Critique the Community

Photos With Birds in the Frame

Submit your best photo with a bird in the frame for your chance to win a free Fstoppers tutorial
  • Submission Deadline: Thu, 23 May 19 03:45:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • Congratulations to the winners!

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To play off some of the recent trends that have arisen in the Fstoppers competitive shoot out videos, Pye Jirsa has called for an episode of Critique the Community highlighting "portraits with birds." Since portraits with birds in them are probably not very common, we're broadening the category to include any image that has a bird in it, though we'd prefer a portrait with a bird in it if you have one. 

Between now and May 22nd at 11:45PM EST, you can submit up the three images that fit the category. We will be selecting 20 images to provide feedback to and of those, two entrants will win a free Fstoppers tutorial. The first winner will be chosen based on the highest average community rated image and the second will be chosen at random. 

Once you've submitted your images, please scroll through the rest of the images and give them your own critiques based on the Fstoppers rating system below. If you see an area where an image could be improved, we encourage you to leave helpful and positive feedback for the photographer. 

  • Submission Deadline: Thu, 23 May 19 03:45:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • 430 people have cast a total of 28,524 votes on 551 submissions from 324 contestants.
  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results

57 Comments

Ruth Carll's picture

Mininalism, macro, wildlife, abstract, surealism, night shot, motion/panning, black and white, tilt shift, long exposure, emotion, ... portrait with a bird? Ug.

Pictures with birds... That's all I had. Sorry!

Nick Viton's picture

What's the problem?

Ruth Carll's picture

Just hoping for something a little different. I understand that it has been broadened to birds in general. Portrait with a bird 'preferred' is still a bit tight. I'd personally like to see a less person-oriented topic come up soon. There are many other forms of pro-photography. Photojournalism for example. Or technique-based like double exposure. Just my opinion. It's all good.

Stephen Scully's picture

A funny thing, the marking in the contests seems very harsh with not many getting above a 3. Strange that you search your images for something that suits the criteria and then have anonymous "experts" say that you should not put it in your portfolio.
Truth is I didn't, it was the only shot I had of a monkey eating a sandwich

Ruth Carll's picture

I feel your pain. I'm not sure why the contests are like this. You can have a solid 4 in your portfolio that you'll be lucky if it get above a 2 here. In past contests people would say that they think voters vote low to boost their own entry. I don't think this is the case. At least i hope it isnt. This is just for fun!

There have been proposed changes to the scale during almost every contest. Not sure why there isn't a response. The descriptions of each level could be as simple as:
1. off topic
2. unsuccessful, considered bottom 33%
3. solid effort, average, considered middle 33%
4. great work, considered top 33%
5 winner

Chase Wilson's picture

Portfolios benefit from selection bias. The people who looked at your portfolio were prompted to do it for some reason. More than likely because they saw a picture they liked. So if someone rated a picture on your portfolio, they’ More likely to be a favorable viewer.

Open forums like these contests aren’t favorable to anybody in the same way. This sites community skews towards landscape and some light commercial photographers. As a result those images tend to score higher than others, due to the more favorable audience (not by much though). You can see the evidence of this skew by the fact that there’s 3-count “Photographing the World” videos.

Finally, FStoppers is a business that’s responsible for at least three lively hoods. They get revenue through two types of products: Tutorials, and our attention. Their more attention they can get, the more valuable their platform is. Since CTC’s turned out to be a hit, they have an incentive to increase the community engagement on them. That being the case, putting any kind of barrier to entry is a disincentive to the platform. You’re better off (as a platform) taking off topic submissions and having the staff not select them, than you are trying to reduce the engagement. The way it’s currently structured is more on the honor system, and they’ve said as much. The problem you’re experiencing is that a community’s honor is inversely proportionate to its size.

Personally, I’d rather the platform be stronger, and see babies in baskets in a architectural photography contest, than have a weaker platform with pure contests.

Ruth Carll's picture

Interesting and thoughtful. I don't think i implied restricting entering. I also am not clear why having a clearer rating system would hurt. I think there would be increased involvement instead of decreased if the voting felt more valid. Regardless, i appreciate your perspective.

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

Is this a comment or an essay?

Ruth Carll's picture

I thought I'd give the contest some time to settle in while I thought about your comments. I have to say Chase that I don't think the evidence supports your thought that the viewers of profiles are just 'more favorable'. The votes in the contests simply do not accurately represent the scale.

I am not complaining about the votes on my images! I am just using my own as an example. The photo of the two swans on a dark background is not a winner. This isn't my wheelhouse at all. However, you simply cannot rank it a 1. It isn't off topic and, if nothing else, it is edited. It should be a 3 because it has "the basics: composition, color, focus, subject matter, and postproduction" AS SHOULD MANY OTHERS HERE BE.

Because I tend to think the best of people, I have to think that the scale criteria is too unclear rather than that voting is based on some strategy for self gain.

