The Pact

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

  1. SonnarSphere

    SonnarSphere TPF Noob!

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      • Critique is given to help people become better photographers, artists, and occasionally business people.
      • I will offer honest critique when it is asked for.
      • I will critique the work, not the person.
      • I will not hesitate to be direct.
      • I will not hold back critique, even if feelings may be hurt.
      • If a shot has fundamental flaws, I will not hesitate to say so.
      • I will offer both technical and artistic critique when possible.
      • I will respect the requestors wishes if specified (such as if they only want technical critique)
      • 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.
      • Lastly, I will make a reasonable effort not to hurt feelings, but not at the cost of sacrificing the aforementioned statements.
    1. Accepting Critique
      • Critique is given to help people become better photographers, artists, and occasionally business people.
      • I will accept critique graciously.
      • I may not agree with or use all that I receive, but I will still but I will still take into consideration all critique provided.
      • I will actively and openly discuss critique so received.
      • When appropriate, I will challenge those who critique me to gain a better understanding.
      • I will not attempt to discredit or insult those who would take the time to provide any form of critique.
      • I will not discount opinions without serious consideration.
    2. Know Theyself
      • I hereby acknowledge that I am not Ansel Adams.
      • I will be mindful of my own skill level when speaking with others and actively point out where I am speaking of things I am not totally certain of.
      • I acknowledge that no matter how good I am, there is always going to be someone better out there, and there is always going to be something else to learn.
    3. A Committment to Community
      • I am a part of this community and therefore a stakeholder in it and will act as such.
      • Anyone who acts shoddily on this forum is a detriment to this community. I will take it upon myself to make polite comments to those people and (in extreme cases) report them to the moderators if appropriate.
      • I will actively participate in trying to redirect discussions to improve the quality of discourse.
      • I will actively suggest and promote changes to the community to make it better.
    4. Response to Smarm (Antagonism/Ingratiation/etc.) (I like the word "smarm")
      • If someone rails at a response where I am adhering to this pact, I will point them to this pact and suggest that they read it.
      • If someone rails at me and I deserve it, I'll apologize and correct my behavior.
      • I will do my best not to get involved in flame wars.
      • I will give everyone at least one chance to take back what they said or correct their approach.
      • If all else fails, I will actively employ the ignore feature and move on with my life.



     
  2. SonnarSphere

    SonnarSphere TPF Noob!

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    i'm sorry but because of the bulletpoints i couldnt preface that with my comments.
    imo whats black is useful and whats red is less than useful.
     
  3. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Okay, but you still didn't answer my question.

    Saying why you don't find parts of that useful would be helpful, but I'm really confused as to why you think artistic critique isn't useful. Photography is a fine art, and has been recognized as such for many decades, even though as a relatively young artform the theory behind it has been discussed rather minimally when compared to more established artforms such as painting or music.
     
  4. SonnarSphere

    SonnarSphere TPF Noob!

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    "largely" well it either DOES or it DOES NOT. how can you be pedantic and yet vague when identifying your own rulebook as it suits. that's just silly.

    affirmation number 1 - the FIRST affirmation of your pact is entirely 100% applicable to that thread situation. you are correct. i didn't ask for critique.

    let me take roleplay your 'pact' here in responding to you on two points
    musicaleCA

    1. if you lack the awareness to recognise why that ignorant and pompous response in my thread would annoy the photographer concerned with making such nature pictures. i'm inclined to believe you also lack the people-skills/maturity needed for implementing the pact in a harmonious
    way, in a team environment.

    2. if you immediately reject my post here as having any relevance to your
    pact, you lack the ability to absorb even the opening statements of that pact.

    so, with this trial-run as a demonstration of the comptency of the
    'pact-educators. i find the idea of the pact, negative and unhelpful,
    anti-social even!

    anyway i have better things to do with my life, than this.
     
  5. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    *Scratches his head* Oookay, so I'm incompetent, and immediately rejected your post as being relevant (what, because I asked you to elucidate what you were trying to say?)? Is huffing and puffing and walking away more constructive somehow? A comment like "Anyway, I have better things to do with my life than this" is oft a cop-out; a way to throw your opinion at someone else and then leave before they can respond.

