Are our standards to high?

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Are our standards to high?

Postby Raskill on Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:11 am

This is not aimed at anyone, anything, any place etc etc.

I was thinking last night about the images I see posted here and how we all ask for C&C. And we get it. 99% of the time it's contructive and critical to our growth as photographers, be it amature or professional.

But (and theres always a but), are we being realistic?

Do we criticise images when it really isn't deserved? What standard do we apply to the images we comment on? I guess what I'm getting at is I now look a magazines and think 'such & such on DSLR produces better images than that'.

I've discussed this with another member who agrees that the standard of images in magazines isn't that much higher, or sometimes a lower standard, than what we see here.

Like I said, this isn't aimed at anyone or a comment on anything I have posted. I'm just curious to hear what anyone else thinks?

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Postby Kris on Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:14 am

I think setting the bar high means we will be constantly striving to improve out images and learning from the experience. I know I've improved a bit since I first started taking photographs and I mainly attribute that to getting out there and taking shots and trying to take away suggestions and ideas from other users on my photographs. Although nothing special, they have benefited from other peoples inputs

I dont think theres anything wrong with setting the standard high, or maybe somewhat unrealistic.

I know i've shown some friends images and they all go 'ooooh, ahhh' yet they seems fairly average to the amatuer/pros amongst you which is good! It means that I'm constantly trying to improve them

I think your right about the magazines, there are some fairly average shots
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Postby stubbsy on Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:30 am

Alan

To answer your question first - i don't think our standards are too high.

As for the detail - when I critique images I try to adjust my comments to take into account my understanding of the skill base of the poster. If someone is new I expect less from them than I would expect from other more frequent posters here and so pitch my comments accordingly. Once I get a feel for the range and quality of work (and the style of work) for a poster then I start to be more critical (in the proper sense of the word) of their work. As an example if you were new here and posted a slightly blurry motorsport shot of a car hitting a wall I might say it was a great capture and leave it at that. Knowing you and the quality of your work though I'd go one step further and perhaps say I'd have liked to have seen it sharper or a wider crop or comment on a possible WB issue etc.

From my own experience the higher the bar is set the better since it forces me to stretch and grow rather than become complacent with my work. If I show my "ordinary" shots to friends who aren't photogs they are just as likely to say they are great shots. Only here can I get a more balanced range of critiques and opinions.

As for the quality of the work here - you're spot on I've seen work from many people here that would stand tall against many images I've seen in print.

Hope that all makes some sense. Great question to raise by the way.
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Postby Glen on Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:41 am

Alan, I agree with Stubbsy. I tend to apply different criteria to an image someone is giving to a client or submitting to a magazine than a photo taken to capture a son or daughters 3rd birthday.
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Postby Alpha_7 on Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:47 am

It's interesting and thought provoking question. I think as a forum our standards aren't to high, we all strive to improve our photography from the pro to the amateur, to the novice. And I think atleast in my own experiecne the forum provides a great environment to improve, and as my skills have increased I've constantly been encourage to further improve and have continued to learn and grow as a photographer.

Again drawing from personal experience recently I posted some shots from my first Zoo trip, at the time I thought the shots were all fairly good, nicely composed, sharp, the lighting was ok. One shot got a lot of encouraging feedback, that made me proud to have taken the shot, while the others receieved some positive feedback, I also got the comment
The others are good too, but are pretty much standard zoo shots IMHO.
It made me stop and think for a second and reflect on the shots, and well they were right, while they were good shots, they weren't great and I could of pushed it further. I'm now hoping to go again and further improve.. so I think having high standards is good.

Without rabbiting on too much I think Wendell is another good of someone who keeps growing as a photographer, and almost everytime without fail he lifts he's own personal bar, producing stunning work, in turn that encourages me.

On the flip side, I think that sometimes my own expectations are too high or I can be too self critical of my shots. Sometimes I'll come back from a shoot, disappointed, sometimes depressed because I think I've failed to meet my own personal goals. And I'm going this as a hobby and for the enjoyment of it, not for money or fame, so I feel I take it too far sometimes. While we should strive to improve, we should remember Photography is fun, it isn't always, and barely often is about perfection.
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Postby MCWB on Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:48 am

I think Peter has said pretty much exactly what I wanted to say.

Just because others' standards are lower (e.g. some images you see in print, as has been raised many times) doesn't necessarily mean our standards are too high. It depends on the intended purpose too, if a publication needs an image *now* then there may not be any opportunity to choose from different images, time for PP etc. You take the best you can get because you need it *now*, regardless of quality. This doesn't mean that we should lower our standards though, unless we're trying to compete in that sort of environment.

