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Just an honest opinion


Joined in April 2011
Posts: 3
Posted 11 December 2021 - 19:50 CET

Good evening fellow enthusiasts,

I think i am not the only one to say, that in the last time, photo criteria and reasons for rejections have become very hard and picky. I don't know what the reason is. But the joy of uploading pictures and see them on this website disappeared in the last weeks and months. I know, who i am to say, i'm only one of thousands and who tf cares if i stop uploading or start complaining. But maybe i speak for a few and if thats the case, i want to say it straight. I am aware, that this site only wants high-standard and high quality pictures the creative touch, but if i'd empathize with a just started photographer who takes on challenges and wants to grow in quality and creativity, having my pictures screend so picky and hard, the joy will not hold on for long. I see my theory maybe slighty confirmed in who appears on most liked and on the main site in general. Most of the time the same names. These guys do a great job, i will never say anything else and for some i can only take off my hat in terms of quality, creativity etc.

But nothing evolves without change. I liked this website very much over the years (since 2011) and it is truly insane how it has grown from the beginning. But i'd only wish, that restrictions and criteria would be not that hard to overcome, so that more unexperienced and/ or motivated photographers can be adressed. It could lead to more variety in photos, photographers and joy.

Hope you all have a great remaining weekend and keep spotting


Joined in December 2012
Posts: 6
Posted 5 February 2022 - 23:17 CET

You're not the only one with that point of view. Going for 10 years here, it's a place I cherished being around and, although is totally natural and expected to have the bar raised for the quality, the clear fact that it came near to obsession (mainly on noise and sharpness) takes the motivation and joy downward to those who don't have state of the art resources, keeping the latter word open to all aspects related to photography.

The quest for creativity and sensitivity with subject, light, colour and mood is still here, and that's the main reason why I think airplane-pictures is still the best place around, but it would be unrealistic not to notice this path that was taken. And of course, it's like that: it's the guys up there have the ball and make the rules.

Also wishing a peaceful and happy year to everyone here!!

Karol Trojanowski 

Senior admin
Joined in June 2016
Posts: 82
Posted 6 February 2022 - 13:09 CET

Hey guys, thanks for bringing this subject here.

Honestly, I didn't notice it when the first post was written. So my reply is a bit late but I hope it can be also helpful and valuable, however, both of you are contributing to the longer than I.

The first thing, that should be mentioned, is that through the years the performance of all new cameras and lenses increased significantly, even the cheaper ones. Noise appearance, tonal range, light measure, and a number of megapixels... all of that is much better than five or ten years ago.

At the same time, for a few years now (like from 2016 for sure, but maybe earlier, I don't remember), we accept photos in the same set of resolutions, between 1024 and 1600px (and 1920px for FMs).

I think it's quite understandable that we want to see higher quality in 2022 from a picture in uploaded in 1600px size, than we required in 2016, or earlier.

So, my main point is, that if there are (or will be) members who are on a very beginning of their spotting journey, it would be the best solution for them to upload photos with a lower size, like 1024 or 1280px. Such photos are more likely to be accepted in terms of overall quality, and of course, can get many likes and also appear in the Eyecatchers category.

Also, as I am a screener for the 3 years now, I think that we are trying to do our best while screening, and sometimes the decision is not so easy to make, accept or not, and in this case the appeals are very helpful, to have another screener who can change the earlier verdict.

But I don't want to negate or diminish the problem, still wants to provide the best and most creative photos on the Internet, and it has to be done with the participation of many different photographers, also the new ones. We will try to find or at least discuss some solution, maybe even an informal one, to help the inexperienced photographers get their photos accepted more easily.

Of course, if you have your own idea of how it can be done, you're welcome to share it with us ;)


Joined in December 2012
Posts: 6
Posted 10 February 2022 - 23:43 CET

Hi, Karol, thanks for taking some of your time to answer!

Yes, for sure technology (of equipment and software) has evolved in 10 years. That's natural, I actually mentioned that on my previous comment and even if I can't afford current state of the art, I invested in both equipment and software during this period too. And, even if I consider myself VERY far from producing the best images here, I can see a difference in my results too.

But that's still not the point I tried to bring (as for MisterJay, if I understand). It's not about having eyecatchers, not having likes, comments or so.

The point is: On a place with the slogan "creative aviation photography", what's the priority? Why to prioritize image quality (pixel-peeping, let's be honest) to photographic content (composition, mood, colour, etc), when realisticly not always both happen at the same time?

I saw that the image quality guidelines has become clearer and more organized, but also obsessively exigent on some items. "Digital noise is visible". Visible? Not "compromising"? "Visible" either on perfectly lit images and "visible" on dusk or night handheld shots? Is that really reasonable?

That's just an example that, if you think about and then look at the many taxi and parking shots that are difficult to imagine being part of the slogan of the site, makes me think...

I honestly tend not to do appeals, don't want to create tension with the screeners and I really believe this is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby for everyone. I prefer to bring the subject to discussion here, in a macro way, not over specific photos.

So, sorry if I brought more questions instead of simply answering what would be "my idea" hehehe :). It is indeed complicated to find the best way, and I know the bar should be raised, not lowered. Again, you guys have the ball and the rules...

But maybe the question is: what is really raising or lowering the bar, in terms of photographic creativity for aviation?

Again, thanks for your time!

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