PDA

View Full Version : Critiques


Roger Hicks
05-16-2008, 00:35
How much use are critiques of your pictures? Whom would you trust to criticize your pictures? What would you expect to get from it?

A while back, my wife and I gave picture critiques on the Leica stand at Arles. This gave rise to a piece on our web-site, which may be of interest in the light of the questions asked above: http://www.rogerandfrances.com/photoschool/ps%20critique.html.

Who has critiqued your work? And what have you gained from it?

Cheers,

Roger

Spider67
05-16-2008, 02:57
"Hey what's that there in the background?" or "Funny that thing behind him/her just looks like..." is the implied criticism I profited most of. I started to pay way more attention to the background.
Critiques from people who do it professionally (Journalists,Model agents & people from Advertisment Agencies) can in my opinion be a mixed blessing. Some of them put their creativity in their critiques and get carried away by what the could say which after a while has no connection with what they actually see. Then there are those who are really heavily into it and provide you with Yes/no answers from the narrow scope of what they need at the moment. It pays to pry additional information from that type of person in most cases the y can give you useful hints. Last point the teacher: "Those who can do it, those who can't teach it" Wrong in my eyes! Teaching is a talent of it's own. Maybe people who think they failed and start teaching are the reason for that quote.Most people I met who teach art and photography have a unique talent in teaching and great commitment. So critique from a good teacher was valuable for me very often hidden in sentences like "have you ver tried..." Why don't you...."

ClaremontPhoto
05-16-2008, 03:55
Roger:

This thread is about critiques, and the link is to a page titled 'picture critiques' - but that page seems to be about building a coherent body of work.

retnull
05-16-2008, 04:21
I teach art at university. Good critique is tremendously beneficial, if delivered with sensitivity and compassion, to a person who is ready to receive it, within a relationship of mutual respect.
Is that type of critique available online? It does not seem possible.

spear
05-16-2008, 04:47
I gave up a Photography Degree because I found the critique from one of the teachers to be meaningless and negative. I gained enormously from the other teachers, but one man was so negative that I was not prepared to show him my work. Unfortunately, he was one of the examiners and the work that was marked went before him. Before even viewing prints he would make sniping remarks about them. Too small...too large....what are you hiding or why are you trying to distract us? I wouldn't mind but the man was reduced to taking Large Format colour prints of twigs to "Make us look again at Nature."

Roger Hicks
05-16-2008, 04:49
Dear Spider67,

Certainly, as Retnull also points out, sensitivity and gentleness are important, as is an understanding of why the person giving the critique is giving it (genuine desire to help, power trip, trying to get what they need in the way of pictures...)

Dear Jon:

"...but that page seems to be about building a coherent body of work."

Yes, because it's about portfolio critiques, not individual picture critiques.

Dear Retnull:

"Is that type of critique available online? It does not seem possible."

I am much inclined to agree.

Dear Spear,

Oh, dear. As I said above, 'power trip'.

Cheers,

Roger

Pherdinand
05-16-2008, 04:53
If i am trying to please other people with a photo, not only myself, criticism is welcome from ANYbody. I don't like hypocritical people who ask for criticism but they cannot bear with anything else than "nice, superb, wonderful, well done". Everybody is entitled to have an oppinion, and if I ask for it, everybody's welcome to express it.

Sometimes i only make a photo for myself. In that case i ignore comments and criticisms, unless i really really respect the person in the field, or if the criticism agrees with my own:)

oftheherd
05-16-2008, 04:58
Good question Mr. Hicks. I have gotten to the point that I try to be honest with critiques, if I give them. I dislike seeing a lot of critiques that say banal platitudes. That may give the photographer a warm fuzzy, but won't help them get any better. I also try to be sensitive. There is nothing to be gained by being unkind. I also dislike that. I sometimes remember to admit if I have predjudices pro or con that effect my critique, but not always.

I like the same thing if I post a photo, which admittedly I don't very often. I reserve the right to agree or disagree with a critique, and don't mind if someone else agrees or disagrees with mine.

