Have been DABBLING with photography for 30 years for my own pleasure, which should not be misconstrued as an implication of any profound claim to expertise on my part. My career has been in computers. Digital cameras are the future, but it is a media I have a lot to learn in. My grandchildren tolerate my photographic intrusions.
Love viewing others work, and truly have seen very few "bad" photographs. Almost every photograph is a desire by someone who is trying to share a vision with others. It is my belief that it is more important to have vision than to be technically a guru of the media. However, a nod at focus, exposure and composition doesn't hurt.
As painful as it is to admit some of us simply have a better eye than others for "seeing". Most of us fall within one standard deviation on the bell curve of talent. Alas, I haven't escaped. But that hasn't inhibited my enjoyment of others images. In the same way one knows a good novel from a bad novel even though not an author, I can appreciate a photo of quality.
Overtime I have been deeply moved by the quality of submissions to PSig. Many of the images submitted by younger memebers are loaded with promise of what is to come. I am heartened by the desire to reflect the human condition and beauty that is frequently reflected here.
Critiquing is a two way street. I'm not talented enough to think that my critiques are so good they should be taken very seriously. I try to state what I see. If something looks like a possibility of improvement it is stated, but that's not an ironclad guarantee of accuracy; just an opinion. What I get out of critiquing is being forced to state in precise terms what I think I'm seeing. With luck some of this endeavor translates into discipline for me when making my own photos.
On occasion a couple of people have commented that I didn't rate their photo high enough. I usually rate about 1 in 8 photos as a 2TU and maybe 1 in 100 a 3TU. First I always assume people at this site are more interested in what is said than points. To review the rating system. A 1TU is an overall good effort but in need of improvement. For me that means I rather like this photo, but it hasn't grabbed me either because of technical flaws or because somehow it hasn't spoken to me that strongly. A 2TU is a high quality photo - not technically perfect or I like it enough to hang it in my home, but has only limited inspiration to me. It is a combination of the technical and my reaction. BTW, no photo I have taken hangs in my home - except for my Grandkids.
A 3TU is an image that is technically perfect, knocks my socks off and blows my mind. At this level I tend much more toward my emotional reaction to the shot. I have to admit that at this level my ratings tend to transcend the technical and becomes much more subjective. I don't mean to hurt anybody's feelings by my tendency toward lower ratings - I'm giving you my honest reaction under the rating system. With any luck I've made my TU mark thinking a little more clear.
If you are uncomfortable writing critiques you need to loosen up. Just say what you see and suggest improvements that occur to you. You'd be surprised at the number of photos that have been made awesome by a suggestion from the newest of members. If you write critiques, overtime your discernment will grow. Lastly, the writing of the critique will help your own photographic skills.
The photo of me was taken 1998 when I was 53. Is it just vanity that I keep it, or laziness? Actually, both.
Just something to help me remember how to do a link -
Good Song for a Club.
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