Photo Acceptance Guide

By the screening team.

All images in this guide are copyrighted by unless stated otherwise.

Last updated on January 10th, 2022

Disclaimer: This guide is intended to aid you in your upload and editing process. It is in no way a guarantee that your images will be accepted if you feel you have followed this guide.

As a photographer you have access to our aviation photography forum. There are many helpful and skilled people there who can help you improve your pictures. If this guide is not helpful please do not hesitate to ask our users for help. Remember to always do so with respect to everyone, including the Crew.

General notes before reading:

  1. Images taken before the digital era (pre 12/2004 as a guideline) will be screened with more leniency because of their historical value and rarity, and to expand our database. The older they are the more lenient we are. For example Images taken in 1960 will be screened with more leniency than images taken in 1990. The implication of this policy is that you will see many old images in the database where quality is not as high as images taken today.
  2. Rare aircraft and new registrations will also be screened with more leniency. We understand that the term rare is subjective. By rare we mean individual aircraft (new registrations). We do not mean the first visit of an aircraft to an airport, for example the first A380 visit to Amsterdam.
  3. Often when fixing an image after a rejection new problems can come to light as this rejection guide will show on a number of occasions. Your image may for example be rejected on the first try for being too dark, and the next time it may be rejected for grainy because in lightening the image digital noise was brought out. This is not screener inconsistency but a result of editing images.
  4. The implication of point #3 is that some images may be unfixable no matter how much time you spend on improving them. Photoshop cannot save a bad picture! As screeners we will do our best to point out whenever we feel an image cannot be fixed but we will not be able to foresee this in every case. As a general rule if after 2-3 rejections your image is being rejected time and time again for similar reasons it will probably never make it.
  5. When reworking images we suggest to always start from scratch and not work on the rejected JPEG. Double jpeg compression will cause great loss of quality, so always work from the original picture.
  6. High resolution images show more flaws than low resolution images. We therefore advise everyone to upload images at 1024 pixels wide. Uploading higher resolutions (with a maximum of 1920 pixels wide) should only be done with very high quality images and sufficient editing experience.
  7. When an image gets rejected and you want to reupload we appreciate a short note in the "comment to screeners" box on the upload page on why this image was rejected before.


As the quality and capability of cameras and processing software improves continuously, the following changes apply to uploads. Additionally, this is in response to the needs and requests of the majority of community members, uploaders and viewers.

Please review them carefully


For high in frame and low in frame (HIF / LIF) the tolerance has been expanded. Only images which are significantly LIF/HIF will be rejected.

The following images are acceptable:

These images are not acceptable for HIF / LIF


For air to air images, we allow two images per sequence. We now extend this to Air to Ground images. The motive, however, should be different, a picture of the same aircraft taken 1 or 2 seconds apart at the same angle does not apply. The previously published rules on left hand side / right hand side/ head on / on ground / landing / rotation apply and do not impact the allowance of two images


Backlit is a judgement call, and sometimes photographers cannot get on the correct side of the aircraft. Backlit is fundamentally different to underexposed. If the image is not fundamentally dark it will be accepted. With the latest camera equipment increasing the dynamic range capability, acceptable backlit images are now allowed. In particular, backlit is accepted for air to air shots and on the ground


We now allow drone pics but only if allowed by the airport / facility. Many have "No Drone Zone" signs and only the airport operator can use them. This should be noted to screeners when uploading. Similar to air to ground photography 2 images are permitted from different angles.


We now provide more tolerance for cropping. The following images are both considered acceptable cropping.

Priority Screening Guidelines

Priority matters are to be discussed with the priority team only! So please send your priority requests, with the aircraft registration number and the reason why you ask for priority screening, to [email protected]

When a priority screener becomes available, your request will be examined, so do not send the email multiple times and do not send it to the regular screeners email address.

The following subjects will be given priority screening and will qualify for a News Banner on the front page.

  1. New type of aircraft, except ultralight and homebuilts.
  2. New type of aircraft for airline - in full scheme, including sub types, ie 737-700, 737-800
  3. First flight for above.
  4. New cabin design.
  5. New color scheme for airline including different types and subtypes (eg 737-700 737-900)
  6. New special colors (IE retro jets, logo jets and colorful one offs) including subtypes as above
  7. New type for an armed force.
  8. New colorful special for a military aircraft including tail only, even not highly visible or camo.
  9. Accident or incident. Accident or incident must be visible in picture and does not include burst tyres, missing winglets and the like at screener discretion. A News Banner is at screener discretion. After the crash we will only accept images with the crash in them. We will not accept pictures of the aircraft in question taken before the crash.
  10. Media events and first flight of the demonstrator tour.

The following subjects will be given priority screening but do NOT qualify for a News Banner on the home page.

  1. First flights for two in the preceding paragraph above.
  2. New aircraft for the airline - in full scheme. New registration or manufacturer reusable registration. Museum, restored or permanent display aircraft will not qualify.
  3. New type of aircraft for an airline - hybrid.
  4. New registrations
  5. New registration. New registration for an armed force, museum, restored or permanent display aircraft will not qualify.
  6. First visits of newsworthy aircraft at screener discretion.
  7. Major air shows Paris, Farnborough, Berlin, Dubai and MAKS only. Priority will only be given on show days.
  8. Water cannon salutes for any of the above will receive priority.
  9. Crops are acceptable at screener discretion.

The following subjects will NOT be given priority screening

  1. New type of aircraft for an airline - untitled
  2. First visit of common type/airline to an airport
  3. New stickers or decals of any kind.Screener discretion will apply if the decals are for an airline's anniversary.
  4. Diversions of aircraft from other airports due to weather.
  5. Sporting charters, final flights of common aircraft, military movements at civil airfields, head of state movements such as Air Force One and talk of town.

Priority screening is offered for 24 hours after the first image is accepted.

Only the first shots will be added to the News Banner to thank those who upload first

All of the above rules are at screener discretion and subject to change.

The type of images we accept:


Any and all airplanes, on the ground or in flight are acceptable. This includes civil and military aircraft. That includes gliders, ultralights and homebuilts.

Not allowed are r/c models or other scale mock ups. Full scale mock ups are allowed but they have to be of existing aircraft (i.e. a mock up of a futuristic aircraft even at real scale is not allowed).


We accept pictures of airfields (including heliports), including runways, terminal buildings (inside and outside) and control towers.

We do not accept pictures of hangars (only if the image also contains an aircraft), office buildings or any other airport installations., like radar towers, beacons or approach lights

Space Vehicles

All images in this category should be vehicles designed to leave the earth's atmosphere and travel into space (nominally 100km above the earth's surface). The vehicle's primary role should be to travel through space/atmosphere without contact to the ground (eg the Space Shuttle is allowed but the Mars Rover tracked vehicle is not allowed).

Primarily the category is intended for vehicles which are piloted by, or transport, a life-form (eg a Space Shuttle carries a crew of people, early Russian experimental rockets carried dogs).

Images of non-living-payload vehicles are permitted (such as Arianne/Saturn rockets), however it is preferred that such vehicles are depicted in their entirety.

Images solely depicting ancillary objects such as dispensed rocket-tanks, rocket engine components, payload, astronauts, etc are generally not permitted. Missiles are specifically not allowed, and any rockets should be nominally 25m or greater in height.

Re-entry capsules, habitation vehicles ("space station"), atmosphere-contained space research vehicles (eg early Buran prototypes), etc are all allowed.


Any and all balloons (blimps) are allowed as long as they can carry persons.

Ekranoplanes and hovercraft

Ekranoplanes are allowed. Hovercraft are not allowed.


We accept all helicopters including autogyros and tiltrotor aircraft.

UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)

We accept a limited number of UAVs, which must have a MTOW of 1,000 lbs (450 kg) and be reusable.

Rejection Reasons


Your photo(s) did not appear to be level.

This problem is caused by not keeping the camera completely level while making the photograph, and particularly applies to pictures of aircraft on the ground. For shots of aircraft in flight where the ground is visible (take-offs and landings in particular), the general rule is that the camera should be level with the horizon and the aircraft be at an angle.

A good method for checking if the photo is leveled is to check the vertical lines in the photo (buildings, lamp posts etc.) for being vertical. Try to avoid using verticals at the left or right edges of the photo, because these are often subject to lens distortion. In general, these problems can often be fixed by carefully rotating the picture until the verticals are truly vertical, and then cropping the picture. When using a wide-angle lens, use the verticals in the centre of the image to level the photo.

If you think you have been able to improve the photos, please re-upload them. Do not forget to include a note to the screeners, detailing what you have done to improve the image. There is a special field available for such notes. Please note that we are still very interested in having these photos in our database, we only ask that you try to improve the quality of the images as much as possible.

Note: When you get a personal message stating CW it means the image needs clockwise rotation. If the message reads CCW it means your image needs counter clockwise rotation

Wide-angle images are often difficult to level. Most lenses have substantial distortion that makes verticals on the edges of the image unreliable. In such cases you need to level the image on the verticals in the centre portion in the image. The image below shows this phenomenon.

Example 1: Wide-angle leveling

Note that the verticals on both sides of the image lean inward. Levelling based on these verticals would give unsatisfying results. What I did here was level on the vertical in the centre portion of the image.

Often you will take images that have no good verticals to base your leveling on. In such cases you will have to level using the horizon as a reference.

Example 2a: Not level

This image is not level because the horizon leans to the right. In the second image this is fixed by applying 1 degree of counterclockwise rotation (ccw).

Example 2b: Level but uncropped

Note that after rotation the image has white borders. You need to recrop to get rid of them. Always redo the images completely because cropping changes the size of your image and if you do it on a 1024 pixel image you may end up with an image that is too small.

Example 3: Not level Image copyright Royal S. King

In this image both the horizon and the cockpit are unlevel. This would be rejected for LEVEL because we require that either the horizon is level or the cockpit is level. In this image you would either need to apply counter clockwise rotation to level the horizon or clockwise rotation to level the cockpit.

Please note that we usually require the cockpit to be level, unless the airplane can be seen banking quite steeply as in the above example. If it's turning only very slightly please level on the cockpit verticals and not the horizon.

Note of caution: horizons are not always what they seem, sometimes they have slopes or perspective distorts the view. Similarly, verticals can sometimes give contradictory messages. In the difficult (rare) cases you sometimes need to apply some common sense and make sure the image 'looks' level or 'feels' level. This only applies to the most difficult of cases.

For more information on how to fix level problems, see the editing guide section on leveling.


This might be caused by motion blur from trying to track a fast moving object with low shutterspeeds, or by inadequate post-processing of the image.

Look carefully at your original digital image or photo print or slide. If it is sharper than the uploaded file, you might try using a photo editing program like Photoshop to sharpen the images, using the Unsharp Mask, Adaptive Unsharp, or Sharpen tools. If your photo has a high resolution you might try reducing it to 1024 pixels wide. This will mask any minor blurriness.

If the original image is not sharper then the version you uploaded, this image can probably not be saved.

Example 1a: Blurry

This image is a good example of blurriness caused by a low shutterspeed.

Since blurry images often cannot be improved, note what happens to the image when we try to improve it by sharpening it in example 2.

Example 1b: Sharpened

Note how some parts of the image now look sharp. However it mostly appears over-sharpened, especially around the titles.

It's a common fault to try and save blurry images by sharpening. This will then result in an over-sharpened rejection. Again we stress that you look carefully at the original image and check if it's in focus. If it is, then the blurry rejection may have been caused by improper editing. If the original is not in focus the image can probably not be saved as we have noted in the example above.

If you get many blurry rejections please ask for advice in our forum. Your camera may be broken or your shooting technique might be underdeveloped. Shooting at low (1/250th or slower) shutterspeeds often results in blurry images.

You may also get a blurry rejection when the Depth of Field in your images is too shallow. Generally we prefer images that have a very high Depth of Field unless there is a specific motive for having a shallow DOF.


Your photo(s) were partly or fully surrounded by light or dark borders.

These borders can be caused by rotating the picture in order to get it levelled and afterwards not checking the corners and cutting them off in a proper way. You can remove these unwanted borders by carefully cropping the photo.

Another source of the problem can be the sharpening of the picture. In these cases you can solve the problem by making the canvas size smaller as final step of your processing.

If you think you have been able to improve the photos, please re-upload them. Do not forget to include a note to the screeners, detailing what you have done to improve the image. There is a special field available for such notes. Please note that we are still very interested in having these photos in our database, we only ask that you try to improve the quality of the images as much as possible.

A common cause of borders is that after leveling an image you cropped too wide and included part of the canvas in your image.

Example 1: Borders

This is an example of what an image may look like after leveling. After leveling I cropped this image but I did not crop tight enough and hence a white border is visible in the top left corner.

Note that in photoshop it's best to set your canvas color to white or any bright color so you can easily spot borders. If your canvas was blue the border would not have been easy to spot because it would have been roughly the same color of the sky.


When uploading these photo(s) you either selected the wrong categories or you neglected to select certain categories that should have been selected. Selecting the correct categories is very important, because many features of the search engines depend on it.

If this reason was the only one given in the rejection email, then please re-upload the photos, making sure you select the correct categories. If there have been other reasons also, please correct them before reuploading the photo with the correct categories selected.

If you are unsure which categories apply, please read the "Read Me" link next to each category button on the upload page. Note that several categories, such as special color schemes and classic aircraft, are ONLY for airliners and NOT for single engine props, helicopters.

You can read more about categories in our Aviation Photography forum at: Screener Request On Categories

Nose Shots

The nose category only applies to close-ups of noses.

Example 1a: nose category must be selected

A nose closeup and the nose category should be selected.

Example 1b: nose category must not be selected

Not enough focus on the nose for the nose category to be selected

Example 2: nose category must not be selected

The nose category does not apply to images taken head-on

Dark Category

This category only applies to images taken when the sun was below the horizon. It does not apply to sunset/sunrise images such as example 1 below.

Example 1: Dark category should not be selected

The sun is above the horizon and DARK should not be selected.

Example 2: Dark category should be selected

In this photo the sun was below the horizon and so DARK should be selected. Please leave a comment for the screeners in cases where it's not clear that the sun was below the horizon.


The most common reason for this rejection is that you have left too much "empty space" on any given side of the aircraft. Generally speaking the empty space on each side of the aircraft (both horizontally and vertically) should be equal.

You might also be getting this rejection for a shot where an aircraft is substantially pictured but a small amount of the wingtip, tail, or engine(s) is cut off. In this case you should re-crop the original photo to either include the whole aircraft or crop in tighter.

It can sometimes be difficult to correctly center an image. Usually the middle portion of the aircraft should occupy the centre portion of the frame. This does not hold up in all cases, especially for shorter aircraft with larger tails. The tail should not be ignored when centering - a good reminder would be that the 'centre of gravity' of the aircraft should be centered in the image, which might not necessarily be the window line. As screeners we often check centering by looking at the thumbnail because you can look at the whole image in one glance. During the upload process we suggest you do the same when in doubt.

Example 1a: correctly centered

This image is properly centered. The space on both sides of the aircraft is roughly equal and the space above and below the aircraft is also roughly equal.

Example 1b: Too low in frame

Note how there is too much space above the aircraft, it looks unbalanced.

