BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
 

Constructive Critique


I would like to have the photographs that didnt make it to the finals, critiqued. Maybe a "why" that particular shot didnt make it.
I personally, think it would be more beneficial to those who would like some help with those pictures. I guess you could call it "WHY"!!!!!
Thanks
Charlene


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6/22/2005 7:35:04 AM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  Which photos in particular did you want us to look at, or are you interested in a whole gallery critique?


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6/22/2005 7:46:04 AM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  They can pick any picture from that month and not just mine. I think a lot of bp'ers would like to know the "why".
The judges picked all the other pictures that were critiqued, and did end up in the finals.


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6/22/2005 7:51:11 AM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  I don't feel very qualified to critique, but I know when I look at my entries and the finalists it becomes really clear why I wasn't selected.
I feel confident that my eye for composition is up to par, but I need to learn so much more about lighting and the technical aspects to photography to improve.


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6/22/2005 8:53:00 AM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  That is why I'd like the "judges" to do the critiquing. My whole point is for the judges to give us that information so we all can do better.


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6/22/2005 8:58:27 AM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  Unfortunately I think we can't expect a judge to critique every image, there's just too many of them.
There are lots of semipro/professionals here though...so far almost every one that I've taken the time to contact has written back and gave me great advice on everything to buying my first SLR, to how to improve my photographs.


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6/22/2005 9:10:10 AM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  Susan, maybe you are misunderstanding me.....the judges are already critiquing quite a lot of entries...most of which have good comments......I'm interested in the "why" certain photos were not in the finals.
I have been a finalist and a 1st place winner.....that is not my point.....THE POINT IS KNOW THE "WHY" according to the judges......


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6/22/2005 9:27:43 AM

 
Joy Brown
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2001
  I think what Char is trying to say (and has said) is that maybe the judges could RANDOMLY pick photos that they feel need additional work or adjusting in order to even get to the finals; or just critique what is maybe a "common" error that some of us make. It seems that the critiquing process by the judges does not begin until certain photos have been selected in the first round of possible "winners." I think we can all learn from any of the judges comments, whether good or not so good.


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6/22/2005 9:38:34 AM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  forgive me Charlene....
I get little sleep sometimes and my brain isn't always functioning at full tilt. Especially since I haven't had my dose of caffiene yet.
So let me see if I've got it right yet ;) You want to know why a judge commented on something and then it didn't make the finals? Or am I still all mixed-up!
I wasn't really directing my input at anyone in particular, just sharing how I've gone about getting some good advice so I can improve.


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6/22/2005 9:39:05 AM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  Thanks Joy...I'm just a bit slow sometimes ;)


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6/22/2005 9:41:48 AM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  ok...here I go......I want the judges to look at that months entries and randomly pick some photos that did not make the finals and WHY?....
has nothing to do with the comments already given.
Maybe someone else can make it clearer to you...although Joy was helpful!!!!!


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6/22/2005 9:47:55 AM

 
Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  I got it Charlene...I am sorry.
Maybe I should shut my mouth until I've had more sleep. I just thought it was relevent enough to bring up how I've gotten some real feedback on my own photography.


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6/22/2005 9:51:25 AM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Thats actually a great idea Charlene! I am a little curious! I would like to know too. For example, I would like to know a tecnical comparison of two shots for example: you can use mine. What made this shot: a finalist and not mine: etc.


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6/22/2005 10:51:02 AM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
 
 
  Sweet delight
Sweet delight
© Melissa  L. Zavadil
Canon EOS 10D Digi...
 
 
Ok: here we go: here is a shot: How did this shot make and what attributes made it a finalists and what attributes made the second shot not?

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=917858&catID=6754&style=&contestCatID=8&rowNumber=26&camID=


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6/22/2005 10:54:00 AM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Sweet delight was not a finalist the link is a finalist. And please note I am not ragging on the winner I want to learn from this! :o)


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6/22/2005 10:56:15 AM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Please not you have to highlight that link from the very start of the http to the very end where the = is

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=917858&catID=6754&style=&contestCatID=8&rowNumber=26&camID=


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6/22/2005 11:54:01 AM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Go to the top of your screen and hit edit, then copy.

