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Making better images for your threads

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Hi All. Being a voracious reader of the forum, I cannot help but notice all sorts of folks having problems with color, composition, focus, hosting, crop size, etc.
So, I thought I'd put in my two cents, as I am a former 3rd generation professional photographer. If you have Photoshop, great. But, if not, I PROMISE, you can still edit your photos fully, all for free.

Composition: USE YOUR MACRO SETTING FOR DETAIL SHOTS! If you have one, of course. If you're on your phone, set it for the largest file size, get as close as you can for a GOOD focus, then see the next section about cropping it for best results.

For beam-shots, work with many angles. The ones that seem to provide best results are from low, acute angles. NEVER point your laser even close to directly into your CCD camera lens. You could easily kill it! To get your best beam-shots, either smoke like a freight train like myself, or look into the various methods for making fog.

Since we're photographing lasers here, get your goggles on and go find some cut crystal glasses, vases, mirrors, etc., and make some bad ass photos!


Editing: This is easily achieved without fuss for our simple purposes of thread images. Like I said, you do not need Photoshop to get results. I use a free, web-based app at http://pixlr.com for all of my editing.

You can use pixlr's color, levels, hue & saturation adjustments to tweek your camera's poor rendition of your 445nm burner or your 405nm fluorescing wonder. You'll know it when you "hit" it.



Here is a great example. The color on my 405nm came out blue from the camera. An easy hue adjustment quickly made it look just the way I wanted it to.

Also, please please please CROP your images! Lower bandwidth saves LPF money! Plus, my DSL connection at work sucks...so, you get it. Back in the 90's (don't snicker) the common "friendly" crop that was small enough to download quickly, but big enough for detail is no more than 680X478 pixels.

Save that sucker to your hard drive...We're going to want that here in a minute.


Hosting: So, you need somewhere to put it so you can link to it in your thread, right? There are many FREE image hosting sites out there. See which one fits your needs best.
For my forum and reddit posts, I like to use Imgur.com. It was made by a Redditor for Reddit, so it's lean, responsive, has a fun interface, and even allows simple editing!
For my high-res images, do NOT use Imgur. They have a max file size limit. Flickr works well for your high-res images.

I think this covers most of the basics. Please, do contribute. Hopefully, this will make LPF a little more fun and efficient.
 
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DJNY

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