Example 1c: Too high in frame

Note how there is more space below than above the aircraft.

Example 1d: Left in frame

There is too much dead space in front of the aircraft. This is usually not allowed unless there is an object of interest that would justify an off center crop. The same applies for images where the aircraft is low in frame or high in frame.

Example 2: Acceptable off-center

In this image the aircraft is low in frame, much as in example 2. However in this case there is a clear motive for framing it this way; the two aircraft in the background.

Example 3: Acceptable off-center

The same logic can be applied to this image. It's again placed low in frame, but with the purpose of showing the vortices.

Example 4: Acceptable off-center

In this image the aircraft is high in frame. Again this is done with a purpose. To show the angle by which the aircraft approaches the runway in strong crosswinds.

Example 5: Acceptable off-center

In this case the main object is situated in the left of the frame. The space on the left is occupied by the jetwash, a good enough secondary object for framing it this way.

Even if you have something of interest in the image that makes you crop it off-centre we still reserve the right to reject it if we do not think the secondary object is of sufficient interest. Much like our motive rejection, centered rejections can contain an element of subjectivity. Especially since the relaxation of our motive rules we are likely to accept off-centre crops if it it properly motivated. For the 'classic' shots or sideshots above the normal centering rules still apply.


There was a problem with the color in your photo(s).

This may be due to one of two reasons:

  1. Your photo has a strong color cast that makes the photos look too red/blue/yellow etc.
  2. Your photo is saturated too little or too much. Over saturating is more common and causes colors to become very strong, almost neon like.

If you are using a digital camera, the incorrect colors can be a result of an improper setting of the white balance in your camera. A common cause of a color rejection is an incorrect white balance in night shots. If your night photo looks very orange than please adjust your white balance so you get an image that is bluer.

Other color casts can usually be corrected using the color balance sliders in Photoshop or other image editing software.

If the image is a scan of a photo or slide, the please check your scanner settings to ensure you are using 16-bit colors or higher. You might also experience problems with poor colors if you use a too high compression level when saving your scanned jpeg files. You should also have your monitor and video card properly set up for 24 bit color or higher (usually called "true color"). Windows users can easily check this by right clicking on the desktop and looking in display settings.

If you are scanning very old pictures, particularly (but not limited to) E-6 slides more than 25 or so years old, there may be a very strong color shift. Most recent scanning and photo editing software have specific functions designed to restore the colors of old pictures.

Some examples of colorcasts:

Example 1a: Reference image with correct color
Example 1b: blue cast
Example 1c: yellow cast
Example 1d: red cast
Example 1e: green cast

A color rejection could also mean your image is too saturated

Example 2: Oversaturated

Additionally you may get a color rejection if you edited your image in black and white without a proper motive. Black and white is only acceptable if it is properly motivated, i.e. the image works on another level than had it been in color.

Example 3: incorrect Black & White

We only accept Black & White images if the original medium was B&W (such as black & white film or black and white slide film). We also accept black and white images if the subject is a classic airline such as a DC3 or Convair 440, or a 737 retro jet and you want to give the image a vintage feel. As the example shows, this does not apply to modern airlines.

Finally, a color rejection may be caused by an incorrect whitebalance setting which happens most often with nightshots taken under fluorescent or tungsten lighting.

Example 4: Incorrect whitebalance

This image is straight from the camera using an auto whitebalance setting. We would reject this image for COLOR because there is a strong orange cast caused by the tungsten lighting.

Example 5: Corrected whitebalance

This is a corrected version where the whitebalance has been changed. Note how the image has much more neutral ligting.

We suggest to shoot night images in RAW format or NEF for Nikon. In your RAW converter you can easily change your whitebalance whereas this is much more difficult with JPEG images. Simply change the whitebalance in your RAW converter to a cooler temperature. Be careful not to overdo it because we do not want images that are too cool or blue either.


The aircraft depicted in your photos was very common in the database, with many photos of this aircraft already present on the website.

In this case the standards for acceptance are higher than for aircraft of which we have fewer or no photographs on the database, and only photos of exceptional quality will be accepted.

Please understand that this is not a judgement on your abilities, as your picture may be of a technical quality which may be very decent. However, due to the common nature of the aircraft photographed, the highest standard is applied to avoid substantial duplication.

When uploading you should always check our database for the amount of photos we have of the particular aircraft you are uploading. If a particular aircraft or registration is common in our database, you may increase the likelihood your photos of it will be accepted by photographing it from an unusual angle, under exceptional lighting conditions, or with interesting scenery in the background.

Note that the common rejection reason will always be given in combination with another rejection reason. This means that if your image gets rejected for QUALITY and COMMON the image is too common for the quality you provided.

We often get asked when an aircraft is common. This may vary. A general rule could be from about 60-70 images onwards. That number may be lower for an easyJet A319 or Southwest 737 because those are likely to be heavily shot in the future. Similarly that number may be higher for aircraft of which only one example exists and even with 200 images can be relatively rare in our database.


The quality of this image is too low due to the use of too much JPEG compression.

If your photo is wider or higher than 1600 pixels it will be downsized automatically during upload, which may lower the picture quality. It's best to keep the width between approximately 1000 and 1200 pixels and to save your photos with the lowest possible JPEG compression (highest quality, or 12 in Photoshop).

As a general reference, the size of a JPEG file without any compression, of 1024 by 700 pixels, will be somewhere in the range of 400-700 KB, depending on the composition and color range.

Example 1a

Saved with image quality 12 (minimal compression)

Example 1b

Saved with image quality 6 (medium compression)

Example 1c

Saved with image quality 3 (severe compression)

The first example is 400KB in size, this is a usual size for a 1000 pixel wide image saved at minimum compression. The 2nd image although saved at image quality 6 is already 90kb in size while the 3rd image is only 60kb in size.

Note that the best way to get a high quality image is to reduce the physical size of the images rather then reducing the image quality when saving. So if you have a 1600*1200 file that is 1.5mb in size the best option is to reduce the size to 1024*683 instead of saving with a higher compression rate. Again we advise to upload at 1024 or 1280 and not at bigger sizes.


The photos seem to have a too low or too high contrast setting. Too low settings result in whites that are not pure white, or blacks that are not pure black. The image looks "flat". Too high contrast settings result in very strong differences between dark and light areas in the image, and usually in very strange-looking colors. The image looks very "hard".

The contrast problem may be due to incorrect post-processing with image editing software. If the image is a scan of a photo, negative or slide, it may be caused by incorrect scanner settings. In this case, please try different settings and rescan the image. Finally, this problem may also be the result of certain difficult lighting conditions, such as heavily clouded days, where the aircraft does not stand out sufficiently from the background.

The best way to deal with this problem is to use image editing software to increase or reduce the contrast. A sophisticated and usually very effective method is to adjust the so-called black-point and white-point of the image, where you manually define which areas of the image should be absolute black and white, and let the software adjust the rest of the image accordingly. Most image editing software has tools for this.

Example 1

The left portion of the image has too little contrast (flat). The blacks appear grey and the colors seem washed out. The right part of this image was done with contrast settings that were too high. In this case there is a great loss of detail and the image gets a very harsh look — blacks are too black and white often get 'blown out'. The centre part has the correct contrast settings.

Text or graphics were added to your photo(s).

A small copyright notice in a corner is acceptable, but please remove any other text or graphics from your photos, including all internet addresses (URLs). If you prefer to add a copyright notice onto your pictures please make sure that they are not visible on the thumbnail. This can be checked on confirmation page of the upload progress where you can see the thumbnail of your picture as it will appear when your picture gets added to the database.

Note that also offers a watermark option on the upload page. This watermark will be added when your picture gets accepted into our database.

