Our (photographers) taste in photos vs the general public

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
Stephan K
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Re: Our (photographers) taste in photos vs the general public
In reply to MPA1, 11 months ago

MPA1 wrote:

I've often noticed that what wins challenges here is the most 'obvious' image not necessarily the best image.

Also that many posters on DPR overall are more into their gear than their art

I love the technology and design of current gear for it's own sake.

By the way, what is this "outdoor photography" you speak of?

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: My take on this
In reply to NewGirlLiz, 11 months ago

NewGirlLiz wrote:

I can't help wondering if you might be creating unnecessary confusion for yourself by seeking feedback multiple times on the same images?

I was feeling confusion not knowing if the limited feedback I received initially was a fair representation of what most thought. I'm very glad I did this because it is clarifying a lot of things for me.

It is not confusing to me to learn that the same photo/presentation will be liked by some as much as it is disliked by others. At that point I have to decide if I like it enough to put it out there and let those who will like it enjoy it. On the other hand, I don't want too many folks to see too many photos of mine they judge as poor, either.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: My own taste varies quite a lot
In reply to Tom Axford, 11 months ago

Tom Axford wrote:

This is an interesting thread and has demonstrated the wide variety of views among photographers.

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Just to add a further twist to this discussion: I find that my own views are by no means unchanging and can vary quite a lot according to the circumstances.

I have found that once I share my photos, in some cases, but not all, the feedback I get does influence my own opinion of the photo.

There have been some photos that I just kind of threw out there to see what kind of reaction I would get. In some cases they have been received very well, and now I have a hard time remembering why I didn't love the photo initially.

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NewGirlLiz
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Re: My take on this
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

I was feeling confusion not knowing if the limited feedback I received initially was a fair representation of what most thought. I'm very glad I did this because it is clarifying a lot of things for me.

Like I said, ignore my comment if it didn't ring true for you. I only know the effect that all this to-ing and fro-ing would have had on me if I was getting as many different opinions as you're getting here. Glad it's working for you though! 

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Moti
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Re: Our (photographers) taste in photos vs the general public
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

But isn't that what the average viewer of the photo will do? So wouldn't that accurately represent the perceived value of the photo by most people?

Not necessarily. Judging a photo during a competition is mainly based on the first impact. There is a whole technique for preparation a photo for competitions in order to make it evident. People who judge hundreds or thousands images during a photo competitions day, have very little time to look at the image in order see exactly what is there.

How do you think it would be different if they were not so overwhelmed?

By taking the time to look at the photo in a different way and to try to look for a story, or subtle details or things underneath the surfaceetc, that sine times are easily missed on the first sight.

Moti

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Mike_PEAT
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Re: Photographers are tougher technically/artistically...
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

What key things do trained photo judges look for?

The training I got covered:

  • Identify The Strengths and weaknesses in a photograph
  • See the message the photographer intends
  • Spot the criteria that makes a photograph great
  • Understand the Techniques used to create the image
  • Set aside your own personal bias when evaluating
  • Apply a fair and impartial score to an image
  • Understand what judges look for in your photography
  • Discover new options for evaluating photography
  • Know why it's ok to break ‘rules’ for great photography

Can you give a few examples of what constitutes "wow" factor?

Basically what makes your jaw drop. I usually use the following site for examples (although they are different each time so they may not always be "wow" images, but usually above average):
http://1x.com/photos

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Midwest
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Re: My opinion
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

windriver wrote:

I don't care for the first photo. To me, it doesn't "say" anything. I have trouble finding a central point of interest in it.

Thanks very much for that. This is exactly the type of thing I want to discuss in this thread. You are not the first or second photographer to give me that same feedback on that specific photo. Yet, it didn't seem to bother the multiple people who singled that photo out as one of their favorites from my Winter Wonderful Land Flickr Slideshow (16 photos).

I think that in a place like dpreview, compared to the general public, you may find more people who know exactly why they do or do not like a particular photo. Instead of 'this one is nice, that one is nice too, and I like this one...' you will get more useable feedback.

Of course that's not always true - there are posters who call every photo 'nice' or worse yet praise them as masterpieces, however mundane.

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Kim Letkeman
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my thoughts ...
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

When I got back from my Christmas holiday I started processing and posting the photos I took while I was gone. I received a lot of very helpful advice which caused me to reprocess numerous photos and rethink some of my "keepers".

