This sounds like a browser related problem, possibly configuration or compatibility. I notice the other editor mode ( WYSIWYG ) is disabled for you in your screenshots. Normally when you post emoticons they appear directly in your text rathern than as text. This may have something to do with it.
I'd recommend checking whether you can post a message when using another browser e.g. Firefox or Internet Explorer. This should establish whether the problem relates to browser settings / compatibility or something else.
Let me know the results. If it works with another browser it's possible that there's a compatibility problem between Opera and the version of vbulletin / Photopost we're using. We are working on a new gallery system and general update to the forum section of our website so this may help.
Resident Bug-Hunter and Support Guy