Still Confusion on Image Critique vs. Regular Gallery?

Hi David, when we first made the move over to the new format, I thought the difference between the Image Critique Gallery and the regular Galleries were this:

Image Critique - People looking for a critique and feedback
Regular Gallery - No critique desired, but a sharing only gallery and comments should stay away from critiquing the image.

I thought I saw this explanation more than once. However, in Avian Gallery (I mostly stay here, so I cannot confirm this with the other galleries), it appears many critiques are still happening.

On a personal level, I really don’t care. However, this leaves me confused on which gallery to post my image. Why would I want to post in one gallery vs. the other if critiques are happening in both galleries? It also confuses me on what type of comment to make. Because of this, do we really need two separate galleries for the same topic? Ever since I became a member, NPN has always been a critique site. If people are leaving similar type comments in both galleries, I would say lets just combine the galleries.

One last thought: If we still want two separate galleries for each category, why not use the main one for critiques like it has always been and the second one as an entry for a weekly editor pick only? Maybe only allow one entry per week per person? Something to really distinguish the difference.

I would like to know what others think?

Hey Kurt, you are correct on the differences and it will take some time to adjust with 18 years of doing it one way. I have tried to be on top of this and help to guide members who post critiques in the galleries, but I have been busy fixing some problems the past week and likely missed some. @Nate_Chappell and @Keith_Bauer have you been contacting members when you see critiques in galleries? We will have to be a little more active about this to educate members in a friendly way.

I still see value in having them separated because many people do not want their images critiqued and it can be very exclusionary to them. Give it some time to get everyone on the same page and I think you will see the value.

Perhaps those not desiring critiques should do indicate or , alternatively, maybe those who are Open to critiques can so indicate. We used to do this anyway generally. Many times I have put something up that I consider final only to have something pointed out that I missed. I don’t want to miss those comments. It’s one of the big values of this site and I hate to see it cut off .

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@David_Kingham - I have not been vigilant about sending friendly reminders that the Gallery is intended as a place to share final images. I’ll try to do a better job.

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I have an idea…

How about placing some default text in the Reply box that says something like, "Please do not critique this image. I would like your thoughts on whether or not the image speaks to you."

Or something similar that indicates the image is for ‘showcase’, and not for critiques.


That’s not a bad idea, we can give it a try!

That makes the most sense because it would be clear with a “do not critique “ check box. But if one says “this speaks to me”, I see that as a critique; how is that different than a “like” or thumbs up?

Perhaps, to clear up confusion, just eliminate the ability to critique in the gallery, if not indefinitely, then for 6 months until people get the hang of it. That will train posting habits.

The way I am understanding it is you wish:
Critique Gallery to critique
Gallery for final image.

But what if someone posts a final image in the gallery and the viewer believes it could still undergo some improvement? Or what if a viewer has questions about what was done?

They should keep it to themselves then, because many people do not want critiques, either because they feel they are following their own creative vision, or they just can’t handle being critiqued. We’re trying to create a clear delineation between the two so those people that do not want a critique have a comfortable place to simply share their image without the worry of being critiqued.

I like giving/receiving critiques myself, but this was a downfall of the old site by having everything open to critiques, it actually caused some of the big name photographers to leave because they have their own vision and do not want their images critiqued.

They are free to ask what was done to an image, just not critique.

Thanks David,

I suppose my concern would be that even the positive “non critique “ comments degenerate into simple one liners as in 500px. In my opinion, if every comment is that way, the words become meaningless. But this group of photographers probably won’t go there.

I want avoid that at all costs as well! This is what I despise about social media "nice pic, check out my profile!’ ughh.

I love that NPN is not like this and so far the comments in the galleries have been very thoughtful even though they are not critiques. This is how I intend to keep it and quite frankly I think we should delete comments like this, if you don’t have anything thoughtful to say just hit the like button and move along.