Paste the link in the www. box and hit go.

Hope this helps

:o)


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6/22/2005 11:56:09 AM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  Melissa, unfortunately I couldnt open the link you sent me. I was hoping that some other bper's would reply to this thread.


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6/22/2005 3:03:53 PM

 
Tonya R. Boles
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/7/2004
  I would love to know this as well. There's one photo in my gallery that I felt was at least finalist quality for May but it wasn't picked. Just wondering what I need to work on...
Thanks for asking this question.


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6/22/2005 7:36:33 PM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  Thanks for responding Tonya....now I hope Jim will comment on this thread too.


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6/22/2005 7:44:00 PM

 
Nobu Nagase
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2003
  ...just thought I would make the link a little easier to accessbible...
...just click this url... (forgive me if it doesn't work...)


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6/22/2005 8:10:58 PM

 
Nobu Nagase
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2003
  ...

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=917858


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6/22/2005 8:13:04 PM

 
Nobu Nagase
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2003
  ...i'm sorry, pls ignore the date/time one...


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6/22/2005 8:16:19 PM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  Thanks Nobi.....this is a perfect example of what I mean....two very similar images.....what made the final decision???


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6/22/2005 8:17:55 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Hey!! Thanks Nobi! That was very helpful! I wish I knew how you did that! :o) cool!


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6/22/2005 8:31:55 PM

 
Jill A. Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2004
  Charlene I can understand where you are coming from it can be frustrating when your peers give you great praise for your work yet it never seems to make it into the finalist list...
but I am sure there would be way to many photographs that where entered to try to critique...
for me it's the frustration on wanting to know what keeps photographs that make to the finals yet never make place...??? I would so appreciate being told what made them short of placing a winner spot...
but I am sure that would mean a bit of time for BP and am sure they are very busy with many other things...
it would be nice even if a was a paid thing... I just would sometimes like to know just why something was short of a winner place...
just a bit frustrated...............

Jill :)


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6/23/2005 5:46:56 AM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  Hi Jill
My purpose for this thread was not because I wasn't a finalist.....I have been honored many times as a finalist and I have won 1st & 2nd place.
I just think it would be very beneficial to know the "why"!!!!! Instead of the judges critiquing photos that are going to be finalists, why not do the ones that were selected as a teaching tool.


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6/23/2005 5:51:37 AM

 
Jill A. Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2004
  I agree with you Charlene...
but I too would also like to have some critiquing done on the ones that make to finalist but don't move on to place...
I to have made it to fianlist here at BP but my work has yet to place... so for me it would be beneficial to know what is the things that keep any of my work from placing??? don't get me wrong I have many of them place other contests so it's a bit frustrating for me and I truly would like critiquing as to why it just doesn't go all the way here...
well all and all I think your idea of more judges critiquing would be very nice(I have some shots that I can't believe don't make to finalist) but not just on ones that don't make to finalist but also ones that don't place critiquing them as to learn what it will take to get them there would be nice...

Jill :)


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6/23/2005 6:44:38 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  I understand what everyone is saying, and actually have seen several comments from the judges telling people "nice image, but..." and they did not make the finals. As for what makes them place but not win...there has to be SOMETHING that catches the judges' eyes that makes that winner stand out, and yes, it would be great to know what it is! Perhaps the judges could have a "Judges Blog" to make general comments on what set the big winners above the rest? That seems to be the only feasable way I can see them commenting so that everyone can see it and to prevent them from commenting on every photo that didn't make it.

I know I've seen in several threads (and I think Jim's blog) that they are considering starting a critique service. You would pay for the BP instructors to critique your work. I think it's a great idea, as long as it's affordable to those of us who can't afford to take a class right now!


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6/23/2005 7:12:33 AM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  Great idea Laura!!!!! Knowing why the winners won, is a great idea!!!! We can all learn from that!!!!


