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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> Message to the Newbies
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06/04/2002 07:54:18 AM · #1
There are few people who, when they comment, just have no idea what they are talking about. I wish I could post one of those comments but it would give my entry away immediately.

For those who are new here and get these types of remarks, just consider the source. Not all criticism is constructive or even valuable. It's hard not to take it personally, but learn to laugh and have fun with site!
06/04/2002 08:33:23 AM · #2
I am a newbie to digital photography and don't pretend to know much about the technical side, however I do make comment If I think it may be useful. So far, I have 120 votes and only 7 comments, most of which are good. What gets me is when some1 makes a comment about the lack of technique in my photo but does not qualify the comment by explaining how to improve it. There are a lot of experienced photographers in here and yes I appreciate the time constraints, but please, if you see something wrong don't just say it lacks tehnique. Tell me how to improve it.
06/04/2002 08:46:43 AM · #3
Ack, whenever I read a post like this I get this horrible feeling that it might have been one of my comments... it's probably not, but the anonymity here can make discussions like this get very paranoid!
06/04/2002 08:50:19 AM · #4
Dogman, I totally agree with you. I am a newbie to DPChallenge and also a newbie to Digital Photography. Need I say anymore, you said it all in you recent submission. Thank you!!
06/04/2002 08:50:27 AM · #5
I agree that constructive criticism is the aim here, but I also don't have time to teach Photography 101 to everyone who needs it. Anyone who has, and the patience to go with it, ought to get a medal. Things like stopping down the aperture to increase depth of field or increasing the shutter speed to stop motion, avoiding overexposure, checking focus, etc. are basic technical aspects of photography, and anyone who wants to compete as a photographer should really read up on them. I'm trying to comment on most of the images in the current challenge, starting from the ones I rated lowest, and I can't tell you how many times I've written variations on the same basic idea. Don't mean to be harsh, but I get the feeling that some participants here expect to be spoon-fed photography without making an effort to learn on their own.
06/04/2002 08:57:48 AM · #6
irae..I agree 100%.

I just wrote basically the same thing on another thread.

I have a hard enough time talking with young photograpehrs face to face and getting somewhere.

Basic photography is not to be learned on a competition web site.

On a site like this you need to already know the technical handling of a camera. And the aesthetics only come through practice which the challenges are all about.

And there are a lot of places to learn the tricks of the pros in books and online. The aestheitc critique is the vote. What more needs to be said?
06/04/2002 09:01:08 AM · #7
Irae - Your comment on my thumb wrestling photo a couple of weeks ago was great in that you did seem to take into account the automatic focus, etc. that I have to deal with because I have a low-end camera, but in general I think that giving detailed instructions about focus, aperture, shutter speed, etc. is a bit wasted unless you know how much the photographer can actually control. All I can do with my camera is set the white balance according to what kind of light I have, and change the EV compensation. Oh, and decide between two focus modes. People made all kinds of suggestions on my photo from last week that involved things I could not possibly have changed, and things that I did on purpose in post-processing, and it's actually quite annoying.

I prefer not to comment that way and just consider external, universal things like lighting, composition, cropping, etc, and maybe make suggestions about post-processing because a lot of people have no idea about that.
06/04/2002 09:01:32 AM · #8
Here's what we should do..

On the photographer's page where he sees his comments, we should link at the bottom to tutorials that could help their problems. We could even have the page be 'smart' and see what words are used in the comments to trigger which links to show. Maybe..

Drew
06/04/2002 09:05:19 AM · #9
Hokie & Israe,

I take both your comments on board and appreciate your input, however, like I said, If some1 puts "lacks technique" as a comment, then at least back it up with a quick reason:-)
06/04/2002 09:09:28 AM · #10
I can see how frustrating it must be to get detailed instructions on how to change your aperture if you can't do that with your current camera. I don't see myself stopping to comment on that kind of thing, because if you can control that kind of thing, then maybe next time you will try. If you can't then you'll just have to ignore the comment.

I do also agree with other posters that detailed "how to" descriptions should not be necessary. I got several comments on my previous photo, and I went and researched and did some of the post-processing (I'm a total novice at that, so I appreciate all comments on what to do) and made my photo much better. Isn't that what it's all about?

All in all, I think I generally get a good mix of comments that cover both technique, external factors and composition. Everyone has a different style of commenting but in the end it usually adds up to some really good input (as well as some stuff that I just ignore because I don't agree! ;)
06/04/2002 09:22:57 AM · #11
I guess what I am saying..and it's a harsh but true statement.

