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
Interpretation- How this image makes you feel, what it says to you, how you relate to the image.
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?
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.
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:
3. Technical Aspect
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:
How does this image make me feel?
What message is conveyed in the image?
How do I connect with or relate to the image?
Is there an emotion or story attached to the photo, and does the photographer do a good job conveying it?
‘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:
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.
II. Colors and Lighting
IV. Depth of Field
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
Has the artist used the Rule of Thirds?
How does the center of interest relate to the other parts of the image?
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:
Do these colors help convey an emotional response?
Do these colors hurt the art rather than help it?
Does the lighting create any weird shadows?
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.
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:
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:
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?
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:
Does the perspective make the objects in the photograph look bunched together, or far apart?
Do the lines from the linear perspective converge at a central point, giving a strong feeling of depth?
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!
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.
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!
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
As a photographer, I can learn a lot to improve my work, only by reading through your tutorial! Thanks
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More