We often receive emails or comments asking why a certain photo is the main thumbnail for a trail or trail system, and our response is: “because you chose it to be.”

Photos for a specific trail are organized by the ratings that you, the users, have given them. The photos with the highest ratings float to the top, and the photos with no rating scrape along the bottom of the pile.

If you’ve been a Tripleblaze member for several years, you’ll know that photo ratings are nothing new: we used to have star ratings several years ago, and then for a while we experimented with just using “likes” to determine which photos were the best.

Well, we decided just “liking” a photo was boring, and that actually grading them was a lot more fun 🙂 So, photo ratings are back with a vengeance.

Now, when you rate a photo four stars or higher, the photographer will get a quick email giving them kudos for taking awesome photos. Also, the photo gallery rankings and trail thumbnails are now instantly updated based on your photo ratings (previously, there was a delay). Now if you see a photo that you really like, and you give it a high ranking, you get the instant gratification of seeing it jump up the photo rankings!

You guys are in charge of these photo rankings… we’re putting our faith and our trust in you! So when you’re ranking photos, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Reserve 5-star ratings for only the best photos. Usually, this means that the photo is extremely scenic, is in good focus,and bears other photographic elements, such as composition and lighting, in mind.
  • Be honest with other ratings. If it’s four stars, give it four. If it’s three, give it three.
  • If the photo is very representative of the trail, give it a decent rating.
  • Don’t abuse the system by ranking only your own photos highly or ranking others’ photos poorly.
  • Reserve 2 and 1 star ratings for photos that truly suck: photos that are off topic, out of focus, or that just plain don’t look good.

So get out there and start ranking photos! You have the reigns… let’s see the best photos that the 30,000-photo Tripleblaze database has to offer!

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