Feedback on photographs can be a funny thing: of course you don’t want to be shot down in flames and told that it’s an awful picture, but more often, you don’t just want to hear: ‘Great shot!’. Knowing why someone thinks it is a great shot, or what you could have done to make it that bit better is far more valuable. But with so many millions of images up for critique in the usual haunts, it’s easier to just say the obvious, or say nothing at all. So how about a site that actively fosters sharing feedback?
This is precisely what Focussion has been designed to encourage: photographers leaving other photographers feedback on their work. Sign up to Focussion (it’s free) and you’re awarded 250 credits. Those 250 credits will allow you to post 10 pictures to the site. In order to be able to post more photos, you need to leave comments on other members’ photos. Each comment that you leave earns you five credits. It’s a feedback economy.
The focus is on the photographs, not on features, and making sure that they gain feedback. The most recently uploaded images appear on the front page and the most recent comments are on the right side bar. There’s nothing complicated about it, although I would like to see a less clunky method for being able to view a given member’s entire catalogue. Right now, this can only be done by finding one of her or his photos and clicking through from there.
And the cynic in me can’t help but think that it is all too easy to leave ‘Great shot!’ comments, rather than something properly constructive. Perhaps by introducing a second layer of critique, whereby the recipient of the feedback rates how useful it was, the feedback process can be strengthened. But maybe this moves away from the simple model that inspired it. If you give constructive feedback, you’re likely to attract it, too.
Focussion went live on 4 June and already has about 80 members. You should head over there, sign up, and share a little picture-love.