Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Post Your Photos > Photo Critiques

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 2, 2005, 4:45 AM   #51
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 18
Default

StevenBVT wrote:
Quote:
Being new to these forums, my opinion may not count for much but I wanted to get a sense of what other people think of this observation I have made.

I can't comment on this particular photo, because it doesn't appear (Rodney, did you edit it out?)

Hoever, I have noticed one thing consistently in going through this forum and that is that Rodney is quick to offer criticism of other's photos (which I understand is the point), but he offers such with the air of a professional being condescending to an amateur.

On the other hand, his obvious talent for both photography and post processing leads me to wonder why he bothers to post his own photos here for critique? Whenever he receives comments and criticism, he dismisses them as amateurish observation. (And I'm not referring to his use of mats... for the most part I think his mats do enhance his photography).

Am I off-base with my observations? I am somewhat reluctant to post my own photos for fear of sharper criticism than may be warranted, or being harshly reminded that I am an amateur photgrapher (a fact that I am already aware of).
Quote:
You're bang on with your observations! Rodney is what my old man used to call a blowhard. He's just full of himself. I find it curious too as to why a person in his professional status as a photographer would waste his time with us amateurs in hoping to get constructive criticism, when he disregards what most of the people critique as rank amateur observations.:? If you want better critique RB, just ask your rival prosmaking a living in the photo business for their observations. No doubt, they'd be more worthy than what you see here. Oh, and I think the rocks on the left are distracting too. WC.
Westcoaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 2005, 5:03 AM   #52
Senior Member
 
RodneyBlair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 966
Default

Westcoaster wrote:
Quote:
You're bang on with your observations! Rodney is what my old man used to call a blowhard. He's just full of himself. I find it curious too as to why a person in his professional status as a photographer would waste his time with us amateurs in hoping to get constructive criticism, when he disregards what most of the people critique as rank amateur observations.:? If you want better critique RB, just ask your rival pros making a living in the photo business for their observations. No doubt, they'd be more worthy than what you see here. Oh, and I think the rocks on the left are distracting too. WC.
I do offer my images for critique by professional photographers. It is this type of exchange that will help you advance to the next level. I encourage everyone regardless of their level to critique my work, but at the same time, you've got to tell me why something isn't working. Just to say it isn't or I don't like it isn't helping either of us.

Indeed, the rocks to the left are a bit of a distraction and this was intentionally left this way so individuals as yourself can see. Now tell me why they are a distraction and offer a possible solution if you can.

Don't knock the importance of this forum. I value the opinions of several members here.

Rodney
RodneyBlair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 2005, 7:08 AM   #53
Member
 
StevenBVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 30
Default

Hi all, sorry for my lack of participation in a conversation I was at least partly responsible in stirring up. I've had a busy weekend! :-)

This has been interesting and educational. Maybe it's the fact that I'm an amateur photographer who doesn't aspire to be a professional that I find, as someone else pointed out, that sometimes there is too much "technical" discussion of a photograph (angles and attempting to draw the eye this way or that). We all have to agree that what appeals to one person is not going to appeal to someone else. It has always been and always will be this way with regards to art. The problem is, when someone is asked "why don't you like it?" the answer very well may be "I don't know... I just don't care for it". The artist should accept this. I think sometimes we may be too buried in the details of framing and composition and perfect lighting to just step back and say "you know... I like that just the way it is." I'm sure that not everyone in here is interested in the "absolute perfect way" to photograph a certain subject, just how to take pictures that don't stink up the joint... ya know what I mean??

So, at the risk of beating a dead horse, the brown mat surrounding Rodney's photo may well evoke a feeling of "I don't know why, but I just don't care for it." This has to be accepted. Maybe someone else can define the reason better, but you can't expect someone to expound on what they can't put their finger on. Incidentally, I'm glad you reposted the photo Rodney. I personally find it attractive. Maybe I don't have a "trained eye", but I don't find the rocks that distracting. And while something can be said for preferring photos as the subject really appears (ie, with no blurring of the water), once again, you have to think about the photographer's (artist's) intent. Was the photo meant to portray realism, or was it intended as art? Rodney knows the answer, and I suspect others do as well, but it is really only Rodney that knows the real reason he took that photo as he did. That shouldn't affect your enjoyment of it though. If you prefer more realistic photos, you don't buy that one at your local art exhibition. Someone else will. I also don't mind the matting on this photo. As has been pointed out, if you were to hang this photo on your wall, you most likely would be matting and framing it, so I don't find any problem with doing that electronically. And as for my 2 cents, I think the larger mat is better, as (again, if this photo were to be hung on the wall) the narrower mat is too narrow.

