Feed Us Your Photoblog--The Solution

Christine Aguila caguila at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 1 03:45:31 EDT 2010

I once posted a peso of a construction shot--you know, that construction 
shoot I've been doing on and off for the last year and a half.  Well, the 
light in the shot was flat and frankly the composition of elements offered 
very little interest to the viewer--no real story or emotional pull. In 
other words, it offered the viewer very little to care about.  Few people 
commented, but Ann did and said, "I think you're a better photographer than 
that."  I never took offense, and I received it as a motivating comment--and 
there was never a minute when I thought Ann was insulting me, the 
photographer, nor did I ever feel that Ann's tone was anything but 
respectful.  I had put a picture out for public viewing, opened it up for 
comments, and a member of the public responded honestly and respectfully in 
my view.

About 5 days ago I sent our Bill Robb six really crappy portraits I have 
recently shot.  I'm trying my hand at studio portraiture, and it's been a 
struggle.  I'm not doing so good.  When Bill was in Chicago, I told him 
about this project, and I asked him if he'd be willing to take a look at 
some shots, and he said he would if he had the time.  I picked Bill because 
he obviously has studio experience, and I knew he'd be honest and 
helpful--especially in his unique Bill Robb way :-).  So, Bill, if you tell 
me those portraits are great, I'm going to update my passport, drive to 
Regina, drag you to your local pub, buy you a shot and a beer, look you in 
the eye and say, "I never thought you'd lie to me.  You've really hurt my 
feelings."  :-)

It's always easier to accept honest feedback of others when the photographer 
been honest with him/herself about *both* the strengths and weaknesses of 
his/her own work.  Moreover, the receiver of feedback is not without power 
here--the photographer has every right to dismiss feedback that he or she 
feels is off base or not relevant to what the photographer was trying to do 
in making the picture.  This is easier to do when the photographer has a 
very clear understanding of what he or she was trying to do in making the 
photograph--more difficult when the photographer is less clear.

Cheers, Christine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "William Robb" <warobb at gmail.com>
To: "Pentax-Discuss Mail List" <pdml at pdml.net>
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 9:38 PM
Subject: Re: Feed Us Your Photoblog--The Solution

> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Rick Womer"
> Subject: Re: Feed Us Your Photoblog--The Solution
>> Well said, Bill.  I would welcome more constructive commentary, as long 
>> as it is respectful.  That doesn't mean that a pile of dogshit is called 
>> a golden egg, it just means that you don't call =the photographer= a pile 
>> of dogshit.
> Not this gets to the heart of things (Christine, I'll email you after we 
> have this sorted out).
> What happens if the photographer normally puts pretty decent work up and 
> for some reason puts a turd up for our viewing pleasure?
> Calling the turd a pile of excrement is all well and good, and doing it 
> respectfully can probably be done in French, but is one allowed to 
> question why the image was submitted?
> Is one allowed to say: "Is this the best you can do?"
> Is one allowed to pass on his disappointment in the photographer?
> The Shel fiasco was more or less that.
> It may have gotten jacked past that, but my recollection is that it 
> started out pretty much that way.
> William Robb
> -- 
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