Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nice Capture

This post has been in my head for a long time, well over a year. It was going to be one of those pieces that would piss a few people off, so I sat on it while I tried to figure out how to word it. I was afraid it would come out too harsh and I'm kinda glad that I waited. You see I was gonna say that I thought it was wrong to tell someone "Nice capture" when they posted an image for critique that was, how can I put it gently...

Crap.

I was gonna say that if you have some skill and experience then you owe it to the community to give someone constructive criticism. By telling someone what they are doing right, and how they can improve, then you're not only doing the person you're responding to a favor but you're also helping everyone who reads your response. So in the end everyone wins and the macro discipline improves.

Telling someone "Nice capture" is like saying "Wow you found the shutter release!?".

But the more I post on the internet the more I've come to realize that there are a lot of people who really don't want constructive criticism. They'll post images that have some serious problems, problems that they'd have to be legally blind not to see, and what they want is for someone to tell them that they're doing great. So if anyone says anything other than "Nice capture" or "Well done" then they're opening themselves up to a wide assortment of egos, and some of them bruise like grapes. If you give honest feedback then you'll be viewed as arrogant instead of helpful -fuel for the trolls...

It's getting so bad that I've all but given up on giving constructive criticism, and not only do I now understand why some people will say "Nice capture" when a photo isn't up to par but I can also see why some have stopped teaching. The "students" don't want to be "schooled" -all they seem to want is the "diploma"...

On a semi-regular basis I hold classes on computers and networking. Every time I teach I end up learning something from the students. Either they bring fresh ideas to the discussion, or they ask questions that get me to think about a subject from a different angle. Photography is no different and healthy discussion, where people are willing to listen at least as much as they talk, is always a good thing. But unfortunately I'm just not finding much of that healthy discussion out there lately -too many egos and attitudes.

Too many trolls who only want to hear "Nice capture"...
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