Rules of the Photo Critique Forum

You must have the legal rights to all materials you post here. In particular, please do not post photographs under copyright elsewhere – for example, photos scanned from art books or magazines.

Please keep this site "PG" rated. Material not suitable for children should not be posted. I reserve the right to remove materials deemed offensive by me. This means not only erotic photos but also very violent or sensational ones which might alarm children (or their parents). Photos (and comments) which I deem obscene, offensive, or in bad taste will be removed. This is not an abridgement of your freedom of speech; the First Amendment gives you the right to post what you like in your own forum, not in mine.

NO nude photos. Some participants have raised questions about this rule. I have a short explanation here.

This is a photo critique forum and nothing more. It cannot be a platform for political, social or religious activism. You may pursue photojournalism by posting photos that depict controversy, but you may not create controversy here. Please do not post photos or text that aim at promoting and advocating your own political or moral agenda. I am sure there are many other online forums for that purpose.

When posting a photo or a comment, you must give a real, working email address. We strongly prefer that you use your real name. But if you do want to use a "screen name", make sure you use one name consistently. Posting under multiple names is rude to other participants and is therefore prohibited. We have sophisticated software in place to flag violations of this rule.

People who intentionally violate the above rules are not welcome on the forum and will be banned from participating.

Guidelines of the Photo Critique Forum

When you post, please choose carefully. Post your best work. Pick images you would like others to see and on which you really want to have critical input. Use this forum for learning as well as for public display of your images.

A critique is not a putdown. Critical comments are meant to help you improve your work. Those posting critiques should keep this in mind; simple expressions of approval or dislike aren't enough to tell a photographer why you think a photo is good or bad. If you're willing to make comments, please post a few of your own images for us to see. Good posts of your own will give weight to your opinions.

When offering critiques or comments, please be candid, critical, constructive, and friendly. When reading them, remember that because web discussions lack facial expressions, body language and nuances of voice, the emotion and attitude you read from a message is often a reflection of your own feelings.

Please keep the image file size below 150 KB, unless doing so will cause significant loss in the quality of the work. Programs like PhotoShop® will let you specify the degree of compression for JPEG's. Experiment and you'll find it hard to see a difference in quality between an image file with minimal compression and the same file compressed to half that size.

Please plan not to post more than 3 images per week (there is a hard limit of 4). You need to give people time to study and critique your images. It's also the polite thing to do; the more photos you post, the quicker those of other posters will vanish from the current list.

Please describe your images – tell us what you wanted to express in the photo, what goal you were trying to achieve, what you particularly like about the result, what you feel may be missing or flawed, special efforts you made, or any other information that may help the viewer to understand your work.

Please give as much technical detail as possible, such as focal length of the lens, aperture and shutter speed setting, film (brand and type), time of day, weather, season, lighting conditions, difficulties of composition, camera on tripod or hand-held, and any other relevant information. Data on make and model of camera, lens or tripod, can help viewers in their own choice of equipment.

Please let us know how you scanned the image: slide scanned to PhotoCD, print scanned on a flatbed scanner, or your particular brand of film/slide scanner. If there is significant digital manipulation you should give some infomation on that, or at least mention it to avoid misunderstanding.

If you are not sure what size your image should be, look here to get a general idea.