Some of the photos that were not well received here I decided to share with family and friends etc. in my Winter Wonderful Land Flickr Slideshow (16 photos) anyway. In some cases you turned out to be right. However, the three photos shown below were very well received elsewhere in spite of the luke warm response they generated here.

I really like the slide show in general ... very nicely done. But these three images are definitely the dogs of the bunch.

The first two are slightly modified versions of my original post. The third I didn't change at all and it ended up as someone's desktop wallpaper at work.

In my continuing effort to learn, I wanted to generate some discussion on why and how photographers' taste in photos might be different from that of the general population.

I mean to address the issue generally and specifically with regard to the three photos below.

Thanks for your sharing your thoughts.

The following photo is busy and severely overexposed. The scene itself is nice, but the photo is not, if you get my drift. You family liked the scene and probably did not give a second thought to the technical issues. Enter it in a contest and you get slaughtered.

The following image is just dull. It needs contrast and saturation to be interesting at all.

This was originally 16x9

The following is also dull, but its biggest issue is that the barn faces to the right and yet is crowded on that side. The eye wants to see what is in front of a moving animal, where a person is looking, or what has come out of the barn if anything. To just see the edge of the frame is jarring, while lots of empty space behind the barn is totally wasted in the frame.

This I didn't change and a co-worked set it as their wallpaper

The complaints about these three frames are legit in my opinion. In my opinion, you cannot save the first one but the second can be saved with saturation and perhaps some brightness and warmth, and the last one can be saved with a crop and some further warmth (sun on barn walls kind of thing) ... if you don't mind, I have played with it a wee bit to show you what I mean ...

Basically, make the image about the barn ...

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rogerstpierre
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Good Question...
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

If you show me an image I think: Compositon, Technique, Balance, Mass, Lights, Darks etc. and when I show the same images to a non-photographers they think: Who, What, Where and sometimes When. The will recognize good photos (from a photographer's point of view), but will dismiss them if the Who, Where, What, When aren't meaningful to them. For most, a photograph is just a record of a memory and a moment in time, nothing more. For e.g. if I show a beautiful street candid photograph to my wife, she'll say: blaaa, it's OK but it doesn't mean anyhing to me, I don't know these people ! That resumes pretty much what non-photographers think; does it mean something to them. That is why so many people take selfies in front of Tourist Attractions, to record a moment to be recalled in some future time. They seldom make good images, but do make good records of a memory. As a photographer, I think, why ruin a great photograph by sticking two faces in the middle, I know I whas there... I took it !

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jackdan
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Re: Our (photographers) taste in photos vs the general public
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

I think I have the answer you are seeking. People here are pretty jaded by seeing so many top tier photos, whereas, your friends and family are used to more mundane photos that make yours stand out as being exceptional compared to what they are used to seeing,

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Bassam Guy
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Re: Our (photographers) taste in photos vs the general public
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

There's a significant difference in posting photos here rather than flickr or friends or family.

I assume that the photographers here are looking for something deeper than "Gee, that looks great!". My friends & family wouldn't think of WB adjustment or boosting shadows but I hope I'd get constructive criticism like that from this forum.

Which teacher is better, the one who gives you a "B" and writes "Decent work" or the one who gives you a "B" and explains how you could have improved to an "A"?

But, not everyone in any forum is helpful. There are trolls, haters and bashers and I hope you were not victimized by any.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Our (photographers) taste in photos vs the general public
In reply to Moti, 11 months ago

Moti wrote:

By taking the time to look at the photo in a different way and to try to look for a story, or subtle details or things underneath the surfaceetc, that sine times are easily missed on the first sight

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Photographers are tougher technically/artistically...
In reply to Mike_PEAT, 11 months ago

Mike_PEAT wrote:

Basically what makes your jaw drop. I usually use the following site for examples (although they are different each time so they may not always be "wow" images, but usually above average):

http://1x.com/photos

Thanks for the details about the judging and the link have/will study those photos.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: My opinion
In reply to Midwest, 11 months ago

Midwest wrote:

I think that in a place like dpreview, compared to the general public... you will get more useable feedback.

