User's Guide

List of Topics

  1. Meaning of the photoMENTORIS name and logo
  2. Index of Icons
  3. Changing or uploading your avatar
  4. Creating a signature
  5. Attaching images in a post
  6. Adding links in a post
  7. Embedding a YouTube video
  8. Subscribing to a topic or forum
  9. Bookmarking a topic
  10. Sending private messages
  11. Opting in or out of Social Media Sharing

Posts worth reading



Meaning of the photoMENTORIS name



The Photo Mentoris name contains some deep meaning behind it. It is a combination of the Greek root word phōs, phōt which means ‘light’. The word itself as used in modern vocabulary has bridged many cultures and languages and the word 'photo' is easily understood globally. Mentoris, on the other hand, is not easily recognized as it's basis is in the archaic Latin, though you can easily recognize it's origin from the Greek Mentor. These two words together exemplify the goal of this site; the furthering of photographic education through a loosely structured online mentoring community.

There are a lot of photography related web sites vying for attention these days. All use some version of the word photography and with good reason. It clearly defines the target audience. The same applies to this site. However, the primary goal is education so the word 'photo' is placed in a subordinate position while the true purpose of the site, education through mentoring, is placed into the superior position. You can see how the site's logo reflects this position by having the word 'photo' in all lower case while the word 'mentoris' is in all upper case.

The logo itself consists of the profile of Socrates, one of the founders of Western philosophy and mentor to Plato. Behind him are entwined gears to symbolize mechanical progress, thinking as a machine and how the two interact with each other. The large cog has a center with a stylized lens, the element in photography that allows the light to enter.

Proper use of the Brand Name
In plain text writing, as how the name will be used on this site, we need to maintain a sense of consistency. This is designed to maintain the site's identity in the forefront of all members and to have a unifying look across all boards and correspondences. Here are some guidelines for how to use the name in your writing.
  • The name should be used as a singular unit in reference to the site. Do not use a space in between the two words.
  • The word 'photo' should be all lower case and the name 'mentoris' should be all upper case.
  • Capitalization is ignored in regards to the site's name when used to start a sentence.
  • If possible, place the site name in italics to differentiate it from the rest of the text around it.
  • If used in a paragraph of italicized text the name should be set as normal.
  • If using initials, the same case convention applies as it does to the full name, as delineated above.
photoMENTORIS or pM


Index of Icons



Image


Changing or uploading your avatar



An avatar is a small graphical icon used in your profile so members can easily identify your post visually without having to hunt for a name. The more unique and personal you make your avatar, the better it is for others to identify you. Since avatars are small, it is suggested that the image be simple and easy to identify at a small scale. Less is more.

Your avatar can be a selfie, your company logo or even an iconic image of yours. Avatars can also be as generic as you want but keep in mind that this is a social setting and personality trumps anonymity. People, by nature, want to know who they are talking to. I you do not want to create your own avatar you can use one of the many avatars in our galleries, but it's more unique to have your own.

Creating your own personal avatar is simple and can be done with any photo editing program. You can submit either a GIF, JPG or PNG file. The only restrictions for a custom avatar are;
  • A minimum dimensions of no less than 80 pixels high by 80 pixels wide
  • A maximum dimensions of no more than 180 pixels high by 180 pixels wide
  • File size of no more than 40 KiB. You may need to reduce image quality in order to meet the server requirements.
To upload, or select from a premade avatar, follow these steps and you'll soon have your own personal avatar.
  1. In the main menu, were it says "Hello, YourName!" (second from last menu block), click to open the drop down menu.
  2. Click on the User Control Panel (UCP for short) link. This takes you to all your user settings available on photoMENTORIS.
  3. Once in the UCP you will see a series of menu blocks across the top and tabs down the left hand side. Click on the second tab at top that reads "Profile".
  4. The default panel that opens up is the "Edit profile" panel. Two tabs below that is a tab that opens the "Edit avatar" panel.
  5. In the center panel under Avatar type there is a drop down selection box. You can either Upload avatar from your computer or select a Gallery avatar from the many supplied by photoMENTORIS.
  6. If you choose to upload your own avatar click on the Upload avatar button and follow the instructions. It's relatively standard.
  7. If you click on Gallery avatar you will see a drop down selection box with a variety of avatar topics. Click on the topic you want to browse and click on the "Go" button.
  8. Select the avatar you want to use and click the "Submit" button.


Creating a signature



NOTE: Signature lines are limited to 800 characters (including formatting codes).
NOTE: It is suggested you put your real name (at least your first name) in your signature if your user name does incorporate it.
NOTE: Vulgar, defamatory or otherwise hateful language is not tolerated.


A signature line is simply a block of text that is appended to the end of every post created in this forum. Since it is an attachment, the signature block is stored independently of the contents of the post and can be globally modified by simply altering the original signature file.

Signatures are a nice way of letting other members know who you are, what your photographic preferences or specialities are or can display a motivational quote or a link to your portfolio. Some members even use the signature line to request specific considerations in critiquing.

