critique writing for photography

2. Paragraphs required per critique: FOUR (4)

Paragraph 1: Describe

Paragraph 2: Interpret

Paragraph 3: Evaluate

Paragraph 4: Theorize

3. Complete sentences required per paragraph: FOUR (4) minimum
The aim in writing is always to write in complete sentences which are correctly punctuated. Sentences always begin with a capital letter and end in either a full stop (period), exclamation or question mark.
A complete sentence always contains a verb, expresses a complete idea and makes sense standing alone.

Your assignment photographs must be posted by their deadline for critiques to be eligible for a grade and critiques must meet the above stated minimum requirements to receive credit.

For each critique not posted by the deadline (for any reason) or that does not follow the example format below, or is not posted as a reply to the corrected version of the photograph your are reviewing is a – 0.5 reduction from your assignment grade.

Each critique is an informed discourse about photography to increase understanding and appreciation. Its task is to make arguments, not pronouncements.

Describe the photograph. What is it that you are looking at? What is the camera’s point of view? What is the main subject? What time of day was it made? Describe the visual elements that make up the photograph. What are the elements that help move your eye through the image?

Interpret what you see in the photograph. Do you think the photograph is objective or subjective? Do you think your interpretation is the same as the photographer’s intent? How does the photograph make you feel. What do you understand from viewing the photograph. Every interpretation must be grounded and defensible. That doesn’t mean that there is one conclusion but varying reasonable responses.

Evaluate the photograph. What do you think works well in the photograph? What would you consider changing? Do the aesthetic and technical elements blend well? What suggestions do you have to help move the eye through the image? How do the colors and tones play a roll in the image? Compliment the aspects of the photograph you like. Suggest alternative methods for other areas.

Theorize as to why the photographer made the photograph in the manner that they did. What is the meaning of the photograph? What is the photographer trying to say? Why are they trying to communicate this? What does the photograph tell you about the photographer?

Open the relationship of your own thought and experience to the photographs you see and the terminology will come. Stay away from phrases similar to ” I like it”, “I don’t know”, “That’s a stretch”. “It’s cool”. When you reply to a critique stay away from phrases like “That’s just your opinion”, “It doesn’t matter because art is subjective anyway” or “You’re wrong”. Be responsible and specific in your comments in order to help the person’s work grow. Continue to ask yourself questions to hone your ability to see and interpret which will result in an informed discussion of the photographs.

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