I'm so glad you found me! I'm a San Francisco photographer, and this blog charts my journey in the ever-evolving world of photography. One of the things I love about photography is that it's a journey, not a destination. I'm constantly learning and meeting wonderful people. Please peruse the blog to your heart's content, then check out my website and feel free to contact me! (I love hearing from you.)

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow." – Imogen Cunningham

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen

Blades - And Some Thoughts on Criticism

In addition to my photo today, I just wanted to give thanks to all the people who come to the blog and leave comments. I try to respond as often as I can, but I'm sure you have no idea how much I value each and every comment that comes to this blog. Plus, I am pretty fortunate to have some insightful and critical commenters, who let me know when my photos are sub par.

Specific thanks go out to the 'mystery commenter'* known as Z who yesterday let me know that my photo wasn't quite sharp. Of course, Z was absolutely right, and I should have posted something else.

So thanks, guys, for keeping me honest. My favorite comments are the ones that make me stop, think, and re-evaluate. Don't be shy, tell me when I suck!

Back on topic: these grasses grow in Union Square (and other places, I'm sure), and I love their multicolored leaves.

*Mysterious to me, at least. As far as I know, Z and I are not yet acquainted. However, I enjoy having mystery comments. Gives a little spice to the blog.


  1. Sorry Jessica I can't be critical of this photo the composition and colour range are superb. I am not one who is qualified to critique at all but I will tell you what I like - Best I can do!

  2. When it comes to criticism, all we can see and all we can know is what we see and know. There may be certain parts that aren't clear,but then maybe you meant for it to be that way. I look at photgraphy as another form of art. I post pictures that I like, they are just that what I like, what caught my attention, and appealed to me. No one else has to like it or even acknowledge it. I try and find pictures that fit into themes, but just as often find themes that fit into my pictures. I love pictures that fit into all the rules, but even more ones that break the rules and I still like. You should never feel you can't post something, its your blog. When it comes to clarity, if it something I want to be perfectly clear, I always examine my pictures at 100%. No one else may see them at 100% but you. With the web we can't always have them at larger sizes. I step off my podium now, LOL. I would have taken the exact same shot you did. I love gulls. If you look back in my blog and find that hawk I took a picture of....I was shaking so bad, he took me by surprise and I was a nervous wreck trying to make myself and the camera move fast enough. Its mot clear at all, but totally amazing to me. Your catch of movement, bright colors and variety of gulls, with a leading line across the shot is much more interesting that perfect clarity. I have my own policy for criticism, if you have to criticize have a solution, and then also say something positive too.

  3. Jessica,
    Good criticism can be helpful, and if I remember correctly I found your blog because of something you posted on a DPS article about wanting honest criticism. There are very few that can really take honest criticism, and also very few that will give it. I have received a little on another site where I have posted. When I receive it I relook at the photo -and that is good, and if all it has accomplished is that then it's probably beneficial - and see if I agree. If I agree then fine. However I may not agree because I was going for a mood or an idea or whatever that the critical viewer did not pick up. Maybe that was my fault too, then I'll look at that. HOWEVER, particularly if I don't wholeheartedly agree with their criticism, I want to know a little about my reviewer. I want to at least see some of his/her work so I can see if I should value their thoughts or dismiss them.

    If he thought yours was a bit soft on focus it's a good thing he didn't see my Phun Phriday! post a couple days ago. LOL

    Have a great day!

  4. Great thoughts for you and commenters on critisicm. I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I, too, post what I like. My images aren't perfect - but they mean something to me in the context of what I write about. I do appreciate thoughts and comments that help me do better though. I love the composition in this image. Fabulous!

  5. I do have to say I disagree w/ mystery writer Z in his assessment of yesterday's image...not all image's have to be sharp to be considered a good image! Again, it all comes down to art and how you view it! I too value criticisms, it makes me re think my techniques and views...not always do I agree, but it does turn on the thinking cap.

    This macro shot is very cool...perfect clarity in those blades of grass and love the shallow depth....the colors are eye catchers!

  6. Hi!
    Love this shot! All those different colors and texture. Have a great day!


  7. Thanks guys, for all the in-depth comments. Critique is, of course, opinion. And the opinion of the critic may not be the same as mine. But even if I disagree, I am much happier to receive negative feedback, because it might be valid and make me grow as a photographer.

    And I think Z was totally right yesterday about the fact that the photo wasn't sharp. I knew it wasn't tack sharp before I put it up, but I liked the graphic nature of the line of the stoplight, and the two alighting birds well enough to post it anyway. I don't regret posting it exactly, but I do try to put out only my best work.

    Anyway, thanks again for all the comments. Don't know what I'd do without you guys!

  8. Oh, and PS Scott, I loved your Phun Phriday post! But I think that blur was captured a bit more intentionally. I would rather have the gulls in focus, really.

  9. I love this macro abstract image, with its colors and mood. And I agree with you on the value of comments, not only providing constructive (hopefully) criticism, but the feeling that actually there is somebody out there reading and caring.

  10. When I really value a photo, it does not have to be the best photo in the world. We are all connected to our product by emotions, or desires. We generally expend some of ourselves when we work to get a shot. Some of the stuff we post here, which is theme driven, is not filled with artistic value. We might like something simply because it is pleasing to our sensibilities. Yet, I've found a large number of people on this photowalk who are wonderful photographers. And I enjoy seeing what they produce. And try, even though a point and shoot camera is not as flexible as other cameras, to learn something in the process.

  11. I love the dof on this (I think New Zealand flax)
    I value comments too and welcome anything to help me grow and see differently.


I love comments! I read and cherish every single one. Go ahead, make my day.