avoid contributing to the threads of certain members whom I know will just ignore me, so what's the point? I'm wasting my energy. As for the rest, I will admit that I've just not had it in me right now to muster the energy.
Also, whether or not a photo is good is a very subjective matter, so saying that people are giving unwarranted accolades is unfair. One person's "great shot" is another person's "terrible shot." Tastes and interests vary wildly. I've seen plenty of gushing over photos that were technically good but also profoundly boring to me, so should I complain that all the other people who liked it were just being fake or oblivious or too scared to hurt anyone's feelings?
Critique doesn't always mean "point out the flaws." Positive feedback is also critique, and is also very important. It's just as useful to know what you did right as it is to know what you did wrong. And it's also easier for people to take the negative if the critique starts out with - or at least includes - the positive as well. And no, that's also not a "people are so sensitive these days" thing. That's just human nature. Yes, more detailed positive critique is more useful than just "nice shot" but it's not like it's totally useless for someone to know that at least someone else likes their photos and that could encourage them to take more and learn more.
Edit: one final thought. If folks want more detailed critique, then ask for it. Don't just sit back and wait for people to read your mind.
A photographer or any artist should listen to what people think -experts and laymen alike. From a business standpoint, you might be selling to the average non-expert. So it's important to know what turns them on a well as some guru. Everyone's opinion has value. Often, a layman reflecting on just the aesthetics, how the photo makes them feel, is more important than hearing about empty space, level horizons, and the proverbial rule-of-thirds.
I agree - someone doesn't have to be an expert to comment. I didn't explain that point as clearly as I should have - I wasn't trying to suggest that I didn't comment on portraits only because I have no expertise in portraiture. I just have zero interest in them, so I can't even really comment on how they make me feel or what I think of the aesthetics, because the answer to that is almost always "This makes me feel bored" and there's just no useful reason to make that comment to anyone.
Having said that, I do know that many of our members who are newer to photography feel like they might not know enough to comment. What I suggest for those people is that if they think they think a photo is good, try to pinpoint why they like it. What are you noticing first and why does that please you? Is there something that your eye keeps traveling back to? In a good way or a bad way? What things make you not like the photo? What makes you uneasy?
It takes some practice to know how to identify elements of the photo that we are reacting to. I don't mean knowing the technical terms, but getting used to separating out details of a photo so someone could more easily identify smaller parts they are reacting to and not just the photo as a whole. Otherwise, you're left with just, "I don't know, I just like it!"