My camera club, NVPS, has asked me to do an “anonymous critique” of some member images at our upcoming meeting on Tuesday, 9 April. I prefer critiques to judging for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I am not relied upon to make a qualitative judgement about whether this image is better than that image, something that I feel is largely in the eyes of the beholder and quite subjective. Not that I don’t have an opinion, just that I know that my opinion is just that, an opinion.
Nonetheless, I find that judging and critiquing others’ work has helped me to be a far more critical self-editor. I am better able to ignore my delight in the work that I put into creating an image and concentrate more on whether others may get the same feeling (or not). Not that I do not still take banal and unimaginative photographs, I am just less likely to be showing them off than in the past.
Understanding the difference between a good image and a hard-earned image is one of the skills necessary for developing your photography beyond the ordinary in my opinion.