Critique the Community


With Elia Locardi
Submit your best landscape photos for your chance to win a free Fstoppers tutorial
  • Submission Deadline: Tue, 04 Sep 18 03:45:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results

Elia Locardi is going to be at the Fstoppers studio for the next week and a half filming the post processing section for the newest iteration Photographing the World. We figured it's the perfect opportunity to let him critique your images.

We invite you to submit up to two of your best landscape photos between now and September 3rd for your chance to be part of the next episode of Critique the Community. Not only will 20 entrants be given feedback from Elia Locardi, who is one of the most well known landscape photographers on the planet, two lucky winners will also win a free Fstoppers original tutorial. The first winner will be chosen based on the highest community voted image. The second winner will be chosen at random.

If you're just browsing the post or have already entered you're image, we encourage you to scroll through the submissions of fellow community members and give them feedback of your own. Please keep your comments helpful and positive and please rate in accordance with the Fstoppers rating standard which can be viewed below.

  • Submission Deadline: Tue, 04 Sep 18 03:45:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • 704 people have cast a total of 50,855 votes on 977 submissions from 594 contestants.
  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results


It’s not allowing photos to be entered :)

That would explain why no one has entered anything in 2 hours.

Are aerial landscapes Allowed to be submitted

Yeah, as long as it is of a landscape anything goes

Still can't post. I couldn't believe I was gonna be the first one to enter until i realized what was happening :D

The posting glitch is fixed now.

When someone´s voting two stars (needs work), it would be great to know what kind of work or what could be done better! ;-) Just two stars won´t tell me how I can improve my work.

I think you'll never hear constructive suggestions...

I'm making a point of throwing out constructive criticism and praise.

I think the audience here is really harsh.

It is very bad that the authors of the assessments are not visible. I would like to take a look at their work ...

I wouldn't take it too seriously unless there is constructive criticism to go along with it.

It is the internet after all, mate. You know how it is. ;)

I think some ones give one or two stars just to be dicks. 👍

A two star rating isn't saying the photo is trash, it's saying it needs work.

The biggest problem is most people don't read the descriptions of each star's rating. A good photo can be a two star photo but minor details could be revisited to make it three stars.

The scaling of the rating system needs to be addressed because of the ignorance of the community. a 1-10 would serve better purpose and fix this issue as is discussed in every contest.

I was watching my votes and scores and it dropped down so far someone must have given me a 1. Now I 100% accept a 2, but it was a long exposure, with lightning in the background. How can that be a 1? I think someone is going around giving people 1s to bring other people’s votes down so theirs is a little higher. Which is why the highest votes image is usually around 3.5. Do these people not realise that a) the photos aren’t selected based on their vote score except for the highest one, and b) a person who gives 1s just to lower scores will never take the top voted image anyway.

if i give a rating lower tan 4 i make suggestions but if it is noticeably and clearly a poor image i just pass it use in shooting a dead horse

I like to be constructive when giving a 2 star rating, but there is just sooo many pictures.

I agree. Its interesting to see how others like or dislike your photo by rating it however, like you, I was looking for constructive criticism. The votes are in line with what I expected though on my submission.

Yea its Hard to see get 1.5 Stars for a picture cant be a snapshot.
To critic in contant the Most dont think about what is the Theme or what work the Person have to do to got that picture.

The Most have a big Ego and cant give a normal Rating.
Yea i very straight in my view of this Theme but its annoying.

With 1000 images its tough to comment on every 1 or 2
star photo...

For sure it´s hard to give a constructive criticism on every image we´re rating. But let´s be honest who´s really rating all hundreds of images posted here? But at least those who get 2 stars deserve a constructive criticism. You know what I mean?

I rated all of em. I tried to make constructive criticism on the ones that i had something to say...

But i’d argue making it even harder to rate wouldn’t help...i’m pretty sure with the low number of ratings anyone can make enough dummy accounts to boost their photos ratings and destory others ratings (not sure if that’s happening but damn 40 votes isn’t much statistical)...i don’t think its fair to expect people to comment for everytime they rate a 1 or 2, but i do think people should expect their photos to get rates by more than 5-10% of the contests enteries.

For sure it´s hard to give a constructive criticism on every image we´re rating. But let´s be honest who´s really rating all hundreds of images posted here? But at least those who get 2 stars deserve a constructive criticism. You know what I mean?


