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Thread: Why so polite?

  1. #1

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    Why so polite?

    Good morning/afternoon/evening, all of you no matter where are you!

    I DO NOT WANT TO START A TROLL post, but I'm wondering why comments are so few, and so polite.
    Critique is supposed to be "unforgiving", and pointed to object.

    Being able to say "I really don't see what you mean", "Comme again", "wrong execution", "wrong concept", are in the favour of any of parts involved.
    In my case, I'm not evolving, for rest, not pleasing. I posting almost same pictures, with lack of "substance", with dozens of views and less then 5 comments.
    If it is a "bad" picture, you will see 765041604756107651076507816 views and 2 comments " like the colour", "ideea is ok" or something like.
    Again, some bad pictures have 18758176581662 views, but have "stoning image", "beautiful done" and so on, but the image itself is TRASH!!, yes, it is trash.

    I do not have something against CiC, not at all !!!, it is one of the best on this, but I want to THE BEST!, and I felt it lacks on this side. It is hard to argue or explain negative space as ballance in compositions when a point is anchor for composition.

    Ok. Where is my point. Comment more. Once you will try to comment, you will see others comments, will improve your vocabulary, and in extension, your capability. Critique made in "best ways" is better than 74650176507146-`865-816258-`161- pictures.

    Being able to say why or why not helps you, as much the people who post. Comments and Critique will give you MORE information then tutorial, because "you see", or you have a clue in it. Silence is not golden, unfortunatelly.

    Yes, "somebody" post a bad picture. I did alot. There is nothing wrong in it. The wrong part is not to comment correctly, and to give that person the wrong impression "it might be right". The "+1like" to be polite.

    I know it is very hard to comment everybody's picture, but has to be done. Being polite is how to tell to respective people that is wrong, but you have to thell him/her "this is wrong". This is polite, this it teaching, and will bring results over long terms.
    I'm also not fan of an exagerate terms "you have a inproper white ballace with 234 degrees Kelvin", "your picture is not ballanced with 2 millimeters", and so on. Sometimes matter, sometimes not. Buto lack of content pictures, has to be nailed!

    Maybe the most important tutorials on this site (wich are missing), are composition and critique. Those will bring more value to CiC members, and, for sure, will make difference.

    Leo
    PS: I'm not living from photohraphy, and probably I will not doing it for 1000 years from now on. What I wrote above is not for PROFESIOANALS, who have 100% incomes from photography, is for people like me who have photography as passion/hobby/etc.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Why so polite?

    I'm not sure that I follow all your arguments. However, the crux of the issue that you seem to be raising is in relation to the fact that a) not enough people comment and, b) people are not harsh enough in their criticism.

    With regard to the first point - I'm afraid people have the right to choose to what they wish to respond.

    With regard to the second point, the key, for me, in terms of the concept of constructive comment and criticism is, 'constructive'. Criticism does not have to be negative and harsh. Any reference to the principles of adult learning will demonstrate that people learn much more quickly and effectively through a reinforcement of the positives (i.e. what works well), than reinforcement of the negatives (i.e. what's wrong). That is what I strive for in my criticism.

    If you want to write that an image is 'trash', I would invite you to consider what educational benefit that has for the person who is seeking the comment and criticism. I would suggest none at all. The only beneficiary might be the person who wrote 'trash' because it makes them feel good/important/knowledgeable. As far as I'm concerned it illustrates an inability to constructively assess an image and, in turn, to set that out as a constructive comment.

  3. #3
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    Re: Why so polite?

    I believe (and this has been discussed here before - though I cannot find the thread currently) that quite often there is a lack of certainty as to why someone posted an image.

    There are plenty who share just to share - Hey, checkout this super cool thing I saw and I want to share with the world. I am in that camp often enough. Usually, all you're looking for there are some 'Nice shot!' or 'ooooh's and 'aaaaah's. Even if constructive criticism is provided on these shots, I personally usually just take it lightly because my intention was not to critique a technique or improve something by sharing.

    There are others who always have "C&C welcomed" in their post... some I think even have it as a signature item. And while they do indeed welcome the critiques, I think many folks overlook it because they don't know where to begin.

    And then there are some posts that ask for specific critique. I had a post recently that did just that - Which crop is best? - where I wanted to see why folks liked a specific crop. I got a lot of responses on my poll, and plenty of explanations as to why folks liked what they liked. In the end, I think it ended up eliminating one option and being a fair split between the other two (though they were liked for very different reasons, and thus kind of stood alone). But the key is *** I *** asked the question, and people answered. If the question isn't asked, then folks usually don't know what to answer.

    - Bill

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    Re: Why so polite?

