December 21, 2013 at 11:22 am #15876
Eye doc read again. Without paraphrasing and choosing little bits and throwing them together to try to discredit what was said.
“Art is incredibly subjective and to judge ones critique based on their own work doesn’t help you. It only gives you a reason not to accept their critique. The critic’s work is irrelevant to what you need – an honest opinion. It is relevant to what you really want – a reason to feel good about yourself”.
“you couldn’t pay me to take critic from an accomplished photographer. I’ve listened and watched the critiques of some of these so-called professional photographers that charge big money to let them say nice things and be gentle about the bad things about your work. I see no value in that”
There are no contradictions.
If you are open to criticism, you can learn from beginners, established pros, “experts” (I haven’t met a photographer yet that refers to themselves as experts), and even critical lay people. Their own photography is irrelevant to their opinion/feedback of YOUR photography. Only people who are resistant to criticism, learning from others, working to change/evolve/grow as a photographer end up getting hung up on other’s work and will only listen to feel good, while they search for that “expert” advice they are so desperately seeking that says they are doing a fantastic job of it. They are the ones that should pay to have critiques given by those who charge for it, or go hang out on the “nice” forums with all kinds of “don’t be critical” rules (and there are a chuck load of them out there) because they will walk away feeling good about what they currently produce, and that’s what they are looking for.
I wonder if anyone would ask to see their critquer’s (lol that’s not even a word. Sorry) work if lots of sunshine was thrown at them, and they were only praised and complimented, and told only what they were doing right, or had any sort of negative feedback buffered by emptiness? No? Why is that? Don’t they NEED to know where their shinning critique came from? Don’t they NEED to know that the person who just said they are doing really well knows what they are talking about? Don’t they need that insurance? No, they don’t. Why is that you think? Could it be because their work is irrelevant to their own and to the opinion and feedback given? Nah, that couldn’t be it.
Look with all that said, I always try to look for a positive. Sometimes there just isn’t anything worth talking about. I mean what do you do when all their shots are OOF, their color management doesn’t exist, your bored to tears going through their port of what looks like vacation photos, or you can’t even tell what the subject is supposed to be in more than half their photos, etc? Sorry, but only so much pussy footing around can happen. And it comes out like this “you really should be charging for your photography services”. Yes, art is subjective, but the technical aspects are not.
Aren’t most the people who work for him in cubicles? I’d need a lot of positive reinforcement too.
But, if his quote rings true to you, why not start critiquing here? Like I said you could add some balance.December 21, 2013 at 11:49 am #15877
Eye doc, and the OP,
Go have a look at The Grid blind critiques, or Zack Arias and his wife’s critiques. I think you both will learn a lot. Not just about critique, but about photography in general. I know I pull away something every time I watch.
Here are two episodes selected at random to help you get started
And no, neither charge, or blow sunshineDecember 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm #15879emfMember
I just wanted to add, critique is actually quite hard for many to take. Some love it but others take it very personally – which of course isn’t the intention. But nonetheless when someone has laboured over something and put their heart and soul into it, then yes, it is kinda personal. I think over time, you hopefully develop a harder shell but in the beginning it can reduce you to tears – most of us have been there!
I still get upset by harsh criticism sometimes, in the moment it’s being said, when I’m not feeling objective or I think I’ve just done something great. But, after sleeping on it and giving myself some time to gain a little objectivity over things, I normally agree with what has been said or at least, can see the critiquers point of view. It is hard, we’re human and all have some ego. But you have to leave your ego at the door when it comes to critique – otherwise you’ll never benefit or develop as an artist, photographer etc.; how can you expect to when all you get is praise and no one is telling you what is wrong with your work?December 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm #15882EyeDocPhotogMember
wow, good stuff from Kelby. Never saw this before…
I got the idea with every one of the shots they looked at. Thanks for the link – moves my mind in a different direction for sure. Maybe I just needed to see a video on it, I don’t know. But it helped.
Thx. 🙂December 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm #15883EyeDocPhotogMember
and I will start to critique as well, for what it’s worth.December 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm #15884
Yay! Glad you liked it, and pulled something from it. Kelby also has guest photographers on, and other educational topics as well. Lots of banter from time to time, but I really enjoy the shows. Zack Arias is a lot more critical than the usual, and never bullshits. He’s like my photography instructor at school and pushes people very very hard. Some don’t like his approach at all, and don’t think very highly of him because of it, but I must confess, he’s one of my very favorite educators.
Your critiques/opinions will be just as valuable as anyone else’s hereDecember 31, 2013 at 2:34 am #15961fstopper89Member
I only have a problem with “critiques” when they are nasty, unsound, and have no advice to back them up. Such as “wow this sucks!” That’s not a critique. Constructive criticism doesn’t have to have a positive, but it should be worded with tact such as “There are a lot of harsh shadows on the skin and some blown-out highlights. In the future it is best to find a shaded area when shooting outdoors to avoid this.” Not mean, just gives solid advice on how to fix an issue.
