The death of C&C

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limr

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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.
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.

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!"
 

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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.

I'm not talking about pics that are "technically good but boring" or differences in personal tastes. I'm talking about pictures that are obviously either way out of focus and very blurry/fuzzy and usually verrry dark and full of noise or all the above. Pics that only a mother would tell her child, they look good. If it's ok to say pics like that are good then everyone's pictures are good and that is impossible. you have to draw the line somewhere, you can't just say it's all a matter of opinion.
 

limr

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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.

I'm not talking about pics that are "technically good but boring" or differences in personal tastes. I'm talking about pictures that are obviously either way out of focus and very blurry/fuzzy and usually verrry dark and full of noise or all the above. Pics that only a mother would tell her child, they look good. If it's ok to say pics like that are good then everyone's pictures are good and that is impossible. you have to draw the line somewhere, you can't just say it's all a matter of opinion.

I haven't seen anything like what you describe that got a thread full of "nice shot" responses.
 

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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.

I'm not talking about pics that are "technically good but boring" or differences in personal tastes. I'm talking about pictures that are obviously either way out of focus and very blurry/fuzzy and usually verrry dark and full of noise or all the above. Pics that only a mother would tell her child, they look good. If it's ok to say pics like that are good then everyone's pictures are good and that is impossible. you have to draw the line somewhere, you can't just say it's all a matter of opinion.

I haven't seen anything like what you describe that got a thread full of "nice shot" responses.

I have and others have PM'ed me about the same thing. I'm not alone on this.
 

limr

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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.

I'm not talking about pics that are "technically good but boring" or differences in personal tastes. I'm talking about pictures that are obviously either way out of focus and very blurry/fuzzy and usually verrry dark and full of noise or all the above. Pics that only a mother would tell her child, they look good. If it's ok to say pics like that are good then everyone's pictures are good and that is impossible. you have to draw the line somewhere, you can't just say it's all a matter of opinion.

I haven't seen anything like what you describe that got a thread full of "nice shot" responses.

I have and others have PM'ed me about the same thing. I'm not alone on this.

Why is it so bothersome to you? I'm curious to see an example.
 

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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.

I'm not talking about pics that are "technically good but boring" or differences in personal tastes. I'm talking about pictures that are obviously either way out of focus and very blurry/fuzzy and usually verrry dark and full of noise or all the above. Pics that only a mother would tell her child, they look good. If it's ok to say pics like that are good then everyone's pictures are good and that is impossible. you have to draw the line somewhere, you can't just say it's all a matter of opinion.

I haven't seen anything like what you describe that got a thread full of "nice shot" responses.

I have and others have PM'ed me about the same thing. I'm not alone on this.

Agreed. Some dreadful stuff gets complimented instead of their faults being pointed out and advice given on how to improve or rectify.
 

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TPF is a community not a critique board (actually we have a separate gallery for that now :)).

There are and will always be open comments for people of all skill levels. From those who are just here to enjoy photos and might not take any themselves through to those who are critique masters. The site has never been about only posting critique, that is something users are free to ask for and to give if they so choose.

If you see faults and things people can improve on then YOU can point out the methods they can use to resolve those issues, perhaps even point out the issues and explain why they are issues so that they can understand why they might be seen as negative elements. It's YOUR choice if you want to increase this kind of content on the site. The mods/admin can't force users to just critique post all the time.
Just like we cannot force people to accept anothers point of view. If you give critique in a polite and constructive manner and others ignore or don't pay attention or question it then that is what it is. You can explain your point with more depth and clarity, but otherwise you cannot force people.

Some are just happy taking snapshots and sharing that online and that's fine. There are billions of people in the world and a handful on a forum enjoying and sharing their hobby isn't going to destroy photography overnight as a skill.
 

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I believe you have to take each instance and member separately. We have one new"ish" member that was obviously a novice with a camera when they first started here. Their pics were at best snapshots that you'd see in anyone's travel albums. I think because of the age ( and possibly the gender ), they were handled by everyone with kid gloves and were always given words of encouragement. Had they been critiqued as a long standing member would have been, they quite possibly might have never posted again with us. I have seen great improvement in their posts, and now see some mild critiques being given. Was this the right approach? I believe so because we now have a very active member that might have just vanished from the site otherwise.
 

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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.

I'm not talking about pics that are "technically good but boring" or differences in personal tastes. I'm talking about pictures that are obviously either way out of focus and very blurry/fuzzy and usually verrry dark and full of noise or all the above. Pics that only a mother would tell her child, they look good. If it's ok to say pics like that are good then everyone's pictures are good and that is impossible. you have to draw the line somewhere, you can't just say it's all a matter of opinion.

I haven't seen anything like what you describe that got a thread full of "nice shot" responses.

I have and others have PM'ed me about the same thing. I'm not alone on this.

Are you and these others posting your critique on these bad dark blurry noisy photos or just critiquing them to each other via PM?

What you see as dark, blurry or noisy, another could view as an artistic choice made by the photographer. Sometimes I see photos posted that I think are crap and others are nominating them for POTM. Not everyone has the same taste in art or the same appreciation for some styles. If I don’t “get” a photo and the poster didn’t ask for critique, I usually move on.
 

