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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Honesty? Do U really WANT it?
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08/16/2005 12:49:05 PM · #1
I think that there are two reasons why voters do not comment.
1. Because of a time issue.
2. Because they don't want to upset someone because they want to be honest but can't find anything contructive to say.

What I want to know is, if I am COMPLETELY HONEST, will people get upset? How thick skinned is everyone? I have very little knowledge of photography compared to the majority of members here. I know what I think is a good photo. And if I think that your photo is terrible, so you really want to read that? How can I be honest about my opinions without being negative? If someone could help me with that, I would leave more comments.
08/16/2005 12:52:17 PM · #2
Rain is sorta an experiment for me. I'm leaving in the scores I'm giving in the comment field, for every shot I vote on...
08/16/2005 12:52:57 PM · #3
Yes, some will be offened. You cna't please all the people .......

But I think you should still comment and be honest. When I give a comment that is negative (constructive critisim) I try to start out by saying something positive about the photo of at least the effort. Some of the most useful comments I have recieved have been "brutal" but honest and included specifics.
08/16/2005 01:00:03 PM · #4
I think it's all in the way you say things. When writting a comment, I usually keep in mind that it's an opinion, so if I say "I think I would have cropped more on the left", I think people will see it as my way of viewing things, but if I said "You should have cropped more on the left", I directly tell them what to do and some people don't like that.

In any cases, some people will get offended no matter how you say thing. How you like a photograph is very subjective and some people have a hard time accepting that others may have different opinions on their work. This is even bigger when people have spend lots of time on their photographs.

Personally, if I do not like something in a photo, I usually try to find at least one thing I also like and tell them both.

Seb
08/16/2005 01:00:38 PM · #5
I am honest on every comment/crit I leave on all photos. I have only had 2 people complain about a comment I left in the 3ish years I've been giving them. I've given over 300 Critique Club comments and they have sometimes been brutally honest. No one has complained to me about any of those. You're going to run across a couple people who may not like what you have to say, but who cares? You're helping the people who really want the help and advice.
I always try to say something good about a photo among the negative, even if I really hate it. there's always SOMETHING that's ok. Maybe it's something as simple as 'I like the red color', or 'placement of the subject is ok'. Even if you can't even SEE the subject cause it's so out of focus and dark.
My opinion? Tell it how it is. But don't be mean. Instead of saying 'this photo sucks' you could always say 'this photo doesn't appeal to me on a personal level'. :)
08/16/2005 01:04:43 PM · #6
Another thing that is hard about this is that when you're talking about something like art, it is something different to everyone. If we all made art "the way it's suppost to be", then it would be pretty boring. So, sometimes it seems impossible to critique someone on their vision.
08/16/2005 01:06:43 PM · #7
HONESTLY the only way to improve on your skills is to receive HONEST feedback from your peers (both professional and non-professional). I understand that when you take a photo you become attached to that image on a personal level and this can (and will) cloud your judgement of that particular image. I try to look at my images with an unbiased eye and it is nearly impossible. I rely very heavily on others to describe what THEY see. If they have a good opinion and speak highly of the photo then GREAT! If they have a low opinion and rip the photo to shreads, then that's GREAT too... it's an unbiased opinion. If you want your photo to appeal to others then you need to know what others think HONESTLY. Anything other than that is just fooling yourself.

I personally shoot many "styles" and am exploring photography for real for the first time. Some of my images I want to appeal to the masses and for that very reason, I would like to have masses of HONEST opinions. I also do photography just for ME. If I have an image that I don't care about whether or not it appeals to the masses, then I do not care what others say about it... It's not for OTHERS, it's for ME.

I've noticed that this topic has been brought up several times. Hell, I even brought it up myself once. IMHO comment away. Be as honest as you like. If you like it, tell me. If you hate it, tell me more! If my image was meant to appeal to the viewer then I will take the comment for what it is (an opinion) and hopefully my skills will improve to reflect what others see in my work. If my image was meant for me and I have a very intimate attachment to the image, then it doesn't matter to ME what you say good or bad.

One thing that does kind of irritate me about some users is the offense they take when an image is criticized in a negative manner. I have yet to see a single user who made negative comments just to be mean. All comments should be taken as creative input from one peer to another. We do not always have to agree with the comments, but we SHOULD NOT take them as personal attacks.

