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Background

There have been several different requests for photo critiques on photo.stackexchange.com. In the past, we (as a community) have generally not been inclined to allow critiques here, as the Q&A style doesn't really lend itself to a good discussion which is really necessary for a subjective topic like this.

Chat

We now have a chat room, which means we have a great way to discuss more subjective topics. In order to meet the requests, there has been a discussion there about having scheduled critique sessions.

Schedule

Since this is a global site (many time zones), we're going to try scheduling sessions at various times and see which work well. The chat room scheduled events are posted, so check in occasionally and try to attend if you're interested.

Eventually we may have more regularly scheduled sessions, but this is a new process and it will take time to figure out.

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    Kudos for taking the initiative to make photos part of this site. – labnut Nov 8 '10 at 11:42
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The problem with the chat room is that time zone and other problems (we lead busy lives) will exclude many people. Like many people, I don't live in the US or Europe!

Contrary to many remarks, I actually think, as shown by the featured photos, the Q&A style works well.
A question becomes a thread on a defined photo submission topic and the answers are the submitted photos. The commenting and voting features are perfect for photo critiques.

I agree that the main body of questions should not be crowded with photo submissions. A really nice way around this problem would be to have an additional menu entry next to 'meta' titled 'photos'. This 'photos' menu entry would work in exactly the same way as the main Questions part of this site.

I believe that, by making photo viewing and critiquing an integral part of this site, we will greatly increase its appeal and develop a stronger sense of community.

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  • Appreciate your comments on timing and timezones, but actual regular times/days of week have not been set in stone. Unfortunately your profile doesn't give any hint on what sort of timezone you're in, but the first session is a European/African evening/American Morning. Others may run at different times. It is also worth remembering that the chat room allows you to go back in time, so you can still go over the comments made whilst you were logged off. You can even add replies too, which will show up in the Stack Exchange inbox (top left). – Rowland Shaw Nov 8 '10 at 12:36
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    Whilst this is an organised session, there's nothing to say that you couldn't ask for critiques there is no reason why you couldn't ask for a critique at another time in there - I've seen most of the moderators in the chat room on a daily basis, so whilst you might not get realtime feedback, you would probably still get some. – Rowland Shaw Nov 8 '10 at 12:38
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Not sure what's involved in doing this, but what about a sister stack exchange site whose "questions" are photos with a brief description(exposure settings, conditions, etc), and the answers are the critiques?

photofeedback.stackexchange.com?

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  • It would be relatively trivial to have a separate chatroom dedicated to it, if the demand increases to the point where it interrupts the main room's flow – Rowland Shaw Dec 6 '10 at 22:18
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I really like @labnut's idea. Unlike chat, threads on the site itself are asynchronous, making them accessible to all at their convenience. Unlike chat, they remain an integral part of the site, available to searches through tags, etc.

Photo critique threads could be given status similar to CW, effectively admitting there is (rarely) one best answer and avoiding the possibility of hurting the rep of anyone posting a critique request in case there are downvotes (which I hope would be exceedingly rare). Absent @labnut's proposed mechanism of a "photos" menu, we could--right now--create a tag ("critique"?) to flag and organize requests for criticism. About the only administrative action needed would be to explain what we're doing in the FAQ.

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I'm relatively new around here so I still don't have a good handle on what is 'possible' and what is 'impossible' when it comes to how the site can be formatted...

While I personally like the "community wiki-based standard SE question/answer + voting" format when it comes to critique questions, I'm concerned about how critique questions may clutter the overall questions list.

Is there any way that critiques can be placed on a separate 'tab' (similar to meta)?

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  • So far, no, not that we know of. The formatting that we can do is very limited, both from a technical as well as a time aspect. AFAIK, @Jin is the only designer for stackexchange, and he has a lot of other sites to work on. He has done an extraordinarily job for us, and has probably spent a little more time than is normal on photo.* keeping the featured image up to date. – chills42 Jan 5 '11 at 12:56

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