Lowering standards flows on to consistently producing inferior quality work, complacency and laziness. This is true in many things, not just photography. :)
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Postby sirhc55 on Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:00 am

There is one point that I would like to raise re this question. Many people post for a genuine C&C(s), but an equal number post to ”showcase”.

Peter has mentioned the ”newbie” with the crashing car shot - surely this would demand more C&C than a photo from a person who has the experience and knowledge to produce the ”right” shot!! Are we just going to be critical of the experienced - a most emphatic NO.

I have seen time and again critique given on a photo that would be impossible to implement - basically because it cannot be reshot.

Many of the best pics in the history of photography do not follow the ”rules” 8)
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Postby bwhinnen on Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:15 am

sirhc55 wrote:I have seen time and again critique given on a photo that would be impossible to implement - basically because it cannot be reshot.


You know I have never thought of that when posting comments (I don't critique, I comment). It is a valid point and the number of times I have been guilty of this is scary, this will make me think more about what I say when commenting on photos. Thanks Chris, this has opened my eyes somewhat.

Back on subject, I don't think we have the bar set too high, but I do think that some of us newbie's need to read the recent thread on photo critique as well as using our own opinion.

I will say in defence of some of the media based photog's is that the editor will usually run through a database of photos and pick the first one that is suited to the subject matter. It may not even be anywhere near the best that is in there. In saying that I would expect that a photo book would be of a consistently high standard.

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Re: Are our standards to high?

Postby moz on Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:04 pm

Raskill wrote:Are our standards to high?


Apparently so.

My first response to your question was "again, this time in English please". Homonyms are not synonyms, no matter what you've been taught.
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Re: Are our standards to high?

Postby Raskill on Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:32 pm

moz wrote:
Raskill wrote:Are our standards to high?


Apparently so.

My first response to your question was "again, this time in English please". Homonyms are not synonyms, no matter what you've been taught.


My, how witty.... :roll:
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Postby Matt. K on Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:31 pm

moz.......have you met Greg.B? :D :D :D
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Postby Matt. K on Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:38 pm

Raskill
The general standards on this forum are very high and there is always the fear that this will deter beginners from posting here. Stubbsy got it right and being gentle and constructive, and welcoming to newbies is the best aproach. Hopefully that will inspire them to keep posting, learning and improving. It's been a joy to see members gain skills and post masterpieces.
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Postby shaunus on Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:56 pm

There is one point that I would like to raise re this question. Many people post for a genuine C&C(s), but an equal number post to ”showcase”.


Maybe it might be a time to introduce a Showcase section, where people can just post shots that they have taken to say have a look at what i saw today or something along those lines.

And then again some people may want their work to be critiqued so there should be a section for that as well.

Theres really one spot to post images on the forum "Image Reviews and Critiques".

I know from my point of view that I shoot a lot of sports and don't post mainly cause there not that exciting to see, but every now and then I do get something that I could post and dont because it may be someone being bowled at a cricket game with stumps out the ground, not many ways that it could be critiqued, beside "wow good capture or trying again another day".

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Postby sirhc55 on Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:21 am

Matt. K wrote:Stubbsy got it right and being gentle and constructive, and welcoming to newbies is the best aproach.


My approach is that if C&C is requested then one should not molly coddle someone because they are new to photography. What you are saying is that newcomers have thin skin and I totally disagree that we presume this to be the case.

One member of this forum who was the butt for many a joke and ridicule has become better than anyone else, posting pics of absolute quality.

The second part of C&C is CRITIQUE - if someone cannot handle that, then they should not post pics.

Also, I totally agree with Shaunus :wink:
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Postby norbs on Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:11 am

On the flip side of what Stubbsy said. When one does get C&C (and thats my next point), unless you have been here a while, you dont know how much experience the person who is giving their point of view has either. Just because someone has 100,000 posts, doesnt mean they are a capable photog.

The other point is, the newer guys dont seem to get the replies or views of the more established members. Quite often you will see a newer member post and it might have 70 views and not a comment. Alot of the time, Im sure the more experienced photogs here could make some sort of comment.
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Postby gstark on Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:15 am

Alan,

It's an excellent question, and many have already addressed this in an appropriate manner.

The other point is that, regarding "critique", one doesn't need to say things in a negative manner, and I think that's a very important aspect of this.

