Limits on Posting Photos

Discussion in ' Site Help' started by mottershead, May 30, 2003.

  1. Because of heavy traffic on the site, we are instituting the following changes in the Gallery:
    1. No Gallery photo over 600K pixels will be served. If a photo over this limit is requested, the thumbnail will be sent instead. Subscribers are subject to this limit along with non-subscribers.
    2. Non-subscribers will be limited to uploading a maximum of 20 photos. Photos that have received 10 or more ratings will not be counted against the quota. Subscribers are not subject to this limit, but remain subject to the previous 200-photo limit.
    • We urge all regular users of the Gallery to subscribe to The site needs your help in order to be able to continue to provide a place for people to share their photographs with the huge world-wide audience of
  2. Very good changes, hopefully it will ease the load of the server(s). But the rating condition sounds a bit odd and might cause an increase in multiple accound fraud. Maybe the max limit should be 30 - no matter how many ratings a photo receives.
  3. Amen!
  4. Shouldn't this be prominently posted on the home page? (if it is, I'm not seeing it, but I'm just getting a 'server load' error message).
  5. I think this is a good move - and you're more generous than I would have been!

    600K is almost enough for 1024x768 uncompressed (790K), which is more than reasonable. I personally don't see the point in posting anything larger than 800x600 since most people won't be able to fit anything larger than that in their browser window. Very lightly compressed 800x600 makes a jpeg that's under 300K. I'd have at least limited non-subscribers to under 300K.

    I wouldn't have had the ratings exemption for non-subscribers either. Just 20 images. That means less database checking and 20 is a more than reasonable number of images for users to display their talent. Users can cycle their images if they want to display more than 20 (or become Patrons!).

    I certainly hope these changes drop the bandwidth and server loading. I just don't have a feeeling for how much of the load is the result of transfers of images over 600K in size or downloading of images from large portfolios belonging to non-subscribers. However even if it doesn't drop the load much, but encourages more subscriptions, it's still good!

    Ironically enough, it took about 20 minutes before I could write this response, and another 20 minutes before the system would let me post it...
  6. The limit is 600K PIXELS not bytes.
    This is enough for 800x600 (plus a little more to accomodate panoramas) and to provide some grace.

    The reason for the exception for frequently-rated photos is that I don't want to lose photos from top photographers even if they are over the 20. I'd like them to become subscribers, but I want their photos in the Gallery more. What I'm trying to discourage of is the person who is not a subscriber and uploads the whole CF card of birthday party snaps. If he is a subscriber, then he is paying us to do that, and I don't mind. But if he isn't a subscriber, he is a freeloader, and I don't particularly see why I should work for a low salary so that can buy hardware and bandwidth for his snaps.

    I might make some other exceptions as well, since ratings are somewhat defective in identifying valuable contributors to the Gallery.
  7. Okay, I've finally set up my PayPal account and paid for the subscription! I don't consider myself an average, let alone a good photographer and I normally use the forums to learn more about my hobby in the hope that one day I'll be better. I'm not too bothered about the upload limits or the gallery because I make little use of them, however I'd hate the site to go under because there is so much valuable advice on here and I find it genuinely useful.

    Steve Coburn
  8. Brian,

    I think the requirements should be tightened even more for non-paying users, but this is a great first step. I'm glad to see making this move.
  9. is simply the best online photographic resource there is. Would you miss it if it went belly up? I know I would. The subscription is cheap at the price, my only regret is that I didn’t subscribe sooner.
    If anyone is anxious about subscribing using PayPal, don’t be. I must admit I was, but tried it and liked it so much that I am now using PayPal as the main payment method on my own website. really is worth supporting!
  10. Wow, I've got my icon already! That's what I call service :)
  11. gib


    In response to this situation, I have begun deleting photos although I was sitting at around 100 photos, which is under my allowed 200 as a subscriber. I intend to remove more, been getting that unhappy server message, and to take a short break from posting photos.

