General Guidelines

Photo Travel Division
Image Discussion Groups


Our purpose is to understand how other people react to our images, to learn what other people are doing, to share our methods, to learn how to improve our methods, to learn new methods, and to interact with other photographers.

These groups are for learning. This is not a contest, but rather a sharing of images, techniques, and personal reactions. The intent of our groups is to show the work that we would sincerely like to have an opinion on, such as what looks good and what we could do to improve it.

Submit images that look good to you to find out what other people could suggest to make it better! If the image has won a medal or an HM, or even just accepted in an exhibition, it should not be presented for comment since we already know it has merit.

You will learn how other people see and interpret your images. You will get differences of opinion. People have different tastes and skill levels. You will learn new techniques and share yours. Your photographic horizons will be broadened by the interpretation and input of others!

2 Easy Steps for Learning and Sharing with your fellow PSA members

  1. Before the 10th of the month (preferably before the month begins), you e-mail one image (plus up to 3 supporting images if needed) to your group’s administrator, with your “How I did it” description.
  2. By the 20th of the month, you will review and critique each other’s images by typing into the comment box located at the bottom of each member image page. You must be logged in before being able to make comments.
  3. It is hoped that you will join in the discussion of each other’s images by replying to comments or replies that have been submitted through the month.


  • A Photo Travel image is a portrayal of the real world we live in, as it is found naturally. There are no geographic limitations.
  • Content guidance:
    1. If the image is predominantly or exclusively a land-, sea- or cityscape, these “scapes” must include characteristic, distinctive and recognizable physical features, although it is not necessary that the image identify the exact location;
    2. Images that predominantly or exclusively depict people and their activities must illustrate a distinctive culture of a country, region, or continent;
    3. Images that predominately or exclusively depict animal populations are allowed, if the animals are in their native environment and are characteristic of that country, region, or continent;
    4. Portraits or other close-ups of people or objects, in addition to meeting the above paragraphs as applicable, must include elements depicting some of the surrounding environment to make it obvious that the image was not taken in a studio setting;
    5. Images from events or activities arranged for photography, or of subjects directed or hired for photography, are NOT allowed.
    6. Time exposures are allowed, if they do not dominate the image as a special effect (star trails, for example, are a dominating effect).
    7. Highly distorted images such as those produced by fish eye lenses are NOT allowed.
  • Editing guidance:
    • Processing or editing must be limited to making the image look as close to the original scene as possible, except that conversion to grayscale monochrome is allowed.
    • Allowed editing techniques:
      • Cropping, straightening and perspective correction.
      • Removal or correction of elements added by the camera or lens, such as dust spots, noise, chromatic aberration and lens distortion.
      • Global and selective adjustments such as brightness, hue, saturation and contrast to restore the appearance of the original scene.
      • Complete conversion of color images to grayscale monochrome.
      • Blending of multiple images of the same subject and combining them in camera or with software (exposure blending or focus stacking);
      • Image stitching - combining multiple images with overlapping fields of view that are taken consecutively (panoramas);
    • Editing techniques that are not allowed:
      • Removing, adding to, moving or changing any part of an image, except for cropping and straightening.
      • Adding a vignette during processing.
      • Blurring parts of the image during processing to hide elements in the original scene.
      • Darkening parts of the image during processing to hide elements in the original scene.
      • All conversions other than to complete grayscale monochrome.
      • Conversion of parts of an image to monochrome, or partial toning, desaturation or over-saturation of color.
  • The Photo Travel Division has produced a Guide for Chairs and Judges. It is vital that these guides are issued to judges, and that Chairs of Exhibitions/Competitions ensure that all judges have read the guides and understand them. The guides (translated into several languages) can be found below or on the home page of the Photo Travel Division.


  • Your study image, and any supporting images, must be wholly your own work.
  • The only requirement is that the file cannot excede 1Mb and be in the JPEG format.  Whatever dimensions will fit within the maximum will be fine.   Typically, around 1200-1400 pixels on the long side will be fine.
  • Use sharpening after you have resized your original image but before saving for the web.
  • File size should be in KB not MB. Using Save for Web at maximum or highest will give you an acceptable file size. DO NOT use any of the following characters in your file name: !@#$%^&*()+={}[]|\<>?/,
  • If you are in more than one group, you may not enter the same image in both groups, even if one version is color and the other monochrome.
  • By submitting images to the PTD IDG, you are agreeing to its display and use by other PTD IDG members to demonstrate their suggestions for improvement.


  • Give it a title as you want it to appear on the website.
  • Suggested items to include (when they matter) are the camera and lens, polarizer or other filter on the lens, automatic or manual settings, scanner if you used a slide or negative, photo editing software name, f/stop and shutter speed, tripod or not, etc.
  • Description of the subject matter
  • The effect you’re trying to achieve or why you took the picture (what point were you trying to make) - so the other participants can give their opinion on your goal.
  • What steps did you take in Photoshop or your chosen editing software or app?
  • Along with your finished image, you can submit additional images (1-3) to show a “before” (original) or “during” image.


  • Don’t get upset - not everyone sees their own crooked horizons!
  • No scoring, no numbers, no stars, just “studying” and describing our opinions in words
  • Try to give a reason for your opinions. Try to say something more than “I like it” or “It is nice.”
  • Making negative comments is easy, so be sure to include positives as well.
  • Remember these are opinions and preferences and interpretations, not right or wrong matters. There isn’t always a right or wrong, often merely preferences.
  • We don’t know what the other person knows, so let us take any constructive criticisms in a positive manner.
  • The group is supposed to be a fun sharing of ideas and an enlightening sharing of our reactions. The more creative the suggestions, the better!


  • Impact when first seen.
  • Did the maker employ any special techniques that enhance or detract from the image?
  • Might you have done anything differently?
  • How might you achieve the same effect using another technique?
  • What do you like and why?
  • Be diplomatic with criticisms.
  • We all know that there is often more than one way to perform a digital technique, so let us be generous in sharing other methods.
  • You can suggest software, app, camera body, lens, or other equipment that might make a difference.
  • Evaluate the image using your own knowledge of composition, lighting, subject choice, cropping, filter, border, camera technique, software technique, etc.


Once logged in, you can download the image, work on it yourself, and upload your version of it at the same time that you post your comment, in order to show what you would do to improve it or to show another version.

  1. Prepare your “revised” image before you post your comment.
  2. To download the original image, right click on top of it and choose Save Picture As or whatever words will do the same thing on your computer.
  3. Make your revisions and save as a jpg or Save for Web as a jpg with a maximum size of 1Mb.
  4. Go to post your Comments and use the Browse button under the Comments to get your “revised” image. Then submit both Comments and revised image simultaneously. Don’t e-mail the image.


  • Please notify your administrator in advance as a courtesy when you know you cannot meet a deadline or will not be able to participate that month.
  • If you are going to be away near the deadline but have time to create your image, it is all right to email the image ahead of time, even a month or two ahead.
  • When you know you cannot do BOTH the image or the Comments due to your schedule or accessibility to the Internet, it is okay to do just one, but please notify your administrator.
  • Administrators - please do not make it known in advance when a member is away on vacation. It is not wise to publicize such info on the Internet or in an e-mail. Members will realize what is happening when there is no participation.
  • About once a year, any member or group can take a “vacation” and have no images for a month. Please notify your administrator if you decide to take a month off.


  • Feel free to contact your administrator or the PTD IDG Director at with questions and suggestions.