I haven't sat around with a group of other photographers since a photo class I took back in the mid-70s. That was fun, because if there was time, we could be questioned for why we said what we did. It helped inho. Now, if I critique at all, it is almost exclusively on line. The only person I have critiqued in person in many years is my older daughter. I wish she would take more interest in photography as she had a good eye.

Thanks for posting your link. I think I remember reading (skimming; sorry) it quite some
ago. It is informative and provides food for thought in both giving and receiving critiques. Nicely done.

oftheherd
05-16-2008, 05:06
I gave up a Photography Degree because I found the critique from one of the teachers to be meaningless and negative. I gained enormously from the other teachers, but one man was so negative that I was not prepared to show him my work. Unfortunately, he was one of the examiners and the work that was marked went before him. Before even viewing prints he would make sniping remarks about them. Too small...too large....what are you hiding or why are you trying to distract us? I wouldn't mind but the man was reduced to taking Large Format colour prints of twigs to "Make us look again at Nature."

First, welcome to the forums.

Second, I am sorry to hear of your experience. I used to work a church bus for children. Many used to make the excuse (usually, but not always) that they had a teacher that didn't like them. I tried to do it in a constructive manner, but I always told them that if true, it was life. They were going find people who didn't like them. Sad if a teacher let it affect their ability to teach. I also told them not to let any teacher steal their education. Sometimes they just had to study harder.

Kids or not, they were people. They weren't always ready to accept that. I guess you weren't in a place in your life where you could either. Sorry. I hope since then you have been able to do that. At least thankfully, you don't seem to have lost your like for photography.

Roger Hicks
05-16-2008, 05:27
Many used to make the excuse (usually, but not always) that they had a teacher that didn't like them. I tried to do it in a constructive manner, but I always told them that if true, it was life. They were going find people who didn't like them.

True, but doesn't that shape what interests us? I was pretty good at geography at 14: Roly Jones, the teacher, really made the subject fascinating. Then at 15 I got a new teacher, and his teaching style -- memorizing the names of places on the map, Principal Exports of Botswanaland, and the like -- turned me off completely. So I gave up geography. I've never missed it. I read about places that interest me; I ignore the places that don't.

Funnily enough, my interest in photography was never stimulated by any teacher, lecturer or anyone else. I really didn't meet anyone who was any good (i.e. any better than I was) until I was in my 20s, except for a few very fuddy-duddy camera club guys who weren't going to talk to a teenager with hair almost to his shoulders.

All my early knowledge therefore came from books, magazines and lots and lots of practice (800 feet of outdated and badly stored FP3), plus generous encouragement from my father: his father was a keen amateur photographer but was killed on HMS Gloucester off Crete. I was good enough to be offered a place at art school (BA Fine Art photography) in my late 'teens, but chose law instead. I reckoned I could always teach myself more photography, but an LL.B. (essentially a degree in b*llsh*t) would be harder to acquire.

EDIT: Maybe this is why I can never understand others' advice to attend local photography classes at community colleges, etc. I've never quite been able to see what I'll get from the vast majority of classes that I won't get from reading books and (above all) from taking pictures.

Cheers,

Roger

Paulbe
05-16-2008, 05:49
Hello Roger and thanks for the ideas! Always welcomed.
I noticed that you are posting much more frequently than, say, a few months ago. Thanks!! And why the increase? More time?? :-) Whatever the reason--keep 'em coming..!
Paul

sebastel
05-16-2008, 06:05
honestly .. i do not gain a lot from critique. the problem may be, that i do not search for improving my technique (though there may be quite some need), but i try to find out the "driving spark" that takes me somewhere.

i found that i myself can look at technically great pictures that just do not tell me too much, but on the other hand i get excited about technically mediocre snaps. so, i'll only comment about technical stuff if i get explicitly asked for it. vice versa - i can accept critique in my tech skill, but it may be useless as my technical possibilities are limited.