By describing ways in which an image may be improved, I believe that the photographer - and others just reading the thread - can learn and thus benefit from the process as well.

And to specifically answer your question: no, I don't believe our standards are too high. In fact, I don't know if I'm even prepared to accept a suggestion that there's even a concept of "too high standards".

I think it should be a goal for everyone to achieve excellence - whatever that means - in whatever their field of endeavour might be. I find this particularly when dealing with, for instance, large corporates, whose standards seem to be mired in mediocrity. Why should I lower my standards to meet their's?

Nobody has yet been able to give me any reason to do that. :)

Finally, and as Matt K observed, it's truly a pleasure to be able to see how our members have benefited from this forum, its advice, and most importantly, their own efforts applying the advice and improving the results that they produce, which has led to the high standards that we see here.

There should be more of this, I think. Bring it on!
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Postby bwhinnen on Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:39 am

norbs wrote:On the flip side of what Stubbsy said. When one does get C&C (and thats my next point), unless you have been here a while, you dont know how much experience the person who is giving their point of view has either. Just because someone has 100,000 posts, doesnt mean they are a capable photog.

The other point is, the newer guys dont seem to get the replies or views of the more established members. Quite often you will see a newer member post and it might have 70 views and not a comment. Alot of the time, Im sure the more experienced photogs here could make some sort of comment.


To comment on the second point, I know for instance that I will often re-visit a thread where I have not commented to see if comments have been made. Not only do these comments (read critique) help the original poster, I think they help everyone in general. So I think we may find that the majority of views come from those wanting to see what has been said rather than those who feel they have to say something.

In my humble opinion there are some outstanding photographers on here, and they have been in the art far longer than I, or even shorter in some cases. I find the fact that they are willing to share experiences, views and (dare I say) mentor others on this site is tremendous! It really is what makes this site one I come back to visit every day without fail! Good on them I say!

That leads me to say that I know personally I'd rather have someone tell me like it is rather then sugar coat something. I'm here to learn, to share and to join in, I love photography and as they say practice and application of lessons help to make perfect (well relatively speaking of course)...

One thing I know I do quite often is procrastinate about posting up an image, why, because I don't think it measures to my standard let alone anyone else's. I think I need to get out of this habit as do probably 60 -70% of people active on here, as this will only help us (and potentially others) with our endeavours. Now I don't mean flood the forum with images of course...

My further 2c worth.

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Postby gstark on Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:02 am

bwhinnen wrote:One thing I know I do quite often is procrastinate about posting up an image, why, because I don't think it measures to my standard let alone anyone else's.


To add to this comment, one thing that I've seen, through many years in a multitude of capacities in a variety of organisations, is that people do tend to be their own harshest critics. Strange as it may seem, when it comes to the crunch, we can, and are, honest about our own capabilities.

To this end, and with what Brett has said, this may lead to a reluctance within some people to make that image post, and thatis fair and reasonable: people should only make posts if they comfortable doing so.

But the reality is that, IMHO, the critiques given here are reasonable and honest, and thus people - not just the photographers - can and do benefit from the postings.

That is a good thing.


norbs wrote:The other point is, the newer guys dont seem to get the replies or views of the more established members. Quite often you will see a newer member post and it might have 70 views and not a comment.


That happens when I post an image too.

I don't think it's a factor of a person being a new member; I think there were maybe three or ofur instances of new members making image posts within the last week or two that attracted a combination of "welcome" type postings, as well as critiques of their images.

I thinks it's very complex: many have lives beyond the forums, and if a post is made when some cannot easily see (or comment), then it may be ultimately disavantageous to the poster in this regard. Them's the breaks, I'm afraid.


[quote"shaunus"]Maybe it might be a time to introduce a Showcase section, where people can just post shots that they have taken to say have a look at what i saw today or something along those lines. [/quote]

There's no reason that people cannot make such a posting in the C&C section today. But I'm happy to see further discussion on this matter if you feel this suggestion is of merit.

My basic feeling - this is personal - is that we don't encourage pissing contests here. This sort of section would, to me, be seen to be encourgaing posts being made of an "ego-trip" nature, and thus might be seen to be encouraging (or perhaps leading some down the path) of such pissing contests.

"Here's what I did" might lead to "Well here's what I did" and then "well I did better than both of you" kind of image postings, and I am wholly against that sort of thing.

