I've been remiss in my journal writing, so I give my apologies to all that may be following this space for the long gap in my journals.
Recently, I've been reminded of the importance of giving and receiving critiques on photographic and artistic images. The discussions with a couple of photographers, who I respect and hold in high esteem, caused me to review why I'm here on DA, what the DA community gives me and what I give back to the DA community.
DA is a platform for sharing art. The ability to give and receive critiques of that art is an important feature of this platform. Critiques are an important tool for improvement and growth. Many images boast a banner that states that the submitter has requested formal critique. Even if that isn't present, if comments are enabled, viewers can provide critique and support. One of my discussions caused me to think about the why of critique, what it is and why it's important. It caused me to go review the process of critiquing and that's a good thing!
Now, this is my opinion. A critique hopefully is the start of a discussion. That discussion may be external with others or internal. The discussion is important thing in the critique process. The work becomes secondary. Critiques are opinions with a purpose. The overarching purpose is improvement and clarification. If one follows some general guidelines, such as those in some of the links below, the critique should be constructive for the artist. I solicit viewer comments. It takes time to do well. I know quite often I give one-liners, like, "WOW!" Other times I will tell the artist the "why" of the wow. I'll ask my commenters what was it that caused them to comment…hoping for that discussion. Critiques are an important part of being an artist. I hope to give and receive more in 2013.