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Thread: Criticizing a photograph

  1. #31

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    Re: Criticizing a photograph

    [QUOTE=cyrus;164373]If you worry about what others may think, then you'll always be average. Do you really want to give critics a veto over your creativity and expression? Even if it was a "bad" photo - embrace it as YOURS! No one is passing out medals in life.

    Amen. Preach it brother.

  2. #32
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Criticizing a photograph

    Most art and photography students are full of "the art-speak-I'm-holier-than-thou-and-I-know-everything" mentality. I know. I used to be an art student (but never a photography student because back then I thought all photographers were twits and were wasting their time...).

    I personally like your image. It's uncomfortable. The composition pulls you in. I can feel the bull's anticipation.
    Spot out the popsicle thingy under his belly as it is a little distracting.

  3. #33

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    Re: Criticizing a photograph

    This thread looks the same as one circulated over a year ago same images for sure.
    "The critique is from a student for gods sake" and from his wording not a very articulate
    one at that.cheers Gary

  4. #34
    jetcode
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    Re: Criticizing a photograph

    Quote Originally Posted by 400d View Post
    What do you guys think? What criteria do you guys hold while looking at a photograph?
    never let a critic rob you of your love and passion, ever

  5. #35

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    Re: Criticizing a photograph

    "Criticize a photograph"
    That photo sux!

    How's that?

    Not really. Maybe you meant "critique the photograph". The impression I have is that the image is too clear; great documentation but questionable emotional content. As the scene was taken at night I expect more of an aura of mystery around it, whereas every detail here is laid out for all to see, right down to the popsicle stick. Try another print with the shadows burned in a bit more.

  6. #36

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    Re: Criticizing a photograph

    Have you ever wondered what you'd say if you were asked to write a review of a brand new play, film, symphony, rock band or the like? Keep in mind that no one has 'ruled' on it as yet....it's yours to explain, define, enthuse over, or decimate. Assume you've been competently educated and thoroughly grounded regarding both the 'rules' and the creative breakthroughs that have advanced the medium. What do you write? From the wealth of your experience with the art form, you can quickly discern that you're witness to a synthesis of influences, traditions, and, perhaps, a singular creative vision which you can fairly elaborate upon, because you are also highly skilled at articulating your thoughts in your unique style and 'voice'.

    I don't think you have witnessed any of the above in the 'critque' to which you've been subjected which I would consider to have barely risen to the level of the barking of a dog.
    ----------------------------------------------------

    www.johnvossphotography.blogspot.com

  7. #37
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Criticizing a photograph

    Quote Originally Posted by John Voss View Post
    I don't think you have witnessed any of the above in the 'critque' to which you've been subjected which I would consider to have barely risen to the level of the barking of a dog.
    It's sad when criticism stays below the barking dog level, because it's of no use either to the artist or the audience. It also fuels the fire of hatred people have for critics and criticism in general, which is too bad, because only some criticism is this bad.

    At it's best, criticism illuminates; it helps people see more. And criticism from a friend is expected to go even farther than this ... it's supposed to be helpful to the artist. Even negative criticism can be helpful if its focus is on how the atist can serve his or her vision better.

    Unfortunately a lot criticism boils down to 'thumbs up/thumbs down,' or on the critic trying to feel superior, or other things that do nothing but fuel the anti-critic flames.

  8. #38

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    Re: Criticizing a photograph

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    The feedback will be most useful if you understand where it's coming from.
    I wrote what I did thinking of this comment (the whole thing, not just this sentence). When I was in conservatory, the Juilliard joke about how many violinists it took to change a lightbulb (20...1 to change the bulb, 19 to claim how each one could have done it better) helped to ease the sting of a 'rough' peer review. If only students, whose self worth is so often tied to how they feel they're 'reviewed', could be comforted with the wisdom of decades of experience, such tepid to negative critiques that they may receive could be experienced with equanimity.
    ----------------------------------------------------

    www.johnvossphotography.blogspot.com

  9. #39

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    Re: Criticizing a photograph

    I don't think your "critic" sounded very useful. Maybe that's the essence of what you needed, useful information, rather than an offhand and perhaps snippy dismissal of your work. I get (and give) crits on a sorta regular basis from a small group of folks I went to art school with. They do say when they do or don't like something, but they try to include information to make the critique a springboard for further work. Particulars are important.

    I believe the critic's likes and dislikes are valid, and important info, maybe the only criterion in the long run, but that they have a measured importance to the artist. If a given image fails to hold someone's attention - why that happens is very important - the details of why are important. That's what makes someone's personal opinion useful.

    For me, the photo you present has a dynamic composition that strongly leads me into the distance where maybe it needs some place for the action to culminate - some sort of focal point or culmination. I kind of want more to occur in the photo. Nonetheless - it's obvious you are thinking about your composition and are purposeful and learning. Additionally, the light and viewpoint you have chosen make very effective use of the ambient light for dramatic effect.

    I believe it takes a process of getting the first thousand mistakes out of the way to really start to see and photograph effectively. It looks like it's starting to bear fruit for you.

    What are the odds you could do a series of photos working on adding to the strengths in this one, and trying to refine your approach? I sometimes go back to a location many times till I have something strong to show for it.

    Keep at it!

    C

  10. #40

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    Re: Criticizing a photograph

    A critique consists of 2 people, the critic and the person seeking the criticism. The only way that any critique has value is if both people are totally honest and both leave their egos at the door. The critic has to provide honest, serious criticism based not on their personal feelings or issues but based on quantifiable and explainable criteria. Why is this not working, why is this working, what can be done to imporve it and so on. Critiques are best from people with real experience and with the ability to communicate what can be complicated matters in a simple but thorough way. Any artist seeking criticism from unqualified sources will end up with useless criticism. Always judge the criticism from the source.

    As for the subject, there are those who are very serious about their work and will suffer the sometimes discomfort of a critique in an effort to sincerely learn and better their work. Then there are those who seek out a critique hoping not to hear anything critical but to get praise for what they think is work beyond criticism. Those people often become defensive and even angry when what they believed to be perfect and God's gift to the universe is actually flawed and maybe not even good.

    The biggest sin of any artist is to fall blindly in love with their own work, the second biggest sin as to be so insecure about their work that they think all they do is meritless and that they are a fraud. If they can find the point between the two, find true objectivity about their work, they'll end up well.

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