Critique the Community


Submit your best image incorporating water for your chance to win a free Fstoppers tutorial.
  • Submission Deadline: Tue, 24 Jul 18 03:45:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • Congratulations to the winners!

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Almost every photographer should have an image that fits this weeks theme for Critique the Community. Submit your best photos featuring water below. 

Although our featured image is a landscape shot from Elia Locardi's tutorial, your entry can be from any photography genre as long as it somehow incorporates water in the image. Of all the submissions, we will be selecting 20 images to provide feedback to. If your image ends up as the highest rated image by the community, we will send you a free Fstoppers original tutorial. We will also be selecting one random entry to win a second free tutorial. 

Even if you're not uploading an image to the contest, we encourage you to take some time to browse through the submissions and offer some valuable feedback of your own. Please rate the photos fairly and make any comments helpful and encouraging. It's easy to scroll through each submission using your keyboard's arrows and numpad. 

  • Submission Deadline: Tue, 24 Jul 18 03:45:00 +0000

    This contest has ended.

  • Voting is closed.

  • 906 people have cast a total of 77,003 votes on 861 submissions from 561 contestants.
  • Congratulations to the winners!

    View Results


Is this contest one image per person or are we allowed to upload multiple images, like the last one? I don't see any clear numbers.
"Image" is singular in the instructions, but I've seen a few people uploading 2 images.

I am wondering the same thing. I see some multiple entries but from what I see the rules do not specify.

I also looked for an explicit rule but couldn't find one. I just assumed that it was the 2 image rule.

When I tried to upload a third, the system said that I am allowed just 2. I guess this settles the issue.

I just put one

If you are over your limit, you will not be able to add more. so you can keep entering until it wont allow you to any longer. I believe the CTC contests are typically 2 per person.

Thank you. I just wanted to make sure before uploading a second one.

Is there a way you can change the photo you submitted? If you want to submit a different photo?

Delete it and upload a new one.

According to the Elia Locard's tutorial, I found one of the photos add lights to the landscape, is this acceptable add "new elements" in which not exist in the real situation in this contest?

Case you didn't notice this is more a photoshop community than photography itself, so anything goes.

Is Photoshop not part of photography? I would say any kind of processing would be acceptable.

Everyone has differing opinions. I've seen some pros say they like to remove but not add. I've seen some amazing photos that would be 3 stars without photoshop. Personally, I think it either is acceptable, however, to me there is a line between a photograph which has been photoshoped (adding elements that could very well exist - adding light beams) vs what I'd consider digital art photography (surreal or unnatural additions - ex: a planet in the sky)

But hey, if it looks good, it looks good.

Jordan I agree with that. When it enters the world of fantasy then you could say it belongs in its own category.

Which is? I make composites out of images all that must be properly shot not just random auto shots

I think they're just upset because they have never given any thought to what constitutes art.

No one was acting upset about anything, just having a civil discussion on the subjecct matter. Why do you feel it appropriate to post some personal attack against them when (A) you don't know them and (B) there is no fricking need?...

If you're going to share an opinion, why not do it in a constructive way instead of accusing people to have never given thought to art. You do you know that noone was debating if photoshopping, compositing etc can constitute art, they were discussing where you draw the line between photography and digital art...

You're quite the snowflake, aren't you?

Being civil does not make one a "snowflake" plus it's a ridiculous, unoriginal comment reserved for self righteous pricks who, when they're called out on their bullshit have no reasonable or civil response... anyways I'd rather be a snow flake than a smug and bitter prick that takes thrills from leaving useless personal comments on an online photography community where everyone else is able to play nice and discuss opinions / ideas and critique photos... But good luck with your personality...

Being a snowflake makes you a snowflake. Your comment deserved no more substantive response.

But, if you had even half a clue, you would realise that a "personal attack" needs to be directed at someone. However, the truly interesting part is that you objected so strongly to my comment.

I'm guessing you are not the sharpest tool in the shed.

But sure, you can explain to me how as a society we are focussed on the aesthetic over the material, and that's why gear reviews struggle to get the same number of comments as posts about art.

No, you brought up a total non-sequitur with your "never given any thought to what constitutes art" comment, and it was snide and pointless.

Again, nobody is claiming that any of this is NOT art. It's all art. Nobody ever said it wasn't. Therefore, we don't need to discuss what constitutes art.

We're talking about what qualifies as a PHOTOGRAPH, and how this definition plays into photo contests, sometimes differently.

Non-sequitur implies this was a debate in the first place.

You're the only one here who wanted an argument; and the more you persist, the more inclined I am to give you one.

Never wanted an argument, only a direct response to an intelligent discussion instead of pointless trolling.

And yes, this was a debate, it was about the acceptability of Photoshop in this contest, among other things. None of which were, what constitutes art.

But since you're blatantly admitting that you're the kind of troll who just loves to argue for no reason, I'll stop giving you that pleasure now.

You keep telling yourself that. Whatever helps you sleep.

But in any case, I've made a stand alone comment; feel free to attack me under that.

You seem to be totally clueless to the emotional strength of your reaction says far more about you than it does about me.

Hey, I just remembered, you were that guy who was absolutely desperate for attention, and was too simple to see that there is a name at the top of each post indicating who the post author is responding to.

That really is pretty funny.

Shit man you're struggling so hard to find a reasonable response that THIS is what your comments come down to.... Take a break have a fucking snickers mate, you're not you when you're hungry ....

Oh, and while you're getting pedantic about what constitutes a personal attack, here's one fine example:

"...if you had even half a clue, you would realise..."

Oh, sorry, but you seem to have fromed a mistaken impression that I would desist from future personal attacks. I think you're as tumb as a box of dirt.

tumb? Who's the box of dirt?

