Hi everyone! Great job on jumping in on this first assignment for DEDPXL.
Here is the current grading system for these assignments. This is subject to change but I think it gets the point across.
A = DAMN! Excellent execution of the assignment theme as well as the image being executed very well technically.
B = Nice. Well seen and nicely done. Slightly above average.
C = Met the minimum requirements for the assignment. This could also be called the “Meh” grade. It’s ok. It’s not bad but it’s not great either. Yes… you met the assignment but the photograph doesn’t go further than that. Could have investigated the subject better, waited for better light, found a better composition, done something different with your post production, etc.
D = Ugh. You have some element of the assignment in your photograph but it was so poorly executed that it’s a rather boring photograph. These photos seem like very little, if any, thought was put into making the photograph. These photos have poor composition, light, post production, subject material, etc.
F = FAIL. EXIF or upload data shows that you pulled images from your archive and placed them into this group that is reserved for NEW work. You won’t become a better photographer looking through your old work. The point of these assignments is to get off your ass and shoot new stuff. You can also get an F if we feel the image didn’t meet the assignment criteria or it was so poorly shot that it doesn’t even deserve a D. Did you not have your camera set to the proper date? Too bad! 🙂
While I have seen each and every image so far posted to flickr, 500px, and instagram I can’t possibly critique or grade each one. I will be grading a selection of them via comments and in the critique videos. I hope to show enough of each grade type in the critique videos that you can start to grade your own work. (Side note – Due to requests from several of you I have created a Google+ community for these assignments and for general discussions.)
Also note that I’ve limited the number of images you can post to the flickr group to two per week. Some folks decided to dump 20 or more images into the group and that’s insane. If 100 people do that then that is 2,000 images taking up a lot of space. Great photography doesn’t come in large numbers of images. You have to edit your work. You have to sit on it and think about it. You have to make hard choices of what you are going to show and what you are not going to show.
I’m going to be an asshole about some of this stuff. I don’t really care if I step on your toes, make you cry, or piss you off. I hope I get under your skin. I hope you get a bit sad or angry. The next time you pick up your camera then you have a little fire in your gut that you have to extinguish. The only way to extinguish that fire is to shoot better. I might be a bit of a drill sergeant. I’m not trying to be mean just to be mean. I’m trying to teach something and I may do it in a way that stings just a little. Don’t take it personally. If you shot a D or F image then you shot a D or F image. Next time shoot a C image. Then prove us wrong and start shooting B images. So forth and so on…
Here’s the thing. If you cry. If you feel like a failure. If you get pissed off and curse my name… that’s fine. That’s good. I’m all for that. DO NOT PUT THE CAMERA DOWN!!!! Pick that damn camera up and go do it again. And again. And again. We all fail. We all fall short. We all could be doing better. Every one of us. Someone will get a great shot for this assignment and then fail the next one. I’m the guy who started this group and some of you shot way better photos for the first assignment than I did. That sucks for my ego but people shoot better photos than I do all the time so it’s nothing new for me. 🙂
KEEP SHOOTING! If you keep going with these assignments then you are going to be a much better photographer in a year than you are now. If you give up on photography then you’ll never get better. Ever.
Check out the next assignment here. It’s due April 25th, 2014. BTW – No more lines photos. That assignment is done and we are moving on. Feel free to jump in on assignment #02. If you didn’t participate in the lines assignment, take some time to look through those photos on the flickr community and takes notes from this critique and jump in now to shape and form.
How do you feel you did for this assignment? Did you enjoy it? Do you think my grading system is too kind or too harsh? Let me know in the comments below!