Photo Critique - Embrace the Opportunity
Having somebody comment on your work or commenting on somebody else's is never easy, but its so valuable so don't miss the opportunity!
Sometimes we can't see for looking,
Sometimes you know there's a problem but you don't know the answer,
Sometimes you get it right and you didn't realise you had - till somebody tells you!
Why Should You Embrace Photo Critique of your Images
We critique our own work ALL the time and tweak and edit a shot till its just right - so its nothing new
We show images to a partner or a friend and they often instantly say " oh that ones the best" - Not the image you thought they would would pick!
If you don't share and invite critique - you don't learn - you don't grow.
It is scary to have somebody comment on your images, but its a GOOD scary and at the end of the day its just a photograph
The person doing the critique is just a person with an opinion and we all have an opinion and if you can accept that then you can see that your view is just as valid as theirs.
It's hard to Critique other peoples work
If you show somebody an image and the say " Erm, well, yes, that's good" they know it does not work visually for them but they don't know why. How often do people say " Wow, that's amazing" then you know you have nailed it Both of these are critique we just didn't formally call it that We all critique images ALL time - so what's the issues.
If you are formally or informally going to critique or comment on somebody's work - Be kind - Its not personal - Be constructive - Be honest - Be willing to be wrong - Be willing to not have an answer, even though you know that does not feel right
Where to get productive Critique
I would suggest a few ways of achieving this and I would encourage you to try and embrace all of these opportunities if you can
Family and Friends Its a nice safe place and its great to share your images with these people
Photographers you respect I know from the photographers that I work with that if "joe Blogs" comments on my image then that is worth a lot to me, because they are a photographer who delivers high quality work that I like and have a great deal of respect for.
Camera Club Judges Sometimes if there is a very active training of judges in your part of the world then the judges can become a little formulaic in their comments and approach. This is a more varied bunch but still highly valued as typically they are experienced photographers, however it can be that they are particularly specialised it an area and their depth of knowledge in certain other areas is weak (ie strong in still life photography but not so well versed in street photography!) - but its OK, Its just a persons opinion and they just happen to be stood at the front and give your image a score!
On- - Line Critique Can be similar to the camera club judges but less formal and they don't give you image a score, so a friendlier more welcoming space I would say. This is a good place to start as its feedback from a group or a lead person who understands photography and you are not scored relative to the others.
In Summary We need feedback we need help I comment on other photographers work and have my work commented on all the time and a welcome the input. Sometimes i use it sometimes I don't.
The key thing I do know is
my work is getting seen and not clogging up a hard
I am sharing my work
I am learning and improving
I am learning from the work of others
Its all part of becoming the photographer you want to be
For me the greatest travesty is to have good work that goes unappreciated or good talent that is not developed. so share your images and be proud of them.
Want to Know more about photo critique then take a look at these links