That's just my 2 cents. Thank you Mandy for bringing this topic up and I too would like to know what others think about their critiques. As for me... Check my portfolio and feel free to be as negative as you like. It will only make me a better photographer.
08/16/2005 01:10:05 PM · #8
Mandy,

Take it from someone who has a pretty thin filter between his brain, mouth and fingers. I usually re-type my comments on photos that I'm really not into. If I can't really find anything constructive to say to the artist then I just bag it. I am new to this site as well but I figure I shouldn't make any enemies. That would just seem to go against what we are trying to do here. JMHO.

NaldSLC


08/16/2005 01:15:14 PM · #9
Originally posted by mandyturner:

I think that there are two reasons why voters do not comment.
1. Because of a time issue.
2. Because they don't want to upset someone because they want to be honest but can't find anything contructive to say.

What I want to know is, if I am COMPLETELY HONEST, will people get upset? How thick skinned is everyone? I have very little knowledge of photography compared to the majority of members here. I know what I think is a good photo. And if I think that your photo is terrible, so you really want to read that? How can I be honest about my opinions without being negative? If someone could help me with that, I would leave more comments.


There is a difference between criticism and constructive criticism. The former is much easier to do than the latter.

To lean towards constructive try determining what works in the image for you and what doesn't. Vague statements like "the image is terrible" or "nice shot" don't really tell the photographer anything.

Trying to figure out what does and doesn't work for you in someone else's image will actually help you in your own photography. Getting technical is not necessary. Even when trying to suggest changes that could improve a photo doesn't need to be technical. It could just be the placement of the main subject or the crop or where the focus is.

08/16/2005 01:15:44 PM · #10
9 Guidelines for Giving and Receiving Feedback
08/16/2005 01:20:43 PM · #11
Mandy,

If you want to practice feel free to choose any of my images to comment on. I can provide feedback on your feedback if that helps.

Colette
08/16/2005 02:07:26 PM · #12
Originally posted by cpanaioti:

Mandy,

If you want to practice feel free to choose any of my images to comment on. I can provide feedback on your feedback if that helps.

Colette


Ditto
08/16/2005 02:12:24 PM · #13
Reason 3 - I'm on DPC burn out. I've been here 3 years and can't get myself to vote or comment anymore. I suppose having two babies at home doesn't help the time side of it either. Maybe I need a new lens or two :D


08/16/2005 02:18:39 PM · #14
Originally posted by Jacko:

Reason 3 - I'm on DPC burn out. I've been here 3 years and can't get myself to vote or comment anymore. I suppose having two babies at home doesn't help the time side of it either. Maybe I need a new lens or two :D


I'm with Jacko, although I've only been here just over a year (actively). I can't even vote with any seriousness anymore.. if I try, I find myself giving outrageous scores simply to try and keep myself interested, so I don't bother.

I still comment, however, just not on challenge entries much, and I'll generally leave the comment to a shot I find personally very interesting or with something I love, but feel could use some minor tweaking, so I'll suggest some things.

I dunno.. we all have to find our place here, and I think I've found mine. As to the original intent of the thread, I'm always honest, but I try and complement that honesty with a little tact, a little sensitivity, and a reinforcement that everything I say is very subjective and is only one opinion out of many.
08/16/2005 02:33:03 PM · #15
I absolutely don't care how expert or novice the voter is, I'm interested in whatever he/she has to say, however good or bad!!!!!

Oh yeah, I don't care if the comment is constructive or not, either. I'm happy with "Sux" or "Cool", which is better than nothing for pete's sake!!!!

Message edited by author 2005-08-16 14:36:49.
08/16/2005 03:49:39 PM · #16
Originally posted by mandyturner:

I think that there are two reasons why voters do not comment.
1. Because of a time issue.
2. Because they don't want to upset someone because they want to be honest but can't find anything contructive to say.

What I want to know is, if I am COMPLETELY HONEST, will people get upset? How thick skinned is everyone? I have very little knowledge of photography compared to the majority of members here. I know what I think is a good photo. And if I think that your photo is terrible, so you really want to read that? How can I be honest about my opinions without being negative? If someone could help me with that, I would leave more comments.


So long as you're honest I don't really see that there is any problem with giving constructive feedback. To soften negative feedback use the 'shit sandwich', find two positive things to say and wrap them around the negative. Although not always easy it makes the negatives much less painful. :) Also try not to 'pussyfoot' or 'clobber' with your words.

As to how much relative knowledge of photography anyone has, I don't think a person needs years of photography experience to decide if they like a picture or not.. Experience may help if there are technical issues with a picture, but if you can see them you have that knowledge so it shouldn't be a problem.