Furthermore make sure you don't include any URL or parts of them in the field for the photographer name or the remark field. You will find more info on this issue in the Upload-FAQ.

Regarding the copyright ownership by photographers, please refer to the Photographer paragraph below.


Your photo(s) is underexposed or too dark.

  1. If the photo is underexposed it is probably caused by incorrect camera settings or by incorrect processing. You can try to brighten the image during processing, but this can often result in a grainy appearance, thus leading to a GRAINY rejection. Try adjusting the levels in your image editing software, or adjust the exposure when converting RAW images.
  2. This rejection may also apply to images where the overall image is exposed correctly, yet there is insufficient contrast between the subject of the shot (aircraft) and its surroundings. This can sometimes occur in dawn/dusk shots or when highly-reflective surfaces have affected the metering of the shot.

The dark rejection consists of the two parts mentioned above. I'll deal with the first part first: underexposure.

Example 1: Underexposure

The right side of this image looks dark. That's because it was underexposed when I took the shot. The left portion of the image was corrected and is now properly 'exposed'.

On to the second part of the dark rejection. You can get a dark rejection for a properly exposed shot when there is insufficient contrast between the aircraft and the surroundings. This will often occur when there is not enough available light because you are shooting on very dark and cloudy days (applies especially to very common aircraft), or at night when there is minimal ambient light. You may also get this rejection when shooting backlit subjects.

Example 2: Cloudy days

This image would be rejected for DARK because there was not enough available light on this moment of the day. The contrast between the main subject and its surroundings is too low. This image cannot be fixed by tweaking the exposure (unlike example 1). This does not mean you should not shoot on cloudy days, but in many cases these conditions do not help the photo. This rejection could also be gotten if you shot an aircraft at night without enough available light, so that you can hardly distinguish the aircraft from its background.

Example 3: Backlit Image copyright Hongyin Huo

This shot was taken not with the sun in the photographer's back but nearly shining in the camera. This will cause the aircraft too look very dark. Note also how this image can not be saved as image 1 can. It would cause the light portions of the aircraft to be blown out resulting in an overexposed rejection — another example of how in trying to fix one problem you create another. Backlit images rarely work as a rule. They would need a good motive to work.

For more information on how to fix dark problems, see the editing guide section on levels.


Your photo(s) had blemishes on them.

If the image is from a digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR), these blemishes may be dust spots ("dust donuts"), which are often difficult to see. They are caused by dust on the CCD/CMOS sensor of your camera. DSLR are very sensitive to the problem, because of the removable lens. To minimize this problem, always hold your camera with the lens pointing down, when changing the lens. If your camera sensor is very dirty, you will need to have it cleaned. There are ways to do this yourself, but this is not without risk. You can also ask your camera dealer.

If the image is from a regular digital camera, the blemishes are probably caused by dirt on the lens. Please clean your lens regularly.

If the image is from a scanner, the blemishes may be dust, dirt or scratches. These may have been in or on the scanner itself, or on the photo, negative or slide. Always clean negatives and slides very carefully with a high-quality brush before scanning them, but be careful not to cause any damage. If this does not help, the scanner itself may be dirty. For a flatbed scanner, use microfiber cloth and window cleaner or another appropriate glass-cleaning product to clean the scan bed. For film/slide scanners, try using compressed air to blow out any dust. Scratches cannot be cleaned, but will need to be repaired with the help of image editing software. Depending on the location and size of the scratch, this may be a very difficult task.

You might also receive this rejection, because your photo had some "hot pixels" in it. These broken pixels appear in photos taken with all kinds of digital cameras and are often only visible on relatively dark shots with a long exposure time (e.g. night shots). They will usually appear as tiny red dots.

A simple way to remove dust spots using Photoshop can be done as follows:

  1. Create a duplicate layer: Layer-> Duplicate layer.
  2. Press F7 to bring up the layers window, this will appear to the right of your screen.
  3. Select the new "Background Copy" by clicking on the name.
  4. Now equalize the image, (3.0) Filter-> Adjustments->Equalize,(2.0) Image->Adjustments->Equalize.
  5. Select the "Background layer" instead of the "Background Copy" layer. You will still see the equalized image, but all changes are being made on the original image.
  6. Select heal tool, you will need to set the heal tool so press 'Alt' and click, (left click) near the spot in question, do this for each spot. Photoshop CS2 has a "spot healing brush tool" which allows removing dust spots by a single mouse click.
  7. Heal the dust spots on the image. You will not see the spots disappear, but they do disappear on the original image so remember which ones you did already. If you healed all dust spots continue to the next step.
  8. You can now delete the "Background Copy" layer. Select the "Background Copy" by clicking on it and then delete, Layer->Delete Layer.
  9. You should now see the original image, which if the above steps are performed correctly is free of dust spots.
Example 1: Dust spots

In this image you can see what dust spots look like when the image is equalized.

Note that sometimes small birds or very small clouds can mimic dust spots. In cases where they are indistinguishable from dust spots it's best to clone them out.

For more information on how to fix dirty problems, see the editing guide section on cleaning up.


The aircraft in your photo(s) was too far in the distance, resulting in too much 'empty space' in the image.

The best way to avoid this problem is to get closer to the aircraft, or use a lens with a longer focal length.

In some cases this problem can be corrected by cropping the image more tightly. However, severely cropping an image will always lead to a decrease in image quality. This in turn may lead to a subsequent QUALITY rejection of the corrected image.

Example 1: Too distant

Note that there is too much dead space around the aircraft.

We only accept images where the main subject is further in the distance when the surroundings allow for it, i.e. there is a proper motive for it. In this case they do not (it's just blue sky) and the image would have to be cropped tighter. See example 2.

Example 2: A properly cropped image

Below are a few examples from our database where distance does not apply even though the aircraft is somewhat small in frame. We feel the following are good examples of images where the aircraft is small in frame but properly motivated so that it does not result in a distance rejection.

Example 3: Acceptable motive for distance
Example 4: Acceptable motive for distance

As with all rejection reasons, to avoid a distance rejection you need a proper motive; this can be subjective.


You already have a photo of this aircraft in the database that is the same as, or very similar to the proposed photo (same side, same day, same airport, same sequence, taken by you)

In certain cases you can also get this rejection if there are photos in the database that are nearly identical to the one rejected, but taken on another date by you. Examples of this are photos of stored or preserved aircraft that have not moved since you took the other photos.

Please do not upload multiple sequential shots of an aircraft during landing, taxiing or take-off, taken only a few seconds apart and showing a similar angle. Please select the best shot from the sequence and upload only that one. Images taken from different sequences such as one during landing, and another during take-off will generally not be considered as Double.

For an accepted or submitted image that is nearly head or tail-on, we will generally also allow a side-on from either or both sides that is 90 degrees or more different viewing angle from the other image(s). This can apply to the same sequence (i.e. taxi, take off, landing or static display). For Air to Air, we will allow 2 shots, as long as the composition is different (i.e. not take 1 - 2 seconds apart). The spirit of the double rule is intended to allow different images that show a different view, composition, or otherwise tell a different story to the viewer. If images are too similar or merely a sequence separated by seconds with no compelling differences, they may be considered double at the screeners discretion.

For air-to-ground airshow, boneyard, and airport overviews, we accept both a wide view and closer crops of each of the aircraft visible in the wider view. For closer crops of structures such as terminals or concourses, they will only be allowed if there is no overlap with the wider view (i.e. the same structure is not visible in both images).

For images of space vehicle launches, we accept two images if they are of different motives (i.e. taken from different angles or remote set ups).

For window views we accept 2 shots per flight and side of aircraft when they show considerable different motives. So in other words the maximum number of accepted window views of the same registration on the same flight all taken by you would be 4.

