Questions to ask… Self Critiquing your images

self critique

Here at Kelby we do a lot of blind critiques on the Grid and those are very popular… but here is a list of questions you can yourself before you ever show your work to anyone else. Keeping these ideas/questions in mind will help you to become a better visual storyteller.

1: What is my subject?

2: What value (distinction or meaning) am I conveying about my subject to a viewer?

Tonal, Size, Color, Sharpness or Clarity, will my viewer clearly understand what my subject is?

3: Have I placed my subject in the correct location in the frame to properly communicate its value to a viewer?

4: Has my subject been properly expressed by additional elements in the frame?

5: Do any elements in the frame or their position in the frame distract from my subject?

6: Is the viewer of the image able to understand the desired perception or to have an intended apperception of my subject.

7: Have I clearly expressed the intended meaning about my subject?

8: Have I used my imagination to communicate a subject in a new and unique way?

Special thanks to Steve Gustafson for coming up with this list, it is something that I am consistently trying to remember when I am shooting an image and also using it as a guide in my post processing in Lightroom.



  1. Tom 14 October, 2015 at 07:25 Reply

    “8: Have I used my imagination to communicate a subject in a new and unique way?”

    Let’s face it 99.9% of way to communicate a subject in a photography have been done. If you do it in a new and unique way you probably don’t have to self critique because people will automatically coming knocking for more.

  2. Jonathon Rose 14 October, 2015 at 06:52 Reply

    Hi Pete, Scott, & RC!

    I have a problem in LR that I think could be an easy fix, but I can’t seem to nail it down. Recently, my wife and I went on the Lake Michigan circle tour. I got lots of great images. I also took a lot of panoramics. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of shooting those panos in Aperture Priority mode. So, my exposures all look a little different from shot to shot, because the shutter changed slightly with each one. Is there a mathematical scheme that I could use to sync the exposure levels so they all match?? I’m struggling doing it by just comparing photo to photo.

    Any help you guys have would be greatly appreciated!!


    • Ozcan Durgun 18 October, 2015 at 04:10 Reply

      You can use “Match Total Exposure” command in Lightroom. Select or edit exposure for single image, then select others by clicking while holding command key. Then go to upper main menu, Settings>Match Total Exposure. After then you can create panos. Hopefully it works for you.

  3. Nicola 7 October, 2015 at 14:49 Reply

    Thanks for this! I think it’s really important to critique your own work. It’s how you learn to improve and start ‘seeing’ differently.

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