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Welcome to the forums!!

If you haven't done so already, head over to "The Lounge" and introduce yourself in the 'Introduce yourself here!' topic.

Ok. Now to business. I know there is a lot to read, but PLEASE PLEASE take some time out to read through and understand all of this. We even show you how to post an image! so please be patient and read this all.
As you are all aware, this is a public forum. Anyone can read the discussions and anyone has the ability to register and write whatever they want. As a result, there are a few rules and guidelines that need to be laid down in order to ensure a safe and friendly environment for everyone.

Feel free to contact me directly if you run into any problems with the forums, or if you have any questions in general. If you need help with something, go ahead and ask. I love to help out. Oh, and this includes any complaints. If you want to complain about the site, me or the other moderators please feel free to direct these to me.
In any case, we are here to help, and we will do all we can to see that you enjoy your time here on these forums.

We would like you to help us in return.

By reading, understanding, and following the following guidelines, you will make my and our moderators job much easier. You will take pressure and work off us, which will give us a bit more freedom and more time to spend with you, be nice to you, feed you cookies and milk, and just generally keep everyone all bubbly and happy.

1) There is to be NO discussion or mentioning of pirated or illegal software on these forums under ANY circumstances. -This is more of a legal issue than anything else.
We are photographers, and there are many expensive bits of software at our disposal. There are bound to be people asking where to obtain this software for a cheaper price, and sometimes this might lead to copyright infringement. If this occurs on these forums, the offending post will be deleted and the member who posted it will be given a warning. If this happens on multiple occasions after being warned the first time, you will most likely be removed from the forums permanently.

2a) There is to be no abusive or offensive language used in these forums. -We want to maintain a friendly atmosphere here.
Please respect your fellow forum members, and treat them with such respect. This is a public forum and is open to users of all age groups. Members using language that is seen to be offensive will be warned and have their post removed, or at least censored. If you must swear, then please try to censor it yourself. This is more acceptable, but such use of language is still not encouraged.

2b) When posting replies, please re-read what you are saying and make sure it does not come off as too critical or rude. It is easy to take the wrong end of the stick in text discussion because there is no concept of vocal tone and you sometimes cannot tell whether the person is joking or not.
When commenting on a photo, while you are entitled to your opinions, if you decide to leave criticism in "The Whipping Block" please ensure that it is constructive, and put forward as politely as possible.

We DO NOT want to see this:

We want to see things like this:
"Personally, I'm not a fan of this picture but good try. Maybe if you positioned your subject slightly more to the left and removed those distractions then it could be improved. Also, your white balance needs to be corrected and there's a phototip for it which you may find useful."

See the difference? Help each other out. If you help someone they'll remember that time when you helped them, and maybe when someone else needs help, they'll pass on the favor. Try not to just say that you don't like the photo. Make an effort to explain why, and suggest ways to improve it. No one will learn anything from simply being told that their photo sucks.

Anyone found being continuously offensive towards other members will be warned, and further action will be taken if this behavior continues.

3) Search before you post -This is to prevent common questions from being asked over and over again
As the site grows and we get more and more discussion threads appearing, some will be lost in long gone pages. Within them, there are bound to be questions that have been asked and answered.
If you wish to ask a question on the forums, bear in mind that it may already have been asked and there may already be an answer out there for you. There is a search function at the top right corner of the web page which you should use, and you can use keywords to search for the question or answer you're looking for. If you do not find anything, then you may proceed to post your question.

4) Posting Images
When you upload an image, please choose a size that is not too big. Most sites that you upload to give you an option to resize the image for you while it uploads. Please do not upload full size images because they take a LONG time to load and take up a huge amount of screen space. flickr is a good image hosting site.

Also, when posting an image, please add any warnings to the post/reply subject that might be relevant to your image, for example if it is a 'scary' image, then say so. If it contains nudity ('Pornography' is not allowed at all), then please warn us.
On that note, 'Pornography' will be regarded as offensive material and will be removed immediately and the poster will recieve a heavy warning. Nudity as an art form is certainly acceptable, but be careful not to stray over the line. I'm sure you know where the sensible limits are.

Please post only images that are your own. If you wish to post an image belonging to someone else, you must first ensure that you obtain the owners explicit permission before doing so. If/When you do post the image, please provide the appropriate referencing; state who the image belongs to, and state that you have their permission to post the image.5) Have fun!! -Duh
While there are rules to follow, there is nothing to stop you from having fun! Friendly discussions are of course always welcome and are in fact encouraged, and feel free to joke about

I think that just about concludes this for now. If anything else comes to mind, I'll add it in.
Otherwise, get out there, share pics, and have fun!
Don't forget, feel free to contact me or the team, at any time. Of course, if you have general questions about photography, post it up on the forums and let the crowds answer you!

To summarise:
1) No piracy
2) No offensive language
3) Be nice
4) Search before asking a question
5) Post decently sized images and include warnings where appropriate
6) Have fun!

Failing to comply with these simple regulations will lead to the user experiencing the wrath of the Photography Spirit Guide, wielding a large Ban Hammer!

View user profile http://www.photobok.smugmug.com/

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