The idea of constructive critique has been around for a long time. It’s vital for improvement because, while most jobs have performance reviews and structured management to give their people feedback, we photographers don’t. With the prevalence of social media, it’s more important now than ever. Posing a photo on Facebook will likely get you two types of responses: 1) praise from family and friends and 2) bashing by insecure internet trolls. Neither of these two do anything for our continual improvement and only boost our ego or discourage us from trying.
So we at SLR Lounge wanted to change this. We created a new section of our site called Constructive Critique with a few key improvements on the standard forum format:
The Required Format
First off, we have a required format, as illustrated in the this image. First, we start with the positives of an image. We don’t care how “bad” you think an image is, there is always at least a few positive aspects of any image. We then add the actual critique. This is where you give your advice and talk about the things in the image that need improvement. We then end with encouragement, stating what the person should continue to work on and improve. We believe this required format will help our community become better photographers.
2) Other Unique Characteristics
Accountability & Credibility: All critiques are linked up to your profile, which has your portfolio, your images, and your badges and achievements. This provides accountability and credibility to the system. Hopefully this keeps our system troll free.
Points Pool: This is the amount of points available to be distributed to top 5 critics. Points pool increases with the number of critiques submitted. Points distribution occurs once time remaining to critique expires.
Time Remaining: This is the time allotted for critique, or the amount of time remaining before critiques are ended. Users must critique within this window of time.
Critiques: This indicates the number of critiques that have been submitted for this particular image.
Challenges/limitations: This section the describes the limitations and challenges the photographer faced while creating this image. We highly recommend reading this section prior to submitting your critique. In many cases, the critique you submit may be a result of the photographers limitations and challenges he/she faced during the shoot.
Up/Down Voting: Users can vote up or down on a critique. The critic with highest net positive votes will win the prestigious title of top critic. Remember you can only submit one critique per image. Once submitted you cannot edit/delete your critique.
Focus of critique: Users can specify exactly what aspect of the image they want critiqued.