View Full Version : About Trekearth?
12-16-2003, 04:15 PM
Ok, I've decided with Trekearth now not to treat it as an online gallery, not to showcase my best photos, but more to learn about how I can make my photos better. I have been posting photos which I evaluate personally as borderline, in an attempt to find out of they are good photos or bad.
I try to take care to make my notes informative to fulfil the mission "learning about the world through photography" but it appears that there has been very little anyone wishes to say about my photos at the moment. In fact, even my views are minimal - I get more views on my personal photoblog. I am trying to work this out. I am concluding that they are not very good photos, or just bland, but I would appreciate some hints on why that is, and what I can do to improve. Anyone care to make some offers? Or is it becasue I have not been able to offer critiques of my own lately, so the favour is not returned, or is it because I have had points deactivated (I have seemed to receive less since).
This does leave me in a a bit of a dilemma. The photos that get the most critiques are the really really great photos. So it is succeeding in some ways as a showcase for some greeat photos. But less good photos don't get the critiques, so is it succeeding in the way that I would like to use the site? If not, I guess I will stop posting images to this site.
I will be interested to hear what other people get out of TE and why they post images here.
12-16-2003, 04:48 PM
I've seen some of your work and did comment a couple. But they are so much pictures comming each day that I haven't time to open each thumbnail anymore... So it must be a catching one or because I already know work of friends and I'm curious about their next shot. We have to make kind of selection.
Can't remember you ever commented one of mine. Must I conclued that "they are not very good photos" either? ;o)))
Amicalement - Viviane
PS: IMO the lady with the birds is a lovely one.
<i>"Come, buy my bags full of crumbs. Feed the birds, tuppence a bag, tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag..."</i>
Interesting what you take up Tim!
I am not sure why you choose only to display your “border line” pics. Why don’t you show us some of your “bests”.
Because: Who defined them as the “best”?
What I have seen is that some of my “best” can get far less points than some of my “borderline” pics. Because of course we see these pics. differently, the photographer and the one who views his pictures.
I think that the time spent here on Te is a fine learning process not only of the world, but also of a lot of interesting people going around out there apparently occupied with some peaceful purpose as their weapon is only a camera, where they document some small things from what they shot as a pleasure for themselves and also some times for others.
TE has now close to 3.000 members, some very active, some not. A good way for more interactivity is for many of these to participate in the critics given to each picture. One can wonder how you have 125 views and one critic. But of course we must remember that many views are from non members (who can’t give critics).
Personally I write a lot of critics (click on the STAR to have a statistic) – some to established members displaying picture of my interest but also many critics for newcomers or they with not so many points/critics. But with all the pics. being displayed everyday there is a limit to how far you can reach. By the way – I have given some of your pics. comments as well. ....I'm not sure I have seen your comments on some of mine? What shall I make of that.....?
12-16-2003, 07:11 PM
The biggest "problem" here is the huge amount of photos displayed every day. Comparing with the number of posts, the active critique members are quite few, so it's a problem hard to solve. Several times the critique question has been discussed even with proposals for a requirement of number of critiques written to be abble to post a photo and things like that, but there was never a conclusion.
Besides that, probably there aren't so many members that feel that have knowledge enough to make some critiques for improvments, so it's easyer to praise the best ones. Remember, there are few pro's here.
From my part I usually look at the shots of those who critiqued my photos, and most of the times I critique one or two photos of them. Not as a retribuition, but as a courtesy. To be critiqued among so many photos is something to be gratefull. At least I think so. But after I've done this there are few critique left to my favorites, my country and the main gallery. This is the order I usually follow, and I use the daily 20 critique limit.
My advise is for you to try to participate more activly in the critique process. You may gain visibility and people will notice better your work. TE is like everywhere, you must be active to achieve something. It's rare for things just to follow in our hands...
And if you post the best photos of yours from time to time, people also will start noticing you and even in the photos you need help you'll get some better critiques.
This is the best I can say to you...
