Critique the Community

Dogs

Submit your best dog photo now for your chance to win a free Fstoppers tutorial
  • Submission Deadline: Fri, 31 May 19 03:45:00 +0000

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Pet photography can be a huge business and there are some among us who make their living photographing man's best friend. Do you think your pictures of dogs are good enough to be in a professional portfolio? 

Between now and May 30, 2019, we want you to bring on the cuteness and submit up to two of your best pictures of dogs. We will be selecting a total of 20 images to give feedback to and will be giving two lucky entrants a free Fstoppers original tutorial. The first winner of the tutorial will be based on the highest average community rated image. The second winner will be chosen at random. 

Once you've submitted your pictures, we invite you to scroll through the rest of the submissions and rate your fellow community members' images. The easiest way to do this is to use your number and arrow keys on a keyboard. In addition to providing numerical ratings, feel free to leave encouraging comments when you notice an area where an image could be improved. 

  • Submission Deadline: Fri, 31 May 19 03:45:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • 997 people have cast a total of 87,492 votes on 929 submissions from 622 contestants.
  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results

98 Comments

Lynne Guenther's picture

So I've never joined the "how they can rate better" conversations bc it won't change anyway and I haven't thought any other suggestions would fix the true problem.

Today I realized the spectrum of 2.1 or 2.9 means nothing to anyone, it's more what you say about the image. So since it's really a 2 or a 4... Just make it thumbs up and down for the vote. Then when you speak about it do better then "there's just something missing" or is "ok, nice color."

Actually critique, your mom did a great job... It's beautiful, it's framed well, the faces are just right there between the birds... BUT, it needs more polish. She was great! As someone who gets paid to provide CC AND has paid for CC, there is a defined protocol, and you got don't follow it. Your mom does, she sounds like an art professor in her delivery. It's an art in itself to provide feedback constructively.

I REALLY HOPE SHE IS ON MORE OFTEN. she also seems to appreciate technical and artistic ability equally. I feel you guys lean heavily technical, and just create a safe image that sells. It sales, but at low cost bc stock is available. It's artistic, technically executed that makes money. Innovative and high IQ

Warwick Cairns's picture

“I feel you guys lean heavily technical, and just create a safe image that sells.”

I’m thinking the same thing.

I mainly shoot photojournalism and street. I entered 2 shots. One was a straightforward holiday snapshot of my dogs that I liked. It got a moderate but respectable score.

The other was a bit harder-hitting: a picture of mine that’s been published in several magazines that tells more of a story. The composition and lighting are designed to make the viewer look first at the dog’s face surrounded by hands of people stroking it. Then you look down and see a big, fresh scar and realise we’re in the vet office after an operation.

It’s won all sorts of praise in other publications - but here it was rated at one-point something: a snapshot. I also got a comment from someone who seems to shoot mainly women lying down in bikinis, with their backs arched, saying “I see you trollin’“

What’s that all about?

Zeyu Xiao's picture

I’m starting to understand that they wanted staged pro portraits that would simply wow a regular pet owner to pay money and have their dogs portraits taken the same way...so a one star rating acknowledges the fact it’s shot in street style, but nothing more as the rest rating system only rates how well it’s been staged/planned/photoshopped :)

Bobby Wood's picture

Hi agree read comments below!

Stephen Scully's picture

There are many different styles of photography, street or documentary photography as it is known now is one of them, but apparently not according to the experts arbitrarily dissing anything that was not planned, shot in a studio or photoshopped to death. What would these self righteous anonymous low markers have thought of the great street photographers such as Dianne Arbus, Walker Evans or Elliot Erwitt. Henri Carter-Bresson would have entered these contests and been dismissed as taking snapshots because street photography is not planned, it is being in the right spot at the right time. It still requires timing great composition and balance. Apparently it is a forgotten skill but there is no way that modern photography would exist without the contributions of these masters of the snapshot. Enjoy your 1 ratings everyone.

Stephen Scully's picture

When I was at University, I had a Fine Art lecturer and one of the first things that she told me was that the "picturesque" is not part of contemporary photography, a statement I do not necessarily agree with. Picturesque is what sells as the general public is not generally "cultured" enough to appreciate fine art. Picturesque is what gets votes in these contests. What I am saying is that the votes are up and down depending, not on the quality of the work but on the type of photographer that you are. I am a street photographer and am not cultured enough to appreciate fine art, but street photography is often not picturesque either. My work often gets "snapshot" marks. Who knows? They may be right.

I can't see your images in your profile. It's hard to make a comment without seeing them

Che Devine's picture

Hey Lynne, thank you for adding a heartfelt reply to the reviews on this site.

