A Quick Web Graphics Tutorial
The information below is designed to give you a quick overview of what's involved with uploading graphics to a web site. If you spend a little time reading this and optimizing your photos you will get a better response, and save downloading time.
First off don't confuse the byte size of an image with the physical dimensional size. The byte size (example 80K) is how much space it takes up on your hard drive and how much information has to be transferred through the internet when someone views it. The physical dimensional size is how much space it takes up on the computer screen. It's somewhat like the difference between how much a car weighs and it's length & width.
JPG is a compression format that is designed for photographs. USE IT. With JPG you can set the amount that the picture is compressed. The more the picture is compressed, the smaller amount of drive space and bandwidth it takes up. As you compress a picture even more the picture quality starts degrading. The key is finding the compression point where increasing the amount of compression starts to adversely affect the picture quality. You will find that you can have a photo that fills most of the screen and it will still be a reasonable size to download. If that confused you, think of it like crushing a Volkswagen. It starts out looking like a beetle and when it's 80% crushed it still looks like a beetle, at 50% crushed it's starting to look more like scrap steel.
Rules: Crop out all the worthless background if possible. Keep the physical size under about 600 pixels wide. Compress the image to a small file size as long as it still looks good. So that we can avoid any copyright nastiness, do not upload or use images that you do not have the right to use.
If you don't already have a good image viewer:
You can download IrfanView Here. It's a small program that can be used to view all different types of graphic files as well as zoom in and out and resize an image for the web.
When you install that program associate it with JPG files. At that point any JPG file you click on should be opened in IrfanView.
So go ahead and find a picture on your computer to click on. It will open and you can hit the space bar or the backspace key to cycle through the other pictures in that location.
Most digital camera are set to take a picture in the highest quality mode for better zooming and printing. Since we are on the web, we don't need that so here's how to optimize it:
1) Crop it: If there is background in the picture that is unnecessary then you should crop it out. When looking at the picture in IrfanView, drag the mouse with the left button held down over the good stuff in the picture. It will make a box on the picture to show you what you selected. If it looks good, hit Ctrl-Y or click Edit-Crop. It takes about 3 seconds to crop out the garbage.
Take a look at the bottom bar of IrfanView. You will see the physical dimension (example: 358x241) It will also show you the size in KiloBytes (example: 15.08 KB / 253.24 KB) The first size is how much space the picture takes on your hard drive or the web server.
2) Resize it: Cameras may take pictures that are unnecessarily large for the web. For a normal picture 500 or 600 pixels wide is big enough. If your picture is wider, hit Ctrl-R (or Image-Resize). Type the width you want and click OK.
3) Save it: Type "S" (or File-Save as) to save the picture under a new name or in a new location on your computer. Make sure you know where you saved it. Note: After you save a picture under a new name you will still be looking at the old picture. You can click File-Open to open the previously saved picture.
4) Optional: If the picture still takes up too much space then after you type "S" to save it, click "Options". You can then move the quality slider lower. That will lower the quality by increasing the compression and decrease the space it takes up. (I usually use 75-80 which is an acceptable compromise between size and quality.)
How to Upload Pictures:
On Dune-Buggy.com, when you post a new message there is an image upload box. Click the Browse button and find the picture you want to upload. Tip: On some versions of Windows you can click the View Menu icon to show the files in thumbnail format. (The view menu icon is near the top left of the choose file window and it's a square box with a down arrow next to it.
After you find the picture, click the Open button and then you can click "Preview" to see what your picture and message looks like. If it looks good, click "Post."
Hint: If you want to upload several different pictures, reply to your first message and upload another picture.
Problems Including Images from Another Site: If you use the Image Url box to include an image that is located on another web site you may encounter problems. For bandwidth reasons, some web sites do not allow external web pages to show their pictures. These include most of the free web hosting sites such as Angelfire, Tripod, and Geocities. Unfortunately, even if you preview the message you may not notice the problem but others will. The reason is that the picture may be in your browser's cache and will be pulled from the cache, not the other web site. Everyone else will not have the picture in their cache so it must be pulled from the other site...then they have problems.
Tips For Classified Ads: If you spend a few extra minutes now to put together a good ad, you will get you a better response to the ad, sell your vehicle quicker, and hopefully save time answering replies and sending out pictures. A good headline, description and photo could mean the difference between someone spending a weekend to drive 10 hours to see your car, and someone passing the ad over to look at a vehicle in the next town. Consider taking a good 3/4 view picture of the front of the vehicle and the rear.
Use a descriptive headline and include your location if it's something that is not easy to ship. If you use a vague headline, you will get more curious people looking at the ad rather than interested buyers. In the main text, include as much information as possible about the parts that are on it and the condition. Preview your message before you post, and make any changes or corrections on the preview screen.I hope this helps!