Is it just me, or do you not believe this also...?


Well-known Member
So, I don't know how many on here are active on Photocrowd, but for those who aren't or don't know it is a site that hosts various online Photography competetions, some run by reputable bodies (Camera Magazine, other Branded Photo competitions etc) but a number of them created by and run by members for "fun" :0)

So, final results can be decided normally by one or two methods: A crowd voting system, or Judge(s) picks (sometimes both).

The crowd vote works by a rating system, any member can rate any number of images in a given crowd vote contest (though once you have rated as many as you care to and opt out you can't rate further).

Rating is by a one, two or three star system or a "no rating given" option, points are then calculated by some dark art and final placings given.

Still with me?

Ok, I'll continue... so see the link below for the results to a recent contest:

Check out these winning photos on Photocrowd

I suppose for full understanding it is worth reading the Brief on the "Breig & Entries" link also.

Without me providing any suggestive bias at the moment, is there any thing that strikes you as amiss/out of place in those results?

Particularly ineterested to here from photocomp peeps on here (as well as others) as you lot have least proved based on winners on here that you all have some taste! @snerkler @Marika @icemanonline @AMc @rancidpunk @273K @shotokan101 @Simian Sibling @anyoneelseIhavemissedoff

Please let me know.

Scroll down for my opinion....

I can't understand how in month of Sunday's how those 4th & 5th (by the same person) place got those spots (espeically the 4th place one!) when you look at all the photo's placed lower (and for some way down).

I used this site and entered a lot of contests over the last couple of years, but I've never felt that away about undeserved places - so much so I felt compelled to mail the photocrowd dudes to ask them to check for any irregularities in the voting.

This is the response from them below:

"Thank you for your email regarding the results in 'Famous landmarks'.

There have been no suspect irregularities in regards to rating and voting, however it's useful to keep in mind that photography is subjective and that we have gone to great lengths to make sure that the results in the crowd vote accurately reflects the overall rating done by the crowd."

So, is this purely a subjectivity issue and there is much more apparent to others in those images that others are seeing, or is there something fishy going on...?

Love to hear your opinions :0)


Distinguished Member
Don't understand how it works but to be honest, in my present position, I really don't need ANYONE to tell me how good or bad, in their opinion, my work is!

Sorry to be negative but I like where I'm at in my life with photographs and photography..... Just be happy.



Distinguished Member
First of all, for 99% of those photos wow, wow, wow :eek: I'd love to be able to create shots like this, they are stunning. Of course, this has done no favours for my negativity towards my own photography :( ;)

Regarding those images that you mention, I agree that for me they are not in the same league as the others but then I can't say what other people find appealing.

It could of course be like the Eurovision where votes are cast on popularity ;)


I agree with you- they look like something I could do better than and, I’d go as far to say all of the others are better by some margin (although lots that are a bit over processed for may tastes).


Distinguished Member
Unless they are "watermarked", which these aren't, you don't know whose images they are, unless you, you know, know.
I don’t know how it all works tbh, but if there’s a ‘community’ then people will ‘know’ each other, like they do on most forums.


Distinguished Member
A few years ago I entered a cocker spaniel photo competition and was pleased with my photos compared to the others, most of the other photos were taken with camera phones or low end compacts plus they were generally simple shots of the head of the dog. Most of the shots I submitted were taken with a FF DSLR plus I didn't just want to show the head of my spaniel but wanted to show some of his character and personality as well.

I thought I had a good chance in at least one of the categories but I was completely wrong, my photos were ranked mostly at the bottom and the best was an honourable mention for a shot I'd say was the worst of mine. I'd have no problem with that if the other pictures were much better but bar one of the others users most of the other photos were just simple shots of their dogs most of which didn't even fit the category they were submitted as. It was a good lesson in how these competitions work and I'm certainly not surprised any more when I saw not particularly great photos winning or doing well.


