Young minds are incredible. Their fresh approach to looking at pictures is a constant source of wonder. The day has been spent having an end of project critique which is sometimes a nightmare. The class sits in silence for long awkward periods messing about on the latest iPhone with me telling them to stop every thirty-seconds. Not the case today I am pleased to report when they were energetic and engaged in the discussion. It is only by the constant reviewing of our images can we hope to improve. Critiques provide a great environment for work to be discussed in a style that provides mutual benefit. A photographer's work can flat line were you produce images that do not provide the jolt that you crave to help you improve and stay motivated. Considered and constructive advice can change the direction of a photographers work and is an effective tool for progression. We can always learn from others so long as we are willing and open minded. Naturally they are difficult forums for young people who are keen to fit in with their classmates and criticising the work of others might mean upsetting the status quo. Overall the students work is improving steadily and there are some who show real potential but no matter how much talent you have; without hard work to support it the chances of success are slim. Successful photographers work hard and take risks and this is what makes the difference between those who have a career and those who do not. As part of the process I asked learners to critique 'Lonely Metropolitan' by Herbert Bayer. They correctly identified the three words I was looking for; lonely city and montage. Top marks to them.
“ Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow. – Imogen Cunningham
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