Guidelines for Editors Picks

Guidelines for Editors Picks

NPN 1.0 published guidelines which editors used to make there choices for their Weekly Picks they were as follows:

The Weekly Picks are selected using the following criteria:

Do we have guidelines now? If so where are they? It would be desirable to have some understanding or expectations of what will appear in that banner.

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Looking forward to replies and clearer guidelines from David and the Moderators.

Sorry for the delay, we wanted to make sure this was fully fleshed out before releasing. You can find the new guidelines here: FAQ / Guidelines

Thanks for bringing this up Igor, it was something that flew under the radar during the transition and it clearly needed an update.

Hey David,

I read the new guidelines and responded to you in a message before discovering this thread where it belongs. I’m repeating it here for all to see and know where I stand. Keep up the good work.

Have to say these are the most comprehensive, well-founded and clearly expressed guidelines I’ve seen for a photo forum. For any forum as a matter of fact. I think I can spot your updates based upon my read many months ago, and I agree.

Thanks for holding the high standards that make NPN a special place!


Hi David and all

Generally good but why are we required to post mediocre photos in order to be considered for editor’s picks? Isn’t the goal of an endeavor like this to try and post what you consider good? I can understand occasionally posting a troublesome photo re “ what would you guys have done”. But what is the point of this? Do you really think people want to display what they consider work that in their mind is sub par and that they would not put on their website or display anyplace else? How does that improve this site? I am totally mystified by this. In case this is not clear I am referring to the section “Members who only post their best work in order to get a editor’s pick will not be selected”. How do you know why a member posts anyway?

Mostly quite good , thanks! - but a few concerns…

I certainly endeavor to post my best work, and that which I feel is “good.” I don’t care about EP’s, although it’s certainly rewarding to get one. Should we now post only our mediocre work? That doesn’t seem to make sense. How will you determine who is posting for a possible EP (not allowed) vs who is posting just to share work they are proud of, and get any further suggestions (allowed) ???

When I first joined, I was particularly drawn to the excellent work posted in the weekly and yearly awards. That, I suspect, is true for many new members. When I view the Naturescapes site, the Gallery of EP’s (largely weekly) is where I start. I want to see the images chosen as “BEST” -unique, technically excellent, different perspective, etc. By having only EP’s in the Banner, you’re really supporting showcasing only the “BEST” images, are you not?

And What is wrong with some friendly competition ? I don’t know of any site that doesn’t have some form of EP/WP’s.

When I first started on NPN 15+ years ago, I certainly aspired to post an image worthy of an EP one day - it took me 2 years for the first one, as I recall. I believe EP’s are an excellent way to award growth and improvement in the new people AND old.
If you remain concerned, why not limit EP’s to - say - 2 a month per person, or so? . That’s an option, although I believe many would not bother posting much any longer.

As far as posting re-edited older work - isn’t one of the points to continue to grow? As new software is released and we improve both our technical and editing skills, why should our re-worked images be of less value than new ones. ?

Most people here are working fulltime and/or otherwise not as fortunate as others who can travel a lot and have a continual influx of new images. Why should only those posting new images from the time and travels they have had, be more important than others who who have only an old stash of images they have not had time to edit yet.
As an example, I still have a couple hundred images from Africa in 2014 that I haven’t gotten to. Are these now ineligible?

Just my thoughts…

Hi @Kathy_Snead, While I can’t speak for @David_Kingham, staff or moderators, I think I understand the intent.

Perhaps it could be worded better, but I think the intent is to let folks know that the Editor’s picks won’t be used where folks are just posting their award winning images on NPN just to get EP picks. In other words, I could go back 25 years and just post all my best work without regard to feedback or critique in hopes of getting EP picks. I don’t do that, but I suppose maybe some could/would? I’m sure there wouldn’t be many/any, but I think that is what they’re trying to curtail.

But I hear ya. When i come back from a photo trip/outing, I typically cull through all the RAWs and pick out my favorites and start working them. I’m picking out my “best” from a particular outing. It certainly doesn’t mean that my best from a trip don’t need critique and feedback, they most always do.

I wouldn’t worry too much about that. I’d continue posting the images you want to post and want feedback on. I think most aren’t posting with the intent on getting an EP pick - but of course it’s always a nice thing to be recognized.




Hi all again
I hope Lon is correct ! But maybe David could reword the requirement.

Sandy brings up a good point about older images. We have had this problem in a club I belong too. While I want to distinguish this from people dredging up photos they have won with before many years ago, I want to point out one big problem with favoring recent images; Many folks who are older are, to a certain extent , going back into their library and working on old images. Are we going to say " hey you can’t shoot much anymore, so you cannot get EP’s?". Many folks may not be able to shoot as much but their editorial skills have increased. There is no reason to exclude those images. Yes, exclude those that are just a reposting (if it is possible to figure that out) but don’t exclude those where editorial skills have brought an old raw file out of the computer dungeon.

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Just to be clear, nothing is changing. This is not new criteria that I’m saying the moderators must follow. This was developed in conjunction with the moderators based upon what they have been doing for years to give you some idea on what criteria they use when making their picks. They have been using this criteria themselves by using their own judgement, this just puts it in writing as was requested.

We’re not asking that you don’t post your good (or great) work, as Lon said it is intended to avoid people posting only their absolute best work that is obviously exceptional and they’re just posting it in critiques to be picked for EP. Most people do not do this, but we want to put this out there to avoid it in the first place. First and foremost the critique sections is intended for just that, critiques! The EP is a secondary recognition of users who are growing so we can feature their growth.

I agree that recently taken images needs to reworded. I made these changes to clarify.