Well-known Member
The first two photos look totally fake to me, like something out of a video game


Distinguished Member
The first two photos look totally fake to me, like something out of a video game

I'm personally not keen on over processed shots like that but they're definitely popular. I was working on a photo I'd taken pointing towards a setting sun and I couldn't really pull back the detail I wanted. So I mucked about banging the likes of the contrast slider to full, -100 highlights, +100 shadow, high saturation etc. until it looked very the top and quite fake yet that photo was by far the most popular in the set with friends.


Distinguished Member
I can't understand how in month of Sunday's how those 4th & 5th (by the same person) place got those spots (espeically the 4th place one!) when you look at all the photo's placed lower (and for some way down).

They are real, and not processed to death like most of the rest, maybe thats why?
Take out the overboiled photomatix shots and there is not much left.


Distinguished Member
I agree that taking two spots like that with similar subjects seems slightly surprising but for all we know that photographer is famous in that city and mobilised the local tourism industry to promote themselves and the destination.

A friend of mine was running a charitable funding scheme.
Within a very short time of starting various project organisers reported they’d been contacted by companies offering large volumes of votes for money. The honest organisers were concerned that they would be bought out by less scrupulous fundraisers. A lot of click farming and robotic voting was found and excluded. Then they had to deal with the people who’d tried to buy their places complaining they’d been unfairly demoted or worse that they’d bought their votes with good intention to compete with more popular projects. A minefield.

It’s pretty simple to game most electronic voting if you have will, skill or cash. There are places in the world where you can buy a room full of people to repeatedly stream and share your YouTube video etc.
A botnet can make several thousand clicks for a few cents on machines that are running malware so not even that easy to trace.

I’ve learnt through experience in various photo competitions I’ve entered that what I think is a great picture isn’t guaranteed to win.
In the “just for fun” forums there’s often a clique and they can post a blurry wonky low contrast shot and get tons of votes. Post your favourite shot of the year but if you’re not in the clique you’ll get nothing.

I entered the KLM photo contest for a while but gave up in the end as I couldn’t see why any of the entries that won deserved their rating.

I only enter things for fun and don’t stress if I’m not successful. It’s the picture taking I enjoy even if shares, likes etc are nice they aren’t the end game for me.


Well-known Member
Yeh I'd call shenanigans on that too. He might have got away with it if he hadn't engineered two top 10 entries. I agree they're not up to the standard of the others. The Machu Pichu one makes me laugh though, is it shopped? I might be wrong but those llamas look well out of place. and the sky's pure white. Funnily enough I was in Florence last year, and took some pretty similar images, but certainly wouldn't enter them in any competition



Distinguished Member
As an @anyoneelseIhavemissedoff I’m not sure if my opinion counts but he's just played the game, and nearly won. He can brag to his mates that 'hey I got a 4th and a 5th in a compo for my photography', and just hope that no one asks to see the pics. I don’t know how he’s managed to manufacture his 4th and 5th, some sort of interweb magic.

Any comp, where on line voting is involved, is always going to throw up some surprises.

There’s people I follow on Flickr who get loads of favs for a nothing special photo, heck I’m confident that some I follow could post a pic of a dog turd and it'll be fav'd, maybe even explored!

cR4cKF0x 5TevE

Well-known Member
For me, #1, #4 and #5 are very underwhelming.
Most of the rest are visually impressive, though some of the processing is questionable.
Its pretty easy to influence any on-line vote if you can mobilise friends/colleagues/a group/forum to vote a particular way. Perhaps (ahem) you could seek to 'level the playing field' via AVF?


Novice Member
Hello newuser, this thread is why i signed up to your site. SO lets get interested.

I was a photocrowd user this year until the month of may. When the USA went into the national corona shutdowns, photocrowd started a large membership drive to get people to convert to having a paid memership.

The people who did NOT switch to a paid membership suffered the strange effect that if they did not purchase a membership sunday or early monday morning, that they would go down 1000 ranking spots when the monday morning ranking board update was announced. This went on for 3 months.

When it started I was roughly 7813. When i last looked at my ranking, i had dropped down to 19,899.

