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Criticism ~

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Capty

I know that this is in the photography subforum, but I think that this topic applies to other things as well (music critiques and drawing critiques for instance). Sorry if I don't mention anything that's specific to photography.

 

I've been told that I'm too sensitive and that I have a problem. Did anyone else cry at the end of Marley and Me movie? I personally don't see a problem with that.

 

Anyways, what I realized is that I'm not all that sensitive. To me, "sensitive" would be crying and lashing out when someone tells you that your shoes smell. What I think is that many people are just plain brutal.

 

Some people just bash and bash and bash. They do not give real criticism. In my opinion, if you crtique something, you have to give constructive criticism. Otherwise, you are just stating your opinion, and people don't really care about that. Tell the person what you like, what you don't like, how they can improve, and why. Be informative, in some cases, I think it's helpful to provide resources for information.

 

I agree that you should only give a critique if someone asked for it. They have to be specific and ask for a real critique, not just "Look guys! I bought my doll a new outfit for spring, what do you think?"

 

Sometimes, people just want to share photos and work for the sake of sharing it. Many people don't know artistic theory or have a professional background in it, and in many cases, they just don't care because that doesn't matter to them. What matters more to them is being able to share something with family and friends, and having a keepsake/record of some memory or experience. And, as the OP says, it's more about having fun!

 

I have to agree with Ekidonia. It is very easy to embarrass someone. It is very difficult to interpret tone on the internet. When people reply, they tend to have some kind of tone (even if it's "casual" chat) behind the way they write, and that can look like they are "giving attitude".

 

When people feel embarassed, they can get angry. And I don't blame them, because sometimes it's not a person's attitude about a problem that's the issue, it's the problem itself. Some people are humans, others are robots (who wouldn't react as much to the problem). I'd rather be emotional than feel nothing than all, and I can say that of all emotions to feel, anger has to be one of the worst emotions to feel (if not the worst). Anger can ruin a person inside-out, and it is not something that you can just wash off your hands. It eats you alive over time.

 

As Ekidonia says, someone who does not know how to deal with others can destroy someone's dream, and rob them of their desire and motivation. It's not because the person was never truly passionate about their dream in the first place, it's just that they do not want to associate with the anger/embarassment of that dream again.

 

So if someone asks for a professional critique, I'll do my best to give it to them. If they ask for lighting advice, I wouldn't include that in my critique since I don't know much about lighting. Instead, I would admit that I don't know about lighting and continue with the rest of the critique. When I ask for critiques, I expect the same. A critique needs to be respectful (I think some people need a new outlook on the definition of respect, but that is probably something I can save for another thread) and informative without being embarrassing or challenging to the artist in any way (intellectually, challenging their abilities, etc.).

 

If someone does not ask for a critique, don't. Some people don't want to hear critiques, and sometimes they don't want to hear praise either, they just prefer to find their way and work on their skills alone. And nobody should try to change that, because then that person would work to please others rather than themselves.

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Mimiyo3

I'm more than down for criticism in the proper context. If it's something where I've made it clear I really put my best foot forward I'm more than glad to have it as long as the person is being polite about it. if it's something meant to just be casual or even down right ridiculous there's no need for it. Also if there's a mistake in my pictures I noticed well after it was taken, meaning the scene was deconstructed or the lighting has changed I'll likely just say that I noticed that thing and it's too late to try again atm so consider that already touched on.


Present!

Miku, Aria, Celia, Melody, Aveline, Rin T, Ted, Chi, Yumi, Melanie, Rin K, Len, Ea, Alter, Illya, Rachel, Aelia, Matt, Jace, & E.N.O.

W.I.P.

Rose, Tara

Waiting

Hannah, Lucy, Sonya.

Neemos: Yuki & Mimi

Resins: Mizuumi & Aiko

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Wayfinder

I once read a line about criticism in the introduction of a restaurant guide book of all places. It was about restaurant critics, but I feel it applies to critics of all fields too. I can't find it exactly, but it ran something like this:

The food critic isn't the one sitting in the middle of the restaurant, making a show of being picky and giving the wait staff a hard time. The critic is the one ensconced quietly in the back corner, desperately trying their absolute best to have a good time.

 

In other words, a critic loves what they criticise. They put time and effort into developing taste for and learning all they can about their field of interest - out of love. When something put under their nose is bad, they'll often spend time first trying to find the good in it and then be able to explain why and how it doesn't match up to what it might be trying to do. The critic who comes to the conclusion something is subpar does not do so with relish but with a sense of regret, having tried every angle available to them to redeem it. (It's like a referee in sports - the best referees love the game and play their roles mercilessly because while teams and outcomes will always change, the game to them is what matters.)

 

This does not mean - as some Internet requests for "constructive criticism" seem to expect - that the critic is obliged to pull punches or cushion every negative thing with paragraphs of soothing explanation. Sometimes creators screw up. Sometimes tastes differ. Sometimes critics are dumb and wrong. The chance you might get mercilessly negative feedback is the risk one takes when releasing something. A creator must develop thick skin and enough discernment to pick up what's useful.

 

At the end of the day, the work is what speaks for itself.

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jazijaz

I believe in the saying "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all". I will give criticism only when it is asked. If people are sharing their pictures I will not give criticism unless they ask for it.

 

DoA has a sub-forum for criticism. People who want to receive criticism on their work so they can improve can go there and I think that's a great idea.

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