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Thread: Our critique corner....

  1. #1

    Default Our critique corner....

    Let light be shed on what exactly we critique on.

    i've been confused by the standard critique technique... Are there any standard guideline in the first place to critique a photograph?

    My reason for this thread, is infact fairly simple and straight forward. I've seen posting in critique corner, which reads...

    .... too soft...
    .... very OOF...
    .... sharpen alittle... and it just goes on.

    What exactly should a "judge", judge? Shouldn't the basic of composition be touched on first before we start to pin-point the finer and more complex issues like listed above?


    Now before you click reply, to start flaming me. Please be kind

    Disclaimer: NO pun had been intended during the creation of this thread, I am NOT against any forumer.

    'Cheers

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    thanks for the heads up

    would love to discuss about it but it's getting late, looking forward to good feedbacks, enjoy the discussion

    i'll also like to add the following piece of writing contributed by zaren, which can be found on the Critique Corner posting guidelines http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=139941 which is ever so easily ignored by participating members.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaren
    1. critiques will not merely be "crap shot!", "nice shot!" or
    2. the critique will include constructive comments/suggestions on how to improve the photo.
    3. reasons will be given why the critique giver thinks the shot is good, or why the shot is weak/bad.
    4. ppl who post photos for critique must not take offence at any negative comments/critique even if the comments are as brutal as simon cowell's.
    5. unless otherwise stated, everyone giving a photo critique here is NOT a pro, NOT an expert, and does NOT have to show anyone their own portfolio to justify that they are worthy of critiquing photos. however, they are interested in learning how to critique better and more constructively, through practice.

    some guidelines for those giving photo critiques;
    - Framing/Composition (e.g. how appealing/interesting is the pic?)
    - Exposure/Tones (e.g. over blown highlights)
    - Color/WB
    - sharpness
    - Post-Process Workflow
    - artistic merit

    some guidelines for photographers posting photos for critique;
    1. know your subject
    2. draw attention to your subject
    3. simplify.
    it would also be helpful to post a short paragraph telling us why you took the pic and what you were trying to achieve photographically.
    Last edited by eikin; 13th April 2007 at 12:42 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    Quote Originally Posted by dejected View Post
    Shouldn't the basic of composition be touched on first before we start to pin-point the finer and more complex issues like listed above?
    I think its the other way around - the technical stuff, eg WB or focus, etc are the easier issues, the aesthetic, eg composition, is the more "complex" issue.

    There will be, I think, a large proportion that say, if it works for you, it works. But that is what I precisely disagree.

    For if that is the case then there is no possibility for critique, for say what you like - how "good" or "bad" my pic is - they are all irrelevant to me. And if you hold such a belief that aesthetics is entirely a personal thing - beauty being solely in your eye - then you ought not to seek critique. You are looking to be praised and not criticised then.

    "Critique" on technical issues aren't really critiques at all. A machine can probably do that for you one day. Only humans have aesthetics.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    YES eikin! before i started to write this thread, i had read those like you said the posting guidelines are easily ignored, or should i say most can't be bothered about even reading.



    Quote Originally Posted by eikin View Post
    thanks for the heads up

    would love to discuss about it but it's getting late, looking forward to good feedbacks, enjoy the discussion

    i'll also like to add the following piece of writing contributed by zaren, which can be found on the Critique Corner posting guidelines http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=139941 which is ever so easily ignored by participating members.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    Good Morning espion... I agree with your statement, one particular statement...

    ...a large proportion that say, if it works for you, it works...
    Now do they mean what they say when such statement is constructed? or are they simply incapable to critique? or even possibly, posting for posting sake and at the same time "gaining recognition" of newbies that, whao! he speaks like a "pro"?

    Once again, my posting and comments have no pun intended. Please accept my apologies if i had offended anybody

  6. #6

    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    Quote Originally Posted by dejected View Post
    Let light be shed on what exactly we critique on.

    i've been confused by the standard critique technique... Are there any standard guideline in the first place to critique a photograph?

    My reason for this thread, is infact fairly simple and straight forward. I've seen posting in critique corner, which reads...

    .... too soft...
    .... very OOF...
    .... sharpen alittle... and it just goes on.

    What exactly should a "judge", judge? Shouldn't the basic of composition be touched on first before we start to pin-point the finer and more complex issues like listed above?


