How to include photos in a post (revised 7/19/11))

claireplymouth z6b coastal MAJuly 19, 2011

The last "How to post photos" thread is on page 2, so I'm posting a new one revised to include comments in this thread. and the 7/10/11 thread. I'm trying to keep it concise so please read the previous threads for more discussion. This post is evolving and I'll keep revising it until it works. Comments are welcome and I'll include them in the next version.

It's frustrating to many newcomers to see all the posts with photos included in the text and have no idea how it's done. With this post I'm attempting to explain the process so posting photos will be not only possible, but easy. We have an FAQ on How do I use HTML Code to change fonts and insert stuff in posts? that gives general information on inserting items in Garden Web forums. FAQ's are good, but new posters need to know they' exist.

There have also been many posts by different people giving their own preferences. Some of the posts have been terrific, and at some point I hope to track some of them down and link to them. What I'm presenting here is my preference mostly to get the information out now to people who need it now.

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1. OVERVIEW

To post a photo you need a digital camera that you can connect to a computer or a smart phone with internet access. Using a digital camera you transfer the photo to the computer, then you upload that photo to the internet using your browser. You can either upload to a photo hosting website and then post a link to that site on Garden Web, or you can upload directly on some forums. If you have an iPhone you can email a photo directly to the internet, without using a computer.

Once you have the photo somewhere on the internet, you have two choices for Garden Web. You can post a link to the website URL in the Optional Link URL box at the bottom of your message (don't forget to name it in the Name of the Link box), or you can post a link in the text of your message that links directly to your image on that website. The website URL is on the top of the page; the image HTML code is somewhere on that page.

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2. WEB HOSTING SITES, ETC.

These are the most commonly used methods to get a photo on the internet:

You can use a web hosting site where you can set up your own photo albums (there are many, such as Photobucket, Picasa and Picture Trail) or you can use TinyPic.com which is more of a web photo transfer site, Some forums allow direct upload to GW, but the size is limited.

*The advantage of the hosting site is that you can set up a page with many photos on it and organize them by topic. A great example is sedum37's site on Picture Trail (see the Flora in Winter thread).

diggingthedirt (on an earlier thread) adds this reason for using Picasa:

"Here's why I like google's picasa web more than the tinypic.com option:

If I select a small size for my photos when I post them via picasa, you can click on them and be taken directly to the larger size photo in the picasa album. If I click on a small tinypic photo, I end up at a page that offers me an account at tinypic; the original photo is nowhere to be found.

The small size Carol used (320px x 221px) seems really useful for threads where there are a lot of images. I often use an old laptop with limited graphics memory, and loading an image-heavy thread takes a VERY long time, and makes my computer behave badly. So, yes, the photo-hosting site is a personal choice, but there are a lot of details to consider when you choose!"

*The disadvantage of the hosting site is that you have to set up an account, which some people may be reluctant to do.

*The advantage of TinyPic.com is that it's very easy to upload one photo and link to it, and you don't have to set up an account.

*The disadvantage of TinyPic.com is that you can only upload one photo at a time, which is not useful if you want to show many photos.

Whatever method you use to get your photo on the internet, you still have the options of posting a link to the website (in the Optional Link URL box) or posting a link to the image in the body of your text.

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  1. DOES SIZE MATTER?

It's important that the photo be within a certain size range by the time it gets to Garden Web. In a previous thread, DtD mentioned loading time as an issue, and mad_gallica explained it thus: "When talking about 'size' of a digital photo, it can refer to two separate, though often related things. The physical size of the picture on the screen, and the file size of the information necessary to show the photo. Physically large pictures mess up the thread formatting. Large file sizes are the ones that take forever to download." She gives some good examples in the 7/10/11 thread.

Summarizing, there are two effects related to the size of the photo as posted.

1. Physically large photos mess up the readability of the thread - you have to scroll back and forth and back and forth to see both text and image.

2. Big photo files with lots of information load slower - you have to sit around tapping your feet (or go wash the dishes) waiting for the pic to show up.

Somewhere along the way when you're moving that photo from your camera to the internet and then to GW, you will be given a choice of resizing the photo, which is usually huge as it leaves the camera. Way too big for the forum.

Desirable sizes are either "thumbnails" which some hosting sites provide, or something close to 640 X 480 pixels. "Medium" or "Small" varies from program to program, so don't rely on it. (see corunum/Jane's discussion in the previous thread). Thumbnails are small pics which will link to a full-size pic in an online album.

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4. EASY WAY TO GET STARTED

That said, I use TinyPic.com myself to include an image in the body of the text. I suggest you try TinyPic.com at first so that you can work out the bugs and get confidence that it will actually happen. Once you've mastered this, you can explore hosting sites to find whatever suits you personally.

You don't have to set up an account at a hosting site if you use TinyPic.com.

1. Transfer the photo from your camera to your computer desktop.

2. The photo files on your computer must be in a format such as jpeg or jpg.

3. Using Tiny Pic, you hit the "Choose File" button and it searches your computer desktop.

4. Choose one then select a size (640 x 480 is good)("Resize" button), and then UPLOAD NOW.

5. When the file is uploaded, copy the HTML tag, not the IMG tag.

6. Paste the HTML tag in the text message of your post, not in the "optional link URL".

This is the easiest way I know.

