Critique the Community

Seamless Background

Submit your best image taken on a seamless background for a chance to win a free Fstoppers tutorial.
  • Submission Deadline: Thu, 11 Apr 19 03:45:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results

Seamless backgrounds can be used to create a wide variety of images in the studio. Do you feel like you've mastered how to use them? Put your best work in front of the community now and see what they think. 

Over the next week, we encourage you to choose your best two images taken on a seamless background and submit them in this episode of Critique the Community. We will select twenty images from the submissions to provide feedback to on video. Two entrants will win a free Fstoppers tutorial. The first will be chosen based on the highest average rated community image and the second will be chosen at random. 

The goal of these contests is to give each participant the opportunity to improve their own photography based on the helpful and encouranging feedback of others. We invite everyone to scroll through the submissions and assign them a fair number rating based on the Fstoppers rating scale. The easiest way to do this is to use your number and keypad. You can also leave comments on each image when you see a particular way the image can be improved. 

  • Submission Deadline: Thu, 11 Apr 19 03:45:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • 422 people have cast a total of 31,891 votes on 362 submissions from 240 contestants.
  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results

67 Comments

David Moore's picture

The score needs to be worked over. lol. I mean NOTHING in this should be lower than a 2 (though people have submitted things that have no right to be in this lol).

But yeah, 2 to 3 is such a big chasm, there needs to be a change to the scale.

Raul Varzar's picture

I think they should also go through submissions and remove those that have absolutely nothing to do with the theme.

Crystal Johnson's picture

The vast majority of people voting are doing 1-2 stars under the assumption it will make their score higher, and win in the end. The rating system needs to be reworked, but I doubt it ever will.

Ian Fraser's picture

It’s hard to make a simple system that is still accurate. It would be nice to have ratings based on the composition and structure of an image. At the very least it would give the creator more info than a bad star rating to go by if there is no comments to help critique

Crystal Johnson's picture

It's been an issue for years, and people have complained about it. Because vote sniping is something that does happen. They need to either list the votes of everyone or require feedback for anything under 3 stars.

Tavita Tata's picture

You may be right, but I don't see how you can force people to vote their conscience. As long as everyone is rating low equally the ratings should be mostly accurate relative to each other albeit lower overall. The more people either target or vote chaotically the more the system breaks.

Crystal Johnson's picture

It's not accurate though. It does not level the playing field by bringing down all numbers, when people actively target certain photographers.

Ian Fraser's picture

I think it would be nice to require some criticism to a negative review. I know a lot purposely down vote but a lot would not vote at all if they had to write something to make their opinion count.

Chase Wilson's picture

For every contest, entrants can be assigned a point value.

1 = -2
2 = -1
3 = 0
4 = 1
5 = 2

Initially, the points can simply show up next to a submissions's photographer's image - as a way to show if this user is negative filling other entries. And then a judgment can be made as to wether or not to throw that submitter's entry(s) out of the running.

In the future you could use these values to algorithmically add weight for a user. If the user just assigns photos 1's, then their vote counts for much less, then someone with an even spread of 2's-4's. You would have to grade these points on a curve though – as there are a disproportionate amount of bad photos compared to the good. So realistically, you need to expect to see users choosing a relatively higher amount of 2s & 3s than 4's and 5's.

Again, this can all be sorted out algorithmically. And showing a user's vote score card or karma should keep the fraud down some.

Alex Reiff's picture

Realistically, I don't think the rating system is ever going to change. With the amount of videos already out there using the current rating system, and I don't even think they explain it in every video, changing the system now would definitely cause confusion.

Nick Viton's picture

Another idea might be to display WHO gave you what score.
Perhaps if folks were held accountable for the scores they dole out, they'll be less likely to score low.
You'd also be able to see who consistently gives out low scores.

Amos Roy's picture

I think Art is just subjective and people tend to be much more critical of others than themselves. Speaking for myself (I'm very amateur) it's mostly 3s, but if there is just an element in the photo that bugs me or I just don't "get it" it is naturally gonna be a 2. I think it should just be expected that way in something like this. I think I will start being more liberal with the 4s and 5s though cause you all are really good photographers.

