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Tutorials :: 9 Guidelines for Giving and Receiving Feedback
9 Guidelines for Giving and Receiving Feedbackby Patella
Remember to be courteous and diplomatic and follow these nine guidelines.
How to Give Feedback:1. Help people save face.
Don't mock or attack someone for having made a mistake (even as a joke). Instead, point out the mistake, offer suggestions for fixing or improving it, and move on to the next area of concern.
2. Focus on specific, observable behavior-not judgment or personality.
Instead of making a statement of judgment, like, "You suck," or "This blows," point out the specific problems a given photograph has. For example, "Since you're shooting something in such a dark environment, you might want to try using a tripod to reduce camera blur and make the focus sharper."
3. Don't generalize.
General comments may show that you caught a mistake, but don't say exactly where it is or offer any suggestions on how to fix it. Instead of "This is out of focus," try, "You seem to have a really limited depth of field in this photo. For instance, the center of the photo seems to be in focus, but since you're shooting a group of people they all need to be sharp. What if you tried "
4. Tell people when errors exist.
Don't be afraid of pointing out mistakes. If you don't tell people when they've done something wrong, how can they do it right the next time?
5. Avoid nitpicking.
The objective is to teach with a thoughtful comment-not to humiliate or discount people and their work. If you honestly can't find anything too important to say to help out the photographer, then point out the specific aspects of the photograph you do like. I'd categorize a nitpicky comment as something like, "The pixel in the very right bottom corner is just one shade too bright in relation to the surrounding pixels," and not "You seem to have a really large hot spot in the lower right corner."
How to Receive Feedback:1. Don't be thin-skinned.
The individual offering feedback is not attacking you personally, they're trying to help you create a better photograph. (This only applies to honest attempts at criticism. While you should still try to avoid being thin-skinned since you're putting your work out there for everyone to see, there are also going to be times when people simply say idiotic things in order to prove themselves morons. Know this and try to ignore it.)
2. Ask for clarification.
If you don't understand a point being made, or if it is too generic to offer any real help, ask for additional information or possible solutions to help you better understand what the person is trying to say.
3. Acknowledge your mistakes.
The guy in the background has a tree growing out of his head, you didn't see it yourself, and someone else pointed it out. Note the error, fix it if you can (don't fixate), learn from it, and move on.
4. Assume best intentions.
A comment from another may seem nitpicky to you, but if the other person points something out, they thought it was important enough to mention. Treat it as an important item, even if you decide to ignore it.
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