12-16-2003, 08:10 PM
Tim raises a valid point here, as do the replies. We are all likely to learn more from critiques of our less successful efforts, but the ever increasing number of posts means that we are more selective in the images that we open.
I certainly have to admit that I tend to open the images that catch my eye rather than every image. This then means that many of the images that could benefit more from critiques lose out. To be honest I haven't been critiquing much lately but hopefully Tim's comments will encourage me to be a bit more active again.
12-16-2003, 09:55 PM
As some of the others said, I have givin you critics, but I never received one from you. Does that indicate that my photos are not good. I dont think so. The problem is, like some have mentionned, that there is just to many postings daily.
Most of the members of TE have jobs, familly, relationships, other hobbies, ect... And I am certain that many have the same problem I have, wich is not having enough time to spend here. So after I do my posting, visit my favorite photographers and critics the shot that I enjoy or feel that I can help, more than an hour has gone by. I just dont have the time to look at all the many different uploads of the day.
I know that it's a sad things, but there is just to many pictures that go up every day. I am certain that I miss some wonderfull photos and the many could benifit from my small experience, as I have learned so much from members here.
But what can we do ? On other discussions, some members said it would be better for us to form small groups with the same interests. Many members where for, many where against. There was good points on each side. An other suggestion was to make TE a paying site so that we would keep only the really interested members. Again good arguments on each side.
I personnaly dont have the answer. I leave that in the very good hands of Adam.
12-16-2003, 10:06 PM
Well Tim, you certainly attracted some attention :-)
Many have already commented on the various unfortunate reasons why it occures that pictures sometimes get lost in limbo. I certainly have missed hundreds of shots that I would qualificy as outstanding and I truly wish that I had the time to comment on the remaining pictures as well.
But that is simply an utopia considered the current amount of uploads and my other interests that require quality time (amongst these you may count spending time taking pictures :)
I fully share the opinions that are described earlier by the members that replied on your inquiry (remarkable is that they are all among the active members of TE).
As stated before, visibility is the keyword. Now it is up to you to achieve that. Hopefully by becoming more active in the process of commenting :-)
12-16-2003, 10:18 PM
I changed from being an active member to a 'lurker' for approximately the same reasons that are frustrating you.
The major value of TE for me was a place where I could interact with other photographers and attempt to improve my work, both shooting and editing. TE worked very well for me some months ago when membership was less and there were less photos posted per day.
'Back in the olden days' one knew most of the members in terms of their skill level and interests. TE functioned as an on-line camera club. But that feeling of community disappeared with the site's popularity.
I'm posting this because I want to encourage Adam to go forward with an idea that he had some time ago. Set up some groups.
I'd like to join a group of people who are interested in giving and receiving thoughtful critiques of their work. I'd like for the group to be small enough so that there was on average no more than one page of new posts per day.
A community of like-minded people will see that no photo goes un-critiqued and will know what sort of help each member can use. I want to be guided into better work. I also want my feet held to the fire when I screw up. (Not too close to the flames, please ;o)
There's room for all kinds of people here on TE. Those who simply want to post and view would not have to join a critiquing group. Those of us who do want to engage in an active workshop process could make that choice.
12-16-2003, 11:15 PM
I want to contibute again,
I just wanted to say to hello to Bob. You have not been active for almost 2 months I think, and I must say that your presence has been missed. I figured that you where on vacation or something.
And I had some questions for you if I may. How would those group work ? How does one get accepeted in a group, can one members be part of more than one group? Who does the selection of the new members, could all the members be part of the decision making?.
You see, I also think that the idea of groups is a very good one, I just dont see how we could make it possible. I welcome any good idea on the subject.
12-16-2003, 11:31 PM
The group question has been widely discussed before (and may be discussed again, to me it's an open issue), with good points of view from those who defended it and those who did not agree with it.
But, as said before the key element is participation. When a member participate in TE (post, critique, or both) it's easy to build a group in an informal way and get attention. I have a "group" and I'm sure everyone that replyed before may say the same.
