Good Start of the Picture Critique

© Mary Hone
© Linda Grashoff
© Elaine
© Holly Hunter
© Mary Shoobridge
© Terry
© Linda Paul
© Monica Amberger

The first week of my latest run of photo critique was inspiring. I received a handful and more captivating images from bloggers who trusted me to give some useful and constructive feedback. For me that is always a humbling experience, whether I am granted the chance to provide feedback here on this site or during my regular workshops. It requires respect and understanding of each photograph’s level to be able to not only praise their photos but also honestly point to possible improvements, without discouraging the recipients.

Many years of teaching workshops have given me confidence in the process, and at this stage I am sorely enjoying both looking at for me new bodies of work and articulate what I see and feel when taking in their artistic expressions. It’s inspirational for me, as well as something I always learn from myself. Of course, when giving my feedback, I don’t claim to know what is right or wrong, but I still hope my opinion will make some sense for those who trust me with their photos. However, it’s only my opinion, and others my see things quite differently and even in opposition to my views. So, for those of you who let me give my feedback, take whatever makes sense to you of what I write and then leave the rest behind.

This first week, only bloggers who already know me through exchange and blogging over the internet have submitted photos to this round of critique. I hope over the next little period that others would like to give it a try as well. So if you have a photo you would like some feedback on, please don’t hesitate to submit a link to my page here, called Picture Critique. Remember, it’s not about submitting excellent photos, but about photos you feel uncertain about or photos you would like to get an outsider’s opinion about.

Keep in mind that I will only keep this possibility for picture critique open another couple of weeks. By the end of the month, I will close the site. If you have a photo—or think you have one—jump on and grab the opportunity; submit a photo, or more correctly submit a link to the photo. I will get back with my honest, sincere and constructive feedback as soon as possible after you have submitted the link. Take a look on the page and get an idea how it works. And then welcome with your photo.

Let me finally add that if you need some ideas to improve your photography I would like to recommend my eBook 10 Great Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Point-and-Shoot Camera. It’s an inexpensive eBook full of inspiration, and it’s available on my website http://www.munchow.no.

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Get Feedback on a Photo of Yours

Do you have a photo you need feedback on, a picture you are unsure about, a picture that is different from your usual style or just a picture that you want to know how to do better? I have once again opened up for my popular picture critique. Post a picture on my Picture Critique page here on this blog and get my feedback on the photo.

It’s been a while since last time (as a matter of fact summer 2015). But here I am with another round of picture critique! So once again, I open up for submission of photos anyone would like some feedback on. This is the fifth time I do this, and the previous rounds were well received by those who sent me their photos.

As last time my idea is to let any of you who have pictures you want to have some feedback on to post them on my site here. Go to the Picture Critique page, post a link to the picture and I will soon give my honest view and perception of your picture in what I attempt to be constructive and meaningful critique.

I both teach and attend a lot of workshops, and one of the greatest values from participating in photographic workshops is the possibility to have feedback on pictures you take. I know from the workshops I teach that this is what students appreciate the most. Therefore, here is a chance to get feedback on your pictures without having to participate in an expensive workshop. Not quite the same of course, but I hope it can be of some value.

If you are interested, go to the Picture Critique page to read more or just post a picture there. I hope to see your picture soon. Please do not post any picture or links to pictures here, but go to the Picture Critique page.

Beneath are a collage of the pictures submitted in the last round of picture critique. Are you ready for – or need – some feedback on one of your photos? Here is the chance.

When Time Is in Shortage

After I launched of my eBook 10 Great Tips to Take Better Photos last week, the reception has been above all expectations. Thanks to all of you, who gave me encouraging comments or kind-hearted feedback—and not the least, thank you to all who bought the book. It’s been a ride on high winds, taken me to a place of pure joy and making me want to start writing new books almost right away.

It has also reminded me of my intention I mentioned on this blog earlier this year, all the way back in January. Back then, I wrote that I had great plans for this blog of mine; I wanted to redesign the site and add more values in various ways to my readership. As such, this eBook is for me the first step in this direction. However, the reminder is in the fact that I had actually expected to also have redesigned my blog by now, as well as having launched more ideas and added new features.