Claire

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WendyB(5A/MA)

The reason tinypic.com upload does not take you to the picture if you click on it is because using the HTML code that they provide, sets it up that way intentionally to bring you to a new account page.

I never use their html code. I use the "direct link for layouts" code and add the required html img src= around it.

For example:

tinypic-string-inserted-here>

I hope the example string comes out right. It is tricky to show html in html. It looks right in preview mode but I am not sure it will submit as I see it now.

btw, the "default" size in tinypic's upload is too big.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 9:21AM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

sorry, the example didn't work. :-(

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 9:22AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Thanks, wendyb, for the tip about the "direct link for layouts code". I didn't know that; this whole process is a learning experience for me too.

When I was preparing the HTML FAQ (I was teaching myself then too), someone on another forum told me about a way to get around the showing html in html problem. Instead of using , you use the code for "less than" and "greater than", i.e. "& lt;" and "& gt;" with no space after the &. This comes out looking like the but html doesn't recognize it as a command.

It gets you through the preview screen once, but you can't edit it or html takes over and translates it into something else. If I'm trying to do this, I'll edit in a textedit file and then copy it to the message box for the preview.

I'm going to try it now (I like a challenge before lunch):

Phlox paniculata Wendy House - "Direct Link for Layouts"

< img src=tinypic-string-inserted-here >

Claire

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 1:38PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I may have put too many spaces there. Trying again with only one space (between img and src). It looks ridiculous but I think it will work.

<img src=tinypic-string-inserted-here>

Claire

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 1:44PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I don't go anywhere if I click on the picture from the "direct link for layouts" code, not even to tinypic.com. I thought it would bring me to my upload page with the three previous uploads and all of the code choices. Didn't happen.

I wonder if the image will load more consistently - sometimes the image on GW will be incomplete (bottom portion gray), which I think is related to my connection speed. This problem seems to be on my computer screen only and is variable. The same image in the same thread will be whole one day and partial on another.

Side note: Verizon FIOS is finally in my neighborhood! I have an appointment next week for installation! No more erratic wireless broadband!

Claire

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 2:17PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

Thanks Claire for that &As far as it not being clickable, there's really no need to go anywhere. Clickable makes sense if its a thumbnail and you want to click to a larger image. That would be nice if tinypic offered that code.

So as long as we've cluttered up this thread, I'm going to try again.

Code Example:

<img src=insert tinypic direct link code here>

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 3:12PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

another thing to be aware of if using tinypic.com. There is a remote chance that a picture can disappear from their servers. This did happen to me with one picture (out of maybe 20-30 instances). I was keeping a list of uploaded links to check on them periodically to see if they were reliable.

But I still think the speed and simplicity of using them is worth that risk. Opening up a dedicated tinypic account would probably eliminate that risk and probably speed up and simplify uploading even more.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 4:03PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

Another web place to host pictures is with your ISP. My ISP gives me free webspace as part of my account. Its not a ton of space and its not easy to see how much space is left with my ISP. Yours may vary.

Uploading can be super easy. I had an FTP client built into my desktop (cuteFtp) that was integrated with Windows explorer such that I could right-click on the file and have an option to Upload to My webspace. (I had to pre-size by hand though.) Then when I upgraded my desktop, cuteFTP was no longer working and I never got around to figuring it out. I have other FTP clients I can use to move files there. Nearly as easy, but no right-click.

Probably ISP webspace is not for the average user, but a potentially easy option for some.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 4:10PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

another trick if you should upload a picture that is too big...

you can reduce the viewable size (not the actual picture on the server) by adding the "width" parameter, like so

The code is:

<img src=http://i55.tinypic.com/20v16c6.jpg width=200>

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 5:41PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Interesting information and good to have in one place for those who are advanced enough to understand it (I had to google "FTP client"; I'm not very advanced but I'm learning).

On another thread, prairiemoon2 complained she had lost tinypic.com photos on an old thread.

I just checked tinypic.com to see about setting up an account there. When I clicked on "join" I got transferred to Photobucket, which runs TinyPic. Is there another way to get an account on TinyPic without joining Photobucket? I have nothing against Photobucket, I'm just curious.

Claire

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 8:53PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

oh that's too bad. Turns out PB bought TP last fall. I might have joined tinypic, but I don't want to join Photobucket. Too big. I have picasa when I want something bug and bulky. I liked the lean and light feel of tinypic.

I hope at least the free simple tinypic stays the way it is. What if PB requires an account to continue uploading and/or sharing tinypic pics???

the internet is changing too fast... It was so much simpler back in the day - LOL - now it is all converging to make a buck. (if not now, soon). I have nothing against making a buck per se, I just like simple and consistent.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 9:36PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

trying a tinypic alternative... imgur.com. It contains the exact html code suitable for this forum.

will see if its clickable. I think not from the code I see.

Nope, its not clickable. and it was supposed to be a thumbnail, but its not. Maybe I didn't do something right, but I think I like this site a lot. Its got a lot of convenience features.

I added a touch of code to show the name of the plant when you hover on the picture.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 11:06PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I'll have to check out imgur.com.

I love it when you hover over a picture and the name pops up. HTML code is fun, at least the little bit I know. Not for everyone, but if you liked algebra and geometry in high school, you'll probably like playing with code.

Claire

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 10:40AM
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