This thread was locked on 2011-03-09 11:01:44
Forums > Critique > Critique Section Guide - READ BEFORE POSTING HERE


Halcyon 7174 NYC

Posts: 20109

New York, New York, US

Critique Section Guidelines

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Artists come to the critique area for help, not for pointless berating.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

BAD CRITIQUE: "Your work sucks."
GOOD CRITIQUE: "I think your work sucks because _____."

BAD CRITIQUE: "It's all amazing, good job!"
GOOD CRITIQUE: "I'm impressed by your work, the {X} is amazing because {Y}. Good job!"

BAD CRITIQUE: "A naked girl doesn't make a good photo. You're nothing but a GWC."
GOOD CRITIQUE: "Your images are all {X} and {Y}, and your portfolio lacks {Z}."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


{1} Do not call someone else's critique invalid based on the quality of their own work. You will be warned the first time, and possibly banned from the critique section for repeat violations. If it is that obvious, then it is that obvious, so don't make an issue.

{2} Do not repeat posts. Do not bump your own post to the top of the list more than once a day. Do not create more than one new request for critique thread per day.

{3} Do not call anyone a GWC or put down any person in the critique section. Photographers starting out often try to copy what they've seen, and the results can always be haphazard and look bad even when the photographer has the best of intentions.

{4} Do not just ask for love. Do not just ask for people to post comments on your pics pages. Do not just ask for tags. There is an Announcements feature on the front page and the Shoutbox is also available for this sort of thing. This is a place to ask for serious help and advice toward improving your work.

* These are guidelines, not rules. Following them is more courtesy than urgency. Hopefully by following them you will help keep the section from becoming unruly.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Use discretion when requesting a critique.

Do not come to the critique thread with camera phone pictures, webcam pictures, or unclear snapshots.

Be specific in requesting a critique. If you are requesting a critique on a specific image, then link to it in your post. If you are requesting a general analysis of your portfolio, then post a link to your pics page.

KM von Seidl wrote:
If someone asks, "what do you think of photo 1," my question is, what am I looking at? What am I looking for? Why did you take the shot, what was it's purpose? You trying fashion, glamour, a specific lighting technique? As a model are you trying to present yourself in a certain way? How is someone supposed to offer help or observations on something so nebulous as "what do you think?"

When critiquing, remain on topic and be specific, polite, and helpful.

Respond directly to the original poster at least until the thread has gone past 41 posts (when a second page appears).

Do not argue with other respondents about their critiques or attack their work and credibility.

Use a critique thread to comment only on photos or aspects of photos which the OP has requested critique upon. If you have negative opinion of their other images, just let it go. If you wish to dispense with this rule, ask the permission of the person requesting a critique before launching into a tirade.

Disagree with the critique of others in a respectful manner. Remember that critiques can be extremely stressful, and adding to that stress by flaming other users is not allowed.

When you request a critique, you are opening yourself up to aggressive criticism of your work and techniques. If someone says something unfavorable about your work, that does not give you the right to cop an attitude with them, or to critique their work in return. In posting in the critique section you are asking for come what may: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

When you give a critique, it does not need to be all positive, that would be rather pointless. You are asked to make constructive comments. Simply saying work is bad does not help anyone and makes you look petty. Say why you hold with a certain opinion and provide details.

Do not make it personal or take it as personal. That is a site-wide rule, but in here it is doubly strict. The character of the artist requesting critique is not up for critique. Stick to the image or images which the artist requesting a critique has indicated.

It is usually best to critique only the work of the person requesting on in the first post of a thread. Attacking the critique of another poster is forbidden. That includes attacking the credibility of someone’s critique because of their apparent ability (or lack thereof).

Keep in mind, the thread is for the benefit of the original poster, so all comments should really be directed at them, and the sole purpose of those comments should be to answer their questions and to help them improve.

When you are critiqued take the critiques to heart. People are coming to your thread to help you improve. Even if you disagree with someone's critique, really think about what they suggest to you, and do not discount someone's opinion because you find their work to be sub par. Others often see what you've looked past, regardless of their apparent skill level.

