I know the importance of being able to critique my own work and I also know that sometimes I am probably my own worst critic.
It is far easier to have someone else look over my work but then sometimes I can feel a little defensive when small things are picked up on. A friend commented on one of my landscapes recently, the one with the swan, sort of in the middle of the frame, that was where I wanted it. He didn’t really comment on areas that lost detail but did comment on the amount of foreground. I can see his point and would have preferred to set up a bit differently, exposure, composition…. but, here comes the defensive bit….. As I was setting up I noticed the swan, I had limited time to get ready, in fact it was a big rush to get set up as the swan was swimming by.
I could have cropped some of the foreground out of the image but then I would be changing the feel of the picture too much, even if I cropped it constraining the crop to the same aspect ratio: it just would be a different image all together and perhaps one that I would not have shared on the world wide web?!
So, self critiquing is important but also remembering not to be too harsh on oneself. Not taking it to heart if someone makes a suggestion is also something to take on board. Lee is a very good photographer and if he had been there on the morning of the shoot I am fairly sure he’d have done the same as me, took a chance to capture the image rather than have nothing at all. We just have a different view on post processing and cropping. Check out his work, he uses a lot of photoshop but has a good eye.
I don’t get much feedback on my images, I get a little on my flickr account and some useful feedback on here. A while ago, photographer Zack Arias was advertising a project where he was going to pick subjects and critique the work. I put my name in the hat but was not picked… Gutted!
However, I do still get access to his critique of the images that are submitted. I spent over an hour and a half watching the first critique on you tube. I found The Zack Arias DEDPXL Critique very useful for highlighting composition, talking a little about lighting, the importance of getting out and practicing rather than posting archived images to websites.
It also gave me some insight into what judges might be looking for when judging photography competitions.
Anyway, if like me you want hints and clues and a little pointer in a direction that I think will help you self critique your own work, go back a few lines and click on the DEDPXL link.
Jim Jimmy James