similarly for the aesthetical part .. as there are many pictures someone else finds great, just not me, there are only few people who may be able to understand what i expect to be in my photos, what makes some of my pictures bad, or good; and those are the ones whose critique i like to hear, as i know we are on "common ground".

btw., that's why i rarely post photos in a context like RFF. if there is someone who wants to see my pics, i'll show my homepage.

cheers
sebastian

Spider67
05-16-2008, 06:30
Just to clarify:
Critique is not about being mushy and teddy bear like.
Soem people who criticize your work and try to be nice about it use BS-phrases ind oerder to be courteous thus saying basically nothing.
Finally even a friendly BS critique can be a simply superfluos waste of your time.
So my: experience the less a person says the more those few words fit the better it is toask that pwerson for further comments.
Classes can be nice as you meet other peole and can compare your work and get some inspirations (or in a bad way: ideas to plagiarize)

Roger Hicks
05-16-2008, 06:40
Hello Roger and thanks for the ideas! Always welcomed.
I noticed that you are posting much more frequently than, say, a few months ago. Thanks!! And why the increase? More time?? :-) Whatever the reason--keep 'em coming..!
Paul
Dear Paul,

Displacement activity!

I should be working on www.rogerandfrances.com, or possibly on a new book. But this is easier...

Cheers,

R.

charjohncarter
05-16-2008, 06:56
I copied the site to read while in the doctors waiting room this morning, but I have been helped by critiques and some are just plain officious nonsense.

tripod
05-16-2008, 07:33
You (may) eventually get to a point where external validation is not so important and photography becomes a personal, self-directed journey.

oftheherd
05-16-2008, 08:38
True, but doesn't that shape what interests us? I was pretty good at geography at 14: Roly Jones, the teacher, really made the subject fascinating. Then at 15 I got a new teacher, and his teaching style -- memorizing the names of places on the map, Principal Exports of Botswanaland, and the like -- turned me off completely. So I gave up geography. I've never missed it. I read about places that interest me; I ignore the places that don't.

Funnily enough, my interest in photography was never stimulated by any teacher, lecturer or anyone else. I really didn't meet anyone who was any good (i.e. any better than I was) until I was in my 20s, except for a few very fuddy-duddy camera club guys who weren't going to talk to a teenager with hair almost to his shoulders.

All my early knowledge therefore came from books, magazines and lots and lots of practice (800 feet of outdated and badly stored FP3), plus generous encouragement from my father: his father was a keen amateur photographer but was killed on HMS Gloucester off Crete. I was good enough to be offered a place at art school (BA Fine Art photography) in my late 'teens, but chose law instead. I reckoned I could always teach myself more photography, but an LL.B. (essentially a degree in b*llsh*t) would be harder to acquire.

EDIT: Maybe this is why I can never understand others' advice to attend local photography classes at community colleges, etc. I've never quite been able to see what I'll get from the vast majority of classes that I won't get from reading books and (above all) from taking pictures.

Cheers,

Roger

Mr. Hicks,

There is truth in what you say. And what I said to the children wasn't necessarily aimed at what they thought they wanted to do as their life's work. I should have made that more clear. Often they were talking about an English class or a math class. But I think it applies to any subject.

That said, I only took one class in photography myself. At least college level. I did get a week of training from the US Army. Of course, I am not a well known and respected photographer either. My "training" was the same as yours. Many on this forum have stated the same.

I don't know that a degree in photography would hurt anyone. It may more quickly help a person establish their credentials. Certainly a degree in something must be worthwhile. Actually in the USA, it is getting to be that a college degree is as needed as a high school degree was when I graduated. So many have gone to college compaired to then, that is about what its value it. To get us back on track, it is how most job applicants are "critiqued."

Gumby
05-16-2008, 09:17
I gave up a Photography Degree because I found the critique from one of the teachers to be meaningless and negative. I gained enormously from the other teachers, but one man was so negative that I was not prepared to show him my work.

