An Experiment in Critiquing Photographs

From: Gary W.
Sent on: Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:16 PM

We are trying an experiment. Over the years we have discussed how to make the monthly club print competitions more of a learning experience. Unfortunately the time available for discussing the photographs does not allow an in depth discussion. We have needed a forum where the photograph could be studied at length and then discussed. I do not know that this will work but I have set up a Photo Album named Critique Feb 21, Self Portrait. Our February assignment was Self Portrait. I have just posted the first photograph to the photo album along with my commentary. I sincerely hope that others will join in—agree or disagree it doesn’t matter. Cover points that I may have missed or take me on about what I have said. Hopefully it will aid in developing critiquing skills as well as making the competitions more meaningful to all the members.

And please, those paid members that joined in the completion, please send me your photographs in a 1024 pixel long dimension (smaller are too difficult for old people to see)—please do not post them directly to the album. Photos downloaded directly will be removed. There is my standard REQUIREMENT: you MUST send a statement telling about what you are attempting to accomplish with the photograph. It does no good to attempt to critique a photograph when you have no idea what the photographer wanted the photograph to be about—that’s a big guessing game that is frustrating to the critic and generally ends up being of little or no value to the photographer beyond perpetrating convention photographic wisdoms. And if all you want is adulation—this is the wrong place to go. I attempt to be diplomatic but I suggest your thickest skin as helpful.

For the present, until we see how well it will work this will be limited to the paid membership only. Maybe that could be expanded in the future. However, on-line members are more than welcome to join in the discussions.

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