    Hi Leo. I will have to disagree with you on your first point. I actually belong to 3 other forums, only one of which is related to photography, and Cambridge in Colour offers by FAR, the most feedback when a question, or comment is posed than ANY of the others that I frequent. In fact, I used C in C as an example about a month ago on a Canadian Marathon/Triathlon forum when I posted a question about a specific training program, and didn't get a single response for over 2 weeks.

    As for the quality/directness of the comments that people do post, I don't really understand what you're looking for. You specifically stated in your post that you are not a professional, and you do not make your full time living from photography. In this case, I would have to agree with Donald. I find that C in C is a fantastic learning environment, and I personally learn better from comments like "Should be cropped tighter, your image is overexposed, next time try using a shallower depth of field", etc, etc, than "Your image is trash". What can I possibly learn from, and how would I improve my photography, if the feedback I get is vague, and lacks any constructive advice?

    If I were you, and you want to know which of your images are good, and which are 'trash' I would send them to a photographic competition, and see if you win. If you are looking for constructive advice, then I would continue to post them on C in C.

    Hope that helps.

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    Re: Why so polite?

    Hi Leo,

    I'm with Donald in that I can't get through your thoughts with confidence that I have followed them accurately, but I will say in general that - beyond the fact that people are polite just because they're are nice people - people are polite because they've learned over time that it's how you get listened to. If you want to ensure that your advice is ignored, you can call someone's work rubbish, or say it's not worthy, etc. If this is how you deliver advice, people will just tune you out. Anyone who's ever stood in front of a classroom of people for any length of time has discovered this and hopefully, learned from it.

    As Donald has eloquently stated, if criticism and advice is delivered in an atmosphere of calmness, good taste and propriety, people become more eager to learn, not less. And so they do. If CiC were to depart from this manner of behavior, I would be out the door in a big hurry, and a huff.

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    Re: Why so polite?

    Many of us have come to CinC from harsher sites where every posted photo is examined in fine detail and given a score.

    The result was that we didn't post anything - and eventually ended up here.

    And some scenes are interesting to general viewers even if the image isn't absolutely perfect.

    However, when somebody specifically requests comments for learning purposes, that is different.

    But what do you say when a relative newcomer to photography, who can only afford low price equipment, proudly posts their latest creation? It may be distinctly third rate, but they have gone to the trouble of adding a watermark to 'prevent' anybody from stealing their work. So they think it is top quality.

    For me, it is better to simply 'look the other way' or add a general comment along the lines of 'I would probably have tried something different here'.

    Strong criticism can inadvertently put someone off photography for life; so careful responses are sometimes required.

    And along these lines, I have noticed that replies to the Project 52 posts appear to have become mostly limited to fellow Project 52 contributors. It isn't a private club so any members can leave comments or ask questions.

    Most posters to this project are on something of a learning process themselves and are willing to offer advice about what worked or failed for them with their photos.

    ps. I don't believe that Leo was aiming criticism at anybody specific nor the site in general. Just a general observation; so we shouldn't be critical of any reasons behind this post. It is always useful to have a good look at ourselves from different points of view.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 14th November 2012 at 06:40 PM.

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    Re: Why so polite?

    Donald,

    Thanks for for your comments. I do NOT want "hars" comments just for it, but sometimes you have to "sent your kids to wash theit theets before bed" before positive/negative criticism.

    I do not beleive that any worst possible image made by a human person IS trash. But it might be 100% wrong. For sure I will not say "go get that one and ......bla bla and bla bla". NOT ME!. But what I will do it, and I ask for it, is to have the same response. Leo/Donald/Somebody, you did this wrong, and this is why in my opinion. You did this better and this is why. Allways has to be both.
    Maybe I tried to tell too much in too few words, but :
    1. I like to have a "dictionary fo critique"
    2. it is not possible to have 100% certain rules of criticism, but you may gave some "points" to be touch in your comment. will help us in forming us a language, vocabulary, not at least, reaction.
    3. To be able to tell him/her, "it is ok conceptual/compositional/etc but lack in post processing"

    I do not want to throw stones, but I think is important to know where you fail to complete yourself.

    Leo

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    Re: Why so polite?

    Leo,

    Another piece to this is the time investment needed for a full critique and response.

    With the volume of photos that come through CiC on a daily basis, I've noticed that threads have a lifespan of about 2-3 days max... and that's usually for a rather busy thread. Many others come and go within a single day. Would I like my posts to last for weeks and be discussed extensively? Sometimes, yeah.. I would. But it just isn't realistic in this setting it seems.

    There used to be a thread where the whole premise was to give more thorough critiques. The idea was to write a critique of the last photo before posting your own. So folks got more in depth critiques. I personally would spend an hour easy giving a thorough critique and write-up of a photo... that kind of time investment is just too great to be able to do that for each and every post (or even a small percentage of the posts).

    Rest assured though, this "issue" isn't limited to CiC. I've been to photography club meetings that were supposed to be critique meetings, and your image comes up and you're looking for real suggestions, and all you get is 'It would be nicer if it were cropped differently' or... my personal favorite... 'I hate pictures of spiders, so I can't really say anything on this one'. Yes, I actually got that once. I quit going to that club.

    So I think this goes back to my previous point... if there is something specific you want critique on, you have to specifically ask for it. Just "bashing" a photo for the sake of it won't be any more helpful than saying it is great when it isn't.

    As the definition says...

    forum/ˈfrəm/
    Noun:
    A meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.

    There has to be an exchange, and sharing a photo out there is only part of the exchange. You need to engage folks to draw them into a discussion. Give them a starting point, and then I think you'll see a back-and-forth exchange begin to flow naturally.

    - Bill
    Last edited by ktuli; 14th November 2012 at 06:47 PM.

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    Re: Why so polite?

    Thanks to all who post and will,

    This is exactly my point!. I really do not want to start an histeria, or something similar. All I asked was for more C&C in all pictures!!. OK, those in contests are apart of it, I'm speaking about rest.

    Please, let me rephrase: Over C&Cwe will develop a common vocabulary, terms, techniques, wihch will give us much better results. But, sometimes, one of results is deeply wrong. It is natural, it is normal. Tell to that people, "this is why you made it wrong", instead of 0451375412 views, ZERO COMMENTS. Mistakes are common, some of them are good, but even the finest photographer is doing some "trash" images.

    This is why you have to rely on community, sometimes you might be wrong/blind/etc and to loose your focus.

    Leo
    PS: I do have some quite lag in post/read posts, so, some of my comments might be overdue

  10. #10
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: Why so polite?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoLeo View Post
    Donald,

    Thanks for for your comments. I do NOT want "hars" comments just for it, but sometimes you have to "sent your kids to wash theit theets before bed" before positive/negative criticism.

    I do not beleive that any worst possible image made by a human person IS trash. But it might be 100% wrong. For sure I will not say "go get that one and ......bla bla and bla bla". NOT ME!. But what I will do it, and I ask for it, is to have the same response. Leo/Donald/Somebody, you did this wrong, and this is why in my opinion. You did this better and this is why. Allways has to be both.
    Maybe I tried to tell too much in too few words, but :
    1. I like to have a "dictionary fo critique"
    2. it is not possible to have 100% certain rules of criticism, but you may gave some "points" to be touch in your comment. will help us in forming us a language, vocabulary, not at least, reaction.
    3. To be able to tell him/her, "it is ok conceptual/compositional/etc but lack in post processing"

    I do not want to throw stones, but I think is important to know where you fail to complete yourself.

    Leo
    Leo,

    One more item... and I think this might be a translation thing, but I will mention it just the same.

    You say several times that a photo could be "100% wrong" or you are looking for critiques that tell you "you did this wrong".

    To me, I think "wrong" is perhaps not the best word to use there. Remember - photography is art. So there really isn't a "wrong".

    For example: I posted some cemetery photos recently for Halloween both here and on another forum. One of the responses I got was "This would be nicer if it were brighter". In that case, the viewer did not pick up on my intention to keep the photos darker to convey a certain spooky mood. To my viewer's eyes, the photo was "wrong". To my camera's exposure meter, the photo was "wrong". To any classical review of a histogram, the photo was "wrong". To my artistic vision, the photo was spot on - and once I explained that vision to the commenter, they understood my intention and saw the photo in a different light and began to like it much more. But it took a little bit of an exchange to get to that point. There really wasn't a "wrong" about it...

    So I would caution about thinking about photography from a right/wrong perspective. It is art and open to any number of interpretations.

    - Bill

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    Re: Why so polite?

    Hi Bill,

    I do not ask for 100% allways. I point to those images who are deeply wrong. 50% burned or in dark, something like.
    There is no point in "artist work", as allways you can say "in my opinion is lik ethis, but is your work so, you decide".

    Maybe I did not phrased right, Feedback is the most important, positive or negative, but you have some feedback. No feedback will keep you in darkness, and, we all, take advantage of light.

    Leo

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    Re: Why so polite?

    Photography much like Art, Music, Poetry, Theatre & Film is utterly subjective to the viewer.
    I could make a photograph which does not adhere to the axioms of photography but if i am personally happy with it then that is all that matters.

    I actually posted a picture which i deem to be my best photograph to date (technically it is wrong in that the highlights are slightly blown, the composition is poor and DoF is to shallow)
    I received some great C&C on that picture including suggestions on how i could have improved it, which was really helpful
    But i still like that photo and it will always be the first image i was personally happy with regardless of the fact it is not technically perfect

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    Re: Why so polite?

