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Old 10-27-2007, 07:50 PM
kinginexile kinginexile is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,537
Default Criticizing your own work

and I mean just that, not critiquing TE style (though some make an honest effort towards others).

Not everyone is concerned, but can you criticize your own shots, especially not so much technique, but how expressive you have been with whatever subject/idea is in your shot, and beyond the one shot critique, can you analyze and question how you went about a whole project, outing, trip, essay, way to photograph, etc....

In one word: are you hard on yourself? And for TE, can you set aside the accolades received for one shot, even though you are by now a "great" photographer?

My feeling is no, I see very little questionning from too many on the net, most especially from those who have achieved technical comfort, and easily nail "good" shots . Questionning (what one sees and what one shows) which I think is at the very basis of what photography is all about.

And i think that's why some are stalling even though they get superb net exposure (no pun intended), but which in time, amounts to quantity of views, not quality of vision, which ultimately separates the boys from the men (and the girls from the women, to be PC).

I have no idea if I do a bad or good job at it, myself, rather bad. I am mostly critical of not shooting enough. I especially find very hard to self-criticize, with shots that are "not bad at all". Sometimes I wonder if photography is not about "not bad at all" after all, plus a few historical or decisive moments well nailed (including landscape photography), and the desire to do it for a living.
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:58 PM
Keitht Keitht is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Gloucester, England
Posts: 3,969
Default Re: Criticizing your own work

I hope and believe that I am critical of my own work. If I wasn't I would probably be amongst those who post every day irrespective of whether I think the image is worth posting. Since purchasing a digital camera I have taken literally 1000's of shots, but I've only posted a handful here.
Whether 'not shooting enough' is actually a bad thing or not is itself subjective. Do you mean you don't go out and take photo's often enough or that you don't take enough photo's when you are out? They are very different things. I would say I don't go out enough, but when I am out I still work in much the same way that I did when using film, and think carefully about composition, lighting, exposure etc. With digital it is all too easy to auto-bracket and end up not having a clue as to how you got any good results.
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:34 AM
Davids Davids is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 585
Default The Te on TE

Looking for a way forward or being happy with what you do is personal. Some have ambition, others simply enjoy a hobby.
For me personally, the digital revolution messed it up, making it more interesting in some area's, and worse in others. I'm even at a point where I will shoot some film again, because the camera's better and I can better feel what the outcome will be.
30 Years ago, you sometimes knew someone who was a good photographer, as an amateur. Now everyone can publish on the web, and theme-wise there are no more surprises.
The new generations are really good, maybe because the are different, it's more graphical. That's also my point of critique at them, they seem to live in a world of near fantasy, they seem to avoid the real world. This is not a one dimension critique from me, in my job I have to work with them, and they will become responsible for the quality of life in cities. Luckely, like all, it's just a trend, but I don't like the reasons to avoid reality.

Because of the net, It's easier to get influenced or be inspired by others.
It's also more difficult to slow down and learn to understand other work when you're looking at it.

Self criticize is one way of developing. Experience, sharing, working in teams, sometimes competing, taking time to look at your work, prepare what you are about to do, enjoy when you are doing it, study your own work and that of others, explaining your work to others, finding new creative tools . . . it's all helpful and self criticize is part of it. That's how I do it.
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Old 10-28-2007, 01:27 PM
KevRyan KevRyan is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,386
Default Re: Criticizing your own work

......that's what begins to lift the way we think about work to the way an artist thinks - self critique - reflective learning - is essential to be more fully engaged in what you are doing not just bringing the technical aspect of the work forward - but in being open to develop ideas and perspectives - to bring forward the context in which you are making penny's worth!
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:35 PM
clupica clupica is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 48
Default Re: Criticizing your own work

I'm sure that I cannot critique my own photos beyond the purely technical aspect of the photo. I think, no I know, that this is in part the reason for posting my pictures on TE. I want to hear the feedback of others. TE is like a lot of things in life; you only get feedback if something is good or bad. So on TE when I post a photo and it gets no response and 200 views I know it is at best so-so. I may find it of interest and can hang it in my hall but its not a photo to put into a porfolio when I head off to the gallery to try for a showing.

