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09-15-2019, 06:21 PM - 1 Like   #1
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How do you feel about constructive criticism given without asking first?

Let me make myself clear. Approximately one month ago I joined up with another Photography site and was really looking forward to meeting people and having enjoyable

experiences. I read the rules carefully and then proceeded to sign up. I need to mention here that a major part of the rules was that: "We do offer constructive criticism here."

The key word there is; "Offer." Okay, no problem so far. For the first few days I was posting and receiving some glowing comments and many likes for my images.

One day I posted an image that I had spent some time on in Post Photo Editing software and was really pleased with the results. (You know what's coming, right?) Again,

I received many likes and positive comments, when suddenly these two ladies chimed in telling me that I should do this and I should do that and I should sharpen the image, I

needed to increase exposure and blah, blah, blah. Well at first I was quite surprised since I was expecting to receive an offer to criticize before barreling through, but nope.

I expressed my displeasure and inquired as to why they did not make the offer first. Needless to say this resulted in a heated exchange and them using obscenities and I just

went ahead and decided to no longer participate in that site. Now one member actually had, "Constructive Criticism Welcomed Here" imposed in his section heading.


Okay, I'll make the offer. "Constructive Criticism Welcomed Here" )

Thanks for reading. Tony

09-15-2019, 07:19 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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Well, that's the deal, you post pictures or a printed opinion on a public website, and you're going to get both 'bouquets and brickbats'.

Note that the best way of improving our photography is listening to our peers' suggestions, Tony, it's not by friends or family who say they like everything, nothing's learnt from them. It's no different from having our golf swing corrected or our poetry writing tightened. Obviously we rate some people higher than others as judges, that's the case with anything in life - ignore much comment but treat like gold any informed opinions. It's free, when professional mentorship is very expensive.

We do have a specific critique section of this website, so I think people have to limit themselves when commenting in the general Post Your Photo part, because there is a place where help is specifically being sought. And all suggestions have to come out of Love, obviously.
09-15-2019, 07:28 PM - 6 Likes   #3
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Or you can reflexively ignore honest critiques and focus intense hatred toward whoever offered them to you.

I?m Always Open To Feedback That I Can Get Defensive About And Ultimately Ignore
09-15-2019, 07:42 PM   #4
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i'd be flattered by any response good, bad or indifferent.....atleast the image invokes some kind of emotional response unless it is obviously a troll being a d!ck…..the majority of my shared images see very little activity that any activity is welcomed......reckon I am not any good but keep on posting images anyway however boring sharing is versus the enjoyment taking them....suppose I have not been lifted to such a degree that my ego would be bruised or my pride squashed as I am merely some schlep with a camera as that lack of activity would indicate but would not know from lack of such experience

09-15-2019, 09:01 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Well, that's the deal, you post pictures or a printed opinion on a public website, and you're going to get both 'bouquets and brickbats'.

Note that the best way of improving our photography is listening to our peers' suggestions, Tony, it's not by friends or family who say they like everything, nothing's learnt from them. It's no different from having our golf swing corrected or our poetry writing tightened. Obviously we rate some people higher than others as judges, that's the case with anything in life - ignore much comment but treat like gold any informed opinions. It's free, when professional mentorship is very expensive.

We do have a specific critique section of this website, so I think people have to limit themselves when commenting in the general Post Your Photo part, because there is a place where help is specifically being sought. And all suggestions have to come out of Love, obviously.


Well, I think that number one, common courtesy has pretty much been relegated to a thing of the past. So for example if I were to examine one of your awesome works, and

a thought came to mind regarding a different way of doing something, what would be wrong with saying something such as: "You know Ian, I really like what you have done

here, but may I offer what I truly hope will be a helpful suggestion?" Another thought is that I feel the word "criticize" has an automatic and negative connotation. I feel

this way, constructive criticism, is, still, criticism. You are of course correct in that the critique section is expected to have a give and take platform. Again, nothing wrong

with common courtesy such as, Please and Thank You. Thanks for your contribution.

