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Archive 2012 · Hyperbole Abound
  
 
canerino
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p.1 #1 · Hyperbole Abound


Are we a group of photographers who are dedicated to pushing one another to achieve their absolute best or are we a support group designed to make one another feel better about mediocre work?

Perhaps we are a bit of both. But I've been around for quite sometime in this forum (and the People Forum) and am noticing more and more "GREAT SET!" "FANTASTIC" and "DUDE, THIS IS YOUR BEST SET YET!" and less and less "I like XXXX, but I think you could improve on XXXXX". What are some possible reasons for this?

At times, it seems like I'm reading responses to sets posted by Leibovitz, Erwitt, and Frank. I feel that far too many responses are hyperbole laden with superlatives like 'best' 'great' 'spectacular'. Ultimately, I think it hurts the individual and forum (at large).

I feel that if we put a tad more effort into finding something for each other to work on rather than us telling one another how great we all are, we (and FM) would benefit.




Jul 06, 2012 at 04:18 AM
fotojennik
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p.1 #2 · Hyperbole Abound


GREAT POST, EXCELLENT WORK, BEST THREAD YET ON FM!!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK CHUCK!





///aside: I totally agree with you. I try to mention something that I personally didn't care for, which doesn't mean it isn't right, it's just what I notice that doesn't strike my fancy.



Jul 06, 2012 at 05:01 AM
mcarriere987
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p.1 #3 · Hyperbole Abound


By process of elimination I now consider my work mediocre.

Sometimes I get frustrated that the skilled, established regulars on here don't make more critique, but at the same time I can understand the patience and type of person it takes to C&C mediocre work that doesn't inspire.



Jul 06, 2012 at 05:32 AM
LivLif
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p.1 #4 · Hyperbole Abound


canerino wrote:
Are we a group of photographers who are dedicated to pushing one another to achieve their absolute best or are we a support group designed to make one another feel better about mediocre work?

Perhaps we are a bit of both. But I've been around for quite sometime in this forum (and the People Forum) and am noticing more and more "GREAT SET!" "FANTASTIC" and "DUDE, THIS IS YOUR BEST SET YET!" and less and less "I like XXXX, but I think you could improve on XXXXX". What are some possible reasons for this?

At times, it seems like I'm reading
...Show more

Good points Chuck! I'm awaiting your harsh opinion of my work.

When I post my pics here I am ultimately looking for opinions on what I can do better. I want to improve and I think I have over the last few months, but I still have a long way to go. That being said, I have another set coming in the next day or two and look to know what I can improve on.



Jul 06, 2012 at 05:51 AM
amonline
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p.1 #5 · Hyperbole Abound


Good topic Chuck.

As you know, I'm always kind of blunt in my honesty where critique is concerned. I will say I do exercise a lot of "if there's nothing positive to say, don't respond" these days. This is probably because I feel the same inner feelings you just questioned.

More than anything, this forum pushes me [and others] to be better. I consider myself one of the "mediochres". I rarely post sets because I'm always looking for that next LEAP in my work. I don't want to hear the, "GREAT SET!" "FANTASTIC" and "DUDE, THIS IS YOUR BEST SET YET!" responses. I want to know I deserve them.

In any respect, I feel you on this topic. The answer really goes both ways. At the same time, I think this forum DOES do a lot for it's members who give a damn and strive to be the best they can be. I know there are a number of members here to come here purely for the inspiration to push it to the next level. That, in itself, is huge in my book. It's the main reason I don't go to other forums.



Jul 06, 2012 at 07:18 AM
XPO239
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p.1 #6 · Hyperbole Abound


I agree with you Chuck. There is a lot of praising going on in this forum where much can be gained from an honest critique. I've been in this forum since 2006 and this has been happening since I first joined. Over the years, I've also noticed that those who reach out to give honest and constructive critiques are usually belittled. People often times get offended and go on the defensive. Many of the people who gave great construtive criticism left this forum because of that. This is a free open public forum, so I can somewhat understand why. However, over the years, I have learned a lot from both praises and critiques on here.





Edited on Jul 06, 2012 at 07:31 AM · View previous versions



Jul 06, 2012 at 07:27 AM
amonline
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p.1 #7 · Hyperbole Abound


XPO239 wrote:
Over the years, I've also noticed that those who reach out to give honest and constructive critiques are usually belittled. People often times get offended and go on the defensive. Many of the people who gave great construtive criticism left this forum because of that.


Word. It's capped my responses at times.



Jul 06, 2012 at 07:29 AM
Josh Evilsizor
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p.1 #8 · Hyperbole Abound


I think that there are a lot of "younger" (I use that loosely since I'm only 32) people showing up on photography forums, say 18-25, and most of them were brought up in the "everyone is a winner" era, so that's what they know. I also think that's the same reason people who do offer critiques get belittled, and the poster goes on the defensive.

Of course I could be way off base...



Jul 06, 2012 at 07:54 AM
ricardovaste
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p.1 #9 · Hyperbole Abound


In short, I think people can be lazy. Some also don't know how to critique. Often, if people don't ask for critique, they don't get it... They just get general comments, which will be largely positive if th photos are half decent. This is the same with any photo forum to an extent, nothing different there.