Here is my takeaway:

I started looking up Youtube videos to expand what I am doing as a photographer. While I don't care for, or agree with most of the style from the producers of this site, I do appreciate their efforts and candid opinions. Watching about 10 of their critique videos, I came to realize a great deal about my own photography. I have shot over 100 weddings, and I am constantly trying to push what I do creatively. However, my consistency has suffered for it. I don't really have a portfolio because I don't do the same thing for each wedding. I show up and try to create art each time. While that may sound exciting, it is somewhat unfair to my clients. They have no idea what they will be getting from me. I am happy to say out of 100 weddings I have only had one that ever complained.

Through this website, I have discovered Peter Hurley and his headshots. It was while listening to him that I realized I don't really have a true portfolio. It has changed my intent as a photographer. I was afraid that if I did the same thing over and over again I would lose the freshness of the art. In truth, when I discover an excellence technique I need to try to repeat that experience because there continues to be a value there beyond anything monetary. Basically, as a photographer who gets paid for taking pictures, I have to do what is right for myself and my clients, or I should just do it for free.

Lastly, the rating system. When I first started looking at their rating system I disagreed with it completely. Then I started considering the wide categories they cover. 1 is you took a picture, maybe got lucky with some lighting or composition. 2 is you really started applying the craft of photography. You have some understanding of what the construction of a good photo needs to be, but you are not yet engaged in the finer elements. 3 is something that can make you money. You are stepping away from the amateur level and moving into a professional category. 4, you have a better understanding of what it is to create a photograph. You have shown both the skills and results to set yourself apart. Likely, you have come into your own style and are in the process of discovering that domain. Lastly, in level 5. You are in control of everything in your photo. There are no elements of the photograph you overlooked and it is as close to perfection that can be expected.

This is their site, put forth by their efforts, and it is their livelihood. I applaud them for their efforts and their success. This is their home, and if they want me to take my shoes off to come in the house, I am happy to do so. I strive to take what they say to heart, but not take it personally. The community has rated my stuff about the same as I rate it myself. With room for improvement. That is why I am here, to confirm my own opinion about my art, and happy there is such an open place to do so.

:)

Lynne Guenther's picture

I totally respect everything you have said.

Dennis Herrera's picture

I think "something is missing or is not right" is a nice way of saying this photo sucks but, I will at least give a 2. People miss the point of submissions, you don't take a snap shot, you take several photos and pick the best one! I like the way they rate the images and critique them. Makes you work harder for it.

Jeff McCollough's picture

I think most of the issue with most of the entries is focus problems. 90% of the photos submitted are out of focus.

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

What do you mean by that? For example I have my focus on the eyes of the dog. Most other photos I saw also has good focus on eyes.

Jeff McCollough's picture

80% of the photos are out of focus.

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

So you counted, so far, all the photos, and according to your understanding and SUBJECTIVE opinion you came to the conclusion that 80% of photos are "out of focus"?

Somehow this is really hard to believe and frankly sounds very silly.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Do you have vision issues? I may suggest that you go get your eyes checked.

Cheers.

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

Well I don’t have insecurity issues like yourself, regarding your snapshot style photos. You go on to the comment section to rage that people don’t like your photos, lol why should they, they probably suck that’s why. Problem is in you and not the other people. Very sad...

Jeff McCollough's picture

Insecure? naahhh...I just think you need a vision check.

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

You're mad that people don't like your photos, that's pretty sad imo...

Jeff McCollough's picture

I couldn't care less. I just think that people need to give real CC if they just want to go around randomly rating photos.

You do come across as very childish. On a related note, how do I stop getting notifications from this thread?

Jeff McCollough's picture

It's sad that you can't see that I am trolling. Are you new to the internet?

I was an actual part of chanology, I troll deep, bro. If complaining that people don't like your photos is what modern trolling has devolved to, I weep for the luls.

Brittney Fulton's picture

I wonder if the focus is because of compression issues when uploading?

Dennis Herrera's picture

I agree. People think focusing on the eyes it's all that's needed....wrong! I saw so many dogs with noses and mouths missing because they were taking a picture of eyes not dogs.

Brock Torunski's picture

Tested your theory, but only went through the first 204 pictures. Here's the results:

Photo's In Focus: 96.0784%
Out of Focus: 3.9216%

Verdict: Agreed, 80% are out of focus.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Is your math a little off? So more are in focus or more are out of focus?

Brock Torunski's picture

Clearly out of focus, not sure what all these people mean?

This whole comment thread is why the internet sucks. There is nothing but egotistical pandering of insults about literally everything. Fstoppers - as someone new to your community, I'm kind of shying away already after 1 hour on the website.

All we have here is a) holding legitimate CC to avoid 'hurting feelings' and b) toxicity.

Shame.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Here we go with the bad ratings on my photos. People marking them as snapshots when they clearly are different from most of the others. Thanks to all the people who don't like me.

Bobby Wood's picture

So i feel the same way u do just because it's not in a studio they want to mark it a snap shot? Fuckng stupid......:-( But anyway mine are portraits not snapshots and they mark them with a 1 when I see real snapshots of dogs peeking around a corner that's marked higher?

If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen, buddy. My photos are rated low too, but instead of crying about how I'm a misunderstood artist, I'm trying to understand how I could improve.

