This is undoubtedly something that is obvious to many, but for those it’s not, it may help.
Critiquing your shots straight after you’ve pressed the shutter button is something I’ve realised that I have started taking for granted (having recently dabbled in film), and honestly, not been doing enough. Now, I’m not talking about chimping, checking blown highlights or any kind of quick glance at the back of the camera. But a true critique, does the shot have those leading lines, contrast, or subject position you was trying to achieve.
I’m sure I’m not alone in getting home and looking at some images and feeling like they just don’t match what I could see in my mind when on site, taking the picture.
I’ve certainly found recently that making sure I remind myself to do this has helped me correct save a few shots or missed opportunities. The image below is one example. This was taken while out in rural Wielkopolska, while out for a walk to get the baby to sleep. Initially I resorted to bad habits, and quickly fired off a shot. Then, taking an extra minute for a quick critique, seeing obvious flaws and retaking the picture meant the image is closer to what I wanted to achieve. It’s by no means a great image, I probably wouldn’t even put it my good category, buts it’s better than the first attempt. Ultimately, that’s what I’m aiming for, improvement.