Recent Critiques Articles

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: 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.

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: 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.

Critique the Community Episode 23: Landscape Photography

This episode of Critique the Community ended up being our biggest ever with over 500 comments on the submission post. Thank you all for your participation. Unfortunately, we we only able to give feedback to 20 images, although we did throw in an extra curve ball for Lee and Patrick and added an Elia Locardi image, who Lee and Patrick have filmed several landscape tutorials with. In keeping with our new tradition, we are also giving one participant a free Fstoppers original tutorial. And the winner is...

Critique the Community: Submit Your Landscape Photos Now

If you haven't seen the latest episode of Critique the Community, make sure to check out the new surprise we've added to the series. As an immediate follow up, we're inviting the community to submit their landscape images now for our next round of critique. Make sure to follow the submission rules below to keep your image eligible to be chosen. Submissions will remain open until this Wednesday, January 17, at midnight.

Critique the Community: Submit Your Best Family Portraits Now

For the next episode of Critique the Community, we would like to invite Fstoppers members to send over their best Family Portraits for feedback. Your submission can include families, kids, or babies. We will keep submissions open through Friday, January 12th, at midnight and will release the feedback from Lee and Patrick early next week. Make sure to check out the guidelines below to make sure the picture you provide is eligible to be chosen.

Critique the Community Episode 21: Commercial Imagery

It's been a while since we've sat down to critique of the Fstoppers images but we're back with the series for our 30 videos in 30 days challenge. To commemorate our recent tutorial with Monte Isom, we filmed a new episode of Critique the Community which will focus on commercial images. A few days ago, we asked the community to submit their work for us to choose from. Since the definition of commercial imagery encompasses a wide variety of subject matters, we chose 20 varied images to give some feedback to. Do you agree with Chelsey and Lee's commentary on the images below?

Critique the Community Is Back! Submit Your Commercial Photographs

Fstoppers is happy to announce we're bringing back Critique the Community in 2018. We invite everyone to submit your best commercial image to be critiqued by the Fstoppers team. We are keeping this first critique of 2018 pretty vague and broad, so if you think your image is "commercial" then submit in the comments below! Please follow the guidelines for submissions below to ensure eligibility for your image to be chosen. We will be accepting submissions through Thursday night, January 4, and will be offering feedback to a total of 20 pictures.

Canon 6D Mark II: The Worst Camera of 2017

It's the time of the year in which rankings appear all around the Internet spotlighting the best performers of the past 12 months. But what about the worst? As the French writer Beaumarchais once said, “Without Freedom to blame, there is no flatterer's praise.” Here is my take at the worst 2017 camera, the Canon 6D Mark II.

The Trump White House Doesn’t Care About Photos or Video

Two days after Donald Trump’s inauguration, I posted a tweet about his use of a low-resolution, potentially unlicensed image being used as his header image on his preferred weapon of choice, Twitter. On technical and professional levels, it was a fail (you can see it at the top of this article). I should have realized it was a sign of things to come.