Anyway, for those that have less time or interest in critiquing it may be a bit demanding I agree.
But one thing I must say, I evolved a LOT by making critiques. Probably as much as by the critques received. It forced me to look with a critical mind to the other photos and that reflected on my own.
12-16-2003, 11:59 PM
> I will be interested to hear what other people get out of TE and why they post images here.
I post for a number of reasons. Including:
I want to give back to the community. If I'm going to go somewhere in the world, I'd like to bring up a comprehensive archive of photos for that place. So it's only natural that I contribute photos of places I have been.
Learn about the world. I enjoy learning about the world via the great photographs that people post.
I want to improve. Critiques give me ideas. (They don't always have to be critiques on my own photos.)
Ego. I like to put out some photos because I am proud of them and want to show them off. And, of course, I like getting praises on my photos.
Community. I like interacting with the people here. There's a variety of nice people here.
I agree that the value of critiques may be less than they were in the past but as that is only one of the reasons I post, I would probably still post even if this site had no critiques whatsoever.
I also have the feeling that I get fewer critiques since opting out of the point system. Or it could be just because of the proliferation of membership. Difficult to say. I don't lose sleep over it.
I don't always look but frequently I don't bother critiquing photographers who do not actively critique others. I figure it's better to give my time to people who participate fully than somebody who doesn't seem to care. (I wouldn't put you in that category, though).
You do have a high critiques-written to critiques-received ratio of 3/4. So by that measure you are getting a very high response. A 2/1 ratio seems to be more typical of active users (and look at Porteplume's ratio which is 7/1!)
My suggestion is to continue participating and see how Adam's implementation of groups works. Perhaps it will solve some of the issues and allow like-minded people to band together more easily.
Eventually there will be a groups feature, but for the time being, one might use the 'favorite members' feature as one's own personal group. You can view all their photos in one place and read all their critiques in one place as well. To do so, click the [view photos] and [read critiques] link in one's 'Intro' page. These sections will not be overloaded since it's limited to 30 members.
12-17-2003, 12:35 AM
I started in my first month with about a 3.75 average points to 6 plus presently. That says a lot about how much I am getting out of TE and why I post images here (even if points is a so-so measure of improvement). I think this 'improvement' is due to a mixture of participating actively, critiquing new members (because most of us newbies appreciate this and will generally critique back), following the progress of a few people whose works interest you, posting better pictures (not afraid to crop is one thing I learned here the most) and studying what many TrekEarthers like most and, sadly or should I say, strategically, sometimes pandering to that preference - i.e., boats, lonely boats, lone tree, lone person, dragonflies, doors, windows, warm colors, silky waters, etc. :-) to get that perk me up critiques and points that will then allow you to post your own favorite photo which may not necessarily be popular. While I haven't commented on your work (and you did mine), I have noticed many good ones and added them to many themes, both mine and of others. Sometimes appreciation, notice and validation are shown by inclusion to themes. It's like, your work being picked for an exhibit.
12-17-2003, 12:13 PM
Thanks for all your thoughtful responses. I hope it hasn't looked like a sulk that I haven't felt like I'm getting many critiques, but I have just felt a little bit frustrated when I have thought "I'm really curious to know what the wider world feels about this photo becasue I'm not sure", for example:
As for the community aspect, yes I recognise that there is a value in what goes around comes around. I must admit I have never explicitly clicked on someone who has left me a critique to return the favour. But I think when there were less members on the board, picking photos from the main gallery page that I felt able to comment on meant that there would be contact with a smaller group of photographers. Now if I pick 5 photos to critique in a day, I guess there is less chance that we will have seen each other before. So maybe I should return critiques and start seeking to become part of a smaller group.
Unforetunately, this last month or two work pressures have kept me away from my PC so I haven't been able to spend time browsing and critiquing photos after I have posted. However, as some TE'ers are critiquers, some are workshoppers and some are photo posters, I figured a short term change in habit wouldn't matter much.
Any thanks again for your comments.
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