The Pact

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by manaheim, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. ottor

    ottor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I dunno.... I just dunno... hummm... was OK with the idea until I had to admit that I wasn't Ansel Adams.... :mrgreen:


    Actually - it makes so much sense that I cant' help but be in...

    Thanks!!

    r

    (Still lookin for a blow-up photographers assistant....)


     
  2. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sonnar... it's really only abolitionist if you look at it emotionally, which is a bit part of why we're here lately. People post an image that has some pretty serious issues and say "How's this?" If anyone responds saying anything other than "It's GREAT!", a good percentage of people get really upset. Not everyone, but a notable number.

    What's more is when someone else (evidently fairly new to the field) does say "It's GREAT!" for one of us to come in and correct that, we wind up looking like jerks, and then the people have another chance to get upset with us. :)

    So, eventually more experienced folk say less... the newbs are left to pat teh newbs on the back, and the level of discourse and knowledge share diminishes.

    And yes, this absolutely DOES happen.

    And here's the thing...

    There are some rules to photography. You certainly don't have to follow them all the time, but you kinda need to know what they are to know how and when to break them. And we're not talking about "gee, I don't like the color" here... we're talking about overexposure/underexposure, framing the subject as only a tiny part of the frame, having no subject at all, etc. These generally are not considered subjective elements.

    Really, all the pact says is "you know, you may get upset, but I'm still going to try to help you anyway... and if you get ticked off at me for trying, meh..."

    I don't see how that could ever be considered bad.
     
  3. fwellers

    fwellers TPF Noob!

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    sorry to say this, but the more I read this thread, the more I think that "the pact" being spelled out, objectified as such, and tagged to certain people's sigs, has very little positive value and is more divisive and limiting in nature.

    I say that people should just give the criticism they feel obliged to give, when asked for it, but to give it with sensitivity to the recipient's feelings.
    The asker for cc just needs to realize that criticism of photography has a highly subjective nature to it. Even exposure is subjective. If someone posts a pic that has blown highlights or looks underexposed in the shadows ( loss of detail in the shadows ), then mention it, but not as if your take on it is FACT.
    the recipient will learn from any well given critique, even if he/she doesn't agree with it.
    But the more you try to codify responses, the less creative potential will exist.
     
  4. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Sorry, but what you have said above is NOT reality and has NEVER been reality in the either high level amateur competition level or professional photography at the corporate or organizational level.

    Any performance evaluation is very minimally subjective, if it is given by someone with a lot of experience. The same is true for photography. Underexposed or blown highlights IS FACT, whether the person appreciates or is sensitive to it or not.

    Creative potential is only effective, if it takes place within the parameters of the structure of the medium. Put in other terms, kicking a garbage can may be expressing oneself but it is NOT by any stretch of the imagination creative. Literature is not literature without words that are readable and photography is meaningless without a subject that can be seen in the picture.

    The role of critique is to be clear, concrete, understandable and as objective as possible without any artificial attempts at sensitivity or diplomacy which usually fail. Put another way, confidence should come from within. No one should depend on others to build their self-confidence through false praise, masquerading as sensitivity or diplomacy.

    skieur
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To all those people who think we are alienating them, have a careful read at the wording of this pact. All it does is aim to improve the quality of the discussions. If you're a newbie feel free to post, and now expect a much more useful reply to help better your photography.

    Ultimately it's just going back to the way things were 2 or 3 years ago, It's just a shame we had to start it like this in a thread, and in writing.

    And those are the key words right there. "Well given critique". This pact is not designed to stop any well given critique, or codify the responses so every gets the same bland reply. The goal is to stop critique which is not well given and utterly useless. Many of the points in the pact happen now for the most part except for one standout line:

    Summary comments along the lines of "I like it!" or "Great job!" or "It sucks!" do no one any good and will be avoided at all costs. Opinions must be expressed with reasons and analysis.

    If I post a picture of my cat and someone says "I LOVE IT" the next says "IT SUCKS" I gain nothing from it. However if I get "I LOVE IT your cat is so fluffy and cute, I love cats," and then "IT SUCKS you've cut off the ear the lighting is terrible and there's something weird on his eye" Then I learn a lot.

    By getting the full story it is obvious who is critiquing the photo, and who is biased because of how damn sexy my cat is.

    I had that very case a while ago when deciding if I should spend $150 to frame a print of mine. I got a good 5 replies saying "THIS IS AWESOME" before I got some reasonable ones saying "the proportions may look better if I cut this here", or "this part is distracting does it need to be in the otherwise good shot".
     
  6. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    Did you explain that you were looking to frame the print....

    And that you were asking for feedback in what would look better.?
     
  7. SonnarSphere

    SonnarSphere TPF Noob!

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    @Garbz quote: Summary comments along the lines of "I like it!" or "Great job!" or "It sucks!" do no one any good and will be avoided at all costs.

    well this is someone's opinion. and obviously shared by others. but i disagree that
    the positive words of encouragement 'do no good'. we can say encouraging things
    and also give constructive help. there seems to be defensiveness over the 'words'
    of the ideology of this 'pact' and yet an intolerance of kind words used elsewhere.
     
  8. SonnarSphere

    SonnarSphere TPF Noob!

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    maybe a simple solution is, in the same fashion as we can elect/decline editing of our photos,
    we could elect/decline coaching on photography or elect/decline to have serious critique.
    that way people, generally regarded as poor photographers would fade out the picture -
    or continue happy in obscurity. a win/win arrangement.
     
  9. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ...or you could just not support the pact.

    I mean, seriously, it's not like it's mandatory.

    The idea here is to try to establish some kind of cultural guidelines and to help other people understand how some of us go about our day on TPF and why... but if the prevailing majority of people on the forums don't feel the pact is the way TPF should be, then the pact will fall flat on its face.

    Debating the pact is essentially like debating whether or not I should like the color blue. :)
     
  10. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    im pretty sure that the person posting the photos elects whether or not they want coaching and/or critique when they state in their post: "C&C please".
    if that C&C is missing, i try very hard to avoid saying much about the photo(s), and just look at it.
     
  11. fwellers

    fwellers TPF Noob!

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    I am referring to this forum, not to a photography competition. I wasn't aware that the raison d'etre of this forum was to groom, prepare or otherwise emulate a photography competition.

    To a point, but I say that even blown highlights or underexposure is subjective. I've had people tell me that pictures were underexposed. And when they do, I take another look. At first I think they were right more often, but some of what is underexposed for one person, is just exactly how I want it in my picture. Who decides ? I say the ultimate decision is with the photographer, and is subjective. That's why I said to give your critique, but not in a way that makes your version of photographic reality the only one.

    Maybe in a training school or something. Manners dictate otherwise. Now if you are critiquing a fellow photographer who you've exchanged critiques with for a while, and you both understand each other's way, then sure, dispense with the extra words and get right to the heart of the matter. You both understand each other, and on some level you both understand that the other person's critique has a largely SUBJECTIVE quality to it.
    But for those who critique others whom they don't know, it's way better to take the time to package critique with a bit more care. Pretty much the same things goes for every avenue of life.

    Why do you insist on confusing manners with disingenuous flattery ? As for diplomacy, it goes to my last paragraph above. Don't assume that because someone is new to photography, that they can't read between the lines. There are plenty of ways to get your critique across without giving offense to someone who doesn't know you ( yet ). They involve a measure of normal diplomacy.

    Peace,
    Floyd
     
  12. fwellers

    fwellers TPF Noob!

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    Dude, you made the thread. :D
    What's wrong with discussing it ?
     

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