You say that getting the most people participating helps keep this ship afloat. Well, this is voluntary and therefore needs to be a relatively positive experience or why continue? I still believe that fixing the scale with INCREASE participating rather than decrease it.

Terry Waggoner's picture

I for one, think having "themed" contests for Fstoppers is funny as images are selected that don't bear any similarity to said "theme"

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

The rating system is broken imo... because the people who rate are the people who submitted so naturally most of the participants are going to rate low score. It's stupid rating system.

Chase Wilson's picture

It’s not a contest.
It’s content with a prize.

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

Content with prize, what?

Terry Waggoner's picture

Respectfully.......why does Fstoppers have it listed under contest..

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

Damn why didn't I ask him that. I think you broke it...

John Nicholson's picture

yea, most people who are voting I think go out of their way to shit on most submissions purposely. I don't think the community vote means much.

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

Voting should be done by people who aren't participants of the contest. It's retarded system imo...

Lukasz J's picture

It's not a bad idea, but I wonder that it would be 3 votes per photo that way.

Jordan McChesney's picture

If you haven't already, you should check out National Geographic's "YourShot" website. They have "Assignments" with themes that are much more abstract like "My Home" and "What is Family?".
There's no voting, so it's not quite a competition, but a selection of photos usually get chosen for a story on their website.
The photos are also much different from here. They don't accept anything that's been heavily edited or anything that has had elements added or removed from the image. They would definitely get 1 or 2 star ratings here at best, but they tend to focus more on stories and documentation.

Willian Gomes's picture

It's a different theme for a contest. Maybe unusual, but really diferent.

David Perman's picture

I would have to agree that this was an unexpected topic.

Jay Sullivan's picture

The theme was rather vague, birds in the frame. Does that mean the bird should be the focus of attention? If someone submits a great photo but the bird is insignificant, do you rate the photo on it’s merits or do you pan it because the bird is not the center of attention? Just wondering.

David Perman's picture

I would rate the images on overall quality. The subject was confusing to many, so I wouldn't hold that against anyone.

The theme is a potrait of a bird or the bird as the main subject. If I see a photo of a car and a little bird in the backround, I give it 1star, no matter how good the car looks.

Adriano Brigante's picture

Clearly, you didn't undersrand the theme. "Photos with birds in the frame" obviously implies that the birds don't have to be the main subject.

Terry Waggoner's picture

Honestly, I don't believe anyone understands the themes............including Fstoppers.

Portrait of a bird ? What didnt I understand ?

Nick Viton's picture

Strictly speaking, the initial theme was supposed to be "Portrait WITH birds", not "Portrait OF birds". However, it doesn't matter now, because it was changed.

Adriano Brigante's picture

The title if this CCLTC wpusode is "PHOTOS WITH BIRDS IN THE FRAME"... Dude, do you even speak English?

If I speak English ? What is ur problem ?

Ruth Carll's picture

Adriano - tone it down a notch ok? No need for this.

Adriano Brigante's picture

Ok, sorry, let's start over. Samir, what I'm asking is quite simple: Do you understand that the title of this CTC is "Photos with birds in the frame"? Do you understand that the theme is NOT "portrait of a bird"? Do you understand the difference?

Just looked at the last episode of fstoppers, and ur right, I got it wrong, he said portrait with birds in the frame. Damn.

. . sorry, but you are wrong: last episode of fstoppers "Wedding Photography", second 53: ". . .well let´s say birds . . .birds, you got a picture of a bird -- THAT´S the next critique, go to the link in the description. . . .."

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

Yeah I agree with you... so many better themes to choose from.

Ty Levey's picture

If you don't have a solid bird shot in the archive, go get one. Seems like a fun challenge that'll get plenty of people outside.

Ruth Carll's picture

Hey, i was wondering when you might pop in! Just me again?

. . before any confusion comes up as to whether this has to be a picture with a bird or a portrait with a bird, I urge everyone to watch the first 40 Seconds of the critique from the last contest "wedding photography", where Patrick and Pye Jirsa make it very clear as to exactly they expect to be submitted. . .

Michael Kormos's picture

I noticed the same amongst submissions. Portraits OF birds, or portraits of people with birds in the frame? I know it's the latter, but in a world of 3-second attention spans, most people read the first half of the headline and act concurrently.

. . actually it´s not the latter "people with birds in the frame" but they finally settled on "any image with a bird".

Michael Kormos's picture

Oh well. If they want bird photography I have no chance against all these bird pros. I suppose I’m the one who misread the title.

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

Why the hell do I get notifications for each comment on this comment section?

Terry Waggoner's picture

Because you commented on it...........it thinks you want to know of any additional comments......

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

No no, before I made any comments at all I got the notifications.

George Popescu's picture

Got my photos in for this contest, I didn't participate in the other one because I don't have any wedding photos. Unlike other people I don't post off topic photos and then complain when I get 1's for ratings.

David Perman's picture

I suppose not too many people have photos in this category.

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