Do you have the Guts to Give an Actual Critic?

Today is another photography question. It’s quite fun to reading every comment and opinion on the previous question. And I’m gonna ask another thing.

Do you have the Guts to Give an Actual Critic?

Sometimes I asked myself, “can I say this?” or “do I have the right to say it?

Even if I know what to say and have the credibility to say it, sometimes I decide not to say it. Unless a person directly asks for a critic. And emphasize on the word “CRITIC.”

In most cases I see, people ended up just say something around, “good photo”, “nice”, or “beautiful.” Something that sounds nice, but has no deeper meaning. That happens a lot to me.

Is it just me?

So here the question again, do you have the guts to give an actual critic?

And if you can’t, I wanna know what makes you holding back?

And if you can, I wanna know what kind of photography that you feel need to give critics for?

16 thoughts on “Do you have the Guts to Give an Actual Critic?

  1. I’m going to upset some people, but I’ve always felt that there is no more useless endeavour than being a “critic” of someone else’s art. One of my favorite quotes is from the band Suicidal Tendencies- “Just ’cause you don’t understand whats going on, don’t mean it dont make no sense, and just cause you don’t like it dont mean it aint no good.”

  2. Great topic and one that matters to me.

    I love it when people critique my work. People informing me of what doesn’t work in a photo, along with why and suggestions of what I can do differently are invaluable. It gives me the opportunity to consider the impact of my photography and how I can develop as a photographer. I try to rework my photos based upon feedback (when possible). I may prefer my original or their suggestion, but recieving critique and trying to implement suggestions helps me to progress.

    I do critique the photography of my fellow students, and there is another benefit for me as a photographer in doing so.

    It’s so easy in the digital age to see a photo and then click to the next one without really seeing any photos. But when I critique the photography of others I become engaged with it. This trains my mind and eye into seeing what makes for a good photo, and what interferes with one. What this also does is gone my ability to see when I’m making photos. It improves my photography.

    Giving critique is not easy and I have anxiety when I do so. But if I’m serious about photography then critiquing the work of others is a skill that’s as important as my ability with a camera.

    1. Really interesting. You sound like a really open-minded person. And you gave a really good insight for me.

      It’s true. When you analyze someone photo, it not just can give a comprehensive insight to that photo. But also improve our own skill in understanding how to take a better photo. So the benefit goes both way. I didn’t think of that before. Thanks 🙂

  3. Thought provoking post. I do give suggestions but mostly to bloggers close to me or at least someone I know for a while. I don’t want to create an uncomfortable relationship towards other bloggers if I leave a bad taste on their mouth. So if I know the person is open for suggestions or constructive criticism I do give but if not I just don’t.

  4. I comment nice photo on a lot of postings. But that is to let the person know I really took the time to look at their creation. As many just hit like and move along to the next posting without looking at what was posted, just hoping that person will return the like to their page.
    Photography is art and art is subjective. The only critic a person should worry about is themselves as they are their own worst or best critic.

  5. I think if a photographer is submitting work specifically for a critique, for the purposes of learning and seeking it from those whose work they have seen and respect, then there is no difficulty. It should be a two way process though.
    The thing with unsolicited online criticism is that often it can be from anonymous sources that are not skilled themselves and don’t provide links to their own work, to gauge whether they have the right to say anything good or bad about your work in the first place.
    Personally I don’t ask and I don’t allow negative comments to get to me unless the commenter is prepared to show me their work for similar treatment.

  6. This is such a thought provoking post. I’m a photographer (not of your caliber) and a writer. I’ve recently been engaged in online and in person conversations regarding book reviews. I actually blogged about it last night. I write reviews when I loved a book because I want everyone to know the joy of that book. If I didn’t love a book, I might rate it (stars) but I won’t write about it. This is a distinction I make because my opinion may not be relevant to others who don’t know me.
    Regarding photography or other visual arts, I don’t feel knowledgeable enough to provide constructive feedback to the artist. I will comment if the art made me stop to marvel because I think validation is important.

    1. That is an interesting point you’re making.
      Giving validity really is important to photographer or artist as a proof of a good job.

      Another thing is you also show that there is something that I forgot to wrote. Critique mostly define a negative term. And yet it’s not always that. Even a good description can also be called critique. It basically what you’re doing when reviewing a book you like.
      Thank you for remind me of that.

  7. Could you please give “Actual Critic” to some of my work? I said some since I do not want to trouble you a lot. I really want to improve, help me.

  8. I think critiques should be tone dependent based on intent, subject natter,
    and the individual – I mean really what if anything positive could be said
    about Trump?

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