Let's talk

Started Feb 19, 2012 | Discussions
EvilOne
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Let's talk
Feb 19, 2012

Ive been dealing with this for what seems to be forever,,,, here is the scenario..

Guy comes here and says he has been a photog for a few years and knows the basics.. Then brags about buying an a77 or a 65 or a 850... he buys a decent lens not the best but good.... he is proud of his gear and then begins to show off his photos noting just how great the combination of camera a gear is... here's the twist, I know you can see it coming... the photos are Gawd awful... I look at them and say no way and Im not going to say anything.. and leave the thread... When I say Gawd awful, I'm not pixel peeping. Because I'm not so hell bent on photo excellence anyway. I'm more about getting the shot even if its just a snap shot...

I return to that thread and see other people telling this guy how great his photos are etc.... So here is the deal...who is doing more harm to this new photog... me for not saying anything or the other people for subscribing to the notion that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything... So say something nice even if it isn't true...

My mind says the guy needs to know, but my heart says no.

This is just for discussion, not an opportunity to bash people for their opinion either way... Do you really want to help, or do you want to be supportive even at the cost of lying. I don't have the answer, and Ive been searching for it for several years...

My self, I would want to know. I know its easier when the person asks for C&C, and when he doesn't its a different story,.,, but Ive seen terrible photos and the person asks for C&C and they get the sugar and fluff.... occasionally I will see someone tactfully offer constructive criticism... that is tempered with sensitivity, but as we all know here in this forum.. there is not too much temperance especially from those who seem to know it all.At least in their mind they know it all... BTW IM not thinking of anyone in particular...
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AarSee
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to EvilOne, Feb 19, 2012

Bill are you talkin' about me again?

I strive for gawd-awful photos!

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Rick

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Stv
Stv
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to EvilOne, Feb 19, 2012

The worst thing that could ever happen to this forum was the closing of the Minolta forum...............
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Samsolar
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to EvilOne, Feb 19, 2012

If I liked the photos I would say something if I didn't I would keep it to myself. I teach photography to adults and children after going through composition with them I try to find something positive to say, point out what I like than I will ask them to point out where they can find room for improvement, if I was a good teacher and they were listening they will tell me. There is a thin line with being honest and knocking someone down.

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MCromer
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to EvilOne, Feb 19, 2012

It's tough.

I am like you, I just keep it zipped when the photos suck.

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reflected_light
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to MCromer, Feb 19, 2012

The photos would have to awfully terrible for there not to something good to say about them. If I wanted to make constructive criticism, I think I would begin by pointing out what I like about the shots. And then after a short period of time, in a different response, I would then point out what bothered me about the shots and attempt to offer an opinion about how they might be improved.

Getting one's feelings hurt is not something anyone wants to happen, but if it never gets pointed out and the photog doesn't eventually realize the faults in his/her photos, they may never improve.

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Doug a700
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to EvilOne, Feb 19, 2012

I don't offer a lot of advice, still learning myself, having said that I appreciate POLITE advice in how to improve my pictures, no pain no gain. Rude is just rude and no help to anyone. When someone who regularly post nice work compliments pictures it then means more to me. So you have my permission to 'advise ' me on how to improve my hobby anytime.

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jmatzick
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to EvilOne, Feb 19, 2012

I think we were all "that guy" at one time or another.
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Kzoozoomer
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To quote Henri Cartier-Bresson:
In reply to EvilOne, Feb 19, 2012

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst."

Of course, had he lived in the digital age, Henri probably would have said that "Your first 100,000 photographs are your worse."

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mmhendrie
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to jmatzick, Feb 19, 2012

As a newbie/beginner to both the forum and the slr world, I don't want to get slammed about my awful pics - but certainly appreciate people pointing out areas for improvement. One of the toughest things I'm finding is developing a good 'eye' - actually seeing what's not so great about my own (and others..) photos. So getting that critical detail is a big help. I think folks just need to be tactful/constructive with their criticism. If someone can't take tactful and constructive, there's really no reason for them to post their pics here. In a certain sense, from the very beginner to the complete pro, aren’t we all looking to learn and improve?

That said, I know when I've posted the very occasional photo, and there's only been a couple of tepid responses, I pretty much get the hint that I didn't 'wow' anyone

-Matt

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Jack R. Grouell
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to AarSee, Feb 19, 2012

Amd I can only hope someday to equal your success...
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MaritF
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to mmhendrie, Feb 19, 2012

mmhendrie wrote:

As a newbie/beginner to both the forum and the slr world, I don't want to get slammed about my awful pics - but certainly appreciate people pointing out areas for improvement. One of the toughest things I'm finding is developing a good 'eye' - actually seeing what's not so great about my own (and others..) photos. So getting that critical detail is a big help. I think folks just need to be tactful/constructive with their criticism. If someone can't take tactful and constructive, there's really no reason for them to post their pics here. In a certain sense, from the very beginner to the complete pro, aren’t we all looking to learn and improve?

