Hello NPN Members, we’re looking to get some feedback to find out why some people are more likely to critique images than others. For those of you that don’t critique much, we would love to hear from you! The poll below is anonymous, if you want to tell us more about why you feel uncomfortable critiquing feel free to leave a reply on this post or send us a message @NPN_Editor if you prefer to keep it private.
Did you know that you are encouraged to critique five images for each image you put up for critique? We know that not everyone is comfortable critiquing, and that’s okay if you don’t want to! But we really want to encourage participation to keep the site vibrant and alive, everyone’s opinions matter and the critique section is the lifeblood of NPN.
Note: If you are viewing this in an email please click the Visit Topic button at the bottom of the email to vote.
I don’t feel qualified to critique others.
I pay a membership to get critiques, not give them.
I feel intimated to give critiques.
I can’t provide better critique than already given by other members.
I usually do not write critiques when I have no images of my own to post.
I have other interests/work/family that limit my time at NPN.
NPN’s user interface is difficult for me to use, so I rarely comment.
I enjoy the feedback left for me and my goal is to learn from every post. Often times I print the replies to use down the road. My only nit is when the moderator does not respond at all. In my opinion, the category moderator should respond to every post. if not possible, get more moderators on board. I do leave critiques on others images as I really enjoy the images. We have some talented photographers here.
I enjoy giving feedback. Of course, to have a credible critique, one ought to have a pretty good foundation in photography. Second, know how to give helpful feedback. Third, those thinking about supplying a critique, realize it takes practice, and that is rewarding.
I get hesitant in leaving feedback once I see either someone already provided the same feedback I had in mind or sometimes when there is already great feedback and I feel I would not be be adding anything more useful.
For what it’s worth, I think the user interface is fantastic and the feedback I have both received and seen by others is really eye opening from both technical and creative standpoints.
I just don’t know if I have enough experience under my belt to critique other’s images. I also don’t have a lot of time. I would like to participate more. However the feedback I usually have has usually already been given. I will try and be more proactive and give some feedback. Even if some of it has also been given.
I think it is important for folks to realize that critiques don’t have to be technical. When I post an image what I’m really most interested in is the extent to which others are affected by the image and why. Everybody is capable of offering something on that score. The other thing, especially for those who are intimidated - critiquing is one of the best ways a person can improve their own photography. When I allow myself to experience someone else’s photograph - to really engage it instead of the 15 second Instagram thumbs up or down - it helps me to get to a deeper level in terms of what I’m drawn to both as a reader of photographs and as the photographer.
I think for it really comes down to just getting busy with life and not remembering to come spend time here. It’s been rewarding to give and receive critiques for sure. Maybe this is the reminder I need.
My day-to-day is often so busy I simply don’t visit NPN as regularly as I’d like. Maybe it’s an excuse but I do wish there was a native Android app. Adding the shortcut to the home screen is all well and good but it’s still not as easy and “mobile friendly” as an app (assuming the app is designed well). Unless I’m working on edits in Lightroom or my site, I’m honestly not on my computer all that much these days.
I find the critiques highly valuable, both in receiving and giving. One strengthens the other.
A) With so many constraints to my time, I barely have enough time to visit this site.
B) I should make a concerted effort to visit here more often.
C) When I do visit, I scan through the galleries, but don’t really have time to provide critiques.
D) Some of the conversations I’ve seen in other parts of the site, although rare, have made me hesitant to either provide a critique, and/or post a photo for critique (it’s about civility, not honest criticism) .
E) I already get critiques of my photos from trusted friends who I know to be honest with me.
I would LOVE to spend more time on NPN, which I enjoy. I try and will try harder to participate, in the spare moment I can visit I do look at pictures and leave a comment to those that attracted my attention, for one thing or another. As said, I shall make an effort to be more in the community but my work constraints are currently eating up my free time (and life…). All the best
I don’t feel qualified to leave critques. Some can help you learn but others are more personal opinions on what they would do with the same image. Each of us have our own methods and styles on how we approach a scene and how we want to present it.
I follow the belief that an image is more of a personal expression of how we see the world through our own eyes. Who am I to say the way someone views their world is wrong and they should of cloned a stick out or lowered their tripod.
We all have success at times and have images we are happy with. Why would any of us feel the need for critique if we are truely happy with the results? I do not wish to impose my photographic style or beliefs on anyone else.
More helpful to me over the years has been just reviewing others work.
I think all of @Kerry_Gordon points are right on the money. NPN is at it’s best when members engage with each others images, indeed this is the primary reason NPN provides a more satisfying and rewarding experience than Instagram. I strongly agree that critiques do not need to emphasize technical matters. I am a pretty experienced photographer, and frankly don’t often need technical input. But I highly value reading the emotional and subjective reaction of NPN members to my images, to me this is more important than technical critique. What do you like an image and more importantly why do you like it? How do you view the image differently than me? We all see images differently, and we all get tunnel vision sometimes about our images, so fresh viewpoints have a lot of value to me.
The level of substantive input and critique at NPN is such a rare and precious thing in this age of Instagram/Facebook. But as Kerry points out, this only happens because of member engagement.
For people who don’t feel qualified to critique, then at least discuss what you like most about he image. Even as an experienced shooter, I’m sometimes surprised by what things people like the most about an image. I also leave critique comments that may be obvious to the person posting the image, but which may not be obvious and will still have value to less experienced members who will also read the post.
I think @Kerry_Gordon and @Ed_McGuirk mention important points.
For me, to critique an image, it is important that it touches me. Otherwise I’ll go to the next image.
That’s also the reason for me to take photographs: I am not a photographer, looking for the best image, but someone strolling around, enjoying the environment. If I see something that touches me, I’ll try to make an image that reflects that feeling. If I see someone else’s image, I must feel connected to it, otherwise I am not stimulated to critique.
Although I also highly appreciate the technical advice (a different crop, dodging or burning an area), the most important thing is the way that my fellow NPN members react on the image.
I am an amateur landscape photographer. As such I have no professional credentials and limited experience. My responses include what I like about the image, and I try to answer any questions accompanying the image.
Although not technically advanced, I have an opinion on the image’s impact or lack thereof. I have yet to learn how to repost a download which shows the suggested changes. Would appreciate an explanation or a group lesson on the process.
I only recently joined NPN. I am impressed by the quality of the critique process here. I have put up some images for critique but haven’t done any critiquing. In general because I have agreed with what’s been said.
I feel that the critiques provide the wonderful feedback from MENTORS who have the skill, knowledge and depth of experience to help us with our photography.
Seems there are only 2 choices to “critique” or to “like”. I use the Like tag to show that I agree that the photo is wonderful (but don’t feel qualified to critique).
However, Like is rather vague, and I would love to see a selection of easy to use check boxes or badges for “likes” to show more specifically what is liked about a photo. Maybe Badges for: Great Composition, Wonderful Cropping (if appropriate), magnificent Capture (timing of shot), superb colors, Technically excellent (based on information provided)… et.