If you REALLY want to be better...you will be better. There are so many resources out there for aspiring photographers all you have to do is look. I am rediscovering bookstores because large prints of great photos are a hundred times better in your hand than on a screen. Their clarity and something about the 3-dimensional aspect adds so much to the experience.

And I agree Dogman, if someone thinks they have an understanding of correct technique to write "lacks technique" they had better be willing to back that statement up or their critique "lacks technique".
06/04/2002 09:29:41 AM · #12
Originally posted by hokie:
And I agree Dogman, if someone thinks they have an understanding of correct technique to write "lacks technique" they had better be willing to back that statement up or their critique "lacks technique".

Amen
06/04/2002 10:09:32 AM · #13
I think I'm seeing people talking about two different things in this thread. There are those seeking explanation of comments like "lacks technique" and those stating why they don't want to go into lengthy explanations of technique. Both are valid, but I don't think they're really speaking to each other.

I don't think the person who's asking for explanation wants someone to sit down and say, "OK, this is how to control depth of field. First, there's this thing called aperture..." As I'm reading things, all they want to hear is something along the lines of, "Lacks technique -- DOF is off" or maybe, "Lacks technique -- try a larger aperture." It's not a matter of being too lazy to learn on one's own, or of wanting to be spoon fed -- it's an issue of being told something isn't good with no explanation as to why. The how doesn't enter into it.
06/04/2002 10:13:18 AM · #14
EXACTLY Patella. thank you.
06/04/2002 10:27:16 AM · #15
I think I spoke to Dogmans comment.

The reason I may have commented about basic technique is that (and Dogman probably doesn't fit into this category) is that often times a person may make a comment like "lacks technique, DOF" and then the person getting the comment would say "What? What is DOF" then I would say " Depth of Field" and then they would say "My camera doesn't have that function" and then I would say " You control that by aperature" and then they would say " Do I make it bigger or smaller?" and so on and so on... ad nauseum......

Maybe that guy that said "lacks technique" is on to something...:-)
06/04/2002 10:35:15 AM · #16
Or maybe we (and I include myself) just need to stop using acronyms. *grin*

A second thought, if people are worried about spending time commenting and teaching -- I''d rather they just didn''t bother than leave a comment that is negative but too vague. Everybody''s happy that way. Course, then people like me post a thread to ask -- but hey, if you don''t want to, don''t contribute to that thread either. :-)



* This message has been edited by the author on 6/4/2002 10:40:30 AM.
06/04/2002 10:45:59 AM · #17
Originally posted by Patella:
Or maybe we (and I include myself) just need to stop using acronyms. *grin*


Patella..hehe..I wish it were that simple.

All I know is this...if someone makes a comment to me and it takes more than 2 sentences to get me to go to a web site/bookstore/photo class/art gallery to learn more about their comment maybe I don''t care enough to learn.

(BTW patella..this is not directed at you..you definitely are a seeker)

The wealth of resources available at our fingertips astounds me. When I was in college (1980) we didn''t have computers or the internet.

I had to walk to a thing called a library to get anything close to what is available on the net in an instant.

I guess I am just being pissy today but information is so abundant today in comaparison to any other time in history I just don''t understand how you cant find whatever you want when you want it.

Now I crawl back into my cave and draw on the walls again..errrGGhhh...




* This message has been edited by the author on 6/4/2002 10:51:39 AM.
06/04/2002 10:58:40 AM · #18
Maybe this will help:

PhotoNotes Dictionary

Originally posted by Patella:
Or maybe we (and I include myself) just need to stop using acronyms. *grin*

A second thought, if people are worried about spending time commenting and teaching -- I''d rather they just didn''t bother than leave a comment that is negative but too vague. Everybody''s happy that way. Course, then people like me post a thread to ask -- but hey, if you don''t want to, don''t contribute to that thread either. :-)

06/04/2002 11:00:43 AM · #19
Originally posted by hokie:
Originally posted by Patella:
[i]Or maybe we (and I include myself) just need to stop using acronyms. *grin*

The wealth of resources available at our fingertips astounds me. When I was in college (1980) we didn''t have computers or the internet.[/i]

Tell us more grandpa! Tell us how you used to walk 10 miles to school in the snow uphill... both ways. :)

I just want to tell you Hokie, I appreciate your message throughout the forums and the comments you leave for the photographers here.