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That’s my point David Schoen I have frequently posted what I thought was final only to have things pointed out. And I was glad to get those comments ! My personal opinion is that I don’t want someone to say to themselves; “nice photo, wish I would tell her about that object in the upper right corner”. I want to hear about.

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Instead of 2 galleries you could have just one that either allowed comments or didn’t. For the non-critiquing posts people could just hit the ‘Like’ button.

I still have questions about the non-critiquing gallery. Complimenting an image is a critique as well. It’s just not suggesting that a change be made. I guess a non-critique post is one where only compliments are welcome.

This will just take a shift in thinking Kathy, if you want comments about what can be improved on, post in critiques first. Like I said before, the reason for the new galleries is for people who don’t want critiques. You may want to tell them what can be improved, and trust me there are plenty I would love to give feedback to as well, but they are posting it in the gallery for a reason, to not be critiqued. There can be a myriad of reasons for this, it’s not for you to decide but to them.

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It isn’t possible to turn off comments for a single post.

Yes, complimenting is a form of critique, but most people infer a critique as pointing what can be improved. Receiving positive feedback is well accepted, whereas negative feedback (even if it is very helpful) can be very hard to accept for many artists.

Think of the galleries as what we already have with facebook, instagram, etc. where only praise is given, or discussion about the subject. The key difference between NPN and social media is that the comments are thoughtful rather than ‘Great snap!’

@Igor_Doncov, @David_Schoen,
Yes, ‘complimenting’ an image, or saying, “this speaks to me” is a critique–sort of. But I agree with @David_Kingham that most people see ‘critique’ as ‘what needs to improved, or adjusted’.

My thinking, when I mentioned “this speaks to me” above, was comments should reflect how the image affected the viewer emotionally. Comments might also include a location and/or what was done.

My suggestion would be PM or e-mail the poster and ask them if they would like to see your observations as to how the image could be improved.

I realize this suggestion is not as immediate as providing feedback in a reply, but at the least, the OP would have the option to accept or decline.

Any thoughts on this, everyone?

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David, Igor, Kathy:

This is an excellent discussion. I guess I am in the school of thought with Igor that positive comments are positive criticism and perhaps that is what I have found confusing. It appears I am not the only one with this point of view. Yes, David and Keith, I understand your viewpoint and my behavior for the future has been changed.

Kathy; there are many times that I have just stated that " this is a nice picture with excellent detail, good light, and superb color" when I really meant to state “and your horizon is not level” in addition to the other part of the comment. But I have kept my mouth shut for fear of offending somebody. I would tell you that 25% of the nearly 4600 comments I have made would probably come under this category.

If I play “devils advocate” and David, please don’t take this wrong, the thumbs up icon could be interpreted several ways: like if clicked or dislike if not clicked or I just won’t bother making a comments at all because the image doesn’t move me but it is okay. How is that any different from a comment on 500 PX that just says “great shot”?

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The reasoning behind this is because I’ve gotten feedback from many past and current members that they either never posted anything on NPN or they stopped posting because of the critiques, so we were effectively chasing members away because of this. I love critiques and obviously you and Kathy do too, but that doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s cup of tea.

I don’t see this being the case, likes are very commonplace now and just seen as appreciation, I highly doubt anyone will interpret a like as ‘this isn’t good enough to comment’

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I think that would be okay Preston. Would members be willing to consider two text boxes in the gallery?
____ Please do not critique this image
____It is okay to contact me by p.m. or email

Is the PM or email contact an available feature currently?

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Why don’t we have just one gallery and have a box to check, like the one that used to be there if you wanted e-mails? It can flag the photo as one not wanting critiques. Or, we can add an emoji, that will flag the photo as not wanting critique…or folks can just say, “no, critiques, please”…

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People already don’t pay attention to the pre populated questions when posting an image, so I don’t see this being effective, it would have to be something required to select which isn’t achievable besides the way it is already set up.

Nice idea, but it’s not possible in this software. Hence the need for two separate categories.

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