Still Confusion on Image Critique vs. Regular Gallery?

Still Confusion on Image Critique vs. Regular Gallery?

(David Schoen) #21

Thanks David
I now understand that some of these choices are software generated; once again it’s it is a matter of behavioral change to achieve your vision. I do support you and appreciate what you have done.

(Keith Bauer) #22

I would be concerned that this would seem even more intrusive. If people post in a Gallery, they’ve made a decision that they are pleased with their image and are not seeking input. Pushing out an e-mail that says, are you sure… I’ve got some feedback for you (which implies “changes” - otherwise you would just post your thoughts) seems inappropriate to me.

This has been an interesting thread to follow. The site is now about 10 days old. Changes are in place for a reason that @David_Kingham has eloquently stated. I’d really like to see us use the system the way it is designed and see how it works. I don’t think we’ve even given it a fair chance to see how options that allow members to either seek input, or share are in place. We’ve never had that option and it clearly was detrimental for some portion of the NPN community.

(Preston Birdwell) #23

That is a very good point that I had not considered. Thanks for sharing it, Keith.

I agree. The new platform, along with the way the galleries are set up is definitely a paradigm shift that will take some adjustment. It’s kind of like breaking in a new pair of boots: They feel a little stiff at first, but gradually feel good.

(Igor Doncov) #24

I always wondered why people stopped coming. I suspect that it’s not that they don’t like critiques, but don’t like critiques from those who are less skilled than they are. Everyone benefits from some criticism. That’s what you go to workshops for, or take classes in school. Receiving criticism from a known authority, I guess, makes all the difference. Yet we were all encouraged to post at least 5 critiques for each post we made.

It’s interesting that nobody has yet posted a feedback that says they like the non-critique gallery, that it provides a good value. Yet a few have questioned it’s value.

On the other hand more than half of the members are posting in the non-critique gallery. So there is a clear interest in it. Personally, I would be interested in knowing why that choice was made. These are members who don’t shy away from criticism and have not left NPN.

Personally I find the 2-version galleries cumbersome. Oops! I gave a critique.

(David Schoen) #25

I’ve always thought that NPN build itself as a critique site; a place where photographers could learn from their peers input.
Yes, it is nice to see the work of excellent photographers but if they are not willing to submit to criticism, either positive or negative, then I would say they had no reason to participate on the site. Just take one look at the member testimonials on the older NPN site. Clearly the mission was to teach and share. I believe I also read that NPN proclaimed its uniqueness because of the critique element. While that still exists in the new site, there is an 18 year history and mind set from the past.

If we can all agree to accept the current changes and trust the decisions of the administrators, we can all look forward to a continued learning environment with the excitement of positive enhancements to the experience.

(David Kingham) #26

I would completely disagree with this. We have some high level photographers here and plan to engage many more. These photographers have found their own vision and do not feel the need to be critiqued. BUT, they will be providing critique to other members along with writing articles, and just by sharing photos with some information on how they captured it is a great learning experience for others. These are people who may not have otherwise joined NPN if there was only room for critiques and not sharing.

and it still is, there will be more learning because of the photographers we are getting on board that would otherwise not participate. Just because they are not having their images critiqued does not mean they are of no value.

I would kindly ask everyone to put this debate to bed for now, we have thoroughly discussed this and I have listened. I feel the current setup is best for NPN and no changes will be made right now, we need to give this some time to see how it plays out. I appreciate all of your thoughts but it’s time to move forward with the new system.

(Lon Overacker) #27

There could be as many opinions and reasons for posting and critiquing as there are members… But this boils down to only 2 perspectives. The poster and the viewer. No brainer. The poster has the choice to post asking for critique or not. No ambiguity there. If you post in a Critique gallery, by default your asking for opinions and critique. If you post in a gallery, you’re not. You’re simply sharing.

The difficulty and change is now that as a viewer, my natural instincts are to help and offer suggestions. It’s no on ME to change my behavior and respect those wishes. YES, it’s so, so tempting to say, hey, your horizon isn’t level! It will be hard for me to learn not to offer constructive criticism and comments may boil down to just “likes” - but we can also offer simple comments what does appeal to us. I support the 2 separate galleries to give this a chance.

David made comment about “former” members. We’ve chatted about this over the years and I think there’s valid concerns that a good portion of the population just wants to post an image for it’s artistic sake and value rather than the technical or critiques on slanted horizons and white balance. Many I know just want to post an image without folks getting picky. I get and will support that.

Personally, my own expectation is that folks take pride in their work. If you’re proud of you work, it will show in your presentation and we should be able to enjoy it as presented without critique or constructive criticism.

