First Session of Picture Critique


Thanks all of you who have submitted pictures to my picture critique page and taken a chance by letting me pass on my opinion about the pictures. I hope I haven’t been too critical.

To sum up the experience of the first sessions of picture critique that I started last week, I can say, for myself at least, that it’s been quite an interesting process. It’s been fun to see the variety of pictures submitted to this informal review of other photographs’ work. The level has been good, which makes it easier for me to make some commendable comments – and maybe push the stakes a little more, too.

As I say in a summarizing comment on the page: The fact is I think all the pictures are good works by talented photographers, but the better the pictures are, the more critical I become. Otherwise I don’t see any point of this exercise. If you want to stretch yourself you need something to stretch for. This said, I am also fully aware that the views presented are only my opinions. There is no absolute right or wrong, and somebody else might see the pictures totally different. With this in mind I think the most important thing for any picture critique is pointing out what is good or bad. It’s too easy to say «I like» or just push the button. But if we want to learn something we need to know why and we need to be able to express why we like or don’t like a picture.

One thing most of the submitted picture had in common – as far I see it – is a lack of intent. I feel a majority of the photographers hadn’t been quite clear about why they took the pictures they did and what they wanted to say with them. That’s actually why I wrote the post about photographic vision and intent earlier this week. If you haven’t read it, please take a look, because for me the intention behind a photograph is what makes it stand out and makes it become interesting for others.

Unfortunately the technical part of downloading the pictures to the critique page didn’t work out as smoothly as I had hoped. The code I submitted on the page didn’t work for anybody else than me. WordPress has obviously closed the possibilities for others to post pictures in a comment. If anyone knows how to get around this limitation, I would really appreciate if you let me know. I will now close this first session of picture critique, simply to rethink the whole concept. If you have thoughts about how it can work more smoothly, please be so kind to let me know. I will let the page be open until the end of the weekend coming up. Sunday evening will in other words be the last chance to submit any pictures. After that I will close it for further posting. But don’t worry, if you would like to have a picture critiqued and don’t make it by the end of the weekend. I will soon open up a new session – and hopefully it will all be working more smoothly.

If you want to use the opportunity to have your picture critiqued, post a link to where I can find it on the Picture Critique page.

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About Otto von Münchow

Photographer based in Norway
This entry was posted in Creativity, Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to First Session of Picture Critique

  1. dearrosie says:

    Hi Otto,
    What an interesting selection of photos. I must’ve missed your post asking us to submit a picture. Are you replying individually to the photographers?
    When I went out taking pictures today each time I saw a picture I wanted to capture I wasn’t sure what to do next – for example I wanted to photograph a bunch of green baby bananas on a tree…

    • munchow says:

      If you go to my page Picture Critique (you’ll find the tab above), you will see that the pictures and reviews are posted there. Maybe you would like to post one, too, Rosanna, the option is still open a couple of more days.

  2. wow! putting them together in a composition certainly made the pics more interesting… btw, i appreciate what you said, sir, about the intent of the creator as the one that makes the difference. well said… kind regards 🙂

  3. semprevento says:

    dear,
    ommentare is difficult for me, I can not write in English. and motion concepts google can not translate them.
    put like this means to me, of course, appreciate the photography. Feel like a good perfume. a feeling sweet or sad, or surprised.
    criticism alal photos I can not do it. are an amateur who does not fully understand the difference between a light and a shadow 🙂 I take passion, I love the photography throughout his espresione. but most agree in your thinking. Each photo has its own story has its moment, its beauty.

    I really like the criticism when they are constructive, it is interesting figure of the photographer, and I appreciate it!
    my photos are my story in my last two years.
    I love this.!
    my link
    http://sempreventophoto.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/ombra/
    vento 🙂

  4. Beautiful pictures. Sorry to hear that the code did not work out well. I’m not sure if this will work but I joined another blogger last year and although I wasn’t able to continue, it was a great experience. He was able to make a blog site that gives the participants direct access to making a post, same as the one we see in our dashboard. May be it will work for pictures too. Thanks for sharing an honest critique. Very helpful to anyone who enjoys taking images.

  5. aFrankAngle says:

    What a wonderful collage because it offers quite the variety and something for everyone.

  6. Thanks Otto! Your time, expertise and opinion is of great value. I for one, appreciate your efforts as I’m sure the rest of your readers do as well. I think of the critique page as an early holiday gift.

  7. Adam Isler says:

    A worthy effort, even if technical difficulties intervened.

