Friday, January 29, 2016

How to Comment on Photos.

A cup of tea with red currants.
All internet-connected citizens share over 1.8 billion photos each day (read more here).
You can upload your photos on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, 500px, photo blogs, and so on.  I’m sure that you feel joy when someone would leave a comment on your photos.
But unfortunately many people don’t know how to comment on photos. 



You could read thousands of comments such as “cool photo” or “awesome”. Are you happy to know that your photo is “nice” or would you like to know what others really think on your images and why? Surely you want to hear something insightful. But remember that other photographers are waiting thoughtful feedback too.

Thoughtful comments could really help the photographer.
Tell about your emotions, express how a photo made you feel. Maybe the image brings memories, or its subject is dear to you too, or you are impressed by the beauty of the image.
As most photographers welcome constructive critique that can help improve their photos you may offer your suggestions.
Keep in mind that sometimes your opinion is just your personal preference; that the “wrong” camera settings could be an artistic decision; that the photographer intentionally broke the rules for some reason. And it’s very important not to be arrogant.

Here’s one of my photos "A cup of tea with red currants". I was happy to receive about 30 comments. Most of them were compliments such as
“Stunning composition and lighting; your gallery sends a lot of good vibrations!” (M.R.)
“Very elegant still life.  I love the splash of red with the currants on the saucer. Beautiful.” (C.B.)
“This is one of those photos that just says “elegance” with elegance.” (C.J.)
“Beautiful color contrasts & serene mood.” (M.W.)

And only one comment had constructive critique.
“Irina, I like as is.
But...
I would dare to suggest you an exercise with same topic.
Rotate yourself or the subject so your direction is about 45 degrees to the lines of the complimentary gorgeous tablecloth (I know it is more like a rug/carpet I don't know the name of it and I know  it can be handmade...).
With the lines directed like that the shot is already compliant with the diagonals, it doesn't look too crowded to the eye  and that helps the subject, the tea cup.
Normally the eye, educated when reading to follow parallel lines, will stick with the lines of that blue rug instead to look at the cup. And you don't want that.
Once you do the rotation, that’s gone. For the cup, get yourself above about half meter and shoot under 45 degree angle, looking down to the cup. Put the currant fruit on the other side so the eyelet of the cup, is balanced geometrically, by the fruit on the other side. Make sure there’s tea in the cup. If you use “Russian samovar” tea, would be better for contrast.
Instead to shoot 1/800 sec (the cup is pretty stable anyway) put the aperture on 16 (or whatever the lens has at max closure). put iso at 100 and if you have a tripod, put the camera on tripod and shoot with something around 1/30 1/60. If you get a longer time, open the aperture a bit, so the time stays shorter of 1/30.
If there's no tripod, improvise. Even a skier stick or even a broom stick will work perfectly if you lean the camera against it.  See how you like it.  I apologize if all this is not to your like (I hope is not the case). Good luck.”  (D.D.)

I do appreciate that other people have noticed my photo among 1.8 billion daily photos on Internet :) I’m grateful for all comments absolutely including positive critique, because I’m fond of learning…

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