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09/21/2011 12:22:38 PM · #1
I try to leave honest comments on as many images as time will allow; One, because I like to get comments, so I feel it is counterproductive to not leave them. and Two, I hope that maybe my critique will help the photog out.

But as I review some of my comments, particularly on the shots that do well, I feel like a idiot because no one else commented on what I found and all the other comments are to the effect of "This is awesome!"

ie, and no offense to the photogs of these shots, I am just using them as examples of my shortcomings. (beside the photo is the comment I left during the challenge.)
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1449/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_971883.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1449/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_971883.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' "I wish the sprinkles were more evenly distributed."

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1432/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_970321.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1432/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_970321.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' "Her hair on her RIGHT (Our left) side emphasizes her cheekbone, making it look skeleton-ish"

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1448/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_971187.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1448/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_971187.jpg', '/') + 1) . '"Very cool, I wish, though, that the dead brush was picked up from the end of the boardwalk..."

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1445/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_970123.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1445/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_970123.jpg', '/') + 1) . '"The blurred thing on the left is distracting, and I am not sensing the stopped motion, despite your title."

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1445/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_970251.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1445/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_970251.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' "I think a faster shutter would have "stopped the motion" of the ball/thrower."

to name a few.

Am I just nitpicking? thanks in advance.

09/21/2011 12:30:19 PM · #2
Nope those are totally valid comments you have made and well spotted. Just because no one else says something about it, does not make it wrong or that you should not write it
09/21/2011 12:41:26 PM · #3
Are you commenting on the fact that you gave an honest crtitique and feel that nobody else really did? Because I went through all of the images and mostly all of them had at least one critique in addition to yours, so no big deal really, is it?

Just a thought - maybe you could also add something positive to your comments as well, because I think what stands out for people is what they love about the shots and that's probably why they're more inclined to leave those comments, and I'm guessing you didn't ONLY see the negative/distracting things, did you? But that's what you chose to focus on. Encouragement and praise is just as important as an honest critique.

Message edited by author 2011-09-21 12:41:38.
09/21/2011 12:46:01 PM · #4
Originally posted by sinistral_leo:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1445/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_970251.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1445/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_970251.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' "I think a faster shutter would have "stopped the motion" of the ball/thrower."


This was mine. I appreciated the comment and I think you were totally right. I wished I had done a better job of freezing the action. The image scored reasonably well because the kid was mildly interesting, but it would have scored better if, as you point out, I had been able to use a faster shutter speed.

While all these images scored pretty well, we are always looking for ways to improve things. While I enjoy the warm feeling of an "I love this shot" comment, I am way more likely to learn something from a critical comment.

Please, keep the comments coming.
09/21/2011 12:48:41 PM · #5
Originally posted by kichu:

Are you commenting on the fact that you gave an honest crtitique and feel that nobody else really did? Because I went through all of the images and mostly all of them had at least one critique in addition to yours, so no big deal really, is it?

Just a thought - maybe you could also add something positive to your comments as well, because I think what stands out for people is what they love about the shots and that's probably why they're more inclined to leave those comments, and I'm guessing you didn't ONLY see the negative/distracting things, did you? But that's what you chose to focus on. Encouragement and praise is just as important as an honest critique.


It's funny you said that, for as I was composing this thread, I was thinking "damn, I had nothing good to say, even though I enjoyed the image, these people must think I'm a jerk." I'll work on that.
As far as the other comments; I didn't mean no one left honest comments, they did, just not what I noticed. I thought maybe what I thought was negligible from a Artform standpoint.

Message edited by author 2011-09-21 12:50:06.
09/21/2011 12:50:47 PM · #6
We all love to get comments and I think yours are pefectly good.
Some folks only leave one word after all.
You opinion is your opinion which is always valid in my view.
09/21/2011 12:57:58 PM · #7
Your comments seemed valid because that is what you felt and is your opinion. If you liked their photo in addition to what you thought could have been tweaked then let them know. I think it is great that you took the time to even comment and actually thought about what it was about the photo.

I went and looked at your comments with the above photos. You have a very good eye. I can see what you saw now. I wish I had that eye. It would probably help me in my own shooting.

