Photo Critique Paper A two-page, typed, double-spaced paper critiquing one photo
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Photo Critique Paper
A two-page, typed, double-spaced paper critiquing one photograph by an established photographer of your choice.
The paper should address the craft, construction, and content of the photographer’s work.
Use Times New Roman, 12-point font with 1-inch margins all around.
Please do not write this paper in the first person. Avoid, I think, I believe, me, etc.
This is not a research paper. You will be describing the photo rather than a bio on the photographer.
The first paragraph must include:
The name of the photographer. Cindy Sherman
Title of the photograph. Untitled Film Still #21.
The year it was taken. 1978.
Medium (Color Photograph, B&W Photograph, Digital Print, Sepia Print, etc.) B&W Photograph
A brief description of the overall elements in the photograph.
Consider the following in your responses:
Critique- Constructive criticism of the effectiveness of the work or the appropriateness of the choices made by the creator. A written or verbal evaluation of a photograph based on careful observation.
Describe what you see.
We all believe we all see the same thing, but that is not necessarily true.
When describing a photograph, be specific as if the person you are writing
for or talking to cannot see the photograph.
Describe the subject matter and style of the photo.
What is the subject of the photograph? Is it a still life, an inanimate object,
a portrait, a landscape, an architectural image, a cityscape, an abstraction
of something, etc.? Did the photographer take the image or make the
Describe the craft of the photo:
What was the photographic medium? (color, black and white, digital, etc.)
How would you describe the photograph’s print quality (contrast, handling of color and tones)
How was the photograph presented? (size, frame, borders)
Is the photograph horizontal or vertical’?
Did the photographer do anything technically unique?
Describe the construction of the photo:
Describe the formal qualities:
Texture, Form, Pattern, Line, Quality of the light, Composition, Angle of view,
Shadows, Shape, Reflective surfaces, Symmetrical, Asymmetrical & Balance
Can you tell what type of camera and or lens were used?
What was the photographer’s use of depth of field and focus?
Did the photographer use a specific shutter speed to create motion?
Describe the content of the photo:
Describe how the photograph makes you feel.
Is the photograph an emotional image, a strange image, a positive or
magical image, etc.?
Is there tension in the photograph?
Is the photograph a calming image?
What aspect of the photograph do you believe make you feel this way?
Do you think the photographer meant to give you that feeling?
When and why was this photograph made?
Date, location, and title of the photograph.
Is the photograph part of a series by the photographer? If so, what is the
Why was the photograph made? (art, commercial,
newspaper, social concern, etc.)
Is there anything about the photographer’s life that would add to the description or review of their photograph?
What do you think the intention of the photographer was?
What is your interpretation of the meaning of the photo?
Learning to critique photographs develops your sense of observation, which will make you a better photographer!
Who? When? Where? What? How? Why?