Recent Critiques Articles

Last Chance To Enter Our Wedding Photography Critique

Each month this year, Fstoppers is running a genre specific Critique the Community contest with some amazing prizes. The theme for March is "Weddings," and we are giving away $3,000 in prizes to 3 lucky winners. Oh, and one of the most successful wedding photographers I know, Pye Jirsa, will be guest judging the images. Here are the details!

10 Essential Questions Every Photographer Should Ask Before Starting the New Year

Is your art good? Is it mediocre? Is it expected? Are you surprising yourself? Have you seen growth in your craft, or are you simply doing the same thing? Are you proud of your body of work in 2023? As artists, sometimes, we get so busy in art-making that we don’t take the time to evaluate our art. I’ve crafted these 10 questions as an evaluation tool for you to pause in the process of art-making and to congratulate yourself, correct yourself, and direct yourself.

We Critique Photos We Took Before Starting Fstoppers

One of the hardest, cringiest things any photographer can do is go back and look at the images they created early in their career. In this video, Lee Morris and I revisit some of our best and worst images taken prior to launching How bad are these photos? Let's find out!

Did You Know That You’re Already a Sony Shooter?

According to Taylor Jackson, we're all Sony shooters, whether we like it or not. With the majority of today's cameras carrying Sony's imaging sensors, are we all becoming Sony shooters without even knowing it?

Why Digital Is Better Than Film

Painting is an art form. So are music, prose, and dance. No one argues otherwise. But photography, since its very inception, has had to justify itself as a legitimate art form.

Sony a7R V: Is It the Best Alpha Yet?

The a7R V is the first AI-based camera from Sony. It has a dedicated AI processing chip, deep-learning algorithms, human pose detection, 8 stops of IBIS, and 61 megapixels of resolution. But is it really the best Alpha ever?

Photographic Criticasters: Why You Should Not Be One and What to Be Instead

Criticism of photography is commonplace. Sometimes, it is invited and genuine, other times, not. How you decide to give or receive it can affect your self-esteem as a photographer. Moreover, it says much about your own creative abilities. Here's how to appreciate criticism and avoid being a criticaster.

7 Composition Mistakes Beginner Photographers Make

There are few things that can make or break a photograph like composition. If you organize a brilliant composition of a scene, you could turn an average photo into something special. However, conversely, if your composition is poor, it can undo a lot of hard work.

The Strange Differences Between Luminar 4 and Luminar AI

Many presumed Luminar AI to be the big update for Luminar 4. But Skylum surprised everyone when Luminar AI turned out to be a completely different program. Or perhaps it isn’t that different at all?

How to Select the Right Portfolio Images

Creating a portfolio is more than simply selecting pretty images. In this video, I go over three photographers' work who are at different levels and explain how they should build their portfolio and what they need to do to move up to the next level.

Watch Our First Ever Live Photo Critique Now

We've started the new Youtube Channel "Fstoppers Live" and our first video is being filmed live today at 1pm eastern time. Please join us and don't forget to subscribe to our new channel.

In-Depth Travel Photography Critique From a Professional Travel Photographer

To be a great travel photographer it requires more than just the ability to capture pretty photo — in fact, sometimes the photos don't have to be pretty at all. This is a long video, so grab a coffee/tea/beer, and prepare to absorb some quality knowledge from a professional travel and documentary photography.

Photographing Jackson Hole Wildlife With the Sony a7R IV and 200-600mm

In late September 2019, I joined up with three other wildlife and landscape photographers to take on Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a few days surrounding the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) WildSpeak West symposium. In this video I review my best images taken with my new gear from this short but productive three-day trip to the Tetons.

What Makes a Good Photograph? Five Quick Things to Evaluate!

I know, it’s a loaded question. Heck, it’s a loaded word, that one — good. According to whom? By what measure? Who do you think you are to criticize my work? I know. And, I agree. But I suspect there are still a few checks we can make to see if an image is headed in the right direction. Let’s look at five of them!

Help With Selecting Work for Your Portfolio

Lately, I've found myself really thinking a lot about portfolios, in both physical and digital form. This throwback video helps with the most basic question: how do you choose the work for your portfolio?

Mike Kelley Critiques Your Architectural Photos

In the latest video from Fstoppers, professional architectural photographer Mike Kelley critiques images submitted by fellow photographers. All of the images were submitted by architectural photographers who are part of a closed group on Facebook.

Wildlife and Underwater Photography Webinar With Fstoppers Writers

Photography can be a lonely journey for some. If you are just beginning your foray into wildlife and/or underwater photography, then please join Mike O’Leary and me as we host a free webinar on Saturday, August 24th at 3pm EST. With this webinar, Mike and I hope to answer any questions you may have in relation to starting out in wildlife or underwater photography, as well as how one can use the medium as a positive force.

OPTIC: Outdoor, Photo/Video, Travel, Imaging Conference in NYC

If you are an avid outdoor photographer like myself and will be in the New York area next week, you’ll be delighted to know B&H Photo and Video is holding their annual OPTIC Outdoor, Photo/Video, Travel Imaging Conference this coming June 2-5.

I'm Falling Out of Love with Adobe and the Creative Cloud: Part 2

Late last month I did a post on my ongoing problems with Adobe and the Creative Cloud software and apps. I sometimes find Photoshop unreliable, as well as Bridge. I've also had numerous crashes with the Creative Cloud app too. There were a lot of good comments on my piece, and I also attracted some of the good folks at Adobe who were anxious to weigh in on my experience, which I welcomed.

