Critique the Community


Submit Your Best Photos Taken At Night
  • Submission Deadline: Tue, 20 Oct 20 17:15:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results

Photographs of the stars at night have been done to death. For this critique, we want to see all genres of photography taken at night.

When most photographers hear the term "night photography" they immediately think of landscapes photographed at night. We will accept those, but we are particularly excited to see other genres of photography taken at night. 

1. Each photographer can submit up to three different images.

2. Images without a description will be disqualified (we want to hear how you took the image)

3. 2 submitters that make the critique will be chosen by the hosts to win a free tutorial in the Fstoppers Store

Lead Photo by Eric Pare

  • Submission Deadline: Tue, 20 Oct 20 17:15:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • 276 people have cast a total of 11,691 votes on 431 submissions from 221 contestants.
  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results


It's not about technical knowledge. It's about whether a shot is aesthetically pleasing. And I must say that I consider your night nude to be extremely jarring on the senses.

Ive screen shot that exact thing, i uploaded my pic and within 30 seconds there was 1 vote, 1*... you dont even have time to view an image correctly in that time, let alone vote on it. All hail the Instagram troll generation where the average viewing time for shots is 6 seconds.

6 seconds? You mean 1 second right? :D

Although to be fair some people might not use the rating system as intended, and would simply give a 1 rating on a picture just because they don't like it (even if the picture is tack sharp, with thoughts given to the framing, taken with a DSLR and pro lighting, etc.).

I hate nude pictures, it's just my personal taste. When I see one I generally don't rate it at all and ignore, even if they're considered world class by everybody. But some people might just give it a 1 rating, even though the picture is objectively a 4/5.

Yeah that’s how I approach it, rather than be negative I just ignore and move on, choosing to rate shots I do like.

if its one star is good photo dont worry, better than a 5 star photoshopped naked model in the night

Whether a photo is good is not just because of technical skills, but also other aspects like composition.
In that particular shot, I rated it low instead of not rating it at all because for me it was lacking in many aspects what makes a photo something worth looking at. It seemed to be taken rather "random", without much composition, seemingly without much thought having gone into position of the model, the environment, the pose of the model, etc..
There's a lot of light on the model -- but not in any way that's interesting, adding anything to the photo except for visibility.
There's nothing in the photo that tells why she's naked

One of the other photos which you uploaded was much more interesting, as photo, and therefore I rated it higher.

PS: I do understand and appreciate that this image has a special value for you, and I do apologize if my critique in my previous reply sounded rude.

Which also makes me realise, that perhaps the guy who posted a rude comment and then deleted it, deleted it because he regretted his own rude words and didn't actually want to come across that harsh.

After over 20 votes all your images are around 1.6. I think that might tell you something. Unless you genuinely think everyone's out to get you, this is an average score that reflects what genuine voters feel about each image.

That doesn't actually address the comment to which you're replying, sorry.

If you have look, you'll see I have not voted on anything. :)

Let me ask you though, how would _you_ rate your own images? What is your own honest self-assessment?

I think you expressed George exactly what I have been feeling, so I am going to just for my own personal need to vent, post this reply and then NEVER participate in these contests again.

I think all of us have a need to be validated from time to time. We want to be appreciated for our journey in creating something worthwhile. I like most of you, enjoy watching the F-Stoppers YouTube critiques and often wonder what they would say about one of my pieces. So over time, I've posted to about four contests. I am a 62 year old semi-professional landscape/fine art photographer who used to teach high school photography. One thing I feel I know is, solely talking about my own work, is what is crap and what is worthwhile. And I also think that line changes over time. Many photos I took 12 years ago of which I thought were great, would not stand the test of time for me now. I have learned a lot through self education in terms of practice, learning from others, and even in selling my own work. I've done my due diligence and never, even in my poorest work, have I ever taken a snapshot.

