ON PHOTOGRAPHY - What else? - 1. Elements of Analysis
ELEMENTS OF ANALYSIS (in reading and Evaluating Photos)
How can a photo be evaluated, with the most objectivity, for its merit?
Which items must be taken in mind?
Having been studying this subject for some time now, I tried to summarise the main points I consider to be the most relevant:
1.1. Visual (viewpoint, angle, subject matter)
1.2. Emotional (story-telling, sense invoked, intention)
2. Composition (centre of interest, depth of field, setting, framing, use and balance of lines, shapes, textures and space)
3. Creativity (content, originality, style)
4. Technical Excellence
4.1. Contrast / Color Balance / (B&W balance)
4.2. Exposure / Use of light
4.3. Focusing / Sharpness
4.4. Control of Flare and Vignetting
4.5. Technique used (film choice, manipulation, retouching, lighting, paper selection, printing, mounting, presentation media)
If, by any means, we would apply this to Woophy pictures’ evaluation, #4.5 could be eliminated as the pics aren’t printed and other items are not possible to be taken in practical consideration.
On the other hand, globally, #4 has several items of great importance that could be divided in two groups: (4.1+4.2) and (4.3+4.4). This way, we would have 5 “big” topics to evaluate. As we rate pics from 1 to 5, we could have in mind to consider 1 point to each of them.
And how to give that 1 point, taking each of the 5 big topics in consideration?
Suppose we could award 0 to a below-average pic, 0.3 to an average one, 0.6/0.7 to a good/very good pic (in that specific topic) and a full 1.0 to an excellent one.
As an example: to a pic in which the impact is very good, the composition is excellent, the creativity is average and the technical (4.1+4.2) aspect is excellent, but below-average in (4.3+4.4), we should come to this total: T = 0.7+1.0+0.3+1.0+0= 3 !
Of course this isn’t possible to be assumed at Woophy for general use, not only because thousands of pictures are already rated in a completely different way (2005/06 was a period of low rating, as far as I read; 2007/09 is a period of high rating running together with some extreme low-rating for bad “purposes”), as well as members wouldn’t take their time making these sums (even in a general and abstract or mental overview, I guess). Nevertheless, I think it has some global positive aspects to lead everyone who agrees and read this blog to decide in a more objective way, when rating. Dreaming? Maybe;).
A final idea: as a member of the group of jurors who will have the task to decide for the Best Picture, in future Official Contests, I will propose this method, at least as a starting point, to study the criteria we must settle to our judgments.
Please leave here the comments you like on this subject!
See U soon for another topic On Photography... what else?;)