    If you think the reply that the photo was "messy" was somehow pompous, it wasn't, and in fact, I think it was right on cue. But again, you didn't ask for critique, so I didn't spend the time to point out the technical flaws of your image. And since you didn't ask for critique and no one was flaming you, this agreement largely don't apply; the first two sections concern critique and the last concerns flaming. And since no one in that thread seems to support this agreement anyway, I'm confused; do you see their responses as somehow representative of what the supporters of this pact are trying to achieve?
     
  6. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    Since this seems to be a point of contention: I'm going to take an image from the 1st page of the beginners forum, and show the difference:

    [​IMG]
    Source (also an example of poor C&C "omg I love it type comments"): http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/.../169344-my-first-few-attempts-c-c-please.html

    One of the technical problems in this photograph is that the bush surrounding the canon is horrendously underexposed. There is no detail in the shadow to the point where the viewer cannot tell where the brush ends and the beach begins. The underexposure does not lend attention to the cannon, nor does it lend a nefarious tone to the cannon's being - it does not lend anything to the shot. Should the leaves be darkened in relation to the cannon? Yes - but not to that point. [Side note: this is not the only technical problem the photo has - the barbed wire in the top left corner, for example, is out of place and doesn't lend any context - is it there because this is an old war cannon and it is the remnant of an attempt to keep invaders away from the cannon, or is it there as a decorative/framing measure in a real-life exhibit of said cannon? Is it even there as an overly hostile way of telling people, don't touch the cannon? :mrgreen:] Contrast the image above, which has at least a small amount of thought (even if incorrect and untrained) devoted to art-worthiness, to here:

    Source for the following 2 photos: JerryPH's blog The Jerry Blog!: #3 - Controlling DOF With Your Flash

    [​IMG]

    This image is technically well-exposed - far side of the tablecloth is a little hot but overall the exposure is fine. However, it's not an artistically pleasing photo - the items (cabinet, stuff to the right of it) in the background are distracting, no real thought is given towards subject placement in terms of composition, the bowl on the far end of the table fights for attention from the viewer, and the image is just plain flat-out boring. There is no artistic value in this photograph (Jerry - I also recognize that there wasn't meant to be, you know where I'm going with this, stay with me).

    However, by using a snooted light, Jerry dramatically enhances the artistic value of the photograph. Skipping to the last photo in Jerry's series:

    [​IMG]

    Here, the underexposure of the background and the bowl greatly increase the artistic value of the photograph. Can you see any details in the shadow? There are none - and the bowl can barely be seen at all. However, by making the conscious decision to technically destroy the balanced exposure of the photo, the artistic value increased substantially - there is now a clear subject, and the subject is noticeably framed by the placemats on the table. The far straight edges of the table, indicating the end of the middleground, has become curved to complement the circular design of the table cloth.

    Could the poster of the first image have been able to create an image of the artistic value of the last image with little or no training? No - the poster of the first image doesn't understand flash/strobe photography. It's not merely enough to know the rule - i.e., expose your photos correctly, you have to understand the rule - i.e., what does under/overexposure do artistically to your photos and therefore why should you avoid it?, so that you can break the rule - i.e. because snooting light is a kind of underexposure that can enhance artistic value instead of reducing it, snooting light is acceptable from an artistic and therefore actually technical standpoint.

    In regards to the comments about TPF being a "training school" for professional or semi-professional photography, that doesn't mean that many of us are looking for guidance in how to become a photographer who sells his work for money. Such guidance is actually 90% not related to photography at all - professional photographers need much more training in how to effectively run a business rather than a comprehensive 'training program' that would teach the photographer the history of photography (do you know who Ansel Adams was?), artistic critique (what this thread is about), and film processing (which is worthless to the professionals who shoot digital and irrelevant to the professionals who drop their film off at a lab). Otherwise, we would have many more threads on tips to starting a business, proper business practices, tax code, how to advertise, incorporation procedures, etc.

    For better or for worse, the economy has moved us to the point where right now in time, people are flocking to Craigslist to get a high school student who spent $600 on a consumer DSLR to shoot their special occasion for $100 either because they can't afford anything better or they haven't seen the results from an experienced professional to see that they've just hired someone who can't shoot for crap.