The thing is—and I am sure you have experienced the same—sometimes we want to do so much, while time is holding us back or limiting how much we are actually capable of doing. There is just not enough time to go around. At least that’s our perception. It’s easy to get discouraged and stressed out by this apparent time lack. I have had to tell myself to lay such thoughts aside, not to discourage myself. I simply need to give myself some slack—we all need to do so, I would assume. Sometimes we push so hard, that nothing will ever get close to create a feeling of satisfaction no matter how much we actually are capable of doing.

In the end, I believe it’s better to be ambitious, have many plans, maybe more than is realistically pursuable, than sitting back and not push for much or anything at all. Some ideas may not be able to fly at all, some may need time to be transformed into reality, and maybe, in the end, only a few will reach realisation. It’s still so much better than doing nothing. In my opinion at least.

Another factor adds to this time balance. We have all heard and have probably experienced that time is relative. Isn’t it so that when we feel time is running short, we don’t manage to get much done—no matter how much or little we set out to do. The opposite is true, too, isn’t it? When we feel we are in no shortage of time there is no limit to how much we can get done.

Time is a mental state. We can actually control time. Of course, time never stops, but our experience of time is very much a result of our mental state. If we can relax our mind and not worry about time, there will suddenly be plenty of time. When you feel stressed out for time, try to impose a thought inside of you that there is plenty of time, and suddenly you will start to relax, stress down and time doesn’t feel like a shortage any more.

The last many months—or probably years—I have been flying around feeling the shortage of time. Never being satisfied with myself, never feeling I could get enough done. Launching the eBook actually provided me with a break. First of all because I had finished one of my projects that I had long been working on and wanted to finish, but never really had time for. However and even more importantly, the positive response on the book made me rethink my approach to time and gave me space to relax. This last week, I have allowed myself to think there is plenty of time for all I want to accomplish. It may sound strange, but suddenly it feels as if there is no shortage of time. It is really a mental state.

As a reaction to all this newfound time, I have decided to push on even harder. A couple of weeks ago I met up with Mary Shoobridge, a blogger that I have only had contact with in cyberspace. In mid-August she and her husband visited Bergen, my hometown, and we met face to face for the first—but hopefully not the last—time. One of the things that I brought back from that meeting, besides a very pleasant couple of hours with the two of them, was a question from Mary. She was inquiring about my Picture Critique I have in earlier years offered on this blog. When would I do it again? When I checked, the fact is that last time was back in spring 2015. Since then I have not had time to open up for another around of picture critique again. Well, with my newfound time and not the least because of Mary’s request, I will start a new round later this month. It will be duly announced here. However if you think it could be worthwhile to receive feedback on a photo of yours, you now have some time to either capture a new photo or search your archive for one you would like to have a second opinion about.

Furthermore, I want to flow with this positive response that the eBook has created. I am ready to start working on new books about photography as well as creativity. The question is where to start? I have far to many ideas for new books. So I have decided to ask you blogger-friends. Do you have any thoughts, any desires, any photo eBook you may feel the need for? Is there any theme I might be able to help you with through such an eBook? Please let me know. I will be delighted if you would like to give me some feedback.

By the way, if you haven’t gotten my new eBook 10 Great Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Point-and-Shoot Camera, you will find more information and may buy it on my website www.munchow.no.

Facts about the photo: The photo was taken a Canon EOS 1D with 28-135 mm lens set to 28 mm. Shutter speed: 1/125 s. Aperture: f/11. The photo was processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.

You Are All So Good!

potpourri

We have come to the final set of photos for this round of Picture Critique. Today I wrote the last feedback for the pictures that you have submitted for picture critique. And I must say I am really impressed. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago while still in the middle of this round, it’s been a real pleasure to go through the submitted images. I have seen anything from landscapes to street photos, from straightforward to quite complicated images, from cold to warm, from black and white to saturated colour photos. The level of creativity, and willingness to explore photography as a media, has amazed me – as have the quality of your photos. It’s always easy to give critique when I feel the photographer have pushed himself or herself into doing his or her best. So I really feel privileged to have been allowed to give my openhearted thoughts about your photos – and I hope you feel it’s been valuable, not only for those of you who submitted photos, but for all who have followed and read the critique. Even if you didn’t submit any photos you can still see the many photos and my feedback on my Picture Critique page. And for those of you who didn’t make it this round, I will be back again with a new round of Picture Critique. Right now I don’t know when, but it will happen as soon as I find time to do it again. That’s a promise.

