View Full Version : gallery viewing, an addendum (sp?)

back alley
11-13-2004, 19:29
to all,

ok, as i read your comments there seems to be a general trend that, simply put, states 'i don't feel qualified to critique the work of others'.

first, does this seem like an accurate assesment? and if so...

...then what do you think it would require for us to become more skilled in the area of assesment.

i ask because i too feel that i 'should' not critique other's photos.
but part of me thinks that by now, after years of photographic involvement, that i 'should' know how to do it.

i'm hoping for discussion that might shed a little light...


11-13-2004, 20:03
Well, for me, I also feel somewhat unqualified to critique. I will, from time to time, leave encouraging or appreciative notes, but often as not I'm too busy just admiring. :)

That said, perhaps we need a gallery or forum specifically for photos that we *want* critiqued. I'm more than happy to give my 2c worth if someone asks. I may be inexperienced, but I actually find that the critiquing process has improved my *own* work subsequently - but I feel much more comfortable giving my sage opinions :rolleyes: if they've been invited in the first place.



11-13-2004, 22:40
This was a good idea to open this topic up for discussion. Steve's suggestion of a separate gallery with photos submitted for critique is worth considering; I'm a member over on photo.net but really do not spend time there, however I believe they have a setup like that. Perhaps if we pursue that avenue we could look into how theirs is strucured and how it is working there.

Another option would be an icon, some identification, or an additional line with the submission that could be displayed with the photos posted in the general gallery that would easily indicate that criticism is being sought. Personally, I am always looking for constructive criticism -- I have such low "photo esteem" that if I post something and it doesn't get a comment (which is most of what I post:o) then I of course think the picture is lousy.

When I post comments for others I try to honestly mention the things that I like about the picture. My hope is that for whatever my opinion may be worth perhaps it is helpful to the photographer to know why I reacted favorably to their picture, instead of just "nice shot" (although I am guilty of a few of those comments, too).

Until we get something worked out otherwise I may just start asking for criticism in the description area, because I have a great deal of respect for the abilities of the members here and I honestly wish to work at improving the quality of my work. I look forward to the thoughts of others as this thread progresses. Thanks, Joe, for bringing it up.


11-14-2004, 00:30
Kris' comments generally reflect my critiques, I hope. I tend to comment on what I like, and sometimes I have a definite impression of how something can be better, to my eye in a constructive way. I also tend to comment more on images that I like than those that don't tickle me. No image is bad, some just don't catch my eye, so I feel it is better to leave the comments on those to others. I think the comments regarding my photos are like this, and it is very helpful. I have learned quite a bit from you guys.

I like to comment too on "old" images, the ones that pop up on the random image area on the gallery home page. Sometimes I miss really good ones, or I see something different in an image I have seen before. I have even gone back and left multiple comments on shots that I really like when they pop up again. I really appreciate seeing what others are doing because it helps me see in my photography.

Sometimes I get into grove and end up taking a lot of shots at one place or another. Two recent times were my trip to the Swap meet and Halloween. For me that becomes a photo essay of the events of my life, but I also tried to make those images as a photographer. At Halloween in particular I was experimenting. I judge my success in part by the comments that are left. Even just the number of comments counts.

Believe me, I am no more qualified than anyone else around here, but I think any little thought about a particular image that catches your eye is good.

11-14-2004, 05:33
I like the idea of an icon, or a photog simply stating that opinions are welcomed, rather than a separate gallery.

I would like to see every photographer establish a FAVOURITES folder and put no more than 5 or 10 pictures in it. Many photographers have dozens and dozens of photos, and I'd like to see a bit of personal editing. With 700 members now, it would be more feasible to see more photogs work if we could jsut look at the photos they judge to be their best, rather than having to sift through all of them.

11-14-2004, 07:43
Thanks for opening this thread, Joe.

My thoughts are similar in most ways to those of D2, Rover and Frank. I like to have my pics reviewed. I have only uploaded a small number of pics into my gallery as I only want to display the ones that I think are decent.

If there are no comments for a picture after a couple of weeks then I delete it from the gallery because the fact that there are no comments says something.

I too only leave comments on the pictures that catch my eye, and I'm certainly not an expert, but I agree with Denis in the original thread, I too have looked at pictures long enough to know what I like so I don't have a problem expressing what I like about an image.

