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Old Comments:

2010-08-21 20:25:23
Stevedog36, I am not particularly fond of this photo, however it is the subject rather than the technique that turns me off. I think that the technique of a sharp focus on the subject and blurring the background is great. In the past, using film, we had to use a very wide aperature in order to narrow the focal field to achieve this. Now days there are a lot of ways to do it through digital manipulation. And a number of programs or plugins designed just for this task. One thing that I have been experimenting with is to use a portable "green screen" that can be placed behind the photo. Later on the resulting green background can be quickly removed and replaced by a background of my choice such as a brick or stone wall. Another technique, that I find good with flowers, is to photograph at night using a flash. The effective range of the flash is quite short and if background elements are out of it's reach they disappear and the entire background becomes black. There have been a couple of flower photos uploaded to Pixdaus real recently that apparently used this technique. I don't find Pixdaus a particularly good place to get feedback, however. Most of the Pixdaus users are not photographers themselves and are more inclined to evaluate photos based on their particular area of interest instead of the photographic technique. Just take a lot of photos, experiment with the techniques that interest you and then get feedback from wherever you can. But don't get to sensitive, what you like matters a lot more than what anybody else likes.
2010-08-21 19:20:29
For what it's worth, I love this photo. I've never seen such dramatic color contrast, but nature is forever offering up the most dramatic surprises.
2010-08-21 15:34:58
You're a good sport stevedog36 ;-)
2010-08-21 10:57:09
Thanks everyone for your comments. I agree with you Connie, as to why people use aliases when they post comments. I think that's a shame that people have to hide their identity out of fear of being downvoted. As for criticism of my photos, if I didn't want them analyzed and criticized, I wouldn't post them at all. I like to be criticized because it helps me learn. I guess I just got a bit defensive because there are a lot of users who just downvote and leave rude comments out of spite, which is silly to me. I always welcome peoples opinions on what I post and thanks to this thread, I have learned a lot.
2010-08-21 09:51:37
You didn't cause any ruckous; your critique was exactly how it's supposed to be done. It's just that folks on Pixdaus are not used to have their own photos criticized. That may be because the criticisms are generally from folks who know little about photography...provide negative comments that are not backed up with reasons...not constructive criticism etc. I have posted some photos similar to what stevedog did - where the background is blurred. I like it if it's macro photography to show, for example, insects or marine life. The background in underwater photography in particular can be too busy and/or 'messy'. By blurring the background, it allows the eye to see for example, the colour details of fish, nudibranch...etc. But, some do that type of photography with any shots any subjects, and I don't particularly like that - especially if it's overdone. The background blurring does not enhance the subject. It just makes the photo look like it's out of focus. The same can be said with HDR. Some photographers go overboard and saturate with colours so much that it looks really amateurish and bizarre. But, when it's well done and the photographer really knows what he's trying to achieve, then that technique served its purpose - a lovely photo. Most folks on Pixdaus, including me, post photos we find on the web - not our work. So, we don't see all those places. A former co-worker of mine grows orchids at his home here in Vancouver. He's actively involved with some Orchid group.
2010-08-21 09:20:51
Thanks for the information and advice. I never would have used that trigger word had I known the response. I never intended any of the comments to be aimed at Stevedog's photo, per se, but at the mode used. I'd love to see the whole picture in focus. Stevedog's and Skip's comments were the only one's I took seriously and were appropriate. I never meant to imply that Stevedog was hostile at any time. My last paragraph above was intended to mean that people like Stevedog ask what is intended before taking action unlike the others. I know there are many others who must love this sort of photography. Alien SKin, who makes Photoshop plugins, has been constantly trying to get me to buy their Bokeh program which does exactly what Stevedog's picture shows and now they're on Bokeh2. Their programs are not cheap so I assume that the effect must have some popularity among photographers and artists. I have other Alien Skin plugins and Foto FX plugins which are great. But this effect just annoys me so much; it must be something basic. I'm sorry to have caused such a ruckous but I think some good things have come out of this too. I know I've learned a lot.
