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macondo 02-10-2012 10:02 AM

Reply to daredevil - what happened to your photo.

Originally Posted by daredevil (Post 1204108)
I have recently added a photo.. and the next morning its deleted:(.
Can anybody answer me why my pic is deleted from my gallary?

Sameer, your photo was removed by the Moderators. I have sent you an email to explain the reason.

mjw364 06-25-2012 07:29 PM

I joined the club!
Well I had my first image removed yesterday! I feel like I'm one of the gang now! I received an email as described above and I sent a review request as per above. As yet nothing...

But - previously I have posted an infra red image of Queen Victoria on do so I didnt use the automatic infra red filter in CS4 but followed an exercise on how to D.I.Y in a photography magazine - quite a few steps involved and so to my mind a well and truly post processed image...

Now the reason given for my image removal was for "excessive post processing" and it was an infra red image... this time all I did was adjust levels, desaturate and add infra red filter effect in CS4 - 3 step process... not so much processing to my mind... I even explained how I had done it in my note. The image was still of a place and was the third of a series of images based around a canal shot where I had given some detail about the place in keeping with TE generally.

My question is who decides what "excessive processing" is? Surely its subjective if no details of how you post processed it are provided? In fact one of my earlier images "Arley Skies" has some clearly heavily processed colours and sky that makes it obvious that a significant amount of post processing has taken place... but nothing said about that and I'm sure we could all select several hundred heavily processed images on TE if not more...

So my question is - who defines that particular term "excessive processing"? Is it based on the number of processing steps involved or is it because someone says "It looks heavily processed" in which case you would have to take a few thousand images off TE right now!

Moreover, is an infra red effect more likely to be viewed pejoratively by moderators because they do look so obviously processed? If so is TE biased towards processed colour photographs in a subtle way? I hope not there are some great infra red images around. I kinda thought the one I had removed was one of them since it got rave reviews on another site!

Ok - over to you guys... the can of worms is open... I kicked the hornets nest... I am provoking debate... I lit the blue touch paper...;)

Keitht 06-25-2012 10:10 PM

I won't attempt to answer most of the questions posed in your post yet - that will need more time to consider :) The question about infra-red is an easy one to answer - it is specifically against the TOS so therefore isn't a subjective decision.

mjw364 06-25-2012 11:30 PM

So why have I had one infra red allowed and why have I seen what appear to be infra red images on here...

So can you show me exactly where it says it is specifically against ur policy and is this an admission of bias against infra red.... other forms of post processed creative expression are allowed....


Could almost be infra red! ;)

macondo 06-26-2012 05:55 AM

Hello Michael,
a belated welcome to TE!

Here is the relevant section of the Terms of Service, which you can find at


1. Only photographs are permitted. Images may not be digitally manipulated in an image editing program ie, Photoshop except for the following reasons:
i. Copyright notices and (straight-edged, plain) frames
NB: Copyright/Watermark information must be discrete and may contain your name, but no graphics are allowed except for the copyright symbol produced by the keyboard (Alt+0169)
Frames must be plain and straight edged (simple drop shadow is allowed)
Cannot contain gradients, textures, blurring or beveling, but may contain the photo's title and/or the member's name. Advertising of commercial websites is not permitted.
Those posts not adhering to the these guidelines will be removed at the discretion of the moderators.
ii. Cropping, resizing and sharpening
iii. Touching up (dust, slight imperfections)
iv. Levels, Curves, Color adjustment, Hue, Saturation etc. for minor image enhancements.
v. Multiple exposures to get proper exposure values
vi. Stitching for panoramic photos
vii. Color conversion to Black and White, Sepia, Duotone etc.
viii. Perspective correction for parallax or lens distortion.
ix. Infrared photos are not allowed.

Many members have responded to one of their photos being removed by identifying others with the same failings which have not been removed, either their own or others'. First, that does not constitute an argument against your photo's removal, but does hint at Moderators' inconsistency. Second, there is no way the Moderators can identify every offending photo, and some get through, producing the apparent inconsistency. Indeed, sometimes we find, retrospectively, that a major part of a member's gallery breaches the Terms of Service; somehow that member's photos slipped through the net and we are only made aware of it by its being reported by another member.

In your own gallery, as you say, there is an acknowleged infrared conversion. To me it does not seem as extreme, although I never saw it when it was posted and wasn't required to make that decision. There are also several photos with blurred framing - not straight edged - which is also against the TOS. That is not the kind of thing that can be seen in the thumbnail view, but would probably bring removal if seen full size - see the TOS section above regarding frames.

The photo you have referred to and linked to is possibly 'borderline over-processed' but surely intended to be a kind of sepia, which the member has acknowledged to be 'too red' - he's stated he'll publish a less red one the next day, but it is yet to appear. Whatever the case, this one would usually be considered borderline and come up for discussion amongst the Moderators if it were seen in the gallery.

We don't usually remove infringing photos after a few weeks has gone by, unless there is an extreme case of photo theft, advertising, or something offensive. That's why they are still there waiting for someone to point them out when querying the Moderators' decision!

I hope this has clarified the issue a bit.

mjw364 06-29-2012 05:24 PM

Hi Andrew - thank you for providing this information... I just wanted clarification so that I don't make the same mistake again... and I think you have now provided that along with an acknowledgement of the sometime inconsistent application of the policy which can lead to confusion - I would not have in fact posted an infra red image had I not previously uploaded one that was not questioned. I also didn't know about the framing issue. So this has helped.