    Now before you click reply, to start flaming me. Please be kind

    Disclaimer: NO pun had been intended during the creation of this thread, I am NOT against any forumer.

    'Cheers

    Good point! We should always be appreciative of works by others. Besides standing from our own point of view, it is also necessary to stand from their point of view.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    Quote Originally Posted by leejay View Post
    Good point! We should always be appreciative of works by others. Besides standing from our own point of view, it is also necessary to stand from their point of view.
    we can see where another person is coming from, but that doesn't mean we have to appreciate the work from their point of view.

    if we also have the opinions of all other people, we become people without opinions, and critique becomes impossible.

    we can try to understand how the work is made by the other party, but we don't have to agree, that is when critique occurs.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    Can i say this is due to the fact that most people in clubsnap don't bother reading the general guideline? I'm thinking if possible... a mass email from clubsnap administrators?

    well again that's what i think. i'm not asking for anything please don't get me wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by eikin View Post
    we can see where another person is coming from, but that doesn't mean we have to appreciate the work from their point of view.

    if we also have the opinions of all other people, we become people without opinions, and critique becomes impossible.

    we can try to understand how the work is made by the other party, but we don't have to agree, that is when critique occurs.
    Leica helps me calm down when i shoot.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    Quote Originally Posted by dejected View Post
    Can i say this is due to the fact that most people in clubsnap don't bother reading the general guideline? I'm thinking if possible... a mass email from clubsnap administrators?

    well again that's what i think. i'm not asking for anything please don't get me wrong
    i think a mass email is not the right thing to do, it may just end up in someone's junk folder and get deleted without being seen anyway.

    which is why you see the advice/warning to read the guidelines popping out all the time in threads started by those who have obviously not taken the time to understand the posting guidelines. apparently there are still many who don't bother, to these people my advice is not to participart at all, it just waste others' time.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    Quote Originally Posted by eikin View Post
    we can see where another person is coming from, but that doesn't mean we have to appreciate the work from their point of view.

    if we also have the opinions of all other people, we become people without opinions, and critique becomes impossible.

    we can try to understand how the work is made by the other party, but we don't have to agree, that is when critique occurs.
    Nope, there is no conflict there and we won't become people without opinions. Usually I give my point as well as a comment validating an understanding on his/her perspective. I might have preference for a certain style/quality, but that doesn't mean I can't stand from his/her viewpoint to appreciate the work. For example, in the massive Nira shots yesterday, I know that the TS' focus is more on composition with the surroundings. I think he has succeeded in that. OOF and all that is understood and it is not necessary to pound that ideology again.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    Quote Originally Posted by leejay View Post
    Nope, there is no conflict there and we won't become people without opinions. Usually I give my point as well as a comment validating an understanding on his/her perspective. I might have preference for a certain style/quality, but that doesn't mean I can't stand from his/her viewpoint to appreciate the work. For example, in the massive Nira shots yesterday, I know that the TS' focus is more on composition with the surroundings. I think he has succeeded in that. OOF and all that is understood and it is not necessary to pound that ideology again.

    but your comments in Critique Corner so far, although only 3 and all praises, does not give much insight as to why you find the works pleasing.

    we're not talking about conflict of interest, sometimes we can agree with the other person's work, sometimes we don't have to. read zaren's writing i quoted about making posts in Critique Corner.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    well it seems like this topic is getting harder to "contest" or "debate" as again everybody has a different point of view like what we have in our critique corner

    any POV from other fourmers?

    as a TS i feel that it's getting to complicated and i've no ideal what to add on
    Leica helps me calm down when i shoot.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    Quote Originally Posted by dejected View Post
    well it seems like this topic is getting harder to "contest" or "debate" as again everybody has a different point of view like what we have in our critique corner

    any POV from other fourmers?

    as a TS i feel that it's getting to complicated and i've no ideal what to add on
    it's not a simple issue, definitely.

    i've started writing something about the work of critique, to help members understand what critique is about. this is work in progress so it may look like a draft. for those interested, you may also help me in describing the work of critique.



    What is a Critique?

    From http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/critique

    cri·tique/krɪˈtik/[kriteek] verb, -tiqued, -ti·quing.

    –noun

    1. an article or essay criticizing a literary or other work; detailed evaluation; review.
    2. a criticism or critical comment on some problem, subject, etc.
    3. a criticism or critical comment on some problem, subject, etc.
    4. to review or analyse critically.

