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How to Properly Critique a Photograph


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I, myself, created this powerpoint for your pure enjoyment. Hopefully, the human race will now comprehend the simple art of critiquing a photo. Ciao!

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How to Properly Critique a Photograph

  1. 1. Proper Criticism of Photography So nicely created by Mary Kate O’Connell Mr. Boothby Photographic Imaging 1 December 14, 2012
  2. 2. “Crit”• “A crit involves a group of people looking carefully at a selection of photographs, such as those you will be producing for the exercises in this book, and analyzing or judging them.”• Why do we crit? - We criticize others in order to prepare ourselves for takingour own photos. To understand how to take goodpictures, seeing the pros and cons of other people’s work canhelp you a lot. When you criticize the work of others, you cansee what you like and dislike about other people’s photography.Once you discover what you don’t like, you will understand notto do the same thing.
  3. 3. Evaluating a Print• To critique a print, you must answer the following questions: 1. Whats good about it? 2. Whats not good? 3. What could be better?• When people judge photography, they tend to only enjoy the picture if it is a photo of something they like. People need to put the things they don’t like aside, and see the actual depth and beauty of the photo.
  4. 4. Now, Let’s Begin…• For starters, when you’re looking to critique a photo, say it nicely. The last thing you want to do is hurt someone’s feelings.• Good photos must be valuable, clear and very presentable. If a photo does not contain those items, you have every right to start critiquing.
  5. 5. ValueA photo has good value when:• When there is a good balance of light• Good contrast• Decent brightnessYou need to be able to distinguish the differencebetween good and bad grays in a black andwhite photo. Is the picture too dark? Is it toolight? These factors can greatly increase ordecrease the value of a photo.
  6. 6. Clarity• A subject may either look sharp like a knife, or soft like a blanket!• When a photo doesn’t have clarity, the edges are blurrier than they should be. This is not acceptable. This is when you should start critiquing.• The main object of the photo should be clear and in focus. This is when you know your picture has clarity. CLARITY IS A MUST!
  7. 7. The Art of Presentation• As it clearly states in Chapter 4, a photo has to be clean. A picture cannot contain any scratches, dust, glitches, and absolutely NO HICKIES!Make sure you do not have any blemishes inyour photography.Once you complete this, your pictures should beready for viewing by others.
  8. 8. Composition• Composition is your style!• Make sure the photo has:1. Cropping2. Lines3. Aesthetics HAPPY CRITTING!
  9. 9. Example #1 DustThe picture to the right is a decent picture.There are several nice elements, yet somevery horrid elements.For starters, the photo has a nice starfish.The starfish is in focus, and thereforedemonstrates clarity. The different shades ofgray in the photo are also very flattering. It Dustlooks cool with the dark contrast in the Dustback, and a lighter contrast in the front. Itgives the photograph a kind ofmysterious, eerie feel to it.When you take a close look at thephoto, you realize that there are some majorblemishes. There are a lot of dust andscratches. If the photographer had simplytaken some time to edit his photo, hecould’ve had a brilliant piece.
  10. 10. Scratch Example #2In this photo, there isn’t much wrongwith it. The penguins are in focus, andare very clear. Even the ocean, sand andreflections are in focus as well. The onlydown side with this photograph is thatin the water behind the penguin on theright, there is a little mark that appearsto be a scratch. With the exception ofthat scratch, this photo is near perfect. hp?option=com_phocagallery&view=detail&catid =1:featured&id=20:coyote-with-a- snack&tmpl=component&Itemid=6
  11. 11. Example #3This picture is so amazing. It has no visibleblemishes. It is definitely in focus. The objectbeing photographed is also a very interestingthing to look at. It has a great dark and lightfocus area. The fact that the top right cornerof her face is dark, makes questions runthrough your mind. Why is that spot dark? Isshe not supposed to be eating the blackberry?Is she hiding from someone? The fact that thispicture makes me ask these questions is great.This is a fabulous photo, and from the nakedhuman eye, I can’t see anything wrong withthis amazing picture. #mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=11&p=3&a=0&at =0
  12. 12. Work CitedOBrien, Michael, and Norman Sibley. The Photographic Eye: Learning toSee with a Camera. Worcester, MA: Davis Publications, 1995. Print."Nature Photographer Magazine." Nature PhotographerMagazine. Maine Graphics, 2009. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. Kantor, Jonathan. "Jonathan Kantor Still Life Photographer." Jonathan Kantor Still Life Photographer. Jonathan Kantor, 2013. Web. 08 Jan. 2013.
  13. 13. Thank You!• This power point “was made possible by viewers like you. Thank you.” –Wise words of PBS• I hope you now understand the art of properly critiquing.