I have some personal experience with matting and framing being integral to the presentation of a photograph. I captured a lightning stroke on film some years back which played with by my local developer in the darkroom became a thing of beauty with rose-colored clouds surrounding the bolt. I made a couple of prints, one of which I gave to my mother-in-law. I framed mine in a satin finish metal frame that was just a little on the bronze side of silver, to mimic the color of the bolt, with a neutral colored mat. My mother-in-law framed hers with two mats, the interior mat being a rosey color to match the clouds surrounding the bolt with a dark blue mat on top. Then it was framed in a dark wooden frame. Her presentation of my photograph kicks the #[email protected]#% out of mine! It does the photo more justice than my treatment of it... and I was the "artist"! :-) Matting and framing DOES make a difference.

So anyway, I've rambled on now too long. Rodney, I can appreciate the fact that you want to give honest assessments of someone's technique (that IS what they are looking for), as that is what you yourself say you seek. But I do still think that you know your photography is superior to others, and you are not posting so much to receive criticism, but to seek praise. That's fine... we all are looking for praise in life whether it be with our photography or from our bosses at work. But please take any criticism you can get, as you get it. We may not be able to explain why we don't like a certain thing you have done with lighting or composition or whatever, but please also do not chide people for that.
StevenBVT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 2005, 7:21 AM   #54
Senior Member
 
RodneyBlair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 966
Default

SevenBVT,

Actually, I'm a bit modest and embarrassed by praise.

If you'll check out the rules of the forum, everyone is encouraged to say a photo stinks or something about it just doesn't work, but you should be prepared to say why it doesn't and if possible offer a solution.

If you desire to improve your skills then you must also be able to see what it is that you like and dislike about other's work. It is this study that helps us determine what we will do different to improve a similar composition. It also helps us see where our own images are lacking.

Thank you for sharing the story about matting.

Rodney
RodneyBlair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 2005, 7:29 AM   #55
Member
 
StevenBVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 30
Default

That does make some sense where in a forum where the object is to give and receive constructive criticism that a criticism of "that just plain stinks" is not very constructive. However, just as there is always one rotten apple in a basket, you can't let it get to you and spoil the whole bunch.

So while you may not always receive the best, most constructive criticism always, do not let that get the best of you and bring out the ugly side that we all have in us. Making it appear that you are ungrateful for what criticism you have received will tend to scare away people from perhaps hitting that nail on the head for you.

As for my future intentions... I don't get out and photograph nearly as often as I would like to... maybe someday I'll get around to it. So I really don't have much of a protfolio yet to get help with. But I will put my faith in this forum's population to offer what help and/or praise is deserving when I do get around to posting a photo.
StevenBVT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 2005, 8:20 AM   #56
Senior Member
 
thatsanicepicture2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 859
Default

Westcoaster wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
You're bang on with your observations! Rodney is what my old man used to call a blowhard. He's just full of himself. I find it curious too as to why a person in his professional status as a photographer would waste his time with us amateurs in hoping to get constructive criticism, when he disregards what most of the people critique as rank amateur observations.:? If you want better critique RB, just ask your rival prosmaking a living in the photo business for their observations. No doubt, they'd be more worthy than what you see here. Oh, and I think the rocks on the left are distracting too. WC.
WHAT"S THE MATTER WITH YOU GUYS???? & Gals...[/b]

Yes sometimes Rodney is a little rough. But that is just the wording.
I've even PM'ed some people to encourage them afterwards. But the
critiques are correct. If you don't want your pictures logically critiqued,
show them to your mother. I have never been critiqued by Rodney but
he has already made me a better photographer. I'll bet Rodney will be
nicer in the future but I hope his analysis will always be true. And if I'm
ever brave enough to post a picture in "Critiques and Techniques" I
only hope Rodney or someone else is willing to take time out too help a
guy out in Ohio. If I can't be good I'll be silly… That's why I post in
"Funny Fotos" There is a place here for everyone to post pictures.
Post them here if you really want to improve your skills.

mho
dale

PS That'll befive dollars Rodney.

thatsanicepicture2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 2005, 8:33 AM   #57
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 209
Default

"And while something can be said for preferring photos as the subject really appears (ie, with no blurring of the water), once again, you have to think about the photographer's (artist's) intent."StevenBVT


AH-HA! That is what it is... I knew it was something I couldn't put my finger on. I tend to ask questions when I can't figure something out. So if I ask it is to try and understand where you were coming from before I assume.