I think that D2's idea of an icon with a picture is better than a separate gallery. The icon could be on a per picture or per user basis. So you could have a checkbox on the picture submission page that says "critiques welcomed" or something like that. You could also place the checkbox in the user profile then it would apply globally to all the pictures you upload.

I do agree with Frank about editing submissions. I've only uploaded a small number in the first place (well I've only had my RF for a year :) ) but I've deleted about 1/4 of those uploads because there were no comments. To be honest, if I look at all of someone's pictures, I will only enlarge those that have already received comments so I already filter the collections by comment as a strategy to cut down on time.

11-14-2004, 11:07
I'll agree with the most recent comments... this was a concern in the past, and the solution was to add "comments welcome" to the description text. I keep forgetting to do that, so maybe a check-box for it could be added to the upload form.

I think uploaded pics should default to the "comments welcome" condition, as it sure would be awkward to specify "comments unwelcome"! Fair Game, and all that, it seems when you upload your picture, it's naturally open to comments good and bad.

We're very fortunate to have such a helpful and polite membership, who don't drop acid criticisms on others' pics.

I often think that I'm not qualified to judge the uploads, but I guess that comes from a reluctance to work at generating a critique of just any random image. I do comment when something useful occurs to me to say. Unless specifically asked, I tend not to comment on those that strike me as "blah."

That's not to say the reverse is also true: Just because I don't comment doesn't mean I wasn't impressed! I simply wasn't able to think of anything useful or helpful to contribute. Well, I guess it WOULD be nice to say "great image" or something like that, if warranted.

I think it's definitely NOT useful to comment like, "crappy picture, just a boring snapshot, you don't deserve a Leica." That's simply denigration, not a critique, and all too common in Photo.net. It can be said in a much more positive and helpful way, with just a little thought. ;)

I would oppose a separate Critiques section of the gallery, or a Favorites section either. Fair to assume I think that ALL uploads are favorites that are available for comment. Why would you upload a pic you don't favor, and then refuse comments? Well, some shots are illustrative of technical points, and this should be made clear in the description.

Ah, descriptions! SOME sort of descriptive commentary is nearly always helpful. I like to know approximately where in the world the shot was made too! Please fill in the other blanks in the form as well, as this then allows for good gallery searches. For instance if I wanted to see some pics developed with Diafine, the gallery can be a good research tool.

I think it's a good idea to look over your gallery uploads from time to time to weed out any that you might have favored at the time but which now seem less worthy. But not just on the basis of comments received; uncommented ones may still look good to you.

11-14-2004, 16:58
There are a lot of useful suggestions in this thread. I like the idea of indicating comments are welcome. Ideally when uploading you could click on a box saying "closed to comments" or some such thing. Then leaving comments would not be an option. But I don't think this software can do that. I'm very impressed with this software in general though, it's much better than any thing I've seen.

I sometimes hesitate to say anything that could be construed as negative. Sometimes images have unintended associations, maybe it's not useful to mention it if those associations are unpleasant. Also I don't want to pick apart someone's work when most of what I see here ranges from good to great. For myself, I still struggle with what is appropriate to say. If I see a technical flaw, is it my place to point it out? I don't really feel like it is. But then how do people improve? This is a hard one for me to answer.

I do like the idea of a "Favorites" folder. I enjoy reviewing others' work, whether commented on previously or not. Sometimes excellent pictures have no comments, it's not a reflection of quality to me. Although I welcome any comments including "looks like flare" :(

I took a writing class once and out-and-out bashing was off limits. I like that everyone seems to follow the same guide here.

11-14-2004, 17:24
I always prefer to recieve comments. There is always so much more to learn, especially as I feel I am still learning and discovering my own style. I find that even "I don't like that kind of shot because..." can lead to very valuable discussions.

Part of me expects comments/critiques if I post an image in a gallery like the ones here. Part of the reason for sharing the images is, simply, to show off :) , but another is to learn from what others like and don't like in what I do. Even without comments, though, I find it very interesting to see the number of views a given exposure gets. When you have 2 shots uploaded the same day and a couple of days later one has 5 views and the other has 33 views, it's a fair bet which one works better... :D

By the same token, I need to force myself to make more comments on the images I see in the galleries.


back alley
11-14-2004, 18:28
When you have 2 shots uploaded the same day and a couple of days later one has 5 views and the other has 33 views, it's a fair bet which one works better...

or which one has a pretty girl in it!
ever check out the number of views on charlesfoto gallery?


