Tag Archives: Masai Mara

Provide feedback

Dear all,

After connecting and sharing, providing meaningful feedback is the next step, and there’s a few things about providing feedback. First of all there’s the person who provides the feedback and secondly there’s the way of providing feedback. I recently also read a great article by Scott Bourne on this with which I couldn’t agree more: Pedantry is the enemy of great photography.

So, when it comes to the person who provides the feedback, ignore the ones whose work is not out there and whom do nothing but breaking down your picture, they belong to the category of pedantics being described in the mentioned article, people with all the textbook knowledge, yet not able to think outside the box and contributing zero point zero to the photographic community. On the other hand, there are some great photographers out there who are happy providing constructive feedback, people whose work you admire and it’s their inputs you want to get.

Constructive feedback is about catching somebody doing something right, a basic rule of management that can also be applied to photography. While providing feedback, focus on actual ways to improve a shot, on helping people to better capture their vision on the sensor, instead of pointing out what is bad in your opinion and according to the great book of photography.

Let me illustrate this with the following shot:

Canon 350D, Canon 75-300 mm @ 260 mm, 1/250, f/8, ISO 200

… yes, I know, the tail of the small one is cut off, and some people would go on and on about that, yet that is not the point, good feedback here would be how to better process the picture, … Does it mean I don’t care about the tail? Certainly not! Did I learn from it? Oh yes! Did it prevent me from taking the shot and sharing it? Certainly not! Never stop shooting and sharing because of the pedantics, never ever let them win! A lot of people still like an honnest capture of a great sighting or some great behavior, even if it isn’t perfect. In a way, it takes more guts to get such a shot out than to post that ‘perfect’ shot you got. As wildlife photographers we have to do with the conditions that are given to us and if you are afraid of making mistakes out of fear for criticism, you’ll eventually miss out on the perfect shot as well.

Feedback is about giving and taking. Don’t be paternalistic, provide feedback by suggesting what could be done to improve a shot, up to the creator to take along that piece of advise or not. Make suggestions instead of blank and opinionated statements: you should do this, you should do that, … is helping nobody. ‘The best steersmen are always ashore or ‘Bachelor’s wives’ and maiden’s children are well thought’ are proverbs that don’t apply to the great.

Warm regards and looking forward to your feedback,

Guy

PS: I am about to go on home leave and will not be posting for about a month and I’m already looking forward to get back to you after that.

 

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Dear all,

It has been some time, yet most of you will know I have a good reason for that: Ronja Maj Dekelver joined us on 11/06/2012, and she was born an ace in advanced parent sleep deprivation techniques ;-)

Canon 5D, Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8, f/1.8, 1/400, ISO 320

As for the blog, three weeks ago Stephen Earle provided a great guest blog, which I presume you enjoyed as much as I did. Once again a big thank you Stephen for this great contribution to Pics from the Wild and I hope it also got some extra traffic your way. In my own last post, I talked about connecting and in this blog post, I want to go one step further, since once you are connected, it is in my opinion all about sharing and about taking that mantra a step further than focusing on sharing your own work only.

In that context, I want to say a few words about Google+, which I started exploring a few weeks ago (for those of you on G+, the link to my profile is taken up in the sidebar). What I like about it is that in a short timespan, people took the effort to check out my site and to share some of my shots, in FB f.e. that doesn’t happen too often, I guess the difference lies in the fact that G+ is geared to photographers for photographers. It is also worth noting that you easily reach more people through G+, where I am in 1 month part of more circles than I have followers on FB in the timespan of 1 year! There’s one downside to G+ and that is the fact it takes some time to get your head around sharing meaningfully (there they can learn a thing or 2 from the likes of FaceBook, …). It is well worth cracking the nut though.

All that being said, a great way of sharing in G+ are the themes that are being created/curated. In that context, I have created a theme called Wild Kenya and I welcome those of you with shots portraying the beauty of Kenya (people, wildlife, landscapes, …) to contribute. Mike Gaudar was the first one to contribute and I am sure more great shots are to follow. Just check out the quality of the contributions here, I absolutely love it, so A BIG THANKS to the contributors: Albatros Travel Africa, Barnita’s Photography, Andy Bitterer, Diego Cattaneo, Mike Gaudaur, Robyn Gianni, Russell Johnson, Nicolas Lotsos, Wayne Marinovich, Maggy Meyer, Winston Mitchell, Sandy Schepis, Nicole Sharpe, Gerry van der Walt and myself.

The first G+ Wild Kenya contribution, with a big thanks to Mike Gaudaur

Then, to allow others to share my work, I added a G+ button to all my posts and pages on this site, allowing people to share things they like on their Google+ site without leaving Pics from the Wild.

Here’s one of my recent shots, since of course, besides creating exposure for others it is key you contribute to the community yourself, otherwise people will loose interest!

Canon 7D, Canon 300 mm f/4 L IS USM, 1/1000, f/8, ISO 800

Finally, you may also have noticed that I added a link to my instagram account to the sidebar of the site. Another great way of sharing, much in line with our modern day visual orientation and hence suiting photographers to share bits and pieces of their life and work through the medium they know best. On top of that there are also interesting small competitions going on that can help you big time in getting your work out there: #spectacular_works being one of them, where I got my rhino reflection shot selected amongst the many entries.

I’ll keep it at that for now and look forward to your thoughts.

Warm regards,

Guy