About "loaning another pair of eyes" - The 1x Critique Forum

by Head Senior critic  Mike Kreiten

I travel for photography, plan the trips only for the spots worth to visit, get up before sunrise, and edit, I love finalizing works. My spouse is the same photo maniac as I am, without her I could not do any of this.

When she passes my screen and says  “I envy this shot” it’s the biggest compliment possible. She’s my best critic, her intuition and gut feeling very likely show me the photos that get published. Obviously she does not say that very often, haha!

Critique is a treasure, invaluable.
You can only learn when people tell you what they think, capable people. You don’t have to agree, but other eyes have a different look on your work. The view many others likely will have on it, too. We tend to look at the same things in our own work all the time, others see things we overlook even in hefty editing.

The team of critics on 1x have an expression for what we do, “loan another pair of eyes”.  


“Loaning Eyes...” by Mike Kreiten

That’s what 14 people do as senior critics, as a hobby, because they have what I’d call a “helping gene”.  They enjoy that members are grateful to receive funded critique. Often they want to know why work was not published, which we cannot answer. We can only help to make a work stronger or give suggestions for next shots.

I’m doing this for two years now, I was invited to a great bunch of people writing critiques. We exchange, we feel like knowing each other, we help each other. When Alfred Forns asked me to become part of that team, I felt honored. I still do, heading the team now, backing up Greg Barsh for a while.

It all started when I posted something for critique. The detailed analysis and many suggestions I received led to a later publication, one of my first. I couldn’t thank the team enough by just saying I was grateful. I noticed everybody can write critiques, so I did for everything where I felt I could help. And then the magic happened, people were very grateful and we exchanged in long threads. This was noticed by the team of course, we usually read all comments. After a few weeks of engaging in the forum I received the invitation that changed my view on 1x, completely.

This was fun!
I enjoyed and learned at the same time. I would say I learned more in two months than I would have learned in two years usually. I read everything critics and members wrote when works fell into my genres - or genres I was interested in. I knew about obstacles before even having tried something new. Real obstacles, happening to people starting or even being experienced in techniques. It widened my horizon, made me curious to try more things. I set myself the goal to publish one photo of every genre, show some expertise in everything. Well, that’s very ambitious and consequently I’m not there yet, but I collected quite a few.

Communication theories say you should start with the most important message, I hope you made it till here because I did not stick to that rule. This is my message, dropping in late:

Try critique on 1x, post work, comment work, or read only. You will learn something, for sure.

I’m confident it’s the best photography critique forum in the entire internet. I learn new things there every day. People join 1x because they want to upload their photographs and exchange in this forum, we read that many times.

Should you discover the same pleasure I found in doing so, we need team members.

We love diversity, there is no wrong and right in photography, and “right” looks different for everybody. We had monthly guest critics, experienced photographers, and they stayed. Because they have it, the “gene”.

Join the party, help others and you will learn yourself.

Mike Kreiten 
Head senior critic of an awesome team dedicating their time for you.


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