The 2015 Academy Yearbook
One of the great pleasures I have in life is looking at other photographer’s images and as the training director for The Photographer Academy another great pleasure is helping members move their photography quality further.
The monthly Photo Critiques are a perfect way for me to give instant feedback on members submitted images, helping them see how little things can make a big impact on the power of the photograph.
Over the past 30 years I have been lucky enough to serve on judging panels around the world, sharing passionate discussions about images and how in search of perfection we use all our experience to create the original as well as further our style and creativity. Unlike a competition, the Photo Critique is designed solely to look at ways to enhance the picture by using 7 of the judging elements.
By using 7 of the 12 judging elements devised by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) for their print merits it is possible to look at any image and in any genre to set a level playing field in image analysis. By understanding these basic ways to look at an image we can in fact improve our photography at the taking stage by identifying the weaknesses before we take the picture, then in post-production whether it is in a darkroom or the likes of Photoshop,
Lighting – the way in which the photographer has used the light to help create a 3 dimensional subject and an image with simplicity and creativity.
Composition – Subject placement and cropping of an image can take a photograph to a different creative level or harmony in classic presentation.
Style – The way in which all the elements in the scene are used to compliment or shock the viewer to add a simple or structured look to the photograph.
Post Production – The application of image enhancement including presentation and colour balance to bring more or less focus on to areas of the photography.
Story Telling – The way in which the photographer is telling a tale within the photograph to evoke an emotion to the viewer.
Pose / Structure – Placement of the elements in a scene and/or animation of the subject to bring strength and dynamic energy or harmony and flow within the image.
Exposure – The control of exposure to maximise quality of the detail as well as the use and control of light on the subject.
Many of the members who take part in our Photo Critiques now understand the basics of the judging and are able to second guess what I will comment on and how to enhance the photography.
My challenge to all members is to submit an image as often as you can, and my promise to you is that my comments are all designed to encourage you take your photography to a new level.
Congratulations to the top 5 images in the photo critiques who feature here in this Academy Annual celebration of its member’s photography!
Mark Cleghorn - Training Director of The Photographer Academy - Fellow of: The BIPP, MPA, RPS, SWPP - Qualified European Photographer