Critique Speak


            I spend a lot of time looking at student images and giving my opinions. I enjoy it and most of the time I think it is a beneficial learning experience. But there are some times when the critiquee seems to be talking a different language than me, the critiquer. After 25 years of careful study I have finally translated critique-speak and have figured out what the critiquee is really saying.


“I don’t photograph flowers” means “I can’t bend my knees.”

“I don’t photograph wildlife” means “I am too cheap to buy a good telephoto lens.”

“Some noise is good” means “I hand hold.”

“Editors are idiots’ means “I can’t sell a thing.”

“I meant it to be that way” means “I never noticed that before now.”

“I shoot black and white” means “I’ve taken a vow of poverty.”

“Night shots are clichéd” means “I’d rather be eating/drinking/sleeping.”

“Sunsets are clichéd” means “I don’t miss happy hour.”

“I use VR/IS lenses all the time” means “I’m too lazy to get my tripod.”

“I can fix it later in photoshop” means “I’m an idiot for not noticing it.”

“I’m a whiz at sharpening” means “I can’t focus to save my soul.”

“I need a new lens” means “I want a new lens.”

“I shoot in program mode” means “I haven’t a clue what I am doing.”

“I shoot in manual mode” means “I am a dinosaur and proud of it.”

“I love autofocus” means “I’m over 50.”

“I used HDR” means “The light was terrible.”

“I love workshops” means “I still don’t get it.”