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Topic: Digital camera - best picture resolution for upload
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jul 27, 2009 10:37AM)
I want to upload some still pictures of my magic collection to Photobucket? What is the best picture resolution to use when taking the pictures and when uploading them..............and same question re: video clips. Does it make any difference how long the clips are?
Thanks
Fortasse
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 27, 2009 11:08AM)
PM'ed you.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jul 27, 2009 11:36AM)
Bill has given me an excellent crash-course in how to approach this. Thanks a million!

Fortasse
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Jul 27, 2009 11:39AM)
Bill's the man for this, his site is huge and very graphic intensive. My pics are usually trial and error!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 27, 2009 12:48PM)
I'd like to see Bill's recommendations.
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Jul 27, 2009 12:57PM)
I'm with Pete. I'd like to see Bill's recommendations too.
Message: Posted by: sdmagic (Jul 27, 2009 01:26PM)
How about a quick post Bill? Lots of folks interested!
Message: Posted by: tabman (Jul 27, 2009 01:56PM)
What I've always done is to shoot highest resolution I can. In my case 10.5 MP then I size down by pixels for the size I want to show on screen - 400 to 800 pixels on height. I sharpen and compress about 30% b4 uploading so it will load pretty fast.

Here's one 429 pixels high, sparpened and compressed.

[img]http://questx.com/tabmanmagic/ffff.jpg[/img]

I'd love to hear from Bill and Pete. That would be great.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: lint (Jul 27, 2009 03:28PM)
Wow can't wait to see Sean's pictures.
Message: Posted by: RobertSmith (Jul 27, 2009 04:23PM)
For taking pictures I always shoot on the highest available setting.

Then for web I downsize to 72dpi. I'm not familiar with any need for high resolution online but certainly it's at your discretion.

Robert
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 27, 2009 04:42PM)
Here's what I sent fortasse:

The picture resolution will become a moot point, because you will need to set the photos up measuring them by pixel width. In other words, you will upload a photo that is, for example 640 x 480. That's 640 pixels by 480 pixels. Usually, resolution is given in terms of dpi or ppi. This is irrelevant if you don't have a measurement, such as 3 inches by 5 inches.

A lot of print companies tell you to upload photos at 300 dpi. If they don't set a size, then this means nothing. On screen, a photo that is 3 inches by 5 inches at 300 dpi will display exactly the same as a photo that is 1.5 inches by 2.5 inches at 600 dpi or 6 inches by 10 inches by 150 dpi.

Most of the photos on the museum web site follow these sizes. Regular cup set photos are 450 pixels wide. Jumbo cup set photos are 500 pixels wide. Mini cup and shell game set photos are 400 pixels wide, etc. The height is determined by how I crop the photo. How these display at the monitor depends entirely upon how the person looking at the photo has his/her monitor set up.

For example, let's say you post your photos at 640 by 480 (ppi). This is a very common size. A person with a very old monitor whose display size is 640 x 480 will see this as a full screen photo. A person with a bit more modern monitor, displaying at 1280 x 960 will see this as 1/4 of a screen.

My personal display is 1024 x 768 because I am very nearsighted. I use a 20 inch monitor, so I can see what I type!

I hope this helps you figure out what you want to do.

My recommendation -- just make the photos sharp, and keep them below 1000 pixels wide and 600 pixels high. Almost anyone can display a photo that size without scrolling the picture.

Additional notes:

Robert has close to the right idea. When I shoot photos for the museum, I shoot at the highest resolution I have. Then I import them into Paintshop Pro, crop them, adjust the contrast, brightness and sharpness, if necessary, and I size them as indicated above. You don't need to worry about whether you are set for 300 dpi or 72 dpi, because the display settings of the monitor the pictures are viewed upon will determine, in the final analysis, how the pictures look and what size they are.

Print is an entirely different breed of cat. If you are submitting a book to be printed, the bookmaker (that's what they call themeselves!) will tell you several things:

1) the printer driver they use on their presses
2) the resolution you should use -- some prefer 600 dpi for black and white, 300 dpi for color. Others prefer higher resolution than that.
3) the graphics program you should use to make the files look right for their printer
4) how to set the parameters of your page composition program
5) how to set Adobe Acrobat Distiller to get the kind of PDF files they need.

I used Sheridan Books to do [i]Final Curtain[/i] and [i]Sheherazade[/i]. They were great to work with, because they knew I was a noob, and they put up with my stupid questions. As a result, the books came out looking very good.

