April 26, 2018, 12:44:17 AM

Author Topic: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos  (Read 6354 times)

9VIII

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2018, 03:52:56 AM »
OP, are you in a creative rut?  Has your work been consistently panned?

Why else would you believe art is meaningless?  For that is the essence of your C- essay.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

Politely questioning your frame of mind is not a personal attack. A grade of C- isn't a personal attack either.

Several others in this thread have already pointed out the silliness of your original post.

Giving a negative rating to the original post is a personal attack.

Giving any rating at all, positive or negative, is just a tactic to distract from the discussion.

If you aren't kidding, if you truly believe this, then you are half way to solving your issue!  You conflate ratings with personal attacks, so you recoil from ratings.  If you reject ratings, you likely reject many judgements of value, even those which have become the norms of a craft. 

Here's an example.  A car might be painted sufficiently to protect it from rust, but if there are brush marks, thumb prints, bristles trapped in paint, lumps, grapefruit effects, some color smears...Would you say that the paint job is equal to all other paint jobs that protect the car from rust?  Could any paint job be called "better" than such a paint job?

Did you believe grades in schools, if not "A," were personal attacks?

(BTW, I am quite certain you are pulling our legs just to keep a discussion going.)

A school teacher’s job is to critique students, and by attending it is implied that the student is asking for critique.
You are neither a teacher nor is this a school, your posts serve no purpose but to distract from the conversation. Your behavior here is clearly intended to be disruptive.

Even more ironic is that you are conflating things that were clearly defined in the OP.

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2018, 03:52:56 AM »

9VIII

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #46 on: April 16, 2018, 04:25:51 AM »
https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2018/04/10/why-bad-photographers-think-theyre-good

So there’s this video doing the rounds right now, apparently a lot of people think it explains something about the psychology of photographers, and it may, but it doesn’t reveal what most of the commenters posting about it think that it does.
There’s no need to watch the video, the premise of applying the Dunning-Kruger effect to Photography is ludicrous.


From your rant it seems you are conflating two things: competence and affirmation.

Photography is a subjective medium but it still has its technical aspects that you may arrive at by learning or by luck. Which is why you have a boatload of Uncle Bobs who think they can take a photo as good a wedding photo as any professional and cannot understand why a professional charges hundreds or thousands of dollars and tells their family members they are fools to pay it. The difference is that a professional with their technical knowledge is more likely to get you a worthwhile photo irrespective of conditions or location.

Right, and thus in the future the best wedding photographers will be robots.

That's not what people are talking about when they try to apply Dunning-Kruger to photography.
Isn't it? Have you asked them? Which comes back to my point about...what is your point? That the video is wrong or peoples' interpretation of it is wrong?
I am not sure if you don't yourself understand what the D-K effect is about or if you ware saying people critiquing the video don't know.


People seeking affirmation from posting on the internet is a different thing and nothing to do with the Dunning Krueger effect, which is about the person's opinion of their own abilities - I think a lot (most?) of us at some time have critiqued a photo only for the poster to hurl abuse and make it clear that despite posting in the 'critique' section all they want is people to say 'nice shot'.

If you post is criticising people's misunderstanding of the D-K effect, I agree. But that is not what I get from what you wrote. In fact, the original video is nothing to do with 'insecure' photographers but is about 'bad' photographers - two completely different things. So even your own thread title is confusing.

The contention is with the premise of an objective aesthetic style, which fundamentally cannot exist.
In that case it is you missing the point of the video: which makes it interesting that you told people they did not need to watch it, just take your word that your interpretation is correct - in a way is the very embodiment of that the video is about  :o .
The video is about the basic photographic competence which is independent of what the photographer is trying to get across.  Photography, as any art, is about communicating an idea and no matter how subjective the output is, it takes a competence to communicate that. I liken this to Ansel Adams' observation that there is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept: knowing how to get the concept across is about competence in the medium.


First, it sounds like you never actually read the OP.

If you didn’t get it right, you may need a bit of practice reading the exposure meter, but looking at comments around the Internet today virtually no-one is talking about basic mechanical competancy in regard to the Dunning-Kruger effect.


Photography, as any art, is about communicating an idea...