So please feel free to explore and discuss this suggestion, but keep in mind the nature of my underlying objections.
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Postby moz on Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:14 am

gstark wrote:people do tend to be their own harshest critics.


:) I find that it takes a few years between me working on an image and being able to stand to look at a print. I have one from ~1990 that I'm quite fond of now, but at the time I took it I felt the lighting was wrong.

I was actually thinking the other day (before this discussion) that I'd be interested in a photo exchange or perhaps just comissioning prints off some of the people on this board, so I can get some shots around Sydney where I'm not aware of all the little stitching failures and uncorrectable CA and so on.

gstark wrote:There's no reason that people cannot make such a posting in the C&C section today.


I'm in the "I assume any photo posted is up for comment" camp. I realised this after posting some images the other day and noticed just now that I didn't explictly put "please critique" or anything on them. I just expected that people would.

So I don't really want to see a "look at me" series of posts in the current C&C forum, if we have to have those can we perhaps have a separate forum for that? One option might be to extend the concept of the Competition area into a PoTW self-nomination forum (but require people to host their own images).
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Postby Laurie on Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:24 am

norbs wrote:On the flip side of what Stubbsy said. When one does get C&C (and thats my next point), unless you have been here a while, you dont know how much experience the person who is giving their point of view has either. Just because someone has 100,000 posts, doesnt mean they are a capable photog.

The other point is, the newer guys dont seem to get the replies or views of the more established members. Quite often you will see a newer member post and it might have 70 views and not a comment. Alot of the time, Im sure the more experienced photogs here could make some sort of comment.


bwhinnen wrote:One thing I know I do quite often is procrastinate about posting up an image, why, because I don't think it measures to my standard let alone anyone else's. I think I need to get out of this habit as do probably 60 -70% of people active on here, as this will only help us (and potentially others) with our endeavours. Now I don't mean flood the forum with images of course...



I have to agree with the above 2 quotes.

If my posts cant benefit from critique because the photo might be a 'once' off opportunity, if someone suggests some form of Post Processing that might enhance the photo, I will go back to Photoshop or Lightroom and make the necessary adjustments. If perhaps the criticism is that I should have shot from a different angle I will have this in the back of my mind the next time I am shooting, even if it is a completely different scene.

I am incredibly thick skinned, after all photography is a hobby for me; albeit expensive and because it is so expensive I want to get as much out of my camera that I possible can. I do not plan anytime in the near future to make any money off my photos, I do it because I like it and want to get better.

I am always reluctant to post an image because I am afraid it will not be commented on, I’m more worried no one will comment than no one will look. I know people look, whether they like the image or not doesn’t bother me, if they have some advice on how I could of or can improve the image I’m all for it!

I was at the point that I was making posts, no one was commenting and considered leaving the forum. I stuck at it, make photo posts and make posts anywhere else I can on the forum. I love communities like this and that is why I stayed.

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Postby gstark on Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:34 am

moz wrote:
gstark wrote:There's no reason that people cannot make such a posting in the C&C section today.


I'm in the "I assume any photo posted is up for comment" camp.


And you would be correct in adopting that approach.

I realised this after posting some images the other day and noticed just now that I didn't explictly put "please critique" or anything on them. I just expected that people would.


That is both the intent and expectation.

This site has never set out to be a display site as such; we are here primarily to learn and share knowledge.

And quite a few other things as well, it seems. I remarked to Lindy just last weekend how many new friends I've acquired in the last two and a half years.


So I don't really want to see a "look at me" series of posts in the current C&C forum, if we have to have those can we perhaps have a separate forum for that? One option might be to extend the concept of the Competition area into a PoTW self-nomination forum (but require people to host their own images).


One aspect we've been playing with for a while is a separate gallery section attached to the site. We already have chimp.dslrusers.com (and now we also have chimp.com.au and chimp.net.au, with the next issue due .... very bloody soon. :)

The problem we've found is that of suitable gallery software to run on the server: None of what we've seen really meets what we percieve as the requirements we want. Not, that may be an issue of perception - I don't know - but it's a stubling block for me.

I run Gallery2 for my personal space, and I know Scott has done a lot of tinkering under the hood in the earlier version of Gallery which is what he uses for the Challenges. That's well and good, but in looking at solutions for a forum gallery, I don't see these as being the solution I'd like to be using. (I'm not at all impressed with Coppermine, btw, and there's another php based gallery that has also not impressed me ... to the point where I can't even remember its name. :)

But I'm digressing ...

