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How to include photos in a post (revised 8/7/11)

Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 7, 11 at 14:42

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. There's further commentary in this 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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3. 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


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to include photos in a post (revised 8/7/11)

  • Posted by mayalena 6 - MetroWest Boston (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 7, 11 at 19:37

Thanks, Claire, for this very helpful reminder. One question: in the "what's blooming" thread, when I click on your TinyPic link, I don't get a photo -- only an account registration/upload site. What am I doing wrong?


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RE: How to include photos in a post (revised 8/7/11)

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 7, 11 at 20:44

You're not doing anything wrong, mayalena, that's just the way TinyPic is set up. There was some discussion with wendyb about this in the 7/19/11 thread. She said "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." Sort of enticing you to become a user of the site.

That's one of the disadvantages of TinyPic - there's no album or larger photo file stored for you to access.

Claire


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RE: How to include photos in a post (revised 8/7/11)

That's one of the disadvantages of TinyPic - there's no album or larger photo file stored for you to access.

what do you you mean?

Here's a file of mine stored on tinypic. Its as large as I uploaded it. They offer a few sizes.

I can also shrink it to whatever size I want to with html code, but its not a thumbnail link that will take you anywhere.


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RE: How to include photos in a post (revised 8/7/11)

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 8, 11 at 8:15

What I meant was that under normal usage, the size file you uploaded is the size that you link to and is the same size that is visible on the GW thread. In normal usage a user won't be adding additional html code to change the photo posted.

Claire


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RE: How to include photos in a post (revised 8/7/11)

I don't understand why that is a disadvantage. Seems easier and clearer to me. I guess the "customer" will decide.


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RE: How to include photos in a post (revised 8/7/11)

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 8, 11 at 14:50

It's easier and clearer to me too, which is why I use TinyPic. If you just want to get a pic off your computer and post it, without having to organize an album, it's a good way to go.

However, if you want to show a related grouping of pics, like a visit to a special botanical garden, then a link to an online album, beautifully organized with descriptive commentary, makes more sense.

Claire


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RE RE: How to include photos in a post (revised 8/7/11)

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 8, 11 at 14:52

I also should have said that a link to an online album makes sense when you want to show all your pics of mid-summer photos, rather than having to upload each one individually.

Claire


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RE: How to include photos in a post (revised 8/7/11)

Great job, Claire!

I'm afraid, though, that the size issue is not resolved - maybe the bandwidth (slow loading) facet of the problem is confusing people.

Would you consider, in next rev (we KNOW there will be another!) saying something like "do not use any photo larger than x by y pixels" because it makes the thread impossible to read"?


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RE: How to include photos in a post (revised 8/7/11)

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 9, 11 at 20:47

DtD: I thought that I'd covered that in this section:

"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)."

I'll try to make it stronger in the next revision, probably using the 640 X 480 pixels size as a maximum (unless someone has a better suggestion). Of course, these are just recommendations, and people can't be forced to abide by them.

I don't want to make the process onerous, I'd rather someone just get a photo posted for the first time even if it's really big, and then the next ones can be posted in a more suitable size. Once they're past that first hurdle of posting they can work on the details.

Claire


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RE RE: How to include photos in a post (revised 8/7/11)

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 9, 11 at 20:57

Maybe I also need to emphasize that the post may look fine to you on preview and after posting, depending on your monitor and window size, but some readers may still have problems seeing it. I think this was mentioned back in an earlier thread. I'll check that out.

Claire


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