Every month the Theme of the Month Team (TMT) announces a new theme for the current month (Theme of the Month or ToM). The theme is generally a wide topic which allows for many interpretations. The more creative you are with your interpretation, the better. The intent is to get you out with your camera or to have you look at images in your archives in a new way. The most important thing is to have fun with it and get creative.
Theme Announcement and Deadline
New themes are usually announced on the 1st of the month - Go to Themes >> Theme of the Month >> The Themes at the top of the Home Page. The announcement includes a short description and some suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. The theme closes on the last day of each month.
Contributions, Images and Notes
There is a limit of five contributions you can make to the theme over the course of the relevant month. Of course there is no obligation to enter the themes at all if you do not wish to. TMT asks that you write a note with each post explaining why you chose your image and what your interpretation of the theme is for this particular post. You might have different images, each with a different interpretation.
TMT sets up a ToM theme gallery to collect all contributions together. To see the theme entries go to Themes >> Theme of the Month >> Galleries at the top of the Home Page.
Entering images into the Themes of the month
When you upload a new image which is intended for the current theme of the month, look for the TOM question at the bottom of the upload page. You are required to answer "Yes" if the image is for the current theme and "No" if it is not. If you change your mind after uploading, simply click [Edit] under your uploaded image to return to the upload page.
Navigate to The Themes >> Theme of the Month >> The Themes and you will see descriptions of the themes for the forthcoming two months. This is to allow members more time to give the themes some thought and to prepare.
Voting for Members' Choice
All members are invited to take part in voting for up to five images that they feel represent the theme best or are particularly creative. It doesn't have to be the most technically perfect images. It can be whatever images or notes touched you in a particular way, was particularly original or humorous, or maybe got you thinking in a new direction. We ask you to only vote for other members' images and to exclude your own contributions. We hope you understand that this is in the interest of fairness.
Preparation for voting at the end of each month can start as soon as the theme begins. All members have a gallery in their personal menu called "My ToM Choices". This is how it works:-
When you view an image which has been entered into the current theme, under the EXIF information you will see a clickable box saying "Add this image to "Theme of the Month" (Title of the theme): My ToM Choices". If that image is a possibility for your vote at the end of the month, click that box and the image will go into your very own "My ToM Choices" gallery. That gallery is personal to you and is not visible to anyone else. At this stage there is no limit to the number of images you can click. What it does is provide you with an edited gallery of images from which you can choose at voting time, and make your decision for the vote quick and easy.
When you navigate to My Menu >> My ToM Choices >> Title of the current month, you will see a gallery of thumbnails of all images you have clicked as your possible choices.
The voting period is from midnight on the last day of the month to midnight on the 7th of the following month. The time zone is UTC (effectively GMT).
You are allowed to vote for up to five images. As soon as that period begins, those thumbnails of your choice will automatically be transferred to another page, also personal to you.
This page is accessed by navigating to My Menu >> My ToM Choices >> Concluded Month. Instead of thumbnails, the full size images of your choice will be visible.
Under each image is the sentence "My Top 5 Choices". When you have picked your top five, all you need to do is click the button under each of the 5 images you have chosen and
finally click [Send] at the bottom of the page. Your votes are automatically recorded.
On the 8th of the month the theme is summarized and the result of the voting is announced with publication of the winning images. To see the results go to Themes >> Theme of the Month >> Members' Choice at the top of the Home page, and click on the relevant month. At the same time the photographers of the winning images will receive an e-mail of congratulations.