    From here, we know that a critique is one that goes beyond single word comments like
    'good,' 'bad,' 'nice,' 'ugly,' 'sucks' etc.

    Why is Critique important?

    A Critique puts a piece of work to test. It's the most direct way to solicit responses to the
    work, reflecting the effectiveness of the work (and competency of the artist.) Critiques can
    involve theoretical debates, which may or may not lead to new point of views, and/or widen
    the horizon of participants' thinking.

    How to Critique?

    In order for a Critique to take place, participants in a Critique need to know how a piece of
    work is appreciated. The following are the fundamental information about a piece of work
    that are used in the appreciation of the work

    1. State of the Art

    A piece of work can be appreciated for it's symbolism or effect when juxtaposed against
    works of similar nature produced around the same time and/or similar or related works from
    earlier time. A Critique can only take place when the critic is given a point of reference to
    measure the work against. A piece of artwork is considered to be critiqued at the macro
    level when judged for it's effect (sociological, theoretical, technical etc.) in the time-line of
    the art's development.

    2. Artist's Intention

    At the micro level, a piece of work has to be judged against the desired outcome intended
    by the artist. In textual form, intention is understood via work's title, caption/writing that
    accompanies the work, and /or artist's verbal explanation. All art has intention, not matter
    how vague it may be. A piece of work can be created without intention (e.g. naturally
    formed objects) but cannot be presented without an intention. To show a piece of work for
    the sake of showing it is itself an intention. To show a piece of work to stimulate freedom in
    imagination is also an intention. The act of the artist displaying the piece of work itself must
    have an intention.

    3. The Title

    The title of a piece of work represents the work in words. It is a direct, summarized
    translation of the work into a immediately understandable term to those who use the
    language. A title can be use to

    a. name the object of the work
    b. guide the viewer into a desired thought (feeling, memory etc.)
    c. describe a situation depicted in the work (action, behaviour, event etc.)
    d. inform the condition of the work (time, place etc.)

    When a piece of work cannot be adequately represented in words, artists often use 'untitled'
    as a textual representation of the work in writing.

    4. Captions/Attached Writing

    Captions and additional writings accompany a work often because the work itself contains
    local information essential to the understanding of the work.

    Global information are information known to most people without the need to elaborate in
    words. For example colours (except to people with colour blindness,) nature (tree, flower,
    animal) etc. Works containing predominantly global information (e.g. a sunset scene, waves
    of the sea, a smiling face) usually do not require additional writings to tell the viewer the full
    information in the works.

    Local information are cultural information known only to a specific group of people. For
    example meaning in colours, meaning in actions, cultural objects etc. Works containing
    predominantly local information (e.g. an essential object found in a minority's wedding, a
    religious symbol used only in a specific town) often need captions and writings to aid the
    artist in describing the work to people who are ignorant of the meaning behind these
    information.

    5. Composition

    Composition is the structure of a piece of work. It is the way the work is presented in its
    physical form. A good composition is one that organizes the elements used in the work such
    that the intention of the work is put across effectively. A bad composition is one that
    confuses the viewer from the artist's intention. Some basic compositional strategies are

    a. lines

    use of elements as visual/sensual leads toward the intention/focus of the work

    b. relationship between main element and secondary elements

    placement of elements in a visually comfortable formation, proportioning (visual or physical)
    of elements with respect to intention/focus of work, juxtaposition of shapes/colours etc.

    c. visual comfort and/or tensions

    creating intensities through congestions, providing breathing spaces through compositional
    breaks etc.

    6. Medium


    A piece of work can be appreciated for use of appropriate medium that either enhances the
    visual enjoyment of the work or enhances the expression of the artist's intention. Quality of
    prints, colours, tones, materials used, place in which artwork is presented etc. can be
    judged with or without meaningful implications.

