Sweetlake 3:44pm, 22 June 2007
I wanted to put it out there that I'd like some criticism of my photos (to make them better and to help me grow as a photographer). I like praise, and dole out plenty, but tell me if you see a better crop or a better perspective. Or let me know if it sucks (and why).

The other thing I struggle with is what to post. I like the idea of a photo blog that cronicles my days but find myself hesitating to post some shots because they don't meet a self imposed standard as to 'art' and quality. I don't post everything to the Guild but I find myself not putting interesting things on my photostream that's not worthy. Any thoughts on this? Does anyone else have this hang up?
I think we all do. I find myself posting less and less due to the fact that I think they are not strong enough to stand up to previous works. It's tough to top yourself each and every time. The most important thing is what they photo says to the viewer. You are luck Ted because you travel all over the world and see so much more then most so I say post away. Show me what you see because I know I will never get to all the places you go and I can live vicariously through your photos. I think your framing and cropping are fine. The only thing I recommended to you was a step up in camera because you see so much it would be worth the extra mega pixels to capture your views. I will play close attention to detail on your photos from here on out and give my input. Please do the same for me. You have a great eye and some of my favorite photos are from your blog... Like the one of the bus bench and all different walks of life people. How cool was that shot!
I will definitely tell you how I feel, if that is what you want. I prefer the same. Stroking egos without critiquing does not help a photographer grow, that is for sure. But it does boost morale and confidence.
If anyone wants to be part of a great online community that is all about constructive criticism and critiques, check out
The members are very nice, extremely honest and have helped me improve my photography immensely.
If you can't handle having your photo dissected and examined, you might not want to join because like i said everyone is honest and will tell you how they feel, but will also give you guidance so you can improve and get it right.
Also, it isn't the camera or megapixels that take great photos, it is the photographer. 8mp is plenty big and if you can jump into manual mode or semi manual such as AV and TV mode, you are fine. Learn your camera's settings inside and out and if you start feeling more comfortable, step up to a DSLR.
More megapixels means larger print. I shoot with a 6mp Pentax DSLR and print 12x18's without any issue.
HBRstudios 11 years ago
OK, before I can get a feel of what people consider 'creative criticism,' I would like you to comment on this one. I will only say that I have some definite feelings about it. Let me know what you think. Thanx!

Split Rock River at Night, 2007
K. Praslowicz 11 years ago
I don't post everything to the Guild but I find myself not putting interesting things on my photostream that's not worthy. Any thoughts on this? Does anyone else have this hang up?

Its called Self Critque, and I see a lot of people in the digital age that have no skills at it at all. From a photo blogger point of view, its not that much of an issue. I have a friend who dumps a lot of photos into her flickr account pretty much daily, but she isn't passing any of it off as art, or as being an artist. Its just her life.

But for someone trying to come off as an artist, Who you show people is how they percieve you. If you only show the cream-of-your-crop, you look like a more capable photographer. One of my pet peeves on photgrapher's websites is when you I the same scene appear seven images in a row, only from a slightly different angle, and one desaturated. I can't help but think "Make up your mind and just pick the best one and show me dammit! You look like a novice who doesn't know what your focus is." every time.

I get requests to show what I shot at the last little outing from last week, but I wasn't all that hot on pretty much all of them, so, as a result, no one gets to see the sub par work.

Thats my bias and I'm sticking to it.
Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer (admin) 11 years ago
For this shot, I think has nice composition that draws your eye through the photo which is a good thing. The lit Posts in the foreground with the visible reflections create a nice anchoring point in the foreground. The star trails are what makes this shot. I also think you did well on the light painting.
My nit is that the image is so small that I can not tell if the posts are in focus or not, they almost appear not but it could be from artifacting when saving for the web.
All in all, I think this shot was a success.
edgeways Posted 11 years ago. Edited by edgeways (admin) 11 years ago
Critique is hard because as much as we can identify a good shot, one that we like, what is a bad shot can be awfully subjective.
Additionally, I shoot for several reason, sometimes composition, sometimes technical, sometimes "just because". And while I wholeheartedly agree that there should be some internal critique, least we drown in the tide of drek, too much internal critique is inhibiting. Perhaps there are images we may personally think of as awful, but the majority believes is great, and vice a versa. I know if my wife, who works with watercolors and other mediums outside of photography, refused to display anything she thought of as subpar she'd be a lot less successful than she is.

