Your Shot Photo Guidelines
We encourage you to submit photographs that are real. We trust contributors to submit unaltered image files—we want to see the world through your eyes, not through photo editing tools.
Please do not digitally enhance or alter your photographs beyond the basics needed to achieve realistic color balance and sharpness. If you have digitally added or removed anything, please don't submit the shot. We take time to look at every photo contribution to review its overall authenticity and will simply pass over any image that doesn't meet the guidelines.
DODGING AND BURNING: Dodging (to brighten shadows) or burning (to darken highlights) is OK, but it should be minimal—don't overdo it. Your goal in using digital darkroom techniques should be only to adjust the dynamic tonal range of an image so that it more closely resembles what you saw. Same goes for color balance—no need to oversaturate the color in an image if it's good to begin with.
SOLARIZATION, MEZZOTINT, DUOTONE, ETC.: No. If you use one of the myriad alteration "filters" available in your digital photo software, your image will not be considered.
BLACK-AND-WHITE IMAGES: OK.
HAND-TINTED IMAGES: OK, but only if you're experienced in this art.
CROPPING: OK, if it makes the photo better.
STITCHED PANORAMAS: OK, but only if the segments were all made within the same time frame. We don't want panoramas with sections made at significantly different times. Do not change focal length when you create a stitched image. Do not stretch the meaning of panorama to include elements that weren't in the scene as you saw it. If your entry is a stitched image, please indicate this in the caption. (A stitched panorama is created from multiple images, each taking in a different angle of view from the same position, then combined using digital techniques. It results in a wider view than can be achieved with most wide-angle lenses.)
FISH-EYE LENSES: OK, but enter at your own risk - editors tend to dislike such optical gimmicks.
HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE IMAGES (HDRI): OK, but like panoramas, only if the combined parts are made at about the same time. We don't want final images where the foreground was shot at noon and the sky at sunset. If your entry is an HDRI image, please indicate this in the caption. (An HDRI image is created from multiple images of exactly the same scene, made rapidly but at different exposures, then combined using digital darkroom techniques. The final image, when done successfully, allows one exposure for shadows to be combined with another for highlights to produce a final image that has a greater dynamic range than is possible with a single exposure.)
FILE SIZE: If you look around Your Shot, you'll see that this community is centered around high quality, particularly as it relates to file size. Truly, the optimal resolution for a photo is the largest you can provide. Don't hesitate to upload your photos at their original image resolution. When it comes to viewing Your Shot content on iOS devices, the bigger the image file, the better the viewing experience will be.
WATERMARKS AND BORDERS: Your Shot always credits the author of a photo whenever and wherever it appears on the site, along with a link to your profile. So, there's really no need to watermark your photo. In fact, images with remotely visible watermarks are immediately passed over. Additionally, skip the frames and artistic borders that come with some editing apps and software. Your Shot has been redesigned to make your photos look perfect—we promise you won't even miss those fancy frames.
GET TO KNOW GOOD PHOTOGRAPHY: The great thing about rules, is that many are meant to be broken—even in photography. While there are some hard and fast principles to making a good photograph (think of all those technical aspects, plus learning how to pay attention to the world around you), sometimes simply capturing a moment can make a picture count. There is no perfect recipe or regiment for becoming a great photographer, but you can get to know good photography by looking at it. Take a tour of the images that show up in the pages of our printed magazine, across our website, or in our apps, for example.