TT
09-15-2019, 09:29 PM - 1 Like   #6
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We live in an era where critique is given, asked or not. I make hobby videos and I get plenty of criticism from people I've never heard of.
You learn to be able to see it from their point of view and not get upset about it, and maybe even apply it to your work.

And while I think all criticism should be read you don't always have to respond.
09-15-2019, 11:25 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
Well, I think that number one, common courtesy has pretty much been relegated to a thing of the past. So for example if I were to examine one of your awesome works, and

a thought came to mind regarding a different way of doing something, what would be wrong with saying something such as: "You know Ian, I really like what you have done

here, but may I offer what I truly hope will be a helpful suggestion?" Another thought is that I feel the word "criticize" has an automatic and negative connotation. I feel

this way, constructive criticism, is, still, criticism. You are of course correct in that the critique section is expected to have a give and take platform. Again, nothing wrong

with common courtesy such as, Please and Thank You. Thanks for your contribution.

TT
I really think the very worst thing as a creative … and we do love this creative hobby, Tony … is to be defensive about our art.

Getting into swearing with two ladies in a website which already warns its participants "We do offer constructive criticism here." is probably not reflecting well on us. It suggests we have a fragile ego. We want to show pictures and talk *at* people, but not let them interact back. Even though we're just forum members like them.

Perhaps with you it's necessary as you say to soften feedback with lots of praise first and a lot of explicit 'please, thank you, etc), instead of the matter-of-fact, don't take it personally kind of manner that peers or friends have with each other. Coaches and competition judges usually don't sugarcoat talk either, there's an expectation the player or student or whatever is robust or they wouldn't be there in the first place.

What would be the worst outcome is you lose your temper, people think you're too difficult to give C&C to, and they give up … you miss out on the interaction, and anything valuable they have to say. It actually hinders your development as a photographer.

FWIW, I welcome all comments on anything I post, words or pictures. I read it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. Some of it will be mistaken, some of it will change what I think and do from that point on.
09-16-2019, 12:43 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I really think the very worst thing as a creative and we do love this creative hobby, Tony is to be defensive about our art.

Getting into swearing with two ladies in a website which already warns its participants "We do offer constructive criticism here." is probably not reflecting well on us. It suggests we have a fragile ego. We want to show pictures and talk *at* people, but not let them interact back. Even though we're just forum members like them.

Perhaps with you it's necessary as you say to soften feedback with lots of praise first and a lot of explicit 'please, thank you, etc), instead of the matter-of-fact, don't take it personally kind of manner that peers or friends have with each other. Coaches and competition judges usually don't sugarcoat talk either, there's an expectation the player or student or whatever is robust or they wouldn't be there in the first place.

What would be the worst outcome is you lose your temper, people think you're too difficult to give C&C to, and they give up you miss out on the interaction, and anything valuable they have to say. It actually hinders your development as a photographer.

FWIW, I welcome all comments on anything I post, words or pictures. I read it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. Some of it will be mistaken, some of it will change what I think and do from that point on.


Ian, I think you misread what I had written. I wasn't one who was using obscenities, they were. Again, as I mentioned the rules stated that they offer constructive criticism, but didn't and instead just barged in telling me and the entire world, everything they thought was wrong with my image. You make an excellent point however, and that is I
should forget about common courtesy and just let their comments roll off of my back and move forward. There is always the option of ignoring the criticism.

Thanks again for your input. Tony

09-16-2019, 01:00 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
Ian, I think you misread what I had written. I wasn't one who was using obscenities, they were. Again, as I mentioned the rules stated that they offer constructive criticism, but didn't and instead just barged in telling me and the entire world, everything they thought was wrong with my image. You make an excellent point however, and that is I

should forget about common courtesy and just let their comments roll off of my back and move forward. There is always the option of ignoring the criticism.



Thanks again for your input. Tony
I think where they say "we offer constructive criticism" they use "offer" to mean "provide" which according to the Cambridge dictionary is an acceptable meaning.

