Had to record this quickly as I was heading out of town. Thanks to slow ass internet connections on the road this took a day or so longer to upload.

I think there was some really strong work submitted for this assignment. Thank you to everyone who is participating. While the quality of this recording is sub par, I’m listening to the feedback from all of you about the format of the critique. For this one I grouped images together based on grades.

I have a very busy workload for the next week. The next critique will also be run and gun like this because we’ll be on the road again and working with whatever Internet connection we can find. Thanks for your patience.

Any questions? Concerns? Feedback? We’re listening!


Zack Arias

A full time commercial and editorial photographer, Zack shoots everything from bands to CEOs to ad campaigns. A gifted teacher and communicator, he has an uncanny ability to meet and connect with all types of people.

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  1. David Taranza

    Hello Zack & Meg,
    great critique again. The grouping of photos by grades is a brilliant idea as we see more good stuff to be inspired by and less crap. It’s also less time consuming for you (I guess?) and people get the point what’s good and what’s bad more quickly than with the previous “random walk”.
    Thumbs up guys and thank you for your endless efforts!
    All best,

  2. Jeann Smith

    Saw some really great shots this time. I liked the grouping of A/B C/D the way you did this one

    In the future, it would be nice if when you set rules like “the shadows make the image” that you stick to them and judge based on that (the beginning of video was a mess). Seems like some of the images you rated highly (e.g., red shadows, texture one, james bond one) should have been C-D- images.

    I’d also like to hear a lot more definitive/confident opinions from Meg. Less “meh, i dunno… it’s okay”.

  3. Jan Schwarz

    Noooo Origami Carl didn’t make it! He’s mad at you, you know?

    Great critique, I love how a “simple” subject like shadow can lead to such a discussion about what it actually is and when it really is the element that makes the shot.

    I thank you both for making those videos, it keeps us motivated to think about stuff. Stuff you tend to ignore when all you’re searching for is a good picture, you have to be more specific and concentrate. I think what I really need to learn is to come up with this stuff by myself.

  4. Styron

    “Well Shit!” The first ever WS…can this be added to the grading scale? Works for me! Thanks for the time y’all put into this…’ppreciate it!

  5. DLuker

    I shot those bottles without the glass, with the glass empty and with wine. Glass with wine took emphasis away from shadow, so I eliminated that. I should’ve gone straight shadows. Damn!

    BTW, when you search 500px, you might want to sort by date. It makes it easier to see outdated work like those shots of the striped girl dated May 8.

    Thanks to both of you for your efforts, time and honesty.

  6. Dom Pelletier

    Not sure if this was mentioned before, but i how about having a guest judge/trainer every now and then? You and Meg are providing good feedback but it would be interesting to have the opinion from an outsider.

  7. Jose

    I like the previous way for the critique better. I feel like grouping them this way pretty much eliminates Meg from critique. It feels more like a run down then a critique.

    Just how I feel….

  8. Melinda

    Poor Meg 🙁 I swear I felt her pain lol I think you need to not listen to suggestions on how you should do these group critiques and just do it the way you always have. It works. The first 2 assignment group critiques felt just like all of your critique videos in the past, and obviously we all love them and they were effective. I realize there’s no pleasing everyone, but you absolutely need to please yourself. I mean come on! You’re busy living your life and have taken on babysitting all of us wannabes on the side free of charge. The critiques should be done YOUR way, not OUR way. We are all grown ups and can suck it up if it doesn’t work the way we would like it to. Come on! Make Meg happy. When she’s happy we all are happy, right?

    • Meg

      DAMN STRAIGHT. Thank you Melinda! I hated the grouping into categories thing. I felt utterly superfluous.

  9. adam

    sorry. not a fan of the new format. i liked the randomness of the previous critiques. now if your image comes up in the first ten minutes you can pat yoursf on the yourself and let out a silent cheer as before if your image was the first you had no idea what you’d be hearing.

    this new format takes away the suspense.

    • adam

      really wish we could edit our posts.

      when i say pat yoursf on the yourself i mean pat yourself on the back

  10. Richard Wintle

    And thanks again for another critique. Nice to see some of the comments discussions from Flickr having an influence on how people went back and re-shot things.

    And FWIW the USB mic you used sounds perfectly fine to me. 🙂

  11. Vic Román

    Thanks for the critique. I like this one video format better. I appreciate this community you have created. DEDPXL for life son!