The Terms of Service for posting are important and should be read and accepted before you choose to participate. We encourage contributors who are courteous, polite and respectful. We discourage those who choose to behave in a disrespectful and/or irresponsible manner. We, our staff and volunteer moderators will take appropriate steps to ensure discussions adhere to these guidelines.

    In general, we will leave it to you, the community, to manage your own conduct. We ask that you treat other forum participants with respect. Please remember that this is a public venue read by many people of all ages, from around the world, spanning all walks of life.

    Occasionally, our forum moderators will need to use their discretion to determine the best course of action. We have entrusted out moderators to do what is best for the global community, including regional communities, when appropriate. Moderators assist with focusing topics of discussion and will gently enforce guidelines, as needed. They can edit/delete posts, move, close or delete threads, and temporarily moderate users’ posts.

    Discussion forums are moderated to preserve the spirit of an open, interactive discussion without offending participants. Please understand that we are not attempting to censor any message or opinions. We reserve the right to edit/remove inappropriate messages, or to lock a discussion thread. Again, the intent it not to censor legitimate discussion or to change the meaning of any post. If we edit your post and you do not like the changes, please notify us and we can delete your post. Examples of posts that may be edited and deleted include those containing profanity, chain letters and other spam postings, or those that reveal private information about another community member.

    As the purpose of TrekEarth is to learn about the world through photography, shots of common objects (like closeups of garden plants, water droplets, toothbrushes etc.) tend not teach us anything without a suitable note, so unless there's a suitable note they will be deleted at the discretion of site moderators. If you wish to post these types of image please consider using our sister site TrekLens.

    1. Only one account per user is permitted.
    2. You must be the photographer and copyright holder of all material posted to TrekEarth.
    i. You retain copyright and the ability to delete/edit your photos.
    ii. You grant TrekEarth the right to use your images for display anywhere on the TrekEarth site.
    iii. TrekEarth is not responsible for unauthorized usage of your images outside the TrekEarth site.
    iv. You retain copyright for your forum postings. You give TrekEarth a non exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free license to use your forum postings.

    3. Only photographs are permitted. Images may not be digitally manipulated in an image editing program ie, Photoshop except for the following reasons:

    i. Copyright notices and (straight-edged, plain) frames
    ii. Cropping, resizing and sharpening
    iii. Touching up (dust, slight imperfections)
    iv. Levels, Curves, Color adjustment, Hue, Saturation etc. for minor image enhancements.
    v. Multiple exposures to get proper exposure values
    vi. Stitching for panoramic photos
    vii. Color conversion to Black and White, Sepia, Duotone etc.
    viii. Perspective correction for parallax or lens distortion.

    Certain types of photos are prohibited on TrekEarth and will be removed:
    Nude photographs unless the nudity is intrinsically related to an event such as a regional festival, daily living, or the like.
    Photographs of family, friends, or pets (not only one's own).
    Self-portraits, photos of your own reflection or own shadow.
    Studio-like, set-up or posed photos.
    Closeups of any flowers of plants, water droplets, toothbrushes etc. are not allowed.

    Photos of paintings or photos (of which you are not the copyright holder) must convey the environment in which they are situated, or could be subject to removal."
    4. Identical photos (unmodified or not) may not be re-posted except through the 'Post to Workshop' or 'Re-Post' mode. (Deleting the original image in order to re-post is also not acceptable. Instead, open a Discussion for the photo to request feedback
    5. Identical photos may not be posted to more than one Trek Site (TrekEarth, TrekLens, TrekNature).
    6. Workshop or Re-Posted images must include information on any changes made to the original.
    7. Profanity, insults, and rude comments are prohibited on TrekEarth. Personal attacks and inflammatory behavior will not be tolerated. This applies to critiques, comments and postings in the forums.

    1. Retribution is not acceptable.
    2. Email to complain about rude critiques or forum messages.

    8. Respect the forum staff. We’re not here to make life harder to anyone. Any decision taken by the administrators and moderators is final and must be respected. Postings that disparage site administration will be removed.
    9. Postings must be on-topic. Unrelated or self-promotional postings or SPAM may be locked, transferred or removed. Posting the same message or an unsolicited commercial message to one or many topics or boards is considered spam. Duplicate messages may be deleted or consolidated by our moderators. Please do your best to post new topics to the appropriate forum board. Moderators can take action when a thread should be moved to a more appropriate section.
    10. Any impersonation of a user within these forums, in any mode of communication, is strictly prohibited and will result in a banning.
    11. Any messages you post in these discussion forums will remain available to the public for as long as this discussion board is online. Once you have posted your message, it will stay online. Please post carefully and with due consideration to the content of your post. 12. Image licensing requests via the private messaging service or emailing deemed excessive and/or unreasonable will be not be processed and may result in account inactivation.
    13. TrekEarth reserves the right to terminate without notice your membership at any time, for any reason, including your violation of any of these Terms of Service.
    14. High Maintenance Clause: Any member who occupies a majority of admin or moderator time unnecessarily will be shown the door.
    15. A proper title must be chosen using words and no signs.
    Site Features
    1. Critiques are to be used for any critical or praiseworthy comments about the critiqued photo.
    2. Overly general critiques i.e. Nice shot, Great, I like it a lot! etc. are prohibited and will be removed. .
    3. Critiques should include specific reasons as to why a photo is either good or needs improvement.
    4. Critiques which include broad generalizations such as good composition, nice colors etc. should be marked as a comment. Such critiques may be marked as a comment. Writing excessive amounts of these general critiques may be removed, and the ability to write critiques may be disabled. (It will still be possible to write comments.)
    5. Critiquing is one of the core aspects of TE/TL and all helpful critiques are welcomed, however critiquing mostly friend/family members without critiquing others is unfair to the other members and breaches the community spirit of this site. Please critique fairly, as failure to do so may result in removal of critiques and/or ratings or account removal.
    6. Critiques may not contain any mention of points to be given in the future. If you run out of points, feel free to continue writing thoughtful critiques without mention of points.
    Critique Ratings
    1. Critique ratings are to be used to rate critiques fairly.
    2. Critique ratings determined to be used for significant retribution or significant reward without warrant will result in removal of all critique ratings for that member and suspension of ability to rate critiques.
    3. Critique ratings may not be used for critiques written in languages the member does not understand.
    1. Comments are general statements, words of support and encouragement. Use comments to leave general feedback like good composition, nice colors. Do not leave critiques here. For specific feedback, leave a Critique.
    2. Comments must pertain to the photo, not to the photographer. This is not a place to leave messages for the user. Comments of that nature will be removed. Please use the contact option on the user’s page for personal messages.
    Photo Discussions:
    Photo Discussions are to be used for discussion about the photo.
    Photographer's Notes:
    Photographer's Notes are to be used for general or technical descriptions about the photo.
    Travelogues are to be used for trip stories.


    It is your responsibility to be familiar with and remain updated regarding our Guidelines. All users of these forums must comply with these Guidelines. We reserve the right to ban any member who violates our guidelines or disrupts our community.