As a teacher one of the new topics I introduced a while back was a ‘critique’ of images. If the students were uncomfortable with sharing their own images to critique then we’d look at others – often those sent to photography magazines for competitions. The aim of the critique is always to find out in discussion why one image looks good & why another may not. I would never introduce a critique session early in a course, only when participants get know each other – therefore establishing a familiar, safe & respectful environment within which to talk

The results of these discussions surprised me – they were very popular.  I wasn’t sure this was going to be the case but participants nearly always thought that the sessions were very valuable & a great way to improve their photography…….& quickly

You can apply this so easily to your own photography by either looking at other photographers’ images or by stopping to look at your own to consider how you could improve the image. The process will always help improve your photography. Question ways the image could be improved……………

  • positioning – could I have moved 1 metre to the left, right, up or down to produce the best result. We always take shots from eye level – not always the best option. Your image may be instantly improved by shifting your position
  • exposure – draw attention to a subject – use the right overall exposure for the right area of the image – your subject
  • composition – to make the image sit properly within the frame – eg the ‘thirds rule’
  • blur (in ‘shutter priority’) – controlling shutter speed to either create or eliminate blur –  good for water & movement
  • use of ‘depth of field’ (in ‘aperture priority’) – a shallow dof (small f/number) is a great way to isolate a subject & add drama
  • consider ‘what is my subject?’ – is my image too busy? de-clutter your image – remove distractions by re-composing or perhaps zooming in