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ULTIMATE Photography Critique by Doubtful-Della ULTIMATE Photography Critique by Doubtful-Della
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!
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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 `leodadominicos 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 dont 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 its 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!

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References
I want to give a huge thanks to:
~lewcids Photography for Beginners
`splats Guide to Commenting
~ProCritique Critique Standards
`leodadominico How to give better comments
Photoinf.com
The Luminous Landscape
Travel.State.Gov Glossery
Virtual Training Help Center
Sanford Adventures
PSA Journal> Creative Photography
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:iconvisualstripes:
VisualStripes Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for sharing these tips. They're very helpfull to bring DA to a next level! 
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2018  Professional Photographer
Thank you so much! When I teach my photography classes, I use this same format!
Reply
:iconvisualstripes:
VisualStripes Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
My pleasure.

It's very helpful for ány kind of feedback. Deconstruct what's moving you, and explain every aspect in detail with tact. :-)
Reply
:iconpizzapotatonbacon:
PizzaPotatoNBacon Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Student General Artist
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!
:la:
Reply
:iconxescay:
Xescay Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
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.
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2012  Professional Photographer
Just do it and keep doing it and next thing you know, it will be a natural process!
Reply
:iconphostructor:
Phostructor Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011
Interesting. You may be interested to read my thoughts on photo critique: [link]
Reply
:iconguard-of-the-citadel:
Guard-of-the-Citadel Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010   Photographer
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:
Reply
:iconlightartist:
LightArtist Featured By Owner May 13, 2010   Photographer
Awesome! This is really helful :D

Cortney
Reply
:iconervin21:
ervin21 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2010
great :D
Reply
:iconhelewidis:
Helewidis Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2009   Photographer
: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
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2009  Professional Photographer
Thanks for the feature! Checking out the new group now!
Reply
:icongreatcomment:
GreatComment Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2008
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 :)

Steppeland

My main account: :iconsteppeland:
Reply
:icongreatcomment:
GreatComment Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2008
Oops, sorry for double posting!
Reply
:icongreatcomment:
GreatComment Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2008
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:
Reply
:iconrowenabrennavart:
rowenabrennavart Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
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,

Cris
Reply
:iconsilverleprichuan:
silverleprichuan Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2007
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

~silverleprichuan
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2007  Professional Photographer
I'm really glad that you've found this to be helpful!
Reply
:iconvickstahs:
vickstahs Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007
This piece of advice will definately benefit both the critique and the artist. Thanks for such a great tutorial, ^^
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2007  Professional Photographer
Thank you
Reply
:iconlostreality91:
lostreality91 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
brilliant!
Reply
:iconcarterr:
carterr Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2007
this is great thanks ;)
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2007  Professional Photographer
You're welcome
Reply
:iconcarterr:
carterr Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2007
this is great thanks ;)
Reply
:iconqueen-kitty:
Queen-Kitty Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2007   Photographer
This is a wonderful tutorial. :) As a photographer, I often just get faves or things such as "Cute!" I don't mind this from friends, but from random people it makes me think that I'm just not artistic. I really hope more people start following these guidelines, because people really do appreciate nice, thought-out comments. In fact, I have had many people tell me so when I leave a comment on their picture. :) thank you for getting the word out that people like full comments!
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2007  Professional Photographer
I'm glad that you like it. it's something that I always try to keep in mind although I don't always leave good critiques. But I try to remember to say something encouraging and constructive
Reply
:iconoutsidethelens:
Outsidethelens Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2007
Unfortunately I'm too tired to read this all right now and leave a thoughtful comment but rest assured I will be back to do so! :D
Reply
:icontrue-reflexion:
True-RefleXion Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2006
In my journal as a reference for my critics journal project.

Thank you very much.
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2006  Professional Photographer
Thanks. There is a better version of this guide found at *ThePhotoCritic
Reply
:icontrue-reflexion:
True-RefleXion Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2006
Thank you.
I just added the link.
Reply
:iconjujimufu:
jujimufu Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2006
Wow! Great tutorial! +fav for sure, and you can bet that I will promote this tutorial as much as I can. People need to learn that commenting like "cool!" or ":)" is not what "Advanced Critique Encouraged" stands for. Thanks again for providing the community with this tutorial! Take care!! D:
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2006  Professional Photographer
If you go to *ThePhotoCritic you can seee the tutorial with photographs
Reply
:iconjujimufu:
jujimufu Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2006
Ok, thanks :D I will check it out.
Reply
:iconcheekylittlemonkey:
cheekylittlemonkey Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2006
so wonderful that I made it part of my signature :)
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2006  Professional Photographer
Thanks. There is a better on at *ThePhotoCritic
It has pictures with it
Reply
:iconlifelessonline:
lifelessonline Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2006
Hey, it's nice to find someone that is active on the community with so many things, pics, icons and even tutorials! (<-- this is a compliment compliant message).
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2006  Professional Photographer
Thanks so much :bow:
Reply
:iconelectric-squirrel:
electric-squirrel Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2006
Definitely something to peruse in more detail when I have a bit more time. I think it's a great overview based on what I have read so far. :clap:

:+fav:
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2006  Professional Photographer
Thank you so much
Reply
:iconrecklesswalker:
recklesswalker Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2005   Photographer
good stuff.. covers most bases...
Reply
:iconioquacious:
ioquacious Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2005
thanx for compiling this for evrybody! :D
Reply
:iconphotographer12:
photographer12 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2005   Photographer
WOW! :jawdrop: that's all I have to say
Reply
:iconmizamour:
Mizamour Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2005
Wow! This is absolutely awesome! Wonderfully written and a great guide!
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2005  Professional Photographer
Thanks, I hope it can be of use
Reply
:iconjustmebuzzabe:
justmebuzzabe Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2005
hey thanks for this. This guide will definately make it easier to comment instead of writing "great shot". how sad huh.
Reply
:iconskeet:
Skeet Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2005
brilliant!!!! if everyone on DA just used a small part of this to comment we would all learn and improve a lot more. +fav!
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2005  Professional Photographer
thank you! I hope it helps
Reply
:iconratafluke:
Ratafluke Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2005
Thank you so much for writing this tutorial! I always try to write meaningful comments, but often I feel I don't enough know about art to achieve that goal. Reading this tutorial I realized even more how becoming a better photographer and becoming a better commenter goes hand in hand. I like it from the first to the last word, and the only minor point of critique I can find is that the link on lightning timed out tonight. I'm gonna fav it and check back in a week or so to check how well I've been able to incorporate your guidelines into my commenting.
Reply
:icondoubtful-della:
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2005  Professional Photographer
Awesome! I'm so glad it helped. i'll have to check out that link later. Maybe they moved/deleted it
Reply
:iconratafluke:
Ratafluke Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2005
The page is OK now, I guess it was a problem of the server being temporarily unavailable. I had an even better idea, I copied a few key words/questions and stuck them to my bed. If I glance over it every now and then, they will eventually become "my flesh and blood", helping me to give detailed comments as well as keeping all those aspects in mind when taking photos.
Reply
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