For cabin shots, we accept one wide view, and one close up of the seat/row for a maximum of 2 images per cabin class, per flight. If the flight should start and end on different dates, you will still be allowed only the 2 images per cabin class.

We only accept multiple cockpit shots if:

  • They clearly show different parts of the cockpit.
  • When the outside view is showing a different airport.
  • When one is taken in daylight and one taken at night.
  • One is a wide view, and the other is a well-composed close up of a specific instrument, set of gauges, screens or HUD etc.

Note: This rejection might also occur if you have similar photos in the upload queue that are still awaiting final screening.

Note: Pick your best image! We will not delete photos later for the sake of allowing you to upload a different shot.

Note: if you only provide us with month/year as a date, we reserve the right to reject the image if it looks very similar to others having a month/year or a full date. In rare cases we even reject images taken on different days if they are nearly identical.

We reserve the right to add more than one image of special or unique events, even if those images might otherwise be considered double. It is at our discretion what constitutes a special event, but the belly landing of the LOT 767 is a good example.

Some examples of sequence images that would lead to double rejections.

Example 1a
Example 1b

These images were taken on the same day and are from the same sequence (landing). We therefore do not allow both images on the database and you would have to pick one.

Example 2a
Example 2b

Again both images are taken on the same day and same sequence (taxi). Only one image would be allowed. In this case if you also had a tail closeup (let's called it example 2C), you would be allowed to either upload 2A, or 2B and 2C together. A combination of 2B and 2A, or 2C and 2A would not be allowed.

Example 3a
Example 3b

Both image 3A and 3B would be allowed on the database. They are taken on the same day and are from the same sequence but they show different sides, which is allowed!

Example 4a
Example 4b

This case is only slightly different than example 3, yet here we would only allow one image on the database. Although 4a is a head-on image and 4b is a side-on they are too similar. If one accepted or submitted image is directly head-on, we will generally also allow a side-on that is substantially different from the head-on photo. If too similar or sequential (such as an aircraft turning) it may be considered double, at a Screeners discretion.


Your photo(s) appeared to have been processed incorrectly.

Generally, there are two reasons for this rejection.

  • Incorrect use of certain features of the image processing software.
  • Deliberate attempts to alter the image, i.e. by digitally removing or adding objects, or by purposely changing certain items in the image. This is considered a serious offence on our site.

Examples of the first reason are incorrect use of grain/noise reduction tools (such as Neatimage). Noise reduction tools should be used with care. Generally speaking images that were taken in daylight, or ISO 100/200 images from a DSLR should not need any noise reduction. Incorrect use of noise reduction will often result in a loss of detail, and a soft or washed out appearance. Another example is incorrect use of the shadow/highlight tool or the dodge/burn tools. This will often result in light or dark halos around the areas you tried to lighten or darken.

The second reason is more serious. Airliners.Net does not tolerate ANY deliberate alteration of the image for the purpose of the removal of objects from the image, addition of objects to photographs, deliberate blurring of objects (to create an artificial depth of field) or faces, or changing the registration or even entire color schemes. These type of EDITING rejections can result in a ban from the site.

Editing of images should be limited to rotating to correct horizontals and verticals, cropping, color and level corrections, and some careful sharpening. Cloning should only be used to remove minor imperfections such as dust marks and scratches.

You can read more about acceptable and unacceptable forms of editing in our Aviation Photography forum at Manipulations / Supensions Guideline For All.

A few examples that would lead to an editing rejection:

The shadow highlight tool in photoshop can be a handy tool. However it needs to be used with care and in moderation.

Example 1: Overuse of Shadow/Highlight function

In this example the shadow highlight tool is overused. Note that on the right side of the image the contrast is almost gone from the dark areas and they appear very grainy.

Using noise reduction software such as Neatimage or ISOx can be a great tool for removing grain (that leads to GRAINY rejections). Like all tools it has to be used in moderation and with care. Detail is quickly lost and although the grain is removed images can end up with a 'plastic' look.

Example 2a: Noise reduction

This image is an example of using too much noise reduction. I used noise reduction on the entire image except for the aircraft. Note how the grass has lost all detail. Compare it with example 2b below, which is the same image without noise reduction.

As a general rule, blue sky images with good sunlight should not need noise reduction. Use a low ISO value on your camera when shooting in daylight to avoid grain.

Example 2b: No noise reduction

We do not allow double exposures or HDR images.


During or after uploading your photo(s), an error occurred.

This may be due to an incorrect or not unique filename or to a server problem. Please note that our scripts cannot process files whose names include "jpg" or "jpeg" in the main filename (before the dot). Example: 747jpg.jpg would not work. Furthermore, the filename needs to be shorter than 50 characters and fairly unique (1.jpg would be a very bad filename).

If your filename seems OK, then it's probably our problem and we ask that you accept our apologies and please try to upload the shot again. Please note that ERROR rejections do not count as a rejection in your acceptance statistics, because it can be our fault we had to reject this image.

Please do not appeal these rejections! The second time around the problem will still be there. The only way to proceed it to upload the image again using a different filename.


Your photo is overexposed.

In the case of a digital camera, the problem is almost certainly caused by incorrect exposure settings on your camera.

In the case of a scanned image, it may be a problem with the original photo, negative or slide. Check your original photo, and if it appears to be correctly exposed then please change the settings on your scanner and rescan the image.

You may try to use an image editing program to decrease the brightness or exposure of the images, but in most cases this will not lead to satisfactory results, and you will most likely be unable to improve the shot to an acceptable standard.

Examples of overexposed images:

Example 1: Overexposed
Example 2: Overexposed
Example 3: Overexposed

Overexposure is often a problem when shooting light aircraft against dark background. Remember to underexpose accordingly.

Example 4: Overexposed Image copyright: Eric Fortin

For more information on how to fix overexposure problems, see the editing guide section on levels.


There was too much grain or digital noise in your photo(s).

All slide or print scans contain a certain amount of grain, and all images from digital cameras contain a certain amount of digital noise, but these amounts should be kept at acceptable values.

In case of a digital camera, avoiding grainy rejections can be achieved by using a lower ISO speed, which will reduce the digital noise in the image. Avoid high ISO settings, as they usually generate too much noise for the image to be acceptable. This is the same with film cameras: high-speed films (i.e. 400 ASA or more) will show much more grain than slower films (i.e. 100 ASA or less).

Most image editing software has tools built-in for reducing grain and noise. However, these will always have to be used with great care, because improper use will destroy much of the detail in the image, which may lead to a EDITING rejection. There are also separate programs available, that can be used stand-alone or as a plug-in for image editing software. These programs often give better results than the standard tools in the image editing software.

Please note that grain can also be caused or intensified by too much sharpening. Flat, uniform areas (such as the sky) are particularly prone to becoming grainy if too much sharpening is applied. Take care not to over-sharpen your image. Grain can also be caused by brightening an (underexposed) image too much.

Grainy images can be caused by several factors.

When there is little light available you need to shoot at higher ISO speeds. Depending on the camera image quality can be very good up to ISO 1600, yet even images taken at ISO 100 can be grainy on some cameras or when shooting in certain conditions. The sample image were taken at ISO800 and show too much grain to be accepted on Note that grain can be removed using noise reduction software. This has to be used with care or it will lead to an EDITING rejection.

Example 1a: Using a high ISO
Example 1b: Using a high ISO Image copyright Hongyin Huo


Example 2a: No grain

Note how in this image there is very little grain visible in the sky. It would be accepted to

Example 2b: Grainy

In this image I have sharpened the sky. Note how there is now much more grain visible in the blue sky when compared to example 2a.

