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Using the Lightbox

What is the lightbox?
The lightbox allows you to store images that you're interested in in a personalized repository on PhotoShelter. You can add any image to your lightbox, regardless of whether it has been priced for sale. You can leave a comment on an individual image, or on the entire lightbox, if you are researching images for a project or want to share the lightbox with your colleagues or the photographer, for example. You can share the lightbox with other users by providing e-mail addresses for those users. Lightboxes are a great way to collaborate with others when discussing a set of images.


What are the requirements for using the lightbox?
Although you can add images to a lightbox without being logged into PhotoShelter, having a free account allows you to save and share the lightbox. You can create a free PhotoShelter account here.

How do I add an image to a lightbox?
If you are viewing images after having performed a search from the PhotoShelter homepage, you will find there are star icons below each thumbnail. Click the star for any given image to add that image your lightbox. If you are viewing images on a particular photographer's PhotoShelter site, you will find a "Lightbox" button most likely above the enlarged version of the image that will allow you to add that image to your lightbox. With either of these methods, if you are logged in, you will be prompted to select one of your own lightboxes, a shared lightbox, or a new lightbox in which to place the image. If you are not logged in, the image will be added to a temporary lightbox, which can only be saved once logged in.

When you add an image to your lightbox, it is put into a "default" lightbox. You can create up to ten different lightboxes by either clicking the "Create New Lightbox" link, or clicking "My PhotoShelter -> My Lightboxes".

How do I view the contents of my lightbox?

If you are navigating from the main PhotoShelter site, you may view your lightboxes by clicking the "Lightboxes" link on the top right side of the page while viewing your image search results, our advanced search page, our photo buyer's homepage, or at any point while in the My Account area. If you are viewing images on a particular photographer's PhotoShelter site, you may view your lightboxes by clicking the "Lightboxes" link you will likely find in the navigation area for that site. Once you access your lightboxes, you will find there are two tabs - one to display lightboxes that you've created, and one to display lightboxes that may have been shared with you by other PhotoShelter photographers/buyers. Click on the name of a lightbox to view its contents. A lightbox offers the following properties:

A lightbox has the following properties:

  • Images + Ratings/Comments/Download indictors
  • Details: Project, Client, Description
  • Comments
  • Sharing Information

Each image in the lightbox is represented by a thumbnail, along with the image filename, rating, and indicators when comments and downloads are available. If an image has any comments associated with it, a small comment bubble icon will appear under the thumbnail. If download permission has been granted for an image by the photographer, a small green arrow icon will appear under the thumbnail. Clicking on the thumbnail image will take you to the enlarged version of the image, where additional information about that specific image can be found.

The lightbox can hold an unlimited number of images, but will only display either 25 or 50 images per page. You can set the number of images displayed per page using the "# per page" button at the top right of the lightbox. You can have an unlimited number of lightboxes.

You may click on the Details, Comments, or Sharing buttons above the thumbnails to reveal various information about the lightbox. Clicking on the name of the lightbox will allow you to edit it; the same is true for the description fields in the Details area.

Can I share the lightbox with another person?

Yes, while viewing a lightbox you can click the "Share" button to invite other users. Here you will be presented with two options:

  • Select a Photographer/Image Owner: Using this dropdown you will find the names of all the photographers whose images have been added to your lightbox. For example, if there are images in the lightbox from three different photographers - Paul, John, and Mary - all three of their names will appear in this list. This method allows you to share the lightbox with a photographer without having to know their email address.

  • Enter an E-mail address: Here you can enter in the email address for the invitee. You cannot share the contents of your lightbox without knowing the e-mail address of the user you wish to invite.

How do I share a lightbox with the Photographer?
You need to know the e-mail address of the photographer in order to share it with him/her.

Mouse over the stars and click to set a rating for an image.

How do I rate images:
You may rate images in batch or one image at a time. Ratings will be tethered to the specific user and specific images within the lightbox. For example, even if an image is contained in two separate lightboxes, the ratings are not shared. The label associated with each star cannot be changed (e.g. "Excellent"). These are global settings within the application.

Rating an Individual Image
In the thumbnail view, mouse over the stars under each image and click on the appropriate rating to set the rating. You cannot "un-rate" an image once you've set a rating, but you can always change the rating.

You can also set a rating to an individual image while you are viewing it singularly. Simply mouse-over the appropriate rating and click to set.

Rating in batch
When viewing multiple images in the lightbox, select those you wish to rate by clicking anywhere in the gray area under the thumbnails. Orange borders will appear around the selected images. You can then click the "RATE" button above the thumbnails to set the appropriate ratings.

Viewing Ratings Matrix
Because each user can set their own rating, we've created a matrixed view to see how everyone else that you've shared the lightbox with rated the image. Click the "Ratings Matrix" button from the thumbnail view. Ten images are displayed per page along with a column per shared user.

The matrix view allows you to see how everyone rated images within your lightbox.


Leave a Comment
You can leave a comment on an individual image, or for the entire lightbox. When viewing the thumbnails contained in a lightbox, click the "Comments" button that appears above the thumbnails. This will reveal a comments "tray." Click the "add a comment" link to leave a comment about the entire lightbox.

Leaving a Comment on a specific image
While viewing an image singularly, click the comment bubble icon above the image or the “add a comment” link below the image to add a comment. The comments appear in a threaded fashion under the image, with the newest comments appearing first. There is no way to edit or delete a comment once it's been made.

Downloading Images
You may only download images from within a lightbox if the photographer whose images you are viewing has granted you such permission. If download access has been granted, you will be able to download one image at a time, but not in batch. This is due to the fact that you may have more than one photographer’s images in your lightbox, and it is possible the same permissions were not granted by each photographer.

How do I purchase items in my lightbox?
Click the "Add to Cart"/”Buy” button from the individual image view to add the image to your cart for purchase/licensing. Not all images that appear on the main PhotoShelter site or on a specific photographer’s PhotoShelter site have been pre-priced for sale. If you find you would like to buy an image that has not been priced, you would want to contact the photographer directly by using the “Contact” link you will see to the right of the image in the lightbox for more information.