Take for example the two I have posted for this. One was a tripod mounted 77 second long exposure of city bridge at night. It is in perfect exposure, it is a simple composition with no distracting elements, taken at ISO 100 and f-16. It has beautiful "on-purpose" light stars, and has a great sense of lines and shape. My reason for saying this is not to say it should be loved by everyone, but that after 12 ratings, it averages less than 2 which meant there had to be a number of people deeming it to be a snapshot.

My second submission is a planned light painting outdoor shot of an autumn tree. I got up at 4 in the morning, set up my tripod, lit various areas of the tree with a long exposure and a flashlight, and then put them together in PhotoShop. Again, a number of "snapshot". Whether someone likes it or not, it was a professional skilled photo, pre-planned and a unique photo.

For me, as one who has critique many young novice photographers, it does nothing but invalidate the purpose of rating these at all.

But now for the most important aspect for my rant, and one I am needing again to tell myself. The purpose for photography should be a personal quest for something more intangible than people liking or not liking your work. It actually is good for all of us to pursue art because it is good for us to struggle and to learn and evaluate what we have learned. it can be good for our brain and good for our soul. And this is just as true for writing or cooking or painting or making videos or any other form of art. The actual process of doing it is worthy of the effort. Posting photos here does not help me personally in any way, and so I need to stop and just continue my own journey. I see a lot of great photographs here as well as a lot of emerging photographers who probably are in need of real critiques that could help them not merely some arbitrary clicks.

Again, I saw this post to the side and it gave me the incentive to just say what i think, solely for me and regardless of what others may say. If you feel similarly, I'm glad. If you don't, oh well. I'm moving on to better uses for my time and energy. Keep shooting and creating and take care in this difficult world we all find ourselves in.

According to the way the rating system actually works, any use of deliberate photographic technique automatically makes an image 2 stars at minimum. You can pretty clearly see use of external lighting, light painting, and shutter drag. Even though the results missed the mark, they objectively don't qualify as snapshots.

Unfortunately, although I appreciate that that's how the rating system is intended, there are just some photos that need so much work, that they might as well be snapshots, they're not very far above it.

(Yes, that might also apply to some of the photos which I have submitted, in the eyes of others. I'll happily welcome any semi-constructive critique which is also what I've tried to give on George's photos).

Would have to agree there. A "1" isn't reserved for cellphone snapshot images. it's for "anyone (and their mom) can take it".

Just using a flash doesn't HAVE to make it a "2". If the image doesn't show thought into how the flash is used or fails to capture the idea.

things like the direction, the power, 1, 2, or 3 lights, etc. And has a look/feeling that "anyone" would have been able to take it.. Somewhat like the popup direct flash with the harsh light and harsh shadows, the images grandma was taking at parties, flashing everyone in the face.

you can't just throw a flash into an image and start demanding a high rating.

Verbatim from the ratings info: If an image has been "lit" with external light (besides a direct on-camera flash) it is at least a 2 star picture.

I agree that adding a flash doesn't make an image inherently better. However, the OP is correct that, by the way the rating system is written, the images should not get a 1. Anyone who gives it a 1 has invented their own version of how they think the rating system should work and go off that instead.

There are members here that enter these contests and give low grades no matter the shot in an attempt to get higher ratings for themselves. Discounting my shots, I've seen photos that I've given a '4' rating that were just about perfect that received 1s from some. I know this stuff is subjective, but I think I have fair knowledge of what makes a good image. It is a shame that some are so consumed with their outcomes that they would resort to giving poor ratings.

If I get a solid here on the contest I feel pretty good because that means not everyone is a troll. I also don't think anyone should be allowed to rate or comment on this site if they haven't posted any of their own work.

Certainly. Not everyone's a troll, but just the fact that there are those that want to take the low road in an attempt to improve their standings is pathetic.

Ah the 1 star complaints. I tend not to be that bothered. I liked that in the last cirque they didn't necessarily go for the highest rated. Just images that they liked, with 2 random winners. So, that gets rid of some this debate. So, nice one guys

Either way, I tend to be happy enough with the ratings I get. Obviously some people feel like voting 1's. But overal.. after 40-50+ votes it evens out to a rating I'm happy enough with 2.7-3.1 for most of the images I enter.