Sharpening can make images granier. When trying to improve a SOFT rejection by sharpening it more you need to be careful you do not sharpen to the point where the image gets grainy.


Example 3a: Original image
Example 3b: Cropped image

Cropping can result in more grain in the final image

Note that in the original image the aircraft is very far in the distance and we need to crop is severely to bring it nicely into the frame (if we didn't we would receive a DISTANCE rejection). However even the latest cameras have their limits and you can only crop so much. In this case we overdid it and ended up with a grainy image in the process.

Underexposing your image

Example 4a: Underexposed

This image was underexposed and appears very dark. It would lead to a DARK rejection. We would like to lighten the image so it becomes acceptable. However in the process we can bring out excessive noise that will lead to a GRAINY rejection. Example 4b shows the lightened version.

Example 4b: Excessive noise

Note how the image is now much lighter. In the process of lightening it however digital noise started to appear, especiallt visible in the grey panel on top of the cabin. This image would now be rejected for GRAINY.

Fixing an image may bring out other problems and the image will hence be rejected for different reasons on the reupload.


Some of the information you submitted together with these photo(s) was missing, incorrect, irrelevant or in the wrong format. A common reason for this message is a missing registration or an airport name or location in the wrong format. In many cases this rejection can be avoided by using the Auto Complete feature at the top of the upload page. Please use this! It is your responsibility to be sure that information submitted including the information given by the autocomplete is correct, if you are unsure about the information you can request assistance from the Editors by sending an email to [email protected]

Next to each item on the upload page there is a Help link that offers very detailed information about that specific field. Please read this information carefully.

Some very common mistakes are:

  • Putting a partial or incomplete date. For modern images, the date must include at least the month. You do not need to include the day, unless the image is from an airshow, display, or museum. In those cases, a full date must be given
  • Filling in an airline for aircraft that do not carry any titles, or entering a title when the aircraft has none. 'Private' and 'Unknown' are generally not acceptable titles.
  • Leaving the Registration field blank if you do not know the registration. Use the generic form **-*** or a country-specific registration such as N***** or D-**** instead.
  • Leaving the Registration field blank if the registration is visible in the photo.
  • Filling in a Code that is not painted on the aircraft (i.e. no selcals, flight numbers, airline codes etc).

You may also receive this message if some of the info you submitted was written in a non-English language or grossly misspelled, or to a significant incorrect use of upper and lower case letters (general rule: do not spell words or names in all capitals).

You will find more info on this issue in the Upload-FAQ. Also, Read more about required photo information in our Aviation Photography forum at:

Information About C/n And Code Field and Please Enter Cn When Uploading

And for finding information resources on the internet, you can find many links here:

Information Sources On The Net

If this reason was the only one given in the rejection email, please re-upload the photos and pay high attention to supplying the correct info. Always use the Help link next to each item. If there were also other reasons mentioned in the rejection email, please correct these issues first, before reuploading the photo with the correct information attached.


Your photo(s) were sharpened too much.

In most cases this problem is due to over-sharpening of the photo during post-processing in image editing software. Try sharpening the picture less aggressively to get rid of the jagged edges. These jagged edges are usually very visible on titles, cheatlines, registrations, or other straight lines. Selective use of masks to avoid excessive sharpening or areas where jagged lines may occur is a difficult but very effective method to avoid jagged edges. A good Airliners.Net image should be sharpened to just before the point where the titles and edges of the aircraft start to turn jagged.

This rejection can also occur when an image is well sharpened overall but one or more parts of the image showed jagged lines. This problem is generally most evident on solid lines such as wing leading edges, particularly if several lines are close together, such as gaps between the wing and flaps, cheat lines spaced closely together, or the aircraft titles and registration.

A simple yet effective method to avoid "jaggies" is the use of layers in Photoshop.

  1. Sharpen the image slightly, just enough so that no jaggies appear, and the image is still slightly soft.
  2. Then create a new layer, after which you apply more sharpening.
  3. You will probably see "jaggies" appearing now. Use the "eraser tool" on those parts of the image where you see jaggies.
  4. The jaggies should now be gone and you can "flatten" the image.
Example 1a: No sharpening -> soft rejection Image copyright: Eduard Brantjes
Example 1b: Correctly sharpened -> accepted
Example 1c: slightly over-sharpened -> Over-sharpened rejection
Example 1d: heavily over-sharpened -> Over-sharpened rejection

Note: Sometimes you may get a rejection for soft and over-sharpened at the same time. This means that one part of the image is soft while another is over-sharpened. It may seem like a conflicting message but it relates to different parts of the image.

For more information on how to fix sharpeness problems, see the editing guide section on sharpening.


Your photo(s) showed a motive that is not accepted by This problem may be due to a very wide range of reasons.

Some of the most common examples are:

  • Photos showing just a part of an aircraft (with no motivation for doing so, like a special sticker, damage etc.). Additionally, cutting off the nose or a part of the tail can also result in a motive rejection.
  • Photos with distracting or obstructing objects in the foreground (this is especially true for gate shots which are very difficult to get accepted due to their common nature and the large amount of equipment which usually surrounds the aircraft). Ramp Vehicles (including tugs, loaders, baggage carts, etc...) are allowed to block part of the aircraft as long as they are: [1] not blocking engines or wheels (exception: tugs are allowed to block engines/wheels if towing aircraft, and ground crew are allowed to block any part if not too prominent, which is at our discretion) [2] below the window line [3] part of active operations (this amendment is meant to exclude any aircraft parked with equipment in front of it. 'Active operations' is meant to include those aircraft actively loading or unloading.).
  • Photos where the aircraft is covered (i.e. with a protective weather cover or for long-term storage). Shots with covers over a significant part of the aircraft will only be allowed if the aircraft is not on the db already. If we already have an image of it uncovered, then we will not accept it covered. This does not include engine/pitot covers. For partial/canopy covers, this again will be at our discretion.
  • Photos that do not show an aircraft or anything sufficiently related to aviation at all. Common examples are photos of ramp equipment, like stairs, or cars. Or airport structures like radar towers, jet bridges, office buildings.
  • Photos showing the date in the lower left or right corner of the image. If your photos show the date on them please disable this feature on your camera.
  • Close up cockpit shots with the only reason for the shot being showing pilots waving.
  • Cockpit photos in which the pilots block out most of the panel.
  • Photos taken through aircraft windows that show little wing/engine and have no airport visible on the ground.
  • Photos that include window reflections. These can result from taking photos through terminal windows or observations decks that are enclosed by glass. Shots taken through aircraft windows can also result in reflections, or can show scratches or dirt from those windows. This will also result in a motive rejection.
  • Photos taken inside aircraft that only show tables, dinner trays, or personal tv's. Cabin overviews that are taken from a very low standpoint and have seatbacks block out most of the image.
  • Photos where the terrain is blocking more than half of the gear, as the terrain is allowed to block no more than 50% of the wheel. Regarding runway/taxiway markers, minor blockages/obstructions are acceptable, provided that the obstruction is not too distracting from the overall of the image. For vegetation that is evenly spread out (i.e. not just one big clump of grass that could have been avoided, similar to a taxiway marker), there can be some tolerance past 50%, but this will be at our discretion.

Please note our updated rules for museum type shots. Permanent obstructions (such as steps, fences, or signs) that could not have been avoided by composing the shot differently are acceptable. A tighter crop should also be a consideration to avoid major permanent obstructions. Minor obstructions such as chains or ropes should be positioned to not seriously detract from the image. Temporary obstructions (such as people, cars, or other moveable objects) will lead to a rejection. Cones are ok if unavoidable (i.e. by shooting from different angle) and not obstructing too much. How much is 'too much' will again be at our discretion.

