Class Report

Be Your Own Best Critic - Judging Your Photography

Teacher: Yonas Hassen, photographer (far left)
Location: St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church
Date: Nov. 20, 2014

Take-home message: When critiquing a photo, look at both its objective qualities (exposure, composition, white balance, etc.) and subjective qualities (What jumps out at you? Any emotions provoked? Any distractions?).

Surprise! The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Those newer to photography tend to think their subpar work is amazing, while those who’ve been in the field for awhile tend to think their good work is terrible.

Pro tip: When critiquing the work of yourself or others, it’s important to be as detailed as possible — say why something doesn’t work, or why a particular element of a photo could be improved. It’s also important to never interrupt a critique or take anything personally. Also, scale focusing is a nifty trick for street photography.

Learn more:
Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden
Alex Webb
Vivian Maier
Robert Frank