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  • Writer's pictureIan Miller

Self-critiquing your images

Self-critiquing your images can be a useful way to improve your photography skills and develop your artistic vision. However, it can also be a challenging and frustrating process if you don't know how to do it effectively. Here are some tips on how to self-critique your images in a constructive and positive manner:

- Start with the positives. Before you focus on what you don't like about your image, try to identify what you do like. What are the strengths of your image? What did you achieve well? What aspects of your image match your intention or vision? By acknowledging the positives, you can boost your confidence and motivation, as well as learn from your successes.

- Be specific and objective. When you critique your image, try to avoid vague or subjective statements, such as "it looks bad" or "it's boring". Instead, use specific and objective criteria, such as composition, exposure, focus, colour, contrast, etc. For example, instead of saying "the image is too dark", you can say "the shadows are underexposed and lack detail". By being specific and objective, you can pinpoint the areas that need improvement and avoid being overly harsh or emotional.

- Compare and contrast. A good way to self-critique your image is to compare it with other images, either your own or someone else's. You can look for similarities and differences in terms of style, technique, mood, message, etc. For example, you can compare your image with a similar one that you admire and ask yourself what makes the other image more effective or appealing. Or you can compare your image with a previous one that you took and see how you have progressed or changed. By comparing and contrasting, you can gain new perspectives and insights on your image and learn from others.

- Seek feedback. Another way to self-critique your image is to seek feedback from others, such as friends, family, peers, mentors, or online communities. You can ask them for their honest opinions and suggestions on how to improve your image. However, you should also be selective and critical of the feedback that you receive. Not all feedback is helpful or relevant, so you should filter out the ones that are not constructive or aligned with your goals. You should also remember that feedback is subjective and not definitive, so you should ultimately trust your own judgment and vision.

- Experiment and practice. The final step in self-critiquing your image is to experiment and practice. Based on your critique and feedback, you can try to improve your image by making adjustments or edits, such as cropping, rotating, changing the exposure, applying filters, etc. You can also try to recreate or reshoot your image with different settings, angles, lighting, etc. By experimenting and practising, you can test different possibilities and solutions and see what works best for your image.

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