Post viewing preference

Greetings NPN’ers,

Just a curiosity thing. Ben recently commented on an image post that he always views the image first before reading what the OP may have to say about it.

This is a non-scientific, two part question.

First part, as a viewer, do you prefer seeing the image first before knowing any details? Technical or backstory? OR do you like to read about what someone has to say about it before studying the image?

Second part, you as the poster, do you prefer to post the image first and provide any text, commentary, details before the image? Or to you prefer to post the image first in the thread and then comment and provide details.

Of course many folks provide few, if any details for which I assume is because they want the image to speak for itself. I agree that an image should always be able to speak for itself, stand on it’s own without any commentary. However, since this is a critique forum and not a NYC Art Gallery… it’s nice to have that commentary and technical details to help with comments and critiques.

Anyway, main question is around your preference on viewing and posting images and associated comments and details.

Thanks for any thoughts. Just curious for discussion

Lon, I think I do a little of both as far as reading the text or viewing the image. Sometimes (and I think most of the time), I will set and read everything the photographer had to say, then open up the image to large view. But I have wanted to get right to the image, and that might be because it is something about the image that makes me want to get right to the view. Then go back and read.

As for posting my image, I have found that if I don’t add my photo at the beginning, or close to it, maybe after I write some comments about the photo, but before I ask what I hope to get from the critiques, or the settings info, I get that photo added. If I don’t, I can forget o add the photo! So that is my strategy.

Hope that helps.

Usually, I look at the photo first, then read the description, then go back to the photo. When posting, I usually put the photo first, unless my cursor is in the wrong place when I add the image and I’m too lazy to put it to the top.

I absolutely agree that knowing the photographer’s intention helps with critiques. I’ve noted in other critique groups that it is not uncommon that a photographer posts a well-done photo, but the story it tells is not the one they intended because of their compositional or processing decisions. For example, they want to convey gentleness, but the photo is full of sharp angles and is very contrasty. On it’s face, the photo may be compelling, but not in the way they intended. Or else, they didn’t think about what the photo was conveying and just gave it any old title. I would note that I have not really seen that here, it’s just my take on critiquing in general and the benefit of describing what you intend when you want critique.

I do enjoy the backstories of when, where, how, etc. It’s just fun to know what folks are doing.

I most always look at the smaller image before reading anything. I think most of the time the impressions that form a story to the viewer can be seen with the small view. After I read the information, then I open it in large view. It’s in this view that I can better see the technical merits and determine the answers to any feedback they’ve requested.

In posting, I’ve never really thought about manipulating the order of how people view it. I think I mostly post after the narrative.

I do like seeing the image first before reading any details. I almost always do that. And then sometimes, I will go back and look at the image again. I try to look at the image without any pre-conception of what it might be or convey. If the description is different than what I get from the image, I will go back and look at the image again. It’s quite fascinating what our brain does to interpret visual information.

As for posting, I never really think too much about it. Usually I will write some thing and then insert the image but that’s just because it’s harder to write than to attach the image for me. But there is no specific intention behind this workflow.

Yes, Image first then details.

This gets my vote.

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First I look at the photo, then I go into the fine points of the photo and end at going back to look at the photo. Photo data or no data is not a concern of mine. The quality of the photo is.

Thanks to everyone who has chimed in so far.

I would agree and I will most often view the image first - maybe not the large view, but certainly the image is going to give me my first impression.

I will say this about photo/camera details, info and commentary. For those who post looking to learn and improve, this information is quite important actually. If an image is soft and the poster is looking for max depth of field and sharpness - it would be helpful to know things like aperture, ss, the use of a tripod, etc.

If you just want to share and aren’t looking for tips on improving your photography, that’s great, I love seeing great images. But for those looking for critique, help, feedback, etc. - adding information to your posts is extremely helpful.

Good stuff!

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The initial impression, the first 5 seconds, I have of an image is the most important of all. As I study the image in greater detail I make sure that that first impression remains firmly in my mind. I then come up with a list of suggestions. Only then do I start to read the comments. I post only suggestions in my list that others have not made. If all my suggestions have already been made then I don’t write anything.

When I started posting at NPN I made it a rule to not say anything about the image. Instead I wrote about the circumstances of the taking of the image. I didn’t want to influence the reader. Since then, however, I found that most people ‘didn’t get the image’ so I try to give clues on what I’m after. I never compliment my images but I do bring up what I think are flaws. It leads to longer discussions. Unfortunately, it is rare to receive a comment about what you haven’t already considered and dealt with. I don’t pay much attention to whether my post is written above or below the image.