Let's do something more...

Started May 8, 2006 | Discussions thread
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Ferenc MOGOR
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Let's do something more...
May 8, 2006

Hi,

As a summary herewith I’d like to list up the different compositional ways we have discussed in the last couple of weeks on the forum here.

Discussed were:

1. Rule of Thirds
2. Rule of Diagonals
3. Triangles
4. Symmetry
5. Street photography (by courtesy of Steve West) (Hi, Steve)
6. The S-curve

I am very much pleased to see those loads of beautiful samples you Guys/Gals have shown in these threads and I’m sure all of us participating in here have learned a lot just by discussing and seeing each other's great achievements. (Me, surely!)

And then, we also discussed the issue of “distracting elements”, something always worth to look out for when composing with our eyes glued to the cameras, yet, when it’s inevitable to be recorded we can always find the ways of a good workaround in post-processing when we wanna get rid of them in order to create a really pleasing picture for the viewers’ eyes.

Now I’d like to start another thread here to discuss something new that is in my belief absolutely related to photography and related to the photographer “on the go”, it should be done on a regular basis (for the sake of keeping up with such practice) and will surely result in an advancement of the way we see this wonderful world of photo shooting.

It’s called. “Writing a critique”.

Yeap, many times we can receive nice words from other members on our sample shots saying “Nice picture”, or “Keep up the good work”, or just simply “Wow!”. These are nice to receive, they always enhance our pride, not to talk about vanity, eh?!, …but these are not critiques, they just remain nothing more than a nice compliment.

So, in this thread let’s forget about compliments and let’s see how we can write a really useful critique to the original poster on his/her sample image by doing a close scrutiny on the photo and telling what we think, what we see and what we’d like to suggest to the original poster to do (if applicable).

OK, in my opinion these are some of the points that are to be considered when writing a critique:

1. It should be a constructive critique, one that is not to be confused with criticizing!

2. The critique should always keep it’s limits by writing about the picture itself, but should never critique (or especially criticize) the person who posted the photo. (It happens many times on the Net, but that is simply rude manner, eh?!)

3. Take a look at the exif info (if available) and share your thoughts whether the pic could have benefited from different settings or it was OK to use those camera set-ups “as is”. This is supposed to be the technical side of your critique while you are looking at the picture observing exposure, looking for blown out highlights, or details disappearing in the dark areas, or you are about to make a suggestion on High Dynamic issues, etc. These points usually are about shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc.

4. Composition: yeah, good old composition is a point where you can share your feelings whether the poster has done a good job or there is still room to improve. Whenever you think there is a chance to do a better job, feel free to suggest and don’t forget to explain why! Don’t spare your words!

5. Artistic value: tell a few words if you feel the shot in your opinion is interesting, or not, does it contain good points of interest or is it just an average photo of nothing particular to see. (Many landscape photos suffer from this issue!) Don’t worry to point this out, it does help the receiver of your critique to develop the eyes next time when going out for shooting.

6. Distractions: always have an eye for cables, traffic signs, waste bins, etc. …all those unwanted “boo-boos” that distract the viewing pleasure and must be gotten rid of.

7. The Title: a fine photo will always benefit from a good title that simply “sells” the image, yet, I think a word or two on the chosen title should also be a part of a good critique provided the poster has given the pic a title.

There can always be a lot more things to be mentioned when writing a critique, but I believe as a minimum the above can serve as a good starting point!

And finally, what do you think? Will a good critique written on other members’ photos improve your way of seeing your own achievements? I bet it will!! And that’s why I think it’s a good practice to develop our skills on writing a good critique, which will surely give us enough feedback on the long run that will result in a greater improvement of our own photo taking abilities.

Please feel free to post some sample picture(s), ones that you think you have already critiqued by your own standards to yourself, yet, you are keen to see how others will share their opinions as a photo critiquer by sharing thoughts and ideas you might have not taken into account.

On the other hand, I’m calling all members who are willing to do a nice critique on samples posted here to join in! Let’ do it!

Let’s have some fun out of all the above!

-- hide signature --

Cheers, Feri

'I can look at a fine photograph and sometimes I can hear music. Ansel Adams.'

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