Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

  1. #1
    epmi314's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    471
    Real Name
    Scott Benz

    Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    I've gotten to this strange place where I can easily critique someone else's photo but I look at one of my own and think "Does that even work?"

    Lately, on the posts requesting C&C, I'll look at the picture, develop an opinion before I read the responses from CIC members. I am correct more and more often. Additionally, it is getting easier when voting in the competitions to quickly identify what, IMHO, are the stengths and weaknesses of a photo. It is obvious in some cases what is needed. That should be B&W. This needs more or less crop. Clone out that "thing" behind the bird and so on.

    BUT... As I continue to develop a style of my own, I am finding it very difficult to critique my own work. Does anyone else have this problem???

    Wondering if I need to take a few photography classes or find a good therapist!!!

  2. #2
    FrankMi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    6,294
    Real Name
    Frank Miller

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Hi Scott, happened to me today. I posted a shot for feedback and, well, take a look at Mexican Hat, post # 3. You are not alone!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grand Cayman, GT
    Posts
    830
    Real Name
    Graham Heron

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Group therapy for us all may be cheaper, at least per head .

    I find I get caught up in all the detail I know about my own images. The possible camera shake, the slight overexposure that I had to compensate for before you all saw my efforts, and the list goes on.
    So, all that baggage gets in my own way.
    When I see your images I don't have all that baggage and emotional investment for the hours upon untold hours, sweating over a hot laptop, checking the colour management, wearing black to reduce problematic relections ....
    (yeah, going for therapy now)
    Graham

  4. #4
    PhotoRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    595
    Real Name
    Robert Farkas

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate said it best: "The worst vice, is advice."

    That said...

    My take is that as your taste for certain qualities in a composition has developed (context, minimalism, etc…) it's become more and more reflected in the work you produce, and therefore to you, the results more increasingly just look 'right'. Introduce others, with different tastes and bias, and therein lies the source for critique which as you described, just comes easy.

  5. #5
    epmi314's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    471
    Real Name
    Scott Benz

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoRob View Post
    Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate said it best: "The worst vice, is advice."

    That said...

    My take is that as your taste for certain qualities in a composition has developed (context, minimalism, etc…) it's become more and more reflected in the work you produce, and therefore to you, the results more increasingly just look 'right'. Introduce others, with different tastes and bias, and therein lies the source for critique which as you described, just comes easy.
    Well put Robert. I also give you huge kudos for using a quote from Al Pacino and Gene Saranzen in the same post.

  6. #6
    epmi314's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    471
    Real Name
    Scott Benz

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Hi Scott, happened to me today. I posted a shot for feedback and, well, take a look at Mexican Hat, post # 3. You are not alone!
    I saw the "Mexican Hat Debockle" lol. You don't miss much Frank that is for certain! Honestly, it was what gave me the idea for my thread as while you might have missed one, I wasn't able to tell if I was hitting or missing on any of my own stuff.

  7. #7

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by epmi314 View Post
    BUT... As I continue to develop a style of my own, I am finding it very difficult to critique my own work. Does anyone else have this problem???


    Wondering if I need to take a few photography classes or find a good therapist!!!

    I hear you! (Forget the therapist, though. They generally need more help than the clients.)


    My problem is that I am a “photo hoarder,” especially the personal snaps. Since it costs “nothing” to keep every digi-pix, I do. This must stop! Totally useless, unproductive—and God forbid if I kick the bucket before I get this cleaned up and someone sorts through the trash. . .


    Just today I posted a photo for C&C that, when Frank mentioned the problem—it became perfectly obvious. Where was my head to even think of putting it up? Death in the Garden


    Arrrrgh! It is so much easier to see the issues in the work of others. Same thing happens when I am editing copy. My own errors only pop out at me after I’ve submitted the manuscript for publication.

  8. #8
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,566
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Some photographers just cannot see any merit in their own photography even when it is quite good...

    Other photographers are what we used to call in the Dog Showing World being "kennel blind" that is not being able to see the faults in their own dogs (in this case, their own images).

    True constructive criticism is a great teacher if you can accept that criticism as what it is, someone's opinion. However, often the opinion of a more experienced and/or talented photographer is worth listening to - even if you don't agree with it.

    Additionally some of us have opinions that become almost fetishes. Mine is tilting horizons - I abhore them and are very sensitive to the least tilt. I am probably overly sensitive to that aspect.

    All in all, the best way to learn photography is to have people critique your images. I learn more from constructive ctitiques than from all the atta-boy comments. But, I don't post images to get compliments. I post images to grow as a photographer... OTOH, it does feel nice to get an occasional atta boy!

  9. #9
    PhotoByTrace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    North Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    442
    Real Name
    Trace

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Yes... I always feel uncertainty over my own work, and not just photography. I find if I can leave it alone for a couple of days after editing and come back with "fresh eyes" it helps me be more objective. Sometimes it is hard as there is some element that I'll love about the photo even though I know deep-down that it lacks unity.
    As for getting and giving constructive feedback; if it wasn't for critical feedback from others at pivotal moments, I doubt I'd be as addicted to this hobby as I now am. I've also found critiquing other people's work as well as reading others' comments has been invaluable in helping me "hone my eye". But like Graham suggested I think there is usually an emotional involvement with our own work that makes an objective self-critique harder to achieve.

    As for therapy... I can't afford it now that I've taken up photography

  10. #10

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoByTrace View Post
    …like Graham suggested I think there is usually an emotional involvement with our own work that makes an objective self-critique harder to achieve.

    I wonder if it is not that the mind’s eye still “sees” the photo as the photographer experienced the actual location? All the periphery, that did not transfer to the photo, is still there in the brain. It often needs a critique to point out what is not there and should be.