    I hope this message about posting limits goes on the home page, and whatever page the new user gets to see when they join. is great, will keep on trucking

    more subscribers are needed now more than ever

    hang in there, Brian et al

    regards, Bill Gibson
  12. I totally agree with all the other posts to this item. I also regreat having waited too long to subscribe, but that's water over the dam. I've belonged to ther sites which have far smaller allowable image sizes and far more space dedicated to advertisers. This is the best site for what we do, and I hope it continues. Great work everyone. --Rich
  13. OK, I'm suitably chastised - I'll learn to read before I post!

    Yes, 600K pixels is reasonable. 600x800 is only 480K pixels so a 600K pixel limit is good. That's around 100Kbytes at normal jpeg compression and only 300Kbytes even if you chose the least possible jpeg compression.
  14. Makes sense to me. I'd make the non-subscriber limit 10 photos. Thanks.
  15. Brian,

    If you can limit the Freeloaders to 20 pictures in total, then I'd say more power to you. Of course, limiting them to 10 in total, not per day nor per week would be even better. How about further limiting them to no more than one (1) picture per day?

    I disagree with exempting the 10 or more ratings against the quaota, because it can be easily beaten. If the Freeloaders care so much about how many pictures they can load up, well then, please pay up.

    Even 200 pictures for the patrons is excessive, IMHO.

    We are all behind you. Take care.
  16. Brian's 'new policy' has not been posted on the home page. This is the message that still greets people who want to sign up...
  17. Good move Brian! I don't think you will regret this move, and if you do, well, I suppose you could reverse the policy.

    So this means a 68 kb file that is 750 pixels by 750 pixels will display as a thumbnail if called up in the Gallery?
  18. Great idea! I also don't see the reason for the exemption for non-subscribers with more than 10 ratings. Why would they lose photos? Wouldn't they just be prevented from posting new photos? And, if they are really that good and getting all the ratings, then it would stand to reason that they are getting some benefit from the site and should be willing to fork over the reasonable subscription fee in order to allow them to post more than 20 great photos with lots of ratings. Right?
  19. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    Hey, Brian, why not institute multiple levels of subscription/support. I'll bet there are quite a few subscribers who would step forward and put in $50 per year or even more. Since 1996 has been extremely useful to me. I've put in $25, but I'd be willing to double that per year. Just a thought.
  20. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    Oops. I guess this thread isn't the appropriate thread for that. Sorry!
  21. Praise be! Brian, good decision made at a proper time as things were deteriorating.
    Now my critique. I gotta agree with Bob Atkins I wouldn't have had the ratings exemption for non-subscribers either. Just 20 images. My reasoning is 10 ratings are not hard to get as a mater of fact several of my latest shots seemed to get that many 3/3’s. I think you should go either 20 shots period or 20/20…not counting any shot with 20 or more ratings.
    One of the other photo sites, I believe it’s photosig, have put a timer into place where you could not skip through photo’s critiquing 4(?) or more a minute. Is this a good idea? Is it feasible?
    And lastly I’d like to agree with Tony Rowlett about $25 being just a starting donation…I’m wondering if it’s worth having something like a Load Balancer Drive where existing members who want to contribute a couple of bucks extra can do so?
    Bottom Line: Brian…thanks for doing a great (and sometime thankless) job…cheers…Jim
  22. Brian,

    $25 a year does not buy a whole lot of film, so it is NOT a lot of money to ask. Don't be scared. All these visitors spent hundreds and thousands of their dollars on equipment and film/development, your $25.00 a year is way TOO LOW!!! AOL asked almost that much PER MONTH, and you don't have half the fun there. Go do it, pay up or be restricted! Best regards,
  23. Will these limits apply to images posted in the forums, too? It doesn't look like they currently apply to a user's quota. (Maybe the "No Words" threads are insignificant in terms of traffic?)