Phillip Breske's picture

The thumb down I just gave your comment is supposed to help you be a better writer. Now you get to guess why I voted the way I did and make improvements based on your assumptions. Good luck.

Hey Phil, thanks for the feedback! Would love to hear if your thoughts on my modified version, (found below.) I'm always trying to improve as a writer, so your down vote was definitely a step in the right direction!

If you are unable to withstand the temperature, vacant the cooking facility, friend. My images have been poorly received, but I have refrained from waxing poetic about the misjudgement of others, instead choosing to use this experience as an opportunity to further my pursuit of capturing images.

Phillip Breske's picture

Nope. Assumptions were wrong. Try again.

Dang dude, I really should just freak out about my work being underappreciated, it would definitely be easier lol

Dennis Herrera's picture

Jason, you try to hard. Here: stop complaining about the low scores and figure out how to make it better! A lot of my photos suck and will probably always will but, it makes me work harder and makes think outside the box. When I get kudos...hell yeah, thank you! when I don't....at the end of the day, it won't stop me from having a pint with you ;)

Jeff McCollough's picture

Hahahaha exactly. It's a joke to expect people to know what is wrong with their images especially when their images are better than most of the ones submitted.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Oh I don't care about what people rate my images as as most people rating here have no clue about photography and most of the entries suck anyways.

I just want decent CC if they are going to rate my images with 1 star. They need to own up to their ratings.

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

Maybe your photos are the same as the entries that you think that suck... just because you got yourself a little camera doesn't make you Picasso my friend... you're just a guy taking average photos at best and you're among millions of other people like yourselfs, average at best.

Jeff McCollough's picture

And you take crap cellphone pics so I guess you know what you're talking about huh?

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

See, it's so ironic that you're getting mad at people for not liking your photos, but at the same time you're even worse than those people, getting all mad and having a meltdown scenario at the comment section...

Jeff McCollough's picture

Oh just grow up. You're a nobody. You don't even know what a meltdown is. What are you 5?

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

I have the feeling that you're the biggest nobody out there... lol

Bill Bailey's picture

Jason, I somewhat agree.As one who has been teaching and critiquing art and photography for over 30 years, sometime we need to understand what the person was trying to accomplish when they took the exposure. Mine was rated low also but I'm not whining about being misunderstood as an artist. It was an artistic photo to capture motion and I got what I wanted after moving to different locations in the room and making several exposures to capture the natural light I wanted. It took dozens exposures to get the highlights and the motion in the perfect position in line with the eye. It was what I wanted as a study to improve my photography. It made the cut to be shown in a gallery so I don't have any problems with the low rating here. I do agree with many of the other comments about them looking for studio staged shots with lighting setups or heavily photo-shopped commercial shots. The eyes and the head being out of focus was the plan as the only thing I wanted in focus was the whiskers and obviously that is not is not acceptable to many of the voters. Yes, one of the "rules" is to have the eyes in focus but I agree that, with pets, the nose should be in focus too unless your doing an intentional shot with a stylist flare. With saying that, I know the trend is to shoot wide open to get that "focal point" on the eyes and have that nice bokeh. But then, I'm old school and not much of a trend follower and I see a lot of what is considered "snap shots" sell.

UGH, I've been sitting on the sidelines with these comments about focus and studio shoots. If you direct yourself to the brief, it clearly states: "Pet photography can be a huge business and there are some among us who make their living photographing man's best friend. Do you think your pictures of dogs are good enough to be in a professional portfolio?"

This market is huge. Tons of opportunity for everyone. There are PLENTY of clients who seek a "snapshot" style of dog photography: candid, environmental stuff. If the composition is solid and the personality of the animal is expressed, it is a success, hands down. You will know it by repeat business.

And there are no rules about eyes and nose being in focus. Frequently, an amazing shot can be achieved with soft eyes and a sharp nose. It's entirely subjective, but if you spend enough time evaluating images as a professional photographer or indeed as just a cultured human, the winners stand out.

I make my living as a dog photographer. I use lights, I have a mobile studio that I set up in the owner's home. I have a general target area, but, if you've spent anytime in this game, every shoot is fluid and there's no way to have a completely contrived shot, as you can with a human model who responds to instruction.

I think the biggest chasm here is the friction between enthusiasts and pros. Is your submission "good enough to be in a professional portfolio?" That's the criteria. Would someone hire you based upon your submission?

Matthias Schmitt's picture

f you cannot handle the easiest way of critique maybe consider not posting them for this type of rating? ;-)
If you gonna say I don't have a clue about photography or life - that's your opinion and totally fine for me, cause I give a f*** about this form of critique.

All I can say is that you need to change your personality and stop crying about a 1-star-rating from a stranger.

Jeff McCollough's picture

What a lame response lol.

Thierry Jutras's picture

I am surprised there is no furies in there yet. This have to change.

Alex Lancashire's picture

I think that your Mum is great.

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