Similar experience here... except it was in an engineering progam. I guess my engineering prof mistakenly thought he was teaching in an art program and was supposed to "break our spirits" rather than teach us. :rolleyes: Several decades later I can easily prove to him -- and do an a rather infrequent basis -- that I am both a better engineer (and photographer) than he... even if I am perceived as being a bit "under-degree'd" since I left the program prematurely. In the end, though, it hasn't hurt me one bit! After that eperience I gladly accept critique in all types of work and if undeserved negativity is delivered, I work diligently to turn it into a "positive" that I can learn or benefit from... or ignore it.

Roger Hicks
05-16-2008, 10:00
After that eperience I gladly accept critique in all types of work and if undeserved negativity is delivered, I work diligently to turn it into a "positive" that I can learn or benefit from... or ignore it.
'May my enemy be my best teacher'

Tenzin Gyatso, XIV Dalai Lama

Cheers,

R.

PlantedTao
05-16-2008, 10:11
You (may) eventually get to a point where external validation is not so important and photography becomes a personal, self-directed journey.

i agree with this and I am at that point, although my technique can use some refinement and I do appreciate a good critique that helps me to grow.
Mostly I look to my wife and best friend for critiques and input... really I could care less about what "professionals" or others in the art community think because my photography is a personal journey and it just makes me happy.

Critique on a photo can be hard and we all know that, IMHO that is why you only get flowery praise in the galleries here. The comments I get boast my ego, but do nothing to help my photography. I do the same, but occasionally I see a photo that has so much potential if a few tweaks were made (in my opinion) and so I express this.
The following is a comment I received from a member who I provided a critique to, even tho not asked:
"You know- you were totally right about my photo. I changed it, played about with the perspective as well. Much better Thanks. Sadly deleting the old one killed your comment as well."

This made me feel so good, much better than any of the praise I have received on a photo of mine...
Providing a critique that can help another achieve a better result or help them to grow as a photographer can be just as rewarding as nailing a photo :)

Benjamin Marks
05-16-2008, 10:29
At one point I was shopping my portfolio around looking for a job as an assistant and a studio photographer (who mentioned up front that he did not have a job for me) offered to look at my portfolio. Like some of the posters above, his critique was not about whether the subject was critically sharp or whether there was a maximum black in the print. He was focussed on the relationship of the subject to the rest of the image and pointed out where I had been careless in allowing background elements out of my control to ruin street photography that was otherwise well seen. It was the first time that I looked at my pictures in that way and it changed how I approach seeing through the viewfinder forever. Funny, I can't even remember the photographer's name, but that bit of free advice and the time he took to look at my pictures was transformative.

Ben Marks

tetrisattack
05-16-2008, 10:51
I'm writing portfolio evaluations this morning for a B&W class I taught this quarter, so the word "CRITIQUE" on the front page really jumped out at me.

Reading through the comments, it's pretty clear that there are so many different "genres" of critique that it's tough to know what context people are even coming from. But I'm surprised that the conversation is tipping toward a consensus that critiques aren't particularly helpful -- that, typically, they're given by myopic people who fixate on unimportant details, or even that they're nonsense and a waste of time.

Wow, how depressing! I think critique is crucial, both to give and to receive!

I run mine as a group critique. Students tack their pictures up on the wall. The class spends a few unstructured minutes wandering from print to print, so they can really get a close look, and then we regroup and focus on one person's work at a time. For ten or fifteen unbelievably long minutes. Most people have never spent this long looking at a photograph, probably wouldn't make it past the 60-second mark even if it were hanging in their living room.

If this is the group's first critique, it's usually dead silent for an asphyxiating few seconds, but then after a moment the comments begin trickling out of the group. They're typically content-free at first. "I like the expression on her face," is a good one. "Did you burn in the background?" is another. Then more silence, and it begins to look like the discussion is stillborn.

