Photo Quality Guidelines and Copyright Notes

Photo Guidelines and Copyright

Sebastian Olias avatar
Written by Sebastian Olias
Updated over a week ago

Thank you for choosing FleetMon to upload your vessel photos. Use the “Upload Photo” button to add your photos to our gallery. Please make sure that you check out our Photo Quality Guidelines and Copyright Notes first so that we can maintain the high quality of the FleetMon photo collection. Please take into account the rules when uploading your photo. Failing to do so will probably result in our volunteer moderators rejecting the photo.

Free subscription for our top ship spotters:

  • Photographers with 300+ approved photos are entitled to a free Unlimited plan.

Some simple rules


  • The minimum image size is 1920px on the longest side.

  • JPG, JPEG, and PNG are allowed

  • Permitted image ratios are 2:1, 4:3, 3:2, 1:1, 3:4, 2:3, 1:2.

Photo Quality

  • Upload photos that are correctly focused and exposed with appropriate camera settings and lighting.

  • The photo must be sharp.

  • No black & white or otherwise discolored images. (e.g. Sepia, Instagram filter like colors).

  • No artificial picture frame. (i.e. generated with Photoshop photo frames, etc.)

  • No mirrored, no upside-down images, and the photo must have a straight horizon.


  • The ship must be fully visible on the picture and must fill 70% of the image (horizontal or vertical).

  • Exceptions might be made for a particularly interesting close-up of a part or characteristic of the ship.

  • The ship must be identifiable within the photo frame and not too small/distant. You should crop large empty areas of the photo before uploading.

  • When Several vessels are seen in a photo, the main ship in question must be evident.

  • Foreground obstructions must not restrict the view of the ship.

  • Ensure that the horizon is level. Use photo editing tools to correct the photo-alignment and other parameters.

  • Photos with identifiable people will be deleted.

  • If you use watermarks, please ensure they are appropriately sized in the lower left or right corner of the image and do not interfere with the image of the vessel. Please use only white or black colors.

  • Shipwrecks, accidents as well and dry dock photos are accepted.

Multiple Photos

  • Photos have to be able to be distinguished. Too similar photos (near-duplicates) will be deleted.

  • The maximum number of photos that one user for a specific vessel can upload is seven photos within six months. After exceeding this limit, the uploads will fail for the specific vessel.


  • Please try always to include the date and location of the photo.

  • If you wish to correct any of the details of a photo, just go to My Photos and edit the photo using the corrected details.

Category A = The quality standards were met. The photo is also suitable as the main/display image for the ship and as a Photo of the Week/Month.

  • vessel centered in picture

  • straight horizon

  • fill the picture more than 70 percent

Category B = The quality standards are largely met. The photo is also suitable as a Photo of the Week/Month. With this category, we want to give a little more artistic freedom. The photos are not inferior in quality but do not meet strict guidelines. However, FleetMon also welcomes uploading these photos, as they are artistically very valuable and reflect the vessel's history.

  • no heavy Photoshop/Instagram filter on the image

  • good quality

  • vessel identifiable

  • even if the horizon is slightly crooked

  • nice mood

  • two vessels in the scene, but both are identifiable

  • vessel in the picture but not 70 percent

  • details of a vessel with good quality and vessel is identifiable

Category C = The quality standards are not met, or the photo is a duplicate. The photo is then still visible to the user himself, but not to other users.

  • bad quality

  • duplicate

  • shrinking photo

  • no machinery

  • no people making a break

  • too dark

  • details are interesting as long as you can see the IMO number of the vessel

About pixels and ratios

Naturally, small photos look pixelated on today's high-resolution screens, and long thin photos don't look very good on the FleetMon website. If you upload the photos right in the size as your camera produced them, there will be nothing to worry about: all modern cameras produce high-resolution photos with a gold-standard size and aspect ratio.

However, if you like to rework your photos, please consider the following basic points to make sure that your reworked shots look great both on FleetMon and FleetMon Mobile.

We require a minimum size of 1920 pixels on the longest side and an aspect ratio higher than 2:1 (or 1:2). For example, 2048 x 1536 pixels is great! Long thin photos of less than 2:1 (for example, a photo with 2000 x 800 pixels) just don't look good.

What objects do we accept images for?

Any object transmitting an AIS signal is referred to as a ship station. These include SAR craft, Coastguard stations, Lighthouses, and, increasingly, AtoN (aids to navigation), usually buoys. While we are happy to receive photos of ship stations that are not vessels, we will not accept AtoN of the buoy type. For clarity, ship stations will be referred to as ships in the Guideline text.

Our photo admins regularly check on new photos and do also delete photos that do not fulfill the requirements. Please don't take it personally. Stay respectful and see it as a good possibility to improve your skills.

Copyright Notes

Please only upload images for which you own the copyright. The FleetMon moderators cannot and will not tolerate abuse of images and copyright. Any image that we believe you do not own the copyright for will be rejected. We reserve the right to ban individual users from the website for copyright infringement. All images on this website are the property and copyright of their respective owners. By submission of photos, the owner grants the right to process, store and display them on and in related products. HOWEVER, FleetMon reserves the right to use photos uploaded for its use (including commercials). Third parties have no right to redistribute, resell, or in any other way transfer or display content delivered through this service to any other party. Doing so may lead to prosecution. assumes no liability for data and images uploaded by its users.

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