09-16-2019, 01:42 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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If you post on a public forum I'm afraid you have to accept the rough with the smooth!
09-16-2019, 01:57 AM   #11
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...and further to Post #9, these are from the Free Online Dictionary, dictionary.com:

offer - verb (used with object)

1. to present for acceptance or rejection; proffer:

2. to propose or put forward for consideration:


Philip
09-16-2019, 02:40 AM - 2 Likes   #12
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I think the others are right when the rules say "we offer constructive criticism here," they are really saying "we give critical comments of the images here, even if you just want positive comments." At least that's the way I would read it.

Pentax Forums is a bit different in that there is a specific section where you can post images requesting critique. The rest of the Forum if you can't think of something nice to say about an image, you're best to keep silent -- or maybe private message the person, but certainly don't criticize them on the thread.
09-16-2019, 03:39 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Art will always be critiqued in it's many forms. You need to have tough skin to thrive as an artist of any kind. Authors take it on the chin constantly, but as already stated, they have learned to ignore the critics and move forward. Comedians get on stage in front of large audiences and are heckled, but they learn to accept it, if not they would need to find a new job. Critiquing of ones performance is not something you kindly ask for and in most cases is not offered by invitation only. People will offer their opinions freely and with little regard to the outcome. I'm not sure there is a way to stop it, but we can learn to cope with it.
09-16-2019, 06:26 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Criticism is only valid if people share the same values. When I look at criticism, I like to see the images of the person posting. My question is always, "does this person know something Want to learn." But criticism based on differences in style are meaningless.

As I used to say on the craft show circuit. One out of 10 passers by stop in my booth. 1 out of 10 of them buy something. So probably 1/100 like my work enough to buy it. Do I care wha the other 99 think? If one out of every 1000 people like my work, I will make a lot of money. And if I change, I might sell to 2 per hundred or I may sell to 0 per hundred. And I've been to shows where I saw average photographers sell nothing, didn't even cover the costs of their booths. You do what you believe in and you take your lumps. But at least on the craft circuit, if at the end of the day there's a couple of grand in my pocket, do I even care what all the haters think?

If you're looking for an approval rating better than 1 in 100, you aren't being very realistic. And anyone who would swear at you over a critique isn't worth wasting time on. They're taking themselves way too seriously. And it's quite possible they're just jealous of your process.

I've actually been quite shocked at some of the critique offered here. One thread of comparison images turned into a long combined diatribe about my processing style with a bunch of people piling on. IN the end I proved that I could do it their way if I chose to. I doubt that they ever got the point that I specifically chosen to do it my way, and that if I printed, it would be mine that I printed, not the one they thought was the best. I didn't see their way as anything other than un-informed nit picking. But, no need to get into that. it's all about personal preferences, and neither side was going to change.

My response would be to ask them to post an image that they took they thought was better. Let's get on an equal footing so if they unreasonably rip into my work, I can rip back. No point punching at shadows.

But I have to say, doing couple of craft shows and selling some work, and sort of get comfortable in the idea that some people like your work enough to pay money for it, what the ones who don't like your work think becomes irrelevant. "Go on to the next booth... you might find something you like over there." People who think everyone has to do it their way are just total bores.

You have to realize, on internet forums... some people are just pissing on everything to mark their turf. They lay down a bad smell to keep you from crossing into their territory.. They were being critical not to help you out, but to make sure your efforts to be part of that forum were not worth the negativity they were willing to bring your way. There are a lot of sites like that. Small sites dominated by few people who have appointed themselves the gods of photographic technique. In the end they all shut down although it takes a year or two. Criticism is only helpful, if it helps you do what you want to do. People who want you to do what they do because what they do favours their own personal taste are really not worth talking to.

Last edited by normhead; 09-16-2019 at 06:51 AM.
09-16-2019, 06:39 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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To turn this query on its head: unless you completely understand why people are engaged in photography and posting their work, you have no idea what their personal goals and expectations are, and so should refrain from gratuitous critiques. It's ok to compliment them on some aspect of their work, if you've a mind to. I can find something to like in almost every photograph, without necessarily liking the whole, or overlooking all the things I may dislike (without needing to express that). But the thing I like is something I can probably use, something that may not have otherwise occurred to me. That is incredibly valuable.
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