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07/06/2004 03:39:38 PM · #1
I love the challenges but often hate sharing the results. I like differences of opinion about what I've done but I absolutely detest people telling what I should have done instead, or telling me what I did that didn't work. Invariably, the latter are wrong in their assumptions of what I actually did do and the former are just telling me to make my photos the way they make theirs, or the way they like things to be. Either way, it's enfuriating. I make pictures the way I want to make them and don't want to make them to suit anyone else. The number of times anyone has criticized something I did constructively can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

I wish people would just say what they feel about other people's work unless they have asked for an in-depth critique and, even then, just say what you like and don't like rather than what to do about it. What is the goal here, to end up with a bunch of automatons!?

I don't come here to see the same photograph every time, I come here to see variety, and not just of subject. I want to see individuality and experimentation, points of view and personal interests. Sigh. It's still worth it because once in a while, a few in every challenge, there are individual statements made. That's what I come back for.

And once in a while, at least once in every challenge, I find out about a photographer whose work or style or subject matter intrigues and inspires me, or that I resonate to. That's the other thing I come back for.

It's all been said before and I don't expect any change. Just felt like ranting. :)
07/06/2004 03:43:52 PM · #2
well remember its just theyr opinions
and we all know that opinions are like a****
We all got one :)
So maybe you can take it and think about what they said
and maybe you can just let it be, its up to you :)
07/06/2004 03:48:16 PM · #3
Most of the time they're (we're) just trying to help :)

Message edited by author 2004-07-06 15:48:28.
07/06/2004 03:49:49 PM · #4
Also remember that in the end, it is whether you like it. Just try to see it as us/them trying to help you find that perfect image for you, but we are all so different in our abilities and our true tastes.
07/06/2004 03:54:43 PM · #5
I dont think you will find anywhere online where people wont give suggestions on how they would improve an image. For the most part people participate in websites like this to better improve or to get some ideas on improvement. It is rare for someone to post an image that is perfect and do not require any opinions, comments, or suggestions. DPC in particular has always been an avenue where people can learn, often by the comments left on their images. With the voting being anoymous it is sometimes difficult to know if that person is a new photographer who would benefit from 'your horizon is crooked' or 'maybe crop out X to improve the composition' and those who dont need such suggestions. That said, some suggestions will be not what you want for a particular image and for those you simply read and file away in the back of your mind. I paid more attention to the suggestions in the beginning than I do now, but I still follow some. The difference is those nagging suggestions I ask myself before, during, and after I've taken an image.
07/06/2004 04:03:39 PM · #6
Everytime you enter a pic into a contest, you are asking us "What do you think?"

We give it a vote and often, people tell you what you could do to get a higher vote from THEM, not necesarilly from everyone, I for one STILL have no idea how to get a good vote from everyone so all I can suggest is how to get a better vote from me.

I make pictures the way I want to make them and don't want to make them to suit anyone else

if you don't want people to tell you how they think it could be better, are you sure entering your pics here is such a good idea??? This place is very much about learning and comments help lots of us, sorry they don't help you.

On the other hand, I find my mediocre pics get very few votes, its only the really good ones or the really lame ones that do!!
07/06/2004 06:27:42 PM · #7
Originally posted by carlacryptic:

I love the challenges but often hate sharing the results... ................. I want to see individuality and experimentation, points of view and personal interests. Sigh. It's still worth it because once in a while, a few in every challenge, there are individual statements made. That's what I come back for.


i know exactly what you're talking about here and i often feel the same way... what helps me is the feeling that i really just compete with myself - like if i have a really original idea that nobody else had... i really like that... or, if i get a comment that somebody understood exactly what i was going for, that's really nice, too... this site has many many rewards to offer... then, of course, you can always actually learn a thing or two... irina.

Message edited by author 2004-07-06 18:30:31.
07/06/2004 06:38:25 PM · #8
Originally posted by carlacryptic:


I wish people would just say what they feel about other people's work unless they have asked for an in-depth critique and, even then, just say what you like and don't like rather than what to do about it. What is the goal here, to end up with a bunch of automatons!?


To be quite honest, people are here to learn how to improve. The whole idea behind the voting and commenting on challenges is to tell the photographer what the person commenting thinks may have helped improve the photograph. This helps both the photographer and the person commenting learn.

If you know the way you take your photographs is the right way and nobody could possibly give you an insighful comment, my suggestion would be to not submit to the challenges.
07/07/2004 02:41:18 PM · #9

I am quite aware that some people posting enfuriating comments are trying to be helpful. It's how people phrase their comments that is enfuriating. Most of the time, though, it's unavoidable since the person viewing the image and voting has no idea whatsoever where the photographer was coming from or what they were aiming for. Why should they?