George Popescu's picture

Yeah, most people don't know how to rate photos properly and the theme of the contest is so wide open that people can just rate however they want.
The chances of a photo being a 5 on here as per the rating definition are slim to none, it would have to be a photo that was published in some famous magazine or won an award to actually get a 5.
Getting a 4 is easier but even then the photo should be technically flawless, even if the subject matter is not a 4.
For a 3 the photo should be well done and the subject matter should be good.
To get a 2 it means that the photo is not technically good, or it is but the subject matter is not interesting.
As for a 1, basically you took a bad photo technically of something not interesting or appealing at all. Such as a fence in the middle of nowhere or a photo of a person that you know, but he/she is not interesting to anyone else and the photo is bad technically.
So, are there many 4 photos in this contest, nope maybe 2 or 3, are there any 5's in this contest...maybe 1. There are a few 3's as well but most of them are 1's or 2's as I said before.

Ryan Luna's picture

Yeah, but then you just have sour apples that vote 1 just to be dicks. I don't have any 5 star images, but I do have some 4 stars and many 3 star images. Recently, I posted an image to my profile. First vote was 3 stars, I knew the second vote was 4 stars because my rating on two votes was 3.5. A third vote on the image dropped my average to 2.67. LOL....yeah buddy, it's a 1 star image for sure. sour apples.

Jerome Fuda's picture

I am fairly new to this platform and my mo means a professional top notch photographer but I agree that some folks are being dicks just to be dicks. I know I don't produce 5s or even 4s and thats a goal I am working on. But rating stuff at a 1 when its clearly not a snapshot is bull. Rate it a 2 and explain what could be done better.

James Morris's picture

Your comment made me laugh, only because something similar just happened to the one I submitted. Whilst I'm new to FS, the critique the community feature is what got me to sign up as watching their YT videos made me question the work I was making, whilst it seems ok for clients they seemed to love it and give me great feedback, in the wider photo world I now think it's under par and critiques are the only way to improve as it's too easy to get stuck in your own bubble and hard to spot your own mistakes, shame it seems ratings are bit warped as it makes a good indicator for what is working and not.

Ruth Carll's picture

It seems like, during each contest, there is bickering between voters about voting. The real issue here is the scale. If everyone entered a comment directed at fstoppers requesting a changing in the scale, perhaps this would all go more smoothly. Perhaps 1-off topic/snap shot, 2-on topic but just ok, 3-really nice, 4-great work. Sure more people might tie at the end but that could be solved with a drawing from top scores for the prize. Regardless, the scale is the primary issue. Fstoppers made the scale. Direct your thoughts to them. You can't make people who vote for self gain change but you can ask the site to improve.

Bobby Wood's picture

I honestly think the whole scale tho g is ridiculous I think it should go on the most votes as in other contest.

Amos Roy's picture

what about breaking up the rating into categories... so you have to rate 1-5 on things like composition, originality, difficulty, lighting, I don't know what categories, but then you're ratings are composed into one score.

Chase Wilson's picture

How about a "Cinematic" critique the community?

Ruth Carll's picture

Not sure if the Fstoppers platform can do this but on GuruShots, there is a report "off topic" function. If some number (say 3) people mark it off topic, a question is placed on the photo asking "Is this off topic?" and if another certain number (say 3) people click yes, it is removed. That means that 6 people would have to agree that it is off topic and that protects it from people who would vote for their own gain. Just a thought.

George Popescu's picture

Well, I can be transparent but that won't help anyone. I voted on all the photos so far, I gave one a 4, about five of them a 3 and the rest were all 1s and 2s.

Tavita Tata's picture

That's pretty conservative. There's more than 5 3's.

Crystal Johnson's picture

Pretty common here it seems. How do you rate your own work compared to other people? Do you think yours are a 3-5 star?

George Popescu's picture

Doesn't matter how I rate mine, since I can't, only other people can.

Chase Wilson's picture

I rate yours 1’s and 2’s.

George Popescu's picture

Good, I hope it brightens up your life!

Crystal Johnson's picture

That's not the point of why I'm asking. You're rating peoples work 1-2 *'s what reason? The vast majority are more than a 2*. So, the only reason you'd be 1*ing things is because you either feel your work is better, or you think it will somehow boost your score in the long run. Which is why I ask how YOU would rate your own work.

George Popescu's picture

That is the point, why are you trying to start a fight? It doesn't matter what I think about my images because it doesn't pertain to the point of this contest since I can't possibly rate my own images.
This may come as a surprise to you but I don't rate images 1's or 2's because I think my work is better or because it would boost my score...both sound very childish reasons and the latter may not even work the way you think it does.
Actually I don't even remember what photos I submitted to this contest.
My original point is that most of the photos are just not that good to deserve a 3 or especially a 4. Why is that so hard to understand?

Ruth Carll's picture

Agreed. There are also other reasons to give 1s such as if you consider the image off topic. People's motivations are not always so childish or self serving as people here seem to think. It is egocentric to assume that poor scores are someone else's fault (the voter) rather than yours for a sub par image.

Tavita Tata's picture

I count 2 4's and about 10 3's conservatively. There's about 100 entries at this point.

George Popescu's picture

Yeah, not that many entries deserve a 4 or even a 3 actually.

Artem Pokhylko's picture

Is it possible to get at list full 4 stars here? lol
Feels like a lot of people rate photos 1star just because they jealous. And I am not talking about my photos. There are so many good works are rated 3. Lets be more respectful and help each other to get better.

Nathan Godwin's picture

I love the banter between everyone here. It is absolutely hilarious, people seem to be taking some of this far too seriously.

I finally entered one of these, doubt I will win anything (Macro image of a spider), however, I thought I would just do it for a little bit of fun and just because. If people want to rate my images a 1 or 2, so be it.

Some really nice images in this set.

Ryan Luna's picture

Not sure why I didn't think of this before, but the score should not be average, it should be median. This would probably better represent a true score.

Ivo van der Ent's picture

How would that be better? If an image gets 10 2-stars and 5 3-stars it would just be an end result of 2. While the average now is 2,33 which says a lot more. Median is only smart when in a large range of numbers you want to cut out a small sample of extreme ratings that skew the average. In a range of 1 to 5, no score is rare and extreme. Also, a median would result in all scores being rounded to the nearest whole amount.

Ruth Carll's picture

Agreed. But it shouldn’t be average either as someone could enter at the end , get 2 or 3 votes and, if one is high (say a 3 and a 4) and win with a 3.5. I’m not a math whiz but it seems to me that there must be a weighting equation for score vs total votes cast overall. Maybe this is already the case.

Ryan Luna's picture

How about removing all the 1 star votes from an image if the average with them is 2 or higher. So if someone has 100 votes and 10 are 1 star votes with the preadjusted average being 2.6, then do a final average removing the 1 star votes, and maybe their average jumps up to the 3s. I don't know, it's not an exact science.

Michael Grauerholz's picture

New guy here, really just participating on hopes of getting a random tutorial one day. On the site as much to identify some of you so I can follow on IG/FB, and I find the general photo info/tut’s here to be on par with the best I’ve seen.

With regard to voting, I’ve received excellent real world feedback and IG likes & follows from working photographers as good as any here on my images currently in the 2-2.25 range. Maybe I’m over confident and those other folks were overly gracious & maybe I’ll learn that through this process. That isn’t something to be afraid of though, if that’s the case. Either way though, Internet points have no value. Whaddya gonna do? Pay rent with ‘em?

I wouldn’t share here if I didn’t think it was a 2.5-3. It’s good to remember though, The Internet: ‘tis a silly place.

Thanks Fstoppers for the sandbox and the great site-wide content! Hopefully I’ll see you around.

James Morris's picture

I feel the same as you being 4 or 5* on FS doesn’t means anything to clients, I generally get good feedback and have a high client return rate although I think I average 2.5 on FS. When I look at an image and rate it, I do so based on if I think it should be in “their” portfolio as that is what the rating system is sort of trying to indicate. Also I don’t see a 2* on this site as a negative as such, more an indicator to what works and doesn’t (feedback would be appericated when someone has a constructive feedback to improve on 4* and less to get it to next level). Either way ratings should be taken with a pinch or salt, most photographers don’t know about all genres (I know I don’t) and what makes a good image in each genre and on flip side clients are generally not photographers so their opinion and expectations are different but should also influence what photo should be a in a portfolio or not.

Nick Cooper's picture

I fully agree with you. But I doubt you will get that in this type of thing. One of the photos I uploaded to this critique got a 1. I checked back and it was a 1.5 with like 5 votes on it. First off you cant have a 1 already in the studio with their system. Also The image in my mind was at least a 3 star image.Its not the most amazing thing ever. Its not perfect posing but its at least portfolio ready. But I got 3-4 1's.