Critique can be an excruciatingly complex social thing -- students are worrying about leaving a negative impression on their new classmates, and at the same time, they don't want to invite harsh criticism of their own work when the spotlight's shifts to them, but if they flatly say they like it, and the rest of the class dislikes it, won't that be embarassing? So they stand there with their lips sealed. And further complicating the matter is that looking at artwork is a skill in itself! When asked to judge a photograph, many don't even know where to begin. Their eyes scan around the work, searching for something truly comment-worthy, but typically, nothing's jumping out.

So this moment of high tension and drama, where the critiquee's heart is pounding as silent people shift their gaze between the photo, their feet, the clock, slowly ticking the seconds off... this is the moment that the instructor steps in and begins to lead the discussion.

This is also the point where every instructor's critiquing style and philosophy begins to have an impact. My style is to simply work on showing people how to look.

"Does the woman stand out of the background?"

"Yeah," comes a response.

"Why?" I wonder out loud.

"She's a lot lighter than the background," one student notes.

"Yeah, and the background is blurry," ventures another.

"Okay," I say, "so those are the obvious reasons why. But there's a lot of punch to this photograph, right? Like, compare it to that one," I say, pointing at the photo next to it. Same subject, but the student framed it less carefully and shot from a different angle. "The background there is also dark and out-of-focus, but does it pop as much?"

The class briefly murmurs.

"The geometry is better," one student blurts, "the shape of the background pushes her forward." Bang. This is what I was trying to get at, but I didn't have to say it. The class murmurs again, a subdued chorus of Yeahs. They're beginning to see things they overlooked before, and now the real conversation finally begins. Topics surface: did the photographer mean to feature her ring so prominently? Why is she looking straight into the camera lens? Is this a confrontational photograph? Is body language important?

This isn't harsh criticism. This isn't about tearing people down and rebuilding them as Artists. It's about helping them learn to see and think.

At home, I compare notes with my SO (who's teaching a painting class at a different university) and she openly questions the systemic arrogance by which critique even exists, and chides me for unwittingly perpetuating the modernist view of photography by tossing some of the Old Masters into my slide carousel. She's only teasing, of course, but literature on art pedagogy is a dull roar that will reverberate among the ivory towers for the foreseeable future.

For my own work now I rely on a small set of people with whom I have creative relationships, because they are the people who know me and my work, and whose opinions I can easily contextualize. And to that end, I know that critique is something that has to come at exactly the right time. Too early into an idea and I feel hamstrung by suggestions, too late and I become frustrated.

And as a final note, this is the longest thing I've posted to RFF for ages and ages. I hope it wasn't a cumbersome read. :)

gyuribacsi
05-16-2008, 11:03
First, please excuse my lousy English-language.

Technically, I get my very harsh critiques from a retired pro (newspaper photographer) but he is a fine buddy.
From the artistical point of view, I have some honest friends, some of them are artists, who give their opinionsto my pictures. And there is me too and I don`t like the most of my pictures, because they are not perfect.
A funny thing is, that the technically crap-shots are well critisized by the artists, some time by me too.
The really important critiques I only canl get from the public (the number of prints I could sell). Peoples wallets are the thru critics.
BTW, this crazy guy merkley??? is a real good artist (in my opinion) and I like his pictures though my stile is a very different thing.

Cheers
George

tripod
05-16-2008, 11:10
Inexperienced photographers can benefit from quality critique.

Among experienced photographers though, it's like Picasso trying to tell Monet how to paint like him.

A critique, unless the point made is self-evident (at which time there is no point asking for critique to begin with), needs to come from someone you trust and respect.

drewbarb
05-16-2008, 11:19
As an art student in college we had weekly critique sessions. Groups of of 8-10 students would bring recent work from whatever their given mediums, and with the guidance of a professor or two we held a pretty thorough critique. This was never the warm fuzzy teddy bear sort of critique; nor was it a tear 'em apart make 'em feel bad sort of thing (unless the person needed that...). Most of the time it was a real, constructive and productive critique. The goal was always greater understanding of our own and each others work, an improvement in our technical abilities as well as our overall approach as artists. These sessions, while often exhausting and sometimes heated, were ultimately so useful and valuable to us that we tended to hold impromptu critiques whenever a group gathered in a studio over any work. We did this constantly.