Creating your own personal signature line is simple. Follow these steps and you'll soon have your own signature.
  1. In the upper right corner just under the header image is your user name with a little version of your on-line avatar. Click on your name and a drop down menu appears.
  2. Click on the first menu item. It should say User Control Panel (UCP for short). This takes you to all your user settings available on photoMENTORIS.
  3. Once in the UCP you will see a series of tabs across the top and tabs down the left hand side. Click on the second tab at top that reads [ Profile ].
  4. The default panel that opens up is the [ Edit profile ] panel. Just below that is a tab that opens the [ Edit signature ] panel.
  5. Create your custom signature as you would any other post. You have access to the standard BBCodes and can embed icons and images. You are limited to 800 characters (including any formatting code).
  6. Once you are satisfied with your signature file click the [ Submit ] button and your signature will be displayed at the bottom of every post you make.


Attaching images in a post



NOTE: You need a minimum of 10 posts before you can 'attach' an image. No minimum to embed one.
NOTE: Image size is limited to 1920 x 1080 pixels and a maximum file size of 2Mb.
NOTE: Please limit to three images per post. (Private messaging is limited to only 1 file)

  1. Method One - As an attachment
    1. Navigate to the forum category in which you want to post an image to.
    2. Remember; for Showcase and Critique images if you want other members to critique your work you need to post it in the Critic's Corner otherwise you can post it in the Member's Showcase.
    3. Start a new post by clicking on the [ New Topic ] button at the top of the page or, if it is in response to another post, press the [ Post Reply ] button.
    4. In the post window scroll to the bottom. You will see a series of tabs. Click on the [ Attachments ] tab.
    5. Click on the [ Add Files ] button and a file browser window will open. Navigate to the directory and image file you wish to post and click [ Open ].
    6. Alternatively you can click and drag an image file onto the post window and it will automatically upload the file for you.
    7. Once the image has finished uploading, click on the [ Place Inline ] button and an IMG tag in BBCode containing your file's name will be placed into the post document.
    8. Finish composing your post and click the [ Submit ] button to post it to photoMENTORIS.
    TIP: After uploading an image you are given a short text box labeled "File Comment". Enter a short description or title there and it will be included in your post. It will also appear in your "User Control Panel" under "Overview/Manage Attachments".
  2. Method Two - Embedded link
    1. Navigate to the forum category in which you want to post an image to.
    2. Start a new post by clicking on the [ New Topic ] button at the top of the page or, if it is in response to another post, press the [ Post Reply ] button.
    3. As you compose your post, click on the [ Img ] button at the top of the editor window. That will insert a set of IMG tags in BBCode into your document with the cursor in between the two tags.
    4. Either copy/paste the URL to your image (hosted off site such as on an image hosting site) or type in the URL between the two IMG tags.
    5. Finish composing your post and click the [ Submit ] button to post it to photoMENTORIS.
    MORE INFO: Onslow and TomCofer contributed a great tutorial on linking images from off-site hosting sites. It is worth visiting; "Posting links to images at Image Hosts".
  3. Linking from Flickr
    1. In a separate window, navigate to the image you want to post on your Flickr account.
    2. Locate the "Share Photo" link (an upward sweeping arrow) and click on it. A pop up window will be displayed.
    3. Select "BBCode" from the top menu row.
    4. Select the image size you want to link to. Anything between 600 to 1700px will work. 1000 x 800px is the most ideal.
    5. Copy the displayed BBCode to your clipboard. It will look something like this
      CODE: Select all

      CODE: Select all

      [url=https://flic.kr/p/123ABC][mg];https://farm2.staticflickr.com/FlickrImageCode.jpg[/img][/url]
      [url=https://flic.kr/p/123ABC]Img Title[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/Name/]Your Name[/url], on Flickr
    6. Paste your copied code into your post and you're done.
* Although 1700px is the allowed maximum width keep in mind this will only display at that size on larger monitors otherwise images get scaled down to fit. Clicking on the image will open up the image in a lightbox.

Adding links in a post



URL links are a necessity when you want to direct someone's attention to a web site, video or other internet resource. Properly formatted links help your readers navigate to the sources you want them to. Here are two ways to use the [ Url ] tag.
  1. Method One - Quick and easy
    • From the target web site, video or other resource, select and copy the URL to your clipboard.
    • As you write your post, click on the [ Url ] button where you want to place the link. It will place the BBCode for the link into the post with the cursor positioned in between the two tags
    • Paste the URL you previously copied to your clipboard between the tags.
    • You're done. told you it was quick and easy.
      CODE: Select all

      CODE: Select all

      [url]http://www.yourlinkhere.com[/url]
  2. Method Two - Cleaner
    1. From the target web site, video or other resource, select and copy the URL to your clipboard.
    2. As you write your post, click on the [ Url ] button where you want to place the link. It will place the BBCode for the link into the post with the cursor positioned in between the two tags
    3. Type in the name of the web site, video or resource between the two tags.
    4. Place your cursor into the opening tag just after the word url. Insert an equal sign ( = ) and then paste the URL you previously copied to your clipboard.
    5. The text you typed between the tags will become the link for the URL.
      CODE: Select all

