In Focus, Bangkok Photography Blog October 30th, 2010

Readers Submissions, What Why and How

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What Qualifies As A Readers Submission

For a long time all we had in the Readers Submissions area were the great pictures from Biker Bart and his coverage of biker events throughout South East Asia and sometimes in the states as well. I’ll always appreciate his generosity in sharing his images, but I never intended this area to be a one man show. I’ve always envisioned the Readers Submission area as a place where all the readers could share their favorite photos, travel photos, family photos, anything they wish to share.

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If a submission includes a fair amount of narrative and the images are especially good I’ll often ask the reader if they’d like to develop their submission into a regular feature. I’m not at all adverse to sharing the stage, in fact I’d prefer it. If you feel like you have enough material for a feature and don’t mind developing a short narrative then I’d be happy to work with you. Some great examples would be:

Dr. P’s excellent African Safari series here andhere, and his Antarctica series here.

Akulka’s Philippines special and his two part visit to the DPRKhere and here.

Then we have KVW’s excellent two part feature on his east African Photography Tourhere and here.

And Rob’s informative reports to Kruger Park here and here, and how can you forget his report on walking the Great Wall of China? Or his Featured Photographshere and here?

Some single pieces by MtsInternational on theHot Air Balloon Festival and JTG’s submission on the Royal Cremation of the Late Princess Galyani Vadhana.

We had some great tutorials by Craig Lamson here , here , and here. and he even did a equipment review for us here.

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And finally we have ALL of Tom Tweedel’s great contributions centering not only around China, but several in Thailand as well. Numbered 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6, 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 15, 16 , 17 .

As you can see Readers Submissions come in any form and they’re not limited to photographs. Just check out Dana’s excellent Thailand Photo Stories“God Bless Photography” and “A Giant Dump” and Rod C’s “Northern NSW Australia, Collarenebri!”

Why Share?

Through the sharing of images my hope was to encourage our hobby and in some cases actual art. It’s one thing to admire the images of a professional captured with expensive professional equipment, but quite another to see images taken by someone with your own skill levels using average consumer level equipment. My hope that in seeing these shared images, you would be inspired to get out there and have fun creating your own. Fun and enjoyment is what photography is all about, that and documenting parts of your lives you can recall at any time.

Today’s cameras make this easier than ever. Last night I was going through the box of cameras my grandmother sent me which I told you about in “Two Boxes of History” a few months back. From my great grandmothers $1 Baby Brownie to my grandmothers Kodak Instamatics to my more keen Grandfather’s Anscoflex view camera and early Kowa 35mm SLR and Argus Rangefinder.. nearly 100 years of photography equipment covering a wide range of cost and capability. From the least expensive and easy to use one-button $1 Baby Brownie to the complicated and costly Argus. There really is no comparison to the affordable and easy to use digital cameras available today. We have it much better.

Sure, a $1 camera sounds cheap, but then you had processing costs, print costs, film costs, if you gave it any use at all you’re total costs would quickly exceed that of a modern inexpensive digital point and shoot, and that’s without factoring in inflation and the value of the dollar! Today we can spend as little as $50 and within an hour we’ll be emailing pictures of the cat, kids, house, whatever..

How To Submit A Readers Submission?

Yet, if recent emails are any indication, there still seems to be one major blocking point to sharing photos. How to make the images a reasonable size for email and sharing. I’ve received no less than 20 requests for this in the last few weeks and it tells me I’ve been neglecting the subject. So let’s go over a few different ways to resize our images and make them the right size and resolution for emailing to friends, and sharing with other readers here in the weekly column.. J

If you own no other program then read this article by where Tom Tweedel and I review Resize Magic. Resize Magic is a free program that you candownload here. It is very simple to use. For sending in Readers Submissions I recommend 700 pixels on the longest side and a compression of 50%. This keeps the images small enough to easily post, but large enough for a nice view. If resizing for a feature make them 800 pixels on the largest size and a compression of 55%. Once you download and install Resize Magic you’ll easily see where to enter this information. It’s really very simple.

If you want to learn more about resizing images I wrote this article “Resizing In a Nutshell” which gives you a more in-depth look at why we resize images, what sizes work best, how the sizes relate to your monitor size, and what sizes work best for which purposes.

Finally, if you’re using Lightroom with your RAW images exporting resized images is simple. Highlight the image(s) you want to resize and then go to the “File” menu and choose “Export” and the export dialog box will pop up. In this dialog box you’ll choose where you want the resize images to be placed “Export Location”,
if you want jpegs and what amount of compression “File Settings”, the exported files dimensions “Image Sizing” and then choose “Export.” That’s it. There are more choices such as if you want to rename the file, include metadata, or even add sharpening, but these are all optional. Lightroom makes it very easy.

If you have another program and aren’t sure how to use it, email me and I’ll come up with instructions for your program.

If you’d like to work up a feature, or if you just want to share a few photos,email me and I’ll provide whatever assistance is necessary.

Until Next time…

Okay, you got me. A weekly without a picture? And right after I just got done asking you to share your pictures? Not cool.. So here's a 1:1 crop of a image with dimensions of 630 pixels (width) by 800
pixels (length). Total size 87kb. Not a bad picture for such a small size right? Plenty of detail and sharpness? More than good enough to email to friends or share on the web somewhere.

Canon 5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM @F8 1/320th ISO 160

If you've stuck with me this far I don't mind telling you I've been putting a lot of time into our site and I hope to bring you some major changes by this time next week. Really nice changes. Look for them!

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