There is now a website that lets you get (and give!) honest feedback on photographs

Oct 2, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

There is now a website that lets you get (and give!) honest feedback on photographs

Oct 2, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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This is quite an interesting idea. ARS is a new platform which allows you to give and receive critique on photos completely anonymously. Created by Eric Kim, the system is designed to help photographers get some genuine feedback without all the smoke blowing and fluff we often see on platforms such as Facebook.

When identities are public, many who respond to images will say something nice just to avoid the risk of offending, than to say what they really think of an image. With the identities of the photographer and the commenter removed, people can say what they really feel.

ARS is an online photography feedback platform driven by giving and receiving honest and constructive critiques. Through the clean and minimalist interface, photographers can develop their visual acuity through uploading their own photos, viewing photographs and contributing constructive critiques to others.

ARS is a revolution in photo sharing. Photos and critiques are distributed to the user base anonymously and randomly. ARS disrupts the current monopoly in photography held by advertisement driven social media platforms (Instagram-Facebook) with a fair, decentralized, and anonymous algorithm. No more popularity contests and superficial ‘likes’ that homogenize art production and feedback.
You

ARS relies on YOU to change the future of photography. Upload your photos to ARS and start critiquing photos. ARS encourages artistic experimentation. Use ARS as a visual testing ground in order to share new visual imagery and develop your portfolio.

It’s a very cool idea, in theory. I love the concept. But…

It does open the door to potential trolls. Some people on Facebook and other less anonymous platforms really don’t care whether they offend others or not. Many of those types of people thrive on anonymity because they hide behind fake usernames on those platforms. They’ll relish the opportunity to be able to do it on a platform that’s anonymous by design.

And even if the critiques on your images are sincere, you have no idea how much weight or importance you should apply to those comments. You’ve no idea who’s left them, you’ve no idea how much experience they have themselves, what their own work is like, whether they understand the value of context – the same image would receive two very different responses if it were a simple portrait vs for a magazine cover, as one example.

The platform is currently in beta and is now version 2. Kim and his team are also working towards Version 3 as well as a mobile app. You can find out more on ARSBeta or on Eric Kim’s website.

If they’re taking name suggestions for the mobile version, my vote goes to “Smart ARS”.

[via DPReview]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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4 responses to “There is now a website that lets you get (and give!) honest feedback on photographs”

  1. Roy Bridgewood Avatar
    Roy Bridgewood

    Arse beater? Is that a wind up

  2. Huge Dom Avatar
    Huge Dom

    I’m in a few fb cc groups and from my experience is the other way around. People are very good at pointing out the negatives and have zero reverse about offending anyone. As a matter of fact, they say think skin is required as a photographer cause if you can’t handle fellow comments online, just wait until you meet tough clients in real life. The only thing is critics also don’t offer any real and meaningful suggestions to improve which I think this website would be too.

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      I’ve never felt it was somebody else’s responsibility to tell us how to improve and fix what they see as being the problem with the image. Especially if we don’t necessarily agree on what the problem with an image is, or if it is even a problem (it’s all highly subjective a lot of the time).

      Let somebody tell me what they think is wrong with my work. If I agree, I should be able to figure out how to correct it myself. If somebody else hand holds me through how to fix it without me actually understanding how and why “the fix” works, what am I really learning?

  3. mark Avatar
    mark

    Also one of the things I have noticed is that you get a lot of idiots who think that “Yes” or “No” is a critique or other 1 word comments. I have been thinking about how to get past this and its a difficult one. I was thinking about a 5 word minimum critique (bit like reverse twitter) but then someone could just copy and paste NO 5 times. I don’t think this idea will be successful in the long run. Not because its not a good idea, but because people will spoil it.