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6/23/2005 7:16:14 AM

 
Jill A. Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2004
  yes that is what it should be... so we all know what page the contest judging is really on...
I sure hope Jim & other BP staff read this & something comes from it...
thank you Charlene for starting it...

Jill :)


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6/23/2005 8:18:08 AM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Critique service???? That sounds interesting!!! I know of no where that you can actually get a pro to give you good feed back. That would raise my interest expecially if it was reasonably affordable....I'm on board YeeeeeHaaaa!!!!


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6/23/2005 8:59:53 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Glad my reply could make everyone so happy!! :) I've definitely read about the critique service being considered for the near future.

The "Judges' Blog" was just something I came up with while writing my reply, so don't spread around that it is a BP idea in the works!!! I hope that it's something they might consider. NOT that they should give away any secrets to the contest judging, but maybe just a few details on why the Grand Prize and First Place (and maybe the second, but that's a LOT of photos to review) winners stood out amongst the rest. That would help us all learn, not only for the contest, but for our personal photography goals, as well. I have SO much to learn!!


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6/23/2005 9:38:12 AM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  Great thread Charlene. I think that would be AWSOME if the judges would critique galleries, thats exactly what I want, A pro's oppinion!!!!

Espesially if it was afordable!!

And yes I think its a great idea if the judges would randomly choose the photos that didnt place and say what could have been worked on ect..., I mean they do that already with the finalist dont they, then why couldnt they do it with the ones that dont make it?!!

Anyway hope this thread makes it to the top honchos!!!

-Collette-


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6/23/2005 12:22:32 PM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
Carolyn 's Gallery
PickYourShots.com
  I wonder if they did critique people's shots might it not cut down on the course sales? That would seem to me to be why people take the courses.


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6/23/2005 1:04:44 PM

 
Collette Photography
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
  Thats a good point, but I think that since they would charge for them it might even out, plus with the course they are teaching you things rather than just commenting on your photos.

just my thought!

-Collette-


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6/23/2005 1:16:34 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  You know I think that it would actually help them SELL their services. Right now you have no way of even trying their services for under 200-375 bucks. If they offered something less it would be a better opener, people could try it and see if they like it and how it works. I think people have a hard time spending that much money on help if they are not sure about what they are getting. This way they would have a little peek. So, my belief would be just the exact opposite. I believe it would work more like advertising. Once a working relationship is established people are more apt to go with the people they know.


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6/23/2005 5:10:31 PM

 
Karen Orr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/15/2005
  What a great thread filled with excellent ideas and feedback! We are considering offering Critiques at BetterPhoto in the future and are pleased to hear that you would support the idea. The comments from the judges have certainly created a buzz and thirst for more information. I like idea of adding contest feedback to the existing Blogs (thank you Laura for the Blog clarification). Keep the ideas coming, we really appreciate them!


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6/23/2005 7:36:28 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Thanks for checking in with our thread, Karen! We appreciate that someone is "listening"!!


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6/23/2005 7:59:46 PM

 
Sherry S. Boles
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/28/2005
  I think you had a great idea: using the winners as teaching tools. Some cannot afford the classes and what is learned from other places on the website is the only lessons available. Telling what was so special about winning photos might help some of us critique our own photos better.


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6/23/2005 9:00:35 PM

 
Jennifer  L. Bales
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/22/2004
  Well, about the instructors doing photo critiques... I have taken several classes, and the instructors barely have time to critique the photos from class, since many of them also continue to do their private photography stuff... maybe the judges could do the critiqueing.... unless the instructors ARE the judges...lol I guess I dont know WHO judges the photos.


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7/1/2005 9:35:36 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
Carolyn 's Gallery
PickYourShots.com
  I'd sort of like to see some more of the 'why it doesn't belong in this category' critiques. I know we all have those shots we have absolutely no idea where to put them. (many of my car shots for example). Tough to decide where things belong. The guidelines are fine for most things, but some stuff defies all attempts at putting it in a proper category.


