Are we getting the most out of TE?

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  • Re: Are we getting the most out of TE?
    Hi Jorge. Point taken about the guys who post but don't critique.

    Anyway, a BIG "congraulations!" from me in celebration of your new arrival. I haven't got any kids myself but I know the joy they bring to the friends and family I have. You must be thrilled. friend of my wife and I have a beautiful daughter called hope (I have a couple of photos of her on TrekLens). She's just turned 1 year old and she is now walking and starting to make proper words. I said, "just wait 'til she starts bringing boys home". He went very quiet!!

    Take care. Very best wishes, Paul.
  • Re: Are we getting the most out of TE?
    Hi again Paul! Well, there are some great contributions in the thread, with which I agree mostly, and I think Will is absolutely right as you point out. As for creating a website, it's easy if you know how, but very time-consuming if you're starting (I know by experience...). So, another suggestion is to use the simpler tools of the internet: photoblogs, flickr and the like. That allows you to upload without messing around with html, javascript, bandwidth, etc., so that you concentrate your efforts on photography.
    Good luck in whatever you do! And don't get too anxious with styles: it will come when it has to.
    Take care,
  • Re: Are we getting the most out of TE?
    Hi Paul,

    Loved reading this thread (and incidentally I am also a big Rush fan - Geddy Lee was my hero growing up. I played in a cover band for a few years and we used to open with 2112 and La Villa Strangiato and then work our way into Limelight)

    <u>Bottom line for me:</u> Improving TE is a matter of contributing as much as I am able but not necessarily expecting others to reciprocate - sort of an unconditional love :) I participate in a few other sites that use separate sections for critiquing and themes as you have suggested but to be honest I haven't observed that they are any better than TE. In fact, TE has proven to be the best of them for me overall for critiques although...

    I agree whole-heartedly with David in that we can't put too much expectation on TE itself. I came to TE with the usual newcomer excitement and slowly started to feel let down - only because I expected too much at the onset. I've tried to give the best critiques I can although I feel quite lacking in qualifications. That is why you'll see a lot of "validity wording" such as 'in my opinion' or 'to my eye' in my critique attempts. Over the past several months I have found a fairly small group of people on TE upon whom I feel I can count for thought-out, honest critiques but so far the vibrant artistic and academic discussion I seek seems mostly to have eluded me. Personally, I think that a good deal of the critiquing on TE has become simply rote praise among virtual colleagues and overall not quite what I am seeking. Even the most accomplished landscape photographers can and do discuss improvements that might have been considered for each other's images. I'm not afraid to engage in this type critiquing but I often find myself in the minority if not completely alone. It is far worse on other sites though. Now, to be fair, not everyone is looking for that level of discussion and the only place I have truly found it is in photography courses I have taken.

    The statistics that actually mean something to me on TE have to do with the number of critiques I have given and the number of people who have ticked them as being "useful". To that end I have been a bit disappointed (~38% useful). Also of interest is the number of views of an image as compared to the number of critiques. I believe that a majority of the viewers who choose not to critique a viewed image are doing so because the larger photo ends up not interesting them. However, I see very few instances of people actually trying to explain in words what shortcomings in the image might be making them feel that way. Over the past 2-3 months I actually marked anyone's feedback as useful simply for their having taken the time to offer a critique of my images. I'm not a prolific workshop poster as I am not yet good enough with PP but I've had a go here and there when there was something I thought I could add. I also try to go to the 'orphan images' section occasionally to see if I can offer advice. Honestly, I find that spending too much time critiquing on TE does not meet cost/benefit for me and, if the stats are to be believed, by others either. I still owe it to the members but I'll probably never be one to max out my points allocations for a single day.

    For me the best way to pursue my intent to improve in photography (and I <i>think</i> I am improving) has been to focus on shooting more and augment that with various forms of education. One bit is learning from the images I enjoy on sites like TE and ePhotozine. However, I also subscribe to online courses at and read anything and everything I can get my hands on. I'm looking at going on a workshop or two this year as well to take things to the next level. I may even consider some more formal training in the coming year or two but we'll see.

    I agree fully with the sentiment about trying to improve TE but I'm not sure there is anything more that can be achieved from a single online site. That said I'm always interested in the ideas of those more clever than myself.

    Looking forward to seeing more images from all of you over the coming year.

    Happiest of New Years to you all!

    Bob G.
  • Re: Are we getting the most out of TE?
    Hi Bob,

    I never played "professionally" but did play drums in a band after leaving school. We did a few gigs here and there - great fun. My "hero" is Neil Peart - not just because he's the best rock drummer ever (IMO) but because he's handled his misfortunes with a degree of dignity you don't generally see in celebrity circles. I've seen them 11/12 times and will continue to do so until they stop touring.

