How To Photograph Real Estate and Vacation Rentals
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Nir Roitman's picture

Why fstoppers rating system isn't perfect and how to fix it...

I believe that lot of people trying to understand the rating system in this site, everyone probably got different opinions about it. I've saw how lee morris - one of the co founders of fstoppers explain his version at

as 1 star is snapshot and 2 is "Even complete amateurs who don't understand photography at all are capable of taking 2 star images from time to time" and etc...

but somehow i feel its not enough to keep it to the hands of the public. i know that in other portfolio sites\forums that i've been in - there is also moderation from the site that checks low scoring and such. somehow they also made a different power of rating per each user depends on his recent activity and things he did in the forum. that was a great algorithm that solved lot of problems in other photography site forum/portfolios. so people that usually giving low scoring for something that deserve more - got lower impact on the scoring and the opposite also.

Somehow i got used to idea that i seeing here 1 star on my photos or 2 starts (I'm not getting rated that much so i can do the math) but according to lee morris guide - i dont agree with the results. Because i've got only few people who rated my photos and some photos without rating at all than when i'm getting some result that i dont agree with - i'm re-uploading or sometimes deleting because i know that today i fall to the arms of some user that rating low. will the site management consider of giving an algorithm of defining users their rating powers?

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Nick B's picture

The thing that bothers people the most is when they get a one or two star rating and the person doesn't comment why. Which is 99% of the low ratings given. I don't know if the number of ratings would drop dramatically if you were to implement something forcing people to say why they gave a low rating, but I'd like to see it experimented at least.

Nir Roitman's picture

that's could be a great way. also will help others to know in what they can improve. Of course this will also lead to less lower scoring without any right reason.

Nick B's picture

Another approach if people are too shy to comment is, once they rate 2 or 1 star, to ask them to tick what could be improved between composition, lighting, post processing, focus, lens, etc...

Lee Morris's picture

Thanks for the comment. We have considered changing voting power based on a number of things and we may eventually do that but at the moment we are still trying to grow the photo section of our site as quickly as possible. If we forced everyone who rated a photo a 1 or 2 to comment, they simply won't rate images anymore.

Jeremiah Goodson's picture

Being new to the site, I didn’t realize there was a guideline for rating. I gave a 5 star to a photo that I was inspired by, and although, by the guideline it was a solid 4+, I gave it a 5 star because (in my opinion) it was a one of a kind shot. Truth be told, i haven’t even gotten a chance to upload anything and I’m a little hesitant to do so bc Im nervous about the rating system 😂.

Rating systems are opinions at the end of the day and unless there is a qualified/verified “board” of professional photographers rating the photos then the rating system falls prey to the same shortcomings as yelp or amazon.

I think it is awesome to get feedback and I dig the rating system as a community interaction element to the site, which I believe is the primary motivation for the rating system at this time.

Eventually, verified professionals and perhaps advanced users with pic of the day photos, etc. could get a second set of stars to vote on.

i.e. -

User rating ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Pro rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

bluerhino's picture

How about a block or mute option to use towards those who are harassing you? I'm willing to bet that a lot of people who have had a conflict with some petty people have had them come to their page to give them 1 star ratings.

I'm pretty positive I know of one doing it to me right this minute. Or how about making it where we can see who voted and what their vote is?

Why do they have to be anonymous?

I'm not saying we should have it where they are required to comment, but if we know its the same individual(s) doing drive by 1 star ratings, we could easily block them from seeing our material since they hate it/us so bad.

I don't mind getting 1 star ratings. I'm not a professional and don't sell prints. However, I would love for people to give me feedback on what I'm doing wrong, otherwise, what's the point in the rating system?

Here's an example that was rated 1 star (snapshot) with: 135mm · f/8.0 · 28s · ISO 400 Long exposure using bulb mode and an ND1000 filter.