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I have a text explanation below on using photos in your forum posts, but we now also have a video on You Tube - click the image to see that:







When you are typing in a new post to the forum you will use a window like the one in the image below. See that little "tree" with the red arrow pointing to it? Click that and and it will provide a box for typing or pasting the URL for a photo. The URL has to begin with http://


If you wish to upload photos from your computer's hard drive, then look below the text entry box for the Browse button located next to the File Attachments space. Click Browse to select a photo from your hard drive, then click Add This Attachment. After you do that the dark green area will appear and offer options including Add into post. Position the cursor where you want the image to appear in your post, then click Add into post and you get something that looks like this: attachmentid=44 (it will be inside brackets).


Be sure to hit the RETURN on your keyboard before and after your image: that way the text will be below or above the image and not next to it. If you select a photo and decide not to add it to your post, click the Remove button. If you try to use more than 250KB of photos in one post, the newest photo will not be added to the list in the dark green area when you click Add This Attachment. In that case, take a look at the suggestions below for reducing image sizes, or put the other photo(s) in another post.


Here's how your computer screen will look when attaching a photo or other image file:







Please try to keep upload images under 40KB in size. You can easily do that by making sure the photos/images don't have any dimension that is more than about 500-600 pixels in size and using the correct settings when your saving you image.


No matter what software you use for importing digital photos to your computer, it almost always has two important tools: CROP and RE-SIZE.


Cropping is used to cut out all of the unimportant information surrounding a photo. Resizing then reduces the dimensions of the photo.


Here is a photo that is 640X480, which is a typical digital photo size (although many are twice that size, which means it has four times as much data as the 640X480 image and thus takes up four times a much hard drive space).




A 640X480 image is really the upper size limit for photos to be posted on forums, but they should be even smaller. This photo takes up 76KB (kilobytes) of hard drive space but we can easily make that same photo take up less than one-third as much space. This is important for several reasons:


(1) You use less hard drive space on your computer: drive space is cheap these days but it's still a good practice not to fill it up with unnecessary data


(2) Many forum users, believe it or not, still have dial-up, satellite or other slower Internet connections and large file sizes can make it very difficult for them to enjoy a webpage


(3) Despite the widespread use of large monitors, many, many computers are still set so that the screen width is 800 pixels and, without scrolling, cannot see the whole photo if it is more than perhaps 600 pixels wide.


(4) The Internet itself is better off if we don't clog it with unnecessary data, and


(5) When you upload a photo as an attachment it is stored on this forum's server and this and other forums pay for a fixed amount of server storage space. If that is exceeded, we have to buy more.


So, here's the same photo now taking up not 76KB, but only 24KB:





You can see the most obvious file reduction step: cropping out the wall space around the subject (the had nothing worth showing). Then the file's height was reduced from 640 pixels to 550 pixels. File reduction tools almost always keep the "aspect ratio" when you change one dimension: that simply means that if you reduce the height, then the width gets reduced in the same proportion. The final step in reducing file size happened when the file was saved in its new size. The file was saved as a JPEG, and there are pretty much always options for selecting how much compression is used. This selection is sometimes made by picking a number between 1 and 12, or by picking an option such a JPEG High, JPEG Medium or JPEG Low. JPEG Medium almost always gives you a good compromise between quality and file size. Some software lets you make a JPEG compression selection based on file size. In that case, a size of 20KB to 40KB should give good results depending upon the pictures subjct. You can sometimes preview the different compression options before you make your final section and save the file. This photo above was saved as JPEG Medium. But what if we use JPEG Low? This results in a file size of 12KB, just 15% the size of the uncropped! To put it another way, the uncropped 640X480 photo (which was saved as JPEG High) is more than 600% larger than this one:




If you look closely, you can see that using JPEG Low resulted what are called "compression artifacts" on the the face and helmet. If such artifacts make it hard to, for example, read text in a photo, then you need to increase the quality a bit, but just making a file size 10KB larger can make a visible difference. A lot of software has a slider for selecting the JPEG compression option, so slide it in small amounts until you get a better image.


If you have any questions about how to crop, resize and select compressions settings in your software, post a reply listing the name of the software you use for handling photos.


We will post some additional tips on taking photos and making scans for the web and we invite you to submit yours to this photo forum. Good photos and other images are one of the best ways to educate each other about militaria, so keep them coming! If you do have something special that just must be 800 pixels wide and 100KB, it's okay once in a blue moon, but we routinely see 200KB files that could easily be reduced to 40KB (and the forum does reserve the right to crop and re-size very large images).


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