11-14-2004, 21:09
Originally posted by fraley
(snip)...I took a writing class once and out-and-out bashing was off limits. I like that everyone seems to follow the same guide here.

The absence of mean-spiritness and negativity is the main reason this is my favorite site (you wouldn't believe what goes on at two other lists for cameras that I also use -- you just couldn't imagine the total lack of civility!). I would have to be convinced that slamming someone's work or "ripping" it apart has any benefit other than making the perpetrator feel a little bit superior -- it appears to be egocentric and not at all in the best interest of the person that has asked for assistance (just my thoughts on the subject).


11-14-2004, 22:19
I often don't leave comments because:
I like the photo but don't really know why, or
I don't like the photo but don't really know why.
I don't feel qualified to comment in any great detail as to the technical aspects of a shot.
Most photos posted here aren't really ones you could set up and do again so comments on composition may not be terribly helpful, ("Next time ask that total stranger on the street to move closer to the mailbox, and have the guy in the Volvo pull forward a few feet")
I know a good photograph should stand on it's own, but still I like to see some information in the photo description. I don't personally record my camera settings for every shot, but at least I usually know which camera, lens and film. Just think of what you'd tell somebody if you'd just handed them the photo and write that, ("I took this downtown, that guy sits there everyday!").
I also like the idea of a favorites folder, or how about a favorites gallery. Every member would only be allowed to post one photo in that gallery at a time.


11-15-2004, 04:44
I also like the idea of a favorites folder, or how about a favorites gallery. Every member would only be allowed to post one photo in that gallery at a time.

Hey, that's an interesting idea! That way we only have to visit one site to see all members' best/most recent photo, instead of navigating all over and still not knowing which image each photographer likes best. This would really help give exposure to all members because it would be so much easier to see the best of everyone. If possible, I think this would be great!

11-15-2004, 06:28
Originally posted by CleverName
I also like the idea of a favorites folder, or how about a favorites gallery. Every member would only be allowed to post one photo in that gallery at a time.


Gene agrees with gene! ;)

11-15-2004, 16:04
I totally agree with Gene and Frank. They sound like 2 really smart guys!

How about it?

11-16-2004, 04:29
Okay, this is the last time I'm bumping this thread back up. If no one else thinks it's a good idea to have a folder where each RFF member can only paste one favourite picture at a time for others to see, then I'll let go, but I still think it's a good idea.

back alley
11-16-2004, 05:00
i think there already is a provision for a favourites folder frank. i've never used it so i'm not sure how it works.


11-16-2004, 06:32
I second the idea (or vote for it, or whatever we're doing with it!)


11-16-2004, 09:09
Joe, the idea is for one COMMON gallery that we could all post one favourite photo into. Right now we each can have our own favourite gallery, but no one else can post in it. What has been suggested is a common gallery.

back alley
11-16-2004, 11:21

guess i missed that part.


11-16-2004, 14:19
Frank, Gene, I think this is a Good Idea (tm).

I don't shoot as much as I'd like, and it seems wierd to start a dedicated RF gallery here anyway, but putting up what I see as my best (current) shot would be good, and as others have said, expose more members that are here but don't necessarily spend as much time chatting. There's some real talent here, and it's easy to miss most of it.


11-16-2004, 14:32
Let it be known that when I post photos, I really appreciate comments. In a few cases, the comments have helped me rethink my "style" and more than once I've edited my photos according to the viewers' suggestions.

Hence, I'll run and edit my postings, adding that "comments are welcome."

Of course, I sometimes feel unqualified to assess things, but then, I remember the story about a literary critic who, when insulted by an angry novelist who questioned his ability to assess novels because he had never written one, simply replied: "I can tell when an egg is rotten, and I've never laid one."