Oh Really?

and no matter how subjective the output is, it takes a competence to communicate that.

Oh Really?

In the end the most OOF, poorly framed and technically horrid image can be defined as perfection, there is no way to invalidate that as long as the creative person is satisfied.

But again, I’m just repeating what has already been said in the OP.

Mikehit

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #47 on: April 16, 2018, 04:52:29 AM »

First, it sounds like you never actually read the OP.


I did...and I have re-read it.

Quote
There’s no need to watch the video, the premise of applying the Dunning-Kruger effect to Photography is ludicrous.
...
Trying to apply the Dunning-Kruger effect to photography is a self defeating exercise.

I disagree.

Quote
The satisfaction of the creator is the ultimate definition of success.

Is it?
I want to take an image that reminds of my holiday. I can do that easily
I want to take an image that expresses my feeling. I take that image and I feel it does. I succeeded.
I want to take an image that communicates my feelings to other people. I like the image but if that image does not evoke the emotion I want it to evoke, it has failed
I want to take an image that satisfies my client's requirements. I like the image but if that image does not satisfy their requirements it has failed.

Quote
What people are pointing out is how dependent they are on outside opinion for self assurance.

That is not what the D-K effect is about, which is why I wonder if you understand it. The type of affirmation you talk about may entrench the D-K effect but it is not what D-K is about.
And yes, you can separate the artisitic and the technical/mechanical.


Quote
A huge print that took dozens of hours of preparation and post processing and sells for a million dollars in a world famous art gallery has no more inherent value than the millions (billions?) of cat pictures flooding the Internet.
Intrinsic value is irrelevant to the D-K effect.


Quote
There is no right, there is no wrong, there is no best photograph and there is no photographer with any more or less talent than any other photographer.

Is that what you believe or is that what you think other people are saying. I am still not quite sure. Either way, it is bull.


Quote
In the end the most OOF, poorly framed and technically horrid image can be defined as perfection,
The most OOF image can be defined as perfection if that is what the photographer intended.

Quote
“I think all your photos suck.” There, everyone reading this has had the whole of their work negatively criticized. Are you a worse photographer than you thought you were? If you let outside negativity influence your perspective of your work, then yes.

What you seem to be saying is that a wedding photographer only needs to rely on his own perception of himself to know he is a great wedding photographer. Odd, really because that is precisely what the D-K effect is about.
Imagine a self-important neophyte thinks he knows it all and does his first wedding. Blows highlights on the dress, chops heads and feet off and the couple criticise him as a bad job. He ignores that comment which means he remains a great wedding photographer and moves blissfully onto the next jon. He takes it on board which means he isn't a great photographer but strives to be one. To you, both positions are right: you are applying Heisenberg's uncertainty to have two mutually exclusive positions yet refuse the possibility of ever resolving it (and even Heisenberg's allowed for someone to open the box) .
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 04:54:48 AM by Mikehit »

9VIII

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #48 on: April 16, 2018, 05:29:09 AM »

Quote
What people are pointing out is how dependent they are on outside opinion for self assurance.

That is not what the D-K effect is about, which is why I wonder if you understand it. The type of affirmation you talk about may entrench the D-K effect but it is not what D-K is about.
And yes, you can separate the artisitic and the technical/mechanical.

Wow, just, wow.
To repeat all of my major points in your own words, and try to say it refutes my original post, is quite an accomplishment.

9VIII

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #49 on: April 16, 2018, 05:50:21 AM »
It’s an equally amazing feat to keep butchering the context so thoroughly.


Take this:

Quote
The satisfaction of the creator is the ultimate definition of success.

Is it?
I want to take an image that reminds of my holiday. I can do that easily
I want to take an image that expresses my feeling. I take that image and I feel it does. I succeeded.
I want to take an image that communicates my feelings to other people. I like the image but if that image does not evoke the emotion I want it to evoke, it has failed
I want to take an image that satisfies my client's requirements. I like the image but if that image does not satisfy their requirements it has failed.

Apply this statement...
Quote
What people are pointing out is how dependent they are on outside opinion for self assurance.

That is not what the D-K effect is about, which is why I wonder if you understand it. The type of affirmation you talk about may entrench the D-K effect but it is not what D-K is about.
And yes, you can separate the artisitic and the technical/mechanical.



