Elia Locardi is Back
Critique the Community

Hot Lights

Submit Your Best Photograph Taken With A "Hot/Constant" Light
  • Submission Deadline: Fri, 29 May 20 17:15:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results

Most photographers tend to light their subjects with either natural light or strobe but for this next critique/contest we want to see your favorite image taken with a constant light. 

All submissions must have been lit at least in portion by a constant light of some kind. Flashes and strobe lights don't count but incandescent, LED, fluorescent, etc. are fair game.  

Each photographer can enter up to 3 individual images but remember to write a little bit about your image in the description. We want to know how you shot it and what type of lighting and gear you used. 

  • Submission Deadline: Fri, 29 May 20 17:15:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • 165 people have cast a total of 6,632 votes on 205 submissions from 114 contestants.
  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results


Can the next contest be "Any image that doesn't include the milky way"?

...or any image not taken during blue/gold hour?

In the any thing but department: Pregnant women holding their bellies, and emaciated women standing with their hands on their hips, showing their shiny butt.

...or (I hate to complain but ...) one that wasn't done already with even the same banner image? So many amazing things to do before a repeat.

We've done many repeats over the years. Feel free to give us some suggestions, we are running out of ideas.

How about something ultra creative and original, like photos with a lens ball or fairy lights or photos of girls at night wearing glasses standing next to blue and magenta neon lights with bokehed out backgrounds.

my fairy lights are always in my bag and my lens ball is on order :)

maybe a series of SOOC type of shots, i wanna see the fuji shooters come out of the woodwork :P

I bet it's tough after a while. I'm sure some of these have been done too but here's some thoughts: I wouldn't mind product shots (even though I don't do them); miniatures/toys; cover shots (there's a lot to take into consideration when shooting a cover); before and after (they would have to be combined into a single image); live action/sports; architecture; in camera 'tricks' like zoom burst/ICM/tiltshift; motion blur;children; pets; emotions; ...

You also have some active groups and their themes would be fun to build engagement: nature; wildlife; nudes; minimalism; abstract; ....

Just thoughts. Keep up the good work!

During critiques, you all have said, "Maybe if it was part of a series" on more than one occasion. Don't know how it would work logistically, but a photo series critique could be cool.

Somewhat shocked you've done automotive twice but aviation zero times. I don't think aviation is that niche.

Lee, if you want to annoy Patrick, the next contest could be cosplay/fantasy/steampunk ;)

Lee, why not extend the contest to an open part without topic restrictions for a broader audience, where people can select among several choices what they want their image to be rated for (e.g. originality, craftsmanship, post-processing, etc.) and still maintain the main contest for the porofessional crowd ? mixing professionals and amateurs seems to create more frustration on both sides than necessary.

Here is an idea, "straight out of camera". I would like to see camera skills, not post processing skills which seems to be what gets the high marks here.

The problem with SOOC:

1. Will look unfinished and not portfolio worthy. Which means will probably get low ratings. Which means more complaining.

2. If jpeg output, you basically let the camera dictate the output. Is that what you really want?

3. if raw output, see #1 above.

Yep, all good points. So photography is now more about software skills than camera skills, sigh!

No. It's still more about camera skills than software. But you shouldn't neglect post processing. They were doing it in the film days. Where do you think terms like "dodge and burn" came from. You'll have to do your own homework, but, here's one example: https://fstoppers.com/post-production/how-photos-were-edited-darkroom-da... Look at the work they had to do.

all cameras have some form of picture style so it won't look too unfinished for jpg output, be interesting to see less overcooked stuff

---"be interesting to see less overcooked stuff"

There are tons of less "overcooked" images submitted in these contests. If you don't notice them, then, that should tell you something.

Hi Morris! What about more concrete themes? For example, car wrecks, run down old houses/buildings, motorcycle (maybe veteran?) weaponry, old style portraits, old tools or equipment, or generally old stuff of some sort or category? :)

Next CTC idea: Top 20 rated BW photos - period. So much has made of the rating system, let's see whether the critics have a point. If the top 20 into the critique are all solid shots, then we can finally put this to bed once and for all.

Disclaimer, I'm an enthusiast who has no 2.5s or higher for this genre :)

Both geat ideas Robert - the black and white and the critique!