I guess what we need to do, Shaunus, Moz, and other interested parties, is start a new thread and see where it takes us.
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Postby stubbsy on Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:36 am

OK people, I've created a poll on the topic of having a showcase section. Go HERE to comment/vote
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Postby ATJ on Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:44 am

Laurie wrote:
norbs wrote:On the flip side of what Stubbsy said. When one does get C&C (and thats my next point), unless you have been here a while, you dont know how much experience the person who is giving their point of view has either. Just because someone has 100,000 posts, doesnt mean they are a capable photog.

The other point is, the newer guys dont seem to get the replies or views of the more established members. Quite often you will see a newer member post and it might have 70 views and not a comment. Alot of the time, Im sure the more experienced photogs here could make some sort of comment.


bwhinnen wrote:One thing I know I do quite often is procrastinate about posting up an image, why, because I don't think it measures to my standard let alone anyone else's. I think I need to get out of this habit as do probably 60 -70% of people active on here, as this will only help us (and potentially others) with our endeavours. Now I don't mean flood the forum with images of course...



I have to agree with the above 2 quotes.

If my posts cant benefit from critique because the photo might be a 'once' off opportunity, if someone suggests some form of Post Processing that might enhance the photo, I will go back to Photoshop or Lightroom and make the necessary adjustments. If perhaps the criticism is that I should have shot from a different angle I will have this in the back of my mind the next time I am shooting, even if it is a completely different scene.

I am incredibly thick skinned, after all photography is a hobby for me; albeit expensive and because it is so expensive I want to get as much out of my camera that I possible can. I do not plan anytime in the near future to make any money off my photos, I do it because I like it and want to get better.

I am always reluctant to post an image because I am afraid it will not be commented on, I’m more worried no one will comment than no one will look. I know people look, whether they like the image or not doesn’t bother me, if they have some advice on how I could of or can improve the image I’m all for it!

I was at the point that I was making posts, no one was commenting and considered leaving the forum. I stuck at it, make photo posts and make posts anywhere else I can on the forum. I love communities like this and that is why I stayed.

Laurie

Laurie has pretty well summed up my feelings, as well. I, too, have considered leaving, but have stuck with it, helping in the few areas I think I can.

I do post photos hoping to get some comments that would help me to make them better. While many of my photos are sort of "one-off" situations because they are taken underwater of organisms that are not always around, any comments I were to get would be used for future situations. To date, I don't get a lot of comments. This is very frustrating when I also see large numbers of comments on other people's images and these images are already excellent (in my opinion). Do I interpret that to mean that my images are so bad they they are not worth commenting on?

I also try to comment on other people's images, although don't feel all that confident that I can provide useful feedback. I am even more reluctant since I received a PM from someone questioning my contributions and suggesting all my comments were stupid. Now, I don't for a moment think a large number of people share this person's views (I certainly hope not) but it was discouraging, none-the-less.

I think the standards need to be set high so that we are all challenged to do better. I would certainly appreciate hard comments on my images so that I can improve my techniques.
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Postby moz on Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:08 pm

ATJ wrote:While many of my photos are sort of "one-off" situations because they are taken underwater... I don't get a lot of comments.


I'm very reluctant to post any kind of "that's nice" (or "that's crap") comment unless I actually have suggestions. And with a few of your images I must admit to thinking "you should get out of the house more, and take more shots like that". Which is encouraging but not very helpful, if you get what I mean.

Some of my critques are more along the lines of "I would do..." and I end up playing with other people's images in an editor to make sure that the effect I'm talking about would work. But I'm a little nervy about posting those back to the forum, as some people get quite niggly about it. But I just did it to BigV, will see what happens. I'm quite keen to have people do that to my images, maybe I'll change my sig or something.
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Postby Alpha_7 on Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:10 pm

ATJ - mate I'm very sorry to hear that someone is PMing you like that, I've found it sometimes hard to critique your work as the majority of it, is underwater work, which I have almost no experience with.

I've gone through many different stages, during my time on the site, when I first joined, I felt I couldn't comment as I was a newbie, but I was frustrated as I didn't always get feedback on my own shots, for a while I adopted the attitude, that I can expect feedback, if I don't give it, so went to the extreme of trying to give everyone feedback (and rightly copped a bit of flak for being a post whore/spammer). I then settled down (for a while) and tried to seek out posts that were overlooked, and comment on those, as I still remembered how it felt not getting feedback on my own images. As I grew in confidence I then started giving indepth feedback on images, but as the site grew and more images were posted it became to hard to keep up, so now I comment usually when the spirit moves me (for all sorts of reasons).

