🎬 Guidelines for Photo Upload

Photos are important part of Overgrow. When it comes to plants and nature old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand of words” cannot be more true. Photos are our biggest joy but also a burden to our server. I’d like everyone to be aware that server space is limited resource and introduce some basic practices to follow:

Help us conserve the server storage!


:mega: Because our server is doing automatic compression, your effort to conserve our storage should be focused on limiting a number of photos you are uploading.

1. Use proper file format: JPG/JPEG

JPEG is the best format for photos. It has the right compression and allows to keep high picture quality and small file size. Please read here to learn more about computer graphic formats.

2. Think twice before uploading each photo

Prefer quality over quantity. There is no need to shoot a plant from all angles. If you are doing diary update, just post one or two overview photos capturing whole grow and few details of selected plants that are worth sharing. Batch of 5-10 photos can easily do the trick for weekly or bi-weekly update.

Wait with updates until some changes can be observed on the plants. Daily updates are too much.

If you just started, show us the room and its equipment instead of details of each pot or seedling. Shooting every single pot with germinating seed is redundant, because every pot with soil looks the same.

Note: There are always exceptions: technically complex tutorials that need detailed photo documentation, etc.

3. What about size and compression?

Currently we support upload of photos up to 10 MB (megabytes) and no more than 13 Mpx (megapixels). That means 99% of photos from digital SLRs and mobile phones should easily go through.

Compression is done automatically by the server at a time of upload, so if you don’t want to reduce file size on your own as a part of photo post-processing (which is recommended practice), you don’t need to care about it.

When photo is 6 months old, we automatically reduce the pixel size again. Limit is 2 Megapixels (HD quality = 1920 x 1080px) which is enough for archival purposes.

4. What about photo metadata?

Photos is JPG format are accompanied with EXIF data that include e.g. camera type and camera settings. We strip all metadata from photos before publishing them so they can’t be used for identification.

5. Always include photo description

Community is about sharing knowledge. This knowledge is only searchable when in form of text. We cannot search for images. If you don’t include proper photo description (e.g. strain name “White Widow”) nobody will find your photo using the search.

6. Private galleries are forbidden

Storage space is available for free only for public topics and galleries. We can’t offer valuable storage space for free just to serve to few individuals as their personal file hosting. That means creating private galleries in PMs is forbidden with the only exception of #private-lounge (which is semi-public).

(Private galleries are available to our Supporters)

Quick tips

  • Photos are formatted best when each image tag is on the separate line and if you include empty lines between the photos. This way photos will have proper spacing and will be easier to browse.
  • Each textual description should be put on separated line too (again accompanied by empty lines above and below). This will make sure that text is properly formatted and readable.
  • If you want to show details of the photo (e.g. some pests, trichomes or leaf damage) and lack proper close-up lens or magnifying glass, you should learn how to crop photos. This way after downsizing photo resolution, there will still be enough details visible.

Still struggling how to upload photos? Please read this topic: How to upload photos to Overgrow 📸


Thanks LG. This is very useful, welcome info.

Re #5 Is there a way to attach textual descriptors (strain name, age, etc.) onto to a picture?

If someone wanted to go through and delete their images in bulk is there a tool that can access? (ssh etc.)

Is there a way to embed someone else’s image rather than link to the post it’s in.

Re multiple angles. Most gallery apps have a collage feature which combines pics into a single laid out page. Not great for magnification but nice for getting a sense of the plants structure. Especially useful for comparing multiple plants.


Respect…will do Im bad for doing those things…i will stop!


Sorry just seen after uploading


Not yet, but sounds like good idea for new feature!

No. We’d like to keep permanent archive of all topics including images. As I described in OP, there will be scheduled downsizing for uploads 6 months and older, so we’ll be able to keep them but not in original resolution.

If you link to already uploaded image (this will show he link to “expand”) or directly copy-paste URL of the image (this will embed the image in your post) our system can detect it and will show original photo without wasting space for duplicate. The same will happen if you drag-n-drop identical photo two times…

Good tip. Have you got any particular app in mind?


Think I lost my mind for a few hour’s.

Re collage app…
On my phone I have Google Photos and Samsung Gallery (both standard Android image apps)
Google Photos: select multiple photos and click the plus sign.
Samsung Gallery: select multiple photos and click the vertical “…” in the upper right corner.
IPhones undoubtedly have some trick of their own.
Are there still Microsoft phones?


At this point it might be best to have an app for the site for those using mobile phones and limited computer access. Something specific to picture editing as phones are getting unreasonable MP count now. Tbe Samsung S20 for example is having a 120MP camera. It’s not going to be much longer before the minimum MP is above 13MP. We should probably have something for that before it becomes impossible for some to do anything other than text updates. As it is I’m not uploading anything really anymore anyways because of the limits and how difficult it is on my phone to get a picture not be a blurry blocky POS after editing. Like the post says if it’s not worth uploading, then don’t bother.

In the end a journal is for taking notes and it should be more text than pictures anyways. You can’t learn anything if you don’t take notes. If you only use pictures with minimal context it actually isn’t better than describing what’s going on in the picture.

Good to know though that we’re at least working on the issue, but with how things are going at this rate it might be needed to just upgrade the site properly :grimacing:


I use PicsArt app on my phone to resize and crop images.


You turned me onto that one awhile back. I like it. It’s easy to use!


I had tried that and it just made my pictures unrecognizable. Just blurry and blocky no matter what I did.

I think the biggest waste of space are pics when all those purple or orange or whatever lights are on. Pointless imo. I can find cartoons on other sites lol


Thanks for the tips I’ll help this all in mind


This is current limit of our server because downsizing is very CPU intensive (specifically if you drag-n-drop multiple photos at once).

With new server hardware that is planned for upgrade this year will have much higher calculation power and we will be able to raise this limit a lot! (That is why we are raising funds for it in auctions currently)


Good point! Even photos under HPS can look bad… Shooting under purple LED is crazy…


Is there a way you can introduce an automatic blank line after each image uploaded?
That would be lots easier than searching for the end of each upload link and manually adding breaks.


I’ve noticed that when you post and image whoi is hosted in another server (which would help with disk space and traffic) the image gets finally uploaded automatically. For example:

h**ps://i.imgur.com/tWL2zq2.jpg (Copyright 7lpdwcaw )

Is there a way to stop that automatation or embed a photo hosted in another server? :sunglasses:


That sounds stunningly brilliant!!

Hats off and Cheers

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It may seem at first sight like external hosting might be the solution, but in fact it isn’t.

Image hosters are not altruists, they have models to monetize provided space by using incoming traffic. Usually visitor needs to visit external site to see the picture one by one. And those pics are accompanied by banners or advertisement. Hosting is also only temporary, all photos get deleted after few weeks so we end up with topic that lacks all pictures but has many (now non-functional) links to external sites.

We would like our visitors to stay here on OG and hopefully register and start participating. We also like to have complete archive of our topics, not only “skeleton” without photos.

So please upload your photos directly to Overgrow.