    Quote Originally Posted by groovesection View Post
    Photography much like Art, Music, Poetry, Theatre & Film is utterly subjective to the viewer.
    I could make a photograph which does not adhere to the axioms of photography but if i am personally happy with it then that is all that matters.

    I actually posted a picture which i deem to be my best photograph to date (technically it is wrong in that the highlights are slightly blown, the composition is poor and DoF is to shallow)
    I received some great C&C on that picture including suggestions on how i could have improved it, which was really helpful
    But i still like that photo and it will always be the first image i was personally happy with regardless of the fact it is not technically perfect
    Anton,
    With all my respect and politeness, you are "perfect".
    MY POINT WAS/IS/WILL be to have some feedback, on subject, with necessary technical caracteristics if need it.

    Don't want to offend anybody, but people seems to reject things that are not understandable or understood/controlled.
    Sometimes it looks like my discussion with my -3 years old son about why he doesn't "like" vegetables. He can't tell me why, but have such a firm opinion....

    Overall,you might be so right, is better to keep your mout shut and look stupid instead of open it an confirm it.
    Leo

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    Re: Why so polite?

    My 2c worth ...

    * Personally, I'll often look at a thread only to discover that what's there is something that I have no interest in contributing too -- for any one of a number of reasons. Sometimes I'm just curious - sometimes I think they need help that others are better positioned to give - sometimes I'd like to help but I can see that it's going to require more time than I have at that moment - sometimes I can see that others have already helped - sometimes they're just so far "out on a tangent" that I can't even be bothered thinking about it any more. ALL of those situations result in an extra view being added to the count, but not a reply.

    * When it comes to criticism, I think it's a lot like real estate sales where one can describe a place as "a derelict" or one can say "it has tremendous potential for improvement". I prefer the latter.

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    groovesection's Avatar
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    Re: Why so polite?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoLeo View Post
    Anton,
    With all my respect and politeness, you are "perfect".
    MY POINT WAS/IS/WILL be to have some feedback, on subject, with necessary technical caracteristics if need it.

    Don't want to offend anybody, but people seems to reject things that are not understandable or understood/controlled.
    Sometimes it looks like my discussion with my -3 years old son about why he doesn't "like" vegetables. He can't tell me why, but have such a firm opinion....

    Overall,you might be so right, is better to keep your mout shut and look stupid instead of open it an confirm it.
    Leo
    You have obviously misunderstood my post.
    I never claimed to be "perfect" as you say, I was saying who cares about composition & technicality, and nowhere else is this more prevalent when capturing photographs of your children, family occasions and capturing moments in time which will remain forever as a photographic memory.

    C&C is a valid and useful tool for people who want to improve their photography (maybe with the aim of making it a profession) or just striving to improve,
    My point being you can get so tied up in the fundamental axioms that you can easily forget photography for many is a hobby and should be fun.

  16. #16
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    Re: Why so polite?

    Here I'll bite I took this at sunrise obviously and am not happy with it at all because it was quite the site to see.
    CC please dont hold back my skull is thicker than a rubber tire....


    Why so polite?
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 14th November 2012 at 10:55 PM.

  17. #17
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    Re: Why so polite?

    Here's another one I plan on entering in the mini gimmies here shortly.
    I guess Ill have to promise not to enter an edited version.
    (I swear on my boy scout badge)

    Why so polite?

  18. #18
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    Re: Why so polite?

    Why so polite on this forum? Have you been to DPReview? That's what happens when people are not polite.

    DPReview has achieved a certain type of recognition that is not envied by many people. Their reviews are great, but the forums are a place I seldom go anymore - unless I want to witness a cock fight.

    On the other point, I have no problem telling someone what I think might be wrong with their images - as long as I state that my view is solely my opinion.

    Yes, I've seen some dreadful photos on this site - as I've seen elsewhere. I frequent six sites on a daily basis.

    I just don't have time to look at and review every image that is posted.

    Glenn

  19. #19
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    Re: Why so polite?

    This thread is a beautiful example of what goes wrong when responses are NOT, in the main, polite. And interestingly, the instigator of the (basically not unreasonable) question gets very hot under the collar as soon as just one response is, ahem, a little less than polite.

    If I may add my my two pennies' worth as a newcomer to CiC, I agree that comments are best kept constructive and upbeat rather than heavily critical. I see pictures here that would be easy to deride, but to what purpose? So I limit my comments to where I think they can make a useful, constructive contribution.

    Rather than letting tempers fray, let's remember we're all here to enjoy ourselves and not least to learn from each other.

  20. #20
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Why so polite?

    Okay, I think this issue has had a good airing and we can close it off at that.

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