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Critique develops creativity - Part II

by Mike Kreiten, Head of the  Senior Critics Team
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 20st of February 2023 


'Curators' by Gloria Salgado Gispert

1x provides two very different ways to ask for comments and a critique of your photo

1. Green Button . . . When your photo has finished curation you can click the green button, 'Request Critique'. Your photo is offered to members who have voted on your work to comment on it anonymously. You may get several opinions, but unless they've offered their name so you can see their profile you may have questions like . . . who is criticizing my picture, and how skilled or experienced are they as photographers or critics?


2. The Blue Button you see when selecting Critique from the side bar menu will lead you to the 'Critique Forum', which is a very different, not anonymous place for in-depth feedback – ideally before curation. Here the Senior Critics (and sometimes members) go into more detail and can often suggest ideas or techniques to improve a photo. Some members use this service to fine-tune an image before it's sent to curation. Usually two or three of the Senior Critics will have a close look at your photo and tell you what they see - what works in the image, and what could be improved. They are not anonymous, so you'll know who is writing to you. All 1X members are welcome to join in these discussions.


The Senior Critics are volunteers chosen for their experience, knowledge, and skill in making photographs and communicating with words. Why should you trust them to examine your best photos? I can't speak for the whole team, but I believe most have a desire to help their fellow photographers. Photography has given us a lot of joy and fulfillment - and by helping other photographers we can give something back to the craft .

Green Button, Blue Button . . . . try both sections
They each have value. We learn the craft of Photography by looking at photographs, by making photographs, and by exchanging ideas and opinions with our fellow photographers.

It’s important to note the suggestions or opinions are potentially biased. Everybody has an own style, preferences, methods, individual taste. As senior critics we often have a look at the portfolios and try to get a sense of what members like before giving advice. But it’s likely we cannot always be objective and will recommend according to our own preferences.

Of course everybody can see the photography of critics in their portfolio. But who are they, why do they write critiques. We try to answer this in short portraits about ourselves. Enjoy reading.





by Mike Schaffner


Photography has been a passion of mine for over 45 years and my goal is to make photos for another 45 years. I hope that you like my photos; but it's okay if you don't; my goal is to never bore you.

Although I probably have a style of photography, I don't know what it is as I haven't deliberately tried to develop a "style". Blessed (or maybe it's cursed) with a low boredom threshold I don't like to be constrained to follow a "style" even if it is of my own doing. You'll find I like most types and genres of photography. However, I will admit to a preference for black and white images as I find them more expressive but not to the exclusion of color images.

Although I don’t take myself seriously, I do take my photography seriously and try to make every photo great if I possibly can. My belief is that the small details are crucial in creating a great photo. For me, the difference between a great photo and a merely good photo is in the details. It’s doing all the little things right. It’s putting in the extra effort rather than settling for “good enough”. I challenge myself to make sure I do everything I’m capable of to create a great photo. I don’t always succeed but am constantly trying to improve.

My formal training in photography is minimal. I attended a 2-day Nikon School of Photography way back in the ’80s which taught me the fundamentals. A few years ago, I took a 3-day workshop on architectural photography, a type I particularly like. Between and since those two workshops it’s all been learning through observation, asking questions, and trial and error, and error and error…

I wish you good light!





by Arnon Orbach 


I was born and raised in Tel Aviv 76 years ago. I owe my passion for art to my parents who had a graphic design studio during my formative years, and dealt with visual art all their life. My father bought me my first Nikon camera when I was fifteen and I quickly developed a passion for photography.
My main camera is a Nikon D750, I use mainly 2 lenses, the Nikon 24-70mm 2.8F and the Nikon 70-200mm 2.8F

At the age of twenty, I went to London to study art printing and design. After graduation I went back to Tel Aviv and joined my father’s business. While working at my father’s place I studied comparative literature and philosophy at Tel Aviv University. In 1978 I moved to London and founded a publishing company that specializes in illustrated non-fiction books. In the mid-nineties I went back to Israel and founded a record company.
In all the companies that I worked in, I always also had the role of Creative and Art director. In my publishing company in London, we used thousands of photos each year for our books. Most of them were bought from picture libraries and the rest we commissioned from photographers. I briefed the photographers, the picture editors, and the designers and approved the final selection.

I learned that cropping a photo correctly is an art on its own. It is all about arranging elements in a given space in such a way that they create a composition which attracts the viewer and offer a new interpretation of a familiar scene. I love colors which for me are additional tools to evoke emotions.

Photography gives me the ability to take a detail out of context which, when I succeed, gives it a new meaning. I am happy with every photo that expresses my way of seeing the world, which everyone sees a bit different as everyone brings himself to the frame.
I am also proud to be one of the founders of The Israeli Creative Photography club where the members are from the Arab, Druze, and Jews communities of the Israeli society.

My greatest joy is travelling abroad, walking many hours each day, and photographing. (My wife Michal is the ideal partner to do such walks with photography). I travel abroad few times each year, as 3 of my 4 kids live in the USA.

