If you're writing a photo critique with the intention of helping a photographer improve their work, it's important that your critique has a clear structure so the photographer can easily pick out the key points. Read on for a 5-step 'how to' guide that will give you a simple plan to follow when writing critiques.
1 – The first thing you should focus on is the content of the photo. Look at the key point of interest in the picture and see if your eye is drawn to it in the way it should be. For example, if the picture is of a child playing with a ball, is your eye immediately drawn to him or her? If not, it could be because there is extraneous content or perhaps wasted space around the edges that could have been cropped out to make the image more focused.
2 – Next, look at the background of the picture. This will help you evaluate the depth of field. Taking the above example of the picture of the child, it could be that the eye is drawn to trees in the background due to the focus of the picture being too sharp. In this instance, your critique might be that the background of the picture should have been in a softer focus.
3 – Now look at the technical aspect of the picture. A key part of this is the exposure. Taking our example picture, it could be that the picture was taken on a single shutter, which could lead to some aspects being overly shadowed or blurry. In this instance, you could write in your photo critique that the picture would have benefited from a slightly longer exposure, allowing more light and movement to be incorporated.
4 – The next thing to look at is the care that has gone into the picture. This we could call the craftsmanship behind the work and refers to how the picture has been presented. For example, is our picture of the child playing with the ball let down by a speck of dirt that got in the way of the lens? Has it been put in an elaborate frame that isn't appropriate for the subject matter and draws attention away from the photo?
5 – Finally, to end your photo critique, look at the issue of emotion. Consider what the photographer might have been aiming to convey and whether you think they have achieved it. For example, if they were trying to capture the innocence of a child playing, do you think that comes across?