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Ann I love to see your Ratties. I love everyone's comments and echo Chas about the nose :biggrin:

You do a great job, and I can't figure out how someone would know if your printer/monitor is callibarated if they cannot see the image on both.

Good job hanging in there
Well, I'm glad to see the comments about printer calibration because I was thinking the same thing - how does he know if anyone had calibrated or not?

Ann - I commend you for entering the competition and learning from the sessions. I have never entered a competition or taken a class. I used to post on a critique web site but those people were usually very polite, like everyone here. Offering your art up for critique takes courage, good for you!

Take heart, it is possible to get something useful out of even a poorly phrased critique. Step away from the photo a couple days, then come back to it. Try to recall everything said and glean through to the nutmeat of what seemed to bother him the most. The hard part is trying to step away from hurt feelings far enough to look objectively and start thinking about ways you could make the shot and end result even better. It sounds like he went straight to offering(dictating) solutions without explaining why he felt something would benefit from being different so you'll have to try and figure that part out yourself unless you can get time with him to request he expand. Having dealt with depression I am well aware that it causes your mind to put the worst possible twist on things people say. I thickened my skin again by forcing myself to take the time to think of other reasons the person may behave as they did that had nothing to do with me. It was hard at first, but much easier now, Also, meds to correct brain chemistry are a many splendored thing. :)
When I started my NYIP Professional Photography course (many moons ago!) the first critique of photos that I received nearly made me quit the first time I listened to it. But, I set it aside for a couple of days and let my emotions settle down, and when I was in a better frame of mind listened to it a couple of times. Once I got it into my head that they were trying to teach me something, I was able to get past the negative part of the criticism and hear what they were trying to tell me to help me improve my photos. Which I did, and the last ones have been much better.

Even though the guy may have come off like a jerk, there hopefully are some nuggets in there that you can take and use to improve your next efforts with. And it is 100% true, the only person you really need to make happy with your efforts is yourself. There is a certain amount of risk with putting yourself out there to be judged, though. We may not always like what we hear.

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Ann...just keep up the good work and don't let one critique bother you.

My friend here...Image would love to critique one of his photographs :rotfl:

George :thumbsup:
"A candle loses nothing of its light by lighting another candle."James Kelly George's Gallery
I agree that I did learn from the critique. I had taken what I believe was one of my best montages and tried to cram so much extra in that, from a distance, it looked really cluttered. It had also been done in rather a hurry, then my printer went wrong and I had to print it where I was on holiday. I also think that, as on here, some people love montages and some don't. Bob tends towards the latter category.

The rat critique was less about the photograph than the subject, and he is as entitled to his phobia as I am to mine of heights! He made few comments about the landscape, apart from saying that it 'just' had enough land to make it a landscape not a waterscape. The portrait was slightly out-of-focus, again selected and printed in haste. It didn't look too bad at A5 but worse at A4.

However, perhaps the most important thing that I learned was not intended by him! Unlike me, he is a definite extravert, and I don't know if he is a senser or intuitive in Myers-Briggs terms. However, like me, he obviously makes decisions on what he sees as logic, as opposed to the impact on feelings, and may not think how the words he uses impact upon other people - i.e. we are both at the extreme T end of the T-F continuum. It has caused me problems through all my life as what I consider "calling a spade a spade" has so often been interpreted as aggression. I had only met this problem from the receiving end twice before, when I interpreted comments from people of my own or similar types - ISTJ or ESTJ as very aggressive.

At the moment I am in a difficult situation totally unrelated to photography. This experience, and your comments, have made me realise that I need to be extremely sensitive in writing to the people concerned. I will begin with extremely positive points. I will make it clear that my comments are as I see them and I may be misinterpreting their motives (using the example above) and state what I see as problems. I will also say that I realise that if they have never experienced depression, and had very little training on it, it must be difficult to know how to support someone in that situation (i have more support from my veterinary surgeon!. I will ask if, when I am better, I can make some brief notes which might help them to know how best to support anyone in this situation.

I may see if there are any local camera clubs which do not demand great expertise.
The best angle to approach a problem is the try angle.


Ann's Gallery
Sounds like you have indeed sifted through to find the nuggets to help you get even stronger creations. I suspect he does not have the clinical expertise in personality typing that you display. While many pro speakers try to acquire that as they soon learn presentation affects speaking engagements, that may be more than he wants to invest. Perhaps a more mild approach would ultimately be well-received. People often are more willing to listen to criticism of their personal style if the critiquer is willing to make it sound like it is really their problem(whether true or not). Maybe something like "I believe myself to be going through an especially sensitive period currently, but it occurred to me that shyer and beginning people in general would more likely to be receptive and learn from a critique if they 1st hear 1 or 2 things that are working for a photograph."
I agree that a photo club is an excellent place to hone your skills. I've learned a lot from the various clubs I have belonged to over the years.
At my Photo Club (where they've made me the VP - probably because I'm an agitator!) we only have two competitions per year and in fact only one prize (for the person with most points from two competitions, with six submissions in each).

Anyway, we cast around for three judges and have a 'bank' of regulars. In the actual judging, which is done on a non-clubnight, there may indeed be a few groans with a couple of submissions (though I've not heard anything really derogatory) but when the positions and points have been awarded, the prints and slides are discussed by the judges on a clubnight, in front of the members, and those pictures which scored poorly are briefly covered by the comments - things like how shots could have been improved etc.

The judges are asked to speak only very briefly on these pictures, so they can concentrate on perhaps 20 prints and 20 slides. (Luckily, we usually get about 90 submissions, so there's no need, or time, to give too much analysis to a 'not so hot' picture, just give a hint or suggestion of two). Nobody's nose is put out of joint, though it's possible that somebody who submits pictures that consistently get "brushed over" may lose interest...... that's a shame, but the onus has to be on them to approach others for advice if they want to improve. It's a friendly club and the "regulars" give friendly advice, but I find Canadians can be a bit reticent at times.
PSE6 on WinXP, Pentax K10d...... and now a Canon G10.

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