    Hang in there, Brian. This might be a crappy problem, but it's happened because you're running a great website.
  24. Many sites have bronze/silver/gold type memberships where the more you pay, the more you get. isn't setup like that, but I suppose it's possible that some future features could be made available in that way. Especially features that are likely to be hard on the server.

    It's certainly conceivable that you could have a scheme whereby you get to store 100 images for $25/yr, 200 images for $35/yr or 400 images for $50/yr for example.

    Even better would be a two tier download limit. 5MB/day for non-patrons, unlimited for patrons. This wouldn't affect forum users (or static article readers) since the bandwidth consumed there is pretty small but would hit those downloading large numbers of images. 5MB would be about 50 large images, which would be more than fair for non-patrons. The exact limit would need to be determined by looking at the logs. It should be at or below the point where it would have a significant impact on reducing bandwith consumption by non-subscribers.
  25. I believe we have a scheme in place where you can buy more space. I know there are people on with large portfolios and they are paying for it. I do not remember the amounts, but they were posted in a forum quite a while ago. So that some of the people are paying $25.00 per (for example) 200 more uploads. I do not know the exact terms, I did not save the forum I saw it in. At any rate those people are supporting as many freeloaders as they are paying their $25.00 increments. Can anyone confirm this?

    I don't think the 10 ratings is any reason for being allowed more uploads. This site does not turn on the ratings, as you can see from the above postings. People come here for information. Unless you return rate and get caught up in the ratings balderdash you seldom get that many ratings. I would hate to see some of the top photo pages being touted as the best there is on The best there is, is in the information. The information is on some photos, but it is also in articles and in forums. What about the people who contribute to forums and articles, wouldn't they be allowed a free ride, too? And so, it would go, on and on. Do not allow that ratings thing, please.
  26. You are in fact correct! You can buy more image space. $25 for 250 more images, $50 for 500 more images and so on ( Note that this page has not yet been updated to reflect the new policy.
  27. And you can also subscribe for MORE than three years. My subscription will now be good until 2007!!!
  28. I am going on Monday to by an international money order, then I shall post it to you and only hope that you get it. What will happen to the images the I have all ready uploaded as there are about 60 of them, will they be deleted. This is a great site and the 20 photo limit is very reasonable for non subscribers. I am a little worried that we may lose good photographers with the new restictions though.
    I often check the who's online now and I find that the usuall number of registered users when I am online is from 80 to 120.
    I feel that the bandwidth problems may also come from visitors browseing Well I hope that this all works out as this is a valuable source of inspiration.
    Greetings from Stuart Moxham Finland..
  29. Even better would be a two tier download limit. 5MB/day for non-patrons, unlimited for patrons. This wouldn't affect forum users (or static article readers) since the bandwidth consumed there is pretty small but would hit those downloading large numbers of images.
    I don't like this idea. Every once and a while, I go on a commenting spree where I start at the oldest photos in the critique forum and work my way up, commenting on every photo that doesn't have one already that I can think of something useful to say on. I'd like to think this is helpful and would be annoyed to only get so far and then find I'm not allowed to look at any more photos because I've hit some limit.
  30. Michelle - Unfortunately you are the exception. Most users don't leave comments on everything they view, they just download (and download...) and look at the images. I suppose the software could ignore any downloads for which a comment was added, though I'm not sure how easy that would be. Again with limited resources has to spend it's programing time where it gets the most "bang for the buck!".

    Of course you could always become a Patron and get unlimited downloads!
  31. PBS and NPR regularly have "pledge drive" weeks to drum up subscribers. Unfortunately, if I donate money to NPR, I still have to listen to the pledge drives (although they are remarkably good at guiting me into giving them money). might think about instituting something of the sort, where you open the front page and a window pops up guilting you into becoming a subscriber ("you have spent XXX minutes on If you were a subscriber, that would amount to XX cents a minute. Think of all the valuable insights you have gained in your XX months on Isn't today a good day to subscribe") or something like that. If you subscribe, you don't get the guilt trip.

