Critique the Community

Black and White

Submit your best black and white photo for your chance to win a free Fstoppers tutorial
  • Submission Deadline: Thu, 08 Nov 18 04:45:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results

Got a killer black and white image? Submit it to this weeks episode of Critique the Community for your chance to win a free Fstoppers original tutorial and receive feedback from Lee and Patrick. 

Between now and November 7th, you can submit up to two black and white images to participate in this weeks' Critique contest. Although the image above by Brian Matiash features architecture, your submissions do not need to fit any particular genre, they simply needs to be void of color. We will be selecting 20 images to give feedback to and will choose two winners to receive a free Fstoppers original tutorial. The first winner will be based on the image which has the highest average community rating. The second winner will be chosen at random. 

Whether you want to add your image to the contest or not, we invite you to scroll through the submissions of fellow community members to give feedback of your own. The easiest way to rate images is to use the arrows and number pad on your keyboard. We also encourage you to leave constructive feedback for all of us to grow together.

  • Submission Deadline: Thu, 08 Nov 18 04:45:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • 823 people have cast a total of 62,535 votes on 1,150 submissions from 719 contestants.
  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results

90 Comments

Previous comments
Ryan McQuillan's picture

Which one of your photos was published to Nat Geo, I would be interested to look at it.

Carl Irjala's picture

The unedited version of the birch forest (which was included here at B & W). Then I have in my Fstoppers portfolio a another photo published by National Geographic: The Tent Worker.

George Popescu's picture

Everyone is an expert on the internet, that's one problem. The second is that people will vote down other people's entries to hope that theirs will get a higher overall vote. I already gave up on trying to get something higher than a 2 on my entries, no matter how good I think they may be, and I'm a harsh critic of my own work.

I also think people are rating very low! I rated some a few pictures, thought very good! People are so rude, I will not rate anymore or enter photo's again!!!!

The ratings suck period, people are so rude & disrespectful with other poeples photo's! I gave a handful of good ratings, thought the pictures were very good, but other rating people gave disgust me! I will not rate anymore & will never enter one of your contest again!!!!!!

you must be new to the internet. People are always mean on here.

Ken Savage's picture

Looking through the images here there are a few things that start striking me in what makes a good black and white image.

Anyone want to take a stab at defining this?

Its more obvious when its black and white and colour would have suited it more.

amplighter's picture

The only thing I'll complain about, is the fact that the wife doesn't want me to participate in this contest. Why?, because she doesn't want someone else telling me how I should take pictures..

Muhammad Iqbal's picture

hahaha it's okay dude.

Adetola Salako's picture

So many poor ratings for amazing pictures. 😒.

David Pavlich's picture

I wasn't going to respond, but after reading some of the comments, I did a little experiment. I chose two shots that I thought were quite good and gave them a 4. One had an overall rating of 3.2, the other a 2.97.

Then I chose one that I thought could use a bit of help and gave it a 2. It's overall rating was 1.97....pretty close.

I'm not sure that this tells me that what I consider a good shot isn't so good, or that, as many have mentioned, that ratings are made low for other reasons.

I wouldn't lose a whole lot of sleep over these contests. The image I posted for this contest has garnered about a 2.5....not bad, not good. :-) However, I had this shot in an exhibit and while it didn't win, a three judge panel gave it pretty good marks, better than it got here.

So....what does that mean? It means that these particular judges thought my shot was alright. The next three judges might poo poo it. Human nature can be a funny thing. :-)

amplighter's picture

Can't please everyone. Contest like these remind me of my attempt to compete in the Gurushots site which is totally bogus. They try to include ones work into these contest by suggesting particular images be entered. Once there other vote on your images and right before judging, Gurushots includes a professional ringer and dash your hopes of winning anything right from under your nose.

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

The purpose of CTC is different than Gurushots. Gurushots is a "game" - here people upload their work to get meaningful feedback. Contest and tutorials are side bonuses, not goal itself.

And, like with any feedback, you may apply or disregard it. But the main goal stays the same: to learn.

David Pavlich's picture

If you're willing to shell out money to make your shot more visible at the Gurushots site, then you can become a rocks star. I got as far as I could without spending any money and once I reached that level, I quit entering the 'contests'. I've noticed people there with enormous amounts of points, but little to show as far as quality images. Whatever makes them happy!