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7/1/2005 11:00:38 AM

 
Karen Orr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/15/2005
  Hi Jennifer,
I am sorry to hear that your course experience was less than you expected. If you have time, I would welcome your feedback directly. Please email me at Karen@betterphoto.com


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7/2/2005 3:48:26 PM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  Interesting thread you started Charlene.
I did see several judges comments that gave a why the photo wasn't going to make it (crooked horizon, big lettering, date stamp, border, too busy, etc.)
It would be interesting to see something a little more elaborate though. Some of us who have been around BP long enough know the basic boo-boos to avoid, but still wonder why some of what we consider to be our better shots don't make it.
Karen - it's very nice of you to have joined this thread.
I definitely have to agree with Carolyn about the lack of a general category (or still life or whatever you want to call it). It is definitely lacking.
I do have one thing about the judges comments that make me a little uncomfortable. I don't like the fact that they are commenting on shots that they are currently judging... Hearing things like "even if this is soft, it is going on to the next level, or this is the best amongst your work this month) can get people's hopes up and they may be disappointed when the finalists are finally announced. I think comments directly related to how a picture is achieving during the judging process is inappropriate. They can certainly say what they like (or don't like) about a picture. Just don't make any reference to how it is doing in the contest.
I hope you all understood what I meant. I truly appreciate the judges comments and am learning from reading them all.



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7/3/2005 7:21:47 PM

 
brigitte stahre
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/27/2004
  i also would love to see some feedback on why random entries did not make it to finalist or place.. I often look at the contest entries and think,:" if that picture didn't make it to finalist or winner, than mine certainly don't stand a chance " and then I wonder what the judges saw that I didn't..


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7/3/2005 7:54:53 PM

 
Jay Soldner
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/6/2005
  Two thoughs here (devil's advocate style) as I'm back from a sleepless weekend's travels . . .

1-
This 'photo critiquing service' should make someone one some big cash - whoever turns the idea into reality I mean.

2-
Why does it matter?

Why does it matter what a JUDGE thinks. Why does one's opinion matter more than another's? Do YOU like your pictures? Do your friends and family like them? So why does it matter that much if your favorite pictures are not selected as winners. Photography is subjective - personal preference, knee jerk reaction, emotional reactions, biases. Whatever.

If you want to know what a judge thinks - ask your picture to be critiqued in the "constructive critique" section of the forum. We're all "judges" or are any of us?


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7/3/2005 8:56:20 PM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  Maybe at the end of the day, the photos are just so similar, they end up just chosing one they like better? Or maybe just a composition that it a little different then what they have seen.

I've just looked at the two lady bug photos and I can't say which I like better, although I am leaning more towards Charlene's.

Maybe they just flip a coin when it gets too close to call!


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7/3/2005 10:22:52 PM

 
Joy Brown
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2001
  I am in total agreement with Jay. We don't need our photos critiqued...we need our brains critiqued!!! What is it about our nature as human beings to seek constant approval and kudos (believe me, I'm right there too)? Every morning I wake up and immediately turn on my computer, go directly to BP and spend 20 minutes figuring out which image to download (and will it get a big response?)! Then, like the majority of us, wait "breathlessly" when it gets closer to the 21st (or later!) of the month to see if I have any "winners?" We have definitely given waaaaaay too much power to the judges in allowing "them" to decide whether or not our photographs are worthy of an award (even though those same photographs have received numerous wonderful comments from our fellow photographers, or friends or even strangers). I have learned sooooooo much about photography here at BP and met so many great people. Let's try not to put so much emphasis on what the judges think. We need to figure out why we "think" their opinion matters so much.


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7/4/2005 5:01:50 AM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  AMEN!!!!!!


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7/4/2005 5:45:12 AM

 
Jill A. Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2004
  Outstanding words from both Joy & Jay...
just keep doing what you enjoy & learning to take it up a step & if your happy with your work that is what really matters...
I add an Amen to Charlene's!

Jill :)


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7/4/2005 6:36:47 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
Carolyn 's Gallery
PickYourShots.com
  Amen to what Joy said!


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7/4/2005 6:49:59 AM

 
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