@josh: Things were better in back in the day, eh? You forgot to mention film! I'm in that age range, and that's nothing what I or my friends are like... Perhaps an American thing



Jul 06, 2012 at 09:02 AM
JoeMelzer
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p.1 #10 · Hyperbole Abound


I very much like to a) give comments and, more important, critics and b) get them. And also find, that in most forums there is plenty of "AWESOME DUDE. YOU'RE SO EPIC", sometimes some "you totally suck. find sth else to do" and little real critic.
My problem oftentimes is, when you find sth jar-dropping you want to comment - a pad on the shoulder is nice for everyone, even for those knowing they're good. These are the easiest comments. I really don't like the attitude in those "you suck" comments, so I completely don't do them. The alternative of choice is to say nothing.
Now, for the really helpful comments (or at least supposed-to-be-helpful). If I think that there's something there I comment and try to be as helpful as possible: For example photog has obiously "an eye" for good images, but post processing sucks / aperture and shutter speed are mysterious / easy rules of composition not known - stuff like that. It takes time to write this down but sometimes I do. And most of the time can be happy when receiving a global "thanks for all the comments". Because you don't feel appreciated, you spend your time with sth else.
Of course, that's my opinion but I think that might be the reason for many "awesome!" comments and little really helpful comments.



Jul 06, 2012 at 09:02 AM
 

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ricardovaste
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p.1 #11 · Hyperbole Abound


JoeMelzer wrote:

Of course, that's my opinion but I think that might be the reason for many "awesome!" comments and little really helpful comments.


While I'm here I must say..."awesome" is without a doubt the most overused word I've seen here. If you want to sound like a 13 y/o going to the latest action movie, this is the word of choice .



Jul 06, 2012 at 09:07 AM
Kittyk
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p.1 #12 · Hyperbole Abound


take it so, that when somebody comment on a thread, it wakes him up from 10-15 threads he looks fast through. most of us have little time to spend on forums, so adding a comment is usually followed by grabbing a shot or two for inspiration folder and already line like "super work" is more then 99% of visitors of this forum do. Take it as great compliment.

Few days ago stopped old man in our gallery. Only said, "great work", and left again after few minutes of looking. It is online version of that. Very warm, awesome feeling.

p.s. i do not feel i have right to critique somebody else's work unless somebody ask me directly to critique it. Everybody have right to be unique even if they don't know it.
So to all posters, if you looking for explicit critique, write it in topic and in description what you look for.



Jul 06, 2012 at 09:19 AM
jb1970
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p.1 #13 · Hyperbole Abound


I've only been looking on this forum for a couple of years and it does seem to have changed. There used to be a small element who would only post offhand 'how dare you call yourself a photographer' type comments. Thankfuly I haven't seen that recently as it is of no value to anyone. I also agree with XPO239 that some members could get defensive over genuine criticism. There's no need to sugar coat everything, nothing wrong with being blunt or to the point as long as there is a point.

I am new and have a lot to learn, so when I have posted to get constructive critism has been a big help. No doubt even the truly talented people on the forum would like to hear why certain things may or may not work, particualrly if they are pushing their own boundaries.






Jul 06, 2012 at 09:43 AM
Mark_L
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p.1 #14 · Hyperbole Abound


In any community this will happen, people don't want to upset the apple cart but here if something is clearly off one or more people will usually say it it is nowhere near many other forums where people are just patting themselves on the back saying how awesome they are. Some discretion needs to be applied or every set using VSCO will have “your blacks are grey and your highlights look pee stained” comments after it so instead people that don’t like them say nothing.

Other areas of this forum and elsewhere on the internet are much worse where a few photographers may be above the average forumite in skill level become 'rockstars' in their small pond become unchallengeable by anyone else (usually seen on gear related forums) or risk incurring the wrath of most of the community for slighting their hero. Since this section is made up of mostly of professionals I am glad this stuff doesn't happen.

I do think there is an unwritten rule that you don't criticise other people's work unless it is invited and not everyone is clear in inviting in when they post threads of pictures.



Jul 06, 2012 at 09:55 AM
oldrattler
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p.1 #15 · Hyperbole Abound


If an individual ask for an opinion, critique, or advice I will offer IF I feel I can be helpful... To criticize / demean an individuals work should not be taken lightly... I attempt to find something good to point out and then the area I feel needs improving... If I do not know how to improve upon an image I might point out that I have the same problem and will follow the post to see if an answer is given... If I hate the shot I keep my mouth shut... Inimical evaluation is destructive and to what advantage Improvement comes in increment...

Edited on Jul 06, 2012 at 12:00 PM · View previous versions



Jul 06, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Manzelle
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p.1 #16 · Hyperbole Abound


Josh Evilsizor wrote:
I think that there are a lot of "younger" (I use that loosely since I'm only 32) people showing up on photography forums, say 18-25, and most of them were brought up in the "everyone is a winner" era, so that's what they know. I also think that's the same reason people who do offer critiques get belittled, and the poster goes on the defensive.

