February 26th, 2008

Loch Icon

Some people don't get it

So, there's a community on Flickr (and I've been paying attention to community, in part becuase evilrooster has sensitised me to the idea of building online community, and I'm looking at how different places/people do it.

I think this one has a bad model (which seems to be a non-unique model). One is supposed to comment on "x" number of photos prior to whatever photo you post to the group. I think, on watching how it works in practice. The problem is the comments aren't freely given, they are a quid pro quo. One of the reasons I think it's a failing model is the complaints people have about not geting the comments they are entitled to.

In this group the comment is a simple score. I happen to think so bare-bones a response is less than useful (is the score because of a personal preference, or does it reflect a school of criticism?, that's just the start of the problem).

So I add critique, detailing what did/didn't work for me.

Which led to this exchange:


Me: The moody effect works for me, but the light is murky in the details of the ring, I have to work to see the intricacies of it, which steals from the impact.

The photographer: the light on the ring is mixed in the focus and out of focus areas, the ring is focused on the first plane and out of focus in the rear plane also the light is out of focus in the rear plane..... so the only clear details are on the focus area also I recomend to asjust ur monitor for pictures with a gamma of 2.2 for better apreciation


Ignoring the assumption about my monitor (s'he doesn't know how I've calibrated it) we have a couple of problems.

One, most people do have monitors which are gamma 1.8. Which means, should s/he want them to be in their best light... better to set the image to the norm, than to bitch if it fails to be viewed that way.

Two: S/he asked for comment. I looked at it in the large size, and made my comments. Best, when one gets a bad review, to take it as read, and drive on. Not tell the reviewer they don't get it. Worse yet to tell the reviewer they looked at it from the wrong standpoint.

There's a lot of art in the world. Some is for the artist (this can be good, or bad. Emily Dickenson wasn't writing her poems for the world). Most is for the world.

That's a collaboration. I make a poem, a photo, a sketch. If I want to share it with the world, I can (and it's so much easier now). The viewer brings all of the predjudices, training, understandings and experience s/he has. That colors how the image is seen, the poem is heard, the song enjoyed.

What they think about a piece can't be wrong. It may be ill-informed. It may be done without reflection, consideration or understanding, but it's not wrong.

And telling them it's wrong... is wrong.

Am I trepidatious when I put a piece up for examination? You bet. Rejection sucks. Detailed critique is painful. Expert critique can feel as if one is being flayed alive.

But if one puts it up, one has to take the criticisms at face value.

I'll close with some cuteness.



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