I know I’m guilty of this, as I’m always looking for improvements. My personal philosophy (plagiarized from Tony Kuyper) is to “make the image the best it can be.” But this is MY approach and I shouldn’t reflect my approach to someone else’s work. I’m going to try and accept that.

edit: apologies… this sat in edit form all day and did not see @David_Kingham 's message. sorry David, not disrespecting your post; just finally hit send after some edits and didn’t see your request.

(David Kingham) #28

Excellent post Lon, you summed this up perfectly. Thank you!

(Bill Leggett) #29

Hey, gang. I only noticed this thread a little while ago, and I was pleasantly surprised by all the comments it has generated. This shows a desire for expressing our collective passions for photography. There are inevitably all manner of opinions, many of which are notable, and so it’s good for all of us to be mindful of this discussion.

These are just my personal thoughts:

Now, particularly after retirement, one of my favorite things in life is sharing my images. Granted I have a fair bit of experience having taken photographs since the early '70s. However, I will NEVER refute/discredit anyone’s remarks with which I may disagree. And to that end I would welcome ALL comments.

Let’s face it, as sociable people we all like our compliments, which are satisfying. However, I tend to pay more attention to those which express ways of improvement. And those are the thoughts that I treasure, much more so than just a kudos or a pat on the back. Perfection in any art form might be wonderful, but as in all art it’s not absolute and never will be. It is simply an unattainable, abstract goal.

On many occasions I may post an image I’m quite proud of, only to find a number of points on aspects I may have overlooked, and more importantly, those comments which can improve my work.

That being said, I plan to post only in the Critique sections first, at which time I might decide to post in the Gallery, being mindful to cite the previous critiques I had gotten. I personally think that’s a fair and democratic approach.

(Igor Doncov) #30

In spite of all that has been written here I still feel there are no guidelines on what comments are appropriate for the regular gallery. I went back to the old NPN and found this article on advice for commenting.

Art of Image Critique

My guess is the first 4 items listed are good guidelines for the gallery comments. The entire list for the critique galleries.

As in Name Searching, I think it would be good to add How To articles like this old one to the Q&A section of NPN 2.0.

  • Start off by taking some time to truly study the image and form an opinion of what appeals to you about the image, both technically and aesthically. Sometimes coming back to study the image again a short time later is helpful.

  • After forming an overall impression of the image, begin to identify the specific technical qualities of the image (lighting, color, contrast, composition, depth-of-field, background, etc.) that appeal or don’t appeal to you. In just about any image, you can find both. Do the same with the aesthetic qualities of the image by describing any emotional response the image imparts. It’s not uncommon to find images that are technically deficient, but yet impart a strong emotional response from the viewer, and visa versa . Feedback to the photographer on both the technical and aesthetic aspects of an image is useful.

  • Search for the words and phrases that most effectively convey your thoughts about these specific qualities.

  • Begin the written critique with what you like about the image. It is a mistaken belief that a photo critique should only point out what is wrong. In fact, as much can be gained by pointing out what it is that appeals to the viewer.

  • Out of the image qualities that you feel need improvement, pick those qualities that you can most effectively communicate why you think they need improvement, and how an improvement of those qualities would help improve the image.

  • Whenever possible, offer suggestions based on first-hand experience on how to improve those image qualities that you found lacking.

(David Kingham) #31

I feel it’s pretty simple, just general discussion without critiques…

This article is referenced several times in the FAQ/Guidelines

(George Givens) #32

I agree with David Schoen. I know it’s a done deal but can I please give my late 2 cents. Not to long ago I quit a group because the people posting images didn’t want critiques all they wanted was “atta boy or girl”. I personally don’t see the point in posting in this environment if you don’t want comments. It’s like playing sports but not keeping score. I am not talking about being nasty but honest constructive opinions about composition, subject, color, etc. I can like a photograph yet still have questions or suggestions. Just because I suggest a different composition or crop doesn’t mean I don’t like it. I know one of the things that used to bother me a long time ago about NPN and some other organizations is that people would criticize post-processing skills. As a result I quit posting because I wasn’t very good with editing (and still am not) and still hate it. I wanted critique but only on the essence of the photograph not on whether I knew how to make the image shine. I almost put my camera away and in fact did for a while. But, I got over it and looked over the comments that only wanted to talk about whether I chose the correct blending level or used the right brush. I guess my point is you have to learn to take the good and throw away the bad. Example, my grandsons play high school sports and we talk about their games. I offer praise as well as what I saw I thought could be done better or at least differently and sometimes ask what they were thinking. Like I tell them, take what you want and tuck the rest away. It may come in handy someday. They love that I take enough interest to offer a point a view instead of just a pat on the back. Because to them they want to be the best they can be even though they know they probably won’t play professionally. Did I say too much? Am I off topic?

(Phil Hodgkins) #33

Just a bit of thought about the galleries and comments: the galleries are intended for sharing, and not “I am me and you’re not!” And most definitely not “Atta boy/girl!” Sharing is a two way street that involves listening as well as speaking, a conversation between viewer and sharer, either implicit or implied. A little humility, respect and friendliness goes a long way. It is not, strictly speaking, a teacher/pupil relationship. At its best, it is shared interests and a willingness to be of service.

