Perceptive Photographer #18: 5 key elements of critique

Hosted by Daniel j Gregory

July 13, 2015

Episode Number:


So really what should we focus on when looking at our own work? What makes for a good foundation for analyzing and critiquing your work and the work of others. Inspired by the literary critic, Kenneth Burke, I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to use a variation of his dramatistic pentad to critique or analyze photographs. I came with with these five areas: actor, action, form, scene and intention.

While his foundation and approach offers up a way to think about motivation and philosophical backing, I think there some value in applying his approach to photography. The concept of looking at aspects of an image to understand not just the content, impact and value of the image but also where you own bias sits in your evaluation could be very helpful. In this podcast we look at these five elements, how they relate and what happens when we focus on what we know or are comfortable talking about rather than the entire experience of the image.

Supporting Links

Kenneth Burke

Dramatisic Pentad

A Grammar of Motives
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