Decide which photo of the dog is "stronger" according to your own eye. Prepare to discuss why you think one image is stronger than the other.
Consider the tree images above. Select which image of the trees you think is the strongest. Pick the number of the image and then write about why you think it is stronger than the other images.
- Subject Matter: What is in the picture?
- Composition: How is the subject composed?
- Technical Elements: Is the image too bright, too dark, grainy?
- Interpretation: Opinion Based on Fact
Note: It is not enough to say that something is "good" or "bad," you must explain what you think is strong or weak. Pinpoint elements that work really well within a photograph, and then you may list elements that are distracting to your eye. Describe possible solutions for how the photographer could avoid such errors in the future.
The Point: The goal of critique is to improve the work. If we only hear that things are "good" or "bad" then we never move forward creatively but rather just get hurt in the process.
- Descriptions are factual statements about what is seen within an image
- Descriptions can be a data-gathering process or a data-reporting process (science experiment)
- Description is criticism at the start
- When gathering descriptive data, everything matters
- Facts about artist, title, medium, size, date, and place or type of presentation are meaningful descriptive data.
- Formal analysis is a combination of description and interpretations.
- Descriptions should offer information drawn from within and outside of a photograph.
- Descriptions can be infinite. Relevancy is the determining factor.
Be politically correct and appropriate in your responses.
Emotional: frustration, fragility, anger, confusion, isolation
- Photographic Principles: black and white tonal range, subject contrast, film contrast, negative contrast, paper contrast, film format, point of view, angle and lens, frame and edge, depth of field, sharpness of grain, degree of focus, crop
- Elements of Design: dot, line, shape, light, value, color, texture, mass, space, and volume
- Principles of Design: repetition and rhythm, balance, directional forces, emphasiss, and subordination
"The formal element put to most startling use in these pictures is the scale of the objects in them. Houseplants, knives, forks, and spoons appear larger than life. Our common understanding of the meaning of these pedestrian objects is transformed to a perception of them as exotic and mysterious. (continued)." -- Susan Kismaric description of Plate 3 by Jan Groover (shown left)
Not only do we have file types and compression, but we also have a saturated market for digital cameras. Film cameras were simpler in many respects as photographers were looking for quality parts over "bells and whistles." Today, digital cameras have so many little detailed "perks" to lure customers in that it is hard to know what you should be looking for when buying a camera.
When determining someone's style, consider:
- What subjects he or she chooses to photograph
- How the medium of photography is used
- How the picture is arranged within the frame
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Staring Directly Out at the Viewer
Condescending of Subjects
Bringing the "Mighty" Down to Normal Size
Invasion of Privacy