One of the main reasons why I join photo communities like Ipernity is to learn from others. I can learn simply from looking at other peoples work but I also think that CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is important and would help me to understand how I can improve.

When I first took up photography numpty seven years ago I joined a camera club or photographic society. Each week we had to produce a mounted print for review and criticism by the other members. The criticisms were meant to be helpful but could, on occasions, be quite hurtful. But I learnt.

Later, when my work had improved, I entered competitions. It was great when I did well but I learnt more when my work was criticized and I understood why. When my work was described as crap (and it was a few times), it hurt. But, as long as I knew why it was considered crap I could take that on board and improve. It was a tough school but it helped me.

Ipernity, like other sites, allows and encourages comments. Almost all comments are complimentary, even flattering. I’ve very rarely seen a critical comment. Complimetary comments are very nice to get and I’m always grateful that someone has bothered but I refuse to believe that all my images are wonderful and without fault.

I do appreciate that we each take and post photos for different reasons and many people have no desire to take better photos but are happy to post their images and make new friends through their photos. That’s perfectly OK with me and indeed I have made many such friends here. I wouldn’t dream of giving unwanted criticism to such friends unless I was asked.

So, at last, we get to the point of this article. Does anyone else think like I do and would welcome CONSTRUCTIVE criticism? I’d really like to know. For my part, please take this article as an invitation to criticize my work. If you don’t think it’s good then tell me and tell me why you think that. I might sulk for a few seconds but I’ll appreciate your comments take them on board. Maybe we could get a little group of consenting photographers going where we critique each other’s work. I promise I will never call your work crap.

What do you think?