    I see this as not being terribly invasive, or interrupting the continuity of the site.

    Unfortunately, I have NO idea how to implement this seeing as I am but a lowly photographer.
  32. Steve, have some pride. There's no such thing as a lowly photographer. (Well, there is, but I don't think you're one of them.)

    Do the new guidelines mean an 800x800 pixel image will load as a thumbnail? I haven't noticed the 600K restriction taking effect, yet.
  33. Sheesh - here's a perfect example of why we need limits: I was just doing some critiques and got to an image that was 2.7Mb in size - and the submitter's site has all of his pictures (there are only 8) at the same size!! That amounts to about 20Mb of space that should in reality only take up less than 4Mb. Posters like this are in all probability not even aware of how to resize their images. This could be a problem, but if the software can send a message back saying that the image exceeds the limit, then this will definitly help. --Rich
  34. I'm writing this on a Saturday night. At the moment there are 62 registered users online, or about half the number as on a busy week day, and the site is PAINFULLY SLOW. I have a high speed connection and it took over 3 minutes to load this thread! If this site can work so slowly at what appears to be a time of low volume could there possibly be some addition problem?
  35. Well, Brian, there is the very excellent move. Personally I find it a great step forward.
    Have you ever considered deleting unpopular Images after certain time? Let's say, if an Image doesn't receive at least 5 ratings, it will be deleted after a month or so. or if it cuts under average - deleted after certain time.
    You must still transport tons of folders and Images no one will ever look again.
    Another step I would strongly recommend: to limit the opportunity for rating. Only Patrons can give full comments and rates, non-paying users can just comment. It would be a way to get rid of this fakes which come up occasionally just to downrate (or sometimes uprate ..) and after this lost into Nirwana again.
    Fred Vnoucek
  36. Fred - The trouble with deleting images with a small number of ratings is that very often you can find some very nice work that has gone essentially ignored! There are a great many fine photographers who have not gathered a large number of friends to bestow ratings on their work to push them onto the top rated pages. It would be a shame to see those images deleted for that reason.
  37. Congratulations on this bold and welcome move.

    Three things :<p>

    - I think the 20 pic limit ought to apply regardless of number of ratings;<br>
    - PLEASE think about serious web hosting; I'd happily pay to around $15 pm to have my site at;<br>
    - Consider a lower tier patron status : $15pa, 100 pics - something like that.<p>

    This makes me feel a whole lot more positive about; thanks & regards.<hr>
  38. It would be nice to join, I payed two weeks ago today and am still waiting for membership, how long does it normally take?
  39. I don't like this new photo limit. I hope you don't delete my photos from this site. :( I am a college student, and don't have a summer job yet, so I am not going to empty my pockets just to support with cash at this time.
  40. Elliot, we don't plan to delete photos over the limit of 20 immediately, but we will eventually. Twenty photos is enough for people to showcase their best work and to obtain feedback on them from other photographers. It is possible to rotate images within a limit of 20. Work that is well-received will probably get enough ratings to be exempt from the limit. As a non-subscriber, you can actually have up to 100 photos on the site, including up to 20 that don't have ratings.

    I can see why people who have become used to receiving a free benefit from might not like to see that benefit withdrawn, and so it doesn't surprise me that you don't like it. But tell me how the limit is unfair or unreasonable. Somebody has to pay the costs associated with storing your photos and transmitting them to a world-wide audience. absorbs those costs for people, gratis, up to a quite a high number of photos. Beyond that, why shouldn't you be the person absorbing the costs? Are you that much of a charity case?
  41. Michelle - Unfortunately you are the exception. Most users don't leave comments on everything they view, they just download (and download...) and look at the images. I suppose the software could ignore any downloads for which a comment was added, though I'm not sure how easy that would be. Again with limited resources has to spend it's programing time where it gets the most "bang for the buck!".
    Of course you could always become a Patron and get unlimited downloads!