In the above photo I like the over all image, it's pretty cool. If it where mine I'd try and darken the beach and tress, especially on the left side. The lit poles work well, but I'd have them be the only thing that is lit. Additionally, I don't know if you're familiar with the "rule of thirds" and it certainly can be overplayed, but putting your main focal point on the intersects of the horizontal and vertical lines can often improve how the eye moves through the image. So if the poles where slightly higher that'd be cool. But, and this is a big but, that is only what Id do, which is not necessarily the best thing.
HBRstudios 11 years ago
I absolutely agree with Sjixxxy in that I believe we must be very discriminating when posting to the pool of any group. Your own photostream can be built for many reasons and I don't think that it it feasible to expect people to view and comment on hundreds of photos posted to your personal space. The pool, I believe, should be a place to post work you are interested in getting feedback. Unfortunately, too many images means that the amount of feedback will be minimal and most likely limited to the big "wow" images that all will just praise and be done with. Is this effective?

Would a "critique this" topic be a good thing for this group? Post ones on this that you absolutely want feedback on and this would be the one place where it is expected to discuss these limited number of images.

Thank you to those that commented on my image posted earlier. It would be nice, however, if we could get more people to make comments on these threads if this idea is going to be useful.

All right, here is my take on my own image (and I will give you 2 versions, one like I am critiquing one of your photos, and one that only slightly exaggerates my true ideas of this -- and I can only do this because it is my own image!):

Version #1:
"Nice concept! Doesn't quite have the 'punch' that I belive it could, however. It seems a bit flat and my eye is drawn too much to the left and away from the sky. Definitely worthy of getting back to try again. Maybe trying to get closer to the pillars and painting them with a smaller source to add a little life to them. Longer exposure to get longer star trails? Just a thought.

Version #2:
This is completely flat and lifeless! No 'depth' to it and nothing to make you keep looking at it. No impact factor at all. Yes, the idea is sound, but in practice it does not work one little bit!

I seriously look at this picture and go, "this image is really a pile of monkey-doo." Needless to say I won't be placing this in any of my portfolios. If I do get a shot like this that I feel has the impact I want, I will share it with all.

I guess the question remains, does anybody really want me to critique your images???? :)

Enough of me rambling!
Great idea HBR. Do you mind if I make you an admin for this group. This is exactly why I wanted to start this group... Input... It's a good thing and I was hoping that the group would run this place and make changes. Having a "critique this" topic will be a good thing along with the monthly challenge and whatever else comes along. What we need to do is make very specific "tags" or some sort of way to set apart the "critique this" topic and "monthly challenge" topic. Let's figure out some guidlines and get this going. Edgeways has started the monthly challenge tag so should we do the same for "critique this" ? Down the road a cut and paste badge would be cool? The only reason for the tags or a way to set them apart is for the photographer on this group who feel they aren't challenge worthy or wanting to be judged. I'm not saying that they will always be that way but often I have an image that is not the strongest but is cool and I want to post it. Were not all professional and I still want the group to be open to all levels of photography. I think the Duluth Photographers Guild can be a place for all of us with the hey check this funny photo out to serious work. If I make you an Admin would you be interested in running the "critique this" topic? I only ask this because you are an amazing photographer who has tons of experience and I think you would be great at it? what do you say?
HBRstudios 11 years ago
OK, put me down as admin. How about "DPGcritique" as the tag? If the 'rules' were up to me, I would say that you MUST say at least one positive and one negative for each image critiqued. That way you know that you are going to get both up front. I would also love to see images that have been "adapted" using the feedback! Of course, it is all subjective and you have to take all (the good and the bad) with a grain of salt, but as you all have mentioned, it helps you grow to hear what other people see in your images.

Will this be another group (called like DPG Critiques) open only to members and limiting the posts to one a week (in order to get time for useful feedback)? Or will we just post topics on this group for each image we want feedback?

I really don't know what logistics work best for this, only using flikcr for a short time.
cool your an admin now.. so what I would do is make a new post titled "DPGcritique" and make sure people tag the photo they want critiqued with "DPGcritique" and that way you can just do a search for the specific tag and it will bring up just those photos. I'm sure there are other and better ways to make this happen and feel free to explore and when and if you find a better way, let me know. I would love to simplify things. In your post just set some rules and guidelines and away w go. Thanks for doing this... I'm looking forward to it. Aaron
Sweetlake 11 years ago
ms. sweetlake is back from South America, she said she's had the posting-anxiety too. She also has a bunch of great photos to share. I hope she does.

"But for someone trying to come off as an artist, Who you show people is how they percieve you. If you only show the cream-of-your-crop, you look like a more capable photographer."

I'm not trying to be any more of artist than the next guy, in fact I feel we all have the ability to be artists, just like they teach in grade school. If you only show the cream of the crop are you a better photographer or just insecure? This limitation may be why people stop being creative and leave that to the proffessionals.
Karl W. 11 years ago
I've been having that exact debate in my head for like the last two months. But I figured eh, why not post everything. I have a 100mb a month. That's my creative limit.
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