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Here are some informal rules to bear in mind when submitting FP candidates:

  • 解像度 - Photographs of lower resolution than 2 million pixels (e.g. 1600 x 1250) are typically rejected unless there are strong mitigating reasons.
Graphics located on Commons may be used in ways other than viewing on a conventional computer screen. They may be also used for printing or for viewing on very high resolution monitors. We can't predict what devices may be used in the future, so it is important that nominated pictures have as high a resolution as possible.
  • フォーカス - every important object on the picture should normally be sharp.
  • 前景と背景 - foreground and background objects may be pretty distracting. You should check that something in front of the subject doesn't hide some important elements and that something in background doesn't spoil the composition (for example that the streetlight doesn't "stand" on someone's head).
  • 画質 - pictures being nominated should be of high technical quality.
  • 価値 - our main goal is to feature most valuable pictures from all others. Pictures should be in some way special, so please be aware that:
    • almost all sunsets are pretty, and most such pictures are not essence different from others,
    • nightshots are pretty but normally more details can be shown on pictures taken at daytime,
    • beautiful does not always mean valuable.

Digital manipulation of FP candidate photographs[edit]

Digital manipulation for the purpose of correcting flaws in a photographic image is generally acceptable provide it is limited, well-done, and not intended to deceive. Typical acceptable manipulations include cropping, perspective correction, sharpening/blurring, colour/exposure correction, and removal of distracting background elements. More extensive manipulations should be clearly described in the image text, for example by means of the {{Retouched picture}} template. Undescribed or mis-described manipulations which cause the main subject to be seriously misrepresented are never acceptable.


There are several criteria for evaluating images.

On the technical side, we have exposure, composition, movement control and depth of field.

露出(Exposure) refers to the shutter diaphragm combination that renders an image with a tonal curve that ideally is able to represent in acceptable detail shadows and highlights within the image. This is called latitude. Images can be on the low side of the tonal curve (low range), the middle (middle range) or high side (upper range). Digital cameras (or images) have a narrower latitude than film. Lack of shadow detail is not necessarily a negative characteristic. In fact, it can be part of the desired effect. Burned highlights in large areas are a distracting element.

Composition refers to the arrangement of the elements within the image. The “Rule of Thirds” is a good guideline for composition and is an inheritance from the painting school. The idea is to divide the image with two imaginary horizontal and two vertical lines, thus dividing the image into thirds horizontally and vertically. Centering the subject is almost always considered a negative practice. Subjects of interest are placed in one of the “interest points”, where horizontal and vertical lines intersect (4 interest points are created). Horizons are never places in the middle, for they “cut” the image in half. They are placed either in the upper or lower horizontal line. Main idea here is NOT to center subject.

Movement control refers to the manner in which motion is represented in the image. Motion can be frozen or blurred. Neither one is better over the other. It is the intention of representation. Movement is relative within the objects of the image. For example, photographing a race car that appears frozen in relation to the background does not give us a sense of speed or motion, so technique dictates to represent the car in a frozen manner but with a blurred background, thus creating the sense of motion, this is called "panning". On the other hand, representing a basketball player in a high jump frozen in relation to everything else, due to the “unnatural” nature of the pose would be a good photograph.

Depth of field (DOF) refers to the area in focus in front of and beyond main subject. Depth of field is chosen according to the specific needs of every picture. Large or small DOF can either way add or substract to the quality of the image. Low depth of field can be used to bring attention to the main subject, separating it from the general environment. High depth of field can be used to emphasize space. Short focal length lenses (wide angles) yield large DOF, and viceversa, long focal lenses (telephotos) have shallow DOF. Small apertures yield large DOF and conversely, large apertures yield shallow DOF.

On the graphic elements we have shape, volume, color, texture, perspective, balance, proportion, etc.

シェイプ refers to the contour of the main subjects.

ボリューム refers to the three dimensional quality of the object. This is acomplished using side light. Contrary to general belief, front lighting is not the best light. It tends to flatten subject. Best light of day is early morning or late afternoon.

カラー is important. Over saturated colours are not good.

素材 refers to the quality of the surface of the subject. It is enhanced by side lighting… it is the “feel” to the touch….

Perspective refers to the “angle” accompanied by lines that dissapear into a vanishing point that may or may not be inside the image.

バランス refers to the arrangement of subjects within the image that can either give equal weight or appear to be heavier on one side.

Proportion refers to the relation of size of objects in picture. Generally, we tend to represent small objects small in relation to others, but a good technique is to represent small objects large contrary to natural size relationship. For example, a small flower is given preponderance over a large mountain…. This is called inversion of scales.

Not all elements must be present. Some photographs can be judged on individual characteristics, that is, an image can be about color or texture, or color AND texture, etc.

Symbolic meaning or relevance…. Well, this is where opinion wars start…. A bad picture of a very difficult subject is a better picture than a good picture of an ordinary subject. A good picture of a difficult subject is an extraordinary photograph.

Images can be culturally biased by the photograher and/or the observer. The meaning of the image should be judged according to the cultural context of the image, not by the cultural context of the observer. An image “speaks” to people, and it has the capacity to evoke emotion such as tenderness, rage, rejection, hapiness, sadness, etc. Good photographs are not limited to evoking pleasant sensations….


Please don't forget that the image you are judging is somebody's work. Avoid using phrases like "it looks terrible" and "I hate it". If you must oppose, please do so with consideration. Also remember that your command of English might not be be the same as someone elses. Choose your words with care.

Happy judging… and remember.... all rules can be broken