That said, I know when I've posted the very occasional photo, and there's only been a couple of tepid responses, I pretty much get the hint that I didn't 'wow' anyone

-Matt

I totally do agree to you Matt. I am a newbie myself... but, I do much hesitate to post any photos here at the forum, so lurk and learn

Marit

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Jim Funston
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to EvilOne, Feb 19, 2012

Bill that is a difficult question to answer. The way I deal with that situation is if I am asked directly for my opinion then I will give it. If I am not asked directly then I will only comment if I can give a favorable comment about the image.

Photography does have certain guidelines or rules but some of the worlds best photographers break these themselves and produce some exceptional images. If I was to point out some compositional, lighting, or whatever issues about an image my eye did not appreciate I could be crushing the spirit of a person who could possibly become the next Ansel Adam's or the like.

To me photography is art and art is in the eye of the beholder. Who am I to judge the art of another.

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jmatzick
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to Jim Funston, Feb 19, 2012

Personally I don't think that prospective photographers are so fragile as to be crushed by a few rude comments. I would regroup, circle the wagons, and start shooting even more.
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Archer66
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to EvilOne, Feb 19, 2012

EvilOne wrote:

... the photos are Gawd awful... I look at them and say no way and Im not going to say anything..

Photographer took the pic and he/she likes it. That is ALL that matters.

If YOU don't like those pics then it's YOUR problem, not the photographers.

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Archer66
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to Jim Funston, Feb 19, 2012

Jim Funston wrote:

To me photography is art and art is in the eye of the beholder. Who am I to judge the art of another.

Well said, this is what I tried to say in my prev. reply.

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janvanbogaert
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to Archer66, Feb 19, 2012

Archer66 wrote:

Photographer took the pic and he/she likes it. That is ALL that matters.

If that's ALL, why post them in a forum ? If you post them you may expect some hopefully honest comments, not just applause.

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tomhongkong
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to janvanbogaert, Feb 19, 2012

Why not send a private mail to the poster offering your suggestions? He does not then get his efforts criticised in public and saves a bit of pride.

I think constructive criticism is helpful and personally welcome it, however I would not send comments unless the poster had asked for them.

Of course, what looks good to one person may be bad to another, but basic technical faults, like bad w/b, out of focus, poor conversion to B&W are things which it is helpful to have corrected

just my 2p worth

tom

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Neeyon
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to Archer66, Feb 19, 2012

Archer66 wrote:

EvilOne wrote:

... the photos are Gawd awful... I look at them and say no way and Im not going to say anything..

Photographer took the pic and he/she likes it. That is ALL that matters.

I think this brings about the question of "intent", as in what was the intent of the photographer? Was he/she trying to create pics that are pleasing and striking to friends/family/the general public etc, or just pics that he/she liked? I think for most photographers it's a bit of both - for amateurs like myself it's more about pics that I like, but for pros it's much more producing pics the client likes.

If a photographer post pics and asks for feedback then he/she obviously wants to know the opinions of others and I think these opinions can be very helpful at times. I'm by no means a great photographer but I reckon that just about anyone looking at pics I took 5 years ago vs pics I'm taking now would say that I have improved a lot, and I feel the same, even if I know I've still got a VERY long way to go. But a lot of this improvement has been from constructive criticism from fellow photographers. So for me I'm getting more satisfaction from the pics I'm taking now than ever before and this is because I'm happier with the pics I'm taking now than ever before. But I'd be a lot less happy if I hadn't had some good feedback along the way to help speed up my development.

If YOU don't like those pics then it's YOUR problem, not the photographers.

I don't think that not liking someone's pics mean that either you or the photographer in question have a problem...I don't see the link. I might have a problem with someone who says "my pics are compositionally and technically the best in the world" when they are clearly not, but if someone posts some pics saying "here's some pics of my holiday to France which I'm very happy with" then good on them for sharing the pics. I may or may not like them, but if I don't like them that's fine...it certainly doesn't imply that either I or the photographer have a problem. Likewise if someone doesn't like pics that I post.

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jeffcpix
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Re: Let's talk
In reply to EvilOne, Feb 19, 2012

"Do you really want to help, or do you want to be supportive even at the cost of lying."

If there's no 'cost' for lying, doesn't political correctness demand the

preservation of everyone's 'self-esteem'? But just add a 'dollar amount' to the 'cost of lying' and see how attitudes change.

Does the same principle apply to raising kids?

It takes two to speak truth --One to speak, and another to hear.

  • Henry David Thoreau

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