      CODE: Select all

      [url=http://www.yourlinkhere.com]Link text goes here[/url]


Embedding a YouTube video



YouTube is a great resource for teaching and learning. We encourage you to share any videos you have created. Embedding a YouTube video is easy, just follow these steps.
Go to YouTube and find the video you wish to embed in your post.
  1. Below the video information area there is a section titled Share. Select and copy the link to your clipboard. Do not use the Embed code with iFrame tags.
  2. On photoMENTORIS, go to your post you want to embed the link into. Place the cursor wherever you want the video to be within your text.
  3. Click on the [ youtube ] button in the editor toolbar. This will insert a set of BBCode tags. ( [ youtube ][ /youtube ] )
  4. Paste the copied link to your video between the tags. When you submit the post it will automatically embed the video into your post.


Subscribing to a topic or forum



Subscribing to a Topic or Forum is a great way of staying abreast of conversations that interest you. After subscribing, you will receive email notices whenever there is any activity on the subscribed to topic or forum.
Here is how to subscribe;
  1. Subscribing to a post
    1. Navigate to the post you want to subscribe to.
    2. At the top, or all the way down at the bottom, look for the drop down menu that shows an icon of a wrench. Click on the icon to open the list.
    3. The first item, Subscribe topic, allows you to subscribe/unsubscribe to that particular topic.
    4. Click on the link and you are subscribed.
  2. Subscribing to a forum
    1. Navigate to the forum you want to subscribe to.
    2. Scroll all the way down to the bottom and look for the panel that says Home. Right next to that is the Subscribe forum link.
    3. Click on the link and you are subscribed.
  3. Managing subscriptions
    1. Access your User Control Panel by clicking on your name in the menu bar at top right, below the header image.
    2. From the main page entitled [ Overview ], you will see a menu tab labeled [ Manage subscriptions ].
    3. You can unsubscribe from watched topics and forums from this page.
    4. You can also unsubscribe a topic or forum by repeating the steps above and checking the Unsubscribe link.


Bookmarking a topic



Bookmarking a Post is a great way of saving a conversation that interest you, such as a tutorial or a special reference.
Here is how to bookmark a topic;
  1. Bookmarking a post
    [/list=1]
  2. Navigate to the post you want to bookmark.
  3. At the top, or all the way down at the bottom, look for the drop down menu that shows an icon of a wrench. Click on the icon to open the list.
  4. The second item, Bookmark topic, allows you to bookmark that particular topic.
  5. Click on the link and you have successfully bookmarked that topic.
[*]Managing bookmarks
  1. Access your User Control Panel by clicking on your name in the menu bar at top right, below the header image.
  2. From the main page entitled [ Overview ], you will see a menu tab labeled [ Manage bookmarks ].
  3. You can manage your bookmarks or jump to any topic you have bookmarked from this page.
  4. You can also remove a bookmark from a topic by repeating the steps above and checking the Remove from bookmarks link.
[/list]

Sending private messages



Private messaging is a great way of communicating with other members of photoMENTORIS on a more private level without revealing your personal email.
  1. Method One - From a post
    1. To privately contact a member in response to a post look at their mini profile on the right side of their post. You will see the option to Contact that member.
    2. Click on the link icon under their avatar. You will have several options available based on that member's user preferences.
    3. Click on the first icon labeled Send private message. That will take you to the Compose Message window in the User Control Panel.
    4. Compose your message and click om the [ Submit ] button to send that member your message.
  2. Method Two - From Private Messages panel
    1. In the menu bar, just below the header image, click on the Private Messages link on the right side next to your user name. That will take you to the Compose Message window in the User Control Panel.
    2. Add the name of the member to whom you want to message. Either type in their user name or look up their name with the Find a member link. Their name will appear in the Recipients section.
    3. Compose your message and click on the [ Submit ] button to send that member your message.


Opting in or out of Social Media Sharing



As a way of promoting your photography, photoMENTORIS posts random images from the site to our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
This feature is purely a voluntary service and you have the option to opt out of having your images shared on external social sites.
You have the option to opt in or out of this feature on your profile page. Here is how to do so.
  1. In the upper right corner just under the header image is your user name with a little version of your online avatar. Click on your name and a drop down menu appears.
  2. Click on the first menu item. It should say User Control Panel (UCP for short). This takes you to all your user settings available on photoMENTORIS.
  3. Once in the UCP you will see a series of tabs across the top and tabs down the left hand side. Click on the second tab at top that reads [ Profile ].
  4. The default panel that opens up is the [ Edit profile ] panel. The last item in this panel is for opting in or out of Social Media Sharing.
  5. Select 'yes' if you want to share images on our Facebook and Twitter accounts or 'no' if you would rather not share your images.
We cull images mainly from the image forums (Member Gallery and Critic's Corner). The only exception is the Glamour forum. Due to the nature of the content on that forum we will not be posting images from there.

TIP: If you opt in to our Social Media Sharing feature but end up occasionally posting an image you would rather not share, simply include a note with your attached image that specifies you would rather not share that one image.