...but in its full original context:

What people are pointing out is how dependent they are on outside opinion for self assurance.

If someone else likes your photograph, that’s great, but it actually doesn’t change the value of an image. It may cost you money if you need to sell an image, but if you’re happy with something, it is good.
Consumers of your content will form their own opinions. Good, bad, or indifferent, the opinion of another person only tells you how to cater to the opinions of other people, it says absolutely nothing about the intrinsic value of a given image.

And all your questions are answered.

9VIII

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #50 on: April 16, 2018, 05:59:06 AM »
You’ve even defeated yourself on the only point of contention that you do bring up (and even then you give no argument), with your own following statement.

There is no right, there is no wrong, there is no best photograph and there is no photographer with any more or less talent than any other photographer.

Is that what you believe or is that what you think other people are saying. I am still not quite sure. Either way, it is bull.


Quote
In the end the most OOF, poorly framed and technically horrid image can be defined as perfection,
The most OOF image can be defined as perfection if that is what the photographer intended.

It’s really an amazing bit of mental gymnastics.

Mikehit

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #51 on: April 16, 2018, 06:07:09 AM »
You’ve even defeated yourself on the only point of contention that you do bring up (and even then you give no argument), with your own following statement.

There is no right, there is no wrong, there is no best photograph and there is no photographer with any more or less talent than any other photographer.

Is that what you believe or is that what you think other people are saying. I am still not quite sure. Either way, it is bull.


Quote
In the end the most OOF, poorly framed and technically horrid image can be defined as perfection,
The most OOF image can be defined as perfection if that is what the photographer intended.

It’s really an amazing bit of mental gymnastics.

Not really.
you made a general comment

Quote
In the end the most OOF, poorly framed and technically horrid image can be defined as perfection,

Again, you were ambiguous so I was trying to be more specific in that if the photographers intended it to be OOF, then an OOF image can be 'perfection'. If it is OOF because of an error then not necessarily.



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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #51 on: April 16, 2018, 06:07:09 AM »

9VIII

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #52 on: April 16, 2018, 06:20:27 AM »
You’ve even defeated yourself on the only point of contention that you do bring up (and even then you give no argument), with your own following statement.

There is no right, there is no wrong, there is no best photograph and there is no photographer with any more or less talent than any other photographer.

Is that what you believe or is that what you think other people are saying. I am still not quite sure. Either way, it is bull.


Quote
In the end the most OOF, poorly framed and technically horrid image can be defined as perfection,
The most OOF image can be defined as perfection if that is what the photographer intended.

It’s really an amazing bit of mental gymnastics.

Not really.
you made a general comment

Quote
In the end the most OOF, poorly framed and technically horrid image can be defined as perfection,

Again, you were ambiguous so I was trying to be more specific in that if the photographers intended it to be OOF, then an OOF image can be 'perfection'. If it is OOF because of an error then not necessarily.

As long as it does not affect the artist’s opinion of the work it has no impact on quality.

Mikehit

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #53 on: April 16, 2018, 06:45:39 AM »
You’ve even defeated yourself on the only point of contention that you do bring up (and even then you give no argument), with your own following statement.

There is no right, there is no wrong, there is no best photograph and there is no photographer with any more or less talent than any other photographer.

Is that what you believe or is that what you think other people are saying. I am still not quite sure. Either way, it is bull.


Quote
In the end the most OOF, poorly framed and technically horrid image can be defined as perfection,
The most OOF image can be defined as perfection if that is what the photographer intended.

It’s really an amazing bit of mental gymnastics.

Not really.
you made a general comment

Quote
In the end the most OOF, poorly framed and technically horrid image can be defined as perfection,

Again, you were ambiguous so I was trying to be more specific in that if the photographers intended it to be OOF, then an OOF image can be 'perfection'. If it is OOF because of an error then not necessarily.

As long as it does not affect the artist’s opinion of the work it has no impact on quality.

Which is precisely what the D-K effect is about (seeing as you talked about quality).

stevelee

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #54 on: April 16, 2018, 11:32:28 AM »
I suggest reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to help get you thinking about quality if that is of interest.

