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  #21  
Old 08-21-2004, 01:02 AM
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kikvel kikvel is offline
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Default Re: Critique Quality – for us to think about...

Gal:

You are absolutely right about reading. I post "my critique" on your last photo saying that I love your blablabla becuase I DO LOVE it. And I mean it.

You are one of my favorites because I extremely like your photos and notes. For me it`s a perfect combo.

And if you check my last comment, you will see that I really liked it, and I have nothing else to say or critique and I really READ your note and appreciated it.

Also I feel the need (personally) to be kind and funny sometimes. And I need to express this in my postings.

I guess that we can follow our hearts and minds without converting this into a useless and meaningless competition.

One can critique mercilessly a photo without being unkind.

TE to me is a place to enjoy, not to compete or fight others.

Jorrit to me is a good example that you can mix humour, good photos and talent and clever comments.


Peace to everyone!

K.
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  #22  
Old 08-21-2004, 02:05 AM
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cgrindahl cgrindahl is offline
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Default Re: Critique Quality – for us to think about...

I'm hardly an old timer as a member of TE, but I've been around the block a few times at other websites. When I find a website that tickles my fancy, I'm inclined to invest a considerable amount of time and energy to, as I have to TE.

This subject comes back like a vampire at night and no one seems to have a wooden stake to put it out of its misery. We probably never will, so we're all simply venting, which is good for the soul.

When I joined TrekLens, I quickly realized that I didn't have time to commit to two sites and so chose to post photos and not engage in extensive critiquing activity. Granted, I chose to post some experimental images, of the sort I thought were being encouraged by that site. I got a little bit of interest when I first arrived, but as time went by and I gave very few critiques, my images were pretty much ignored. On the other hand, I decided that TrekEarth held my interest and I became active not only in posting images every day, but also writing critiques and preparing workshops. The result has been quite remarkable. I've yet to catch up with Gal, but responses to my images have been very gratifying. I'd like to believe it has something to do with the quality of the images I post, but I know that my work is looked at in part because I've developed relationships with a number of members over the months and we do, in fact, look at each other's work.

I have two criteria for determining whose work I'll look at. First it needs to be fundamentally good work. The composition may lack refinement but the photographer has demonstrated some skill. If it is a new member, I will post a critique and try to be as encouraging as possible. I'll occasionaly do a workshop to demonstrate a point I've made in a critique. I'll also encourage the person to become involved with TE and remark on the enjoyment I've had from being here. I'll stay in touch with newcomers for a while to see how they progress. Some take to the environment like ducks to water and soon become active members producing very fine work. As I spend time here, I enjoy keeping track of what good photographers are doing and it gives me pleasure to look at their work and offer critiques. I don't feel constrained to offer detailed observations when what I'm looking at is simply one more example of very fine technique. Then I'll likely celebrate the capture.

(continues...)
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  #23  
Old 08-21-2004, 02:13 AM
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cgrindahl cgrindahl is offline
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Default Re: Critique Quality – for us to think about...

(continues...)

The second criteria I have, is that after a period of time, if a person whose work I respect fails to become engaged in the community, I'm inclined to stop paying attention to their work. I have no interest in driving on a one-way street. I believe it is fine to reciprocate attention. I don't expect an exchange, of one good critique for another, but I do want my work to be given some consideration if I'm taking the time and effort to offer support to someone. Frankly, I feel that folks who are unwilling to participate, except to receive adulation, don't deserve my time or interest.

I'm with Cesar in believing that it should be fun to participate at TE. I engage with folks who not only do good work, but who are bright and engaging, capable of sharing humor as well as serious assessments of work. I delight when I meet such folks. If I can't have fun here, I won't be here any longer. I'm not so foolish as to believe that my participation in TrekEarth is going to turn me into a world class photographer. If that is my goal I'll enroll in the San Francisco Academy of Art and learn from masters, instead of a bunch of well meaning amateurs... ;-)

As a closing case in point, Mike above gives a link to what he believe is a very fine photograph that will be missed. I took the link and looked at the image. To my eye it is rather mediocre, a cliched sun behind the clouds with decent color but nothing to distinguish it. There is much that is posted on this site that folks believe is worthy that is, actually quite ordinary. I have no interest in spending my time trying to help someone who clearly has no idea what a quality image looks like, learn how to be a passable photographer. Perhaps that makes me a snob, but I don't think so. I have a limited amount of time and energy for this site and I prefer spending both with folks whose work I respect and whose company gives me pleasure. That makes me a grownup, able to make mature choices for myself.
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  #24  
Old 08-21-2004, 02:14 AM
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Roly Roly is offline
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Default A new guy's take on it

Look Guys, I’m relatively new here, have no idea what the good old days were like. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with the point system.
Like most of you, I went through the discovery phase. I didn’t criticize at all, thinking I wasn’t knowledgeable enough to criticize, and posted a few pictures. The very few comments I received were useful, but many pictures which I thought were worse than mine received much more points. Which I thought wasn’t fair. But after a half a year on the site I understand how everything works, I really did learn a lot about photography, my technique improved a lot, I have more gear and less money and am happier with the pictures I take. In addition, countries I knew next to nothing about, such as Myanmar and Cambodia, are know high on my “to see” priority list. Isn’t that what the site is all about?
And the point system? Well, some photographers obviously care about it more than others. And the points are related to the quality of the picture, for sure. The quality is less important though than the activity on the site when it comes to points, which is fair enough. And there is a lot of reciprocal back patting. But why is that wrong? The points per se don’t say a whole lot about the quality of a photographer, we all have figured that out, and the site is not about competition. A good picture won’t stay long without points. See for example Pat Di Fruscia, who gave a whole of 6 critiques and received an average of 22.6 points for each one of his pictures. Is it wrong that somebody receives 60 points for a picture which isn’t worth the family album? I don’t think it is, because these points don’t mean much. Why would we be upset with this?
About the quality of the critiques, if only one out of 20 is useful, that still means that a whole lot of knowledge is passed through the net every day. So why don’t we use the site for what is meant to be used, look at the images we like, criticize when we feel so inclined, and learn once in a while from a useful critique. If we like points, we count the points, if we don’t we neglect them.
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  #25  
Old 08-21-2004, 03:40 AM
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thien thien is offline
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Default Re: Critique Quality – for us to think about...