I believe that my strength is in composition, colors, and the relations between elements in a confined space. I am learning Photoshop for the last few years and using it increasingly.
I do not try to document a place but to show it as I see it. I fully adopt Picasso’s interpretation of art: 'I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them'.
Since retiring I spend most of my time either taking photos or editing them on Photoshop.

For me 1X has some of the finest photographers I came across. I am pleased to have access to such a great library of photographs. I enjoy looking every day at latest photos uploaded on the site and relate to them. I learn a lot from different photographers in 1X.
I am incredibly grateful to 1X for asking me to join the Critic Forum as I am happy to share my knowledge and at the same time to learn from the process and from my colleagues’ comments.





by Ciçek Kiral 


I would never have imagined that one day my passion for photography would enable me to join a group of experienced photography enthusiasts to share my experience on photography to help others improve while getting the opportunity to improve my own vision through their parts in sharing their experience and knowledge.

When I look back to my childhood I can mostly see my strict mother whose only purpose was to educate me to become a perfect woman. A perfect woman who excels in her womanly duties. Looks quite depressing today, does it not? So, my attention was mainly directed to this and I nearly only heard phrases of criticism from her as she was hard to please. That's really depressing. Then we parted ways as I had to move to Turkey for my education. I was twelve years old then and this was the beginning of my self-conscious life. To discover and explore myself took about fifteen years and what I found out about myself I was everything but a perfect household manager. I had skills and talents which were never mentioned to me when I was a child. These discoveries ended up with this idea in my mind, " I am good at using my hands and coordinating them with my mind." Lots of previously missed hobbies became a serious part of my daily life. The funny thing about photography was that my husband had an expert photographer as a tutor in his quest of photography whose teachings I came to hear during tea time conversations. This was about 25 years ago. Those days we set up ourselves a mini studio with an enlarger at home and I first developed an image from a negative. 25 years later I have a two year university degree on photography, lots of mega bytes of stored images, a studio that is on the brick of its business, the camera bodies and a couple of fine lenses, still some inexperienced genres in photography, a growing knowledge in photo editing, creative ideas stuck somewhere inside my mind waiting to come to surface and a great team of colleagues who welcomed me about six months ago in the 1x Senior Critics Forum. My first big love in photography was painterly Still-Life images and now I cheat on it with portraiture. However, creative edits, Landscape and Macro are genres I try my hand at quite frequently.

As for the Senior Critics team I can only say that I am still very excited about. When I was offered the opportunity I felt very honored. 1x is a great platform and has many functions regarding photography to me. It inspires me a lot, I find competition and enthusiasm here. It teaches me valuable knowledge and helps me to stay up to date. All photographers I approached since 2018 were kind and helpful to me when I asked them for advice on photography. After becoming a part of the Senior Critics team these experiences accelerated. The best of it is that I can also reflect my knowledge to others and those who ask for my insight. I work as a full time English teacher but I try to stay in contact with the forum as much and best as I can.



Love each writing and learned more about Arnon, Mike Schaffner and Cicek. Respect you and your works! Appreciate very much the effort Yvette and Mike Kreiten to make this happen! Learning.
Congratulations again on this fabulous article Yvette and Mike Kreiten. Thanks for being there for us, dear Arnon, Mike Schaffner and Cicek, and for showing us a little more about you.
Thank you, dear Mabel. There will be a third part soon, where Daniel, Slawomir, our longest-term critic Steven and our newest companion Lucie introduce themselves. Stay tuned!
Very grateful for your work and many thanks for this presentation of yourselves and what you do!
Always a pleasure, thanks so much, Ludmilla!
Thanks again to all the folks here in Part II. I have interacted with all of you in one form or another in the critique Forum and gained an immeasurable amount of knowledge and encouragement. Warmest regards, Patrick
Very kind of you, Patrick, we enjoy our discussions and your posted works very much. Thank you for participating in the forum and your nice words of appreciation!
In my old age, your work is a breath of affection and encouragement. Thank you.
A very nice compliment, thank you, Jorge!
Thank you very much Yvette, Mike, and Senior Critics Team, this article is very helpful in understanding what to do before or after submitting your shot to the curation
Niente... You're very welcome to submit your work and we'll see what we can do for you!
Reading all of this is so inspiring!. Thank you for volunteering your time to help us. Thank you so much
It's our pleasure, Marie. Otherwise we wouldn't do it :-)
Thank you Mike Will try it out.
Looking forward to it, my genre (and Theo's) :-)
Love reading the articles-Thank you so much for sharing. Keep up with the great work.
Thank you so much, try it out, Pang Teng. I'm not saying your work needs it, but believe me, it's an experience.
Thanks again for sharing your „insights“ with us! It is so inspiring to see how Photography came into your life and what big part it is. Sharing your experience is so helpfull . Thank you!
Thank you for expressing your appreciation, Heiko!
Heike! Sorry...
Dear Yvette, thank you for your support in our team. This will help more photographers to understand us and our reasons to be part of the 1x Senior Critiques team.
I fully agree, Cicek ;-) I'm proud to be able to support the senior critics via the magazine.