Information for Contributors to the Photo Gallery
How to submit photos: Please use the gallery upload form for contributing photos.
Criteria for acceptance of submitted photos: Photos exhibited here range along a spectrum from those that document a rare bird or at least a noteworthy sighting, to those that are just nice shots of common species, with a wide gray area in the middle. Decision whether to accept a submitted photograph is that of the website editor and is necessarily subjective. Here are some general rules of thumb that I usually follow. At the “rare bird” end of the spectrum are photos that serve to document the occurrence of a bird that is rare, or at least out of season or out of place. These photos need not necessarily be of high photographic quality, as long as field marks that support the identification are discernible. If you have a video of a bird flying through a swamp and displaying field marks of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker, I will publish it even if some experts insist it is a Pileated. At the “nice shots” end of the spectrum are photos of birds that are common. In this category, I look for sharp focus, good lighting, interesting composition, good illustration of field marks, etc. It's ok to submit photos of species that are already represented in the gallery, but I may be more choosy about those. You might like to use the taxonomic index to look at what photos may be similar to yours.
The photo must be one that you took yourself, or that you have the photographer's permission to publish, and it should have been taken in the Carolinas. I have occasionally accepted a photo taken just outside the Carolinas, especially if the location is one frequented by Carolina birders, but never from distant locations.
You must include the date and location where the photo was taken.
Records: One of the objectives of the photo gallery is to be a one-stop repository for photo-documentation of significant records in the Carolinas. If you have taken photos that serve to document a significant record–a state record, a county record, a seasonal record, a nesting record, etc.– and have published them on a private web site, please consider also contributing at least one documentary photo for display here. I will be happy to include with it a link back to your own site.
Editing: I nearly always crop and resize submitted photos. Resizing is for consistency of presentation and to provide good download time. To compensate for the smaller format, I usually crop to make the bird itself fill most of the image. Generally I prefer that you submit the original photo and let me edit it. However if you are very particular you may do the editing yourself. Adjust the photo size so that the maximum dimension is no more than 640 pixels and preferably with the smaller dimension 480 pixels. For consistency I almost always crop with a 3x4 aspect ratio, but other proportions are acceptable if the photo's composition demands it. I prefer photos that do not have a copyright notice. If you have a copyright notice in the corner, I won't crop it off, which means that your photo will be displayed with a smaller bird image than if I cropped it.
The Chat: Sometimes I select contributed photos for publication in The Chat. Photos that have been submitted full-size are preferable for this.
Copyright: You retain copyright on the photograph, but by submitting it you give the Carolina Bird Club permission to reproduce it on the web, and you also give the Carolina Bird Club permission to publish the photo in The Chat if selected by the Editor.
Acknowledgement: I try to acknowledge receipt of each contribution, but occasionally I may get sidetracked and forget. I usually don't acknowledge at the time of receipt, but rather at the time that I actually publish the photo (or decide not to), which most often but not always is the same or next day. Occasionally I may not have time to tend to the gallery for a longer period of time. I send out a lot of acknowledgement messages so I usually don't write much, typically the message is simply “Thanks”. Please don't be offended by brevity; all contributions are appreciated. If I decide not to use your photo, I will try to explain why. You must supply a valid email address—if the acknowledgement email bounces, your photos will be withdrawn.
Once in a while, if a photo is of special timely interest, I may post to carolinabirds when I have published it, but usually I leave it up to you to publicize if you choose.
—Kent Fiala, website editor