I have missed this process and the insights gained from this sort of collective in-depth analysis ever since. While working as a photographer in New York, I tried on several occasions to hold critiques which I hoped would resemble that kind of salon environment and might be just as valuable artistically as it was socially as the process I had in college was. The few times people actually came together in that environment were sadly different; very little real critique occurred. It was mostly either merely mutual back-patting, or else people tried to tear each other down in what was basically personal snipping rather than any real artistic or technical analysis. It was fairly useless. It seems it's difficult for people to embrace the idea of gentle and constructive criticism. Too often, people just want to hear that their work is amazing, beautiful, and unique; if they hear anything other than compliments, they may simply seize the opportunity to denigrate work offered by those who failed to say nice things to them, with no regard for the actual work.

This tendency is exaggerated on the internet; the disconnection of the internet makes it easy for some folks to disregard the fact that we are all other real people out there. Sometimes we can rise above this, and treat each other very well (as often happens here); other times people treat each other with utter contempt. The main point I have taken away from my positive experiences with critiquing is that the participants have to care about each other, and care about improving the level of their own and other's work. And you have to be thick skinned enough to handle criticism. You have to be willing- even eager!- to have your efforts deconstructed without passion, and you have to be up to the challenge of doing the same for others. The goal should be to raise everyone's understanding and ability. It cannot be about ego or personal agendas.

I continue to seek a critique environment that might come close to emulating my college experience, almost as much for the camaraderie as for the artistic and technical criticism. I don't look for this online. I am happy with my internet experience; but as a darkroom printer who isn't especially a digital adept, I don't really show pictures online. I'd much rather get- and give- good criticism to and from real people face to face.

Gumby
05-16-2008, 13:32
Critique can be an excruciatingly complex social thing...

My style is to simply work on showing people how to look. ...

This isn't harsh criticism. This isn't about tearing people down and rebuilding them as Artists. It's about helping them learn to see and think.

You obviously understand the complex interaction of honesty, sensitivity, and the role of inpiration and wisdom that needs to be applied to teaching. EVERYONE can benefit from some of this style of critique, even the Masters... so long as their egos allow it!

John Robertson
05-16-2008, 13:50
"Inexperienced photographers can benefit from quality critique."
I think that experienced photographers can also benefit, it is very easy to become complacent, the expression "you are never too old to learn" applies here.
I have taken photographs for over 50 years, but still welcome criticism, it stops me becoming detached from current ideas.
I hesitate now however to judge other peoples efforts on the "web" except for compostion and oroginal idea, this came about after I tried an exercise of looking at some of my own work on other peoples computers. I was astonished at the differences in colour and contrast in particular, due to a. how they had their monitors set up, and b. the quality of the monitor itself, whether it was CRT or other.etc.
At our club we used to use a digital projector to show the results of competitions, but just because of the above, many judges refused to view them this way, and pass criticism.
just my 2p worth!!:o

Roger Hicks
05-17-2008, 02:46
A few years ago I tried to set up a circle in which we would each produce one picture and discuss it: it's a formula that works very well in writers' circles, and there's no reason why it shouldn't work for photography.

Alas it was derailed by a photographer who was unable to understand the concept of 'one picture'. Or 'other people', or indeed 'listen'. He'd dig out a whole portfolio of his latest work -- seldom the same style two months running -- and tell us what he was trying to do. If we said anything, he'd start blustering.

I should simply have chucked him out -- I would, nowadays -- but he was a nice guy, and lonely, and...

As it was, he killed the circle.

Cheers,

Roger

FrankS
05-17-2008, 07:22
Appreciation of creative arts, including visual creative arts, including photography, is just so subjective, that aside from comments on deficiencies in technical aspects (which may in some cases be done on purpose), what can be said other than "I like it," or "I don't like it"? Unless there is a clear student-teacher relationship where the student defers to the teacher's opinion/experience, I have difficulties with photo critiques. Roger, I wouldn't mind though, attempting to participate in a controlled photo critique circle with a limited number of people, just to test my opinion on this.

