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Whats the best what to get constructive critique of your photographs? I'm thinking along what site or online community provides such things, but I'm open to all answers.

If I have a photograph that I think is nice, what's an effective way to get somebody (apart from friends and family) to offer "good" advice? Posting it to a site like this one with a general "what can I do better?" isn't helpful, and on sites like Flickr only the photographs that are already good get noticed.

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You can check our stackexchange chat room: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/14 and see if there are any upcoming photo-critique sessions, or otherwise if there are people chatting. I'm sure most there would be willing to offer their critique. –  chills42 Nov 7 '10 at 13:45
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7 Answers

up vote 20 down vote accepted

I would like to recommend one exposure dot com. I recommend this for two reasons.

  1. The critique is honest, harsh, informed, and deep. As a community, they strive very hard to give very in depth reviews and suggestions. They also have the added benefits of extreme honesty, which is sometimes hard to get. One thing I dislike about flikr is precisely the fact that you never get criticized, just complements. If you want to improve, I think that you need to take a little beating, and one exp will dish it out.

  2. The photos are brilliant. This site has the absolute best gallery of any I have seen. Being a member of the community(free) will also provide you with wonderful inspiration, and help you improve in that way by giving you something to strive for.

Hope this helps!

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Thanks for the site recommendation, i will also looking for such a service. I will certainly register over there. –  Ibn Saeed Nov 7 '10 at 9:44
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Before deciding that you want comments, you should decide who you want comments from. Photography is art and not all opinions will lead you to the path you seek. I did not know about this site but I saw some superb images but also ones that are so manipulated it is nauseating. Food for thought: Jay Maisel says 'if you are not your harshest critic, you are your own worst enemy'. No one should be able to trash you work more than yourself, that's how you're going to push your own limits beyond what everyone is willing to tell you. –  Itai Nov 8 '10 at 4:16
    
I'm going to accept this answer because its a pretty good site after looking around on it for a few days now, but I think 1x.com is a little post-processing heavy for my current tastes. –  rfusca Nov 8 '10 at 14:16
    
Ok, I guess I am bad at spotting post processing. But then again, I hang out in the Macro section. –  BBischof Nov 8 '10 at 14:46
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Well, for Flickr, I'd say that the photographs that get noticed are often by people that are group active rather than necessarily all that good. Not to say that there aren't great shots that don't get noticed otherwise, but if you look at "interesting" you'll find some that aren't really all that interesting at all, just that they got a lot of group hits.

In terms of getting critique, the offline option is camera clubs. Some are better than others, but being in one or, if needed, forming one, is a good way to get good advice. For example, just today, I was testing out the focus tracking and burst capabilities of my new Pentax K5 with a friend in our local camera group (both of us have the K5). I posted a swan in flight, but I over-sharpened it and he called to let me know. I realized it shortly after posting, but having a good shooter call me to minutes after posting was a good thing and I appreciated it. He was even spot on for the reason, I pushed the clarity slider in ACR too much.

In any case, in my opinion, I like the face-to-face or phone call better for this sort of thing. Critique is hard in an online context, it can come across very harsh. I do a lot of code reviews as a software architect and, when I reopen tasks with review comments as a result, I almost always go over to the developer for a chat after because I want them to know and feel that it wasn't personal and I want to explain certain things verbally that just are too hard to make clear in an email. I see that as a way to make them better coders and I think it works, at least results are bearing me out.

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I'm a software dev too, so I definitely understand the face-to-face or phone review being better. –  rfusca Nov 7 '10 at 3:43
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Yes, camera clubs are a good way to get feedback. They also provide a powerful stimulus to take photos and are a great learning environment. –  labnut Nov 7 '10 at 10:36
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One possibility: usenet-groups (no, not dead yet).

At least in the german-speaking space, a post with a link to picture(s) and maybe some explanation in news://de.rec.fotografie with the tag "[BK]" (bitte kommentieren = please comment) will yield some comments and/or criticism from a smaller circle of interested photographers. In German, that is ;)

I really don't know if the english usenet-groups are worth it (alt.photographie, free.uk.photographic, ...)

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Digital Photography School has a critique section, too. I've found their critiques to be decent, though it seems like the pool of critics isn't huge.

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For completeness sake, you can post a picture in the photo.stackexchange.com chat room and request feedback on it there.

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Also for completeness: Flickr has this group:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/photographycritique/

You can post a picture and ask for critique.

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I run a Photography Club Critique and advice facebook group which gives honest critique everyone is welcome: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PhotographyClubOnline/

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