To keithwms re: charge for critique: As I wrote, this would be something optional after the photographs for the book was selected and put together.

Why I put it in there is that it occurred to me that some people might want some serious feedback. Giving a serious critique is no small thing. It requires a lot of effort. Paula and I teach occasional weekend Vision and Technique Workshops and giving a deep and serious helpful critique is a large part of it. We have been told repeatedly that in all of the other workshops that people had taken that they had never had anyone give them such a useful critique. So I thought that it would be a nice thing to offer if someone were interested--to offer it as a service--for less than 1/10 of our workshop fees. Of course, it is not a full workshop, but I know it would be valuable to anyone who was interested. If no one were interested, that would be fine, as I have too much to do as it is. Unfortunately, because of my limited time and the effort required, I cannot offer to give a serious critique for nothing.

We have found, in our workshops, that if people put up 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 photographs for us to critique and we ask them to tell us which they think are the best, and why, it is extremely rare that anyone picks the right ones. And their reasons for their selections usually have nothing to do with the photograph, but with some combination of their experience of making the photograph and what it means to them. In other words, they are not looking at their photographs the way a curator would look at them--look at them objectively without knowing (or caring), how or why they were made (although the "why" is usually evident from the photograph itself).

Thanks for explaining more precisely what you were objecting to and for giving me the opportunity to make clear what I was offering. Your first response to my long posting implied that I was charging for my time to select the photographs for the book, which I most definitely am not doing.

Michael A. Smith