Now I will log off complete for the next ten days. I will tour the north-westernmost states of USA, go hiking and just explore the country. See you in a little more than a week from now. Enjoy the summer and take many wonderful photos!

Last Week of Picture Critique

Munchow_1700-002_E2

I am almost adjourned with the photos submitted to my Picture Critique page, only two or three remains of what have been presented this far. As I wrote last week, it’s been a fun experience and a privilege to be allowed to view and present my opinion about the many photos. I would like to stress that what I write is of course exactly that; only my opinion. If you disagree, nothing is better than that, particularly if you put it down as a comment for further discussion. My point about doing this is to create awareness about the process and encourage intention in the creation of images. If you disagree and are able to put it down in words, you have already come a long way in this awareness. In addition we can all learn from each other and the different ways we see things. As Helen pointed in one of the comments, it’s not always easy to have full awareness of the subject, background, any movements present and the camera’s settings. But becoming aware of what you want is the first step towards getting it. The rest comes with practise and being attentive during the actually shooting process. One more thing: This is not a competition. Don’t hold yourself back with a picture you would like to have feedback on, just because you think it’s not good enough. If you know it’s a good photograph you probably don’t need my opinion, but the more you feel uncertain about its qualities, the more you can maybe learn from someone else’s feedback. So put it on. I have decided to let the Picture Critique be open for one more week. By the end of next weekend I will close down the page – until next time of course. So if you have any photo you could want somebody else’s opinion about, then now is the time. Only one more week! Go to my Picture Critique page and submit a link to the photo.

So Many Great Photos!

Et forelsket par nyter den vakre solnedgangen ved Playa Anchon

I have finally been able to get through most of the photos which have been entrusted me to evaluate. For various personal reasons it took much longer than I really wanted to. Still, there are few images left for me to give feedback on, but I expect to do the last ones over the next day or two. Nevertheless, for those of you who still haven’t used my offer to get what I hope to be some constructive critique on your photos, the deal is still open. So far it’s been a real pleasure to go through the submitted images. I have seen anything from landscapes to street photos, from straightforward to quite complicated images, from cold to warm, from black and white to saturated colour photos. I have felt very privileged to be allowed to look through and give my honest feedback to so many of your photos. It’s been a bit of a rough time for me lately, but looking through your photos gave me joy and warmth. It was like dipping my soul in warm, tropical water, like a beautiful sunset after days of rain and cold. As I already wrote, you still have the chance to get feedback on your photos. Just go to my Picture Critique page and submit a link to one of your photos that you want critiqued. It doesn’t matter if you are professional or just a happy shooter, if you would like to have some feedback, don’t hesitate. I don’t know for how long I will keep the page open, but at least a couple of weeks more. However, if you have a photo, don’t wait till it’s too late!

The Unpredictability of Life

Munchow_1698-016_E2

Exactly a week ago I announced another round of the Picture Critique. Many of you have already responded and given me a link to a picture you would like to have some feedback on. As I wrote last week; «I will soon give my honest view and perception of your picture». Soon turned out to be longer than I had anticipated. I want to sincerely apologize for the late response. But sometimes life just takes a turn of its own. A very close family member of mine became very ill over the last week – and finally passed away today. Her demise was expected for a long time. When the end came, it was peaceful and gentle. Next week I will get started with the picture critique. Please keep uploading photos. I promise everybody will be answered. For more about the arrangement please look up my page Picture Critique.

Let Me Give Your Photo Feedback!

Do you have a photo you need feedback on, a picture you are unsure about, a picture that is different from your usual style or just a picture that you want to know how to do better? I have once again opened up for my popular picture critique. Post a picture on my Picture Critique page here on this blog and get my feedback on the photo.

It’s been a while since last time. But here I am with another round of picture critique! So once again, I open up for submission of photos anyone would like some feedback on. This is the fourth time I do this, and the previous rounds were well received by those who sent me their photos.