Of course, there are nicer ways to put things. :)

back alley
11-16-2004, 16:14
how about this guys?

instead of starting a whole new section (which i don't have the power to do) i can start a new thread named 'favourite photos' (or whatever) and make it a sticky thread so that it always floats to the top of the section. this was it's easy to find and we will know that posted photos are open for discussion and feedback is wanted.
let me know what you all think.

or someone can p.m. jorge and ask for a new section.



11-16-2004, 17:10
goog idea for sticky thread; it's simpler than a new category. I love brillant workaround like this one !

02-21-2005, 18:01
It's been my job for years; it also helps me formulate whatever i have to say about my own work. I find it valuable when people have something to say about my images. it does not have to be positive as long as it is argumented.
I must acknowledge that it is a daily exercise and responsibility I feel to keep updated and knowledgeable in the field (reading, seeing work, shows, etc...) and I can understand that not everyone has the time, opportunity, availabilty, and desire to do so. I can, I have, I will do it (and have had reasonable positive feedback regarding my input) and it is a service I can give to the community; other people have their own strength that I may also use some time.
:bang: or :angel: , a bit of both from what I have heard :)

02-21-2005, 20:52
I tend to comment on a few images everytime I log in during the day, some images are just outstanding, some are O.K. but everyone likes to have a little encouragement (we don't post our images for ourselves only now do we?) I just look at an image and decide what I like or dislike, sometimes I offer another perspective, I am not a professional but I am human and I know what I like.

I would like to see a limit to how many images we can upload at a time (say 3 or 5 per day), sometimes we get carried away and upload what seems like 7 or 8 rolls at once. The gallery gets inundated (sp) with every exposure the photog made that day, good or bad.

I have seen many websites go the way of the critique, it usually starts out tame enough but eventually tempers and words get loose. As long as we stay adults here and realize when we ask for a critique that good and bad comments will arise I see no problem.


02-22-2005, 09:07
Interesting topic. I agree with another forum member that a seperate gallery inviting critiqued images is a nice idea. I get the general feel from RFF that most of us would not be harsh, as we are all simply enjoying RF photography and are sharing with one another openly. The only risk I see to critiqueing is a tendency to forgot the objective beauty of the photo and instead focus on technical aspects, which can kill the fun of it. I get critiques from a buddy (unasked for sometimes) in which suggestions to increasing contrast or composition have been helpful.


02-22-2005, 09:26
I would like to see a limit to how many images we can upload at a time (say 3 or 5 per day), sometimes we get carried away and upload what seems like 7 or 8 rolls at once. The gallery gets inundated (sp) with every exposure the photog made that day, good or bad.


I agree with Todd that there should be a limit for the images shown in the "silverscreen"(an upload limit) that can be seen by everybody. I understand that it's hard to modify the site, but this could be a genttlemans rule. We all want our pictures commented, bad or good ones, and if I where to post 8 rolls It would be a matter of time only.
I'm glad also, that someone pointed out that we are very polite in the comments we made, personally I'd like good or bad feedback. I liked FrankS Idea of having an Icon if you want to have some feedback.
Anyhow the comments I've recieved are very nice and polite, people here tend to support or motivate rather than destroy.


02-25-2005, 11:22
i think there already is a provision for a favourites folder frank. i've never used it so i'm not sure how it works.

BTW, how does that My Favorites folder work? I can't seem to figure it out - the odd thing is there is a "download" button that, when clicked, downloads an empty zip file?!?

What I really wanted was a folder where I could put links to my "favorite" photos in the gallery (by any member) or even just links to my favorite members (AllanG, ddimaria, peter, Todd, densir etc....)

02-25-2005, 11:27
Duuuuuh! Nevermind, I figured it out. Below every photo is the "Add to Favorites" link...

back alley
02-25-2005, 13:21
glad i could help...;)


02-25-2005, 18:15
Hi Pablo -- I seem to recall that we used to have a policy of stating something like, "comments welcome" in our picture description if we were open to critiques. I haven't seen people add that for a long time now, as it became understood that all photos were open to comments! I think nobody's yet had the nerve to specify "no comments please!" :)

04-26-2005, 08:00
After rereading everyone's posts on this thread, I agree that a seperate folder or gallery, maybe called "In the Loupe" or something, would be great. "Favorites" as a title just seems a bit vague, and may imply that someone should post only their "good" or "best" photos. Which seems normal, but what if you're just not sure about your image...?