There are a variety of ways of critiquing a photograph. Below is another way outlined by Andre Cabuche in a Canadian Camera article (2004). Cabuche divides his approach into three parts: technical quality, composition, and emotional appeal.
1. TECHNICAL QUALITY
- "FOCUS: Is the image sharp? If not, is it intentionally soft and successful?"
- "CLEANLINESS: Is it free of scratches, dust spots, stains, lens flare, etc?"
- "EXPOSURE: Is it too light, too dark or just right?"
- "LIGHTING: Is the lighting too contrasty, too flat or just right?"
- "COLOURS: Does it have neutral colours or a strange colour cast?"
- "BALANCE: Is the image aligned correctly or is it crooked?"
- "LOGIC: Is the arrangement of the visual elements effective?"
- "PURPOSE: Is there a strong centre of interest, pattern or design?"
- "CLARITY: Is it simple, yet complete and without distracting elements?"
3. EMOTIONAL APPEAL
- "DYNAMIC: Does it grab and keep your attention? Does it have the "wow" factor?"
- "PROVOCATIVE: Does it excite your imagination, or create a strong emotion in you?"
- "CREATIVE: Does it show a familiar subject in a new, unusual and yet effective way?"
- "UNUSUAL: Does it show a very unusual subject in an effective way?"
Use the above approach on Kevin Carter's Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of a starving girl in Sudan. This photo definitely provokes emotional appeal and raises ethical issues in photojournalism.
Some closing questions:
- Any similarities or differences between Cabuche's approach and Barrett's approach?
- What is the relationship between critiquing a photograph and composing a photograph?
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See more about me at my web site WilliamHartPhD.com.