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Doubtful-Della's avatar

ULTIMATE Photography Critique

I compiled this for =stumbleine179's club, (that I co-founded)
CLICK HERE to see the full illustrated version

On a side note, if you could help get the word out there on this Critique by placing it in your journal, signiture, or just by simply faving it, it will be very much appreciated. Thank you!

Please note that this tutorial is focusing on critiquing photography

“The whole point of commenting is to express both your positive and negative thoughts on whatever piece; the positive will act as compliments on the artist, while the negative will help them realize their mistakes. When we point out mistakes, we often do not know how to say it constructively, and in the end we tend to skip the negative all together, which is a big no-no. Speaking of which, if you have received the ultimate critique, do not fret; it is not directed to you as a person. Do not take them as personal attacks, and feel all mad and confused. This should be a helpful learning tool.” `leodadominico

If you follow this simple structure based on `leodadominico’s How to give better comments, we are sure that your comments will be helpful and appreciated.

:bulletred: Interpretation- How this image makes you feel, what it says to you, how you relate to the image.

:bulletred: Compliments- Now is the time to build the artists confidence by telling them exactly what you like about the photograph. Why do you love it? What caught your eye?

:bulletred: Critique- Find something that might help the artist with his or her future work. Or find something that can be easily changed. It is ok to point out the errors even if you do not know the artistic term for it. Just remember to be polite.

:bulletred: Questions- Learn from other artists. Is there something in the image that you don’t know how it was achieved? Ask about it! This expresses a genuine interest

Now onto knowing what to look for to give a good critique:

There is no right or wrong way to give a critique. There is no order. But there are certain things that you can address to give a well-rounded and meaningful critique. We are going to address these topics:

1. Message
2. Creativity
3. Technical Aspect

1. Message
The parts of photography include the technical aspect, the composition, and also the emotion behind a photo. What moved a person to take this photo? Is there a hidden or double meaning? Most artists love to hear your interpretation, so make sure to take the time to really look at the image and think about it.

Some questions that you might ask yourself and comment on:
:bulletblue: How does this image make me feel?
:bulletblue: What message is conveyed in the image?
:bulletblue: How do I connect with or relate to the image?
:bulletblue: Is there an emotion or story attached to the photo, and does the photographer do a good job conveying it?

2. Creativity
You could teach a monkey to take a picture, but it takes an artistic eye to compose one.’ =stumbleine179
To create can be defined as “to appoint to new rank or position.” A creative image is one that stimulates the mind and eye by being both imaginative and original. Originality is one of the key factors in creative photography. Photography, does not have hard and fast rules, but composition does have a number of guidelines that can be understood, considered and applied--or not We will consider those in the technical aspect of our critique.

If you are about to comment on a photo, it must have caught your attention. Make sure to note why it caught your attention. Is it a different view of a commonly photographed subject? Is it a macro shot of an everyday item? Does it make light of a serious subject? Is the photo taken from a unique angle? An eagle or worm's eye viewpoint can totally change a picture's impact. Does the photo leave any elements to the imagination?

When giving a critique note this:
:bulletblue: What makes this image different from the rest?

3. Technical Aspect
Yes, this is the longest section by far because there are a lot of terms involved. We will try to keep it short and simple.

I. Composition
II. Colors and Lighting
III. Contrast
IV. Depth of Field
V. Perspective

I. Composition
Composition is simply defined as the organization of space. Take a good look at the photograph and try to note the center of interest. Also note any distractions that you might find that you might offer up as some constructive criticism. Here is a good link to understanding parts of composition
:bulletblue: Has the artist used the
Rule of Thirds?
:bulletblue: How does the center of interest relate to the other parts of the image?
:bulletblue: Is there a story told by the placement of the objects?

II. Colors and Lighting
The light that falls on objects constantly changes, and thus the color. Daylight is warmer and has more reds at the beginning and the end of the day. An overcast day produces cooler bluer images than bright sunshine. Hazy sunlight gives muted colors. Filters and Photoshop can edit these colors to make certain parts of an image stand out more.

Color Terms
High and Low-Key Colors: High-key color pictures contain large areas of light desaturated colors (pastels) with very few middle colors or shadows. A low-key effect is created when the scene is dominated by shadows and weak lighting. Low-key pictures tend to have large areas of shadow, few highlights, and degraded colors. Naturally dark subjects are best for low-key pictures.