Air-to-ground shots (i.e. taken from an aircraft of a subject on the ground) will be exempt from most obstruction rules due to the difficulty in obtaining them.

Please note that motive rejections can also result from other, more subjective reasons. These are usually of an aesthetical nature.

Unmotivated close-ups

Many closeup images are vulnerable to a motive rejection if we feel there is not enough reason for the closeup (damage or elaborate artwork can be a good reason for a closeup). Some examples of unacceptable close-ups:

Example 1: unspectacular close-up

This close-up would not be allowed. It does show part of an aircraft but it's not spectacular enough to warrant the close-up.

Tail Images

Tail images need to show the entire outline of the tail. We do not accept close-ups of tail logos. We do accept images of tail but the entire tail needs to be visible.

Example 2: Tail close-up

Tail close-ups are not allowed.


Images where the aircraft is obstructed by equipment, signs, buildings, vehicles etc are not accepted. The following examples would all be rejected for motive because there are too many secondary objects blocking the aircraft.

Example 3: Ramp vehicles

Note how there are too many ramp vehicles in front of the aircraft blocking out the gear and other parts of the aircraft.

Example 4: Stairs

In this image the external stairs are a reason for a motive rejection.

Only airstairs (stairs that are part of the aircraft) are allowed to block certain parts of the aircraft.

Example 5: Stairs and fence

The stairs in this image will also lead to a motive rejection, as will the fence blocking the gear.

Fences are often a problem when photographing static displays at airshows. Try to work around them when shooting if possible. They will lead to a motive rejection on For regular shooting situations, fences should not block any part of the aircraft. Fences taking up more than one-third of the frame can also be considered motive rejections even if not blocking part of the aircraft.

Example 6: Obstructions

Note how in this image the approach lights obstruct the aircraft thus leading to a motive rejection.

Example 7: Gate shots

When taking shots from the gate there's often a lot of equipment blocking the aircraft such as highloaders and especially jetways. This will result in a motive rejection.

Example 8: Jetways

Jetways will in most cases lead to a motive rejection if blocking any part of the side of the aircraft facing the photographer. For head-on shots, they are not allowed to block the engine/gear or a significant portion of aircraft if a wider view. Small blockage of the wing will be allowed for tighter crops. As with other general types of obstructions, jetways are allowed to block the aircraft if the image is air-to-ground.

Waving Pilots

We do not accept photos where the only motivation for the photo is waving pilots. We do accept pictures where the waving pilots are incidental to the image and not the main focus.

Example 9: Waving pilots are sole focus Image copyright: Hongyin Huo

In this shot there is not motive except the waving pilots. It would therefore be rejected for motive.

Example 10: Waving pilots are incidental Image copyright: Ricardo Morales Centeno

In this shot the focus is less on the pilots and more on the aircraft and it would therefore be acceptable.

Nose close-ups that show crew are acceptable when they are not waving.

Example 11: Close-ups without waving pilot

Window reflections

When shooting through glass often you'll end up with reflection in your picture causing a motive rejection.

Example 12: Terminal shots Image copyright: Royal King

Note how in this example the reflections can be seen on the right hand side. This problem cannot be fixed, it can only be prevented when you take the shot.

Unmotivated crops

We are very strict on 'aircraft cut in half'.

Example 13: Unmotivated crop

This crop makes the image look unbalanced. Fixing it would require you to either upload an image where the entire aircraft is visible or upload a shot that is cropped much tighter (around the gear).

Example 14: Unmotivated crop

Clipped Horizontal Stabilizers

In some cases you may receive a motive rejection because the horizontal stabilizer is clipped.

Example 15a: Correct cropping

Note how in this image the entire aircraft including the horizontal stabilizer is visible.

Example 15b: Clipped horizontal stabilizer

In this image a slight portion of the horizontal stabilizer is clipped off leading to a motive rejection

Example 15c: Justified clipping of stabilizer

In this image the horizontal stabilizer is also clipped. However since there is equal space in front of the nose and to the right of the tail this is allowed. The image has a balanced look while example 1B looks unbalanced.

Engine Close-ups

We accept engine close-ups but there has to be a good motivation for the shot.

Example 16: Motive rejection

This would be rejected for motive. The first reason is that the engine and gear are partly clipped. The second reason is more subjective, in this case there is not enough motivation for this shot. There is no nice light shining on the fans, resulting in a rather dark image. See the next example for a similar image but different in many ways that would get accepted.

Example 17: Properly motivated engine closeup

In this image the fanblades are nicely lit and the full engine is visible; a properly motivated shot.

Example 18: Motive rejection

Much like example 16 this image does not show enough motivation for it to be accepted. The fanblades are not visible because the image is shot from the side.

Date visible on image

Images that show the date on the picture are not allowed. Please turn this feature off in your camera.

Example 19: Datestamp

Window views

To have a window view accepted the image must either have 1) a significant portion of the aircraft visible 2) an airport visible on the ground 3) a combination of the above.

Images that do not show an airport or aircraft such as the example below are not allowed.

Example 20: No airport or aircraft visible

This image does not show an aircraft or airport and would thus be rejected for motive.

Often when shooting window views a portion of the window frame ends up in the shot. No portion of the window frame can be visible. You either need to avoid it when taking the shot or crop the image so that it falls out of view.

Example 21: Window frames in window views

The window frame is visible in the lower left.

Fuselage crops

Example 22a: regular crop

This example shows a regular crop with the entire aircraft in view and is acceptable at

Example 22b: Unmotivated crop

This example is a tighter crop of example 1a and is not acceptable. The shot looks unbalanced with the gear partly cropped out. The next example will show a similar but different crop that would be acceptable

Example 22c: Acceptable fuselage crop

This image looks more balanced with the entire gear cropped out and is acceptable.

Cabin Shots

For photos of cabins we prefer a high angle so that the seats are visible from above. In the example below a low angle where only the seatbacks are visible will lead to a motive rejection. The same would apply had the photo been taken from the opposite side of the cabin.

Example 23a: Unacceptable low angle
Example 23b: Acceptable high angle


We allow people to be visible in photos and allow faces to be recognizable in photos.

People can not be the main subject of the photo or the sole motivation. The people in the image must contribute to the overall aviation theme of your image, and not themselves be the sole content/motivation for the composition.

We do not accept pictures where people pose in front of an aircraft, such as the example below.

The people have to be either accidental or motivational to the pictures. For the former this means we allow airshow public or pilots faces to be visible. For the latter it means that people need to have a function within the picture. As you can see in example 1a the person does not have a function within the photo. In example 1b however the person does have a function in the photo.

We allow flightcrew to be recognisable in the cockpit but we ask that you ask permission from the crew when you take the shot. This is very important! Respect the privacy of the people who generously let you photograph their working environment!

Example 24: People rejection Image copyright: Ricardo Morales Centeno

In this image the person is posing for the camera which leads to a people rejection.

Example 25: acceptable

In this image the flight attendant is also visible. She is however not posing in front of the camera. She is doing her job which makes her motivational to the scene, i.e. a crew member doing her job. Note that this photographer had explicit permission from the flight attendant to upload this picture. This is very important. As a photographer this is your responsibility.


Personal means the screener left you a personal note. You can find the personal note in your rejection email. If you do not receive your rejection emails please contact [email protected]

Due to time constraints we are often forced to use abbreviations in our comments. Some of the most common ones are:

Clockwise Rotation
Counterclockwise rotation
Q or Qual:
Quality, referring to the quality rejection
Low in frame
High in frame
Top right:
When receiving a DIRTY rejection this indicates the dust spot is in the top right of the images. Similar comments can refer to any part of the images
The histogram is flat, and your image needs more contrast
The shadow/highlight function was overused
The image is overexposed, or parts of the image are overexposed.