Message edited by author 2011-09-21 13:00:14.
09/21/2011 01:01:56 PM · #8
I think you left valid concerns about the images. You spotted the details, which could be interpreted to be "nit-picky" but were things that would have helped improve the images none-the-less. I am open to being wrong about this, but one thing I have learned when giving criticism or critiques is to make a sandwich. Use two good comments as the bread and put the negative comment in the middle. (Not to hide the negative, but to make sure it is well received.) I think that serves to tell the receiver that you are offering your comments in good faith and they may walk away feeling your comments were fair and not directed at them personally.

09/21/2011 01:02:16 PM · #9
Originally posted by sinistral_leo:

... As far as the other comments; I didn't mean no one left honest comments, they did, just not what I noticed. I thought maybe what I thought was negligible from a Artform standpoint.


Ah, I see. Nah, I agree with the others. Be thankful for your sharp eye! :)

Message edited by author 2011-09-21 13:02:26.
09/21/2011 01:05:41 PM · #10
Cool, thanks guys/gals!
09/21/2011 01:06:39 PM · #11
Originally posted by sinistral_leo:

But as I review some of my comments, particularly on the shots that do well, I feel like a idiot because no one else commented on what I found and all the other comments are to the effect of "This is awesome!"


As I pointed out in our PM exchange in which you critiqued my recent yellow ribbon image, you found a problem that no one else (other than my son) saw. While some things are so obvious that they are duplicated by multiple commenters, it's what others don't see and pointed out once that are sometimes the most valuable observations.
09/21/2011 01:11:43 PM · #12
Now if I can only see the "ways to improve" my own images!! I am still struggling with that one!
09/21/2011 01:17:55 PM · #13
Yes, you are indeed wrong, or at least less right then you could be. Anyone who says that they find something in someone else's photograph 'distracting' is offering a valid observation about their own limitations but an invalid and presumptuous observation about the photograph. May I suggest that you react to photographs viscerally instead?
09/21/2011 01:21:25 PM · #14
I think you are wrong in the sense that few of your critiques seem to be about a photograph's technical worthiness, or about how the imagery makes you feel. Yes, you are nit-picky. For example, are the evenness of sprinkles really something worthwhile to complain about, when the photographer's skill with the actual execution of the photo is clearly on display?
09/21/2011 01:25:15 PM · #15
I think what it shows is that you are a technical guy, full of thoughts about detail. People need to hear about the aspects of the shot in order to make their next shot "better." All your criticisms are legitimate- (I can recall a shot where you left a comment on mine saying "I wonder what it would look like in color, and I went back, and it was better in color!)

I used to leave comments that would say "why don't you try shooting the subject from below with a different exposure- or something to that effect, and then I realized- they will never take that shot again... I am best to say "I wish those powerl ines weren't there" or "the crop is too tight for my taste." - so that they may try to see it from my perspective.

I find myself now commenting more on the shots I like, or the good in the shots that I like- so I may not be as critical. But remember- art is first and foremost, subjective- there is no real "competition" like sports.
09/21/2011 01:26:18 PM · #16
Originally posted by ubique:

<snip> ...but an invalid and presumptuous observation about the photograph. May I suggest that you react to photographs viscerally instead?


That's why I have often used the phrase "appears to...", because I might be wrong about the reason but I'd like to mention it just in case it helps. An example would be when there is a color cast on an image and I think I know why, I might say "It appears that you used the wrong white balance setting."

That's a little bit more than simply reacting to photographs viscerally and may help the photog to identify what he might do better next time.

Message edited by author 2011-09-21 13:26:40.
09/21/2011 01:28:23 PM · #17
There is no wrong way. Just different ways. Do what you feel you need to do and don't worry about anyone else.
09/21/2011 01:30:12 PM · #18
Some of the times I "know" of the things people say. Some times I "don't care." Often times I "didn't know" or maybe even "don't agree."

Still, I always appreciate the comments. Please keep them up!
09/21/2011 01:35:46 PM · #19
Originally posted by sinistral_leo:

Now if I can only see the "ways to improve" my own images!! I am still struggling with that one!

The type of comments (and the observations they are based on) IS one of the most useful things you can do ... the things ("flaws") you are noticing in these other photos you will start to account for, either consciously or subconsciously, as you compose your own images. I've long maintained you learn more from comments you make than those you receive.

I agree about "samdwiching" any potentially "negative" comments with something positive (if there is anything) to make them more palatable, but otherwise I would have had no problem with any of those you listed.

