The New Trend in Unwanted Critique

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GFX50S 23mm

Happy New Year and let’s start with a bang !

The images in this post have nothing to do with the post but are just added to give you something to look at whilst reading my semi rant !

Back in 2014 I wrote a blog post about Critique and to save you all searching here it is 2014 Blog Post  I am not even going to read it before I write this post because I know roughly what it says and not a lot has changed since then, people with little or know skill or knowledge feel the need to Critique other people’s work for various diferent reasons.

To be honest Facebook and Social media is rife with opinion and critique and bullys.

I always said I have never ever seen a professional photographer ever give unwanted Critique online or in an open forum as they have better things to do and would not lower themselves to be that person.

I am talking about unwanted and negative Critique on images posted by individuals or companies on social media or the internet.  If someone posts an image in and open forum and asks for constructive Critique that is a completely different matter and I am not going to cover that today.

Yesterday that all changed, a company I work for posted one of my images on their social media page and two people decided to question why the company would post such an image and gave their reasons why they thought the image should not be posted !

The first guy fits right into the Pets and Fruit Category from my first blog post and even got his wife to like his comment. A very quick look as his facebook page revealed the obvious, completely poor imagery that was out of focus blurry and to a very low standard. So that just made me laugh as his knowledge of what makes a great image was limited, and he just fell into the category of Keyboard Warrior.


However the second guy I had thrown out of a group before due to his constant unwanted Critique on other peoples images and his non stop bad behaviour another Keyboard Warrior but this time with a difference.

I had looked this guy up before and I think he had won an award at some point and was now a Professional Photographer who has worked for some big names in the industry and was able to name drop quite a lot on his website.

His facebook header image however had a wonky horizon and his images were mostly quite average. He did have some quite nice images but there was not much personality in his work with a large quantity of Landscapes were achievable by anybody with a decent camera and some time on there hands a few good books and the right locations and perfect weather conditions and a knowledge of composition, what I would call a template shot.

He was however in the past a teacher ( in another field) so has been teaching photography for for the last few years.

So why does this guy feel the need to run other people down and also run down my images on a corporate facebook page ?

Well I challenged him on the page and in the end he deleted his comments and so did the other Keyboard Worrier ! I guess it’s easy to drop a comment in to a thread so its seen by the audience and then run away when challenged  !

What was said in the thread was really irrelevant, but it got me talking to my friends and this always comes back to one thing. A lot of people say it’s just jealousy ! I don’t think it is I think there is far much more to it than that these days, I think these people are trying to play games with the big brands and cause some controversy or try to get elevate their profiles, or just get noticed for being a complete negative arse in an open foram. Over the course of 2017 there have been so many people bad mouthing each other and bad mouthing big brands to get themselves noticed it’s becoming a thing.

I was brought up with this saying ringing in my ears ” if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” as I got older I just added this  “if you do speak be constructive and offer real world solutions and dont be negative”.

I teach workshops on learning to see in Photography and everyone comes away with their eyes opened to where they are in their photography journy and can go off to produce better work and get stuck in to a project. I don’t get them in a classroom and tear their work apart. Teaching people what makes a great image and learning to see a great image is not always possible, as with anything in life we all have certain gifts or skills but one thing is for sure people need to learn from professionals not Mr Pets and Fruit or Mr I dont want them to be better than me.

The internet has become a place where everyone feels the need to say what’s in their head without thinking most of the time. I fear there is now a new bread of people that feel the only way to get anywhere in life is to run the people around them down  to make themselves look good or highlight themselves. The photography industry has always been a bit bitchy for some reason but some of these people are taking things to a whole new level. I think its because it’s quite a small industry and as the years go by there are less and less opportunities out there but more and more people with a camera !

The worst part of this behavior from Keyboard warriors is they scare people off from taking pictures or teach them the wrong way to review and look at their work and that’s quite sad.

As for this profesional who made the comments about my image ! Well he is not alone I see on twitter there have been some quite nasty comments towards rising stars in the industry and they really do make themselves look like a bunch of jelous arseholes ! The other week there was a whole bunch of Landscape Photographers bitching and backstabbing about  Thomas Heaton most of them teach workshops and have also won 1 competition at some point ! It did bring back memories to my own journey, I had plenty of that behavior and still get a bit as yesterday showed, luckily I was warned it would happen !  Thomas even made a youtube video about some of his Trolls.

The point is its not big and it’s not clever as a Professional to behave like a jealous child. Thomas puts a lot of time and effort in to his youtube channel and I for one find it quite refreshing and wish him all the best as I do all the new talent in the industry.

I have been around long enough not to really care about these people but I will always have my say when they rear their ugley heads because I believe I should put them back in their box.

My advice to anyone out there that gets unwanted Critique feel free to copy and paste the link to my original post in a comment thread or even this one. Ignore any unwanted critique as no one that gives unwanted critique is doing it for the right reasons they are just doing it for some strange power trip or to cause upset or some other strange  reason or to big themselves up and draw attention to themselves ! Trust me people in the industry see them for what they are so it does them no good. The odd one slips through the net but its rare.

Always remember its is always about the Image a great image is always what makes a photographer and so is a great body of work so ignore the noise and get out their and shoot.

Happy New Year to you all….


GFXs 23mm




South Liverpool Photographic Society

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I was asked to speak about a year ago at the South Liverpool Photographic Society, I said yes due to the fact it was not that far from my home and I had heard great things about these guys.

I went along to one of the club nights to see how things worked and was very impressed with the set up and how friendly the guys were.


I found out its one of the largest groups in the UK and that they were also very interested in having a digital and print based talk. I also managed to get a a few of the latest Fujifilm Digital Cameras to take along for the guys to try out. I think they were quite shocked that those little cameras could create such huge images !  Jane came with me and did over hear one guy say ” that’s it I am going mirrorless” always music to my ears.


I love talking to people with prints, it makes it feel more real ! Hope that makes sense !

I think we should all print our work and one of the best things about this club was the people handing there work in for judging in print form. I look back at all the great images of my past and it brings back so many memories. My mum has a massive draw of memories of her childhood and I have the same hundreds of black and white images and a few colour. I do wonder what our children will have in the future !


This was one of my last talks of 2014, I only have one workshop left so looking forward to a wind down for Christmas. I would like to thank Bert and all the guys at SLPS for making my evening a memorable one and for listening to my passionate talk on black and white.

If you are thinking about joining a club and live in Liverpool this is the one to join.