Oxford School of Photography

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Daily Archives: July 19, 2013

How to Get Genuine Feedback On Your Photographs

In many of our courses we set up a blog site where students upload their assignment images. This is to allow us to see progress but also to enable the students in a particular group to interact and comment on each others’ pictures. This is universally seen as a really good process, everyone wants feedback and getting it from your peers who understand what you are trying to achieve is hugely valuable. There are many online sites where you can upload your pictures for comment but these often become very anodyne and the process is one of mutual back slapping. The nice people at Lightstalking have also recognised this as a problem and have introduced The Shark Tank, the name is much scarier than the experience. Once a member of Lightstalking, which is free, you can upload your pictures for constructive criticism, I have looked at the early images and commenters and it is hardly a Shark Tank but I am sure it is useful. Here is what they say about the Shark Tank

When you start getting into photography, it’s very easy to get swept up in the awesomeness and friendliness of the online photography community. People love sharing photos online in places like Flickr and 500px, commenting on websites about how much they love each other’s photographs and getting that instant satisfaction that community and encouragement brings. And that is great.

But there’s also a slight problem with how this has evolved. You see, online there is a very strong convention steeped in manners and not offending people that is very easy to see reflected in photography communities. In many cases, this is a necessary thing to avoid communities devolving into a home to online sociopaths and trolling. And that’s fair enough, but it makes it difficult to get genuine feedback on your photography……

Welcome to the Shark Tank

It’s a problem we have been thinking about for a while at Light Stalking and this is what we have come up with.

We have built a specific sub-forum in Light Stalking called The Shark Tank.

Here’s how it’s going to be:

  1. Only Constructive Negative Feedback Is Allowed – This forum is ONLY for constructive negative feedback. All positive comments will be deleted (see the note below).
  2. A Spirit of Camaraderie and Humour is Essential – We’re all in this together and things can obviously easily get heated if we don’t all approach it in the spirit in which it was intended. Reading this forum with a smile on your face is highly recommended!
  3. A Thick Skin is Essential – It can be tough hearing negative feedback about your images. But remember, we are restricting people – they are NOT ALLOWED to post positive feedback so do not take their negative critique personally. Take their feedback in the friendly manner it is intended.
  4. Give to Receive – If you want critiques on your own photographs, make sure you offer your constructive ideas on other people’s work too.  
  5. You would benefit from seeing images and reading comments but you would get much more out of the process by getting involved so go and have a look.

Click Here: How to Get Genuine Feedback On Your Photographs