I am saddened to find a number of people commenting they considered leaving, as I generally think we are a friendly and helpful bunch, but I acknowledge for newer members it can be a bit daunting, but that isn't different to moving into a new neighbourhood and meeting the locals. (It takes a bit of time and patience).
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Postby Alex on Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:22 pm

Alpha_7 wrote:ATJ - mate I'm very sorry to hear that someone is PMing you like that,


And I hope one of the mods looks into this. That is just plain low.

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Postby gstark on Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:27 pm

ATJ wrote:I am even more reluctant since I received a PM from someone questioning my contributions and suggesting all my comments were stupid.


Even in a PM, that is not in compliance with our rules, guidelines, and/or the community feel that we like to have around here.

If you still have this information, could you please PM myself or one the mods with some details and/or quotes?

Or if this happens again, please do let someone know, as it's simply not how our members should conduct themselves within this forum.
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Postby stubbsy on Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:31 pm

ATJ wrote:I am even more reluctant since I received a PM from someone questioning my contributions and suggesting all my comments were stupid

That's incredibly disturbing and certainly not in the spirit of the forum.

I must confess I look at, but refrain from commenting on, most of your posts. My reasons are similar to Craig's. I feel a little intimidated because marine photography is an area with which I am completely unfamiliar. The last thing I'd like to see is you feel the lack of comments means you are not welcome here. Diversity is important in any community and your work contributes greatly to that. For the future I'll try to comment just in case some of my poorly informed critiques may have some use.

This is a valuable insight and I thank you for that.
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Postby norbs on Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:27 pm

ATJ, the only reason I haven't made any comments, apart from maybe 1 or 2 positve comments, is that I really am in awe of what you manage to acheive underwater. I have roughly 400 odd dives logged, and quite a few not logged, and I know for a fact how hard it must be to take these photos. Everytime I see a nudibranch, I want to hit the water. Keep up the good work, you are a very talented bloke.
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Postby Glen on Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:43 pm

ATJ, I think your photography is often difficult to comment on, as suggestions are really moot. You are underwater which in itself makes set up difficult, photographing live skitish organisms and then have to put up with the vis on the day. There is not much any of us can say in terms of improving those images, I think you are fortunate to get them. It would be unreasonable for me to comment "go back and try it a metre to the right and get closer so the water column doesn't reflect back so much, all without scaring what you are photographing" when we all know it is not possible.

I am greatful to see your images and tend to post if I see something out of the box. I don't use the same criteria as I might if someone took an image of their car in the driveway with it parked hard against the house.
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Re: Are our standards to high?

Postby Glen on Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:45 pm

Homonyms are not synonyms, no matter what you've been taught.


No disparaging comments about peoples sexuality please, all are welcome here
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Postby gstark on Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:11 pm

Alex wrote:
Alpha_7 wrote:ATJ - mate I'm very sorry to hear that someone is PMing you like that,


And I hope one of the mods looks into this. That is just plain low.


Alex, thanx for your concern, and ATJ, thank you for bringing this to our attention.

The issue here is very simple: we will never tolerate the personal abuse of any member by any other member. That holds true whether in the public forums, or in any form of personal message transmitted through the forum.

It is not acceptable.

ATJ has sent me details of the message in question, and I have verified its veracity through a database check.

I have sent a strong warning the person who initiated the message in question, and I have let that person know that their behaviour is not acceptable. I have further informed them that any similar incidents will result in their immediate banning.

Let's now try to keep this thread on-topic; thanx all for your concerns: the behaviour of people is a most important facet here, and we do not want to lose what we have because of the poor behaviour of just a very small minority.
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Postby Raskill on Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:48 pm

Nice responses folks.

I thought I'd let the post run a while before responding, see what the group thought.

My personal feeling is that this site, certainly more so than any other, has pushed me to improve my photography. When I first started with the DSLR I had about 1 year with a P&S and thought I was getting good pics out of it, but it lacked something.

So I splurged on a D70 kit and havent looked back. I don't have a single peice of original gear now, having moved on from D70 to D70s and a D2h, now saving for a second D2h.

This site, and all you who have critiqued my images have FORCED me to lift my game. I would post thinking "this is a great image', only to be politely told it wasn't, but also how to improve.