    Ok, ok, I stopped procrastinating. I bugged my hubby to use his PayPal account so I didn't have to hassle with sending a money order. Now gimme my icon. :p
  42. Erm... Damn, that was fast... I thought those things were added manually. LOL!

    Does it look good on me? :)

    Yes, I _am_ in a silly mood, as a matter of fact...
  43. Margaret - web hosting - thanks,....I am going to try to load a trial PN site into homepage sometime this week, though I was thinking something more along the lines of Tiger Technologies. My site has around 200 images with thumbnails and other bits and pieces; uploading through FTP. I need around 30Mb of space...and use of my own of course....PN admin will not answer my queries in this regard, wherever and however I post them. Sometimes I believe I'm living in Coventry!
  44. Seven

    The webspace is an unsuported feature right now. Basically you're allowed about 15MB of webspace from which to serve your files.
    That's it.

    No domain hosting, no 3rd level domains ( is not supported), no frontpage extensions, no ftp uploads, no cgi, no asp, no shell access, no email, no server side includes, no telephone or email support, no password protection, no weblogs, no "whatever else anyone can think of asking about". It's there, you can use it, it's free. has neither the time nor the support staff nor the desire to compete with commercial webspace providers and the multitude of services they usually provide.

    You can put html files there and will serve them. If you start to consume excessive amounts of bandwidth (not currently defined, but basically if you start to slow the whole site down), we'll ask you to stop. We'd rather you didn't post really big image files (please don't post full size images from DSLRs).

    I do have a help file ready which will be installed as soon as I can figure out where to put it!
  45. Cheers Bob!!
  46. I can't get Pay-Pal to work, yet..:( But, rest assured I'm working on it and as soon as it's working I'll zap you $25. Than I'll feel safe in my home once again...what's with all the "Free loaders" crap? That's awfully rude. I joined PN about a year ago, before this subscription service existed and being that I only had 3 photo's up, and the services here were being offered free I had no reason to cough up $25 until now. You lot sure do know how to make a person feel unwelcome.

    Sometimes being at PN is like being in school again. Theres a whole hierarchy of photographers here who just spit on the rest of us. Were not worthy to comment on photos, or rate them..or even look at them if we do not have a folder full of "wow!" "Perfect!" "7/7!"

    But anyway..You'll have my $25 by Monday I imagine.
  47. Erin - there will always be a few vocal people like that in any organization. What you have to realize is that there are 100x more people who don't think that way, but we don't post.

    Most non-subscribers aren't "freeloaders". They're "potential subscribers" for the most part!

    However the "freeloader" tag could apply to someone who had 100 images in their gallery space and consumed large amounts of bandwidth by downloading images.

    I think the basic rule should be that if you're an occasional user of, you have a few gallery images and you visit maybe once or twice a week for 1/2 hour at a time, then you're welcome to use's free services. You probably only add an insignificant burden to the total server load. However if you spend 2 or 3 hours a day here every day and have 50 images in the gallery, you really should subscribe since you're using a significant amount of bandwith that SOMEONE has to pay for!.

    You can also subscribe because you think it's the right thing to do, or because has provided you with $25 worth of information, education and entertainment!
  48. Bob- My thoughts are the same for the most part, I've decided to become a subscriber now because I am uploading more pictures and spending more time at PN, I feel it's right to contribute. Perhaps I took offense to to the term "free loader" to quickly, however it was hard not to with the amount of use it was getting.

    Think I've just seen an excess of the stuff I was ranting about this week (Red Shoes, anyone?) and was ready to take offense...
  49. Good to se that is doinf what it can to save
  50. But, even being a subscriber doesn't exempt us from not posting more than 1 critique in 24 hours...?
  51. My subscription has been decisively a well-spent bucks, if you think to many silly things we buy in photography with no serious reason at all..


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