Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Top Ten Tips to evaluate your photos

Two wolves at Yellowstone

Photo caption: “When twilight drops her curtain down and pins it with a star, remember that you have a friend though she may wander far.”

How to self critique your photograph, may be one of the most important evaluations that you can do. This can be especially important if you are photographing for others. You need to refine your eye to do a critical analysis of your photograph.

1. Begin before processing: Remember to take many pictures. And if possible from different angles and heights. Check the framing, composition and lighting. Process the picture that has the necessary material in the raw form to make an exceptional photograph.

2. Process your photograph: Use your best skills in processing a photograph. Photographer's have style. What is yours? Is it based in the tonality of the picture, light, contrast and composition? Is the photograph telling telling your audience to say wow? Just from the implementation of your style.

The way to develop style is to look at the photographs of those that are considered best. Look for their style, but do not be a mimic.

Could you recreate the styles you like? And more importantly can you use what you learn from others as an embarking point to develop your own unique work.

3. Does your photograph have depth: Photographs are two dimensions portraying three dimensions. If your photograph looks flat you automatically lose your audience.

Refine your understanding of composition by thinking in spacial terms. Good photography leads the eye through the photograph. The deeper a person can look into a photograph is directly related to the appeal of the photograph to the viewer.

Simple principles of geometry can add greatly to the feeling of depth.

4. Does your photograph tell a story: Not all good photographs tell a story. Nevertheless, if your photograph does it will help peak the interest level in your photograph.

The story need not be elaborate, but does the photograph tell you something or make you think.

5. Does you photograph have meaning: Photography is much like writing in this sense. You have to define your audience. Who is your audience?

Are you playing to a larger universal audience or more of a personal audience? Does your photograph have meaning to your audience?

6. Does your photograph capture the senses: By default photography is a visual medium. But good photography can and does engage other senses.

How does the photograph make you feel? What other senses are engaged: taste, hearing, touch. Does your photograph speak to other senses?

7. Is your photograph half baked: Did you take your photograph out of the processing oven too soon?

Enlarge your photograph and look at the small details. Are these the best they can be? If not correct your photograph. I usually magnify my photo to about 800 percent and pour over the details looking for flaws.

8. Can you be unbiased in your appraisal: Everyone is subjective including me. Realize you are not looking through the perfect prism when you evaluate your photographs.

Put your photographs up in social sharing sites like Flickr. On these sites people are generally complementary about your photographs, so a measure of best photos could be the number of views and invites you may get.

Sometimes harsh criticism is hard to find. Any you do get should be valued and looked into carefully.

9. Review your photographs again at a later date: Take a fresh look at some of your older photographs. How can they be improved?

Consider reprocessing or even deleting to have the best photographs represent your work.

10. Continually review the work of others: Study the work of others often. Surf the net and see what surfaces to the top.

See what others think are great and try to understand how it was done. Photography is a school that you never graduate it is a continual learning process.

No comments:

Post a Comment