Grand Rapids Camera Club

March 2019 Meeting

Image Critiques


March 20, 2019 at 07:15 PM


One thing is an absolute given at the end of every Camera Club meeting.  There will always be someone who has submitted an image to competition who is very disappointed and/or unhappy with their scores. You can place money on it! It was that way 20 years ago, and 20 years from now it will be the same.

As most of us are aware, judging images is an EXTREMELY subjective process.  The same image can, and often does, evoke very different responses depending on who is looking at it.  When we push the shutter button on our camera, it is because something caught our eye that we wanted to record for posterity. As the image maker, we have a TOTALLY different viewpoint than an impartial judge. For the maker, the image enlists emotions and brings back memories of when, where, and how we captured that image.  A judge does NOT have any of those reference points.  S(he) only sees it from a technical standpoint… AND has less than a minute to evaluate it.  Is it well exposed? Is it well composed? Does it tell a story? Does it have that WOW factor? You know what WOW is… ALL of us have seen images that stop us in our tracks. It is not easy for us, as imagemakers, to step back and be impartial about our own images.

Jeanne Quillan has been participating in an online “study group” at PSA (Photographic Society of America) for some time.  The 4-5 members of the group submit digital images and the members of the group use the forum to comment on what they like, and/or don’t like about an image. Just like in our monthly competition judging, the responses can vary widely from one person to the next.  One loves it, another individual says, “It didn’t speak to me, it needs x-y-z.”  We had hoped to use her study group as a program to show that subjectivity is an inherent part of critiquing and judging, but couldn’t get the proper authority to do so.  As creative individuals we can always be open to learning from other’s comments.  You don’t have to agree to everything said, but learning how others see your images can only help you grow as a photographer.  Constructive criticism is an opportunity to see different perspectives. If you only want pats on the back and kudos… then post your images on Facebook, and every friend, friend of a friend, and even non-friends will tell you it’s an awesome image… even if it isn’t. 

SOOOooooo, this is a very long introduction to our March 21, 2019 program.  It will be an image critique session, however we will conduct it a little differently than last year.  Jeanne Quillan and Jan Lewis will select images that were submitted to our digital Year End competition. During Year End, when making their final choices the judges often remark on what they like about images, as well as things that could be improved.  We will try to make note of those comments so that we can present them. We will also ask several of the club’s more seasoned judges to give their comments, and then club members can have their input.  It’s always nice to say something positive, but constructive criticism will also be encouraged.  Saying “I love this image” when you are REALLY thinking, “the image would benefit from cropping out the extra leaf on the edge” because you are afraid you might hurt someone’s feelings, doesn’t help the maker see where they can improve. 

IF YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR IMAGES selected for potential presentation and critique, please send an email to BOTH Jeanne and Jan , indicating as such.




  • Meeting begins at 7:15 PM, introduction of visitors, new members, and announcements
  • Program
  • Social break & 50/50 Raffle
  • Monthly Competition
  • End of meeting and cleanup


Grace Episcopal Church
1815 Hall St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Return to list of events.