Informal Group Critique

There is no better way to develop as a photographer than to receive constructive criticism.

The PPL is giving members the opportunity to do just that at our informal group critiques. Share your work with other PPL members, and see what others are shooting, in this casual yet serious atmosphere.

Based on input from our last critique, participants will be required to bring prints. Each person will have 15 minutes dedicated to his/her work, and we will start the critique off with some theory regarding critiques.

Be prepared to receive and give input, as everyone is invited to take part in the discussion!

Drinks and snacks will be served after the session, so we can all decompress together!

Moderated by our own Dale Rio, attendance is limited to ten participants, so sign up early.

This is a free event for all Contributor Members. Admission is $15 for everyone else, payable at the door.

Join or login to comment.

  • Spencer L.

    This was my first attendance at a session such as this. Photography is one of my favorite hobbies and being able to participate and learn from other photographers educates me more. My future plans are to bring some prints for critique, receive constructive points and participate as well as I can.

    November 20, 2013

  • Dale R.

    And thanks for the input, Nicky.

    November 19, 2013

  • Dale R.

    Sure. I can rule with an iron fist! Ha, ha.

    November 19, 2013

  • Jano C.

    Dale, A professional portfolio review would be a nice addition to our choices and I would definitely attend. However, the group critiques are good too and I will probably attend more of them as well. Would you consider moderating with a bit more control, making sure all viewpoints get to be heard?

    November 18, 2013

  • Dale R.

    One other thought... It's fairly common for photo centers or events to hold portfolio review sessions where there are several reviewers, and participants can either select which they'd like to review their work or are allotted a certain amount of time with each reviewer. Perhaps PPL can add this as an option for members who have a particular body of work they want input on and/or want a more focused critique.
    Thoughts?

    1 · November 18, 2013

  • Dale R.

    Hi, Jano.
    With a group critique format, I feel that my role is more of moderator; to spur on conversation and help direct the discussion. It's a good opportunity to get people more comfortable with talking about art; putting what they see into words.
    However, it's definitely worth discussing whether the crits could be more useful for participants if they were "led" rather than the more free-form, group format we've been using.
    If anyone else who participated has thoughts on this, please chime in!
    Dale

    1 · November 18, 2013

  • Jano C.

    Dale gave a clear explanation of the 4 stages of photo criticism and each person asked for what they wanted to get out of the critique. This focused the comments and people were generous with helpful comments. I learned many useful things I will put into practice right away in my photography. My only disappointment was that some people were more outspoken and repetitive in their commenting and when that happened I would have liked Dale and others to speak out more.

    November 17, 2013

  • Pano K

    You might want to check out PhotoLounge, near 19th and Chestnut in Center City. I plan to use them for my prints for the critique, because they have excellent reviews on Yelp, and people seem genuinely satisfied with the quality and attention to detail.

    November 11, 2013

  • Dale R.

    I'm glad I could elucidate, Nicky. And I wish I could be useful in suggesting a place to get prints made... Some people at the crit recommended places in Center City where you could email in your digi files and pick up your prints and places that were totally online and mailed you your prints. Some seemed to have places that they liked and that were affordable. I'm hoping someone pipes up and posts here. If not, I'm sure they will at the crit.
    If you have a calibrated monitor, that's the first step in being able to make your own awesome prints at home. Do you have a printer? If not, are you looking to buy one? We had hoped to offer a printing class, but with our new self-structured education flow, maybe you can arrange a small group class based on printing, as I'm sure there are other members who would love to learn how to make their own prints.
    Dale

    1 · November 11, 2013

  • Dale R.

    If the $20 or so print cost is prohibitive to anyone, email me directly. ([masked]) If enough people are having trouble with that, we can work on a solution.
    Dale
    (Sorry about the long post... I think it was warranted. Please read in reverse order, from the bottom-most to the top-most.)

    November 11, 2013

  • Dale R.