As last time my idea is to let any of you who have pictures you want to have some feedback on to post them on. Go to the Picture Critique page, post a link to the picture and I will soon give my honest view and perception of your picture in what I attempt to be constructive and meaningful critique.

I both teach and attend a lot of workshops, and one of the greatest values from participating in photographic workshops is the possibility to have feedback on pictures you take. I know from the workshops I teach that this is what students appreciate the most. Therefore, here is a chance to get feedback on your pictures without having to participate in an expensive workshop. Not quite the same of course, but I hope it can be of some value.

If you are interested, go to the Picture Critique page to read more or just post a picture there. I hope to see your picture soon. Please do not post any picture or links to pictures here, but go to the Picture Critique page.

Beneath are a collage of the pictures submitted in the last round of picture critique. Are you ready for – or need – some feedback on one of your photos? Here is the chance.

So Much Talent

A couple of weeks ago I opened up for photographers to post a photo or a link to a photo on my web page Picture Critique. Today – when I finally close the offer – I can with hand on my heart say it’s been both fun and a privilege to be allowed to judge and comment the photos that have been submitted. I am still not done with all the images, but even if the page is now closed for further submissions, I will of course complete the task and get back to the remaining images. Hopefully all photos will be critiqued by the end of the weekend.

This is the third time I have offer to critique photos that readers of my blog wish to have a second opinion about from a professional photographer. It seems to become more popular with each instalment. The previous times respectively 15 and 16 photos were submitted. This time I have been allowed to evaluate 25 26 photos and two slideshows. It’s been fun and it’s been an honour to be trusted by all who submitted a picture on the page. The photos show a wide range of themes from landscape to interior to street photography to people to documentary photography. I would sincerely assert that all the pictures show talented photographers behind the camera. Some of course are more obvious and coming from a more matured photographic vision than others but generally I have been impressed by the level of all photographers.

I hope – and believe – it’s been a valuable picture critique for everyone participating. If you missed out this time, I promise more opportunities will come in the future. For now, thanks to all of you who have submitted a photo or a link this time.

Picture Critique

A Delicate Balance

Fotografen viser bilder han har tatt

Over the last week I have been allowed to evaluate a handful of photos from readers of this blog. On my page Picture Critique they have posted images they would like to have an outsider’s opinion about. Picture critiquing is always a very delicate balance. First of all the creators behind each photo have entrusted me with something that they have put a lot of energy and thoughts into. It’s their creation, their «child», so I have to be careful not to condemn their work in such a way that they feel trampled on. I believe in encouragement rather than negative critique, but at the same time I want to be honest and point to elements in a picture that I believe don’t work so well.

Another part of this delicate balance is that I have to be aware of the fact that picture critiquing cannot be done objectively and impartially. I must be true to what I believe is a good photo and the factors that make up a captivating image as far as I am concerned, but it will nevertheless be my opinion only. I think after having worked professionally with photos in more than 30 years I have gained some experience and knowledge, but the fact still remains that when it comes to evaluating photos no neutral or unbiased variables exist. Remember that; whatever I say or write is solely my opinion. Somebody else might see things completely differently and also the photographer himself or herself may not agree at all. Which is as it should be. There are no truths in this kind of picture critiquing. I hope each photographer who have entrusted me with a photo, takes to their heart whatever feels right to them and discards the rest.

We can all learn from each other – and picture critique is one such way. And it works both ways. I learn from the images I evaluate as I hope the photographers themselves learn from my critique. Even if we disagree there is always something to gain from getting other’s opinion. I believe in sharing; sharing knowledge, sharing photos, sharing the process itself, and not the least sharing the moment of capture with those we photograph. Picture critiquing is one such way for me to honour this belief. For me it’s a privilege to be allowed to evaluate other photographer’s images and share my experience.

As I work my way down to the last uploaded photos on the Picture Critique page, I will keep it open at least another week for any other photographer who would like to have his or her photo evaluated. If that’s you, don’t wait, though; before the Christmas holidays starts I will close this session of picture critique. Until then you are very welcome to post a photo or a link to a photo.