On the evening of the 6th November it was one of our regular “Informal Critique” nights. Everyone is invited to bring their digital images or prints along on the evening in order to receive a supportive critique in a non-competitive atmosphere. All the competitions run by the club are judged by external judges who come along and deliver some feedback on every image and print but it is always within the context of the relevant competition. This does mean that you need to enter the competition to get feedback, but sometimes we just want to hear what someone thinks of our work and how it can be improved, without worrying about how it compares to others. This evening aimed to do just that.
For a change we organised a sort of “peer assessment”. Rather than depending a one or two of the clubs best, we involved as many people as possible. In the first part the prints were distributed to each table so they could examine and assess them. Then each table’s representative came up to deliver their verdicts. This proved to be highly successful and far more involving with everyone getting chance to try out their critical skills and see that their opinions were as good as anyone else’s! Just to see what would happen some “ringer” images were put in – prize winners of very high quality. Even so people, though appreciating the quality, kept finding things that may improve them.
It wasn’t quite as easy to use the same technique with the digital images. In the end they were simply displayed and everyone could chip in with their ideas and comments came quite freely. It turned into quite an evening and not all images could be evaluated due to the time taken up with the comments. Clearly everyone enjoyed the exercise and got quite a lot from it. Certainly the format will be tried again in the not too distant future. Thanks to all who brought their work along.