Critique the Community

Submit Your Best "Moody" Image

Critique the Community: Moody
  • Submission Deadline: Thu, 31 Oct 19 15:00:00 +0000

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  • Voting is closed.

  • Congratulations to the winners!

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It's time for another Critique the Community and this time we are going with the theme "Moody." Submissions can be anything from moody landscapes to dramatic portraits to upset children from a recently family portrait session. Whatever qualifies as your best moody image, we want to see it.

Submit up to two of your best photographs that capture the essence of moody for a chance to win a free tutorial from the Fstoppers Store.

The deadline to submit your images is October 31st by noon eastern time. Good luck and we hope to see some amazing image from everyone in our photography community!

  • Submission Deadline: Thu, 31 Oct 19 15:00:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • 788 people have cast a total of 64,862 votes on 1,070 submissions from 668 contestants.
  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results

Previous comments

Fuck it. I rated everything 5 stars. I didn't even look at them. Just set up a repetitive clicking motion with one finger on the arrow key and one on the mouse button. I think I got through 250 or so, but got bored. Sorry, but if you entered the contest early, you won't be getting a 5 from me.

This is just as bad as the people who rate 1s!

You're absolutely correct. Just as bad ... and just as neutral when they are added together.

I don't think calling out anyone on their ratings is really fair when the community as a whole has been asking you to update the system for an extended period of time. You seem to be missing Phillip's point.

What system would fix the ratings? We can see the highest rated image in the back end but users cannot so trying to figure out who is beating you so you can down vote them would take forever to figure out. I guess we could hide the community rating altogether until after the episode is released.

In the end, I feel like the top images still get rated the highest and those who give 1s are balanced by those who give 5s.

There have been two common threads through all of the extensive commentary - remove the anonymity and change the 1 rating to off topic. Sure there might be some initial termoil. However this is a site for professional discourse and allowing the community to self regulate is the only way to go. The professional level of this large community is what sets fStoppers appart from the pack. In the groups, inappropriate feedback is shot down by the community immediately. Here, poor behavior is protected by your decision to keep voting anonymous In a critique-based activity and your establishment of a scale that is missing a fundamental level.

Here are some basic suggestions:
1) Hold off voting until submissions are closed.
2) Use a ranking scale.
The current scale itself is an issue because the levels don't relate to each other in a hierarchal manner. They are categories not rankings. Rankings would be something more like:
1 - off topic
2 - bottom 30%
3 - middle 30%
4 - above average 30%
5 - top 10%
6 - winner

3) Put in a checkbox at the bottom of the rating description and make people acknowledge reading it prior to voting. Will this control unethical voting? No. However, a VAST majority of comments in these contest threads indicate that voters are subjectively applying criteria rather than using your scale.

Will any of this change voters' motivation? No. However, I don't believe the voting is motivated by underhanded tactics. I think better of us. I believe the issue is the system/framework you have put in place.

Why would you do this? That's not helpful to people who actually want critique.

Because why not? There are already dozens of people who give 1-star ratings to every image not their own. Do you think my 5-star ratings are going to change that? If anything, since I cannot rate my own photos, this hurts my chances. But I don’t care because the rating system is (obviously) so broken that none of this matters anyway.

Is it just me, or is there a lot of moodless portrait photography?

There are whole lot of people bitching in here but there are way more people that haven’t read what the ratings mean... not taking up for the flawed system one bit but take a minute to read what you should be rating people and what your rating should mean in the eyes of the community.

I think there should be a required check box in the rules that you have to check off every contest so at a minimum you need to open the explanation window. I agree that, while the scale needs updating, the application by voters is a bigger issue. People would need to make the effort to educate themselves and take responsibility though....

Rating is not accurate if it comes from people with learning or poor skills it just a personal taste. Your image goes viral on Instagram featured by reposting pages here u got a 2star. The best critics u can get is from top notch photographers but gotta pay for that like take workshops

They should increase the file size from 15mb to 25mb. Majority of my images are between 25-20mb.

Please take this as constructive (not criticism) but if you're uploading 20MB files, or even 15MB files, you may want to do a little reading on resizing & downsampling for different mediums. There's almost no reason to have a file that big on a website. I regularly export my images to 1080p (1920x1080) and those files usually take up less than 2MB, coming from 40MB RAW files that can wind up as 200MB TIF files (assuming flattened) after retouching in Photoshop. A 4K JPG is usually somewhere between 4-8MB. Any resolution higher than 5K is almost entirely unnecessary right now; even 5K dimensions are only useful for certain situations. Plus your images will actually look better if you take the opportunity to apply sharpening during the resizing process (which makes a huge difference).

I might need to read up on resizing for web. I mainly have files for print but I never actually did anything for web.

Resize to 2048px longest side. That is perfect for Facebook and web use and gives the best picture quality. It`s perferct size for the fstoppers site too. It`s just a couple hundred kb in size.

