Learning how to see the final result before you press the shutter is maybe the most important step you can take to mastering photography.

It’s that moment where you grow as a photographer and no longer have to worry whether or not the picture “came out.” Your work becomes deliberate, rather than reactionary. You make pictures, you don’t just take pictures.

What is a Critique?

I have been thinking about critiques a lot lately, so I decided to look the word up. Google, Merriam-Webster, and Dictionary.com all have similar definitions, so for the purpose of this post I will paraphrase and combine a few and go with:

cri·tique:

a detailed analysis and assessment of something

evaluate in a detailed and analytical way

to review or analyze critically

As we struggle with the isolation mandated by the pandemic, photography seems more important than ever. The ability to reconnect with happier times by looking through our photographs is truly a gift.

I am reminded of so many great photographic experiences as I look through all the old hard drives, prints, books, magazines, featuring my images.

Simplicity in photography has always appealed to me. Many of my best-selling bird photos are just simple, naturally and front-lit bird portraits. A close up of the bird against a clean, distraction-free, background. This always appeals to me because at the core of photography is the need to tell a story or convey a concept to the viewer.

I’m getting excited about the upcoming spring migration because it means more hummingbirds passing through.

To get ready for hummingbird photo season, I have prepared a checklist. It’s somewhat exhaustive although I would never claim that you can think of EVERYTHING you might need to do to get ready, but these are the basics.