06/04/2002 11:16:03 AM · #20
Originally posted by chariot:

Tell us more grandpa! Tell us how you used to walk 10 miles to school in the snow uphill... both ways. :)




Heeee...I KNEW that comment was coming!!!!

I still feel 18 (and my wife says I act it too) but man...

..Actually, I feel real jealousy to the college kids nowadays because if I had the resources/tools available to me like they have (like powerful computers, whole suites of graphics programs that are affordable, the internet and all its wealth of information) who knows what worlds would have been open to me..just some kid from a small town in Virginia.

An IBM 8086 with 64k memory was $4,000 when I was in college..well outside my ability to afford it.

My daughter is 15 and she gets anything she wants computer wise but she reads...gasp...BOOKS. She writes her memoirs with a PENCIL..not a pen..not even a mechanical pencil!!! A yellow wooden instrument with lead on paper with no lines.

I was so technologically starved I guess she goes the other way. :-) Smart kid.


* This message has been edited by the author on 6/4/2002 11:16:37 AM.
06/04/2002 11:16:05 AM · #21
Originally posted by lisae:
Irae - Your comment on my thumb wrestling photo a couple of weeks ago was great in that you did seem to take into account the automatic focus, etc. that I have to deal with because I have a low-end camera, but in general I think that giving detailed instructions about focus, aperture, shutter speed, etc. is a bit wasted unless you know how much the photographer can actually control. All I can do with my camera is set the white balance according to what kind of light I have, and change the EV compensation. Oh, and decide between two focus modes. People made all kinds of suggestions on my photo from last week that involved things I could not possibly have changed, and things that I did on purpose in post-processing, and it's actually quite annoying.

I prefer not to comment that way and just consider external, universal things like lighting, composition, cropping, etc, and maybe make suggestions about post-processing because a lot of people have no idea about that.


Sounds like we're in a similar situation here. My camera is a low end camera as well. It's basically a point and shoot with hardly any features at all. While I am a newbie to dpchallenge, i'm not necessarily a newbie in photography. My pics with my slr cameras usually are 10X better than my digi, but because of my cameras limitations, i'm not usually very happy with my pics in comparison. However, I still have fun with the contests on this site (even though this is only my 2nd). I do find some of the comments helpful, but I agree that it can be annoying when people comment on stuff you have no control over.
06/04/2002 11:27:29 AM · #22
the internet is a wealth of incorrect information. its too bad that landgon and drew cant own the internet. they could censor, adjust, prod, delete, withdraw, and ban people from use. then they could rewrite it so that even idiots who dont like naughty words would be happy.
06/04/2002 11:34:05 AM · #23
Ever notice a trend in the very few affected users?
06/04/2002 11:34:11 AM · #24
Originally posted by clay:
the internet is a wealth of incorrect information. its too bad that landgon and drew cant own the internet. they could censor, adjust, prod, delete, withdraw, and ban people from use. then they could rewrite it so that even idiots who dont like naughty words would be happy.

Clay..it's too bad that this rift exists between you/ryan/jon and drew/langdon. I read the chat logs he had on the net.

I think there is a lot of talent on both sides of the fence. You are wrong about the internet. It has both information and disinformation..of course..if we keep allowing the John Ashcrofts and Osama's of the world push more control on us we will have a lot more problems for sure.
06/04/2002 11:39:37 AM · #25
Originally posted by bhop73:
Sounds like we're in a similar situation here. My camera is a low end camera as well. It's basically a point and shoot with hardly any features at all. While I am a newbie to dpchallenge, i'm not necessarily a newbie in photography. My pics with my slr cameras usually are 10X better than my digi, but because of my cameras limitations, i'm not usually very happy with my pics in comparison. However, I still have fun with the contests on this site (even though this is only my 2nd). I do find some of the comments helpful, but I agree that it can be annoying when people comment on stuff you have no control over.

YES!
Here is a photo I took with my slr camera (which was stolen at the beginning of the year >:|), and developed and printed myself in the dark room. Excuse the blotches, dust, etc. from the negative and the scanner... I'm sloppy, I know. But you can see from that photo that I at least know how to achieve depth of field, I am capable of focussing correctly, etc. if I have the ability to control these things. I can't do that with my digital camera, but on the other hand I can go out and take any crazy photo I want and see it instantly, throw it away if it's bad and keep the ones that I find pleasing. This means I'm far more open to experimentation. I love that!
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