    What this forum IS trying to do, is to get people to produce professional quality work. What matters is not if you've been put on the spot by a relative to shoot her wedding because you just spent $800 on a DSLR - what matters is that you will be able to get a photo that deserves more praise than, "what a cute little kitty!" What matters is that you will understand photography to the point where your work cannot be duplicated by the person sitting next to you in the family room because, through the understanding of art and photographic principles, you have elevated your work to be a point of personal pride - there is no pride in work when the person next to you says, "what a cute little kitty!... I can do that too," and your work has become reliant on the natural beauty of the kitty which anyone can capture with a cellphone and not reliant on how you have made the kitty beautiful through said principles.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009
  7. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    Now you're the one arguing pedantics.

    Fact: you did not ask for C&C. Period, "DOES NOT". Neither "C&C" nor "CC" nor "Comments/Critique" nor "Comments/Criticism" nor any variation thereof is found in either your title the body of the original post. It is merely a picture with a title in the subject line and technical information on what equipment was used to take the photo. Therefore, do not expect people to enter a long-winded diatribe on the merits of your photo. The most you can expect from such a post is "Nice shot," "Interesting colors," or what actually happened, "That looks like a big effing spider."
     
  8. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    BTW, kundalini... I was kinda joking when I said "take to the streets" largely because I really WOULDN'T want this to turn into some kind of street gang. As long as it's a list of ideals that people just try to stick to, I think it's a good thing... if it turns into some kind of protectionist racket or something... <shudder> (not literally, obviously... but I think we're on the same wavelength so I assume you know what I mean)

    I have more comments to make, but I'm just up here for a sec and wanted to say HI! :) :lol:
     
  9. fwellers

    fwellers TPF Noob!

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    The critiquer could have said ... the bush .. is underexposed.
    No need to accentuate with an adjective like horrendously. That is unless you are actually trying to get under someone's skin.

    Not sure who this is supposed to be aimed at, but the condescending attitude demonstrated by it, really has no place in C&C.

    That would be one purpose of the forum.

    It's nice to see that you have a passion about teaching photography to others. Not everybody has the same passion for the same aspects of photography as you though. Not everyone even cares to learn how to use a snoot, or is ready to spend time effort and money on the lighting aspect of photography.
    I think that the critique you gave obviously took a lot of your time. But I'm quite sure many people would take offense at it and many others would find much of it not applicable to what they want out of photography

    There isn't one brand or style of critique that's geared for all. I would think that the more experienced photographers would be able to provide a critique that's a bit more tailored to the individual. It may take a few posts to determine that. Maybe ask a few well pointed questions, based on what you can glean from the quality of the picture, which can lead an experienced person to an understanding of OP.
    But the use of words like horrendously underexposed, extremely messy and chaotic, and questions like 'you do know who Ansel Adams is don't you' are not useful and will lead to contention more often than not.

    Don't be brash Blash.
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No I think we are agreeing on the same thing here. Positive words are all good and fine but WITH the constructive help. That's all. If you know why someone things it's good then you learn a LOT more. Suppose you upload an image and I say "It's great". Now you can either agree smugly while learning nothing, agree and spend an hour trying to figure out why the heck I think it's great, or just completely stare blankly thinking it was rubbish. Now suppose I say "It's great, the converging lines really draw attention to the subject" You get all the praise, and learn something about why someone likes a photo, and in the case of many newbies you may also learn why you yourself really like the photo.

    This is the same thing as reading through a photo book and realising something basic like the rule of thirds for the first time. When someone tells you it's great because the subject is off centre and it keeps they eye interested, it's quite a bit different from "it's great", awesome now I don't know how to repeat this greatness.

    The words "Great Job" aren't bad, unless they are the only words. Otherwise it becomes a huge guessing game as to what made your picture great, which really sucks if you're learning, trust me I've been there.
     
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  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I guess I'm one of the ones that reply "It's great", "Great job", "Love it", etc...

    Most of the pictures that I give this reply to are clearly so good that nothing I could say will help the photographer improve. They are already at the top of their game. They are simply showing off their work.
    ...And I am just telling them "Yeah, you were right - this is pretty good."

    Sure, everybody has room to improve - but everybody can't tell you how.


    If I feel that there is room for improvement, I say so and offer my advice.


    If I think it sucks, I usually don't even reply.
     
  12. MBasile

    MBasile TPF Noob!

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    I support the pact!
     

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