1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

What do I want with a critique ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PJohnP, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    I'm a proponent of C&C or Comment and Critique here at the Cafe.

    But what do I want with C&C ?

    I want constructive assessment of composition that addresses basic principles such as the rule of thirds, leading lines, texture that draws the viewer, and the dynamic of the shot.

    I want straight talk about exposure that looks for overall exposure, but also assesses if the subject works, even if other elements are blown or dark. I want to know if specular highlights are OK in the context of the shot, and if it's worthwhile blowing a white blouse to capture the texture of a beautiful brunette's hair in the wind.

    I want to know if the colours work with one another, clash in an exciting manner, show off the subject in a manner that sets it apart from the background, or that it melds in a trompe l'oel of subtle merit.

    I want to know that technical aspects of the shot like white balance match the moment.

    But, sometimes...

    I want to know that my shot is awful.

    I want to know that I've failed in any or all of the above, and where I've failed in ways I haven't anticipated. I want to have direct feedback that a shot confuses, confounds, or just drops dead like week old mackerel tossed on the doorstep.

    I want to know that I'm almost there, but not quite. That my reach has exceeded my grasp, but I might lengthen my arms if I only exercise them in a way that the writer explains concisely and clearly. That what I've missed is large, small, subtle, or obvious.

    I want to hear from people who discern more, see further, shoot faster and aim better, track with a clean line of ethereal motion or a blurred swoosh of explosive motion, pick the exact right lens for the moment, plan the photo completely and elegantly or just grab and shoot with a sure certain hand. I want to get posts and example photographs from people who entice me and embrace me with their vision, slap me in the head with a stark moment, bring me to tears, and then restore my smile.

    I want to learn, I want to grow, I want to be able to share my sense of the world as expressed in my photography.

    I want comment and critique.

    What do you want ?

    John P.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2005
  2. Well said John, let me add a bit more.

    What I want:
    A different point of view, obviously I am at least somewhat happy with mine
    A "pat on the head" once in a while, yeah, believe it or not I am human :wink:
    A good dose of reality, but when given, add some context

    What I don't want, and will often resent:
    "That just sucks, really stinks, and so do you". If you really think something I post sucks, I really do want to know, but please add the "why" and the "what would help". Now, if it just doesn't suit your taste, say so, that is not a technical issue, even if you think it is.

    What I think I have to provide to get a good critique:
    Do I see things that I think could be better?
    Is there a specific aspect I want examined, composition, exposure, rules or lack thereof or subject interest?
    What is the context? If this is a very low-light sporting event that I had to shoot at a lower than optimal shutter speed, I know there may be motion blur, but how would you know if I didn't tell you that?
    And most of all I have to provide an open mind.

    How I think we need to respond to critique:
    Not with arguments but with "Thank You's". If I disagree, so be it, I don't have to take the advice, but it is incumbent upon me to accept that it took time to give.

    There is another thread here with a pointer to a new site, Look at the Critiques Here

    I have looked at one, and really like what I see and hear, and this is very constructive. I guess the bottom line for me is civility and respect to go along with critique. We are, I hope, all adult and respectful enough around here to know the difference between "honest" and "rude".
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  3. Looking at your picture, it appears to be all washed out. A slight boost of color and cut back on the EV would improve this shot dramatically.:biggrin: I too like critique as long as it's all positive and overflowing with superlatives (only kidding).:smile:
  4. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Gordon :

    Well, it's an "ultra high key" shot, after all. I only added +125 EV to it for that effect...

    ... and where are those superlatives ? :Sad: :rolleyes:  :smile:

    John P.
  5. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Bill :

    Excellent points.

    I think that explaining the context of the photo or the approach to it can assist the viewer, but I also know that sometimes all the explanations in the world won't fix my shots... :cool: 

    I also think that approaching critiques from the prespective of "well, I did ask for their opinion" is pretty important.

    Let's hope for a good set of C&C's here on the Cafe !

    John P.
  6. What do I want???? I want him 6'3" with an engineering degree, but I want him romantic, I want him holding a new 200-400VR when I'm not shooting with it, I want him to be able to hike 20 miles without whining, and I want him MUTE!! *LMAO* Hey, you asked what I wanted!!!???

    Seriously now.... I want to be better than I am now.... If people can help with that, then spill it! Sure, I want the ol' "ya done good, kid" but I also want to be told what I can do to be better. I'm having one h@ll of a time remembering to stop down my lenses. My brain is still on coolpix mode and my DOF's are too shallow for some of my stuff, esp the close stuff. I have to remember that I've got tons of ISO room on my S3Pro and I'm not using it. I think I've got my editing skills down quite well... it's my shooting and maybe my framing that I can use some help with.
  7. I want HELP - I'be been away from semi-serious photography for 35 years and EVERYTHING has changed!

    (1) Cameras can do it all - auto focus, metering, think, pout, whine and generally screw up without telling you.

    (2) Film has virtually disappeared, but confusers (computers) are now rampant to help you fix the camera errors mentioned in (1).

    (3) Entry level camera bodies are about $800 (not $200) while capable ones are about $5000 (not $500).