    I see TE as greater than the sum of its parts. However, my concern is that there's a lot of meaningless critiquing going on. My suggestions (and that's all they are) are aimed at possibly reducing the amount of critiques but increasing their quality.

    Bottom line, for me, is that the site is pretty damned good as it is and I suppose I'm just frustrated that I don't believe my latest shots are that much better than my first ones. As I mentioned earlier, at the point I joined, I'd been taking photos (occasionally official weddings and portraits for family and friends) for 30 years - so maybe I've just reached my level.....?

    I recently joined RangeFinderForum - as I'm not overly familiar with the M6 yet and they have forums / galleries where people specifically request critiques. The main galleries are there for viewing and the level of comments / critiques is pretty low from what I can see. I wondered if a similar approach would work on TE. After all, there's no prizes for points.

    Take care and Roll the Bones..........
  • Re: Are we getting the most out of TE?
    Hi Bob,

    I agree with most of the points you make here.
    To me TE has always been and still is a place that bring great interest because of its "mission" => being
    1/ learning about the WORLD through photography
    2/ learning about photography through constructive notes or critiques.
    As long as these points are observed by members, TE will deserve its success.

    But in my point of view, TE lacks som control to make sure that members respect at leat one of those points.

    I am quite fed up with posts that do not bring anything to the community. The number of those is dramatically increasing.
    I don't post all the pic that I take and when I take photos I don't think of how it would be TE.

    I trully think TE deserves a minimum of quality check on members side. For my part, I post when I feel my pic is "good enough" to be posted here(obviously not perfect but not crappy, meaning no clear subject, nor composition effort, etc. => when I see pics like this on TE I won't bother writing a critique for sure!) and that I have something to tell through it. A story. For sure some pic tell it all but they are rare.

    Propositions (just ideas):
    - I would make mandatory the note part for each post.
    - I would impede posting critique with less than 10 words.
    - I would erase of TE pics that don't fit TE rules (I remember a time, not so far, where controls were more strict and numerous).

    Btw, I don't mind about points, I mind about critiques and comments => a slightly different approach shared by many of us ;0)

    Best wishes to all for 2008!

  • Re: Are we getting the most out of TE?
    Hi Will

    Please let me know the names of the favourites that have left recently.


  • Re: Are we getting the most out of TE?
    Hi Pris,

    "- I would make mandatory the note part for each post.
    - I would impede posting critique with less than 10 words.
    - I would erase of TE pics that don't fit TE rules (I remember a time, not so far, where controls were more strict and numerous)"

    I agree. These ought to be fairly easily put into place with the possible exception of the great amount of TOS interpretation that takes place. I'm still not sure if this alone will help me learn more on TE - which is pretty much what my selfish motivation is.

    In the continued spirit of brainstorming (although mine is usually more like a drizzle) it might be nice to have the capability to have a "TE lightbox" option of sorts. What I mean by this is possibly along the lines of what Paul was thinking. Say we have a separate space to post a certain number of images outside the normal TE daily gallery. Then we could invite a few other TE members to post images based on a theme or some such creative, time-bound "assignment". Obviously given the constraints these assigned images aren't usually expected to be stunners so they are only temporarily held in the lightbox area for group critique/comment. If someone really nails it they can always post their lightbox image to the main gallery for open critique or else they age off from the lightbox after a given period. This approach can be a great learning experience and might help get the creative juices flowing. This is how online courses work at some of the sites I use and it really is fun and quite a good learning tool.

    Just a thought and quite probably something the administrators would never consider.

    I love the smell of points in the morning - smells like, victory.


    Bob G.
  • Re: Are we getting the most out of TE?
    I agree with most of what you say, Pris.

    One of my frustrations are photos with no 'note' - especially where the 'story' being told isn't obvious and/or the shot is on the margins of what would normally be accepted on TE / maybe should have been posted to TL. It's not a univeral truism, though. There are some photos where the image really does do the talking and I accept that there are language issues - some of which can' be easily resolved.

    I certainly don't post all my photos on TE but I got so hooked into the site that I've found myself shooting for TE - which is a bit worrying. For the future, I've decided to shoot what I want / what I like and, if it fits TE - then fine. If not, fine!

    Best wishes to one and all for a happy and prosperous 2008 onwards...

  • Re: Are we getting the most out of TE?
    Hi Bob.

    Like your "braindrizzle".

    Admins would obviously have to look after everyone's interests but, as you say, a critiquing gallery (or "Lightbox") might be a good way to avoid the necessity to have to award points and still critique - or be used as a "holding area" before being filtered into the main TE gallery.

    Having said that, I wouldn't like to promote anything that restricts personal expression or acts in any way as censorship of the thought / creative process.

    I'm pretty happy with the way the sire runs right now but it would be interesting to see the admins 'police' the site a little more rigorously - especially when it comes to notes and critiques.

    Best wishes, Paul.