Five-Minute Tips and Tricks PLUS Photo Critique on Nov. 18, 2019.

One benefit of being part of the Dubuque Camera Club is the chance to learn from others. The club meeting on Monday, November 18 will be an opportunity to share or hear Five-Minute Tips and Tricks. The club will also offer Photo Critique. All current club members are invited to participate. Any tri-state photography enthusiast may attend.

We did a photo critique night earlier this year, on May 20, 2019, and many attendees felt it was wildly successful. For that reason, we are repeating the event to give club members another opportunity to learn and share their images. In addition, there are many exciting image editing and post-processing skills that photographers need to know, not to mention in-camera techniques. At the Nov. 18 meeting, experienced club members may share their tips and tricks; photographers from amateur to pro-level may share their images.

How to present your tips and tricks. If you have skills or tips to share, please let Ron know before the meeting. Tips and tricks can be anything that is helpful for a photographer, from software, to smartphones, doing stuff in-camera, taking portraits, or general photography skills. You can also bring a couple of super-duper images (from a trip, perhaps?), and explain how you got that awesome shot. If you would like to present, please let Ron know before the meeting and email him any materials.

How to get your photos critiqued. It doesn’t matter what skill level you are, from amateur to experienced. If you want to hear feedback from other club members, you are invited to participate. You must be a club member to have up to three photos critiqued, and you must submit them to Ron by email in advance.

Your critique photos can be of any subject, and any file size. No need to follow N4C guidelines about categories or any of the usual rules. Be creative. Photoshopped images are fine and dandy. You may want to send in a series of BEFORE/AFTER photos. For the filename, use your member number (not your real name), along with the title of your photo.

Send your JPG photo(s) by email to club president Ronald Tigges. Use “Critique Night submission” as the subject of your email. Please send in your images as early as possible before the meeting so there is time to put them in the club’s online gallery.

How to give a critique. The best critique is a balance of positive encouragement and constructive ideas for improvement. Use the language of photography: focus, composition, color, contrast, angle, shutter speed, choice of subject, etc.

It’s OK to ask the photographer questions. Remember, not everyone is at the same level of proficiency or experience. Not everyone owns (or can afford) the same equipment.

Always try to give reasons for your opinion about an image. A simple thumbs up (or thumbs down) doesn’t give the recipient much information.
→ Not very helpful: I like it.
→ Much more helpful: I like it because….

When in doubt, be kind! We want Critique Night to be a positive learning experience for everyone. Please use respectful communication and be a good listener. By giving specific suggestions, you will give the photographer a path to improvement.

Club members: Would you like to have your photo(s) critiqued? Would you like to share your Five-Minute Tips and Tricks?

Email up to 3 photos to club president Ron Tigges, or send him your presentation materials before the meeting.

How to GET a critique. When your photo is being discussed, try to listen with an open mind without getting defensive. Some of what you hear will be personal opinion. Remember, the loudest voice isn’t always right. Sometimes the quieter people in the room have good advice too. Everybody’s got an opinion, so take what’s useful and leave the rest.

It’s OK to explain your photo, or to ask questions. Think of critique night as the chance to hear how the public responds to your work. Sometimes, being critiqued can feel awkward. When it’s over, you may or may not take action on everything that is said, and that’s OK. When it comes to your photography, you decide.

Critique Form (optional)

(Optional) Critique Form: During critique night, you can expect a lot of the feedback to be verbal, in the form of a discussion. Tentatively, we will also use a written feedback form. You may use this optional written critique form if you don’t feel comfortable speaking up in a group, or if you need time to shape a better response. At the end of the night, you may give this form to the photographer, if you think it would be helpful to him or her. Turning in the written forms is not required, however.

PhotoWhat I like/StrengthComment/Suggestion
...[Click here to download the printable form]

More resources. Here are a few other helpful resources for giving and receiving photo critiques:

Critique tip sheet
What is a critique?