Picture Gallery Uploads
The Picture Gallery of IRFCA.org has been set up with the aim of collecting a wide variety of images and videos pertaining to Indian Railways and related subjects. To this end, we invite railfans to submit their pictures.
Contact: For all matters having to do with the gallery, the contact address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: For submissions of other material, such as documents, articles, etc., for the IRFCA.org web site, please write to the email@example.com address.
Submissions to the Gallery
There are a couple of ways in which you can submit pictures to the IRFCA gallery. The Open Line album is a public album where you can upload pictures for sharing with other railfans. All uploads are subject to the submission guidelines provided later on this page. More details on the Open Line album are given below. Direct uploads to Open Line are intended to handle general railway picture submissions and are not necessarily archived permanently in the gallery. For special cases, such as pictures of rare or unusual subjects, historically important events, etc., or collections of pictures with a thematic focus (trip reports, etc.), please write to the gallery administrators at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for the submission of the material.
The Open Line album is intended to be like a bulletin-board for sharing pictures of current interest with other railfans. Gallery members are expected to exercise self-moderation and be selective in their uploads to this album.
Registered gallery users can upload up to a maximum of 5 pictures in any consecutive 7-day period. This rule is intended to force users to be selective in their choice of pictures and to prevent prolific photographers from dominating the album. Uploads in excess of this guideline may be deleted without warning. If you feel you need to have more pictures added to the album for some reason, such as to accompany a trip report posted on the forum, please contact the gallery administrators at email@example.com.
All submitted items are subject to approval by the gallery moderators. If approved, the item will be publicly visible in the Open Line album. If not, it will be deleted; normally a brief e-mail to this effect will be sent to the submitter, but the gallery moderators will not necessarily be able to supply very specific responses to any individual queries about submitted items.
Items uploaded here will remain in the album for some time (a few days to a few weeks), after which they will in most cases be deleted, or, in exceptional cases, moved to other albums for permanent archival in the gallery.
Registered users of the gallery are allowed to post comments on items displayed in this album (see below).
Please be prudent about the items you upload to this album and avoid uploading repetitious pictures. Please follow the quality guidelines in the submission rules below so that your pictures are of a high quality and provide your viewers with a pleasant experience.
You must be a registered user of the gallery in order to submit items directly to the Open Line album: The Open Line Album. You can request a user id by writing to the gallery administrators at firstname.lastname@example.org and providing examples of your photography of railway subjects at your own web site, or on sites like Flickr, Picasa, etc. Gallery registration is different from registration at the forum. Gallery user ids are issued at the discretion of the gallery administrators after they assess the quality of your photography samples.
Please keep the size of each picture submitted to under 225KB (with pixel dimensions of 1024x768 or less). Please provide appropriate captions with all relevant details of the subject, dates, places, etc., and your name (or the photographer's or copyright holder's) name.
The gallery administrators reserve the right to manage the items of this album at their discretion, including deleting items that have earlier been approved.
Please be sure to review the legal information below.
Some submissions that cover subjects or events of a rare or unusual nature, or which are of special interest from a technical or historical viewpoint may be suitable for direct archival in some of the permanent albums of the gallery. There are also some cases, such as when sending in reports of a railway journey or a railfanning event, or a collection of photographs with a certain thematic focus, perhaps to accompany an article, when the Open Line album may not be appropriate, and a separate thematic album is called for. In all such cases where material is being submitted for inclusion in other than Open Line, please write to the gallery administrators at email@example.com. Finally, registered gallery users may also submit pictures for the IRFCA locomotive database using the upload link from that page. The submission guidelines outlined below apply in all cases.
Guidelines for submissions
Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding these guidelines.
- Subjects: Images, videos, etc., submitted for inclusion on this site should pertain to railways in India or neighbouring regions. Although occasional items pertaining to other parts of the world are accepted, it should be understood that the primary focus is on India, both present-day and British India.
- Videos: Because of storage and bandwidth concerns, the gallery administrators will be extremely selective about video submissions. Only those videos that capture rare and unusual or unique events, or are of historical and documentary value, will be accepted for inclusion in the permanent collection of the gallery. Run of the mill videos of trains running past a station or ordinary trackside clips will not be accepted.