Monochromatic Monochromatic colors are all the hues (tints and shades) of a single color. As a result, the energy is more subtle and peaceful due to a lack of color contrast.

Complimentary Colors: Colors that are located directly across from each other on the color wheel. Complementary pairs contrast because they share no common colors.

Clashing Colors: Colors that do not look good near each other

Lighting Terms
Ambient Light: the available light completely surrounding a subject that is not introduced artificially.

Diffuse Lighting: lighting that is low or moderate in contrast, such as on an overcast day.
Studio Lighting Terms Broad lighting, Short lighting, Butterfly lighting, Rembrandt lighting, Split lighting, Rim lighting. For detailed info check out This Link

Questions to think about:
:bulletblue: Do these colors help convey an emotional response?
:bulletblue: Do these colors hurt the art rather than help it?
:bulletblue: Does the lighting create any weird shadows?
:bulletblue: How does the lighting harden or soften the photograph?

III. Contrast
Tonal Contrast
In black-and-white photography, contrast is considered either high, normal, or low. A high-contrast scene or photograph consists primarily of white and black with few or no middle gray tones. A low-contrast (flat) scene has colors or tones in which highlights and shadows have very little difference in densities. In other words, all colors or tones within the scene are very similar in appearance. In black-and-white photography, high contrast conveys a sense of hardness and is characteristic of strength and power. Low contrast conveys a sense of softness and is characteristic of gentleness and mildness.

Color Contrast
Colors with opposite characteristics contrast strongly when placed together. Each color accentuates the qualities of the other and makes the color images stand out dramatically. Color contrast is enhanced when you create the contrast of detail against mass. Cold colors and warm colors almost always contrast. Cold colors recede, while warm colors advance. Light colors contrast against dark ones, and a bold color offsets a weak color.

Things to think about contrast:
:bulletblue: Does the contrast make the image jump out at you, or does it convey a softer greyer feel?

IV. Depth of Field
Depth of field (DOF) is described as the range in a photograph, from near to far, that appears to be in focus. Basically A smaller depth of field would mean that the subject is in focus, and the background is not, whereas a larger depth of field would mean that the foreground and the background are in focus. Depth of field can be a great help to get rid of a confusing background, thus drawing all of your attention to the main subject. The same desired affect can be accomplished in Photoshop by using a selective blur.

When considering a photograph ask yourself:
:bulletblue: Does the depth of field draw my attention to the main subject, or does it detract from the photo by making me wonder what is in the background?

V. Perspective
Perspective refers to the relationship of imaged objects in a photograph. This includes their relative positions and sizes and the space between them. In other words, perspective in the composition of a photograph is the way real three-dimensional objects are pictured in a photograph that has a two-dimensional plane. In photography, perspective is another illusion you use to produce photographs of quality composition. Different kinds of Perspective

When thinking about perspective:
:bulletblue: Does the perspective make the objects in the photograph look bunched together, or far apart?
:bulletblue: Do the lines from the linear perspective converge at a central point, giving a strong feeling of depth?
:bulletblue: If the photo is of a building does the building look like it’s leaning, or does it give a powerful feeling?

"Now you have a set of tools at your fingertips to give well thought out, meaningful critique. Bear in mind however that these are only guidelines, not rules to be strictly followed. If you want to follow a rule, let it be this: Be respectful and honest. Only then can both you and the artist benefit from your critique. And both of you will." =saddogeyes

Also think about what ~lewcid has to say as a final touch:
"'Critiques are a two way street. If you want people to critique your work you have to appear receptive to it. In other words, even if you dont agree with the suggestions/opinion expressed, respect it and respond accordingly. Whatever you do, dont be blindly defensive. Try to be objective about the opinion received.

There is nothing more demoralizing for someone who just spent a long time critiquing your work, than to get a generic reply 'thank you for the comment'. Therefore try to be open to discussing the suggestions that may have been given and put some effort in to your reply, to mirror that of the person who commented on your work.

In situations where a possible flaw or improvement might have been pointed out in your work, and you agree with the assessment, show a willigness to change and improve. No one will come back to critique your work a second time around if you arent receptive.'

We hope that these tips can help you to improve and become and even more active member of the community. Have fun, and remember to be positive when giving or recieving critiques!

