Informal critique goes digital

On Monday evening 4th July the club held one of its regular informal critique evenings. At these anyone can submit an image for a leading club member to comment on. The aim is to give feedback within a friendly and positive setting and well away from the feel of formal judging. The difference this time was that we moved away from A4 prints to digital images. More members submit entries to the digital categories of other competitions so it was felt that extending the informal critique to digital images would help members. It also gave members an opportunity to email their images in so that the presenter could look at them in advance.

This evening Peter Wells LRPS CPAGB was in the hot seat and it was up to him to pick out the good points of each of the images and try to identify any improvements or changes which could help. As anticipated there were more entries so Peter really had his work cut out. Quite a few of the entries had been submitted by email so it gave him chance to look at them in detail and, for some, “fiddle” with them to illustrate his points. As usual it was a friendly atmosphere and other members felt free to add their own comments, leading to quite a debate at times. With formal judging everyone has to keep quiet so this is a great opportunity for everyone, including the author, to contribute. Subjects ranged across black and white, landscape, birds, architecture, flowers, portraits, record shots and still life. Throughout Peter gave some really helpful comments which the authors found valuable. In particular where he had received the images in time he made some alterations, such as cropping and lightening areas, to see if the image could be improved. This gave an opportunity for others to comment on the difference between the original and Peter’s version. This was really valuable as it was possible to flick between the two versions on screen to judge the effect of the change.

All in all a really good evening with which everyone was actively engaged rather than simply listening. It also gave rise to many a discussion which is always good. Many thanks to Peter for his efforts both on the night and in the time he took with the images beforehand. I’m sure we’ll have another digital informal appraisal before too long.

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