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The POWER of Photography Criticism

Photography criticism is a totally underrated method to improve your photography - independend if you are the photographer who gives critique or if you are the photographer who gets criticised.

Unfortunately criticism is done wrong in so many times. This doesn’t help anyone, it could harm, it destroys – this is what no one wants, right?

Is the church too close to the edge?


#1 Never reduce Criticism to Rules

In your honest opinion, what do you think: Is the church on the photo at the left too close to the edge? This is one of the first things what would be criticised at this photo. But is this justified?

From the point of view of the rule of space and the rule of thirds as well, it had been better to place it more to the left, but what gets overseen here: This had an impact to the story the photographer wanted to tell, maybe other emotions were evoked at the viewers with a “cleaner” composition. Composition is one of the most important elements of a strong photograph, but you don’t need rules to achieve a great composition.


#2 Who gives the Critique?

There is a big difference who criticises a photo. A non photographer doesn’t know anything about composition, light, timing, weather, how to convey mood and evoke emotions and so on. He only could give a feedback, how the photo takes effect to him. This could be interesting if you want to photograph for a special target group, but for landscape photography it could get unimportant, if you photograph for yourself, for instance. A criticism from a photographer has an absolutely different weight.



#3 Type of Critique

Unobjective criticism, so that a person says, a photo is good or bad, is not more than a feedback how it takes effect to the viewer. Here it is not interesting if the feedback comes from a photographer or from a non photographer. Neither the critic, nor the photographer who gets the feedback will benefit from this kind of criticism.

But objective criticism, given from another photographer or artist, could be very useful – for both sides! The criticised photographer gets to know how the other photographer had solved the composition and the criticising photographer learns to understand why the other photographer photographed in the way he did or maybe why he didn’t use a special rule.


#4 The most powerful method of Criticism

There is one person on this planet who can give you the best advice, who knows exactly which story you wanted to tell, which mood you wanted to convey, which emotions you wanted to evoke at the viewers. You see this person every day when you look into the mirror - it's you. Self criticism is incredibly powerful. If you don't criticise your own photos already, I can really recommend.

You know already why the church is so close too the edge? If not, watch my video ;)


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Landscape Photographer & Photography Artist

Generations after Gustav Klimt

"Reality is boring, there exists already enough outside of my images."

Christian Irmler - great-great grandnephew of Gustav Klimt (6th degree)


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