If someone starts getting hostile in their critique of your work, do not get into an argument with them. Either thank them for their input, or ignore them. Getting into childish arguments only serves to make you look bad, even if they started it.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


My critiques suck! Do yours?

How do you critique?

Something to go on in the critique forum

critique etiquette and other good reading.

Should there be some general rules here..?

commart wrote:
Editors and teachers often have a tough choice to make between a) serving their profession and b) doing what's best for the talent or student.  In leisure and recreational settings (and, alas, some college majors), encouragement and interest in process may prevail.  In business and professional settings, interest in the success or maintenance of the state-of-the-art in the enterprise may be considered more important than the individual: that's a call where one may have obligations to principle (high craft standards; high expectations about talent and its development) or to an audience or investors, in which case talent may be asked to deliver or disappear.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

guidelines written and edited by Kaitlin Lara and Ched

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Useful threads from other areas of the site:

UdoR's "Modeling Success: RESEARCH"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

from the Blown Highlights thread in Photography (

J n X Photography wrote:
I was at the bookstore a few days ago and saw a book about a Sports Illustrated photog and all the swimsuit models he's shot for their swimsuit edition magazines.

I saw a TON of blown out highlights...for you pros out there, why is this acceptable out there in the real world but when I read critique comments (mine and others) it's frowned upon here?

Ched_ wrote:
This is complicated, but I will attempt to explain.

If you are a beginner asking for a critique here on MM, I'm going to put your work in a zone of theoretical technical perfection and see what sticks outside the box. I'll then tell you where you're missing the mark and usually why and how as well. You go back and try again, return with new problems, and I analyze the new images for what is outside the zone. Eventually you will develop a level of mental control over the camera and your subjects. You'll know what works and what doesn't, and the pictures you were taking when you started will look amateurish to you fairly soon.

Once you start taking pictures that are in the zone (don't have any major flaws) on a regular basis, you have learned a level of control. Once you have control, you can start breaking out of the box and getting back to why you started taking pictures in the first place.

Think about, The Karate Kid, "Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off." You learn the moves, then you can innovate.

I know of no law against busy unbalanced compositions, no law against not having the subject's eyes in focus, and no law against blown highlights. However, to take interesting pictures with the confidence required to get what you want when you press the shutter release, knowing how to control compositions, focus, and exposure is very important.

When I give advice in the critique section, I proceed with the assumption that every photographer needs to get to a point where clicking the shutter release is the most boring thing imaginable, because before you touch it you will already know exactly what the picture is going to look like in the end. Planning the shot and looking at the print in the end are the real fun parts.

Execution of the concept in photography is like, if you're a chef and you are cooking a meal: coming up with the menu and recipes and then later tasting the finished product with a bunch of friends is fun. Doing the work in the kitchen is just work. You need to learn the photography equvalent of "chicken broth needs salt, but a tablespoon of rock salt poured into two cups of chicken broth is not going to royally suck and be ineddible, but a tablespoon of rock salt coating the outside of a baked potato will make it good." You need to know cause and effect in the process of photography for the same reasons you do in cooking. This explains both amateur snapshot photography and also the popularity of tv dinners.

Blowing out a highlight accidentally because you didn't know how to get the right exposure and blowing out a highlight intentionally to emphasise a model's musculature are two very different things.

List of emoticons:

smile wink neutral hmm sad yikes big_smile tongue lol mad roll ninja spam offtopic bunny nuts banghead

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

No begging for tags in Critique!

"On the one hand, the friend who is familiar with every fact of the story may think that some point has not been set forth with that fullness which he wishes and knows it to deserve; on the other, he who is a stranger to the matter may be led by envy to suspect exaggeration if he hears anything above his own nature. For men can endure to hear others praised only so long as they can severally persuade themselves of their own ability to equal the actions recounted: when this point is passed, envy comes in and with it incredulity."

                                         - Pericles of Athens

Oct 26 06 07:52 am Link