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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> I feel like an a$$
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05/07/2015 11:34:15 PM · #1
Ok, so maybe I haven't been here long enough to really deserve a rant, but here goes anyway.

Comments: when I joined I read the voting rules. There are hard rules and then soft ones, including this one that I'll quote:
- offer constructive criticism with any vote of 3 or lower

So I have done so. But here's the thing: i'm still a photography noob, and especially a digital photog noob.

So i feel like an ass giving advice.

But i'm trying.

What is disheartening is that it seems like advice on this site is not given readily. I've gotten 15 votes on two entries of 3 or less and exactly zero comments from these voters.

Luckily, I did get one excellnt comment on one of my pictures of a person expressing what they didn't like about my shot that I found very helpful. But still...

It makes me wonder...

If i were to grade myself on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is a monkey with a camera and 5 is a photographer who can make a photograph that grabs the attention of both the eyes and the soul, I would give myself a 2/5. I have a long way to go.

Which is great, brcause that means DPC voting is working- or at least lining up with how I would rate myself. As my two pictures have scored 4/10 or 2/5

So it is not the numbers that bother me, but rather the lack of feedback other than a number.

So i am left to wonder: how do I improve based off of numbers alone. Because i know i feel like an ass when giving advice (a bit like a blind person describing the color of a sunset).

The more i vote, the less I feel like commenting because comments are hard and (sorry for circular typing...) they make me feel like an ass.

So I feel doubly like an ass when i wish people would tell me what they don't like about my photo.

So much easier to just give a number.

Which, in it's own way, makes me a hypocritical ass.

All in all, I feel a bit lost about how to use this site to help improve my photography other than using the prompts and deadlines as a way to force myself to just take more pictures, get thinking about pictures and weeding throughh my sd cards for what I think is my best picture to submit...

And now, looking at that last paragraph- perhaps that is enough and that in itself will lend to improvement.

Thanks to any who made it all the way through at rant. I feel better now, a bit, anyway.

Edit: correction of typos... For some reason my browser stopped doing that red squiggle thingy.

Message edited by author 2015-05-07 23:38:01.
05/08/2015 12:08:45 AM · #2
Firstly, commenting has gone down partly because some overly-sensitive people respond negatively to any criticism, whether helpful or not. However, that's not your problem ...

Many of us have long felt that you will actually learn more about what makes a "good" photo by writing comments than by receiving them. By being able to recognize and articulate what "works" and what doesn't in someone else's image (in which you have no personal emotional investment), you will then be able to subsequently incorporate those factors when composing your own images.

You don't need to be an expert photographer to comment on images -- all you need is an opinion. Assume that the photographer meant for the picture to look as it does -- don't try to say what's "wrong" or how to "fix" it, just say what you like (or don't) and why.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1146965.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1146965.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Probably the best way to get more comments is to post an image in the "Individual Photograph Discussion" section of the Forums and say what your concerns are. Just don't post images or out-takes for challenges currently in voting. Lots of people post an image after the voting asking why it finished as it did -- check out that section for examples ...

Message edited by author 2015-05-08 00:13:31.
05/08/2015 12:16:59 AM · #3
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Many of us have long felt that you will actually learn more about what makes a "good" photo by writing comments than by receiving them. By being able to recognize and articulate what "works" and what doesn't in someone else's image (in which you have no personal emotional investment), you will then be able to subsequently incorporate those factors when composing your own images.


Yes. If I can add something from my own experience when I first landed at DPC...

I gained more from commenting on the mid range votes I gave. It is easy to comment on a shot you love and almost as easy to identify the problems in the poor ones. But the ones you look at and say "Its ok, nothing wrong with it, but it doesn't wow me either", THOSE are the ones you will get the most from pausing to analyze and comment on.
05/08/2015 12:20:38 AM · #4
recommended reading: //www.dpchallenge.com/tutorial.php?TUTORIAL_ID=73 (there are other tutorials on the subject but this one is my favorite)

many of us go through entire challenges without receiving a comment. if you're dying for feedback on a particular image, you can post your photo in the 'individual photo' forum but brace yourself.

when you do get that feedback, know that dpc is not the last word.

Message edited by author 2015-05-08 00:21:19.
05/08/2015 12:23:53 AM · #5
What ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Yo_Spiff said -- I forgot the part about the "mid-range" photos ...
05/08/2015 07:27:20 AM · #6
Originally posted by GeneralE:

What ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Yo_Spiff said -- I forgot the part about the "mid-range" photos ...


the mid range photos are the hardest, there isn't anything bad to point to to make help it better and there isn't anything that blows you away for the good.

most times with an average image you failed to make a connection with the viewer, but its still a good photograph.

ETA: photography is a way to show us how you see the world, dont take a picture, make an image.

Message edited by author 2015-05-08 10:49:45.
05/08/2015 08:57:50 AM · #7
Side challenges are a good way to get into the mix here at DPC, and to give & receive comments without getting scored on your photo skills as you learn. You also get to connect with interesting people on the site that way.
Learning good photography takes time, so just sort of rock along, enjoy the ride, and absorb the good stuff as you go.

I am also a fan of the Vivitar Series 1 lenses. My fav is the 70-210 f3.5. There were several versions of it, and the early version is the one I use. It's heavy, but my hands are big, so I like that because the weight helps reduce shake for me.
' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Ja-9 has shot several blue ribbon shots with an old Vivitar 55mm f2.8 macro.
DPC 55-f2.8 Vivitar Lens

Message edited by author 2015-05-08 09:00:32.
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