Regarding the print settings for the photos, though, (requirement #2), this presumes that you have actually placed the photos in their finished sizes into the text. So they will be sized and ready to go.

None of that is relevant for publication on the web, though.

BTW, I keep all of my original files, in case I need to do something to them.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 27, 2009 07:43PM)
Thanks, makes sense.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 27, 2009 08:40PM)
When I took on the task of editing and publishing the English version of [i]Sheherazade[/i], I was very confused about how picture resolution worked. I have a friend who has been working with Pagemaker and Photoshop since version 1.0, so I told him I wanted to be eddicated on how these programs worked.

I took him to lunch, and he gave me the entire rundown. It all makes sense, once you understand that there are several parameters that you must take into consideration. Monitors are really pretty simple. It's when you go to print that it gets complicated.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Jul 27, 2009 09:58PM)
[quote]
On 2009-07-27 21:40, Bill Palmer wrote:...It's when you go to print that it gets complicated.
[/quote]

Easy for you to say!! ;)

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Jul 27, 2009 10:44PM)
As Bill says, it all depends on the end product. If it's the web, then a reasonable target is 640x480 pixels or so. If you want to have people print it out, then I would go with the highest resolution that comes out of your process. It doesn't have to be that high. I've seen several beautiful prints that were 11x17 shot at 6MP.

If the photos are for the web, don't spend too much time "making it perfect". Chances are the person viewing your images will have an uncalibrated monitor adjusted to be bright and contrasty rather than accurate and life-like.

I don't know what the limits of video are on Photobucket. Probably best to ask on their forums for this sort of information.
Message: Posted by: BCS (Jul 28, 2009 10:44AM)
Bill… Thanks for sharing the photo tips. I just purchased a close up photography kit that I can’t wait to try. It came with a tripod, a box like structure that one can change different colored backgrounds (included), light diffusers for the sides and 2 lights on stands.

Thanks,
Bruce
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jul 28, 2009 11:11AM)
Bruce : I just invested in one of those sets as well............but the box is a bit smallish, I find. OK for single items or a small group of things but not for bigger collections.


Fortasse
Message: Posted by: tabman (Jul 28, 2009 11:14AM)
What size light tent is it? The one I use is 36" and even it seems small sometimes.

-=tab
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Jul 28, 2009 12:53PM)
I went with Table Top Studios ([url]http://store.tabletopstudio-store.com/index.html[/url]). Tab, they have a 55" tent.

Bill you outline on resolution is pretty good. Where I run into problems is with the actual shot. Shooting shiny reflective polished/chromed objects is a tall order for a guy who isn't a pro photog.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 28, 2009 01:11PM)
I'm not a pro photographer, either. I have had real problems, especially with silver cups. They reflect the background and the sides like mirrors. There is a book called [i]Light Science and Magic[/i] that has a lot of good info, but I still haven't figured out the solution. Dulling spray is an option, but it is pretty messy. It's water soluble, so it supposedly won't hurt the metal cups.

I have a 4 ft. Last O Lite cube. But the big problem with it is figuring out how to shoot from 3 meters away. I have used a light tunnel made from king size bed sheeting. That seems to be a good solution. I have had other suggestions that I will try when I set my photo gear back up.

I need a proper studio!
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Jul 28, 2009 01:26PM)
Ha! The light tunnel is cracking me up! There is NO WAY I am doing that.
I've heard that common hair spray can be used to dull the glare off of reflective surfaces too, but I'm not so sure that is what I really want to do...
I just shot the RNT Zombie Ball that has a mirror finish on the ball and it's literally shooting a spherical mirror. The lite cube keeps ME out of the shot, but the shot ends up being just a big reflection of the inside of the box, in the ball.
I've tried black backgrounds and white backgrounds and I think the black is worse, it reflects on the sides of the cups and make them appear narrower.
Ultimately, I'm just going to take as good a picture as I can and just ignore all the stuff in the reflection. I can't do anything about it and I want a true photo representation of the product.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Jul 28, 2009 02:04PM)
[quote]
On 2009-07-28 13:53, DDecae wrote:
I went with Table Top Studios ([url]http://store.tabletopstudio-store.com/index.html[/url]). Tab, they have a 55" tent.[/quote]

Thanks for the link. Ive had my 36" for years. I used it to shoot all my chip stuff, Hofzinser's Hand and other pictures. Id set it up in my sun room and go with natural light.

