Friday, January 31, 2014

9 creative photo ideas to try in January

9 creative photo ideas to try in January

Guidelines for Critiquing Your Own Work

All information below is the work of Julie, see her website 

By now you should be familiar with how to constructively comment on someone else’s photographs and even prepare critiques of their images so you can learn and grow from them as a photographer.   Now comes the really hard part: objectively critiquing your own work. 
What makes this so difficult for many of us to do?  The answer lies in the emotional connection that enters into the picture when we’re talking about our own photographs.

If you have followed along with me through this series and found the critiquing guidelines helpful you may download them at no charge as PDF documents HERE.  I hope you find them useful on your photographic journey! 

Guidelines for Critiquing Your Own Work
First: Time Is On Your Side
Do not even think of doing an extensive critique on your own images until at least three months have passed.  Six months is even better.  So, why the wait?  By distancing yourself from the day you took the image you allow Emotional Tie No. 1 to fade.  As creative people, we tend to sense things more than other people.  We remember what happened the day we took the photograph…how beautiful the sun was…what we felt like when everything finally came together and we captured the perfect frame…the way the wind was blowing through our hair – you get the idea.  By letting time pass, we distance ourselves from those vivid memories and we allow for a greater level of detachment.  In spring, take a look at last autumn’s images – and I’m talking about prints if at all possible.  In winter, look back on your images from last summer.  You’ll be amazed at how different they look from when you last worked on them. 

Second: Review your post-processing.
Open up the original work file in order to review your post-processing.  Have you learned a better work flow since then?  Can you clearly identify all the individual steps you took to take your image from point “A” to point “B”?  Is there anything you would do differently now?  Maybe use a newer action or add a different filter?  Take a look at what you did and see if there’s anything you see now that you didn’t see then.    
If you didn't save your work (shame upon your house!) then open the original file and process the image all over again, only this time use any new software, new post-processing tools or new workflow that you have at your disposal.  How does the new image look compared to the original?  Did it get better this time around?  Congratulations…you just broke Emotional Tie No. 2.  If you can take a second run at a good image and make it even better then you are learning and growing as an artist and photographer.  Pat yourself on the back and mean it. 

Third: Take a chance and put yourself out there.
Now it’s time to break down Emotional Tie No. 3.  Consider compiling a half dozen of your favorite images and ask a fellow photographer whose work you admire to look them over and honestly critique them for you.  (It’s a great idea to offer to do the same for them in return.)  Before you look at what they have to say, though, you need to run through the checklists from “How to Critique 401 & 501 with an objective eye and see what you think about your own images strengths and weaknesses now that you have managed to wiggle free of Emotional Ties No. 1 & 2. 
Next, return to the place where you initially uploaded the image onto the Internet and review those comments as well.  Believe it or not, those people represent the average art buyer.  They don’t so much care that your work is technically correct or artistically advanced as they care about how that photo will look hanging over their sofa.  Their opinions do matter – but only from the standpoint of whether your image is likely to sell - and why. 
The time has come; go ahead and read the critiques from the person you trusted with your work and look at what they have to say as an experienced photographer compared to the friends and family that liked the heck out of the images on Facebook and various photo forums.  See the difference?  See why you can’t always trust those well-meaning people who only want nothing more than to love and support you?
Finally, compare what you wrote about your images to the critiques of your photographer buddy.  Let their comments settle in and really give them a chance to loosen up the way you look at your images.  If you find a comment they made to be especially enlightening, then add that to your critique.  What are they seeing that you aren't?  What do they like that you never noticed before?  What do you see that others are missing – and why?  These are some of the most important questions you can ever ask concerning your art.  If you can’t understand how others see and value your work then you are going to have trouble growing as an artist.  If you like your work then that’s fantastic…but wouldn't it be nice to know the world sees your viewpoint the same way you see it?  Wouldn't it be wonderful to know that after you poured all that time, money, and attention to detail into that image that other people immediately understood what you were saying to them through your art?     

Read the previous posts

How to Critique 601

Mike Moats Macro Photography Conference

Mike Moats Macro Photography Conference

I am excited that Tom Cuchara and I will be involved with the Mike Moats Macro Photography Conference in Massachusetts next October!
Mike Moats is an awesome photographer, you will learn a lot from this immersion weekend, check out all the speakers and instructors! You will come away with inspiration, knowledge and some GREAT photos too as you will be spending five hours photographing setups! 

"This Macro Photo Conference will have plenty of how-to lectures and about five hours of photographing with varying subject matter. Instructors will be available to help participants with composing subjects and technical aspects. The ratio will be 8 participants to 1 instructor so you should not have a problem finding help if you need it. So you just need to bring your camera, macro lens, and tripod, and we will take care of making you better macro photographer. Along with learning how to be a better macro photographer you will also learn about some of the great post processing programs available to take your images to the next level."

Location: Hilltop Hotel and Conference Center, 213 Taunton Ave, Seekonk, MA 02771(508) 336-8700
Dates: October 25th and 26th 2014
Times: Saturday 8:30am to 5pm - Sunday 8:30am - 3pm

Find out more/register here:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

external links

It has come to me attention that the company, Photowhoa, that was giving away the free ebook on Landscape also sells ebooks on nude and glamour photography.

They sell and give away a wide variety of ebooks on various topics...

When I blog something I have no control over broken links, changed links, other content that the company may offer. That is why there is a disclaimer on the blog regarding EXTERNAL content. I cannot control external content. I am merely passing along information.

FYI, I did email the company and express my dissatisfaction that they asked me to share their hard work efforts on a landscape book and then took people to a book on nude photography. I don't personally photograph nudes or boudoir, and I don't mind that they sell those books either as some legitimate photographers do, but I asked the company to be straightforward and not ask people who downloaded a macro or landscape book to share a link that takes people to a nude book. No bait and switch.

DISCLAIMERLisa of BREA Photos LLC provides this material for your informational and entertainment purpose only. I provide links to external websites for informational purposes as a convenience to our readers, but I have no control over them. I try to ensure that the websites linked and any other links from this website contain "safe" content for everyone, but be aware that some sites may contain explicit and other potentially offensive material due to the subject matter of the photographs exhibited. Users should contact the external website with questions or concerns regarding its content. The content of a linked website may change at any time; if you find a link that is broken (or inappropriate) please contact me. My Blog does allow for reader feedback, but I can not be held responsible for all of their content; I do moderate comments and I will remove anything that is deemed inappropriate. Readers agree not to post intentionally mean or harmful comments, upload virus, spam, or anything illegal. Lisa and Tom of BREA Photos LLC can not be held responsible if something like that does happens to occur. This blog also provides information about seminars, workshops, contests, etc. BUT posting this information does NOT constitute endorsement of the "event". Readers are encouraged to read all contest rules, get recommendations from past workshop participants, etc. before deciding to attend an event or submit image to a contest. This blog provides links to external websites for informational purposes only as a convenience to our members. Use of any information contained in these websites is voluntary on the part of the members linking to them. 

For those of you that want to try again, here is another link to PhotoWhoa if you still want their free ebooks, including the one on landscape photography.

The Landscape Collective Vol. 1

Inspiration from the top landscape, cityscape, and outdoor photographers