As a result I now find myself in a nice spot where I have a foot in the door well and truly with a State level motorsport comp, supplying images for them to use for PR, and to teams for sponsorship requirements. Heck, I even have had to design a logo for my watermark and weblink:

Image

So, do I think we judge to harshly. No. I think we judge fairly. I have been guilty of not responding to someones request for a critique, mainly I worry about not having anything useful to say. If it's in my area (pitgirls, 4 wheels or 2 wheels) I'll try to help.

So thanks to all for inflicting the curse of photography upon me. May you all suffer from lens lust. Terribly. (sigma 200 - 500 F/2.8......)

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Postby moz on Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:11 pm

Raskill wrote:So thanks to all for inflicting the curse of photography upon me. May you all suffer from lens lust. Terribly.


Arrrghhh! The curse, the curse! :chook: I'm <strike>blind!</strike> Insane!

I do appreciate the comments, and keep promising myself that I'll post more interesting photos to the C&C in an attempt to get better results.
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Postby Mr Darcy on Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:19 pm

This site, and all you who have critiqued my images have FORCED me to lift my game. I would post thinking "this is a great image', only to be politely told it wasn't, but also how to improve.

I concur.
I am thin skinned, and my photography is not so great (yet!) but I take criticisms on board - once I get over the "how dare they say that" reaction.
Even though I rarely respond to the original critiques, I mull them over and feed the information back into my future photographs. And they do get better.

One day I will win POTW, but it probably won't be any time soon. :D
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Postby gstark on Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:11 am

Alan,

Raskill wrote:This site, and all you who have critiqued my images have FORCED me to lift my game. I would post thinking "this is a great image', only to be politely told it wasn't, but also how to improve.



And I think that that is the point. There's the element of education, of mentoring present, that can help to point you into different, and hopefully more productive, directions.

So, do I think we judge to harshly. No. I think we judge fairly. I have been guilty of not responding to someones request for a critique, mainly I worry about not having anything useful to say.


In all honesty, if you have nothing to say, then nothing is exactly what you must say.

And I'm glad that you see the critiquing as being fair. I too feel that way about what's said, but it's good that others feel similarly too.



Mr Darcy wrote:Even though I rarely respond to the original critiques, I mull them over and feed the information back into my future photographs. And they do get better.


Greg,

And that is exactly the sort of response I like to hear. Sometimes the suggestions may involve some subtleties that less experienced eyes might not immediately pick up on. Those might apply to posing, cropping, lighting, colour balance, framing .... choice of lens ...

Remember too that the advice given here always comes with an iron clad money back guarantee, so it's always a no-risk situation for you.

And finally - and this is important - remember that it's your images that are being critiqued, and not you. If you take any criticism that's been offered as a personal insult, then there's probably an underlying problem with how you're approaching things, and you might benefit by starting with making sure that your own PoV is where it should be, and that your ego was left outside the forum.
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Postby BullcreekBob on Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:37 pm

Are standards on DSLR too high? I think it can't be argued that the standard is high here. I don't think that the standards that I and others personally aim for, can ever be too high. I do think that the standards I usually meet are too low, both by my own hopes and by a more 'external' assessment. My standards are well below the standard of many regular posters here. However, one of the reasons that I lurk here when I can get the time is that I beleve I can learn more from the standards of this site compared to the low(er) standards of a plethora of other photography sites.

To date I've seen no specification of a "minimum standard" that is applied on here and I think that is as it should be. I think Stubbsy's approach of being more gentle with strangers is a nice approach. But I agree that if I throw an image into the C&C forum, then I've got to deal with the C. Yes, I'd rather it was gently written, and it also helps me more when I understand the feedback. It is possible for things to go over my head, I can be out of my depth sometimes.

norbs wrote:The other point is, the newer guys dont seem to get the replies or views of the more established members. Quite often you will see a newer member post and it might have 70 views and not a comment. Alot of the time, Im sure the more experienced photogs here could make some sort of comment.


It is dissapointing to have an image that one is unsure what to do with, you know it could have and should have been done better, you know you got close but sort of missed what you wanted, so seeking guidance and suggestions, you post it here and get deafened by the silence. Yes it would be nice if posting it did solicit a reply or two. It does at times seem that replies are reserved for images that meet a certain level or are posted by a member of the "inner sanctum".

Still, I will continue to lurk in the background. The time I can find to spend on my hobby is very limited. A month in which I can take as many as 100 images is very, very rare. Yes, I know spending more time with my camera will help me improve. I also hope that looking at other peoples images when I can sneak 20 minutes of free time will also help. I just hope that this site maintains and improves it's standards while still extending a little courtesy and tolerance my way when I lob a few rotten tomatoes into the forums.