    (4) Lenses now require a mortgage and sometime a second mortgage.

    (5) A photo shoot now requires a 30 pound back-pack as opposed to a 3 pound shoulder bag.

    (6) Wives now require consultation before a purchase, not only for the expenditure, but justification why the wide angle is not wide enough or the tele-zoom doesn't have enough "legs" to capture that cute little birdie in that tree way over there.

    (7) Why do I need 600GB of RAID 0'ed hard disk, a processor that can do 3,000,000,000 BILLION things a second and all that memory?

    (8) Why isn't a shrink wrapped "photo-suite" from the grab-bin in the discount store capable of noise reduction, sharpening, white balance correction and color cast removal?

    (9) I looks really good in place, but a little different on the monitor abd down right ugly on the printer.


    Like I said earlier, I need HELP!
  8. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Sandi :

    Lessee here... 20 mile hikes - check. Carry a 200-400mm - check. Engineer. Check. 6'3"... hmmm, a bit short on that one. MUTE ?

    Never. :tongue:

    That shooting stopped down ? I'm still working on that one, usually because I'm usually shooting in low light, and I'm carrying around a pile o' gear without wanting to shoot with a tripod.

    As for the ISO room, I've seen what you do with that S3, so you're moving along that curve.

    Post some shots for C&C and we'll see what we can develop.

    So to speak. < ducking >

    John P.
  9. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Signore Bernelli :

    So post some shots for C&C.

    I can offer some thoughts on landscapes, animals, wildlife, and we have people who are exceptional portrait photographers.

    Post 'em.

    John P.
  10. I have tried to post pictures but I don't think my post count is high enough to permit that yet. Can anyone tell me what the magic number is?
  11. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Signore Bernelli :

    I'm not a moderator here, but I don't believe that there is a minimum post count number to be able to get your photos up at the Cafe.

    Do you have a host for your photos ? If so, you simply copy the URL for the host location (don't forget the .jpg, .gif. or other extension on the URL), click on the little mountain icon above the window for making a post, and then paste the URL into the resulting window. Information about how you shot the photo, the camera, lens, etc. is always useful.

    For a more detailed discussion, look at : https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/announcement.php?f=96

    I'll look forward to your photos, and don't forget to start the thread title with C&C to alert people to your request for comment and critique.

    John P.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  12. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    And I've now updated this thread to use the new C&C icon developed by Paul (MontyDog) for this purpose. See : https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/announcement.php?f=93

    Let's try and use this new icon for any C&C so that people can hone in on threads where comment and critique are desired.

    John P.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  13. John, how did you get the critique symbol to be beside the thread?

  14. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Melissa :

    When you start a thread, there's a box under the window for the message that says "Post Icons". You'll find it there. It defaults to "No Icon", but you can pick any of the ones shown.

    John P.
  15. Thank you John, I found it.
  16. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Melissa :

    Great stuff.

    You know, now you have to post some shots... :wink:

    John P.
  17. Hi John,

    I am a favorite of landscapes and will be going on vacation in Dec to San Francisco and will shoot a lot of pictures while I am there so when I get back I promise to post some pictures.
  18. The first is a racoon visitor to our back yard this spring. Later, she brought her 5 kittens to feed on the food my wife puts out the the birds and squirrels.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Next is a Blue Jay looking over the food offered. The picture was a bit of a fluke, what with the "Jurassic" look to the pose.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  19. I am not sure if you want a critique of the above 2 pictures or not. Anyway let me make one or two observations based on my International Judging Experience.
    Photo1. This only needs a minor adjustment that you could do easily in Photoshop. At the moment I would mark it about 3 out of 5, but if you were to clone or paint in the the right hand edge with the grey at the bottom Right Hand Corner, then you would end up with a 4, and that is good. The reason behind this suggestion is simply that my eye is drawn to this patch of light.

    Photo.2. Sorry but this is a 2 out of 5. The reason is simple. The picture is overexposed. Possible sugestion that may be of help in the future. Use a centre weighted metering reading of 9mm. Place 1/4 to 1/3rd of the white breast feathers in the botton part on the cir and the other 3/4 to 2/3rds should fill the rest of the 9mm. This you should find will hold back the highlighted white feathers and give yo a better overall exposure of your subject.

    Hope this helps and that you do not mind my observations.

    BW. Bob F
  20. I like the C&C idea as long as it is used often but, not on every picture. I like to come here for relaxation as well as to learn and learn I do! But, if every pic ends of being C&C then I think my comments will tend to be less and less if every pic is a C&C. Sometimes I just want to look at pics and make casual comments. I think C&C should be reserved for your special pics and used sparingly. If used on all pics then it kind-of becomes meaningless. So far, this is not happening and a non-issue.

    I like to participate and comment on pictures and I will try hard to express my opinions and comments with pics that are labeled C&C. Just keep in mind that I am still relatively new (5 yrs experience) my comments and suggestions maybe very simplistic or just wrong but still, I will try.

    Part of learning to become a better photographer is being able to look at other peoples pictures (and of course your own) and analyze them for the good and the bad and how to improve them at the moment of the pic and in post as well.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.