This is a work in progress to help people understand how to manipulate their graphic files. Please direct all comments to [email protected]
Resolution vs Size
People often get resolution vs size confused, not because they don't understand, but Digital Camera manufactures often use both terms to describe the same thing, this is the furthest from the truth.
Resolution - A graphic, whether viewed on the screen or printed, is composed of tiny dots (also called pixels). The number of dots per square inch that the file has is called DPI or "Dots per Inch". The more of these dots that can fit in a one inch space, the tinier the dots and the sharper the image. Higher DPI is only good up to a point. Beyond that, all a higher DPI does is make the file larger - not better! Normal photos or graphics on the web are 72 DPI, laser printers print at 150-600 DPI (and higher), Inkjet printers can print from 300-2400 DPI and higher. If you expect to print the photo, then the larger the print the higher the DPI is needed to keep the sharpness of the photo.
Size - The size of a graphic is the number of pixels in either direction that a photo takes up. For example, 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768 and so on. This size is proportional to the size of the file on disk. Most computers made in after 2003 display a full screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher. Most digital cameras made in the same time frame take photos upwards of twice that
BMP. BMP (Bitmap) files are the Windows "standard" image file format and are complete crap. They are extremely large in file size and contain a small amount of color information. I wish this format would go away! In general, Do NOT use at all!
GIF. Graphics Interface Format is a format with a limited amount of colors (in general a maximum of 256 colors per image) which is ideal for images with a few colors, flat cartoon like images for example. The lack of colors makes it unsuitable as a storage format for large photographs with many colors. In general, Do NOT use for photos!
JPG. JPG stands for Joint Photographic Group, which is the name of the organization which created this format. JPG was designed for the storage of photographs and is in fact used in most digital cameras. It is lossy, so you do lose detail, but you can choose how much detail you lose. JPG is great for sending photographs via email, and for photographic images on the forums.
Thumbsplus - By far my favorite image manipulation tool is Thumbsplus (www.thumbsplus.com). I've been using the software for over 5 years now and have never had a problem. In fact almost 90% of the photos on Wings900.com and DAC are manipulated/resized with this software. Free 30 day trial, then it becomes crippled. Full version is worth the money.
Picasa - Free software from Google, click here to download. Picasa is a great first time user tool, and its free. Tons of cool features, editing items, email photos, scaling, etc. Its all here.
A good rule of thumb is about 150k max for a file of resolution 72dpi in an 800x600 size. You may get better, you may get worse.
When you take a photo with your digital camera chances are your camera has settings for Quality & Size. Size is what we discussed above, (the number of pixels in the horizontal and vertical, example: 1024x768). Quality is a way of saying how much you want your photo compressed. Most cameras have 2 or 3 settings. Full quality is minimal compression, medium is about 70% compression, and Low could be as little as 30% compression. The higher the compression the smaller the file size but the worse the photo will look. See below for an example. Notice as the compression lessens the photo looks worse.
From Digital Camera to the Web/Forums
Resize, Resize, Resize - Most cameras these days will put out graphics in the size of 2048x1536 or higher! Keep in mind that with the average user on the web browsing at 1024x768, embed your photo in a website and users would have to scroll up and down to see your photo. Not good! We recommend resizing image to roughly 800 pixels wide. That will save with jpg compression at around 50-120k. When you scale down, the grain will disappear, and you photos will magically look sharper and clearer
Remove EXIF information - Did you know that your camera saves information about itself and the photo? EXIF information is data stored such as camera type, date, exposure, aperture settings etc. This data can make your file between 20k-40k larger than it should be! Good graphics software allows you to remove this information.
Save with compression - As stated above, the recommended compression level is 80%. On average, a digital photo of say
Save Your Originals - Don't use web servers as your storage mechanism for important files. Always save your originals and upload your scaled photos.
Why do this?
Take for example a digital photo take at camera defaults. Lets just assume that the file is 800k and over a period of 5 months this file will be viewed and downloaded in the forums over 3,000 times.
3,000 x 800k = 2.4GB of data transferred (A CD Rom holds .7GB, a DVD Rom 4GB)
Now lets say that there are 25 of these files uploaded by different people
25 x 2.4GB = 60GB of data, over 5 months = 12GB per month, just for transferring those files
If everyone compressed their photos to approximately 100k:
3,000 x 100k = 300mb
25 x 300mb = 7.5gb of data, over 5 months = 1.5GB per month! 80% savings!!
The forums now automatically makes thumbnails for attachments so that all users don't have to download the full size files. This increases the load time of threads and reduces our bandwidth. The forums also feature gzip compression to speed up load time and reduce the amount of data transferred.
This overall reduced size means faster transfer times, faster web servers & forums, not to mention it allows us to keep our costs down. Before the Wings900.com team took over, DAC was transferring upwards of 50-100GB per month. That is 1.6-3.3GB per day! Most hosting plans only let you transfer between 10 and 25GB per month! Since implementing new features we have cut bandwidth usage down to about .5-.7GB per day! A HUGE savings!
Set your camera to the best or second best quality. On an Olympus, this is SHQ or HQ. That way the photo will contain the most possible data and detail.
For most shots, don't worry about filling the entire frame with the subject, you can always crop later. Have the model take up about 3/4 of the width, maybe a bit less depending on size. Remember, you set the quality, detail and size levels high, so you can take a portion of the photo, crop it, and scale it down and get a good clean crisp shot.
If you are going to print the photos, then you want to fill the entire frame with the subject, as when you crop/resize you'll loose data.
For macro shots, the tighter the shot, the smaller the field of focus...in other words the closer you go, the smaller the area the camera can focus on. There are ways to compensate for it via aperture settings.
No flash - use a natural incandescent light (try natural spectrum bulbs), play with your shutter speed and flash to get the best results. Built in flashes are too close to the subject, especially when doing macro shots, so they often over expose the shot. External flashes work as well. If you keep getting overexposed shots, check to see if you camera has exposure compensation. Some Olympus's have this and allow you to actually darken the exposure when the flash goes off.
ISO - Regular film is rated in its speed, known as ASA. ISO on digital cameras is an approximation of ASA. The higher the ISO the more visible "grain" in the photo, the more light needed. I set my camera to ISO 100, normal film that you buy is ASA 400.
Use a Tripod - With no flash and trying to shoot in macro mode w/the camera in your hand, you'll never get the shot, they will be
blurred. If you don't have a tripod, prop the camera up somehow, and not on a wiggly desk.
Crop what you like - pick the portion of the shot, or maybe the entire aircraft and crop. Remember, you don't have to fill the screen to get the point across, and there is no need to try to post a 500k photo.
Scale it! - As mentioned above, we don't need to see a photo that is 2000 pixels wide. Even after cropping the photo is still probably pretty big. Scale the photo down to say 600-800 pixels wide. That will save with jpg compression at around 50-120k. When you scale down, the grain will disappear, and you photos will magically look sharper and clearer.
Near the bottom of
tried [IMG]file:///C:/Users/mama/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg[/IMG] and tried tried this page too
or do you mean the frontiers site?
Help, I wish toio upload a photo from my computer.
The FAQ says: How do I use albums?
As a member, you can create Albums of images that are linked to your public profile. Albums can be created by visiting the User Control Panel, and clicking on the 'Pictures & Albums' link, and then clicking on 'Add Album'.
But I cannot find the User Control Panel Link.
Where can I find it?