That hasn't certainly proved to be the case.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: my thoughts ...
In reply to Kim Letkeman, 11 months ago

Kim Letkeman wrote:

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

Some of the photos that were not well received here I decided to share with family and friends etc. in my Winter Wonderful Land Flickr Slideshow (16 photos) anyway. In some cases you turned out to be right. However, the three photos shown below were very well received elsewhere in spite of the luke warm response they generated here.

I really like the slide show in general ... very nicely done. But these three images are definitely the dogs of the bunch.

Thanks. Good to know that most the shots I liked are considered decent.

The following photo is busy and severely overexposed. The scene itself is nice, but the photo is not, if you get my drift.

I know I have lots to learn.

You family liked the scene and probably did not give a second thought to the technical issues. Enter it in a contest and you get slaughtered.

This has already happened to me which is part of the reason I started this thread.

The following image is just dull. It needs contrast and saturation to be interesting at all.

This was originally 16x9

In other words I have to consider this a shot that will only have value if I make it into something different than what I saw when I was there?

The following is also dull, but its biggest issue is that the barn faces to the right and yet is crowded on that side. The eye wants to see what is in front of a moving animal, where a person is looking, or what has come out of the barn if anything. To just see the edge of the frame is jarring, while lots of empty space behind the barn is totally wasted in the frame.

Thanks for reinforcing what others have said in different ways.

if you don't mind, I have played with it a wee bit to show you what I mean ...

Don't mind at all.

Basically, make the image about the barn ...

My initial thought was to make it about the barn *in the winter time*.  Clearly the consensus is that my instinct was wrong about that.

I'm not a fan of how yellow you made the left side of the barn. I assume you did that in an attempt to simulate sunshine?

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Good Question...
In reply to rogerstpierre, 11 months ago

rogerstpierre wrote:

If you show me an image I think: Compositon, Technique, Balance, Mass, Lights, Darks etc. and when I show the same images to a non-photographers they think: Who, What, Where and sometimes When.

But before all of that isn't there a first impression. Don't you almost instantly like or not like the photo?

When you see a member of the opposite sex walking down the street you immediately decide if they are attractive... Much more is needed before you decide to marry them, but there is that first impression.

As a photographer, I think, why ruin a great photograph by sticking two faces in the middle, I know I whas there... I took it !

I agree, but there is value to showing your friends that you were actually there and didn't send them a photo you downloaded off the web somewhere.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Our (photographers) taste in photos vs the general public
In reply to jackdan, 11 months ago

jackdan wrote:

I think I have the answer you are seeking. People here are pretty jaded by seeing so many top tier photos, whereas, your friends and family are used to more mundane photos that make yours stand out as being exceptional compared to what they are used to seeing,

There is probably a lot too that, however.. since you made that specific observation...

I know this is my sister and I know it isn't true but she really did say this to me in a recent email... "Your pictures are FAR better than most of the artwork I see on calendars, postcards and even wall art." She was encouraging me to try to make some money from my work.

I know I have a long way to go before I can even consider doing that, but that was her impression.

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Michael Jardine
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Re: Barn: 3 small tweaks
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

I will compare yours to mine. I need to develop a better eye for that. I use auto level in Lightroom but it isn't perfect.

Yes I use that too but I do two other things:

First, I hit "R" on my keyboard, then grab a corner to do a visual rotation.

Then, I go down to the Lens Corrections section and adjust the Vertical and Horizontal sliders, manually.

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Michael Jardine
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Re: Barn: 3 small tweaks
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

So here is my attempt to follow your suggestions. Did I understand your correctly?

Look at the front corner of the barn, closest to the camera. To  me, that isn't a completely vertical line; it seems to 'slope' off to the right marginally.  Now, look below at all those windows or openings on the lower left size of the barn; see how they also slant to the right?  Tap "R" on your  keyboard in LR and rotate the image counter-clockwise about one degree or less.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Barn: 3 small tweaks
In reply to Michael Jardine, 11 months ago

Michael Jardine wrote:

see how they also slant to the right? Tap "R" on your keyboard in LR and rotate the image counter-clockwise about one degree or less.

Boy that was hard for me!  I even tried using the angle tool and drawing it down that corner. Even doing that it still didn't look right. In the end I did exactly as you suggested. Without using the lens correction panel.. Is this better?

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