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picture guide


camera icon "A picture is worth a thousand words".

Adding a good photo means much more effective advertising and increased ad views - but a bad photo may just irritate the potential buyers and have the opposite effect.

This guide will help you create quality pictures for use on Net Instruments and avoid common pitfalls.

Contents:


Shooting the picture(s)

A few general tips:

  • Place the instrument in front of a clean background
  • Use a tripod to avoid motion blur
  • And remember: a closer photo is easier to view - take one step forward!

Sometimes it is more interesting to see just one close-up detail rather than the whole instrument. Another tip is to join 2-3 pictures of the same instrument, showing an overall view and close-ups (of scroll, backside etc). Use your graphics software to do this.

Example:Mixing two images

For associate program members and for gallery ads, you may upload 3 pictures per ad. For standard ads on NetInstruments, you may only upload one picture file but that file may consist of more than one image (see example above), as long as the final image stays within the limitations, see checklist.

 

How to make it digital

If you have a digital camera/webcam connected to your computer the whole picture process is very simple. Using Photo-CDs is also very handy - you don't need a scanner!

If you use a traditional camera you can either

  • make prints and then scan them
  • have your pictures developed and placed on a Photo-CD. (Ask your photo developer.)

The standard screen resolution is 72 dpi (dots per inch). When using a scanner, you might want to scan the prints using a higher resolution (for example 120 dpi) and then reduce the image size and dpi afterwards. When changing image sizes, always go from larger to smaller, not the other way around!

SAVE the original image after the scanning. Use PIC/PICT, TIFF or PSD file format if you need to do any changes in size, color balance etc. Do not use JPEG at this stage.

 

What is JPEG?

So now you have the picture in digital form. It is time to make it suitable for web use. First you need to know a few things about the graphics file format JPEG.

JPEG (named after the Joint Photographer's Expert Group which came up with the file format) is a file format for photographic images, images with gradient fills or many colors. It is supported by all contemporary graphic web-browsers.

JPEG files (usually seen with a .jpg file extension) are files which have been passed through a compression algorithm taking advantage of several tricks to be able to squeeze data down. There is a slight bit of quality loss due to the compression.

    !Warning. The quality is reduced every time a JPEG file is opened and then re-saved. Therefore it is important to work from the scanned original - in a file format that is NOT compressed, for example: TIFF, PICT or PSD (Photoshop) - until you are satisfied with the image and size, and then save it in JPEG format at the very end.

When you are saving the picture in JPG format, it is possible to set the compression/quality on a scale from Low Quality to High Quality. The higher the quality the larger the file size.

The maximum allowed file size on NetInstruments is 250KB which is enough to make a sharp, good-looking photo and maintain fast download speed.

 

The main picture

Next step is to see if the image can be improved digitally.

  • Open the image with your graphic software. Check to see if you have lots of "dead space" around the actual image (ie the instrument). Crop it to get rid of the unnecessary parts.
  • Your image width and height must be less than 1000 pixels x 1000 pixels.
  • Check color balance, brightness and contrast. You can also use filters to enhance the picture. For example if the picture is unsharp, apply the "Sharpen" filter (Photoshop) or similar.

When you are happy with the looks and the image fits within 1000 x 1000 pixels - SAVE it as JPEG, like this:

    violinbow.jpg

  • Only characters "a-z" or "A-Z" or figures "0-9", and the suffix ".jpg". No spaces in the file name (but underscore "_" is OK).

Check that the file size (weight) doesn't exceed 60KB. If it does, open the original file and save it as a JPG again, with less image quality=higher compression, or reduce the image width/height.

 

Checklist

    main picture:

    • JPEG file format
    • suffix ".jpg"
    • max. 1000x1000 pixels
    • max. 250KB

 

Preview

To preview the result, open the images in your web browser.

  • Launch your browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer or other)
  • Under the "File" menu choose "Open..." or "Open file"
  • Locate the image on your hard drive

If you can't see the image, it is probably not saved in JPEG file format.

 

Uploading

Done the checklist and preview? Time to put the image online!

Log in to your account. Submit a new advert or click the 'picture...' link which is next to each of your ads
 
Use the "Browse" button to locate the picture file on your hard drive. Then click "Send files". That's it!

Log in to your account to upload pictures

 


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