That is not to say that TE viewers are not falable. IMHO, many photos on TE that get accolades are over-saturated to the point of producing totaly unnatural colors, and scantily clad girls can almost guarantee a good point count.

I mean, would you (any one reading this) continue to post your pictures if there was no feedback system and no points. I wouldn't.

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Old 10-29-2007, 01:27 AM
kinginexile kinginexile is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,537
Default Re: Criticizing your own work

Thanks, Now that I see so few answers, I wonder if i did not post this one time before, and forgetting I did (from the few answers then).

Keith, yes, I meant going out, not how many pictures one takes. I do go out with the camera a lot, but I could easily do it twice more, without strain.

David, I am curious what you call a good photographet 30 years ago. I am not sure the definition has changed that much, at least on the technical assessment of a good photographer, though I think that 95% of us do not enjoy a photo or a photographer for his technique. Martin Parr is a good example, wether I like what he does or am indifferent,how I react has nothing to do with camera technique. "How to" technique in Photography is, IMO, closer to how to ride a bicycle and switch gears well than to read music and learn piano well.

We probably, a lot of us, underestimate the importance of a good print, though, so used we are to share on the net. That is most likely where the main technical aspect of photography was the most taxing and paramount (over handling a camera), and still is, most likely.
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Old 10-29-2007, 05:14 AM
Furachan Furachan is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,293
Default Re: Criticizing your own work

Well I can only speak for myself, mon cher Herve, but I have gone on record several times in my intro as having litle confidence in my abilities as a photographer. I have from the start worried about being an "impostor" on this site compared to truly talented and technically proficient photogs.
And the strongest evidence of all is the sad fact that I have deleted several hundred shots so far, either because no on seemed to like them, or because upon later review, I no longer thought much of them myself.
As for yourself, I wish (and I've said i before) that you would POST MORE, as it would add a lot of weight to whatever critiques and general statement about photography you make. I mean that in the friendliest way, as a friend. You have to "put up" - that's the game. I shoot a couple of times a week, religiously, I then work on the pics (poor though they may be) and yes, I send them out to be viewed and criticized by whoever is out there. Perhaps that counts for something...
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Old 10-29-2007, 05:37 AM
kinginexile kinginexile is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,537
Default Re: Criticizing your own work

second time this week, Francis:

I do not see any special courage or stoicism in putting shots out, nor do i see sharing pix as exposing myself to the public/membership. Quite the contrary.

And I am not sure why you think TE is the best place to have your work appraised coninuously (over simply sharing it, in which I'd agree with you then). I do not think TE or any mega sites function the best as that.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:04 PM
Furachan Furachan is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,293
Default Re: Criticizing your own work

Ah merde alors... Oops, quoi...;o)
A part ca, bon thread, Herve!
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:25 PM
rushfan2112 rushfan2112 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 460
Default Re: Criticizing your own work

Herve, I think you make a very good point when you mention the importance of a good print.

I started photography as a hobby more than 30 years ago and I've owned and learned to use quite a variety of camera equipment over the years.

I'm reasonably happy with the composition and other technical aspects of actually taking photos but, even though I used to be able to produce a passable "chemical" print from film, I'm not very confident with a lot of the technology that's now part of the digital age.

It's not that I'm scared of it or that I don't like it. It's just that I seem to be wired differently as I can't immediately grasp a lot of the computer trickery that Photoshop (etc) offers.

Consequently, although I'm usually sure there's an "okay or better" picture residing in the RAW file I've just committed to memory, I can't get the best out of it and I'm not always totally happy with the results that I post on TE / TL.

As you can imagine, this can be a bit frustrating as TE/TL is my "window to the world".

As for self-criticism, I'm pretty hard on myself - both when I'm deciding whether to press the shutter and when I've finished the processing. I'm more of a sniper than a machine gunner.

Also, I wouldn't want to waste server space on crap but, then again, if I don't post images, how will I get critiques / advice that might help me improve?
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