I recognise your difficulty in monitoring all images given the sheer volume of images that are posted daily - it would be a 24- 7 job for someone! What I appreciate most about this aspect of your response in recognising the limits of what you guys can actually do is your honesty about it. So thank you for that.

With regards the highlighting of someone else's image as a defensive response to having one of their own removed; I see your point but my intention was more to provoke a debate on the forum about what the term post processing actually means and whether it should be minimised in keeping with a more purist approach to photography or whether we should accept, to a certain extent, post processing using software since it appears to be "the norm" all over the planet! We are bombarded daily with post processed images in many areas of our lives and the question is what is it that makes a "good" photograph anymore given the manipulations involved. It's an ongoing debate and I rather hoped to spark that debate amongst TE members and the moderators! I see there have been over 7500 views of this thread -I kinda hoped someone would comment in the interests of healthy debate!

I think perhaps given that one of the general aims of the TE is to educate and inform... and given that workshops are provided by members using post processing software... if a certain degree of post processing is deemed allowable - actually providing the details of the post processing process (in addition to camera, lens, DOF, exp. tripod/ND used etc.) might also prove beneficial to some less experienced members such as myself. This is just me thinking out loud and I'm a "new guy" but ultimately the community decides!

So - any thoughts?


Keitht 06-29-2012 10:06 PM

Hi Michael,

Post processing is probably the most contentious area of all for members and mods alike. The original ethos of the site was that images should look as 'natural' as possible and the tight constraints on PP were set when the site was created. That was in the days of film cameras where all images needed to be scanned and all but the most basic of post processing software was prohibitively expensive to most people.
Some form of PP is necessary for most images created with digital cameras and that is acknowledged by the mods. What we still strive for is the 'natural' look in the end product.
Subtle use of HDR, for example, is permitted as long as it is used for the purpose of enhancing shadow and highlight detail. More extreme use of HDR is not accepted here.
You may be aware of the sister sites, TrekLens & TrekNature, which were created specifically as a home for images which do not fit the aims of TrekEarth. TrekLens in particular has a much looser set of rules and even the most extreme photo manipulation is accepted there.

macondo 06-29-2012 11:15 PM


Originally Posted by mjw364 (Post 1215912)
I think perhaps given that one of the general aims of the TE is to educate and inform... and given that workshops are provided by members using post processing software... if a certain degree of post processing is deemed allowable - actually providing the details of the post processing process (in addition to camera, lens, DOF, exp. tripod/ND used etc.) might also prove beneficial to some less experienced members such as myself.

Some members do actually provide a brief statement in their notes about the 'tweaks' they have given to their photos, and, in conjunction with the Exif information, that can be very helpful to other photographers. Other members, of course, choose to conceal the Exif information, and often even the camera used, and write the most cursory of notes which tell one nothing about the scene, let alone the difficulties of taking the photo or steps taken to make it presentable. A judiciously adjusted workshop photo, uploaded by a member to suggest improvements to another member's shot, can also be very helpful if the 'tweaks' are explained carefully. Remember, of course, that downloading a member's image, working on it it in Photoshop, and uploading it again, will result in a noticeable loss of image quality. But that doesn't matter if the object is to show how dynamic range, saturation and colour can be improved.

mjw364 06-30-2012 03:09 PM


Yes - Andrew I see the value of the workshops... I have received a couple and they have obviously made me think and reflect and that is the point.

What I am beginning to grasp here is in keeping with what you are saying Keith... the original ethos is what is in fact important here in as much as the danger for less experienced photographers (and I think I am guilty of this) is that sometimes you can forget that its the taking of the shot that is more important than the PP. I think I am beginniing to realise that, in some ways and some times, I don't take the care I ought to beyond basic composition because it's easy to say to yourself "it doesn't matter because PP can sort that out" - I have even read in respected photo mags people being advised not to bother with ND grads, white balance, EVs, or polarisers etc because the effect can be created in PP. I guess that can make some a little lazy and a bit reliant on PP as a corrective to a very average initial image - an easy mistake when you are starting out...

PP - love it or hate it it is a useful tool but its how its used and shouldn't be considered a replacement for the processes leading up to the actual shot in the first place... that's where the understanding and real skill lies...


Keitht 07-01-2012 01:28 PM


Originally Posted by mjw364 (Post 1215965)

PP - love it or hate it it is a useful tool but its how its used and shouldn't be considered a replacement for the processes leading up to the actual shot in the first place... that's where the understanding and real skill lies...


I agree absolutely with all that you say here. Surely it's better to get capture the image 'properly' in the first place than to have to waste time putting it right later. For many years I worked purely with slide film where you really had no option but to get it right in camera as there was nothing you could do to correct the image after the event. I think that helped provide a pretty solid grounding in thinking about composition, exposure etc.
There was also the not inconsiderable cost of film & processing to consider.
I believe many photographers who have been brought up on digital images could benefit from emulating the constraints of film by undertaking a simple exercise. - Go out for the day and restrict yourself to 100 shots - roughly the equivalent of 3 x 36 exposure films. Concentrate on composition, exposure, use of ND grad & polarising filters and try to produce images which require an absolute minimum of manipulation other than application of the Unsharp Mask after the event. No 'machine-gun' shooting where people seem to be working on the basis that if they take enough shots some must be worth keeping.

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