We had a great judge last night, Jan 25, 2010, at the Roswell Photographic Society's (RPS) monthly critique. David Akoubian was very succinct with his comments and funny. He is a nature photographer and holds many workshops. Visit his website at http://www.bearwoodsphotography.com/.
I learned a lot during the evaluations. David said, "Photography is painting with light." His strongest recommendation was to buy a polarizing filter. He suggested adding a filter to most of the water and sky shots. His pet peeve was not to leave some space between the edge of the photo and the subject, many subjects were cut off. There were many sunsets to judge last night, and he said that the sky should be the richest element in the image. To meter for it, he suggested metering for the brightest spot and opening up one stop.
David said our goal was to pull the viewer in visually and emotionally. He suggested verbalizing what we are doing before taking the photograph. David said, "I edit before I release the shutter." Because the eye goes to the brightest thing first in the photo, this needs to be the subject or be toned down.
From the RPS photo review and David's comments, it seems like it would be smart to take one of his workshops.