Of course I could be way off base...


This.



Jul 06, 2012 at 11:51 AM
lisy78
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p.1 #17 · Hyperbole Abound


oldrattler wrote:
If an individual ask for an opinion, critique, or advice I will offer IF I feel I can be helpful... To criticize / demean an individuals work should not be taken lightly... I attempt to find something good to point out and then the area I feel needs improving... If I do not know how to improve upon an image I might point out that I have the same problem and will follow the post to see if an answer is given... If I hate the shot I keep my mouth shut... Inimical evaluation is destructive and to what advantage
...Show more

I agree with that, but there's a downside in that the person doing that usually gets little social currency in exchange for a significant effort. At the same time the people who just post "Great set man, you knocked it out of the park!" get some degree of social currency in exchange for virtually no work.

I've taken a page out of Evan Baines' book at times and did a "what I like what I dislike" post and yeah I usually did get some form of sign that the OP appreciated the effort but again the effort was enormous compared to what most other posters did.

and then there's the fairly frequent situation where frankly coming up with something positive is clearly an excercise in creative writing... not necessarily because the work sucks (though at times it does) but because sometime it's so astonishingly plain and uninteresting that the only honest positive would be "check it out you got the couple in the shot rather than a squirrel"

And don't get me wrong... I totally include my own work in this category, and this is NOT false modesty

Then there's the fact that there is a group of posters who are clearly after a different kind of social currency... they're most likely hanging out largely for the hangout experience like the rest of us... but from a "ok, so what is your selfish motivation" standpoint (which we should ALL healthily have to a degree) I think for quite a few "getting critique ON FM to improve" is probably either not on the list or low on the list, topped by other things like "have them think I'm so epic that I can get them to book me for their wedding" or "have them join my mailing list/ buy my product / sign up for my service / attend my workshop / hire me for a day of coaching" etc.

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying these peeps don't think they have room for improvement... I think they have different avenues that they get that from.

And don't for a moment think I'm criticizing them for this. THIS IS HEALTHY! The vast majority of times the result is a WIN-WIN that you should all know I'm all about. Don't fall in the trap!!!! Again THIS IS *G*O*O*D*!!!!!!

heck I just realized I have a new motivation that is actually higher than my motivation to "improve my photography" ... in fact from a service to my clients standpoint "improve my photography" is not very high on the list either.... not that I don't have signficant room to improve, 'cause I definitely do... but I prioritize other things ahead of it ... yeah so there... so imagine that ... my top motivation (I only realized this a couple of weeks ago after coming back from ta trip to the Northeast where among other things I shot with the talented and ridiculoulsy friendly V-man (Tagfan here) is no longer "get critique for my work" ... and I'm not even close to the sacred beasts I'm thinking of

Bottom line... methinks this is more complicated than it appears on the surface.

Ciao!

Alessandro

P.S. That said let me give the OP a bit of praise that is totally deserved: Yo Chuckie, the Banner Image (dunno WTF the correct term is) you're using on Facebook right now with your fatass and your son on the swinging chairs makes me jealous something fierce. If I could have ONE photo like that of me with my little ones I'd trade that for the right to ever have a photo with me in it again. Great job .... ,,,, having Sergio take that

P.P.S. Omg I used "Fierce" in a post. Awesome!!!!

P.P.P.S. Oh and an observation... you forgot to wear the "in front of the pee-pee" belt ... hum... does that mean I was staring at your pee pee? Fcuk!!!!

P.P.P.P.S. Yeah of course that was a hyperbola about the me giving up the right to be in photos... isn't that what this thread is all about?



Jul 06, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Mike Mahoney
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p.1 #18 · Hyperbole Abound


In the past 8 years I've seen many threads with many different possible solutions to this "problem" and the "problem" still exists.

Someone once said that a true friend critiques like an enemy .. and since most on this board are improving as photographers they must be getting good advice and critiques from somewhere.

TBH these days critique is overrated .. there is a vast sea of information on wedding photography online and if you can envision a photo you can quickly learn how to create it. So if you have half a brain you can look at what you've shot and know if it's what you wanted or not .. and if it's not than it's easy to find out how to do it right.

So obtaining good critique is really not a "problem" at all .. and everyone seems happy with the existing auto applause replies. In many cases standing ovations. In some cases it's even well deserved



Jul 06, 2012 at 12:40 PM
form
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p.1 #19 · Hyperbole Abound


For the record, on the rare occasion when I reply to a sharing thread, I ask questions and state viewpoints on images...


Jul 06, 2012 at 12:47 PM
ACRe
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p.1 #20 · Hyperbole Abound


As a new person to the forum, I am still trying to figure it out. I know that this place can be helpful for me developing my craft, so the last thing I want to do is come in, step on people's toes and alienate the very people I want help from. That would be dumb of me -- which probably means it will happen.

The other thing I will say, is that as someone on the very early learning part of the curve (just shot my first e session last week), most of the work here does look "awesome" to me.

Andrew



Jul 06, 2012 at 01:15 PM
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