Learning to Self-Critique Your Images

I’d like you to join me on a journey of learning to see and take better pictures. That is, learning to view our images critically before any one else sees them. Early in my journey, I was intrigued by a signature from a photography forum: “Please harshly critique my photos! Doing so helps me become better at this photography thing.” Since then, I have uncovered many hurdles to me taking great images.

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How Was This Picture Made #12: The Answer

Last week, for our How Was This Picture Made? series, I had posted a landscape photograph to share and discuss. Thanks to our PL commentators, Gary Bunton, Brian Webster, and Shane, for their participation and sage commentary on the techniques employed and the overall considerations. Well done!

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How Was This Picture Made #12?

In advance of my upcoming article on the directionality and quality of light, composition, and mood, I decided to post a landscape photograph to invite our readers to share their thoughts on how this photo was visualized and constructed. I made this particular photograph at one of my favorite subjects – the coastal bluffs at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in San Diego, CA.

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How Was This Picture Made #11: The Answer

It has been a while since I posted the “How was this picture made #11?” article, where I showcased a very high resolution image of sand particles with tons of detail. The image was massive in size and resolution when I extracted it out of Lightroom. In fact, the image was so big, that I had to downsize it to 4096 pixel long resolution in order to keep the size at less than 10 MB with as much JPEG optimization…

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How Was This Picture Made #10: The Answer

We had a lot of good guesses on our tenth “How Was This Picture Made” article, including a couple that were almost entirely spot-on. Congratulations to Photography Life reader Goh Wei Jun for his guess — he will receive a copy of our upcoming eBook, Creative Landscape Photography, as a prize. So, how was this photograph made? This article dives into the entire process.

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How Was This Picture Made #11?

It is great to finally be back to posting regularly on the site! It took us a while to finally wrap up our second video course, and despite my attempts to keep the site fresh with new content, things have been quite hectic to say the least. And now that most of all that is behind us, I cannot wait to start posting great content again. I have a lot of things lined up for this month, and next month…

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How Was This Picture Made #10?

This is the tenth post in our “How Was This Picture Taken” series, and this one features a photograph I took at Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. Since this is the tenth installment in our series, and because we have a number of exciting projects coming up, we’d like to do something a bit special this time:

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How Was This Picture Made #09: The Answer

We had quite a few of our readers engage in our last “How Was This Picture Made #9” article for the image of the Sokullu Mehmet Pasa Mosque that I posted from my trip to Istanbul, Turkey. While some of the readers did a great job at giving a description of my shooting environment and even correctly guessed the location, the camera and the lens I used for the shot, none of the readers correctly identified the specific challenges I…

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How Was This Picture Made #08: The Answer

Last week, I had posted a landscape photograph for installment #8 of our How Was This Picture Taken? series. Judging from the comments, many of our readers took this exercise very seriously and posted deliberate and insightful remarks on how this photograph was visualized and constructed. I enjoyed both the aesthetic and technical analyses offered by our readers, some of whom were correct on many aspects of why and how I chose to make this photograph. Well done!

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How Was This Picture Made #08?

For Part 8 of our How Was This Picture Taken? series, I have chosen the following photograph to share. On two recent road trips into the desert near my home base in Southern California, I had the pleasure of going on two landscape photo shoots, both of which I plan to write a photo essay for Photography Life readers very soon. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun and educational to post one particular photograph and invite our readers to share…

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How Was This Picture Made #07?

For Part 7 of our How Was This Picture Taken series, I have another portrait for you. Our last related article was a complete spoof and a joke (for those who did not get that it was an April Fool’s joke, including our “sell-out” to Canon!), so this time we will get back to our more serious regular scheduled programming. Compared to the last one, hopefully you can learn something from this one :)

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How Was This Picture Made #06: The Answer

Due to overwhelming emails, comments and response we got on our “How Was This Picture Made #6” post, which went viral and got us over 25 million hits (funds from which we are planning to use for the next team retreat on the beaches of Mongolia), we decided to publish the answer to the last post today and not put our readers through the pain of having to wait.

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How Was This Picture Made #05: The Answer

Earlier this week I posted a portrait as the next installment to our How Was This Picture Taken series. Most of our readers took this as an opportunity to stretch their brains a bit and try to use visual clues within an image to figure out how it was taken. They are rewarded all of the internet points.* A few, missing the entire point of the post in an effort to be “right”, decided to go directly to the image’s…

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How Was This Picture Made #04: The Answer

This article is the answer to my “How was this picture made?” post from a couple weeks ago. First, an apology – I intended to have this article published several days ago, but my winter classes already have taken their toll on my spare time (and sleep). That said, I hope the answer is worth the wait!

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How Was This Picture Made #04?

To continue our “How was this picture taken?” series, I would like to invite our readers to analyze this photograph and try to figure out how it was made. It may not seem out-of-the-ordinary at first glance, but this was one of the most technically-difficult photographs I have ever taken. In fact, my post-processing was particularly interesting for this image, and I employed a technique that I have used only three or four other times in my life.

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How Was This Picture Made #02: The Answer

The second “How was this picture taken?” series article turned out to be a bit controversial, because some people either did not like the photo, or did not like some things about it. Some complained about the moon appearing unrealistic, with its darker side being darker than the sky (and they were right, as pointed out below), others did not like how the moon arced in the way I made it appear in the image. One of the readers even…

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