I tested a lot of online sites that had challenges and this is the best I could find and I have to live with the fact that it's not everything I want it to be all the time. There aren't many things in life which are.
:)

My husband, who has been around photography as a medium for decades longer than I have (I grew up around artists who happened to be photographers, he grew up around photographers who sometimes thought of themselves as artists), says it's a gap which can't be crossed easily and I'm experiencing that here.

I see photography as a means to an end and a process both at the same time. Taking photographs is interesting in and of itself for me and discovering various means of controlling my cameras is part of that. Sometimes it means learning the various theories of good composition, good exposure, and good technique and then throwing them out once I understand them, though. If I wanted to take photographs which followed the rules of a given technique, I would and it's not that I know how to do everything already. There are areas in which I am skilled and others in which I am not. But, there are already plenty of photographers taking perfectly lit and exposed photographs of agreed-upon subjects of interest. When one is learning, it's sometimes helpful to learn how to do what's expected but once that is accomplished, there are sometimes other goals.

I know that people won't always find my work meaningful or appealing. But what is hard to take is the presumption that it needs to be brought into line with what is expected that is enfuriating at times. Most of the time, it doesn't get me going, it's just background noise.

I am looking for originality of intent and/or execution when I'm voting and I know that's going against the grain in a sense. I also give much higher votes to everyone than I've seen most people give. That is also something I could rant about for days. Even the winning photographs usually have much lower votes than I would have expected. I get the sense that people feel there's a small pie to divide amongst a lot of hungry kids when they're voting. I see it just the opposite, that there's unlimited pie for as many hungry kids as show up!

I don't believe in competition so it may seem strange that I participate in challenges. But I love competing with myself and limiting the options for a given period of time. It takes me in new directions and sometimes I discover subjects I wouldn't usually pay attention to. It's a lot of fun to get out of whatever rut one is usually in. And I'm used to being in groups where we give feedback to each other about our work but the feedback is based on positive rather than negative comments. We look for what works in the shared artwork not what doesn't work. I've found that doing that helps people grow better than criticism. So, again, I'm on a very different page from most people in this group, I suppose.

It's all good, though... if I didn't want to participate here, I wouldn't.

Chris: I am always looking for insightful comments! Even comments stating why a person likes or doesn't like something are good. It's the comments which dismiss what exists and suggest something which is totally different which I don't like. Let's say the challenge is 'good guys'. Well, I would expect there to be 100 different takes on the theme from any 100 photographers. Instead, there seems to be an expectation in many people's minds that variety is wrong, that there's only one (or ten) 'correct' takes on the theme. That's what drives me mad in here, that people don't trust themselves or others enough to allow for real diversity of expression.

There are very few truly unskillful photographers in here - that's one of the reasons I do get something out of this site. So, I feel we should be giving each other more lattitude and freedom to express ourselves differently.

Irina: Yes, it does happen. :) I have learned a lot from doing the challenges and from reading some people's posts. In fact, one thing I learned is that it isn't just me that has this frustration! I was relieved to see others grappling with the same issues from time to time in forums and elsewhere.

Cbonsall: I enter the challenges because sometimes people do say things which are helpful, challenge me further, and/or are satisfying.

Moodville: I love getting people's opinions but I don't often receive criticism which has much to do with what I've submitted. It's more helpful if people actually say what they like or don't like and why, rather than what they'd have done differently. Those are two very different things. IMHO.

Kylie, Konador, and Heida: Thanks; and of course I agree. Just once in a while I feel like ranting about things, though. :)

Message edited by author 2004-07-07 14:49:51.
07/07/2004 03:01:06 PM · #10
My feeling is that you are taking comments too seriously. Whenever you expose yout work a troop of commentators will jump at it and no picture is perfect for them. This particular make up exists in very site.
Your goal is to listen and see what can improve your art and ignore the off-the wall. Do not feel ofended when you get comments from the neophyte, they have no idea how you made the shot, yet they speak with authority.
If there is a style you have and want to preserve then you must ignore all comments and nod your head. Often times I shoot one subject 30-40 times and the variables are often mind-boggling. So, I decide with the little experience I have. Those with more experience select better.
A lot of people here do not spend time looking at ports. I look at ports all the time because I like photograps.
Just stick to your guns and smile at the comments that missed the point.
07/07/2004 04:39:41 PM · #11
Good advice. :)

(And I sometimes am able to take it! :)

I think one thing that might not be apparent is that I am not upset in some major way about this. I'm just very verbal and use a lot of language no matter what I'm saying. I have heard from some people recently who thought that the amount of words might represent the level of emotional angst. In my case, no. I just write too many words about any and every thing that comes into my mind. Just like now! :)
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