At the end of the day I think it comes down to how thick skinned the person making the comments is rather than the person recieving them, and if they can put up with the occasional rant from someone who takes issue with the (honest) comment they made..

BTW, I'm very think skinned, feel free to comment away ;)

edit: Forgot to say that IMHO commenting, and the depth with which you scruitinise other peoples photograhs to make good comments, is one of the best ways of learning.

Message edited by author 2005-08-16 16:18:02.
08/16/2005 04:21:40 PM · #17
I think that if you don't comment on as many images as you possibly can, that you aren't getting as much out of this site as you possibly can. That boils it down to me, plain and simple. I've learned more on this site by commenting on other's photos and receiving comments on my own photos than by any other means I've attempted in photography.

There are some very good examples by which to model your comments too (so as to put them in a positive light and yet still get your constructive criticisms across). Some of these excellent commenters are 1) anyone on Site Council, 2) graphicfunk, 3) SDW65, and 4) jutilda. Granted there are MANY more excellent examples of successfully constructive feedback givers out there, but these are the ones that were most prominent in my mind at the moment.

I would encourage EVERY person on this site who wants to improve their photography to spend time commenting on others' shots. Until you actually do it, there's no way to really convey how much you learn.

Just my 2 cents...
08/16/2005 04:27:34 PM · #18
Originally posted by Strikeslip:

I absolutely don't care how expert or novice the voter is, I'm interested in whatever he/she has to say, however good or bad!!!!!

Oh yeah, I don't care if the comment is constructive or not, either. I'm happy with "Sux" or "Cool", which is better than nothing for pete's sake!!!!


Put me in this camp as well. To me the gut reaction comments are equally as valuable as the thoughtful ones and nobody is obligated to spend any time trying to find ways I could have done it better, but that is always appreciated as well. I don't even understand how you could take a comment personally on a challenge entry when the commenter doesn't even know who you are.

A rating scale (1-3 or 1-5) would be great for comments! It's been brought up in the past and I'm not sure why it isn't done. We rate photos, tutorials are rated, book and movie review siteshave ratings for reviews. Seems like if my comment rating was below average, I would want to improve. As it is, I have rarely NOT marked a comment as "helpful" and one of them was "I really don't know what to say. So I won't say anything." I even struggled over whether I should mark it as helpful and ultimately found absolutely nothing of value in it, though I tried. :)
08/16/2005 04:31:55 PM · #19
My only gripe is that people don't seem to really look at a photo before submitting a knee jerk reaction in the comments section. Then to submit commentary under the guise of "hidden during voting" is frustrating on my end because you cannot exactly explain what is going on within the pic.

<-- feeling the hurt now

And the pic is not at all spooky, ffs. :-D
08/16/2005 04:41:51 PM · #20
Originally posted by marmalade1121:

Then to submit commentary under the guise of "hidden during voting" is frustrating on my end because you cannot exactly explain what is going on within the pic.


Nor should you while voting is still in progress.
08/16/2005 04:59:14 PM · #21
And you have a point there. Nevermind my last statement as I'm a tad frustrated that I'm getting a couple just sort of bizarre comments right now.
08/16/2005 05:02:38 PM · #22
Good questions. IMHO, the variable here is not you but the person receiving the comment. Whether you are a pro or not, people prone to getting upset at comments they receive are gonna get upset bc that's what they do.

Not sure that you can do much about it other than finding the most diplomatic & constructive way of doling out your feedback.

Good luck & comment on regardless of what folks say to you. You have the right to your opinion.
08/16/2005 05:09:20 PM · #23
The way I see it, is that I'm here to learn. I would like to see the comments that can make it better. So as some mentioned start out saying something nice and then something along the lines of, "what I would fix" or "maybe next time, try this ..." Stuff like that. I would never leave a negative comment like, "This sucks, don't quit your day job." I always try to be helpful.

Also, this is hard for me because I'm not the best photographer. So how can I criticize someone else's work when mine needs help?
08/16/2005 05:16:39 PM · #24
Originally posted by lepidus:

Also, this is hard for me because I'm not the best photographer. So how can I criticize someone else's work when mine needs help?


If your wife told you your tie was too bright (or whatever) would you ignore her because she never wore ties?
08/16/2005 05:20:12 PM · #25
Originally posted by lepidus:

Also, this is hard for me because I'm not the best photographer. So how can I criticize someone else's work when mine needs help?

As the cliché goes, "I may not know much about art, but I know what I like!"

Just say what you like and don't like, and why, that's all there is to it.
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