I greatly appreciate all the comments on this thread. Certainly it has been part of growing pains for the T.E. and I don't know how many times the issues of point systems has opened up and we are still working trying to think of a way to improve it :D. What I do know is that after each time, the critics quality do improve since it promotes awareness and bring some of us out of laziness (OK, maybe at least for one member :D). This discussion is therefore in my opninion very healthy for the T.E. community. Has T.E. changed, yes it has, it obviously has been painful for me to see some of my favorites members left but I also have gained other new favorites member. There were ideas for changes that I have voiced my resistance. But now, I understand that they were wise ideas from those whose has been able to see farther then I could.
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  #26  
Old 08-21-2004, 04:24 AM
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kikvel kikvel is offline
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Default Re: Critique Quality – for us to think about...

I Agree totally with Curtis.

I believe that separated from the point nopoint system discussion, TE has a clear tendency: it improves each one`s work at whatever level you may be.

If you are an amateur this place is great. You will SEE and admire masterpieces and learn by reading and by seeing.

If you are a world class professional; TE is even greater, because for sure you will find a few of your class of persons to share with.
And you will have the opportunity to act and deploy a role in what I consider the greatest job of the world: A teacher, by example by means of simply posting your work or by direct teaching through your experimented and wise comments and critiques.

If you are not a photographer at all, you can STILL enjoy TE as a witness and a world admirer.

I am strongly convinced that TE is a great place, and what makes it great is of course the people and their contributions, starting from the coarse and primitive and going up to the nearly perfect images.

I am still glad to be here, and the day I feel I have nothing to contribute or when I lose my joy and happiness sharing with you my /$&%$)&)(&!! pics I will surely search for new horizons.

K.
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  #27  
Old 08-21-2004, 12:20 PM
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dom_inik_m dom_inik_m is offline
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Default Paradigms...

After reading all the comments made in this thread, I wondered whether to intrude or not. Well, you can see I dedided to join the band!
Of course, there were old days and modern times, pionners and newbies, people who learned over the time through this site and others who may know much more in terms of technical mastery and come from apparently nowhere.
But besides these obvious facts, everything else is purely subjective. Point numbers, critiques quality, workshop accuracy, reactionstowards some "unfair" comments (light green smiley being considered as an insult by some? Come on, grow up a little!!): all is is due to interpretation... and nothing else!
Each one of us envisions the world as a whole, in its everchanging dimensions (and recent geopolicitical developments demonstrate that this may vary greatly according to the point of view you take and the analysis you infer from it), but also his/her more immediate environment: relationship to others, sensitivity and susceptibility, quality and quantity, love and dislikes, pleasures and pains, giving, sharing, receiving...
Some may look for praise and rewards; others will prefer to improve their skills more discreetly.
Some may write on a picture only in terms of DOF, burn-out whites and so on; others will be feel more eloquent according to the emotion it triggers deep inside them.
We've all got to decide what we want and how we want it, as individuals, as members of some formal or informal tribes, as members of a communitity where tolerance, discovery, understanding, surprise and desire to be surprised should be the most valuable assets.
Please, let's keep on the good work!
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  #28  
Old 08-21-2004, 03:45 PM
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kikvel kikvel is offline
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Default The best result achieved here

Is to read other`s thinking and to express oneself freely.

After reading all, I understand personally that I have to learn not only about photography but also about other important things as well that are far more important.

To stop this learning process to me is the same as dying.

Hardening concepts and beliefs is the worst end that can happen to a human being.

Un abrazo para todos!

K.
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  #29  
Old 08-22-2004, 09:33 AM
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forlife forlife is offline
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Default Re: Critique Quality – for us to think about...

Following is my comment in the "i rate you rate "thread....

Here is the proof of what I wrote a couple weeks ago....
Please look at my pictures at
http://www.trekearth.com/members/forlife/photos/
Now tell me what am I doing wrong.Well besides the fact that I do not critique or rate others....
A year ago I got as you will be able to see 10 to 40 points a picture.Back then I was rating others and wrote critiques.
It took me awhile to understand why am I so popular....
I never thought I was a great photographer then as I dont think my photos are so bad now that I dont get critiques and points....
My only point and especially to newbies is...Dont be discouraged if your photo is ignored.There is a small and closed circle that critiques and rates one another.You can join only if you write allot
of critiques.I have many friends here that left when they realized that the rating system is not genuine.
I left and came back but am not playing this game no more,instead I am enjoying the site,learning from others and looking at some great shots from all over but still,i felt i needed to share those thoughts with you.
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  #30  
Old 08-22-2004, 12:25 PM
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MKING MKING is offline
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Default Re: Critique Quality – for us to think about...

I think we're all forgetting another fundamental about this website and one of the things that drew me here and has shaped the essence behind, at least my, photography:

---Learning about the world.

At the very least, if one is not critiqued enmass like some pictures here, live in the delight that people are viewing the picture and are learning something about where you are or have been. TE is an outlet to express pictures that would otherwise not have been expressed.
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