Big thanks to A Almulla for contributing with these great hints for writing critique! If you follow these guidelines you will surely get a lot of awarded comments in curation which means +20 points and the chance to reach the highest levels.
What is critique?
Critique is not about only finding fault in an image. Its about looking at an image and deciding whats good and whats bad about it. Keep in mind what you write is "your" opinion and what is wrong for you can be right for many others.
As such I find images fall under two categories
The main emphasis is “good elements.” If you see a bad picture and can’t find the good elements thats your fault, not the photographer’s, his fault was including more bad elements. So when you critique include whats good. Actually start with whats good.
My approach has three parts which I loosely follow. It helps me to have a structured approach and after a while I just go through them without thinking twice, it just becomes natural.
Even with this list I'll write whats good first. Everything good about technical aspects and composition. Once done with those I'll write what I feel looks wrong. So it ends up looking like this:
Good technical, good composition aspects. Then what needs fixing in technical or composition.
This is the toughest part and its here where your comment will shine. The technical aspects and composition will help in conveying your impression. If something was off in the technical or composition parts it would be a good time to suggest them. After writing everything thats good I start a new sentence with something like "However I think you could improve on" or "Yet I feel" and state what could be fixed. Take the circumstances the image was taken in. Asking someone to go right or left while on a ledge is stupid. If the image was taken at the South Pole and you suggest the photographer should move here or there well he may not have another chance to get there. YOU may never go there. Be rational.
An image may have everything right about it and be bad and the other way round is true. A few pictures have so many faults that they all work well together.
Not all pictures tell a story. A photograph is just that, a photograph. A macro shot of the head of a housefly can look great for all the detail and colour but may not have a story.
A common shortcoming is interpreting mood. The sensation you get when seeing an image. Did that picture of a giggling baby make you happy? How about that picture of war, did it make you angry or mad ?
Did you like the picture or not ?
Close your comment with something constructive. I'd love someone telling me I did something wrong then gives me a pat on the back for doing something right. Wouldn't you?
including shipping and taxes