One caution though, is don't assume that you know how the flaw was made (e.g. shutter speed), and DO assume that the photographer recognizes the same flaws you see and either meant them to be there as a deliberate part of the composition, or that there was no way to accomplish the change you recommend (e.g. shutter speed). I try to stick to commenting on the effect: "I would prefer to have the motion of the ball frozen rather than blurred/streaked" or somethng similar.
09/21/2011 01:40:39 PM · #20
Originally posted by sinistral_leo:

I try to leave honest comments on as many images as time will allow; One, because I like to get comments, so I feel it is counterproductive to not leave them. and Two, I hope that maybe my critique will help the photog out.

But as I review some of my comments, particularly on the shots that do well, I feel like a idiot because no one else commented on what I found and all the other comments are to the effect of "This is awesome!"


You'll find that people are much more receptive to honest criticism if a bit of honest praise is thrown in first.

Originally posted by sinistral_leo:

Am I just nitpicking? thanks in advance.


Maybe, but it doesn't matter.
09/21/2011 01:45:10 PM · #21
If you point out how something could be done differently in a photo, then you are just telling the photographer what would make it look better to you. It doesn't take or add anything to the photo in my opinion. This is my opinion and some will say the criticism makes them a better photographer. I disagree. It may just get you to conform to another artists idea of what makes a great photo and you may begin to lose your originality and be less likely to break the rules and grow as an artist. So I guess my advice here is to do whatever you want, but don't take the need to perfect your criticism too seriously since it's all subjective.
09/21/2011 01:56:59 PM · #22
Originally posted by sinistral_leo:

Now if I can only see the "ways to improve" my own images!! I am still struggling with that one!


It is always harder to see the flaws in our own images because we don't come at them with a cold eye. IMHO the best way to get that cold eye is to comment (as you are doing) on lots of other people's images, and then look to see what others had to say. Find out if you find similar flaws, or if you are irked by a unique set of parameters. Bending your sense of what is good and bad in an image will not help your art, but it will help your score.

As far as not coming off as a jerk, I try to find one thing to praise and one flaw to point out rather than just going one way or the other in my comments. No matter if an image is your top score or a bottom score in the challenge, it will have something that could be better and something worth liking. Point out both. The top scorers need something other than "Nice shot" so they can see how to improve, and the folks on the last page need more than "This sux" to give them a ray of hope and keep them on the path towards the front page.
09/21/2011 02:35:37 PM · #23
Originally posted by Louis:

I think you are wrong in the sense that few of your critiques seem to be about a photograph's technical worthiness, or about how the imagery makes you feel. Yes, you are nit-picky. For example, are the evenness of sprinkles really something worthwhile to complain about, when the photographer's skill with the actual execution of the photo is clearly on display?


Well that is your opinion, I respect that. However, my opinion in the photo you referenced was that if you took the time to put sprinkles on the lips then maybe it would look better if there were not spots of skin showing through... technical worthiness? yes, How I feel? I feel like I would like it more if it was consistant...

I think I am figuring out why only the "good" photos get the comments.
09/21/2011 02:42:16 PM · #24
Originally posted by ubique:

Yes, you are indeed wrong, or at least less right then you could be. Anyone who says that they find something in someone else's photograph 'distracting' is offering a valid observation about their own limitations but an invalid and presumptuous observation about the photograph. May I suggest that you react to photographs viscerally instead?


So why leave a comment at all? Visceral comments aren't going to help someone improve their shots...

"This image makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside" or "This photo makes me nauseas" doesn't help me to notice that my subject is unintentionally out of focus or that the challenge was, say, Abstract, but I really like the picture of my pet dog's portrait, so I entered it instead... you know?
09/21/2011 02:51:23 PM · #25
Originally posted by sinistral_leo:

Originally posted by ubique:

Yes, you are indeed wrong, or at least less right then you could be. Anyone who says that they find something in someone else's photograph 'distracting' is offering a valid observation about their own limitations but an invalid and presumptuous observation about the photograph. May I suggest that you react to photographs viscerally instead?


So why leave a comment at all? Visceral comments aren't going to help someone improve their shots...

"This image makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside" or "This photo makes me nauseas" doesn't help me to notice that my subject is unintentionally out of focus or that the challenge was, say, Abstract, but I really like the picture of my pet dog's portrait, so I entered it instead... you know?


Visceral comments won't help them improve technically, but the technical portion is only one side to the image. Maybe what the photographer really wants to hear about is their image's emotional appeal.
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