Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/04/26

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Subject: Re: [Leica] A Leica ChallengeTO KICK B. D. ;-)
From: "B. D. Colen" <>
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 10:00:18 -0400
References: <> <> <>

Isaac Crawford wrote:
> "B. D. Colen" wrote:
> > You can see how you did - pretty poorly for someone with such strong
> > opinions about how given photographs should be taken and what would make
> > them better.
> >
> > Now I know I it's bush of me to get annoyed at the kind of "constructive
> > criticism" you've so freely provided. And I know that when I post photos
> > I ask for feed back. So you are, of course, entitled to your opinions of
> > the photos. BUT - Given your admission of having very little
> > photographic experience, I'd suggest throwing away the books and the art
> > 101 course and getting out and spending 15 hours with a family, or 17
> > hours in a labor/delivery room, or attempting to take photos at a
> > funeral without outraging those whose loved one has died, and then look
> > at your photos and see if they are shot "correctly" by the standards you
> > set here.
> >
> > B. D.
>         B.D., how difficult the situation is when taking the picture is of
> little consequence when critiquing the photo... Does the picture work,
> could it have worked, what would have made it work are legitimate
> questions when looking at a photo. Keep in mind that as much personal
> satisfaction or meaning a photo has for you, it may not transfer to
> someone else looking at it. Obviously he thought that there were some
> problems, and he was explaining why the pictures weren't working for
> him, it has nothing to do with his ability or experience in shooting
> those conditions. "Let's see you do it!", is a pretty crummy way to
> respond to well meant criticism...
>         I just checked the site with your pictures, and it said that it was
> "down for routine maintenance" so I haven't seen the pictures yet, but
> his "criticisms" seem to be mostly about framing. Do you feel that the
> pictures couldn't have possibly been better framed? No, we are not all
> Tinas or Teds, so we will occasionally (I wish!) miss "by that much"...
> No sin there, and neither is pointing it out when asked... If you ask
> for feedback, don't be surprised when you get it!:-)
> Isaac

Yes, Isaac, it probably is a pretty crummy way to respond to criticism.
And, yes, almost any photo can be "improved" if what one is looking for
is perfection in terms of "rules." On the other hand, and call me overly
sensitive, I would argue that while some of the images are better than
others, and while I don't claim that any are "great" photographs, I
would argue that all of them "work" in that each tells a story, or a
part of a story - which is what they are supposed to do.

Further, I would argue that if you apply the "rules" to the vast
majority of what is generally accepted to be world class documentary
photography and photojournalism - a class I am NOT claiming to be
anywhere close to :-) - many great images would flunk, could be
"improved," etc. 

And, by the way, I would suggest that if you read the entire post, I
have at least a modicum of reason to believe the criticism was NOT
particularly well meant. And as others who have disliked - and
criticised - particular images I have posted know, I do not normally
respond with anything but "thanks for your criticism."

B. D.

In reply to: Message from Tom Finnegan <> ([Leica] A Leica ChallengeTO KICK B. D. ;-))