The website is not meant for actual photographic qualities, its actually meant as a means to make people PAY to submit extra photos to each contest. Each photo submitted acts as a forced multiplier to every card that gets a "love" or "like". And the multiplier, changes depending on what level of paid membership you have versus non paid.

more photos means you get more points per photo after rating ends, more photos with postive loves/lkes will give a 10-20% point boost to each photo submitted to that photo contest. Any photo that finishes in the top half, gives enough point boost to EVERY photo submitted. And the kicker is that each photo is given a value based upon your MEMBERSHIP level. So a paid member even the lowst amount, can submit photos to a contest, and if at least 1 ends up in the top half after rating, they can get more total points from the contest then a non paying member who ends up WINNING the photo contest.


Novice Member
Also from what i have seen and gotten in response, if you purchase the higher cost memberships you can never fall below a certain ranking number


Standard Member
Yes I used to be a Photocrowd member and left due to corrupted voting. I have had to rejoin recently as a few photographic magazines I subscribe to only allow competition entry via Photocrowd - something I have bitterly complained about! However I am a 'free' member meaing I get only a single entry to competitions unlike the many many professionals and premium paying members that get eight.
Unfortunately the cheating in the voting is even more overt and brazzen and Photocrowd deliberately has no forum itself to shutdown criticism.
I have 4 entries (I had to pay for 3 of them). Each has won multiple first entries in a leading photographic club and 2 have been voted best image in whole competition in multiple inter-club competitions. This DOES NOT mean I expect them to win as I have said many are professional photographers in Photocrowd and also there are some superb amateurs. Interestingly one of the 2 images that had been voted best single image among 5 clubs (and it was 110% on subject) never received a single 3 star vote at all! The first approximately 22 votes (of only 50 odd) voted one star. Another image that did receive 3 star votes from some actually repeatedly received 'loved' clicks but no 3 stars from those that loved it? Lol.
My best image (the competition closes in under an hour) is currently about 113th of 880 odd entries.
There is one photographer (with some very good images - must own an antique shop?) has 2nd, 3rd and 4th place with three images? The chances of voting placing three different images adjacent to each other indicates cheating or some sort of colluded family group voting. As I said the images are very good as are the first 500 images so three in a row statistically unlikely in such a large entry without influence or cheating. If Photocrowd want to investigate I can tell them who and what. I have read two university degrees having statistics as major parts and if it looks like cheating it usually is.
Similarly, but different, another image that sat at 17th with many 3 star votes for a long period was not soft focus and not artistic but just showing plain severe camera shake! It was not ICM (intentional camera movement) just a hand shot image possible on mobile phone (poor definition). I am guessing a similar group/family vote cheating. It did however in the final hours drift upwards as a few honest Photocrowders voted as did mine drift downwards doing better (as above).
The magazines subscribing to Photocrowds competition system should withdraw as it clearly is corrupt! I understand costs are cheaper and it is all handled for them but it is untenable and bad for photography. Money corrupts and lotsa money totally corrupts. Photocrowd do not care they are raking it in.


Novice Member
Hello, I am a new user. I was using Photocrowd until about a year ago. The reason I left was because of the poor quality entries by some users, the fact that I do not use 'social media' and the incredibly high number of 'not on brief' images left on the site. And the obviously unfair rating system. For one competition I studied 55% of the images were definitely not on brief. Wonky horizons, out of focus and at 90 degrees out of level are common as well as colour in b/w competitions and vice versa..

I certainly did not expect to win many or even in reality, even one competition, but I am an experienced amateur and have done well in International competitions and a high level photo course and have had photos published in books. I always filled the descriptions and location accurately and entered quality material.
I did get a rating in the high 900's at one time and I rapidly slipped down after a few low ratings of what I considered my good images right on brief.
Try entering something with some humour or wit or that needs to be looked at with the accompanying text and you will fail.
I got fed up of watching bad fuzzy pictures with no real merit and no text entered on the right hand side zoom up the leaderboard and well past me.

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