    Our crits are also held quarterly, and with the inexpensive options available for getting small work prints done, the "investment" of $20 or so every three months is within reason. If you're taking that next step in having your work looked at critically - if you're getting more serious about your photography, and especially if you're calling yourself a photographer - the idea of making prints shouldn't be unusual or surprising or daunting. It should be part of the process. Obviously, there's no need to print every image you take, but it's a good idea to print those that you feel are successful. (Not only for these crits, but as an exercise in completing the process and honing your printing or print-assessing skills.) The standard work flow for film is making 8x10 work prints and then narrowing your selection down to your larger finals. Shooting digital doesn't preclude that important, final step...

    1 · November 11, 2013

  • Dale R.

    As an aside, many galleries now include a stipulation that if they receive prints that look different from the digital submissions, they won't include them in the show. They realized that some people stopped the process at the digital processing stage, didn't bother to make a print before they submitted their work, and when they did finally make a print for the show, they couldn't get it to look like the digital version. Building the knowledge of how to look at and make prints early on is essential...

    November 11, 2013

  • Dale R.

    Several people had suggestions as to where to get affordable prints made... If anyone can add any more suggestions to this thread, that would be helpful in giving people some options. I do know that some PPL members are also PPAC members, and they have printing facilities available for their members. The Lightroom also has a digital printer...
    Another important thing to note is that photography doesn't end with "image capture." If your ultimate goal is showing your work in a gallery setting, you should start getting used to looking at it in print form. Being able to tell a good print from a bad print, having the ability to color correct, and asses tonal ranges in a B&W print will be invaluable when you do get your work printed or print it yourself. And these are things that will be discussed at the crit.

    November 11, 2013

  • Dale R.

    Thanks to everyone for chiming in on the print topic.
    I acquiesced to having digital images as an option for the last crit, because of the perceived "ease" of presentation, and in recognition of the fact that I'm old fashioned. Ha, ha. I felt that maybe I should try something new, since people might prefer that method.
    At the end of the crit, however, it was unanimously decided, (by participants, many of whom had brought digital images), that in the future, only prints should be viewed, for the very reasons mentioned below... The ease of movement and reordering, the ability to view all the work as a whole; seeing common themes and compositional elements, etc.

    November 11, 2013

  • Mike B.

    By the way ........ when you have time watch the entire video. James Nachtwey is an incredible photographer. This is a great documentary.

    November 10, 2013

  • Mike B.

    Hello ..... I just want to CHIME IN since I am on the meetup site sending out the weekly update. This is just my personal experience so feel free to disagree ..... the idea behind bringing PRINTS is to facilitate seeing the photographers work as a BODY of work. It is actually hard to do that on screen which lends itself to more towards ONE IMAGE at a time ..... With prints you can SPREAD THEM OUT, SHUFFLE THEM AROUND, USE PAPER TO CROP THEM, etc..... 5x7 working prints, per Rachel's note work really well. I also use 4x6's ....... a little smaller but also less $ at ~ 30 cents or less .....

    Check this out to see what I mean ............

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59_amOdxfbU

    Starting at 18:15 u can see how Nacthwey uses "5x7 work prints"

    Starting at 5:00 you can see how STERN use lower quality images (larger than 5x7) as "work prints"


    Just some thoughts ........... Take Care ......... Mike

    November 10, 2013

  • Tony J.

    All work MUST be printed. Sorry, no exception will be made. We tried to have electronic submissions prior, but this was not successful due to limitations of projecting properly. Projected images just do not look the same, and as such are unsuitable for this work.

    Please keep in mind that printed images of ANY size will be suitable. It doesn't have to cost more than a few dollars.

    1 · November 10, 2013

  • Rachel W.

    I also only print if the work is to be shown but made prints for the critique so that they can be seen as a group instead of as individual images. My printer is out of commission so I got 5x7, commercial prints from Cardinal photo and cost about $1.20 each. The quality, especially the color is pretty bad.

    These are working prints. Since I want to discuss composition and how the images work together and in sequence, the advantages of having prints overrides the print quality in this case.

    November 10, 2013

  • Dale R.

    Excellent question! Because we're limiting the time to fifteen minutes, I'd say limit the number the prints you bring to approximately ten.
    Dale

    1 · November 5, 2013

  • jewell A. n.

    is there a limit to the number of photos we can bring?

    November 5, 2013

10 went

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