Painful to see how toxic this community is with the majority of voters=self proclaimed experts ( voting 1-2 stars ) with total garbage portfolios as expected:) Mega LOL category

Do you know of any sites that you have to be judged into, to weed out the garbage. I'm trying to improve but the grey area in between the pros and the less than amateur is seemingly small. I just want to be able to learn from the pros and see how they make perfection not be judged by an iPhone tourist. I've also noticed that the contest judging is a joke people are giving way lower scores than what the work deserves I'm assuming to give themselves a better placement ...kind of a dick move.

It is definitely true what you are saying. I myself did not join Fstoppers to search for validation or ask for criticism as I have a pretty clear vision of what I want and how I need to execute it. That does not mean that I do not want to improve, there is always room for improvement. I came here to look at some amazing frames and get inspired and support up and coming photographers by encouraging them on their journey. I find it pathetic that so many people just exude negativity here. I can take criticism but not from people who don’t even have a vague idea about basic concepts:)) I am not sure if you mean to primarily improve your technical skill set or the artistic side of your imagery or both but there aren’t many platforms where you can get decent feedback from an expert in your preferred field without monetary investment. A 1 on 1 mentor would be ideal, especially when starting out in your photographic journey. Cheers.

completely understand where your coming from and appreciate the response. this is a good platform to see what people are doing and it's nice to be able to see so many great shots. i might have to look into that 1 on 1 scenario. I don't believe this site is a great method for skill acceleration, just another instagram with nipples.

You can try
It is curated by truly good photographers, although there is a slight bias, not towards members, but style of photos and the fact that they don't like to publish plenty of photos of the very same location or thing.
Other than that, there's also a dedicated constructive critique area on that site so you can use both "services", submit your favorite photo to the curators to see if they'll deem it publishable, and also submit it to the Constructive Criticism area where people give constructive criticism to each other.

If you have thin skin, prepare to get burned.

I went to school for illustration my skin is as thick as a rhinos

I personally take a 1-2 star rating as a compliment. It means that someone was so threatened by the mere existence of my photo that they had no choice but to down vote it. It's like when politicians run attack ads.

Haha there might be some truth to that:)))) It’s not like I’m having sleepless nights over such but find these people pathetic....

Youre propably right. In some cases thats true.. I know this sounds really dumb, but I dont rate images. I feel like Im not qualified to give points to pictures. I mean, I know what I like to shoot my self, but I dont feel comfortable giving critique to someone elses work. Sure some pictures need work, but I bet 99% from fstoppers community allready know when they need improvement in their work. And I think finding out some technical issues is not that hard. Creative issues just are things one has to figure out them self.

I think that the user's rating algorithm could reject extreme values - e.g. 20% of the lowest and 20% of the highest ratings and then the average of the ratings could be more adequate - although it would be best to get the assessment from Elia and Fstoppers team :-)

I'm not sure why some of these shots are being rated by the community as 2's. Has anyone read the Fstoppers Rating System description? While there are plenty of images that deserve a low rating, there are others that deserve at least a 3 or 4.

Some of my photos are on Flickr hit in Explore with thousands of views. And here they get an estimate "Snap Shot" :) Funny :)

I get it! I submitted a picture that was recently published by Nat-Geo. Same story there. People here are jealous and frustrated.

That's the difference between a computer algorithm and people

For me, Flickr means nothing.
Same as being popular on 500px.
It's a matter of activity between users, cheaters ( there are those too! ), and luck sometimes.

I've seen TERRIBLE photos in explore, just like I've seen TERRIBLE photos in the top of the 500px popular page.

Now, that doesn't mean they're all cr@p, but some are.
Looking back myself, I had taken several photos that were terrible when I started, and back then, I thought that they were great.
Once I advanced in every single aspect of photography myself, I started to see my weaknesses, the lack of things, the reality that most of the old photos were plainly bad.

Even after we "mature" photographically, sometimes, actually, a whole lot of times, our passion to post & publish still forces some otherwise rejected photos of ours outside.

For example, I've seen plenty of wonderful photos by Matthias Dengler.
I consider him a pretty good landscape photographer.
Just like I do, if I turn the harshness and objectivity setting to the maximum value, I do believe and find that Matthias ( and myself ), have uploaded photos that are far from our top work.
And plenty of times for a while or even a long time, we can stand by and fight for those photos of ours, until we see what's wrong in the future and change our minds.

Wow Bill! What a speech!
That was so honest and it really lifts me up. Thank you so much for that. Somehow, I needed that! :)

About flick'rs and 500px's explore you are right.
Also some of my mediocre pictures have hit explore. So it's not an indicator of quality.

And aother thing is as well that people can still take awesome pictures which can get published anywhere, jsut not on fstoppers. Fstoppers has a very specific style. fstopeprs is not a platform for narrative images or emotions. It's a page for technical photographers who care about grain issues between Iso 50 and 100 and use a tripod for every shot to get maximum sharpness most of the time.

