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Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Writing a Critique

Students Learn How to Critique their Photography

Critiquing one's artwork is important for reflection and for growth as an artist.  I always like to take some time with my students to discuss what they think they were most successful with, why and what they struggled with and how they got through the struggle.  I also ask that they think about what they would change if they were to go back and redo or fix part (or all) of their artwork.

In my digital photography course, the students are experimenting with composition and trying to find their photographic voice.  For their first critique, I asked them to read an example of my own based on this article I found online by Haje Jan Kamps.  We discussed the purpose of writing critiques and I sent them on their way. 

After discussion and my example, this is what I give them to get them started.  Each student can then upload their own photo and reflect on what they have done:

Read the article provided about how to critique a photo. 

Now it is your turn.  Insert one of your photos  that you would like to critique.  Complete the following sentences and elaborate on them to create paragraphs (a minimum of 3-4 sentences each).


When I look at this photo, it makes me think of…
Technically I think this photo is…
What I like about this photo is….
If I were to improve or change anything I would…

This is one of my student's finished photography critiques (along with her fabulous photo!).  It is short and sweet but it shows that she has thought about her work and she knows and understands the processes she has gone through to be successful.
Writing a Photo Critique Art Lesson
When I look at this photo, it makes me think of a fantasy movie with fairies and magic. The sparkles on her eye shadow remind me of sparkles on fairies wings, and the magic part of it. I like the colors of it because they are exciting.

Technically I think this photo is a good example of using frames, because the leaf holes are framing her eyes.  It also demonstrates how to fill the frame interestingly. I like it because it was a natural frame, and all we did was punch out holes for the eyes to create this mask.

What I like about this photo is the light. I like the way the light is dark, then bright. I also like how the leaf color matches the dots of brown in her eyes too.

If I were to improve or change anything I would want to make the leaf blurry and her eyes in focus.  I would not want it to be completely blurry, just enough that the eyes really popped out.  I could also go in and edit the color of her eyes so they would stand out and leave the leaf as it is.