Critique the Community

Adventure Photography

Submit your best adventure image for a chance to win a free Fstoppers tutorial
  • Submission Deadline: Sat, 15 Sep 18 03:45:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • Congratulations to the winners!

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Although adventure photography is a pretty niche part of the photography industry, we want to give it the spotlight in our next episode of Critique the Community. Let's hear what the community says about your pictures. 

If you're unfamiliar with adventure photography, you're probably not alone. The genre largely includes the more strenuous types of outdoor activities such as rugged hiking, rock climbing, or kayaking; note Michael Destefano's featured image as an example. 

Between now and September 14th, you may submit up to three of your best adventure photographs for a chance to be both critiqued by the Fstoppers team and win one of two Fstoppers tutorials. The first tutorial winner will be the community member that submits the highest rated image. The second winner will be selected at random. We will select a total of 20 images to provide feedback to. 

After you've submitted your images, take a few minutes to scroll through the rest of the submissions to rate and comment on them. The easiest way to do this is use the number and arrow keys on your keyboard. Please keep any comments you leave encouraging and helpful as we're all growing in the craft together. 

  • Submission Deadline: Sat, 15 Sep 18 03:45:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • 569 people have cast a total of 43,005 votes on 680 submissions from 355 contestants.
  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results

60 Comments

Mikkel Beiter's picture

Might be a mistake, I was able to submit 3 photos :-)

Antony Trivet's picture

I thought so,mostly is two images.

Jefferson Ashby's picture

It say's three can be submitted for this one. I assume that's because it's more niche, so there will be less submissions than a category like "portraits" or "landscapes"

Mikkel Beiter's picture

Ah my eyes skipped that! Cool.

theres been a few where 3 are allowed.

Robert Rupe's picture

Yea it says 3. I never knew about this category until I heard them mention it in the video.

Speaking of, this is the first time I've ever submitted any of my limited work.

George Popescu's picture

Not sure why so many people posted photos of tents, is that really adventure photography?

Michael DeStefano's picture

It has become a popular theme on Instagram though it often is a great establishing shot in a narrative

Oleksandr Mokrohuz's picture

Well, it depends ... I spend about 6 hours off road driving and 3 hr. Hiking to take picture of the place. This picture will fit landscape category but not an adventure. So if i add tent or myself to image it supposed to show that i pit some effort and overall it was epic adventure. Plus the spot wasnt really shoot before...

user-195495's picture

I think I really don’t get this category...there’s some good ones here but a lot just seem like 2 or 1 star landscape photos with people standing in them...

Agreed. A lot of timer photos with the subject's back turned to the camera and a lot of star tent photos.

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

Exactly. Just lots of pictures of people staring at stuff. Not very adventurous IMO. ;)

Erol Neziri's picture

IMHO adventure means a little bit more exposed and extreme. if a picture is able to transport this feeling / moment - thats what it is about in this category.

For me i think it is the same as nature/landscape photography, tough.. with a little sporty maybe:)

Mikkel Beiter's picture

Great point of view Erol!

Agreed! I think a big factor with Adventure Photography is the story behind the photo. The photo is just a tool in which to help portray an experience.

Maximilian Sulzer's picture

Agreed, i skipped over a good portion of photos that i didn't even want to rate cause they don't fit the theme.

My favorite cafe has a Photo book of mountains all over the world, it's back from film days, i cannot remember the name but it has some of the best Alpine Adventure Photos I've ever seen in it.
Not of the mountains but of the people climbing up.

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

I also agree :) To me, an adventurous photo should evoke thoughts like "SHIIIIIT! This is insane!" or at least" Damn... Just looking at this I feel like a couch potato." ;)

Marc Castellanos's picture

I feel they should add something to rate something as "not contest related" because I get the feeling that this has happened a lot on this one.
But the Adventure theme is very subjective, it all depends on what's adventurous for the photographer and the feelings they evoke

so, how are we supposed to rate images that dont fit the theme? some are nice shots, but.... not adventure.

user-195495's picture

What are some examples of 4-5 star shooters in the category? The one i can think of is the Canadian photographer Paul Zizka. The tricky thing about this category seems to be developing the skill needed for amazing photography and the adventure skills...a lot of the more ig style well styled person in landscape feels more lifestyle than adventure...

Ryan Luna's picture

Yet, you posted the back of a dog in a rural park and an odd picture of someone swimming underwater. Not sure how you interpret them as adventure.

user-195495's picture

The swimming was in an alpine lake after a 3 hour hike. The dog one was a comment on all the photos of people just standing in landscapes looking into the distance. If a post of someone getting out of a car in banff walking 5 minutes to the most popular lake and then snap off a photo of it is adventure then my dog in the park is super adventurous

user-195495's picture

And I’m perfectly happy with the ratings i’m getting ;)

user-195495's picture

And I honestly was asking as the only adventure photography i follow is paul zizka (now thats adventure in banf) so i am curious who
I should be checking out at “mike kelly” level of the category

user-195495's picture

Thanks! I just checked out his ig! Great landscape but I don’t see the adventure...it maybe that i just don’t get it but i guess i’m expecting that quality level buy with climbers, surfers, white water rafters, etc

joseph cole's picture

yeah I'm thinking somewhere in between hiking and extreme mountain sports

Ryan Luna's picture

Yeah...not all of Mads work is "adventure", but he's got some.

Maximilian Sulzer's picture

Depends what "Adventure" means for you.

