What You Can Learn From a Photo Critique

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Staying Humble

"In 20 years, you will be more disappointed by what you didn't do than by what you did."

Mark Twain

There is nothing like gathering with dozens of fellow photographers in a dark auditorium to see photos projected on a large screen, while listening to a professional judge provide feedback.

Every other month, the Sandhills Photography Club invites a professional photographer to judge member photos with a pre-selected topic. A recent meeting saw a record 91 photos entered in three categories, from beginner to advance, with Reflections as the theme.

So here is what I learned......

Avoid Hotspots – Your eye is drawn to the brightest part of a photo, which can be distracting.

Have a Clear, Compelling Subject – Don’t let the viewer guess what the photo is about.

Border Patrol – Get rid of objects that creep into the frame.

Leading Lines – This one is big. Try to put an element in the lower left, with a line that draws the viewer to the subject.

How Does it Look in Black & White? Enough Said.

Always Add a Vignette – Unless you don’t want to, which brings me to me last point……….

In the end, it doesn’t matter what someone thinks of your photo. After all, you are the creator - it’s your photo. You must love it.

Put a little piece of yourself in every photo. Shoot what you love. Shoot what brings you joy. If you get a chance to enter a photo competition, do it! Don’t fear rejection.

BTW - My photo of Iron Mike taken at the Airborne and Special Forces Museum in Fayettevile, North Carolina scored a 6 out of 10 - but I love it anyway!

Photo Assignment:

Get out of your comfort zone - enter a photo competition. Then email me to let me know how you did.        

Meta Data:
f/18, 30 sec, ISO 100

Airborne and Special Forces Museum
Fayetteville, North Carolina

It is easy to get reflections in your images. Just get the camera as low to the ground as you can and really close to the edge of the water. The water doesn't have to be deep or very large. In this shot, the puddle was less than 1/2-inch deep and 10-inches across. And if you don't have puddles - bring water with you and pour some on the ground. I wont tell.