- Formats: For images, JPEG (.jpg), GIF, or PNG files are acceptable. For videos, MPEG1 format files are acceptable. Please contact us to discuss uploading other formats. Please do not upload uncompressed AVI video files. There are many good and free MPEG1 encoders available. See the video conversion guidelines or contact us at email@example.com for help.
- Information: Please provide information about the picture you are uploading as described below. Pictures without this information may be rejected.
- Clear and concise description of the subject, date, and location.
- Your name, or the photographer's/author's name, and contact e-mail address.
- Loco details, train names and numbers, etc., are very desirable.
- Avoid station codes like 'SBC', or acronyms and abbreviations that may not be widely understood; spell these out in full.
- Mention loco classes like this: WDM-2, not like WDM2, or WDM 2, or WDM/2, etc. Mention loco numbers preceded by # like this: #20219. This helps searching in the gallery.
- Keep dates in the format yyyy-mm-dd, e.g., 2004-03-19. Again, this helps searches.
- Additional descriptive details such as background information, photographic equipment used, etc., are also welcome, however please keep it concise; larger detailed reports should be mailed to the IRFCA list.
- Size: Please ensure the image pixel dimensions are between 800x600 and 1280x1024 for images as this range is best suited for viewing on most common computer screens. Video resolution should be 320x240 or less. Video files should be of about 60 seconds footage or less. Longer sequences can be split up. Image files should not exceed 250KB. Video files should be kept under 4MB, and preferably under 3MB. Videos should keep the video bitrate to 300kbps or less and the audio bitrate to 64kbps or less. Please follow the video capture and conversion guidelines before uploading video files. Large images will get automatically resized when uploaded, and their quality will deteriorate. Large video files may result in broken links. Contact us if you have any files of an unusual nature with different size requirements.
- Quality: Photographs and videos should adhere to these quality guidelines:
Some of these criteria may also be waived for old and rare photographs or images of unusual or under-represented subjects or locations, or where the photographs have artistic merit, but please contact us in advance about these.
- Subjects (trains, locos, etc.) should be framed properly and clearly visible without excessive shadows or obstructions, or distracting extraneous objects in the composition. Items with clutter in the foreground or dark shadows on the subject will be rejected.
- Avoid submitting "platform shots" unless they are in difficult light conditions (early morning, dusk, night, rain etc.) or have some unique photographic merit.
- "Door plating" pictures that do not show anything unique in terms of content will be rejected. Standard, "lean out of window" shots will also not be entertained.
- Photographs should not be blurry, unfocused, grainy, overly dark or bright or of bad contrast, excessively distorted, or be badly exposed.
- Subject outlines should be discernible in timed exposure or low-light photographs.
- Photographs with level horizons are preferred as opposed to tilted viewpoints. Please use walls, telegraph or catenary poles, etc., to maintain the level when taking pictures.
- Avoid excessive shake and swaying in videos by using a tripod or restricting the use of high zoom. Blurry pictures will be rejected.
- If scanning photographs or other material, ensure that there be no extraneous matter on the photographs: clean your prints or slides, remove traces of adhesive from photo corners or tape, (gently) erase smudges. It is best to avoid writing anything on the front surface of any print or even on the back as the impression can come through and be seen in the scan of the front. Ensure your scanner is clean without traces of dust, hair, or smudges or dirt on the scanner's surfaces. Please remove excess white borders added by the scanning process.
- If you have a print or slide that is worn, damaged, or composed badly, it may still be acceptable provided you crop it and level it appropriately after scanning it.
- Avoid using the automatic date/time stamping feature of your camera as this can distract from the main subject.
- You may use standard operations in image or video editing software such as sharpening, removing dust, adjusting brightness or contrast, etc., to improve the quality of submitted items. Image manipulation that materially changes the depiction of the subject is generally not acceptable, but you may submit such material after clearing it with the gallery administrators in advance if such manipulation is done for artistic reasons or compelling technical reasons.
- Please do retain the EXIF data embedded in photographs by digital cameras (which has details of the camera, exposure, etc.) when you re-size or otherwise post-process photographs.
- Do not include text captions in your photographs or videos. A small copyright notice that is not distracting is acceptable but we would prefer not to have these. Large notices, distracting watermarks, or other captions, etc., will result in the photographs being rejected.
