Thursday, September 1, 2011

Online critiquing is all a joke

Yesterday was a busy day on Google+. Oh yeah I was able to join Google+ (since it is still on an invitational base only) and I love it.

Somebody in my circles posted a question 'Does owning a camera makes you a photographer and does being a photographer means you need to have the skills and resources to efficiently document others lives?' I had to chime in. Because I do have an opinion about this. SO I reposted the question on my page and we got a decent discussion going.

And then I saw the invite to join Scott Jarvie's and Colby Brown's online real-time critiquing event. So I joined that. Both Scott and Colby are masters in what they do. Both are full-time professional photographers. Scott shoots people (well that's what his Google+ account says) and Colby is a landscape photographer. It was a very interesting event. I could find myself mostly in the well formed arguments when they found something good or bad. But here was the eye opener for me. When they where done critiquing, they invited everyone on the feed to post a link to some of their work and they would randomly pick some and critique those. The guys got bombarded with links (so I guess people really need the criticism). The pictures where far from spectacular. And the critiques where very polite to say the least.

That got me thinking and after some googling I bounced onto this link.

http://www.petapixel.com/2011/07/13/why-you-shouldnt-give-too-much-weight-to-anonymous-online-critics/

When I read the criticism on this picture it gets me so angry and sad that I just wanna hit something. Like serious people. This is one of the great shots by Henri Cartier-Bresson. One of the great masters ever. If you are starting out in photography. Buy a photo book or two. Learn about the masters. Learn about the history of photography. It will widen you horizon and it will make you respect the hard work by photographers today even more.

When I posted the link on my twitter page, Sarah Fischler – who is a landscape photographer herself and who I am following for quite a while now – posted two more links similar to the previous one. Here they are.

http://theonlinephotographer.blogspot.com/2006/06/great-photographers-on-internet.html http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/11/great-photographers-on-the-internet-part-ii.html

This just makes me even more sad. What are these people thinking? Who do they even think they are?
I'm just glad I did my time at art school. Studying the greats in painting, art, architecture, etc. And then doing it all again in photo school and study all the great masters.