And, that's where I feel I'm at with my photography. So... the rating fits.. I know my work isn't world class, maybe some are 2's... maybe some lucky unique shots that are a 4, but I've got loads to learn and grow. But at this point the photos are getting good enough where I can build a portfolio that I'm happy with.. So, the rating fits.

But I had my share of 2 star rated images too on here.

As fun as critiquing the community is, self critique is something you need to do and probably way more important. If the first vote on your image is a 1 star, don't sweat it, a troll or a vote because the person feels it doesn't fit the subject of the week.. whatever, who cares and move on... But if after 40-50 votes, it's still in the 1-2 range. it's just as important to look at your own image with an open mind and ask yourself why it would be. (obviously.... helpful and constructive comments on the images would help with that)

It would help a lot more if people commented more on pictures too. I wish I could have 20 comments telling me everything that is wrong with my pictures rather than 20 votes that in the end aren't that useful (except
like you said to make you realize that a picture you thought was great might actually not be that great)

True, it would be.
Perhaps they can include comments in the live episode. That, besides the stories/description and rating of the image, they also look at the comments that are left by the community on the image, maybe adding a nice addition of topics/discussion with the images.

perhaps that would encourage the leaving of (constructive) comments.

Can’t disagree Steven, my issue was around the speed that a rating was given, the fact it’s one star just confirmed the silliness

I'm very new to Fstoppers and I just discovered that the only way I can see a picture's rating (other than my own) is to click on a rating star.

Do I want to rate a picture 4 stars because I like the picture and then find out that everyone else has rated it much lower because they didn't like the image subject, the construction of the image, etc.? Do I want to rate an image 1 star because I found the subject boring or I thought the verticals and horizontals were out of whack (even though that might truly represent the subject?

In a way, it makes sense to hide ratings because you don't want people to think, "Well, everyone else is giving it a 2, so maybe I should, also." If people included comments about why they gave a particular rating, it would help those who are still learning.

As an example, I uploaded two photos to my portfolio: one shows the picture the camera saw and the other what I thought I should see after viewing it on my PC. Which of the two breached whale pictures would/should be rated higher?

I'm not sure Fstoppers is the place for me, other than reading articles. Most of my photography is involved with whales, birds, baseball...things thagt move fast and don't leave time for me to change camera controls. WHile a lot of the pictures here are interesting, a lot of them are heavily reliant on post-processing. You can clump "fine art" into the Impressionists, the Cubists, the Dutch School, and so forth, but this site seems to treat all photography the same.

FWIW, the way the rating system is supposed to work:

1 - snap shot. Anyone with a cell phone could have taken the photo, no post processing besides a basic filter.
2 - Needs work before it reaches your portfolio.
3 - Solid portfolio image
4 - Outstanding, the quality of image you'd expect in a magazine or equivalent high level shoot
5 - World class, an image of rare quality.

The critiques can be harsh, but you might try posting to groups instead.

Strangely enough, I can read and even realize what "Click here" means when it is followed by "to learn about Fstoppers rating system and what each star value means."

And to take specifically 1-Star, which says in part, "no post processing besides a basic filter," and the numerous pictures I see posted that have been post-manipulated to show things that the camera did not actually see...features added, subtracted, lighting changed, and so on and so forth.

As I said, this might not be the place for me to learn, so I'll quietly remove my presence.

I actually missed that button entirely, I didn't realize they had it written out. I picked it up from their explanation on some of the critique videos, so I'd assumed that someone who hadn't watched enough of them wouldn't be familiar with how the system works.

Anybody knows when the CTC will take place??

I'm sure that SOMEONE knows, but sure I wish *I* knew! :D

Winners have not yet been announced. .... haha this contest is like American election

Obviously not a YouTube subscriber. LOL.

ha video is there? i will check =)

You sound like someone from Czech Republic.

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.