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Immediacy and self confidence

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by Roger Hicks, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Looking at the Appraisal gallery, it seems to me that almost all suggestions about how to "improve" pictures fall into one of two categories. One category is that the potential for improvements is to a greater or lesser extent obvious, so that more experienced photographers can genuinely and fairly easily help. The other is that the suggestions actually detract from the picture, and the main problem is that the photographer lacks the self confidence to realize just how good they are. I say "main" because a subsidiary problem is often that the person offering the suggestion is stronger in confidence than in ability or knowledge: they are commenting because they think they can, not because they have anything useful to say.

    Whenever anyone criticizes one of your pictures, ask yourself what category their reply falls into. Consider also that the first version of a picture will almost always have the greatest impact, so that a minor "improvement" may not look as good as a (slightly defective) original.

    In other words, have more confidence in yourself than in the opinions of others, unless your immediate and almost instinctive reaction is "Of course!" If it's "Well, yes, I suppose they might have a point," then they probably haven't.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  2. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    I very rarely look at the appraisal gallery (or any other gallery) so I am not the best person to comment on Roger's post.

    I think, some long time ago, I did comment on someone else's photo and then immediately regretted it because he/she took my comments the wrong way and made me wonder if I was unbelievably arrogant to have commented at all. I think, equally long ago, I may have placed a photo in the appraisal gallery because I couldn't make up my own mind about it. In that case I seem to recall that some of the comments did help.

    But Roger's thesis about differential levels of confidence between poster and commentator makes perfect sense.
     
  3. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera Well-Known Member

    Strange,I love looking at other peoples pictures and sometimes I look and comment at pictures on the appraisal section, isn't that what forums are for?
     
  4. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    I think forums are for whatever visitors want them to be. I do like looking at the pretty pictures myself. I don't comment often, because I have only two categories for pictures: like or not like.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    Horses for courses, Ivor. (How often have I said that on this forum?).

    I see enough photographs at camera club meetings, RPS events ( a whole day of viewing succesful L, A and F panels coming up in Edinburgh this Sunday), etc., and I can appreciate prints and projected images much more than wee low-res images on an internet site - which is why I don't tend to look at the galleries on this site.

    That's not to take anything away from those who do enjoy the facility here.
     
  6. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    I think if people have the confidence and commitment that what they have done is best it is ever going to be, then there is little reason for them to be posting in appraisals, whether they are right or wrong.

    Is the point that you believe Appraisals is invalid on principle?

    I believe there are two sides to appraisals; the poster whose work is being appraised and the appraisers developing and testing their views. Both are being appraised and it is very useful that they should be.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
  7. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Hear, hear!
    What has to be remembered is that we are in an Amateur Photographer forum. People give their time. their opinion and their suggestions where they see the poster might improve the image he/she has put up for appraisal.

    Few appraisers flaunt their 'expertise'. Most make suggestions, which can be taken or not, as the poster wishes.
    To criticse the critiquer is akin to criticising the person who stands in front of a picture and passes comment on it. Uncalled for and lacking empathy. Everyone will have prejudices influencing their view, or critique. It is inevitable that their own experience, likes and dislikes, their own style will influence what they suggest.
    It's no big deal! It is an opinion only. Take it or leave it. The poster is looking for comments (presumably) since he has posted the image in the appraisal thread.

    Kate
     
  8. Derek_R

    Derek_R Well-Known Member

    I've found the appraisals very useful on the few photos I've posted. But more so I find the appraisals of other people's photos even more so. It's a great learning tool. Can't say I always agree with what's suggested - yet I always end up assuming that it's a lack of knowledge/ignorance on my part that is driving that non-agreement. Lack of confidence indeed, I guess. This is no doubt why I'm reluctant to appraise others' pictures.
     
  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Mike,

    Far from it.

    We are all eager to learn. But we need to look hard about whether we are actually learning from others' comments, or merely being made to feel insecure. In other words, read and weight the comments very carefully indeed, bearing in mind always that while some comments will come from experienced photographers and will be helpful, well-informed and carefully phrased, there will also be others from people who really know very little about anything but are convinced that their opinions are as valuable as anyone else's (the well known vendors of the opinion/****hole cliché).

    All I am saying is that it's far too easy to be blown as if by the wind by comments that are substantially worthless. The only person who can decide the value of anyone's comment on your work is you, and you should remain alive to the possibility that you are a better photographer, and better informed, than some of those who post what they believe to be helpful suggestions.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Derek,

    Exactly. And this is my sole point. Yes, you may be to some extent inexperienced or ignorant. But it is also possible that you are right, and they are the ones who are even more inexperienced or ignorant.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  11. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Very co-incidentally I was talking to and listening to a clever man today.
    He recommended I read Daring Greatly by Dr. Brené Brown.
    Here's small summary/intro to the book.
    to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.
    and as Theodore Rooseveldt said:
    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” —Theodore Roosevelt

    So I will keep visiting this Forum, however vulnerable I feel, because at least I try.


     
  12. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    I apologise in advance, Catriona, for saying that sort of thing is why we need satire. (and pictures of yawning cats)...

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    That's OK SA - you don't require the book.

    ;)
     
  14. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Deleted: no point.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
  15. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    It's OK Roger. I'm just getting really enlightened about what makes you tick!

    Kate
     
  16. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    Awww, shucks. [​IMG]

    Have a flower...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
  17. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    Nice one Kate! The book is helping already.

    (And isn't it ironic when someone, upon mature reflection, deletes a post but it lives on for posterity - no pun intended -as a quote in a respondent's post?)
     
  18. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    I thought that the original post was fairly simple to understand: have confidence in yourself. Do not assume that others always know better than you.

    No irony involved in deleting the previous post. I still stand by exactly what I said. I just didn't think it was worth banging my head against a brick wall. I was right.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  19. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    But think of the entertainment you're providing to others. Doesn't that give you a warm feeling all the way down to your toeses?

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Ffolrord

    Ffolrord Well-Known Member

    Why does appraisal have to be viewed as someone knowing better than oneself? Appraisal will naturally be given according to personal tastes and preferences.It can be very useful to seek a range of opinions, it normally is. They are just opinions though. More often than not there will be a good suggestion to come from an appraisal thread. It might be as simple as an unnoticed dust spot, but that will save a wasted print. The only thing I would say is that it would be good for anyone posting an appraisal to post some images of their own or provide a link to their images so that the appraised can get some sense of how much to place on their views. It's not essential, a good critic doesn't necessarily have to be a good photographer, but it is useful.

    There is a tendency in photography to use great shot as a baseline comment. The thicker the skin the greater the benefit that will be derived from the process too. My photography has improved enormously by inviting other who I respect to be hyper critical about my images.

    I think the critique on this forum is given in good faith and impersonally, as it should. Seems fine to me.
     

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