It has camera lens ports all around so I can shoot and stay out of the reflections.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jul 28, 2009 02:16PM)
My tent size looks to be about 24" square.....way too small!

Re : the shiny glare DeDecae was talking about. I was having this problem yesterday trying to photograph some of my custom-engraved Okito boxes (highly polished brass) . For the life of me couldn't get the glare out............until I turned the flash function off........and then they came out perfectly!

Fortasse
Message: Posted by: tabman (Jul 28, 2009 02:19PM)
[quote]
On 2009-07-28 15:16, fortasse wrote:
My tent size looks to be about 24" square.....way too small!

Re : the shiny glare DeDecae was talking about. I was having this problem yesterday trying to photograph some of my custom-engraved Okito boxes (highly polished brass) . For the life of me couldn't get the glare out............until I turned the flash function off........and then they came out perfectly!

[/quote]

Glad to hear you're shooting your Okito boxes. Im looking forward to seeing them if you post them online somewhere.

-=tab
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jul 28, 2009 02:40PM)
Tabman : Will do as soon as I'm done but may take a day or so.

Fortasse.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Jul 28, 2009 02:52PM)
That's great. I'll look forward to it!! ;)

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 28, 2009 03:33PM)
Try this:

Put a piece of black cardboard at both sides of the shiny object, i.e. at the walls of the light tent. Leave the background white. Use one or two lamps directly above the light tent. If you have softboxes, that's even better.

Shoot from the front, using aperture priority. Set your ISO to 1000. Set your aperture at somewhere from f 15 to f 22.

The reflection of the black surfaces on the sides of the objects may separate them from the white background.
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Jul 29, 2009 11:21AM)
Thanks Bill, I'll give that a try. I'm up for any kind of variation that results in a better picture. I've seen some photography of silver done that just looks great. Some photogs are putting black strips just outside the shot for contrasting reflections and such. I have no idea how they are keeping their own reflection (or the camera) out of the shot though. Perhaps it is just the angle of the subject, which doesn't help me as I'm shooting cylinders/cones/spheres.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Jul 29, 2009 11:24AM)
[quote]
On 2009-07-29 12:21, DDecae wrote:
I'm shooting cylinders/cones/spheres.
[/quote]

Sounds like a day at photography school!! ;)

And sounds like fun too. Are these going up on your website??

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Jul 29, 2009 12:08PM)
Tabman, yes. I was referring to the cups. I'm just saying that the cup shapes are cylindrical or conical, the Zombie Ball is a sphere, so there's no flat surface that you can angle away from yourself to prevent a straight on reflection.
As an aside:
The plater I use calls them "cones", which is a good point of view, because the "tip" of a cone gets attention, whereas the "bottom" of a "cup" would be mostly ignored. One of the first guys I took a batch of cups to for mirror polishing delivered the cups with a bunch of fine scratches around the saddle. I found out that they looked at the product as just cups and stored them mouth up (siding them around on boards) and didn't really pay enough attention to what they considered the "bottom" of the cup. Big mistake for them. But, only to a magician, is the bottom of a cup the top, and the mouth of the cup the bottom! Really, though, he should have known better, his shop used to polish the JES cup when they were made in Ohio back before they were made by RNT.

Don
Message: Posted by: tabman (Jul 29, 2009 04:21PM)
[quote]
On 2009-07-29 13:08, DDecae wrote:...The plater I use calls them "cones", which is a good point of view, because the "tip" of a cone gets attention, whereas the "bottom" of a "cup" would be mostly ignored. [/quote]

That's some interesting inside information into the cup world. I never did much with metal outside just some simple brass work and solder. Please let us know when the pics are up at your site. I hope they work great for you.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 31, 2009 12:50PM)
Thank you, Bill. You've done it again.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Jul 31, 2009 01:36PM)
This is a quickie guys as I have to leave for the weekend but check this out....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxDG3WDT7Kw

Yes it's a guy photographing a coffee maker BUT he talks about reflective metal and the solutions available to diminish reflections and highlights and embellishing curves....

Hope this helps...

Bri
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 31, 2009 03:21PM)
This has some good information in it.
Message: Posted by: Richard Evans (Jul 31, 2009 06:08PM)
That's a great video, Bri. I found this one by the same guy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoY-cyxDMEk
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Aug 1, 2009 12:09PM)
Richard, tht's even better! Thanks!
Bri
Message: Posted by: spatlind (Aug 13, 2009 11:12AM)
Those Youtube clips are great, very informative. If only I could find the plate for my tripod!!