I'm not complaining about the ratings,, but if you give my image a 1 star I would at least like some constructive criticism on how to make it better. I mean it's not the greatest portrait I've ever taken but it's certainly moody, and I do have studio lights on the subject so i'm not sure how that falls into a snapshot. js

I agree. I have no problem receiving a harsh rating, but if the whole idea of a 1 is that you literally put no effort into the photo, then why would an image of mine, which has obviously had post processing work of some sort done, receive any 1's. I feel like it should be rare to see anyone getting 1's on here. Going through a lot of the images for this critique I only came across a handful that genuinely appeared to have had no thought put into them

Some people give a 1 if it is off topic.

I take the stand that if it’s off topic i just don’t vote on it. I agree my shot needed work, i shot it five years ago on a old 40d but it just seemed to fit this theme so much because of his expression.

Probably discussed a lot before - but curious - what are people's approaches to rating very good images but which (you may feel) doesn't fit the theme very well?

I give images outside the theme a 1.

And those are only 1’s I give.

And that’s honestly a fair rating for that.

Perhaps next time you could add a half page disclaimer on rules, examples and guidelines. Better yet, I think it's best if you limit the contestants to Lee, Patrick, Pye, Joey and Mike in the future because others can't seem to grasp the concept.

Hey everyone. I posted into this contest looking for some critism on what ive done right and what ive done wrong. Can the people who vote atleast tell me what ive done. Or can anyone advise where to go to get this advice

If you're truly looking for criticism, your best bet is to be part of the community and post into the groups as opposed to relying on the contests.

Thankyou Robert, I will look into this

I actually rated it and what bothered me most is that the eyes are just black, else it's a cute picture

Thankyou Felix. Is this a problem at the picture ? or can it be solved in post ?

i am sure you can correct that in post but I am super bad in photoshop and this stuff...

(Scratches neck out of desperation) “y’all got any more of those 5’s?” Lol.

The submissions for this CC have been my favorite since I started participating.

Great work everyone. A lot of top shelf work.

submission made!

I'll rate ya if you rate me :) lol

Hei, everyone!
I would like to know, what determines which images make "the finals"?

I think they are chosen at random.

thank you! :)

They're not chosen at random, they just select a wide selection of images, both good and bad, so it will be useful to review them for the viewers who want to improve. However during that selection process they'll tend to pick the ones that jump at them. I was selected once, in the pano contest, and I think it was because I was one of, if not the only black and white pano.

I see, thank you!

Generally, either Lee or David select them. The criteria varies - usually not pre-established.

got it, thank you!

If I might make a suggestion for the rating system (I'm sure this has been made before, but):
There should be the normal 1-5 for how good the image is, and then another 1-5, or maybe just 1-3 for how relevant it is to the theme.

Personally I think the moodiness conveyed should by far be the weighting criteria.This is an artistic theme, not a technical theme (e.g. portraiture, product photography, wedding, etc. may be more technical themes Those of course they also have artistic qualities, but technical qualities are critical).

Yeah I get you, and I agree. But the problem with their only being the one rating system is that, for example, say someone enters a happy playful image, and say it's an incredible image. Do I give it a 5 cause it's so good of a photo, or do I give it a 1 because it is the polar opposite of moody? And if I go with theme, then 1 makes sense, but 1 is defined as "snapshot", and it would be incorrect to call this image a snapshot.

Agree. The 1-5 should not be tied to the normal criteria. 1 should be "not very moody', while 5 should be "extreme moodiness", for instance.

Intent, could also be considered (was it just a lucky shot, or was it planned to be moody- goes towards skill level), but even then moody is moody whether it was planned or not.

I think the current system makes sense but is confusing to a lot of people. The way I see it is the system revolves entirely around your portfolio. The theme is the theme of the hypothetical portfolio. So, with 3 and above meaning it belongs in your portfolio... If the image doesn't meet the theme then it doesn't belong in a portfolio of that theme. In this case it would be a portfolio of moody images. As such with this rating system if the image doesn't match the theme then they should never get a rating above a 2.

I think that is better voting the images for what they are. If an image isn't in the moody theme then we should vote the image for what it is or not vote it at all. And the part to decide if it belongs to the theme should be on who picks the images for the review. That person should consider if that image belongs to the theme. Just my humble opinion :)

It could be even simpler:
Have the normal rating system and another option called "Not on topic"
If a post gets **% (after x amount of votes) or more of those votes, it will either be disqualified or put into revision for moderators to decide.

This would make the voting still fast and the numbers better because on- or off-topic doesn't affect the star-value anymore.

If I may add a sugestion to the pile it would be that if you give an image a rating of 2 or below, a box pops up asking you to post a comment otherwise your rating would not be accepted. Simple and effective I think. So someone who gives only one's and two's should explain why. Like I saw in a comment above, if you can't think of a reason for giving an image a 2 then that image is worth 3 stars for you. Sorry if is not a new idea.

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