To upload photos you do not own the copyrights to, is a violation of international copyright laws and may result in huge fines or even a prison sentence, depending on severity and country.

Something about your photo(s) or the attached information led us to believe that you may not be the actual photographer of this photo.

You may get this message especially if the photograph appears to be a "high production-value" photograph, such as air-to-air shots requiring significant airline cooperation and expense. You must have photographed the photos yourself or hold the copyright in another way to add them to Airliners.Net. This is very important due to the copyright issues involved.

If you want to upload a small amount of photos taken by friends or relatives who are not interested in having an account, you can upload them under your account provided that you have the written permission to do so. In such cases, indicate clearly in the “Remark field” the photo owner name. For a large collection of photos, email us at [email protected] and we'll let you know what to do.


The image quality of your photo(s) did not meet the very high standards of Airliners.Net.

This may be the result of several perceived problems happening simultaneously, such as grain, blurriness, or unfavourable lighting. This leads us to believe that a complete rework starting with the original camera file (in the case of a digitally taken image) or a fresh scan (in the case of a scanned photo, negative or slide) would be necessary, rather than a simple adjustment to the already uploaded file.

A common reason for getting this rejection is that you have cropped the photo too much. If the airplane is very small in frame in the original photo, cropping the image very tightly will almost always result in an image without much detail.

Heat-haze can also be a reason for this rejection. Heat-haze is caused by the difference in temperature between asphalt/concrete and the air above it. This phenomenon is most apparent on hot days but can also occur in winter. Long tele shots suffer from it the most. When you photograph aircraft on the ground, or even in the sky, heat-haze will result in a blurred or wobbly appearance, e.g. lines on the aircraft become wobbly. In most cases photos with this problem cannot be improved.

If you are using a digital camera, check the camera settings and use the highest quality setting and resolution the camera has to offer. Please be aware also that unprocessed digital camera output is generally not of acceptable quality for Airliners.Net. Most shots from a digital camera do require a certain amount of post-processing with image editing software, mainly levelling, sharpening and resizing. If you are using a lower quality digital camera with a resolution below 3 Megapixel, you might consider investing in a camera with higher resolution or borrow one from your friend/workplace/school.

If the image was a scanned photo, negative or slide, the most common cause for this problem is either a bad scanner or that the scanner wasn't used properly. If you think this might be the cause, please read the documentation for your scanner and find the best DPI and color settings. Generally a higher DPI and color setting will make a higher quality image, but only to a certain degree. Try many different settings until you find the best combination. If you are using an old or low quality scanner, you might consider investing in a new or borrow one from your friend/workplace/school.

If the resolution of the photo was 1200 pixels or higher, then it may also help if you resize the photo down to 1000 pixels wide. This will generally make any flaws the image may have less apparent. If the quality of an image is not sufficient for an image of say 1400 pixels wide, it may just be sufficient for uploading in 1000 pixels wide. Do not upload at sizes below 1000 pixels, as that is the minimum accepted size at

We will often use this rejection reason when we feel there are a number of different flaws in the image which have the effect of reducing the overall quality of the image. This might include a number of factors, which in themselves may not be enough to warrant a rejection - such as slight over-sharpening, some contrast problem etc - but when seen together amount to a quality rejection

Example 1: Heat haze

You may receive a quality rejection because your shot suffers from heat haze. Often a problem on hot days (sometimes on colder days as well) the aircraft will start to look blurry and straight lines will become wobbly.

Example 1: Heat haze

Note how heathaze affects this image by giving it a blurry look and by distorting straight lines.

Example 2: Heat haze

Another example of heat haze affecting an image. Again, straight and clear lines have become wobbly and there is slight over-sharpening applied to compensate for the blur heat haze introduces.

You will often get a quality rejection when we cannot pinpoint the exact problem with your image. This can happen when your image is taken with a low quality digital camera or when your image was heavily cropped.

Example 3: Cropping too much Image copyright: Ben Wang

This image was a heavy crop from a 20D file with only 1100 pixels left. This is a heavy crop and results in degraded image without a specific problem coming to the forefront. Note how this image looks blurry, grainy, and over-sharpened at the same time (to compensate for the blurriness). In addition it suffers from a lack of detail because it was cropped so much. All these reasons make up a quality rejection. In this case it cannot be improved upon.

Because of our very high quality standards, a high quality camera is required in order to get photos accepted on A low quality point and shoot camera or cellphone based camera will generally result in a low quality images.

Example 4: Low quality digital camera/mobile phone Image copyright: Ben Wang

This photo was taken using a cellphone, the resulting image looks grainy, blurry and the color is off.

We also need to mention here that slidescans or printscans are generally not of high enough quality to be accepted here. The exception in this case are old images (pre digital era), which as explained in the general notes section are subject to much lower standards. However, when submitting slidescans or printscans of current subjects they will in most cases not be of sufficient quality.


Your photo(s) seems to be an unchanged re-upload of a photo that was previously rejected.

Re-uploading previously rejected photos in unchanged form is not allowed. Instead, use the appeal link which is included in you rejection e-mail (scroll further down in your email to see this link) to move this rejected picture into the queue of the head screeners, who will have the final decision about acceptance or rejection of this picture. If the picture was already appealed by you and rejected by the head screeners or the administrator, please be so kind and do not reupload it again without improving it.

Please note that continuous reuploading may result in a temporary ban from the site.


The size of your photo was too small or had an invalid width/height size ratio.

Image size:

  • For Landscape format, image should be at least 1000 pixels wide, with a maximum of 1600 pixels.
  • For Portrait format, image should be at least 1000 pixels high, with a maximum of 1600 pixels.

High resolution images show more flaws than low resolution images. We therefore advise everyone to upload images at 1024 or 1200 pixels wide. Uploading higher resolutions (with a maximum of 1600 pixels wide) should only be done with very high quality images and sufficient editing experience. If you choose to upload your photo at a larger size, please refrain from commenting about the size in the Remarks field. Such comments, if added, will be removed during the screening process.

Image size ratio:

For landscape photos, the size ratio (width/height) can be anything between 16:9 and 4:3. See below a few common examples:

Width Minimum Height Maximum Height
1000 563 750
1024 576 768
1050 591 788
1100 619 825
1150 647 863
1200 675 900
1250 703 938
1300 731 975
1350 759 1013
1400 788 1050
1500 844 1125
1600 900 1200

For portrait photos, the size ratio (width/height) can be anything between 3:4 and 2:3. See below a few common examples:

Width Minimum Height Maximum Height
667 1000 1000
683 1000 1025
700 1000 1050
733 1000 1100
750 1000 1125
800 1067 1200
900 1200 1350
1000 1333 1500
1200 1600 1600

Note: A copyright banner of 12 pixels will be added to the Height during the upload process.


Your photo(s) had a soft appearance.

This does not mean they are blurry or out of focus, but that they need an extra kick of sharpness.

This can be done by using the sharpen function of your image editing software. For example in Photoshop try the Adaptive Unsharp Mask. But be careful not to your pictures too much, because that will lead to so-called "jaggies" and can subsequently lead to an OVER-SHARPENED rejection.

Detailed information about sharpening can be found in our forum: Masterclass: Sharpening

Example 1a: No sharpening -> soft rejection Image copyright: Eduard Brantjes
Example 1b: Correctly sharpened -> accepted
Example 1c: Slightly over-sharpened -> over-sharpened rejection
Example 1d: Heavily over-sharpened -> over-sharpened rejection

Note: Sometimes you may get a rejection for soft and over-sharpened at the same time. This means that one part of the image is soft while another is over-sharpened. It may seem like a conflicting message but it relates to different parts of the image.