Look: Look closely at the photograph. If anything jumps out at you as good or bad, take note of it.
Interpretation: What does the photo say to you? How does it make you feel?
Technical: Is the photograph technically accurate? Is there dust? Is the exposure good? Is
there any unwanted blur? Are the colours accurately represented? Is the White Balance off? What’s the contrast like? Could you have used lighting differently? Would a bigger or smaller aperture have been beneficial?
Artistic: Is there a good balance between the foreground and the background? Would the photo have worked better with a different prop / model? Is the composition pleasing?
Good: Note what you find good about the image.
Improvement: Note thea areas where the photo could be improved.
Here are a few more questions that you can ask yourself when viewing your image:
Do I have everything I want in the frame?
Very often, it is easy to keep your eye in the viewfinder and miss the entire scene. Move your face away from the back of the camera every so often to assess the scene and determine what you want to frame in your image.
Have I included things that I don't want in the frame?
Another mistake is that we don't crop in tight enough to our subject. Think about your composition and subject. What do you want the viewers to notice? What do you want your image to say? If you want to include some background elements to tell a story, step back. But if the story is solely in your subjects eyes, for example, crop in tight on your portrait.
Is there a distracting element in the background?
Many times we focus our eyes on our subject and don't pay attention to what we are including in the frame. Look at the entire frame to make sure your not including a garbage can or bright, shiny windchime, for example, that will draw the viewers eyes away from your subject.
Do I have have a merger?
If your subject has something in the background that is growing from their head (a tree or flag pole for example), move a foot to the left or right to reframe your shot.
Is the composition pleasing?
I've had the pleasure of studying art, so composition has become second nature to me. That doesn't mean I always get it right. We are constantly learning. Making mistakes is the best way to learn. Composition is a long and complicated subject. I will takle different theories in other blog posts. To make this simple for this post, make sure your subject is in one of the golden points, if that works for the shot. This is where the users eyes are naturally drawn.
Is the image sharp?
If you shoot at too slow of a shutter speed for handholding the camera, you will get a blurry picture from camera shake. If you use too shallow of a depth of field, you will have an out of focus shot. Also, ensure that you have focused on the area where you want the viewers eyes to be drawn. For example, in portraits, the eyes should be your focal point.
Have I blown out details that I wanted to include?
This is a personal choice (as i've just learned). Technically, you don't want any blown highlights or underexposed shadow areas. However, for artistic quality, you may want to blow out the background and only have the subject sharp. Or you may want the light filtering through hair so you shouldn't worry about blowing out the hightligh area. It is your vision, but make sure what is in the camera is what you had in mind.