2010-08-21 08:35:02
v_coerulea-cezanne I don't think that your comment was hostile at all. You gave a sound argument of why you detested this type of photo. Perhaps dislike might have been a better word; detest could be seen as a 'trigger' word, especially because we can't communicate in person (facial expressions) or on the phone (tone of voice). You also gave a reason... constructive criticism. Moderator's response to stevedog was fair. This is a photo site and thus constructive criticism should and must be part of it - if it's to be credible. But, this has always been a problem on Pixdaus. Folks have to use different names to do constructive criticism, otherwise their uploads get voted down, or they get attacked via the comments. As for moderator's comment to Cezanne, it was a funny response to a stupid comment. At least, I found it funny. Mind you, I see humour in everything ;-) STEVEDOG You saw v_coerulea-cezanne's comment as hostile and him being annoyed. I did not read any hostility or annoyance in his/her comment. The critique was what it should be (perhaps avoiding the word detest). I have posted photos on Pixdaus from my trip to France - they all get shot down. I don't mind that, but a constructive critique would have been appreciated - negative or positive. We should not post our own photos or other's unless we're prepared for a critique.
2010-08-21 02:13:55
Thank you for a more detailed response. I don't claim to be a professional... Never have. So, I think this site is a great way to learn the ins and outs of nature photography. I just think that there are ways to criticize someones work with using words like "annoyed" and "detest". That has the tendency, In my opinion, to create a toxic environment. There are no hard feelings, I guess we can both learn from this interaction!
2010-08-21 01:11:37
The person using the name 'moderator' is not the moderator and has no formal or official status here. I appreciate your desire to have a rational discussion of the formal and technical elements that constitute a good photograph, but must caution you that the atmosphere on this site is quite toxic and even the most innocent and innocuous comments are apt to provoke a hostile response. That said, I thought Stevedog's response to your initial comment was quite mild and it's difficult for me to understand how it could be construed as hostile.
2010-08-21 00:42:23
Stevedog36, I glad you responded to my comment. I like your photography it's the particular mode that I don't like. I would have said that to any picture in that mode, yours just happened to be there. I meant the comments to be constructive and explain why I don't like that type of photo. I agree with Skip in that the blurred effect can be very effective in producing a dreamy look but I usually associate that with a larger scene, not landscape but a more restricted view. I haven't seen much back-patting here so I assumed that constructive criticism was the mode. None of my criticisms were ever meant to be negative. I'm not a photographer per se but I do take photos of some of the orchids I grow. I also paint and build computers. I enjoy using Photoshop and Painter. I like viewing pictures on Pixdaus because it has a lot of pictures from places I know I'll never see and a lot of nice art. My spine has been total rebuilt and, while I can walk some, it is very painful. I'd love to be able to get around to take pictures like some I see on this site. I view this site and vote regularly. But now I can see from the more vocal members of this group that they can only say "shut up" and then stick their heads in their pants including the moderator (I assume the member listed as "moderator" is the moderator). I think I can find another site to view where members ask (like Stevedog36) before turning hostile.
2010-08-20 14:32:07
You shut up and quit telling stevedog what to do. You post your own hotos - whatever they are.
2010-08-20 13:43:57
Stevedog36 you have posted some wonderful pics, I really liked this one, and I do like close ups and I like the blurred effect sometimes because it gives an artistic or dreamy look. I'm not sure you are getting constructive criticism from v_corulea cezanne, since every time I see a comment from him, it's negative.
2010-08-20 13:37:33
That's correct. You have a right to sound like Little Miss Prissy Pants, and you've done so. Now shut up and post some hotos.
2010-08-20 13:05:25
I understand this... I don't need to be reminded of what I already said from someone who has never posted a picture to this site, never voted, or doesn't even have the balls to use their real user name if they are a regular visitor. Post some of your own photos, since you seem to be such an expert on the subject, so we can learn from you.
2010-08-20 12:55:12
This is a photo site, so a person has the right to do a critique on the photos that get posted, that's what photo sites do. Cezanne, go find yourself a goat.
2010-08-20 09:31:09
VCC is obviously not getting laid often enough.
2010-08-20 09:07:28
I don't understand the hostility... I post my pictures on here for fun. I am an amateur photographer and am just trying to learn. I appreciate the constructive criticism, but why are you so annoyed? If something as simple as this really ruins your day, I feel bad for you!
2010-08-20 08:42:28
I really detest (for the most part) the trend in photography where the artist feels the need to focus for me on what he/she feels is the most important part of the composition. Here, instead of the perfectly wonderful dozen or so coneflowers, I get to see 1 in focus. To me, this method robs the viewer of the chance to decide for him/herself what is the most important part and, indeed, whether the whole composition is remarkable. I think the photographer gets the chance to present what is important by using the whole set of tools at his/her disposal in the presentation. But this method takes away the final decision and all the fun of viewing the work. Finally, in my opinion, out-of-focus work is extremely annoying, and when it's intentional it is even more so.