    7. Method/Technique


    A piece of work can be appreciated for the artist's skill in execution. Detailing, processing
    (darkroom/digital etc.,) format (frame size, proportion etc.,) performance etc.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    Quote Originally Posted by eikin View Post
    but your comments in Critique Corner so far, although only 3 and all praises, does not give much insight as to why you find the works pleasing.

    we're not talking about conflict of interest, sometimes we can agree with the other person's work, sometimes we don't have to. read zaren's writing i quoted about making posts in Critique Corner.
    I thought the style of my comments has improved? Didn't I praise as well as give some tips in my comments? Ok, point taken. I will write more in my comments in the future. If you want to see blunt or point-blank criticisms (Deadpoet style) from me, you will be disappointed, because I don't feel good making these remarks. I have the feeling that you are picking on me because I always praise the works. There is nothing wrong, right? Why can't I praise a work if I am happy with it?
    (However, I am still not convinced about all these, since a lot of people are also make short comments. It is not only me, right? Did you try to say the same thing to other Clubsnappers, or is it just solely me, since now it is a good chance to bring it up? You know what I think? The most important thing is when you make a comment - short or long - we have to be sincere about it.)

    This is why I don't understand moderators. If you are good, they are not happy; if you are rude, they are not happy. So where should be our stand? Ok, in the future I will just comment when it is very very necessary.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    Quote Originally Posted by leejay View Post
    Nope, there is no conflict there and we won't become people without opinions. Usually I give my point as well as a comment validating an understanding on his/her perspective. I might have preference for a certain style/quality, but that doesn't mean I can't stand from his/her viewpoint to appreciate the work. For example, in the massive Nira shots yesterday, I know that the TS' focus is more on composition with the surroundings. I think he has succeeded in that. OOF and all that is understood and it is not necessary to pound that ideology again.

    Quote Originally Posted by leejay View Post
    I thought the style of my comments has improved? Didn't I praise as well as give some tips in my comments? Ok, point taken. I will write more in my comments in the future. If you want to see blunt or point-blank criticisms (Deadpoet style) from me, you will be disappointed, because I don't feel good making these remarks. I have the feeling that you are picking on me because I always praise the works. There is nothing wrong, right? Why can't I praise a work if I am happy with it?
    (However, I am still not convinced about all these, since a lot of people are also make short comments. It is not only me, right? Did you try to say the same thing to other Clubsnappers, or is it just solely me, since now it is a good chance to bring it up? You know what I think? The most important thing is when you make a comment - short or long - we have to be sincere about it.)

    This is why I don't understand moderators. If you are good, they are not happy; if you are rude, they are not happy. So where should be our stand? Ok, in the future I will just comment when it is very very necessary.
    you made yourself the example of discussion here, so i point out to you where the problem lies in your example.

    again, i'll like to point you to zaren's writing with regards to making posts in Critique Corner.
    Last edited by eikin; 13th April 2007 at 10:50 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    Quote Originally Posted by leejay View Post
    This is why I don't understand moderators. If you are good, they are not happy; if you are rude, they are not happy. So where should be our stand? Ok, in the future I will just comment when it is very very necessary.
    Lets not get upset over this, i started this thread to counter the such problems not create it. i suggest we take everything we read with a pinch of salt.
    Leica helps me calm down when i shoot.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    eikin, thats a very excellent write up you had written. i look forward to the completed version

    btw since you have commented on leejay's critique techniques, please, if you have time comment on mine too... I'm asking for the sake of my improving my future techniques which will be exercised.
    Last edited by dejected; 13th April 2007 at 11:24 AM.
    Leica helps me calm down when i shoot.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    hah.

    A critique, is simply an expression of analysis. The idea is to analyse the picture, in terms of asthetics. Technical details merely describe what makes a good picture, which is indeed very vague. Afterall, photography is an art. An art there often is no right or wrong. Simply the person who comes out with the strongest argument to back up his picture more often or not have substance.

    Now, let's look at the critique.

    1) People are trying too hard. Way too hard. THE idea of critique is WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE PICTURE. NOT tell people how to take it. It is their picture not yours, the rights of the critique giver do not extend to telling the presenter what to do...
    like 'If i were you I'd take at this angle bla bla bla'

    DO NOT suggest solutions. Just point out what you like or don't like about the picture.

    2) Trying to sound profound. Critique could be as simple as anything, but if you are not, as we say, particularly verbose, there is no need to sound like one. Just label in points if you have to. To replicate student, as I see a number of people doing just make one look utterly fake. Likewise for dead poet wannabes and all that.

    3) BE NUETRAL in your comments. There is no need to say this picture sucks, or insult the picture. Even if the photograph is horrible, point out exactly what you think of the photographer without the need to revert to doubting his character, like how alot of people do.


