The consensus of Contest refresh suggestion: let's take entries on the *main* site appears to be that taking the contest to the main site and attempting to expand on critique is something that we want to try. Given that, I propose this process for discussion:
To enter the contest, post to main site with a question using the tag contest-and-critique. Critique is a fundamental part of growing as a photographer regardless of whether you are submitting work or sharing your expertise. Because of this, your photo submissions must be accompanied by a short paragraph describing your process, what you like about the work, and, ideally, an area you'd like responses to focus on. Responses are free to expand beyond this but should include feedback on the submission's focus area.
Photo submissions not containing this text may be closed as unclear.
How to submit
Create a post using the Ask a Question feature on the main site.
- Use contest-and-critique and any other relevant tags.
- Start your post's title with "Weekly Contest: " and then provide a unique title for your entry.
- Include information about your photograph:
- A short description of how and why the picture was taken, and of your post-processing choices.
- Key elements of the photograph that make it a winning photograph — along with any flaws or parts you would have liked to work better.
- An an area you'd like feedback on. This could be lighting, composition, emotion, story, editing, or some other aspect of your work.
If you can't think of a particular area you'd like to focus on, concentrate your description on your view of your entry's strengths. Be aware that responses may disagree! While all feedback absolutely must follow Stack Exchange's be nice policy, part of the experience of critique is being open to hearing and learning from different opinions.
All submissions must be your own work. Note that your entry will be subject to the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license of this site. Please be aware of the full implications of that license. This sharing-focused license is important for the educational mission of this site and of the contest itself, but may not be what you want for your favorite work.
- Image must be inlined and uploaded with Stack Exchange's image upload feature. (Use the above the edit box when creating your question.)
- Image width must be no less than 538 pixels and no more than 804 pixels. This is because winning images will be displayed in the sidebar of the front page.
- Image height must be at least 180 pixels and not more than twice the image width.
- Feel free to link to a larger version of the image off-site for additional context and feedback, but note that the contest itself will focus on the image as submitted.
- Submissions must not have borders or frames
- Submissions must not have watermarks or any overlaid text
- You may enter one photo per week. This is on the honor system, but abuse will eventually earn a strong talking-to.
- Don't re-enter the same photo. If you would like additional critique on your image, request it through chat or add a bounty.
- You may edit your entry to fix problems or to add missing information, but don't switch the photo itself for a different one.
Rules for critique
- Please read How do I give someone a critique of their photograph? for an understanding of what we mean by critique and some pointers for how to undertake this process in a helpful way.
- Remember this site's expected behavior. "I don't like this" or "this is terrible" or similar (or worse) are not useful feedback. If that's your response to a particular entry, just decline to upvote and move on. Or, if you really want to say something, find a way to follow "This photograph doesn't work for me..." with why and what you think would help in the future.
- While Stack Exchange generally discourages pleasantries (like greetings and thanks), it is entirely appropriate for responses to include complements if you really like a submission — but "I love this!" without further detail is not helpful either. Such responses may be downvoted or deleted.
If you disagree with a response
It's okay to point out disagreement in a comment, but don't engage in back-and-forth arguments in comments. You can take it to Photography Chat — or post your own contrary view as a separate answer.
If you are the submitter and don't find a response helpful, do remember that all of this is just random advice from strangers on the Internet. If someone says something negative about a photograph you love, don't let it ruin your day. (Perhaps this satirical blog post imaging Internet feedback on famously important photographs will help: Great Photographers on the Internet — and also Part II.)
Voting and winners
Downvoting on photo submissions is strongly discouraged. The winner will be selected based on number of upvotes, not total vote score.
Critiques will be posted as answers and voted on as normal. We expect good, insightful critiques to rise to the top. The contest entrant may select a response they find particularly helpful as the accepted answer, but this is not required.
Photos for a particular week can be submitted between Sunday to Saturday of that contest week. The winner will be chosen by highest vote the following Friday. This way, images submitted at the last minute still have a chance to get responses before the votes are counted.
If no submissions occur during a week (or if no entries in a given week have upvoted responses), moderators may pick an older entry at their discretion.
Themes help us stay inspired as photographers by challenging us to think differently. Future themes will be planned out in a themes meta question and listed for all to see. Moderators will periodically select a theme from the list and announce it at least a week in advance. (Generally, they will select the highest-voted theme that hasn't been used, but may decide to repeat or to use inspired new ideas.)
What am I missing?