I want to give a huge thanks to:
~lewcid’s Photography for Beginners
`splat’s Guide to Commenting
~ProCritique Critique Standards
`leodadominico How to give better comments
The Luminous Landscape
Travel.State.Gov Glossery
Virtual Training Help Center
Sanford Adventures
PSA Journal> Creative Photography
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© 2005 - 2021 Doubtful-Della
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FanboyandChumChumFFF's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion & worship. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam and to avoid obscene and irreligious sights and sounds. Sexual intercourse among spouses is allowed after one has ended the daily fast. During fasting, intercourse is prohibited as well as eating and drinking, and resistance of all temptations is encouraged. Purity of both thoughts and actions is important. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the soul and free it from harmful impurities. Ramadan also teaches Muslims to practice self-discipline, self-control,sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and charity

At sunset, families hasten for the fast-breaking meal known as Iftar. Considering the high diversity of the global muslim population, it is impossible to describe typical suhur or iftar meals. Suhur can be dinner, or iftar, leftovers, typical breakfast foods, or ethnic foods. Social gatherings, many times buffet style, at iftar are frequent, and traditional dishes are often highlighted. A few dates and a cup of water are usually the first foods to break the fast, while fried pastries, salads, nuts, legumes, and breads are common. Traditional desserts are often unavoidable, especially those made only during Ramadan. Water is usually the beverage of choice, but juice and milk are also consumed. Soft drinks and caffeinated beverages are consumed to a lesser extent.
VisualStripes's avatar
Thank you for sharing these tips. They're very helpfull to bring DA to a next level! 
Doubtful-Della's avatar
Thank you so much! When I teach my photography classes, I use this same format!
VisualStripes's avatar
My pleasure.

It's very helpful for ány kind of feedback. Deconstruct what's moving you, and explain every aspect in detail with tact. :-)
PizzaPotatoNBacon's avatar
I've always wanted to critique a photo, but I couldn't do so because I've yet to enter Photography myself. And by finding this lil' piece o gold, I'm all ready!
Xescay's avatar
After reading this, I feel like I'll be able to critique something. Before, I didn't feel confident enough to write up a critique (I'm not a very good artist), but now I feel that I should be able to do it, with a little bit of courage.
Doubtful-Della's avatar
Just do it and keep doing it and next thing you know, it will be a natural process!
Phostructor's avatar
Interesting. You may be interested to read my thoughts on photo critique: [link]
Guard-of-the-Citadel's avatar
This is wonderful! I've hesitated to offer a critique, mainly because I feel that I'm in NO position to offer one of others (I don't consider myself that good, so how could I ever sit in judgment of another great artist?) But these guidelines can really help me to at least give an opinion which might prove helpful to someone. I know there are times I would like an honest opinion if there is something I could do better. Thanks! :nod:
LightArtist's avatar
Awesome! This is really helful :D

Helewidis's avatar
:wave: Hi there!

This tutorial of yours is a fave in the #NewsStand Group - a new born group for PJ and Street, and has been featured in our very first newsletter: [link]

:clap: Congrats!

Eloísa Valdes,
#NewsStand's Managing Editor
Doubtful-Della's avatar
Thanks for the feature! Checking out the new group now!
GreatComment's avatar
Thank you for this tutorial. It certainly is a helpful tool for those who want to give comments with some more depth and content.
I will add it to my newly starting 'GreatComment' account's favourites as reference :+favlove:

As a photographer, I can learn a lot to improve my work, only by reading through your tutorial! Thanks :)


My main account: :iconsteppeland:
GreatComment's avatar
Oops, sorry for double posting!
GreatComment's avatar
Thanks for this tutorial. It certainly is a helpful tool for those who like to give comments with some more depth and content! ;) - adding it to my newly starting 'GreatComment'-pages :) :+favlove:

Steppeland :iconsteppeland:
rowenabrennavart's avatar
You've been featured here [link]

Tell me if that's ok with you, if not I'll remove it right away ^-^ Thank you for doing this deviation!

Help to spread the word if you can! n_n Love,

silverleprichuan's avatar
i just found this when googling "photography critique terms" and this was the number one hit. THank you for the detail description, I think this will really help me provide a more accurate and detailed critique in the future. thanks again

Doubtful-Della's avatar
I'm really glad that you've found this to be helpful!
vickstahs's avatar
This piece of advice will definately benefit both the critique and the artist. Thanks for such a great tutorial, ^^
lostreality91's avatar
carterr's avatar
this is great thanks ;)
Doubtful-Della's avatar
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