- For videos, the soundtrack should have good quality, be in sync with the video, and should preferably be just the sound of the subject of the video with perhaps an occasional voiceover comment for information. Excessive voiceover or background music, etc., are to be avoided.
- Repetition: Please do not submit repetitive pictures of the same subjects. Attempt to introduce some variations, such as taking pictures from different vantage points, to make the pictures more interesting. Pictures that are substantially the same (same subject, same angle or viewpoint) will generally be summarily rejected. Remember, quality is far more important than quantity! One good picture is better than a dozen poor ones.
- Copyright Issues: Please upload only those items which you are allowed to submit to the site: you should be the photographer, videographer, or creator, or you should have permission from the original owner. Do not submit images from web sites, magazines, etc., for which you do not have copyright permission! Please understand that you jeopardize the very existence of this web site by engaging in copyright violation, by opening the web site up to legal action. The maintainers do not have the resources to verify copyrights, nor to engage in lawsuits; therefore, the policy will be to be as conservative as possible in terms of rejecting images for which copyright permission cannot be easily established.
- Restricted material: Please DO NOT submit any images or videos of illegal activities such as footplating locomotives without official permits, or trespassing on railway property. Please DO NOT submit any material which may place railway staff in compromising situations and subject them to disciplinary action or harassment by their superiors. Finally, please DO NOT submit any material which shows any secret or proprietary information not intended for disclosure to the general public. Please be prudent in submitting any material that touches on security, such as pictures of military trains - please obscure or obfuscate details that may be of significance from a security perspective. Violating material will be deleted. In addition, any material deemed to be offensive in any way to our site's usual web-viewing audience will also be deleted.
- Subject matter focus: The IRFCA Gallery is primarily intended to be a repository for pictures documenting railways in India. Material that does not, in the view of the webmasters, fit the overall purpose of the IRFCA web site as a focal point for documenting, promoting, and disseminating information about railways in India will not be accepted. In particular, please note that the gallery is not primarily intended to be a display area for railfans' personal photographs nor a showcase for artistic photographs, and preference will always be given to items that document important, unusual, or under-represented areas of railways in India. In connection with this, personal or group photographs of railfans are now generally disallowed, except for limited instances such as one or two group photographs in connection with railfanning trips or meets.
- Please note that notwithstanding conformance to the guidelines above, submitted material will be accepted only at the discretion of the gallery administrators. Items uploaded to the gallery may be deleted without prior warning, at the sole discretion of the webmasters and without any reason necessarily being assigned. You should keep a copy of any submitted images for your own purposes and not expect the copy on the server to be available indefinitely.
Registered Users and Comments
Only registered users are allowed to post comments directly on items displayed in the gallery.
User ids for commenting in the gallery are issued on request by the webmasters. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. User ids may be withdrawn at any time at the discretion of the webmasters if they are used inappropriately.
Unregistered users may post their comments on the IRFCA forum (the forum requires its own, separate, registration), or submit them to the webmasters by e-mail at email@example.com for inclusion in the gallery.
Comments in all cases should be brief, and provide additional clarifications on one or two specific points regarding the photograph or other item. Anything more extensive should be posted for discussion on the IRFCA forum.
Terms for Submitting Material
See the rules for submitting material to the web site for complete details on the legal terms governing all contributions to the web site.
Please read the section on railfan photography for information on when official permission is needed for photography (including still or video/movie recordings) of railway subjects, and how to obtain permission from IR for photography in such cases. In most cases, photography on railway premises such as at stations requires a permit. Stringent restrictions are applicable at sheds, yards, workshops, etc. Also, there are generally legal restrictions surrounding photography of structures such as bridges and tunnels in India. You must comply with all applicable regulations and laws when taking photographs of railway subjects, and ensure that you obtain an official permit or appropriate permission from the authorities where needed. The webmasters of the IRFCA.org site assume all photographs or other material sent to us were taken in compliance with regulations and laws governing photography. The webmasters cannot carry out any verification of such compliance, and do not take responsibility for enforcement of such regulations or laws nor accept liability resulting from non-compliance. Please see the legal disclaimers regarding material on the web site as well as the following conditions for uploading material to the site.
Please note: The webmasters of IRFCA.org are unable to provide assistance in obtaining any photography permits from any branch of Indian Railways. You must obtain appropriate permits or permission yourself.