Just wanteed to note that I decided not to vote at all for images that seem to be lit by constant but natural light (i.e. moon, sun). We had this discussion I think with the last Hot Lights contest. Although not concisely stated like this in the submission rules, I do suppose the images should be lit with hot/constant but still artificial light sources. But not sure about this.

I think the one problem with all these competitions is that there are at least two types of people participating: the ones who see photography as a craft and who wish to put their own craftsmanship up against other professionals. They are the ones who spend around 0.003 milliseconds per image and judge images by how much they conform to their idea of what images in this category should look like. it makes perfectly sense. For these people it is essential to be able to reproduce a certain result on command, like in portrait or product photography.

But then there are also the other ones, who believe that their photo should be judged for its originality, for the idea that it conveys. An example for that would be Gina Robinson's submission to the backlit contest last winter. It was a heavily processed image of a street scene in London, which documents for me more than any other image known to me the concept of 'punk' (in a Sex Pistols sort of way). She recceived very poor ratings for that image.

So my point is that I think the solution to this eternal conflilct is to allow people who submit photos in a contest to select what they want their images to be rated for: craftsmanship, originality, documentary value, the story behind the image, artistic expression, etc.

I am sure that providing this additional dimension to the contests would considerably reduce the amount of whining (why is my image rated so poorly, why do they submit images that don't fit the contest's criteria) and also make the CTC videos more fun to watch, because a broader variety of photos would make it into the critique selection.

One problem with the title and contest definition is that people put here regular studio shots because they maybe used hot lights in the process (or not). From looking at the image we are not able to define if it used regular flash or hot. What I suggest is to change the title for the contest to something like “available artificial light” (as neon lights from store at night etc) or if someone have better idea than it could be welcomed.

I don't think the intent is to limit just to “available artificial light” (as neon lights from store at night etc).

The instructions are perfectly clear.

Pregnant women holding their bellies, and emaciated women standing with their hands on their hips, showing their shiny butt.

Timothy, I’ll presume in my reply that you’ve fully understood the meaning of emaciated? The reason I say that, is that it sounds as if you’re implying the pictures of those women are malnourished or strangely thin? Women come in all shapes and sizes, as I’m sure you know. I’ve seen many different types of images on here of all body types, it’s the photographers portrail within the constraints of the topic that should be taken into consideration when critiquing, surely?

I’m not being confrontational, perhaps I’ve misunderstood your comment, apologies if I have! 👍

No problem, I appreciate the response, it just seems that when some people photograph women they gravitate to that type I described, emaciated is a bit much, unusually thin would be better, I just don't see the attraction of a woman standing with the lighting emphasis on that area. There are so many beautiful ways to portray women and people in general, I am not one to talk about portraiture, just look at my portfolio on f stoppers.

I get that, Timothy, and thank you for the reasoned reply.
It’s interesting, I posted a question within a photography group yesterday that was based on a critique for self portraits. A high number of images were the photographers holding a gun or weapon of some kind, I found it confusing for a couple of reasons; why guns at this violent time we live in and why copy what others have done In the critique. A few made good points in reply to my question and the majority were saying that ‘it’s just a prop’ or ‘it’s seen as normal where I come from’.
I guess my point relative to what we’re talking about here is that these images are seen completely differently from everyone. Large, medium, small or unusually shaped bodies are all going to spark different reactions. I was swiftly told in that critique that my view point was my own of course and they had theirs and that’s perfectly fine, lesson learnt for me in that I can feel confused or offended and they can too but freedom to express the story of the image is up to the photographer and the viewer. Same goes with showing a ‘thinner’ model or an unusually shaped model or one with a shinny butt (lol), I guess gravitating towards a thinner model in their eyes is more accepted by the majority? Same goes for all the photographers that included guns, it was attractive to their viewer.
Hope you’re safe and well and thanks again for bringing this up, always interesting to hear others thoughts and points of view 👍

Good morning Mark: Thank you for the response, I agree with everything you said, by the way, I followed the link to your website, my compliments, beautiful work. Have a great day.

That’s really kind of you, Timothy, thank you 😊 have a good day too!

I would like to thank everyone for their votes and encourage feedback to help me improve

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.