Introducing Constructive Criticism – 9/13/22

Constructive Criticism

Last week I floated the idea of providing constructive criticism for some of the pictures posted here and there was a very positive response to the idea.  Let me begin by saying that I am not a professional photographer nor have I ever been a judge in a photography contest.  I have studied photo editing and reviewed the results of various photo contests.  I may not be an “expert” but I have edited over 100,000 of my own bird photos and I know what I like (and don’t like).  So here’s how this will work:

Constructive Criticism is to help the author.  If you are serious about bird photography then you want some Constructive Criticism to improve your images.  This is not about “Like” and “Unlike” – this is about what the author can do to improve an existing shot or future shots.

You can opt out at any time.  If you are uncomfortable with receiving Constructive Criticism about the photos you submit here then email me.  I will honor your request.

I will offer Constructive Criticisms on select photos – not every one.  My comments will be made if the suggestion(s) can help a good photograph become better.  In most cases I will not be making Constructive Criticisms on Documenting Shots and Good Bird Photos;  GoodBirdPics and Award Worthy images will be my focus (see the QSAR menu on the website for more information about the types of bird photographs).  An exception to this is if I notice many pictures from an author have the same flaw – like many are over-exposed or cropped too tight.

If you apply a change to your image post the revised one so we can see the difference.  Put a note in the Comments field that its been revised so we can see the improvement.

Constructive Criticism will be posted in the Comments section of a photograph.  The author will receive an email with the comments and others will be able to read them.  Non-members of cannot enter anything (including Constructive Criticisms) in the Comments section.

You do not have to make any Constructive Criticisms.  I offer this as a “service” of GreatBirdPics to help improve its members’ bird photography. If you do make a Constructive Criticism, approach it from a technical point of view, not a subjective one.  Give specific actions the author could take to improve the photograph.  Constructive Criticisms which are deemed too negative will be deleted.

Below is yesterday’s picture of a Wood Duck.  What Constructive Criticism did you think could improve the shot?

Here’s what one of my typical Constructive Criticisms will look like: CC – The picture of the female Wood Duck is very good.  The focus is excellent and the background helps bring the subject to the foreground.  The center of the picture appears to be the back of the bird – we typically want the head and particularly the eye brought to the viewer’s attention.  By moving the whole image to the right the viewers’ focus will be more on the eye and it will “push” the tail feathers of the bird on the far right off the frame.  Overall a GreatBirdPic!

Does that sound positive and helpful?  That would be my aim – to recognize the positive traits of the photograph and to suggest ways to make it even better.   Following my suggestions here is Version 2 of the same pic.

Not dramatically different, but better.  That’s what many of my Constructive Criticisms will do – improve and hopefully teach.

As we enter this next phase of please contact me with your Constructive Criticisms of the process!

Click Here if you would like to learn more about  Membership is free and members can post their own great bird pics, can create an online gallery of their works, and receive emails about bird photography and birds.

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