Other approaches are "better having a picture that tells the story, than having no picture". Fstoppers is not for narrative or emotions that pictures evoke in you. It's jsut about technical stuff. It's not a bad thing, but you have to know what kind of pictures to submit to get good ratings here. I could do that, but I don't. I wanted to broaden horizons but it's not going to happen. So people shouldn't take it too harsh when getting rated badly. Fstoppers are most of the time rather technique geeks than artists - without wanting to offend anyone.

I love this thread. Takes me back almost 50 years to first grade. We were drawing, and I was always a good (not great or exceptional) artist. I very distinctly remember the literally snot-nosed kid next to me showing me his work. I knew it was inferior to mine, very inferior, but I smiled and said it was good. (I’ve always been a people pleaser. LOL) I knew mine was great. I can’t imagine what a rudimentary drawing it really was. I mean, maybe it was second-grade level at best. I really wish I could go back in time and see it. Thankfully I know my photography isn’t great. It’s definitely not technically great. I am just shooting for a 2 over a 1. Kinda like I was in grade 1 working at grade 2 level. Haha.

As far as different things that make a photo great, most of my faves are screenshots taken of good times in the past with my kids and what not. There is actually very little need for technical perfection in a photo. Most for me are memory triggers and quality is not a huge factor. I have a terrible memory and am glad for overexposed, out of focus, poorly composed photos if they can take me back to a wonderful place and time. That being said, from thus point forward, if I can do that AND be technically skillful, that’s a win win!!! 🙂

my submission is currently ranked as a 1.65 from 14 people. Its pretty laughable i enjoy the shot and thought other people would. oh well.

Same here.I know the photo isn’t great; I got the camera last Christmas and it was taken on my first trip with the camera. It’s a waterfall. I did make sure to include objects in the foreground, used the rule of thirds, and shot in manual with a slow shutter speed to smooth the water. Not stunning, but a lot more effort was put into it than a simple snapshot. I am content with a 2 at this point, but a 1 is disappointing. I like the shot, though, and even use it as my Instagram profile.

a pic we take and love does not make the quality and again it remains a perception by people beside any rules to be applied for photography i think. the pics was long posed but also quite fuzzy , wich is understandable if you started with the camera, and in the instant probably did not have a tripod to stabilise. try it again i am sure it will feel for you much better and for assesser. a good amateur friend of mine ( i am also amateur) usually takes less than a 10th of his pics as workable when doing some small expo, by the way. enjoy photography tha is what matter at the end.

Joseph, I'll give you some short due to time constraints constructive critique on your entry here if you don't mind.

IMHO, your shot gets underrated, while it's not truly underrated.
What do I mean by that.
Your photo is post-processed well, no big mistakes in Photoshop/Lightroom, no over-cooked HDR cr@p, no halos around objects from over-sharpening / excessive usage of the clarity slider / or extreme adjustments in the Shadows and Highlights sliders.
Technically your photo editing is good.

Photographically-wise, the photograph is "well composed", following the rule of thirds, you do have some good light there, a relatively interesting sky ( it's not my favorite, but still better than dull cloudless sky, overcast gray, etc ).
What your photo is lacking is a true subject, and something that will gather the interest of the viewer.
It could've been a person, an object, an animal, or even just footsteps following the path and leading to the sea.
A statue, an interestingly shaped rock.

You've got the mood and the light right, you just need something to add... "value", meaning, a story, to the picture.

Keep on shooting!

thanks Bill great assessment your right i did need an object to like you said gain interest, i was relying not the light to carry the focus. shooting on the fly like i did, i didn't have a well prepped scene and as an illustrator i definitely understand the the relevance of doing so. i didn't feel like the trash can that was next to me was a very good subject to shoot lmho. and thank you for the encouragement i will only get better

Well, if it's a decently shaped and single colored trashcan, you can paint a Smiley face or a surfer on it and call it a day :p

hahahahahahahahaha damn why didn't i think of that!!!!!!

Totally agree. I just want to say to anyone who is greatly discouraged by all the negativity that they should not be. Keep doing what you love and keep an open mind for criticism but at the same time realise that no assessment / evaluation of your work is ever absolute. The best way to improve is to just shoot and experiment. You need to constantly fail in order to improve and reach a level that eventually you can be proud of. It’s a long and never ending journey imo and that’s the beauty of it. Cheers:)

It's cuz people are rating lower to hopefully get theirs ranked higher. Mine was creeping up closer to a 4 and I can tell a bunch of people voted it as a 1 cuz it dropped fast.

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