Given that I'm typing blind, because I can't see the comment while I'm typing, I'm not feeling too badly about the fact there are typos.

"being a snowflake makes you a snowflake"... and you guess that I'm "not the sharpest tool in the shed"... bravo... I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed but you've went and shown you're not, just a tool!

"Your comment deserved no substantive response"... than why try and give me one? (you've not done a very good job by the way).

"But sure, you can explain to me how as a society we are focussed on the aesthetic over the material, and that's why gear reviews struggle to get the same number of comments as posts about art."......... Where on Earth did you pull this gem out from? did you actually read my reply? Man are you dense!

Cool. You done?

And no, I didn't read your comment, because I don't really care about this fight you are so desperate to pick. I was simply obliging you.

But by all means, if you want to keep going, we can do that.

For now, yes.

And I'm not at all desperate for a fight, I'm a busy man with better things to do in my spare time but seeing this is a public forum where I use my real name I will of course defend myself and call you out on your bullshit.

It's so pointless with you though, you're replying to comments you haven't even read, what the hell man, grow up.

PS. If you didn't want to keep it going and if you really didn't care, you wouldn't have started a whole new comment thread at the bottom of the page to keep it going...

Of course not; that's why you keep coming back.

This is awesome.

PS. I know this may be difficult for you to grasp, but I commented down the bottom because I could no longer read what I was typing, or your responses.

Fights are so easy to come by on the internet, why would I be desperate for one?

What's awesome?

PS. Another personal stab when you know nothing about me... you can literally just google my name and see I'm not the dumbest hick in the trailer park...

PPS. shrink the screen width and the comments appear normal again, no need to completely take over this comment thread.

For me there is clear diference between photography and graphic design. So making a long story short: Photoshop is NOT a part of photography.

Just so I'm clear, you assert that the fact that I just corrected the white balance and contrast on an image means that it is no longer a photograph?

No, that is not what I mean. Digital cameras do it by them selves all the time if let on auto, and that is still photography. But when you start to do cut and collage of elements that are not there but they could be, that is no longer photography. In my own opinion that is important only to me. ;)

OK, so let's chase this down the rabbit hole. What if my sky is completely blown out, but the rest of the scene is perfect, and the only way I can get an acceptable image is by compositing in the sky from either a different exposure, or a different scene?

Here's the problem, this very much becomes a 'where do you draw the line?' question.

If you are looking for the line, that is the point where you just coressed it.
That photo with the "bad sky" was phography your photoshop composing turns it into graphic design. Again in my own opinion.

technically, if you do graphic design, you use illustrator and not photoshop, most of the time since made for that kind of thing. Probably for painting photoshop is better, but not 100% sure about that. If you shoot for a living and you expect your client to like a RAW file, you'r going to die broke. I shoot products, and even thou I spend time cleaning them spotless, there is not dust proof studio, so every time I have to clean them a bit. Does it fall under graphic design? Nope.
If we want to discuss the subject on a 'reality' point of view, photography is a medium that always distort reality. You can't take a picture of words, you can't take a picture of the whole scene and it's always an interpretation of the reality. You are already distorting facts. Erasing a blemish, a dust grain, changing a color or putting a different sky ain't different than just taking a picture of few elements you've selected from a scene.
Going deeper, our brain is the first filter; it alter reality. We perceive colors in different ways, we interpret scenes in different ways and our background determines what we will see first. As other said, both the extreme of no photoshop or extreme photoshop, are extremes and so 'wrong' but there are thousands of different shades in between. Neglecting those just makes your works poorer.

William, regarding the "rabbit hole" you chased down. (I backed up a notch on the discussion thread, because I don't know how to stop the Fstoppers Website from cramming these comments into an unreadable skinny column...)

It's really this simple: Certain things such as bracketing or stacking high-ISO images are only necessary because camera technology does not yet have the DR or SNR to allow the capture of that scene with a single click. Eventually, theoretically, we may never have to bracket anymore, at any ISO, and we may be able to shoot super-clean images at ISO 100,000.

Other edits are purely a fabrication of a moment that never happened. Swapping in a different sky entirely, for example, instead of bracketing the scene exactly as you witnessed it at that singular moment.

Literally ANY edit you can think of, will fall into one of these two categories.

Hey just thought I'd let you know if you want to get around the shitty, crammed comment thing this website does, you can "de-maximize" the window on your computer and drag the edges in to make it skinnier, at some point the page will reformat to a much nicer layout with the comments much easier to read.

Thank you, I thought I had tried it before but apparently I didn't "shrink" the page width far enough. This is much better. (Though the page now ~900 pixels wide, LOL.)

Yeah it's not a great solution, it works much better on FHD monitors than QHD / 4k but this problem with the website needs to be fixed!

Pedro, do you have access to an editing program, or unable to grasp how to get the most out of it? Usually photographers who are against editing are only against it because they can't do it, and see themselves falling behind.

Not the case here my friend, I have access to any software I wish. And as far as grasping it anybody can go on youtube and learn. It isn't that hard if you are honest. ;)
But I do see what you mean :D

A very false assertion, indeed. Literally ALL of the folks in the crowd of "let's keep photography and digital composite art separate, please" ...are experts at advanced photoshop techniques. I do complex retouching and compositing for my day job, actually, and one friend I am close to does CGI work for major movies.

The reason "we" prefer "purity" in our (landscape) photography is simply because we enjoy photography for a different reason besides "art for the sake of art". We enjoy photography as a documentation of a place and time, when all the elements alined beautifully. Seeing a (landscape) photo and being told that if you the viewer had also been there you would have not seen that rainbow/mist/thunderhead at all, it makes the "photo", well, pointless...

I was replying to Pedro's sentiment that Photoshop is not part of photography, period. Like, no curve adjustments, no cropping, etc. I'm not in the discussion of composites here.

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