  • Recently taken or processed images will be favored over those taken/processed many years ago in order to encourage members to create new work and continue their growth.
  • Members who only post their absolute best work in an attempt to win the editors pick will not be selected, it is not a competition. The critique section is for critiques first and foremost, the EP is secondary for acknowledgment of members who are growing.

I guess I have a problem with the words “in an attempt to win the editors pick”

How does a moderator know what the attempt was?
How does a moderator know what the motivated the post?
How does a moderator know what a person is thinking when they post an image.

The ambiguity of this guideline makes it worthless. It’s worthless because a moderator may or may not accurately penalize a member. It’s totally biased. A pick based upon an unsupportable assumption has no merit and throws the whole Editor’s Pick process into the garbage heap. Those images are no longer worth even looking at.

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It is rare that the moderators actually make a decision based upon this, but it is making a statement that this should not be done, plain and simple. The moderators can and will make their own judgement on whether or not this happening. With their years of experience they can spot when this is someones intention.

David, I honestly can’t believe you just said this. :upside_down_face: You believe Moderators can, by some amazing 6th sense, magically perceive someone’s intention over the Net, when it’s highly likely that they have never even met the person or even interacted by phone or email ???
I didn’t realize having such amazing powers was a pre-requisite for being a moderator. yikes. :grin:

Sandy R-B

Hello, wow, I just came upon this thread and it’s an interesting read indeed :wink: … Being also active on one other (Dutch) forum, I always wonder about the incredible complex task for moderators to work with guidelines, that many of us would perceive as subjective. Bringing in words like ‘intention’ makes it even more intriguing, obviously and feed discussions.
Still, if I were to interpret the goals that are behind this set of guidelines, I would summarize them shortly as “rewarding exceptional images” and at the same time “prevent a situation where a few members dominate the EP section year round” (which, as good as the images may be, would not help the feeling of a community). If that’s the goal, I can fully relate to that. Since there are weeks that I have very limited time and simply cannot keep up with all the galleries on a daily basis, I still try and check the EP section. Until now I do have a feeling that this is quite a good representation on what has been going on in the respective fora. So, as long as the moderators can make their choices independently and with common sense, I do not see a problem.
The specific guideline for ‘recent’ does not really has an added value though IMHO: if one is shooting on a daily basis, only posts the best from the day/week with the sole intention of … On the other hand, someone who is still experiencing a steep learning curve will by default post recent images I;d say, so the ‘reward for progress’ is already organically taken care of.
Well, that’s just my 50 cents, I don’t worry too much and trust - as written above - that the moderators will do their judging independently, with common sense and the best intentions! And thanks for that :slight_smile: !

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I wholeheartedly support the recent comments of @Sandy_Richards-Brown and @Igor_Doncov re moderators and the reading of intentionality. That said, I have always had every confidence, irrespective of detailed guidelines being in place, that the decisions made by the moderators are being made entirely appropriately.

Can I add one other thought. The EPs seem to me a welcome feature of the site ( it is always nice to have such recognition ), but secondary to the simple giving and receiving of feedback on images. Whether this feedback contains critical suggestions or is entirely positive, we learn how others see our work - that is the most valuable thing and it has always been the strongest feature of NPN for me. It is noticeable that the Gallery images are now getting relatively little feedback ( in quite a number of cases none at all ) and that seems to me a shame - comments on these are still valuable even if critical suggestions are not allowed. And is it logical that EPs should be for images in the Critiques, about which we are reckoned to have some doubt, but not for those, most likely stronger images which the poster feels are ` finished ’ ?

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Thank you David for clarifying that nothing would change. Perfect!

Okay, let’s all take a deep breath. I can acknowledge that the section about trying to win the EP was not best placed in the criteria as it is too ambiguous and the moderators cannot make decisions based upon this. It was a point I was trying to get across and is better suited as a note rather than criteria or a rule, so I have removed that line from the criteria and replaced it with this which is just a note after the rules and criteria.

Note: The Editors Picks are not a competition against other members in any way. The EP should be treated as a competition against yourself to grow and become a better photographer. Your first priority when posting an image in the critique section should be to receive feedback and improve your photography, not in an attempt to be selected for the EP.

My intent was to discourage this type of behavior for people who treat the EP as a competition. With that, I think I have resolved the issues brought up and I hope we can all agree that we now have a solid set of criteria with this:

Editors Picks

The Weekly Editors Picks are selected using the following criteria:

  • Members who are actively participating by implementing critique suggestions and are working to grow their creative vision.
  • Technical execution (sharp focus, proper exposure, clean processing, etc.)
  • Aesthetic quality (composition, use of light, visual impact, etc.).
  • Originality.
  • Favor may be given to a member who has not been picked before so one person does not dominate the choices week to week.
  • Recently taken or processed images will be favored over those taken/processed many years ago in order to encourage members to create new work and continue their growth.
  • Amount of likes, views, and replies are not considered.
  • Iconic locations will be given less favor unless it is a unique, creative take on the scene (this does not mean unique weather conditions or special processing).

Editors Pick Rules

  • All weekly picks and annual EPA winners must be current NPN members.
  • All full members are eligible, this includes moderators and contributors.
  • All images must be initially posted in the image critique galleries in order to be considered for the weekly picks.
  • No multiple selections for the yearly picks - a different photographer will be selected for each of the 3 places in each of the 10 categories.
  • Winners grant the right to the Nature Photographers Network to use the image (with accompanying photo credit) for promotional purposes only.
  • All rights remain entirely with the photographer.

Note: The Editors Picks are not a competition against other members in any way. The EP should be treated as a competition against yourself to grow and become a better photographer. Your first priority when posting an image in the critique section should be to receive feedback and improve your photography, not in an attempt to be selected for the EP.

If you have any questions regarding the weekly picks or the yearly Editors Pick Awards, please contact us

The updated version sounds great, thank you.
Sandy R-B