Feedback on our work usually comes in one of two forms: Reaction and Direction. Both are simple to do but don’t give us what we really want to help move our work forward. This second podcast of two parts looks at a third and much more useful type of feedback: Critique.
This form of feedback that is most helpful to us in understanding the impact of our photographs on viewers.
Feedback is something that photographers always want. Regardless of their level of interest or expertise, photographers always want to hear what other people think about their work. Most of the time, though, we often get feedback that doesn’t match what we are looking for. This first episode of a two-part set of podcasts looks at the two most common types of feedback; Reaction and Direction and starts us on a path toward the best kind of feedback: Critique.
The practice of photography shapes the way we view the world. No matter what level of involvement you have with the medium, seeing the world as a photographer enhances your vision, your life and your sense of self.
The book The Shape of Content, by Ben Shahn, is a collection of essays based on a series of six lectures given by Shahn, an important 20th century painter, at Harvard University in the 1950s.
Through the book, we get a great sense of Shahn’s notions about how art can and should be learned and, more importantly, his belief that art cannot really be taught. In Shahn’s mind, we are human beings first; artists second. Or, in other words, we must always be living, learning, and looking.
In his book The Way of Zen, Alan Watts explains two different, mutually important, ways of using our minds and therefore our creativity, which helps to explain the potential of perception in photography:
“For we have two types of vision—central and peripheral, not unlike the spotlight and the floodlight.”
In this episode, I look at those two types of vision and see how they can be used to improve the thought process behind the photographs that we make.