CanonFanBoy

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #55 on: April 16, 2018, 12:48:04 PM »
https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2018/04/10/why-bad-photographers-think-theyre-good

So there’s this video doing the rounds right now, apparently a lot of people think it explains something about the psychology of photographers, and it may, but it doesn’t reveal what most of the commenters posting about it think that it does.
There’s no need to watch the video, the premise of applying the Dunning-Kruger effect to Photography is ludicrous.

At the core of the medium, photography is almost nothing but subjective opinion.
Yes, there are people who can’t get the right exposure, those people who lack the most basic technical familiarity with a camera may be frustrated by the methods of getting a decent exposure.
Beyond that, the whole of the medium is a level playing field. There is no right, there is no wrong, there is no best photograph and there is no photographer with any more or less talent than any other photographer.
A huge print that took dozens of hours of preparation and post processing and sells for a million dollars in a world famous art gallery has no more inherent value than the millions (billions?) of cat pictures flooding the Internet.
The satisfaction of the creator is the ultimate definition of success.

If you didn’t get it right, you may need a bit of practice reading the exposure meter, but looking at comments around the Internet today virtually no-one is talking about basic mechanical competancy in regard to the Dunning-Kruger effect.

What people are pointing out is how dependent they are on outside opinion for self assurance.

If someone else likes your photograph, that’s great, but it actually doesn’t change the value of an image. It may cost you money if you need to sell an image, but if you’re happy with something, it is good.
Consumers of your content will form their own opinions. Good, bad, or indifferent, the opinion of another person only tells you how to cater to the opinions of other people, it says absolutely nothing about the intrinsic value of a given image.

Intent and Execution is all that matters unless you let outside opinion influence how you feel about your work.
If you’re constantly looking for affirmation then you’re probably going to be constantly disappointed. Sooner or later every image will be criticized negatively.
“I think all your photos suck.” There, everyone reading this has had the whole of their work negatively criticized. Are you a worse photographer than you thought you were? If you let outside negativity influence your perspective of your work, then yes.
Trying to apply the Dunning-Kruger effect to photography is a self defeating exercise.
If you know what you like then no amount of criticism can change the quality of your photography. Your picture is perfect the moment you deem it so.
The most creative people will awlays have a thirst to learn and do more, it’s good to question what you know and how you do things, but your satisfaction with yourself will always be the ultimate test.

Somehow I fail to see why you cannot see why you are wrong.  ;)
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Talys

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #56 on: April 16, 2018, 01:12:54 PM »
The title, "Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos" is somewhat poor.

It would be better titled (and less controversial) if it read, "Dunning-Kruger Effect: Why new photographers have a hard time improving their craft."

The chart is absolutely accurate, and I'll be the first to admit that I've been guilty of it too, not just in photography but other trades/hobbies as well.  As I start with something, I think, "hey, that's pretty good" and then overestimate my competence, partly because gaining competence at the low end is very easy and improvements come rapidly.  Also, I can buy my way out of trouble sometimes.

At some point, it becomes much more difficult to improve, and then I realize the vastness of what is yet to be learned, and as I become more critical of my own work and more appreciative of how far short it comes of other work, I am floored by how much further I have to go!

What should be additionally noted, though, is:

- In different hobbies/trades, the distribution and shape of the curve of poor ability versus expert varies dramatically.

- There are some things that only take hundreds of hours to become nearly expert in; others that take a lifetime.

- In some hobbies/trades, tools matter very little; in others, a lot more.  I think photography is in the middle (some aspects are quite tool-dependent, others much less so).

- Sometimes, spending a lot of money on a tool will actually spur improvement, not because the tool makes much of a difference, but because I want to make use of something that I spent a lot of money on, and hey, practice makes better.

For me, I guess I've gotten past the hump where I have illusions of being great at photography, and have not progressed beyond the bottom of realizing how far yet I must go, lol lol. 