Personally, I prefer nature shots to look ...well... more natural (for lack of better words). I'm just discovering my own tastes so you will have to excuse my uncertainty. Being an anxious individual I tend to gravitate tomore subdued photographs. But that, I suppose is just a matter of taste.I prefer a classic Karmen Ghia to a sports car. But I'm kinda like that... Plain Jane.

"Everyman has his own quirks and twists." As does nature. I prefer to see it's quirks.

It's not a bad shot though. Just not my favorite aspect.


I hope that doesn't offend you Rodney but I'm certain there is nothing you can do to change my inclinations. So it is not your picture that has the problem.:-)
Plain Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 2005, 8:43 AM   #58
Member
 
StevenBVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 30
Default

And of course, now that I think about it, maybe you don't know what the artist's intent was! Some of today's most beloved artists may have been maligned by their contemporaries only because they didn't realize his or her intent.

When you think about it, art (which some would consider photography to be a form of) is VERY subjective. I think the key to good photography is if you like it, then it is good! :-) If you are creating art of art's sake, then you have to accept that it may not be everybody's cup of tea. If you are creating art for the sake of making a buck, then you'll have to appeal to a broad audience, and what fun would that be?
StevenBVT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 2005, 11:29 AM   #59
Senior Member
 
photosbyvito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 5,710
Default

hey rodney..
a little late on this thread...
but i feel it's necessary to post my comments here

this image, for me, works, and doesn't (i'll explain )

the composition, the rocks, the tree branch reaching over, the placement of the stream itself, the blurred water...all work very well for me..

but something is going on in the water...probably from sharpening, but it looks pixelly in some spots...
it looksl like you have have sharpened the water in photoshop..
may i ask what your workflow is like in photoshop?

if you DID sharpen the water in photoshop, that's probably the problem, and could be 'fixed' for next time by just duplicating your photo layer, and sharpening the duplicate, and mask out the water...

and, about the frame...i'm not a fan of big bulky frames...the colors work very well, but it's too 'big' for me..
at the moment...i'm looking at it from a different monitor...which isn't calibrated, making the dark brown blend in with the black..and disappear.
because of that, i can only see the thin inside color, which, imo, works very well here..

but, it's apparent are personal preferences are the same, and i have no place forcing mine on you, or vice versa.

and lastly, about 'the guidelines'...
not only do the guidelines wish you critique (lol, look at the forum title!), but they also have like, five seperate guidelines for things like,
be respectful
be kind
be helpful (lol, dunno if that one is one...but it was something like that)
anyway, critiques aren't worth much when you just bash the persons work..
sometimes, like steven said, you don't know what you don't like about it...but, when you do, you should (kindly) explain what you think would help..

most of the time, you really can only critique the 'technicals' of the image..unless the meaning and message of the photo works so well, that it isn't doubted by anyone..then you could comment on how to make that message stronger.

someone earlier had said that photography is considered an art..
well, it most definetely is...if it wasn't, every professional photographer would end up with the same image of a flower/tree/mountain/etc...
everyone views there subject differently..as you can see in the weekly challenge forum (the challenge is on trees)
we've had a very large variety of different images..all of which being very good, and showing their vision of 'trees'

well, that's my thoughts..you don't have to agree with them...(well, yeah you do :evil: )

Vito
photosbyvito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 2005, 11:49 AM   #60
Senior Member
 
RodneyBlair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 966
Default

Vito,

I can direct you to post after post where participants are being rude to me and a dozen or more were removed by the moderators and you are pointing out the rules to me?? I'm direct and to the point, but never rude. It is more rude to point out that someone is rude.

Listen, I don't have to be here. If everyone would like for me to leave, I'll be happy to do so.

Rodney
RodneyBlair is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:42 PM.