Working with a Photo Editor to Improve your Photography

If you want to continue to grow as a photographer you need to have honest, real time feedback and yes, criticism. Sure, you can ask a friend maybe see if Mom wants to flip through your portfolio and you might get some feedback but more than likely you’ll get some “wow, that’s a cool shot” or “Honey! This picture is lovely!” but no really push back on your composition or lack of. So, go find a photo editor.

I'm Falling out of Love With Adobe and the Creative Cloud

Photoshop and I go way back. I had the first version in 1990, and it has served me well as a photo editor for both my landscape and deep sky work. Over the last couple of years, though, every time I use Photoshop or Lightroom in their Creative Cloud versions I can't help thinking something is wrong.

10 of the Best Photos Trending on Fstoppers

We have some incredibly talented photographers posting images to the Fstoppers Community and in today's video, Patrick and I picked out 10 of our favorite photographs that are currently trending.

Are Your Photo Critique Skills Any Good?

Opinions are like cameras: everybody’s got one, and it should be upgraded once in a while. If you love giving feedback on photography, great, but make sure you're doing it in a way that’s right for the giver as well as the receiver.

The Most Important Tips To Consider When Building a Website for Photography

Every photographer needs a good website; that's a given. What isn't so obvious is should you have a contact page? What about a photo on your bio? Is it best to have multiple galleries or everything on one landing page? Today Lee and I review a few websites to show you what does and doesn't work when displaying your work.

5 Star Images - Lee and Patrick Critique the Best from the Community

Every couple weeks we release a new episode of Critique the Community where Fstoppers members can submit their best images to a genre specific contest for a chance to receive feedback and win a free Fstoppers original tutorial. This week, we changed things up and selected only 5 star images to discuss.

Stall Your Viewer by Leading Their Eye Through the Landscape

How long do you spend looking at an image on Facebook versus an art gallery? The duration we spend admiring someone’s work depends on the context, but to what extent can you stall viewers on your own landscape photography?

An Open Letter to Thumbtack

Dear Thumbtack, you’ve been a major national player in service-sector networking, including the field I love, professional photography. I appreciate the jobs I accessed through you in the past. But the door on that past, I’m sorry to have to say, is closed.

Why Do You Care if Anyone Likes Your Photography?

Why do we care so much what people think of our photos? Do we shoot for others or do we shoot for ourselves? Does it help us progress by having strangers or even people we know comment on our photos? What about formal reviews by so-called experts?

Seek Critique to Improve Your Photography

One of the most beneficial activities I have partaken in in my time as a photographer and something I encourage everyone to do is seek critique of your work. It’s a great way to learn about your own work from others and develop your craft with intention.

Self-Esteem, Narcissism, and Obsession: How Selfies Represent Something More

Selfies can be a really polarizing thing: some see them as a way to share one's experiences with a network of friends and family and document memories, while others see them as contributing to a culture of narcissism and bringing with them a host of growing problems. This thoughtful video takes a look at the culture that enabled selfies to explode in popularity, a culture that started long before camera phones were a thing.

Critique the Community Episode 25: Environmental Portraits

A week and a half ago we asked the community to submit their best environmental portraits to be critiqued by Lee and Patrick. We got some awesome submissions and one lucky entrant won a free Fstoppers tutorial.

Critique the Community Episode 25: Product Photography

To celebrate our most recent tutorial release with Brian Rodgers Jr., this weeks episode of Critique the Community features product photography images. We chose 20 of the images and rated them using the Fstoppers rating system. We also gave a free tutorial away to

Critique the Community: Submit Your Environmental Portraits Now

Do you think you've taken an incredible environmental portrait? Would you like to hear what we think about it? The next episode of Critique the Community will feature a selection of 20 environmental portraits which we will give feedback to. Make sure you do the following to be eligible to be chosen.

And the Winners of the Photoshop Contest Are...

For the last week we have been receiving submissions for our Photoshop contest to say farewell to Chelsey. She has chosen five winners to receive a free Fstoppers tutorial.

A Tale of Two Moons: Peter Lik’s Photographs Called Out by Science

For me and many photographers that I know, compositing and post-processing is fine, even needed in many cases. The thing that we all seem to get wrapped around the axle about is when a fellow artist is not entirely forthcoming about how a work was produced.

Critique the Community: Submit Your Product Images Now

To celebrate the release of our newest product photography tutorial, the next episode of Critique the Community will be focused on product images. After having spent weeks with Brian Rodgers Jr. and watching him work, Lee and Patrick are ready to see how your images stand up against the highest rated product photographers on Fstoppers. From the submissions, we will choose one lucky person to win a free Fstoppers tutorial. We will be accepting submissions between now and Friday, February 2nd, at midnight and will select a total of 20 images for the video. Make sure you follow the submission guidelines below to be eligible to participate.

Critique the Community Episode 24: Fine Art Photography

This week's episode of Critique the Community brings a lively discussion between Lee Morris and Mike Kelley on what makes a quality fine art photograph. We received hundreds of image submissions from the Fstoppers community and Lee and Mike hold nothing back with their critique. In the midst of everything, we also play a prank on Mike.

Critique the Community: Submit Your Fine Art Images Now

Our next episode of Critique the Community will be focused around fine art. If you would like to receive feedback for your best fine art photo and have your chance to win a free Fstoppers tutorial, make sure you follow the instructions below. We will be selecting a total of 20 images next week so make sure to get your submissions in before Wednesday, January 24th at midnight.