For some other things that I'm much better at than photography, I totally understand how experts -- for example, those in the top hundredth of the top percentile -- underestimate their skill level.  Part of the problem is that absent serious narcissism, it's hard to not see other extremely skilled and talented people who you feel are perhaps better than you -- who may view you the same way.   Another is that "skill level" at the top end is often subjective; and finally, that skills at the top end of any trade or craft can be very difficult to improve.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 01:18:28 PM by Talys »

unfocused

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #57 on: April 16, 2018, 03:36:08 PM »
Somehow I fail to see why you cannot see why you are wrong.  ;)

I think the true answer is "trolling." The form it is taking here begins with posting a ludicrous opinion, then as the discussion begins there is the changing the goal posts, denying he wrote what he wrote, deliberate obfuscation, personal attacks and doubling down.

I've spent too much time trying to figure out what his point is supposed to be and this is closest I can come:

Photographs have no intrinsic value, therefore all photographs are of equal value. And, therefore the value of my photographs is whatever I think it is worth. So my photographs are worth as much as a photograph by, say, Ansel Adams.

I'm sure there is a name for this particular type of fallacy, but I never took philosophy so I'm not sure what it is.

It is true that almost nothing in this world has any intrinsic value. Gold, food, shelter, even a person's life – all of these things have value because society has determined that they have value. So naturally, art in general and photography specifically, has no intrinsic value.

So, one could say that since nothing has value, the intrinsic value of an Ansel Adams print and the intrinsic value of a 9VIII print is exactly the same: nothing.

But, of course, while this may make a fine mental exercise, it's ridiculous in real life.

We live in societies and the value of everything in society is determined by markets. Gold has value because the market says it has value. An Ansel Adams print has value because society has set a value on the print. Human lives have value, because society gives them value. To an eagle, fish have value but gold does not.

So, if your only interest is in satisfying yourself, you can say that your personal work is of greater value than Ansel Adams' work. However, that would not be the judgement of the rest of the world and since value is set by society, you would be wrong.

Somehow, 9VIII seems to think this sort of mental exercise can be extended to the claim that all social standards and expectations are meaningless and the only thing that matters is the personal opinion of the creator. But, it doesn't work that way.

If you are content to simply enjoy your own work -- which there is nothing wrong with. Then you need only satisfy yourself. But, it would be delusional to claim that because you are satisfied, you have created a great work of art. Great works of art are great works of art because, for a variety of reasons, the market has selected them as great works of art. There are a many ways that great works of art rise to the top, but they do rise to the top.

One generally accepted assumption is that a great work of art will transcend the medium and speak to larger truths, which are recognized by a substantial percentage of the population. Great art can be beautiful and soothing or it can be shocking and disturbing (Picasso's Guernica is a good example). It can scream, or it can whisper. In the case of photography, it can show Moonrise over Hernandez (Adams) or it can document mercury poisoning in Minamata (Smith) or, in rare cases, they can invent a new way of seeing that will influence generations that follow, while also exposing racism and other social injustice (Robert Frank's The Americans)

These are great works not because the photographers thought they were great, but because they are great in the judgement of most intelligent people.

No doubt, 9VIII will simply double down, but I hope intelligent people won't be fooled by him.


Finally, be aware that nothing in 9VIII's rant has anything at all to do with the Dunning Kruger effect or the video about it. He was simply using that as an excuse to troll.

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #57 on: April 16, 2018, 03:36:08 PM »

dak723

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #58 on: April 16, 2018, 03:57:49 PM »
For anyone who believes that we can learn and improve our skills in various creative activities, then the position of the OP is impossible to argue with because they do not believe so.

This has nothing to do with the opinion of others, what is accepted as "good' or what sells or doesn't.  Simply put, do we learn and improve our skills or not.  I believe that most of us would say yes.  To many, it seems so obvious that any alternative viewpoint seems absurd. 

But if you have that view, then that's your opinion and all the arguing won't change that.

Better to let the thread die as it is impossible to debate or argue when two such opposing views are presented.


YuengLinger

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #59 on: April 16, 2018, 04:18:29 PM »
I, for one, I'm glad that unfocused chimed in with refreshing lucidity and balance before we moved on from this thread. And I still believe the OP has been pulling our legs just to see how many pages we would go. Rascal!

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Re: Dunning Kruger Effect: Why Insecure People Can’t Take Good Photos
« Reply #59 on: April 16, 2018, 04:18:29 PM »