    4)To the presenter: BE SERIOUS in what you do. PRESENT a serious picture..no something you do for fun and post it up for critique. In that manner you are insulting the critique givers by making light of the attempt to do something no nonsense. DO NOT AIM to please people, just shoot what you think looks good. Try your best, and that's it.

    If you the critique giver are so scared of what people or even the moderators think, and I'm directing this to people like leejay, then honestly, save your commentry.

    Regards.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    Quote Originally Posted by Wisp View Post
    hah.

    A critique, is simply an expression of analysis. The idea is to analyse the picture, in terms of asthetics. Technical details merely describe what makes a good picture, which is indeed very vague. Afterall, photography is an art. An art there often is no right or wrong. Simply the person who comes out with the strongest argument to back up his picture more often or not have substance.

    Now, let's look at the critique.

    1) People are trying too hard. Way too hard. THE idea of critique is WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE PICTURE. NOT tell people how to take it. It is their picture not yours, the rights of the critique giver do not extend to telling the presenter what to do...
    like 'If i were you I'd take at this angle bla bla bla'

    DO NOT suggest solutions. Just point out what you like or don't like about the picture.

    2) Trying to sound profound. Critique could be as simple as anything, but if you are not, as we say, particularly verbose, there is no need to sound like one. Just label in points if you have to. To replicate student, as I see a number of people doing just make one look utterly fake. Likewise for dead poet wannabes and all that.

    3) BE NUETRAL in your comments. There is no need to say this picture sucks, or insult the picture. Even if the photograph is horrible, point out exactly what you think of the photographer without the need to revert to doubting his character, like how alot of people do.


    4)To the presenter: BE SERIOUS in what you do. PRESENT a serious picture..no something you do for fun and post it up for critique. In that manner you are insulting the critique givers by making light of the attempt to do something no nonsense. DO NOT AIM to please people, just shoot what you think looks good. Try your best, and that's it.

    If you the critique giver are so scared of what people or even the moderators think, and I'm directing this to people like leejay, then honestly, save your commentry.

    Regards.
    1) I wouldnt mind the guy telling me what I can look for. gives me a fresh perspective on things. Insisting that this is the only angle that can possibly look good

    2 & 3) Agreed, totally agreed.

    4) Again agreed, a foremost requirement before you want to post. If you are just testing or learning what settings to use on your camera, do it yourself. do not ask for critiques. Ask for suggestions on what you are doing wrong. Dont take it to the critique corner. Go there if you are extremely satisfied with the photo.

    I have made the mistake of asking for C&C on a photo that was honestly just put up there coz I wanted to put up something. And my luck, I got decent people commenting.

    Hmm anyway you and me seem to agree on nearly all of the points. Now this is something I like
    Come visit my Flickr :)

  20. #20

    Default Re: Our critique corner....

    you've got the whole point literally covered!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wisp View Post
    hah.

    A critique, is simply an expression of analysis. The idea is to analyse the picture, in terms of asthetics. Technical details merely describe what makes a good picture, which is indeed very vague. Afterall, photography is an art. An art there often is no right or wrong. Simply the person who comes out with the strongest argument to back up his picture more often or not have substance.

    Now, let's look at the critique.

    1) People are trying too hard. Way too hard. THE idea of critique is WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE PICTURE. NOT tell people how to take it. It is their picture not yours, the rights of the critique giver do not extend to telling the presenter what to do...
    like 'If i were you I'd take at this angle bla bla bla'

    DO NOT suggest solutions. Just point out what you like or don't like about the picture.

    2) Trying to sound profound. Critique could be as simple as anything, but if you are not, as we say, particularly verbose, there is no need to sound like one. Just label in points if you have to. To replicate student, as I see a number of people doing just make one look utterly fake. Likewise for dead poet wannabes and all that.

    3) BE NUETRAL in your comments. There is no need to say this picture sucks, or insult the picture. Even if the photograph is horrible, point out exactly what you think of the photographer without the need to revert to doubting his character, like how alot of people do.


    4)To the presenter: BE SERIOUS in what you do. PRESENT a serious picture..no something you do for fun and post it up for critique. In that manner you are insulting the critique givers by making light of the attempt to do something no nonsense. DO NOT AIM to please people, just shoot what you think looks good. Try your best, and that's it.

    If you the critique giver are so scared of what people or even the moderators think, and I'm directing this to people like leejay, then honestly, save your commentry.

    Regards.
    Leica helps me calm down when i shoot.

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