Roger Hicks
05-17-2008, 07:36
Roger, I wouldn't mind though, attempting to participate in a controlled photo critique circle with a limited number of people, just to test my opinion on this.
Dear Frank,

Part of the idea was that you introduced your picture with, "I was trying to do [whatever]. Did I succeed? How could I have done it better?" or "There's something wrong here but I can't figure out what it is. Has anyone any ideas?"

This works astonishingly well at writers' circles, and writing is if anything even more subjective -- though at least writing is a verbal medium.

It doesn't work one-on-one: you need a minimum of five or six people to make it work.

Cheers,

R.

Gumby
05-17-2008, 07:41
"It doesn't work one-on-one: you need a minimum of five or six people to make it work."

... but it only works if the participants share a common attitude of listening with open ears without being defensive of the critique, comments, or process. It is a matter of honesty, sensitivity and trust more than a teacher/mentor-student relationship.


"I still invite critique from my friends, but critique from strangers is always tricky."

Roger Hicks
05-17-2008, 07:48
... but it only works if the participants share a common attitude of listening with open ears without being defensive of the critique, comments, or process. It is a matter of honesty, sensitivity and trust more than a teacher/mentor-student relationship.


Absolutely. But we all DID share that, except the one motormouth.

Cheers,

R.

jbf
05-17-2008, 08:37
The most important thing that I gain from critiques personally is what kind of message or feeling/idea do others get when they look at my work within a series as well as their ideas about editing.

For me i still find issues with editing out what i feel makes my series stronger, but at the same time I generally have a strong idea as to what images i feel are important, etc.

Up until lately much of my shooting had been somewhat sporadic in theme (besides it all being categorized as portraiture or street portraiture, etc).

For me it really is all about what you are trying to say or do with the work. If you have no concept or vision, chances are your photos and series will feel lifeless if not hodge-podge at the very least.

I know most of my works do on flickr. They seem very sporadic with no real string or central idea/vision to tie them all up at the moment. Luckily it's something I've been focusing on very strongly the past few months so... we'll see what happens.

spear
05-17-2008, 10:21
A very interesting set of opinions.......I gained enormously at UNI from critiques with Paul Seawright, whose work I like. Ian Walker is a fabulous man. I learnt a lot. However, I was a single parent and working 3 nights a week in a Psychiatric Hospital to pay the bills, working as a Psychiatric nurse. I was paying nearly 2000 for the course and I objected to being treated like a child by a pompous man who I was paying for a service. I am happy to take a critique and discuss my work I do object to my work being criticised by a member of staff whose wages I am effectively paying. I learnt a lot and one day may return to do the third year

willie_901
05-17-2008, 20:39
Wow. I really enjoyed this thread. It's great to hear how everyone responds to feedback. Thanks all.

Doug
05-17-2008, 23:35
Indeed interesting, Willie; thanks to Roger and all. I've had several good critiquers over the years, and the most useful comments have been helpful, thoughtful, and observant. My boss at the camera shop where I worked part time while in the Air Force always had always had something insightful to say. Later, in civilian life, I'd drive across town with a few prints to show my uncle, who was disciplined in restricting his gear to a Retina IIc and a MG TF (daily driver and autocross), and made helpful comments about both my prints and driving.

I took a correspondence course in photography where the focus was in getting technical matters in control, and learning a bit about various photo disciplines from a commercial standpoint. The critiques were detailed and helpful in that context.

For several years I studied art concentrating on photography at the local university. The photo prof was of the "whatever floats your boat" school of aesthetics, but the class group critiques were indeed useful in pointing up issues I hadn't noticed.

I miss the interaction and critique... a good photo friend was killed in an auto accident and the local photo club ran out of steam. As we're moving into new quarters within the year, better suited to having a group together, perhaps the photo club can be resurrected. In the meantime I do enjoy making and receiving the occasional comment on an RFF Gallery post, and try to be observant and helpful.