    For example, I am struggling with a fantastic Fall sunrise. I experienced that sunrise all around me in the garden. It was practically a religious experience. The photo has great colours, but is not anywhere near a great photo. It is just another sunrise. That is the struggle and the challenge to attempt to give the viewer the same experience that the photographer had.




    As for therapy... I can't afford it now that I've taken up photography

    Much healthier, if not necessarily less expensive.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Seminole, Florida
    Posts
    328
    Real Name
    robert

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    For what its worth, i am the harshest critique of my own images; if i'm using a tack sharp lens & applying the best available technique i accept only the "best" images from my image queue; i use image pre-visualization as my guide, when the images i see on the camera's lcd don't measure up I'm frankly very disappointed;perhaps i'm being "unrealistic" because the human eye is far more capable of "visualizing" the nuances in a scene than any dslr that i can afford to use. When i offer a critique of someone else's image i apply the same criteria; my "fetish" is busy, cluttered backgrounds that lack any compositional awareness, perhaps because with macro imaging one has to be keenly aware of any interposing elements; i see many potentially "great" images that are a "jumble" of opposing views, at least to my eye, but i could be accused of lacking the "author's vision"; maybe i am a "dinosaur" from the film slr era trying to understand the "new world" of PP image manipulation, but it seems to me that the "artistry" of film capture has been replaced in the "new age" by "just click at these things" we can always make it better with PP software.

  12. #12

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by elfbob View Post
    …maybe i am a "dinosaur" from the film slr era trying to understand the "new world" of PP image manipulation, but it seems to me that the "artistry" of film capture has been replaced in the "new age" by "just click at these things" we can always make it better with PP software.



    The "artistry" of film capture was achieved via the chemical darkroom. Most, if not all super photographers of the past achieved those special images with chemical manipulation and not just compositional awareness. As is so often the case in photography, many were also in the right place at the right time.




    There is rarely, if ever such thing as “just a click” for properly PSP photos. Digital processing takes just as much skill and artistic vision as in the “good old days” of film. I say that because I have done both and much prefer digital for a number of reasons including no exposure to dangerous chemicals; much more control every step of the way; no need to spend hours in a toxic, dark environment; cost effectiveness; and much more fun with digital processing—to name a few. Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos




    Ansel Adams, one of my heroes, anticipated digital photography and would no doubt be a great user of same. With digital a poor photo can often be rescued to be acceptable; a good photo can be made great and a great photo can be made spectacular.

    Even better is the fact that "everyman" can afford digital.

  13. #13
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,566
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    I find it hard to objectively critique images of great looking dogs and lovely women of all ages. They all look good to me!

  14. #14
    epmi314's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    471
    Real Name
    Scott Benz

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I find it hard to objectively critique images of great looking dogs and lovely women of all ages. They all look good to me!
    I could not agree more!!!

  15. #15

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I find it hard to objectively critique images of great looking dogs and lovely women of all ages. They all look good to me!

    I also agree—especially the dogs.


    OTOH, I have no problem critiquing pixs of guys.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Devon, UK
    Posts
    12,002

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    I find it hard to objectively critique images of great looking dogs and lovely women of all ages. They all look good to me!

    Well I can pass on the dogs but certainly as I grow older I find that more women fall into the attractive category. When I was 20 I found women of 30 to be far too old. Now the attractiveness category stretches from 20 to past 60.

    But returning to the original question. When passing comments on other people's work I always try to be gentlemanly and tactful in my comments; even regarding those absolutely terrible photos.

    I know that someone is proud of their work.

    However, these 'filters' don't apply to my own work so even when I have tried my best with a difficult subject, but the result doesn't come up to my expectations I just give a little groan and hit the delete button.

    And the more I learn, the more that happens.

  17. #17
    Kris V's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Deep in the heart of Texas and Fort Wayne Indiana
    Posts
    1,629
    Real Name
    Kristianna-Marie - I listen to Kris too.....

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    ...but the result doesn't come up to my expectations I just give a little groan and hit the delete button.
    And the more I learn, the more that happens.
    I'm getting there - I found the delete button on my computer!

  18. #18
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    20,232
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris V View Post
    I'm getting there - I found the delete button on my computer!
    And even when you do get some experience under your belt, using the delete button on that image that when you captured it was going to be the greatest image ever made, can still be hard to do.

    Kije everyone else (I suspect) I still can get it spectacularly wrong with some of my own stuff. And is till find myself (after having told myself so many times to stop it) pushing something to try and get an image out of it, when all logic says 'hit the delete button'.

    But it does boil down to what others have written above - we need to be able to distance ourselves from our own work and apply the same objective criteria to it as we do to the work of others. And then keep doing it consistently. That's the hardest bit.
    Last edited by Donald; 21st November 2011 at 11:52 AM.

  19. #19
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    1,971
    Real Name
    Peter

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    The difference is the experience you have in taking the shot includes the sights, sounds, smells, etc of the location, including the whole vista. These senses are all too fresh when you rush back and put you shots on the screen.

    Put them away and come back in 6 months and look again. With time the other senses fade and all of a sudden your images look much better.

    This happens to me every time I come back from a trip. I never like my shots but in 6 months I can make sense of them.

  20. #20
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    India
    Posts
    2
    Real Name
    Rohit Chaoji

    Re: Critiquing Your Photos vs. Other's Photos

    I find myself critiquing my own photos and rarely critiquing others. Although this has a lot to do with me being lot less experienced and being perennially surrounded by experienced photographers. I usually discard a photo when I feel it isn't good enough, but luckily, never delete it.

    Edit: I discard a photo even when isn't too bad considering my level of experience.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •