Critique the Community

Submit Your Best "Action" Photo

Critique of Action Themed Photos
  • Submission Deadline: Sat, 25 Jan 20 03:00:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • Congratulations to the winners!

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We want to see your best images that capture "Action"our next Critique the Community. 

Between now and January 24th, you may submit up to two of your best images of "Action". We will be selecting a total of 20 images to give feedback to and two entrants will win a free Fstoppers original tutorial. The first winner will be decided by the highest average community rated image and the second will be chosen at random. Please note that we want to see high quality pictures and will probably overlook anything that looks like a snapshot. 

Once you've uploaded your submissions, we encourage you to scroll through everyone else's and give them ratings and comments of your own. Please keep feedback encouraging and helpful. 

  • Submission Deadline: Sat, 25 Jan 20 03:00:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • 530 people have cast a total of 41,298 votes on 609 submissions from 394 contestants.
  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results

36 Comments

Tom Beckman's picture

My photos aside. There are some amazing extreme sport photos in here that are being rated so low. Seriously brushing the edge of world class extreme sports photos. If you're a portrait photographer coming here and rating these epic photos with a 1 star go kick yourselves and do a little research. What you think is a terrible photo is exactly what we get paid for. Like I said not necessarily talking about my photos. There are definitely better than mine with very low ratings.

Dylan Zoebelein's picture

Completely agree, it's amazing the photos that people have taken. Very motivating to improve my own work. I am just rating everything higher than I normally would to help offset the "1 star" people.

Rocky Ehrich's picture

Me too. I give so many 5's, just help push good photos from 1's to 2's. Obviously lightings, composition, contrast, color, etc., are all important, but I think the most important element in an ACTION shot is the 'decisive moment', which I feel gets completely ignored here. Most of these images are editorial in nature, not commercial, but everyone votes with commercial in mind.

Also, portfolio ready photos don't need to be perfect. I think when people see ONE flaw or ONE thing they would change, they immediately think, "this photo NEEDS WORK".

Warwick Cairns's picture

The rating system is a bit weird too. It says "In some cases the jump from 4 to 5 stars may be as simple as changing the unknown model in the picture with a celebrity or bringing in a set designer or stylist to make the image slightly better."

It seems to imply that what makes a good photo is set-design, celebrity models and heavy post-production.

I'm sitting here looking at a book of world-class images by the Magnum photographers. Pretty much every one of them would be marked down under that system. I can't imagine how Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and Martin Parr would fare here.

Tom Beckman's picture

As far as the jump from 4 to 5 I would agree that the subject matter is important. 4 is excellent and 5 is world class.
Though that is a very difficult thing when talking about extreme sports. One of the biggest names could be a complete unknown to any of the photographers on here.
I am disappointed that there are great photos in here that are averaging out at under 3 stars. Some under 2 stars.
I know the reason. Its because what other photographers think is good is honestly garbage in the actually business of extreme sports photography.

Andrew Williams's picture

I have to agree with all the above. Action can simply mean being in the right place at the right time and snapping that moment or it could mean sitting there for hours waiting for that moment and yet those same images side by side look the same. So the rating system is difficult for this genre. There are so many great shots. And remember the ratings are just peoples opinions. Doesn't necessarily make them right

Chase Wilson's picture

The bird shots are doing pretty well.

George Popescu's picture

As I said many times before, people just don't understand how to take photos, so they think a photo that was actually hard to take is easy to take and vice versa.
Such as my F1 one racing car photo, taken in the afternoon in the rain from behind a fence while they were zooming by at full speed.
It may look like it's dark or blurry or something but what % of people have actually taken or got a chance to take a photo of an F1 car at full speed in evening rainy conditions.
I have no idea how that photo is less than a 2, but such is life.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Could be simply the topic of cars itself. I believe a vast majority of photography sites visitors come for mostly portraiture, wedding, people in general. I get phone calls from schools wanting me to place an ad in year books, a team poster, etc. They get very offended when I ask why they don't contact lifetouch to place ads since that's who they use. Then I explain that I actually don't do that kind of work and I can hear frustration and lack of understanding. They can get very aggressive attempting to turn the situation around all the way to telling me it's also tax deductible. Basically they have decided in their mind that I should do portrait since I am a photographer. Now would they want a PE teacher give advanced math classes to their kids? Well, they are both teachers right?

Tom Reichner's picture

Benoit Pigeon said,

"Could be the topic of cars itself."

I very much agree with you. Personally, I have no interest in cars at all, especially those dumb looking race cars. For me to rate a photo of a car very highly, it would have to be something out-of-this-world incredible, because the cars themselves are so boring to me.

If it's just a picture of a car as it zooms around a race track, then I can't imagine ever giving it more than two stars.

Now, if it's a car at top speed with hug flames bursting out of the windows, and the driver in mid-air leaping out of the car for his very life, then I would give that 4 or 5 stars. But I don't see any of that world-class car action posted here ..... all I see are cars that are just doing what they normally do, with all 4 wheels on the ground, moving fast around a track. Meh.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

It's kind of portrait and wedding does to me. Some portraits are really nice, but the 1.4 close ups are somewhat hideous despite being extremely popular right now and selling lenses to the point manufacturers can run out of stock.
I get what you say, if you are not into cars, not voting them at all is very fair.
Not sure what is the thrill of a car crashing and how the driver burning or getting ejected at high speed can thrill any one. In fact, very few photographers can reach this at most race track as the spots where this is most likely to happen are typically restricted and require often special pass. You basically won't see these here unless the photographer works with a press stock agency and releasing such image here is most likely not going to happen. The reason you don't see such horrible scenes often is because first, safety has improved tremendously since the 50-70's era and two because car organizations would ban anyone who distribute such images. They are out there, I can tell you, but will never come out. You still have the movies. Check my profile, I just uploaded an image.

Adam Stevenson's picture

How long someone spent sitting in the rain, or the difficulty of the jump on a bike, or how many photos were stacked, has little to do with how good the photo is. It might make it mean more to you, the photographer, but not to anyone else. Someone else has recently uploaded a really good image of Red Bull F1 car that has real feeling and power, currently on about 3.5 stars.
https://fstoppers.com/entry/447415

George Popescu's picture

Yeah, I gave it a 4, if it was less dark on the bottom and bit more bokeh I think it'd be a 5 star photo.

Kristian Brynie Hollund's picture

I spent hours and hours taking my photos, that doesn't really make them any better. You know how hard it is when you've taken similar photos, but it doesn't make the photo a good photo no matter how much you sweat and endure, especially not unless the bio / description matters to the contest.But everything on fstoppers contests is probably rated at least 1 too low, just petty people.

Tom Reichner's picture

I agree about most photos here being rated too low. Unless it is a highly photoshopped or lightroomed photo of a human or a landscape.

For some bizarre reason, the community here seems to like images that are obviously photoshopped and that are a blend of photography and digital art, instead of pure photography.

But take an image that pretty much looks just like the scene did in real life, and it doesn't stand a chance here.

Thomas Wragg's picture

I do agree (and not just because I felt my own skate image was doing that badly I had a hissy fit and took it down!). Conclusion I came to was that some are more relevant to someone who does the sport. Plus I feel like there’s this pressure to add lighting even when it isn’t needed!

Tom Beckman's picture

I feel if something is more relevant to a niche then it should do even better. The rating system is based on the ability to make money on an image. Lee has said this so many times. Being in a niche market is the way to break out and make money.
Also in my opinion if lighting is added properly to the right image it is a better image. But that doesn't mean that a natural light image cant be just as good. Just has to be the right one. There is definitely one skate image in here that is absolutely world class quality and its at 2.9 right now. That's just wrong. The photo could be used to sell anything in the image. It would also be a great skate editorial photo.
Im not up to date on a lot involving who the pro skaters are at the moment but if the dude is pro then there's no question that it could easily be the cover of thrasher. Even shot vertical.

Thomas Wragg's picture

I don’t disagree with any of that, my point was that, particularly with skate photos, timing is crucial and getting that right alone makes something more than a snapshot in my view, but I’m not sure most here get that given the ratings! I just think that most here simply don’t know good skate photos (which is definitely not to say I feel mine was great!)

Tom Beckman's picture

Oh yeah timing is key when talking about any extreme sport. Especially bmx and skate. I do agree that most on here don't really know what's important when it comes to the photos. I actually started a group on here to try and focus on extreme sports in the hope that people that have the experience in this field would join and add good work to the group so people that migbt not know could go on and get a better understanding of what is actually a good photo rather than not.
Fyi If anyone is interested here's the link https://fstoppers.com/groups/242431/extreme-sports

Marc Castellanos's picture

I never got this community for real, if people are really downvoting to step on others and win the stupid tutorial themselves I highly doubt their image is that good...
But this is what happens every single time, there's not much we can do about it

Tom Beckman's picture

I really don't want the tutorial. I just want people to see my work. That's all I've ever wanted with my photos. It'd be cool to be in the fstoppers video just so more people can see it, but there really isn't a tutorial that even comes close to relating to what I do. If that's really what people do then that's pretty sad.

Tom Beckman's picture

I feel your photos are good photos but they aren't really action shots. They're environmental portraits. I have not voted on then for this reason. But I'm not going to vote them down.

Marc Castellanos's picture

At this point I don't really care about the rating on my stuff, in fact I wasn't even commenting about mine, but there's certainly very good photos out here that they get "unfair" rating.

Your reasoning of not voting non-topic related pictures is good, this is always a dilemma in most contests, I guess we all kinda have different points of view to one topic.

But again, that's now where my comment was targeted :)

Tom Beckman's picture

Yeah for sure I get what you were saying

George Popescu's picture

Yeah, and very often they pick the same photographers' photos for the top 20, instead of choosing new people all the time.
They even joke about giving the tutorial to someone who doesn't really need it.
It's just for shits and giggles and the random argument, not actually help people showcase their work or improve their work.

Giulio Roman's picture

To fix the rating system it would suffice to enable a new feature in the website: each personal profile has a metric called "average rating given". In this way all people who always and only vote 1 to everythig gets immediately spotted.

Ruth Carll's picture

great suggestion! and one that seems doable!

Blacklight Media's picture

This is why I took a long break from FStoppers. People are so busy criticizing and picking apart everyone's photos for the most menial of reasons.

What does the image say to you? Are images being picked because of snobbish pixel peepers or those who actually appreciate and love photography?

If that isn't the reason, kick yourselves out.

PETER VERI's picture

WOW! I have so much to learn. And I'm so old, I have one foot on a banana peel and the other one in a tomb!

Deleted Account's picture

The thumbnail of my photo (boat and wake) is very fuzzy for some reason. Not a good thing and will keep people from looking at it. You have to click on it to get a sharp image. Doesn't seem fair. Probably not an award winner so not critical but just saying.

Ruth Carll's picture

You can delete it and re-enter it. Maybe an upload glitch?

Gregory Scott's picture

Again, my technique in voting in this contest is to first just rate it as a photo. Then I add or subtract 1 or 0 according to how well it fits the contest criteria. Perhaps I should make this adjustment bigger. But to me, its impact as an image is most important.
FWIW, I still vote when I don't have an entry for the contest.

Paul Kister's picture

Just a reminder :
"I guess I thought it would be like sports but maybe action should be broader than that" - Patrick Hall

Nir Roitman's picture

Maybe it's an odd question, but here in fstoppers contests - how long it usually takes until Patrick and Lee showing the results after submission deadline? never found this info anywhere.

David Matthews's picture

I agree with all of you. It seems if you are not a national geography photographer your photo needs work before you even post it. I know my photos are not world class but if you are going to kill a shot that you can see a decal through the spokes of a wheel going 300 MPH and read nothing behind the vehicle with out saying, "Hey I cant see the drivers teeth through the helmet". Tell me why my photo needs work. This site has tutorials because people are trying to learn not because they are bored. If my photo sucks that bad give a little criticism. otherwise don't give me anything.

Michael Kokott's picture

Why can we still rate when the video is out already? :)

Contest Submissions

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