I used to frequently post on this site more after finding a ridiculous amount of bona-fide fauxtogs, several of which were local. I mean blatantly fauxtogs. Blurry shots, crazy editing techniques, bad selective color, white vignettes, etc. and thought it was hilarious these people were being paid money and also sad for those whose weddings were ruined because of it. I was attacked by some of these fauxtogs and friends of the fauxtogs. I used to have my avatar linked right to my Flickr account but removed it after getting a few creepy stalkers (Ricky Cain is viewing my LinkedIn profile weekly and I can’t block him! – to those who remember that amazing HDR artist….) I have no problem showcasing my work otherwise. I have a FB page, portfolio website, Flickr, and Pinterest page. I have given countless constructive critiques to people here and in the multiple FB photography groups I’m in. I’m not touting that I know everything because I certainly do not, but I’ve immersed myself in learning and trying new techniques all the time and I am proud to say I know a lot of stuff about gear, art, professionalism, advertising, design, etc. that all help me with photography. I took photography, graphic arts, fine art, and business classes in college. I worked as an editor for a photog for a short time before doing it on my own. I’m not afraid to share my knowledge and also to learn from others, something I do every day.
Sorry this is redundant as I posted it somewhere in the forums already:
A few weeks ago in a photography group on FB group a woman posted a link to an engagement gallery and said she needed help. She said the client wasn’t happy with the photos but she wasn’t sure why. I looked at the album and immediately thought up a good way to be nice but tell her like it is. The photos were awful. The woman was overweight and wasn’t posed in any flattering ways. Her fiance was short and dark-skinned. Most if not all the images had bad exposure, like blown-out sky and dark faces, and lots of harsh shadows and bright spots on their skin and clothing. The sun was filtering through bare tree branches. Many were out of focus. Many the focal plane was way too deep and the couple just fell into the background. Some it looked like she used a popup flash with the odd shadows under their necks. I commented on her post something very tactful explaining these issues. She posted asking if she should just give them a refund on their deposit and let them find a different photographer for their wedding. I said that honestly a re-shoot would be better, that way everyone would be happy and she can go to a different location to avoid the exposure issues. I linked her my engagement photo gallery from my website and said she could check out ideas for poses from there. Well, I saw a notification then that said “Wow that is extremely horrible advice….” but when I clicked on it she had deleted the whole thread. I was so pissed. I took the time to give her an honest, tactful critique and ideas how to fix it. I had even checked out her page and just scrolled a little and saw a few images that looked of better quality. Well after this I looked deeper into her page and found a lot more shoddy work, and the good shots almost seemed to be lucky shots. She kept using this awful fake sunflare too. I posted in that group “Wow, I just gave a good honest critique for someone and they replied that it was horrible advice and deleted the thread. Please if you ask for a critique learn how to take it and not get mad.” A few people came to my defense and said they saw it, saw what I wrote and there was nothing wrong with it and they actually agreed with what I had said. That same woman ended up commenting “Wow I can’t believe you made a whole thread about me! I can’t believe you went searching for me too, that is really creepy!” (note I did not link her name anywhere, and I didn’t go searching, she had a link posted right to her facebook page.) She got all butthurt and left the group. I messaged her asking what her deal was and that I was only trying to help and that she is the one who asked for a critique. She came back with something super lame like “You are making stuff up, I never asked if I should refund them. And you shouldn’t even be giving advice because your photos are so amateur. Most are out of focus, you use cheap props (the X O blocks for the engagment photo), and you must have never gone to school for photography because have you ever heard of mergers? And you recently posted a photo of a woman grabbing her crotch and also a girl with her eyes closed. I hate when amateurs think they’re soooo good!” My jaw dropped. I had to look up what a merger was since we never used that term in my college classes (it was a distracting element in the background that seems to be part of the subject or interfere with it). Reviewing all the photos I have posted there were no such things that she said except for the X O props. I am always mindful of my backgrounds too. And my photos are in focus. There was definitely no one grabbing their crotch… I’m thinking she was grasping at straws over an image of my friend who had her palms on her thighs, kind of bending over. Upon looking at her work it’s like she was a merger-magnet with everything from trees growing out of heads, to logs floating in a river right behind a head, a giant concrete bridge in lots of her photos, bad exposure problems, lots of dutch angles, and super cheesy props like dollar-store chalkboards and pre-made lame quote signs. I use mostly antiques as props. I told her she was nuts, and that she needs to obviously go back to school and cited several of her mistakes.
Here are a few I saved for reference. Lol.January 1, 2014 at 11:20 am #15972CoastalTogMember
“The woman was overweight and wasn’t posed in any flattering ways.”
This is one constant with all fauxtographers. Rarely will you ever see a faux photographing stunning couples.
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