Feed Us Your Photoblog--The Solution

Igor Roshchin str at komkon.org
Sun Jul 11 16:07:49 EDT 2010

Sorry for the delayed response.
My work and other obligations take a lot of time,
and while I read quite a few topics on the list and look at
many photos, that happens somewhat sporadically,
and I do not get to respond to all of them.

I agree with most of what Bill wrote, and like several people here
on the list, I also was disappointed when I couldn't get much of
criticism to my photos posted here.
It doesn't mean that I don't enjoy nice words (thanks to you all, sweat
nice PDMLers who ever responded), but I wish I could hear more
constructive critique.

The frequent problem with that (and I've seen it too many times in
various forums, not just photography-related - and not just on Internet,
but in real life as well, including work environment) is that most people are
not ready to hear any objective criticism. That comes from the internal
insecurity of most of us.
On another hand, - some people don't have enough skills (or sometimes
tact) - to criticize constructively, (which includes but not limited to
not switching to personalities, or becoming insulting (or - more often, 
- being percieved as such).

Personally, I am very much used to (and consider myself luck for)  
having bosses, advisors and mentors who can tell you directly when 
you are good and when you are bad, - without much of BS.
(That actually, often translated in a certain reciprocity: 
a possibility to be very direct arguing [constructively!] about various 
issues without being afraid that it will be held against me.)


PS. To everybody on the list: please, do not be afraid to provide 
constructive critique for my photos - publicly or privately.

On Jun 29, 2010, at 8:58 PM, William Robb wrote:

> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Doug Brewer"
> Subject: Re: Feed Us Your Photoblog--The Solution
>> That was the big issue with Shel. It wasn't that he was harsh, but
>> that he thought his way was the only way.
> Whatever one thinks of Shel (and I'm pretty sure that most know what I
> think), he is/was a pretty talented photographer within the genres
> that he pursued. I recall the critique that he gave that had everyone
> up in arms.
> He was, IIRC, commenting on a very bland photo that was well below the
> level that the photographer was capable of, and Shel told him that,
> almost to the letter.
> And all of a sudden people started throwing poo at him.
> Unfortunately, it put a real chill on the list regarding honest
> critique.
> And that is too bad, because people do often want honest comments
> about the pictures they present to the list, and not just get told
> that the turd they dropped on the sidewalk looks remarkably like the
> golden egg.
> I appreciate the kind words that my images earn, but I also appreciate
> when the flaws get picked out, as this is how I improve as a
> photographer and as an image editor.
> When I joined this list back in 1998 or so, it was almost entirely
> gear driven. That was what the technology of the day allowed. Image
> files were big and importing them into a computer was not especially
> easy, and so people chose carefully when they elected to show an
> image.
> I don't think we take the same care any more, and I think it shows.
> Well, I guess that probably is pretty harsh, but I do look at a lot of
> the images that get presented.
> Is this an elitist attitude?
> I don't know.
> Am I full of shit?
> Probably, at least in the eyes of some.
> Do I really give a damn?
> Well, no, I don't.
> What I do care about is photography. It's been the major driving force
> in my life for almost all of my life.
> What pisses me off is when I make a suggestion about how to improve a
> photograph and get told that the picture is what it is, and that I
> should judge it on it's own merits, and not the merits of a picture
> that could have been.
> I mean really, if I was judging it on it's own merits, I'd just say it
> was a shit picture.
> But because I care, I'll try to tell the photographer what I would
> have tried to get, were it my picture.
> And sometimes, that involves telling someone that I wouldn't have
> pushed the button.
> And why I wouldn't have.
> And if that is harsh, it is because I am a man of few carefully chosen
> words.
> It's too bad that real critiques got shot down, though the list is a
> friendlier place for it, I suppose.
> William Robb

More information about the PDML mailing list