(Ian Cameron) #34

Hello everyone just thought I would give my two penny worth. I think the new galleries looks great and I like the look of the pictures that are uploaded, nice to see some new faces back that I am not so familiar with. I do have some reservations with the new site which I don’t want to go in to here that I preferred about the original site, but I am sure that would always be the case. I still shoot most of my images on film, so I am a classic case of old dog, new tricks and the consequential reluctance to change for change sake.

To the point, the reason I choose to post in one gallery or another has nothing to do with critique or not to critique. I am certainly not scared of it, I am simply ambivalent. The only reason I post in the un-critiqued gallery section is because currently twice as many folk post in this section, than the critiqued section, therefore it seems to me that more folk will visit the un-critiqued gallery and see my picture. B*ms on seats is my priority.

If I am completely honest I think I can garner more information from the number of folk choosing to view my image than I can from the number of replies attached to it. That of course does not mean to say I don’t get a buzz from receiving either critique or pleasantries in respect of the image I put up to be viewed.

My gallery allegiance, to critique or not to critique will change exclusively on the numbers viewing a specific section of the relevant subject gallery, for that reason and that reason only I, (my opinion only), prefer to merge them both into one landscape gallery to make the melting pot bigger.

Just as an aside and to illustrate my point, if you looked back at the two galleries for Man and Nature and Landscape on the archive NPN site, Man and Nature and the Landscape gallery were sub-sectioned off. Yet there were so few folk posting, or visiting “Man and Nature” that it was almost pointless placing an image in there to be viewed, so despite the fact I had plenty of images with boats and fields and other vagueries that could be attributed to “Hand of Man” in a lot of the landscape images I choose to take, I would never consider posting them there simply because so few would see them. I am very sure other members reacted in the same way and those images that did contain, “the hand of man”, would often be surreptitiously sneaked into the vastly better attended Landscape gallery. I for one am very glad that those two sub-sections have been largely done away with on the New NPN site.

By the way do feel free to move / remove my comment to wherever / whatever section you feel it should go in, including if you wish the large circular filing cabinet under the desk.

(Igor Doncov) #35

I think the difference in views between landscape and landscape critique is due to the quality of the images. Most of the professional Contributors are not posting in the critique gallery. Overall it looks like the number of views we are getting is down from the older NPN. It’s hard to get 100 views these days where it used to be common in the past. Perhaps the old NPN viewers just aren’t aware of the new site. I have a friend that was a daily viewer of the old NPN that has stopped now due to the difficulty of navigating here, even after my explanations.

(Ed McGuirk) #36

Igor I think the decline in views vs. old NPN may be partly due to the demise of grid view. I used to just spend time surfing through grid, looking at images without leaving comments. After an initial scan, I would zero in on the images where I wanted to leave comments. With grid view gone, I think we have an “out of sight out of mind” issue, and images are getting buried too quickly. I know I can see more images by continually scrolling down, but it’s just not as easy to do than it was with “grid”.

(David Kingham) #38

The lower number of views in the critique galleries is likely because these are only visible to registered members, whereas the galleries are visible to the public (they just can’t reply). I’ll be looking at removing the ‘views’ column since this seems to be driving decisions on where to post and NPN should not be about popularity. The decision on where to post should be purely whether you want your image critiqued or not.

To address the suggestion that we put the galleries and critiques in one category; this is possible, I could add a tag for critique/do not critique. The issue with this is then the whole category either has to be public or private. Personally I feel people are more likely to post an image for critique in a category that is only visible to members.

(Preston Birdwell) #39

I heartily agree with this! Please keep the ‘Share’ galleries and ‘Critique’ separate.

This works for me. I do not really care about ‘views’, but I do like seeing the number of comments regardless of where my image is posted.

(Igor Doncov) #40

If the two galleries were combined into one with the option to critique or not then the editor pick could easily be applied to both options. Currently the critique gallery is not eligible for editor picks and that’s wrong in my opinion. All galleries should be eligible.

(Alberto Patiño Douce) #41

I agree with Preston. I think that the decision to separate Galleries from Critiques is a major factor in the likely success of the new NPN. Combining them with an added button requesting (or not) critique is only likely to lead to confusion, lots of people getting critique when they did not want it, and eventually to a decline in participation.

I also wholeheartedly agree with this. If we are going to worry about whether I got 103 views and Joe got 104, then the whole creative purpose of the site would slowly erode away, and we would go in the “shock and awe” direction: “who can come up with the most outrageously saturated sunset image so that people click on it and it gets more views”. I am concerned that we may already be seeing a bit of that. Canning the number of views is an excellent decision.