  8. Inge says:

    Thank you very much for your time and effort, Otto. Really appreciated. 🙂

  9. mcolmo says:

    I find night photos the hardest to take, but once one learns to master that, they come out beautiful. However, I still need a proper camera to do so.

  10. Emily says:

    Wow Otto, that’s really incredible of you to spend time providing advice to other photographers for free. I always find it difficult to be creative, especially since my photos all tend to look alike sometimes. But that’s why I think it’s important to hear what everyone has to say … take it with a grain of salt, and hope to be inspired or to find way to improve.

    I am sure these photographers have really appreciated your time. 🙂

  11. Pingback: Free Chat Thursday « Starla's Chat

  12. eof737 says:

    The collage makes the photos pop… Very generous of you to critique others photos. Only idea for now is that people send you a photo and you choose a few to upload/share and critique. 😉 But maybe you did that already.

  13. drawandshoot says:

    Great idea, and very generous offer, Otto!

  14. I for one really welcomed your valuable and insightful feedback Otto. I’ve gone back and made some changes to the image and you were right. Thank you so much. I found this a very valuable exercise. I’m looking forward to your next photo critique as I will be participating again.

    • munchow says:

      I am glad it was useful. For me it certainly was an interesting experience. I learned a lot from your photos and from the process of trying to give some meaningful comments.

  15. seabluelee says:

    Ah, that question of intent again. What do I want a picture to say? Is it not enough for it to say “I think this is interesting or beautiful and I took this photo to remember it by”? I think I probably don’t understand the concept.

    • munchow says:

      It’s absolutely a valid intent to “only” want to remember something by a photograph. That is intent, too, you know. The question is if you would like to put in an effort to make those memories as good as possible. Then you could still ask why this is an important moment to remember, and then try to make it as memorable as possible. In the end it comes down to how much we want to prioritize the act of photographing.

  16. I totally missed it, but thank goodness can still learn from it. Good thing to think about – intent. How generous of you to offer your critique! Thank you!

  17. I must get caught up and read your post about photographing with intention! I’m not sure what that means, but I believe that intention is important in everything we do, so there’s validity in your suggestion. I think your offer is very generous. Those of us who follow you have such respect for your work. Your opinions and what you have to offer in evaluation is really valuable.

    • munchow says:

      Yes, I think it’s good to have intent in most of what we do. Although sometimes it is good just to slip away into some unconscious state of mind… Thanks for the nice works.

  18. Otto, thanks for your recent visit.
    I have read your critiques & find them interesting & educational. You have an excellent eye & opinions of photography.

    Have a great weekend! : )

  19. Owyn says:

    The train photograph is fantastic. I love the colour range. Thank you for visiting my blog by the way.

  20. Beautiful photos. I think it would be very interesting to see your suggestions for them. Couldn’t agree with you more about intent, and I’m like you in having more to say about good work even though we work in different mediums. Sometimes it’s very hard to know where to start with someone who’s starting out. We don’t want to kill dreams and drive, but sometimes it can be hard to go back to beginner lessons — though maybe we should once in a while because it might help us with our own work?

    • munchow says:

      You can find my suggestions for the photos on my Picture Critique page (the fan you’ll find above). Yes, it’s indeed a balance between constructive critique and discouragement.

  21. Like I’ve already told you (but I’ll say it again): I think that it’s great that you offer your expertise to the blogging community this way. I respect you for this.
    In my opinion you haven’t been to critical and it’s helpful for the ones posting photos to get some real feedback on their photos. That way they can take the feedback into consideration and develop their skills.

    • munchow says:

      Thanks for the very nice words again. And, yes, it’s my hope that some real feedback – as you call it – will be of help in developing skills and an understanding of the visual language.

  22. This has been a really fun read! How fun to see such awesome photos and read the critique of each. So very interesting and so very different! Thanks, also, for the information about photographic vision and intent. This post will be one that I will be . . . rereading. It is great.

  23. Sunshine says:

    I am just here to do a little cheering…YAY!! Hooray! Aside from the technical problem, this is a wonderful idea! 🙂

  24. kuujinbo says:

    Hi,
    You said:

    “the intention behind a photograph is what makes it stand out and makes it become interesting for others”.

    **VERY** good advice, thank you.

  25. @Otto, I am very proud get an assessment of your, and very proud of my photos have a place on your blog.I learned a lot from you. Once again, thank you very much for your time and effort, I really appreciated it 😀 Regards

  26. Pingback: Another Round of Picture Critique | In Flow

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