Searching for an Honest Critique

I know, the title is mis-leading. Isn’t every critique of your photography an honest critique? After all, a critique is someone’s opinion of your work. How can someone’s opinion be dishonest? (other than spitefulness or vengefulness that is…)

Maybe I should further qualify this. What I personally find most valuable as a photographer is thoughtful and honest critique of my work by other photographers. What I’m looking for is comments that will help me become a better photographer.

Should be easy, right? Well we all know its not. Tonight I came across Jim Goldstein’s Top 10 Most Annoying Photo Critique Comments that brought all my frustrations with critiques rushing back. As you will see from my comment to Jim’s article, I would have moved his number 10 up higher…but that’s a personal pet peeve.

The reason I bring this up is because I’m curious what forums or sharing sites photographers use and find valuable for gaining critiques of their work? And as important as which ones, why?

I have used many over the past ten years doing photography. Mostly photo.net and photosig. But I eventually wane from the additional work of uploading my photos to another location (which also have questionable controls over protecting my work) and getting mediocre critiques. The best critiques I get tend to be personally from other photographer colleagues and friends. But you eventually start to see patterns there as well, so you have to reach out further for a fresh opinion.

So, leave a comment and share where you get your best feedback!

4 thoughts

  1. Greg thanks for link to and commenting on my blog entry. A day out I’m surprised at the fire behind the responses. Apparently the post touched on a nerve of many photo forum users. If you check back in on the comments you’ll find that you’re not alone with your frustration. There are good forums out there but they’re tough to find and generally not the mainstream ones. I keep my account at photo.net but find it worthless for critiques. Photosig I stopped using sometime ago but again still check in from time to time. I just never post photos there. As mentioned on my blog the best critiques that I’ve received to date have been on Naturephotographers.net, but it is primarily nature and landscape oriented. Fred Miranda’s forums are above average also. Thanks again and don’t give up hope… a good critique forum is out there with your name on it.

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  2. I have attended a few places where people critique your work and I was less then impressed. They just really weren’t commenting. What I found is that the best critiques are my clients, those willing to put out money for my writing and photography. “Actions do speak louder then words”

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  3. Hey Greg, thanks for stopping by my blog, and pointing out this great top ten list. They highlight a lot of the reasons I don’t post in photo critique forums anymore.

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  4. I’m not entirely sure what an honest critique is. A critique is just an opinion. I guess it is a different point of view from the author. I would ask can a photograph really be improved, if it ‘says’ what the photographer intended?

    There are a host of different ways to portray a scene. None of them are the perfect, precise, or exact way that they should be portrayed.

    Sure, a critique might help you if it is constructive and you want to accept the critique givers opinions as to what to do to ‘improve’ upon it. However, it is only opinion.

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