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

Thanks for that info. I was wondering about deep mechanics of that platform and how does it earn money from users. Now it's become obvious. ;)

I did a little test as I thought that the ratings became harsher later on during the contest. So i submitted an image at the beginning and after roughly 45 votes got a score of 3.26. then I pulled the submission out and re-posted (the same exact one) after three days, again roughly 45 votes and got a rating of 3.23. Did that again one more time yesterday and still, after 44 votes i got a rating of 3.24 (even though i am sure the first 3 votes were 2s). So i was wrong: scoring is indeed pretty consistent and I would assume that those were not rated by the same people.

Adriano Brigante's picture

I wonder how many of these images were originally color pictures that were edited to fit the theme.

Clifford Halfast's picture

Sure are alot of portraits done here poorly I might add with exposure focus etc with 3+ rating like gimme a freaking break. Too many digital artists here not enough photographers

George Popescu's picture

I think that Fstoppers should do a tutorial on how to properly rate photos, I'm not sure if they've filmed one already.
Usually when they rate photos they just give them the rating without much explanation on why one is a 3 and one is a 4, or sometimes they try to rate in halves, such as 4.5.
What is the difference between a 4.5 image and a 5 image?
As it stands right now I still believe that most photos will get a 2 or 3 rating from people and even the photos that get a 4 are probably not a real "4" if they were judged by one of the Fstoppers staff.

Andrew Lodge's picture

I deleted my submission, kept getting a 1.5 on a photo I took in Gros Morne National Park. Why even try...

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

I can understand that you see no point of uploading photos, if you only aim for high ratings from community.

Leigh Smith's picture

Lets not forget that the community vote usually lines up pretty well with the critiquers.

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

From my experience it may vary from being very consistent to even a full 1 star difference. 20% difference in a 5 points scale is a big one in my opinion. It's a difference between in or out of portfolio. ;)

Dominic Garforth's picture

This has been my first contest on Fstoppers, shame to see the problems with the voting system. I'm here for critique first, not prizes. I do like the idea of contest entrants not being allowed to vote, but for what its worth, I think I'll leave a short comment explaining my rating from now on, just for clarity's sake. I've voted 1s to 4s so far and feel I've been genuine with those ratings. Hopefully this is something that gets sorted for the future

user-146450's picture

How do u get informed of the contests i miss the deadline every time

Dominic Garforth's picture

They'll usually announce the next contest theme at the very beginning of the critique video. Check the youtube description for when this one drops and you'll find all the info you need. Good luck for next time!

Aaron Chandler-Worth's picture

IMHO, I think the ratings are low(er) because black and white is such a benchmark of good composition skills. I also think true black and white shots should be envisioned that way from the beginning and I see a lot of shots that look like they were shot to be in color and then just converted when the contest was posted. You can't take a great color shot and throw it in black in white and vice versa. What it really leads me back to wishing is that there were more time between contest scope, submission window, and deadline. The contest to me, should be a challenge to 'get the shot' not search through your library to find and then edit it to match the criteria. Just my 2 cents.

Dillon Murphy's picture

I still hate how these work, If you rate less than 3 stars you should be prompted to leave feedback... That is what I do. I rate 1 if I don't see the point of the photo if I rate 2 I leave feedback. I put up a photo I expected to get about a 2 it is actually doing better than expected but not a single comment with 50 votes.. come on people this is a community...

Ryan McQuillan's picture

One thing I’ve noticed is that the photos submitted close to the end of submission date get way more ratings than the ones submitted earlier. Its to difficult for people to scroll down through 1200 photos. They should appear in random order not chronologicaly.

Greg Desiatov's picture

The other side to that coin is that the more people vote, the more the score declines.

I entered within the last 3 days of the comp and the images started of really strong and now have been declining in the last couple of days.

It is what it is.

Jordan McChesney's picture

Yeah, that's bound to happen when the photos are organized from oldest to newest. I think the best solution to that is for the photos to randomly organize upon refresh and add the option to organize by oldest to newest and vice versa.

Clifford Halfast's picture

So my composition shots with a dslr and tripod thought and planning with perfect focus are all under two and a see a cellphone top down snapshot of a dogs water dish from.a dog park into the 3's !!!?? This is ridiculous how high these selfies are rating too poor exposures etc..

joseph cole's picture

was it a really nice water dish? ...hahaha yeah its a joke I'm done with it

Clifford Halfast's picture

Yeah , I expected too much I guess, I submitted for the fun of maybe making the video, there is always subjectivity, but the critera should meet the rating, BTW I checked out your portfolio great shots , I grew up in NW PA it was like looking at pics of home !

joseph cole's picture

Thanks Cliff i appreciate it

Just curious, Anyone know when the picks will be announced?

Contest Submissions

Click on the thumbnails below to comment and vote on each image.

Click here to learn about the Fstoppers rating system and what each star value means.