Cheers
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Re: Are our standards to high?

Postby padey on Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:17 pm

Sadly I don't have a lot of time to both post and CC as much as i'd like.

Raskill wrote:What standard do we apply to the images we comment on?


I use a different standard for different types of images. ie if someone is doing studio work, then i have a very high expectation on the quality of the image because studio shooters control all areas of the image. Compare this to a street photographer who has very limited control of their subject and lighting and time to capture the image.

But with any image I don't comment on anyones style. Even if I don't like the style, it's not really my place to comment. IMO there are at least 2 parts of an image, style and craftsmanship. It's the latter I comment on.

Most times I won't comment on images where a branch might be out of place, or a hair over a face, and stuff like that. Dogging, burning and cloning isn't going to improve anyones photographic craftsmanship.


Raskill wrote:I've discussed this with another member who agrees that the standard of images in magazines isn't that much higher, or sometimes a lower standard, than what we see here.


This depends on the magazine. Also you're comparing web res images to print images.
Andrew


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Postby Oz_Beachside on Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:25 pm

I like it just the way it is. I know the amazing work in here which we see through challenges, and various other collections.

When I look at images posted in here, I often dont know the person, their experience, or personal style. Some members may have only just got a DSLR for 2006 Christmas, others may have wound their first film in 1919.

For me, I like to look at someone's image, and if I'm going to comment, I'll endeavour to post a comment on something I like, and something I dont. Being supportive, and critical.

I know lots (actually, the majority) of my shots are crap, I can see that, but I, and like many others, am happy learning, and progressing towards a higher quality and percentage of keepers.

I am grateful to have this forum to bounce my learnings off! :D
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Postby stetner on Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:03 pm

ATJ wrote:I do post photos hoping to get some comments that would help me to make them better. While many of my photos are sort of "one-off" situations because they are taken underwater of organisms that are not always around, any comments I were to get would be used for future situations. To date, I don't get a lot of comments. This is very frustrating when I also see large numbers of comments on other people's images and these images are already excellent (in my opinion). Do I interpret that to mean that my images are so bad they they are not worth commenting on?


Hi ATJ, I also do some marine photography, but have only managed to get the camera out on about 6 dives in the past year. :cry:

When I see your shots I think you definitely have more experience than I do, and since I don't always feel I can give any suggestions, sometimes I don't. I do try to put in a 'nice shot' type comment every now and then, because your shots are good!

That said, I have been quite busy lately, and don't get much time to scan the forums (over 800 new items faced me tonight! :shock: ).

In any case, I envy you for being able to get out there more than me! (Used to live in Wollongong and did 3 dives a week on average, now in Brisbane it seems like one ever month if I am lucky, I have been out once since last November! bad weather, inconvenient to dive here, and work is way too busy. :cry: )

Keep up the good work though and I will try to comment if I have anything to add!

Cheers,
Doug
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Postby BT*ist on Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:16 am

For me, part of the reason I like this site is because I perceive the standards ARE high, and that everyone is looking to imporve. I have had compliments given to my photographs outside the forums before I joined, usually from non-photographers, but being a member here has really motivated me to lift my game and that in itself has increased my enjoyment of photgraphy further. I think I still have a long way to go, but at the same time a small part of me is spending a lot more time and effort in getting a shot just right, and I´d like to think it´s the people on this forum - not just those who have critiqued my photos, but everyone who has posted and raised the bar whether by technical achievement or a different perspective or good shooting instincts - who have all contributed.
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Postby PiroStitch on Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:35 am

We also need to be wary that we do not tout our opinions in arrogance as well thinking that we can continuously do much better than what is printed in magazines or the press. We don't know what the brief was, etc and the photographer might have been having an off day.

As for this forum, I critique based on the member's standard and openness to accept critique. If they are a member who wants very strict constructive criticism, then I will do my best to aid them. There are many on this forum who are more than qualified to do this but I'm sure some people do hold back on their comments depending on the situation.
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Postby Old Bob on Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:34 pm

High standards should never be lowered, as they are very difficult to establish in the first place. The responsibility of one offering a critical comment, is to elevate the poster to the next level, to pull them up, not push them down. For the short time I have been reading this forum, practically all critiques have been instructional and encouraging, and very educational from my point of view. Keep up the high standards and good work.
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