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1. Category

Use this category for ships of all types that are preserved afloat or ashore for historical purposes and generally considered to be museums. They will usually be complete ships, though substantial part-ships are acceptable where that is the nature of the museum.

Existing specialist categories for decks and interiors, armaments, lifeboats, ships crests etc are available. Such photos are not accepted in this category, which is for ships only.

We also do not accept photos of ship equipment, etc displayed separately, whether indoors or in the open air, nor ship models. Note that within the Military Ships category there are subcategories for Armaments, Ships Crests and Flight Decks

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2. Required

The information provided should follow that required, so far as practicable, for the category for the ship type. For example, military museum ships should follow the requirements for active military vessels; similarly, with fishing vessels.

Additional information is always welcome on what can be seen and its interest, including the website of the museum ship. Links to relevant searches can be shown to further interest members who click on the photo

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3. Research

Google and other searches – show the links for relevant information in the Description

Web sites for the ship or Museum – show a link in the Description
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4. Site
Standards for all categories

We have site standards to ensure that the Shipspotting site maintains its focus on good images of ships themselves. In addition to these general standards, some categories have specific variations. Please use the Forum to raise any queries, or contact us at [email protected]

1. Size of image: The resolution must be between 768 x 768 pixels and 4000 x 4000 pixels, and the file size maximum is 4MB.

2. Sharpness: Images must be sharp. In a sharp image, names, windows, cranes and other ship details will be clear. Moderate digital enhancement for sharpness is acceptable, but the image must remain sharp in at least one of medium/full screen/original sizes on a screen of at least 280mm. It is accepted that older images, processed from prints or transparencies may not be as sharp as modern digital photographs.

3. Exposure: All images should be appropriately exposed to show the ship clearly, and without large white or black areas. Silhouettes are not accepted.

4. Level: The horizon must be level and verticals should appear so. The image should be straightened where necessary.

5. Distortion and enhancement: Photos taken with fish eye or other lenses that produce distorted images are not allowed. Black-and-white images are accepted only if that was the original medium; similarly for colour images. All manipulation of digital images should maintain a “natural” contrast and colour. For further guidance on digital enhancement see

6. Full ships only: For all views except those specifically for part-ship categories, bows, sterns and masts should not be cropped. Bow and stern shots are acceptable if they show the vessel from the waterline to the top of the superstructure.

7. Obstructions: Foreground obstructions should not restrict the view of the ship. Equipment and other vessels that are associated with the normal working of the ship (such as container cranes, tugs or bunkering barges) are acceptable provided they do not dominate the image. For ships alongside quays, the whole length of the ship should be in sight.

8. Main subject: The ship must be the main subject. Distant views where the ship is a small part of the image are not accepted.

9. People: The incidental presence of crew, passengers or shore workers in normal activity (ie not posed) is acceptable. Photographs showing people in the foreground, or others that may invade personal privacy, are not permitted.

10. Borders and watermarks: New digital images should not have added borders. Scanned historic images may retain a border provided it is unobtrusive and not decorative. Watermarks are acceptable provided they are discreet and do not impinge on the ship image. QR electronic codes are not permitted.

11. Small boats: Unless in use by the shipping or fishing industries or public authorities, small boats of less than 20 metres/65 feet in length are not accepted.

12. Multiple photos: When posting multiple photos of the same vessel taken on the same Date, the submission must be restricted to a maximum of 4 photographs with a significant change of Aspect/Angle between the photographs.

13. Date and location of photo: These must be included in the Description, if not added from the Location and Date of photo menus on the Upload page.

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5. Site
Standards specific to this category

Where a museum ship is in a fixed location that makes inclusion of the whole ship impossible, exceptions to the normal "whole ship" or "obstruction" general site standards may be relaxed, provided effort appears to have been made to minimise the faults
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