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Just a point to consider - I've been here since 2008 and I've seen this same complaint over the years time and time again. Not enough critique, not good enough critique; blind leading the blind; beginners too rife; too many snapshots; the art of photography is being killed; digital destroyed photography; worthless snapshots; too much chatting; too many compliments; beginner doesn't respect critique etc...


I've seen people spend hour upon hour arguing about this; pouring out huge threads and long conversations on it. Burning the candle at all hours focused on dealing with this problem. Thing is they spend so much time debating the problem that they don't actually face the problem in itself - they don't put their own time into simply being the leader and being willing to step up and provide the critique. In the end most of the ideas tend to revolve around people wanting us to somehow either do the work for them in providing all the critique and/or punishing any who don't agree with given critique (where that critique comes from an "approved" source).


And you know what before I was a mod I wanted more too - so I started a simple thread to make a mentor system. It worked well for a good many years and whilst we've lost some of the most active users, its still there and heck another could easily take up the candle and help it live again (in the end it 100% relies on people talking about it and willing to donate their time to make it work).
I've written threads on helping people give and take critique (that I link in my signature) and over the years I've given back critique to others when I can. I'd rather LEAD and be the change and give the critique than spend hours debating about it and grumbling.

I've also seen other sites who have way more critique than us and you know what hte main difference is - the users. Pure and simple its people willing, eager, energetic and articulate and willing go give their time directly to the community to provide the critique. To set the standard and to set a high bar for themselves and to meet it. Now we've got the critique subsection; we welcome critique in every gallery. We have given you the places and the tools to talk with users - to be able to communicate with them. In the end the ball is always in the court of the users to make the community what they want.


If you have the time, skill, energy and passion and want to see the community change then the BEST thing you can do is make that change yourself right now. Comment and help others; critique on those out of focus shots to help people understand what they are seeing; why its out of focus and what they can do to help. Team up with a few friends and unite to help spread the load if you like - if there's several of you worried about the quality of critique then team up; provide the quality critique and divvy up the threads so that you cover as much of the community and help out as much as you can. The tools are right there on the site - the chance is right before you to make the change. In the end we mods can't force you to do this; just like we can't force newbies to be better or force pros to sign up to the site to provide and endless teacher resource.
 

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I find cc so hard to do because
My style is so out of the box that for me some flaws are intended/styles
Having been a newbie I found by the time I had done all that peeps suggested the image was no longer mind
Therefore when I do cc I will Make suggestions but also realising/ saying to op it’s only a suggestion disregard if you wish
Sometimes I have an image that could be better but I don’t know how/why that’s when I find cc a help
 

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This has gotten off track. I was just curious as to why some people praise consistently bad pictures. I know the reasons why they might think they're good but I think they're wrong because the pictures in question show a consistent pattern of being dark, noisy and oof all the time. It's not an artistic choice either because I never see a nice, clear, well lit and colorful pic without noise from them. Again, I don't have a problem with the persons pics, just the people that praise their pics. I'm not pointing out the pics in question for obvious reasons. I never want to hurt anyone's feelings, I try to encourage. As a matter of fact I have gone out of my way to contact certain people privately that seemed to be struggling and seemed approachable and they thanked me for helping them. I hope that helped to bring everything in better focus.
 

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Are people upset that there is not enough critique, or are people upset that photos that they consider poor are not called out as such or are "liked"? I get the sense it's the latter, but maybe I'm misreading ...

Just a point to consider - I've been here since 2008

I joined a little after that. I agree with everything you said, but you have to admit that this was a very different place back then - for a variety of reasons (good and bad). I'm not sure there was ever a huge amount of critique going on, but you were certainly made aware if you posted a certain quality of image. At some point, this seemed to be actively discouraged and a number of people moved on afterward - perhaps as a result and perhaps for other reasons.

I enjoyed the edgier banter, but I get that others might not. I think the site could stand to have people think twice about what they are posting, but to do that people will need to be harsher as well as be willing to accept that harsher response. That does not seem like what this site is about now. That is not good or bad, it's just how it is.
 

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This has gotten off track. I was just curious as to why some people praise consistently bad pictures. I know the reasons why they might think they're good but I think they're wrong because the pictures in question show a consistent pattern of being dark, noisy and oof all the time. It's not an artistic choice either because I never see a nice, clear, well lit and colorful pic without noise from them. Again, I don't have a problem with the persons pics, just the people that praise their pics. I'm not pointing out the pics in question for obvious reasons. I never want to hurt anyone's feelings, I try to encourage. As a matter of fact I have gone out of my way to contact certain people privately that seemed to be struggling and seemed approachable and they thanked me for helping them. I hope that helped to bring everything in better focus.

I assume people that comment nice shot etc on just about every photo are either trying to up their post count for some reason or, more likely, are just wanting the interaction. Many people are still in lockdown or semi-lockdown situations and the internet is their lifeline for socialization and contact. We’re a community, not a critique forum. Not sure why other people’s posts are such a concern to you or these others you message with.
 

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I think one issue is that people start a new thread for every photo whether it’s earth shattering or not. Maybe as moderators we need to push people toward the theme threads as someone else suggested further back in this thread. Starting a new thread for a photo share of one photo should be less frequent and only for specific discussion. If there is a photo that doesn’t fit a current theme then start a new one by posting in the themes forum and noting in post 1 what the theme is for. Or start your own thread in one of the galleries and add to it as you wish. We don’t need a new thread for every bird photo. What do you all think?
 
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