What comes to my mind are pictures of Paul Nicklen, swimming with Leopard Seals or a Polar Bear sticking its head through the cabin window.

Or any sort of (extreme) sports such as free-riding or walking a rope over a canyon.

A lot of landscape images contain sort of an adventure, if you're hiking somewhere for days. But the outcome would be a landscape picture. The adventures part of hiking or wild camping then will be put in the "Instagram" category here.

I think a guy like Jimmy Chin is at the pinnacle of the "Adventure" Category.

Ryan Chang's picture

Yup that's one of the guys I think of for this category!

Jefferson Ashby's picture

I agree completely here, he is the best in his field (that being climbing adventure photography). Another few could be Chris Burkard and Jan Vincent Kleine. I suggested this category back on I think the macro contest, and I gave Chin as my example photog. I don't know if that's what prompted this category, but it might be.

user-195495's picture

Awesome thanks for the suggestions!!

Ryan Chang's picture

I absolutely love adventure photography! It gives the person a beautiful natural backdrop doing some adventurous thing! It definitely is a difficult thing to photograph because as the person doing the adventure, you also wear so many hats. For me personally I do a lot of canyoning... it requires dry bags, camera equipment, climbing equipment, a team that knows what they are doing, and lastly you knowing what to do and how to position yourself where you need to be for the shot SAFELY. Some of the toughest environments are trying to be photographed with a person doing something insane. But it's nothing like coming home to an EPIC image of your friend or of yourself doing something crazy, usually deadly. I watched many Fstoppers videos on YouTube but when I saw "Adventure Photography" critique I finally joined the Fstoppers community!

Todor Kolev's picture

It is not great. Most people just post a Landscape and expect to fool people into voting for them :(

Ryan Luna's picture

lol...this is a tough category to have a compelling image. As others have stated, there are some 3-4 star landscape images on their own, but I give them 2 stars because they don't tell the story of "adventure". With that said, there are a lot of 1 star snapshots posted too. In many of the previous CtC contests, I had no problem dishing out 4 and some 5 stars, but I'm finding it hard to even give some 3 stars. Many 1 and 2 stars on all of the 375 images I rated so far.

joseph cole's picture

agreed don't just throw up a landscape because its in some remote location there should be some content or even human activity associated with the image

Terry Waggoner's picture

I am sorry but the majority of images are not in the spirit of the contest................

Sean Pierce's picture

Yep, there's quite a few, I don't even rate them to help speed up time to look for adventure photos to rate.

Kjell Vikestad's picture

What is adventure photography. For me, there has to be some kind of action, people on adventure of some kind. For me it is not an adventure photography going on a three days hike and take pictures of the landscape. That is landscape photography, even if you had to go on an adventure to take the picture.
Adventure photography has to be about showing the adventure where the person(s) on the adventure is an essential part of a picture.
You don't have to be on an adventure yourself, as long as you capture other peoples on adventure with your camera.

Dillon Murphy's picture

how does a shot of the Milky Way that took weeks of planning to be in the right spot at the right time and an alarm to wake up at 3am get voted "snapshot" come on guys if you hate it that much tell me why

Matthias Dengler's picture

The people voting here are either voting down pictures to increase their chances to win the tutorial, or to troll people. The third options that they are morons and have no idea about narratives, real adventure and vision. It's only about technical stuff here. They put your picture into the category "oh milky way, seen a thousand times." The problem is, you spent so much energy for it, but in ages of instagram, people fake everything, take the apple star wallpaper and badly composite it into other images. That's how people lose the sense for it. I gave your picture straight away 4* as far as I remember! Don't give a shit...my pictures are also voted down. They are not as great as yours, but people voting here are mostly jealous morons who cannot appreciate other people being better than them. Your picture is awesome, mate!

Petter Stangjordet's picture

Make sure you also can handle 1 star ratings as well as 5 star ratings before you apply for competitions.

Dillon Murphy's picture

Hey I appreciate the kind words! I look at these as a way for us all to improve, but at the same time it's like a 1 is a totally different thing. I am fine with 2s but like the feedback aspect. Oh well, I do still get some constructive criticism so I will keep it up!

"adventure" is subjective and means different things to different people. In my humble opinion, getting up early and doing some planning ahead of time isn't that adventurous. I'm speaking in general, not sure I've seen your pic yet. I do love milky way shots though.

user-195495's picture

I think i give this a 1 rating...the foreground is out of focus, the stars don’t look sharp either, there doesn’t seem to be a story here other than the blurry Milky Way...it reminds me a lot of my own attempts at night photography where i just take a photo of something random because the sky looks interesting but there foreground is off and there’s no real story...if anyone can take a photo given the same gear (ie tripod and dslr) then I think its a snap shot...

user-195495's picture

Hopefully this wasn’t too harsh...I think a lot of people don’t give feedback on 1s because they don’t want to come across as jerks...

Take a look at my photo that I entered of my wife swimming in an alpine lake. I love this photo, probably one of may favorites i’ve taken. It was taken before i had any dslr gear and was only using a holga. We did a 5 mile hike up a mountain to get to this amazing mountain lake. It was a great time, and afterwards I spent a large amount of time scanning the negative and cloning all the dust off the scanned jpg.

But it’s getting a 1 and that’s totally ok. I get it, it looks like an iPhone snapshot with an ig filter...(although it was taken before all of that existed)...i love this photo but would i put this in a portfolio if i was trying to get adventure work? Nope. Is there feedback that I could take and re-edit or try to change the same photo to make it a 3, probably not...

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