... this is a CRITIQUE forum, which means users should be expected, and deserve, honest and useful feedback. It is not a simple show-n-tell forum where such feedback may not be appropriate. The forum title clearly reads "User's Critique. People should be posting photos here to get feedback to help improve future attempts.
And when commenting, nobody learns a thing with responses such as "I like this" or "good job". That is shallow and useless pandering which offers nothing of substance. Does anyone really think they're helping by such responses? Really? If you like an image, tell the photographer WHY you like it. Share your feelings and reactions. If you don't much care for a photo, be supportive yet honest. Respectfully offer suggestions on how you think it could have been improved during the shoot, and how it might be improved in post, but do so within the confines of the image itself. The original photog saw something worthwhile in the scene they photographed, and we need to respect that vision. That does not mean, however, that there may not be room for improvement.
I am in total agreement, and have stated similarly in this forum.
In particular, the "WHY" part is key. Those who are genuinely interested in receiving constructive feedbacks for improvement should be open minded and thick skinned. (I blame all my life's failings on my teachers who had not been harsh enough ) For them (perhaps not too many here), I believe that a good critic bears the responsibility to spend time and effort to view the submitted work in detail and provide the best honest comments possible, however subjective, as long as they are supported by "WHYs". As a critic, but not as a teacher, I do not expect that my comments to be agreed, or valued by everyone.
In my web design critiques, I try to provide objective and subjective "WHYs" when possible. The objective "WHYs" would include misspells, broken links, etc., and the subjective "WHYs" would express my personal feelings such as background colors, ease of navigation, etc. The same should apply to image critiques.
Why am I doing this? Aside from helping the critique requesters, I have a few vested interests.
- I happen to believe that if I cannot explain "WHY" I like or dislike a piece of work, I ultimately do not understand it. This apply to my own work. If I can't tell why, I can't expect others to. Forcing myself to come up with answers is really learning about appreciation or lack there of. Besides, it gives me something "insightful" to chat about when attending receptions, etc.
- Critiquing others' work is a great way to improve my own. They remind me how I can apply what I like and how to avoid what I don't like. Whenever I view an image, here or elsewhere, that is within the same genre that I shoot, I would ask myself how I would shoot it given the same opportunity, and WHY. Often, I would come up with something different, in composition, exposure, etc. In my critiques, I would offer such comments. Subconsciously, I file these away, and may apply them when simular opportunites should indeed come along.
- Lastly, I learn to appreciate photography critigue books a whole lot more. A few of these books have taught me far more than the dozens of techniques books combined.