Technical quality

This has greatest importance when you are a beginner, needing to gain experience in the use of equipment and processes. It involves questions of whether exposure and focusing were correct. Could the print have better color, be darker or less contrasty, and is there too much grain (or digital noise)? As well as improving your technical ability, this form of criticism is especially valid in photography used for accurate record-making. It is mostly concerned with facts (the negative is either sharp or unsharp, grainy or grain free), but if overdone the danger is that you apply the same rules to every picture, irrespective of subject and approach. This in itself can be a problem.

For instance, some photographs more concerned with expression than strict accuracy should be dark and gray or light and contrasty, to strengthen and carry through the emotional content of the particular image. To criticize these images heavily because of 'incorrect' printing technique would be to miss the point of the photographs in the first place.

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