Chase Wilson's picture

I rated all of these on a curve. Cause your right, the standard scale doesn’t really work here.

And the 1’s I voted for were either not on seamless, or technically terrible. As a result, almost everything else is a 2-3. Some select 4’s. Albeit rare.

I put yours as a 2. And the ones I uploaded, according to my curve, I rate as a low three, and a mid 2. My 2, there was absolutely no reason for taking the picture. Yes she’s pretty. But she’s not doing anything of significance. The light, while technically it’s fine, is still uninspiring. I would put the image you uploaded in the same category. The three I uploaded (my scale), was planned, with wardrobe picked, and model assigned to the shot. And it was specifically trying to achieve an aesthetic, with technical lighting.

Both of my uploads are sitting graded at 2.7, which I find interesting - since I find one a whole point better than the other.

But I said before, that this group would rate a Vermeer a 2, and a Bob Ross as a 4.

Bobby Wood's picture

I totally agree with everything you said and did , I also think a curb grading is better. Being honest what did or would you give my two?

Chase Wilson's picture

Flower thing a 3. Although I’m not convinced it’s against a seamless backdrop. The headlight a 1. Cause I’m convinced it’s not against seamless.

If by some miracle it’s on seamless, I’ll change it to a two.

Bobby Wood's picture

Yes they actually both are, the head light was shot out side standing up right quarter panel off an old 88 rocket Oldsmobile, and since it was black I had a friend of mine hold up a piece of cardboard I had painted black to fall in with the light! The flower thing you call it was tall grass I had cut, brought inside and put in a small Glass, then I had sat it down on a plane white sheet of paper, with natural lighting coming in from outside shooting straight down looking at it, then used a 360° editing software to achieve the look I wanted! I'll use all sorts of tips or tricks to get the shot wanting or trying to create, this is why I love challenges and contest.

Chase Wilson's picture

Changed the headlight to a 2. Make sure when you're shooting shiny surfaces, that you're cognizant of the reflection, and the story it's telling.

user-229877's picture

I love the grass, but there's is terrible color banding from the upper left to the center... Currently 2, could be a 4 with proper editing imo

Garrett Cox's picture

Personally..(Based on the rules) the only one stars are images that are off subject. Their should be an admin to disqualify them other than that it should basically start at two..BUT You could still give a one but your name goes on the pictures comment section or info.. If you give one you should have to explain it.. I only started fstoppers for courtiqe the comm. And the community itself. Courtiqe is kinda a disappointment . It isn't a fair system. Just a thought ...

Garrett B. (J.B.)to everyone who.
knows me.. That's my rant.. Ty

user-229877's picture

Honestly I agree and 1 is usually for off topic or an actual snapshot (which I don't understand why they are submitted), but this contest is terrible!!! I couldn't bring myself to vote 2 on most of the poorly set up shots.... So I refrained from voting. I'm not trying to be rude, but these are awful and I didn't enter bc I forgot so it's not about down voting.

Maybe there are some good, but at 150 I have up bc these shouldn't even be entered here. I do believe in showing your work while learning, I just think fb is a better place for that. It was one thing last week when almost every entry was created for the show. Not many have tech pics they perfected lying around. Yet last week was still better.

I honestly think if it were just the high quality photographers there would be less trying to down vote, but that's not fixable. They clearly try to make it a professional culture and fail. I think mostly bc they don't rate like professionals.

Bokyy Ri's picture

Why not just change scoreboard from 1 to 10 ... much more accurate.... Images that are so closely rated now, would be more accurately separated, people would have more space to decide where each picture belongs...

Example:
Heavily cropped moisted ingrown toenail with early stage fungus growing beneath it would be grade 1

and I don't know... Picture of donald trumps hair captured so amazingly good, that people all over the world wants to have that same haircut, going maad!!
Powerful picture like that would be pure grade 10... With a plastic cherry on the top, bought from the top rated chinese seller on ebay

aaand picture of nice lady on a balcony, her skirt in motion propelled by light breeze from underneath would be ... eeemmmh.. Would be grade 5
Add some moisture and old rusty balcony fence paint, sticking to her hands while she straddles it.... I will stop here.

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Contest Submissions

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