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Can we in the future somehow skip this rule ?

If we want more quality pictures on the site, we should find a way to avoid this rule. I know that it is easier to show picture of the week in this orientation on the front page, but we pay a high price for this - many authors could not send their best works on paticular themes. In that case, the site quality and interests for the theme and the site at all will be lower.

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The reason for the image size is to fit around the page design - there is a fixed height available, and a maximum width. There have been a few submissions that have been fractionally narrow in the past, and these have not been disqualified. Of course, with only 210px height to play with, you would be limited with how well you could show off a portrait image.

  • But why we myst have only 210px height limit ? Winning picture could be resized for its appirinace on the main page. – Dejo Oct 16 '12 at 13:10
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    I agree. This is an extremely simple web design issue to solve. A maximum size, say 300px on the longest edge should be the criteria. The css should be fluid enough to scale the nav bar to fit the image. – camflan Oct 16 '12 at 14:51
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    Of course, a taller image then risks moving the page content even further "below the fold". – Rowland Shaw Oct 16 '12 at 16:30
  • Browsers scroll for a reason ;) Being a Q/A site, and not a news or feature driven site, I don't think this would be an issue. – camflan Oct 16 '12 at 20:24
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    The point here being that a taller header means you don't see the questions nor answers without scrolling. Don't forget that some of us will be using the site from tablets which don't have the pixel count of big behemoth workstations... – Rowland Shaw Oct 16 '12 at 21:03
  • Not putting content below the fold is getting a bit old-fashioned these days. You have to scroll to read your Facebook feed, but that site seems to be doing pretty well these days. This is a photography site as well as a Q&A, showing off some photography would be good. Is it really necessary to have the image title and the competition submission link next to the image? Why can't it go underneath in one line? – ElendilTheTall Oct 19 '12 at 7:45
  • The facebook feed starts closer to the top of the screen than our current content, so not sure the point you're trying to make there? – Rowland Shaw Oct 21 '12 at 14:27
  • My point is people don't mind scrolling to see content these days, and indeed often expect to. – ElendilTheTall Oct 22 '12 at 8:34
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The rules don't strictly deny square images (here's one). And some portrait images have been cropped (example) or rotated (example) into landscape images. Until August 2011, every entry had to be cropped somehow, since no camera outputs in aspect ratio of 375×210 px - and there weren't less entries than now. So the "price we pay" might be lower than you think.

The contest rules are quite reasonable given that the whole idea of the contest is to select a header image. The personal entry barrier for any author is pretty low - just being an active member of community (ie. having enough reputation to access meta and post images) is enough. It was never meant to be for showcasing all photographic work (e.g. panoramas, timelapses, 3D and erotic images are also ruled out).

Oh, and actually, there is a special contest for portrait-orientation images - the Community Ads campaign. Link your image to a relevant question or some other photography-related page, embed a few catchy words and five upvotes will grant your image randomly (among other qualifying entries) placement for much longer than a week - until the end of year.

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