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What should I know about photos, from a computer standpoint?

When sending a pic it is important that you send it in the right format or file type.

There are different types of files for pics?

Most people don't realize there are many ways of saving a picture. This may lead you to save a pic in a form that isn't compatible to everyone.

What are the files types?

There are many kinds. They all have different uses.

The most common is JPG or JPEG. This is a format that is universally used for pictures.

JPGs can utilize millions of colors, but the disadvantage is that it is compressed and each time you resize or crop the picture you lose some quality. This is never an issue for simple online dating pics.

You don't need model quality for that.

Gif is another file type. Gif is used mostly for images and logos. It is not a good format for larger or complex pic. For instance it is limited to 250 colors.

GIF is a proprietary format, meaning at one time the people who developed the format were considering charging for its use, this lead to its rejection for photographic images of high quality.

PNG is the third common format. It was developed to be a compromise between a gif and a jpg. It is quite good, but not all older browsers will render a png visible. And not all older programs will render png visible either.

BMP is the forth common file type for pics. It is a good format but this is a proprietary type of file used developed by Microsoft. Because it is MS many programs will actually exclude this type of file.

JPGs and GIFs are the most universally recognized formats for pictures so by all means make sure you pictures have a .jpg or a .gif at the end of their file names.

For instance on older browsers and WebTV only jpg or gif formats are viewable. You want to make sure; you can be seen by the most number of people, so keep your pics in those formats.

What is the JPG? BMP? GIF? PNG?

That is a file type. Each file in your computer has an extension. For instance let's say you have a photo and you call it - Mark.

If you look at the file you will notice it probably says mark. jpg

See you name it whatever you want and the computer automatically assigns it the file type associated with that program. Or if there is more than one type you can choose. In this instance I could do a "save as" and pick what file type to choose.

Note some computers are set to hide ALL file extensions. So you may not see any things like .jpg or .xls (for Excel) or .pdf (portable document format) or .lwp (lotus word pro).

To see these files, you go to Explore (right click on start and chose Explore). Then you go to the "View" menu on the top. Then choose options. You will see the "hide ms-dos file extensions.." is checked. Just uncheck it and you will see all the file types

Why is this important?

Because the most common error is that people do not attach photos correct. Like they will click and drag. This may attach it correctly or you may lose the extension. Then when I go to open the picture the computer won't know what to do. You see the computer, for instance, knows any file ending in .xls is an Excel file so it will automatically open that file with the Excel program. (Providing you have Excel on your computer)

Usually your computer will pop up a menu, if the file extension isn't there and you can choose the program to open the picture.

Is it wrong to click and drag?

Sometimes it is. For instance in AOL sometimes when you click and drag a bunch of photos I have had them come out in a ZIP format. Because zip files are a common mode for carrying viruses, I won't open them from unknown people and some web mail programs like Gmail, won't send them.

Zip File?

A zip file is any program that takes a few files and "compresses" them. This makes the files take up less room and they are quicker to send.

What size should the picture be?

Make sure you are not posting pics that take forever to download. Not everyone has high speed. In fact about 65% of people are still on dial up.

If your picture is too large it can take up to 5 minutes to download on dialup and even crash the computer. If you crash someone's computer chances are he won't be replying to you.

Try to keep your file size around 250k that is about (height) 250 by width 250).

Is there a better way to send a picture?

Now this may seem like a stupid question. But there are more than one way to attach a picture and trust me it matters.

For instance you you can usually you can usually can usually use an email program and hit

File -> Attach

This will attach a file. This is exactly what you want to do.

Now some systems like AOL let you click and drag not a good idea.

OK I'm lost what possible difference could it make?

If a pic appears as an attachment it gives the person the option of opening it AFTER he opens your email. Otherwise the pic will open as you open the email. Some anti-virus programs prohibit this. And sometimes the person getting the email won't see it.

For instance I had one person on AOL and he sent me his pic and I couldn't see it on my email reader, nor when I forwarded it to my hot mail account. But I finally got it to be seen when I forward it to my gmail account. ?

So what's the big deal? You saw it right?

Yes eventually but not everyone is that computer savvy. Also not everyone is going to be bothered with it. If a guy has 50 responses to your ad, you think he's going to spend a half an hour forwarding your pic so he can see it? No he'll delete it and move on. Remember the whole point of placing ads and replying to them is to meet people.

My Picture is Sideways, now what?

First check your camera, some cameras can automatically orient your pictures before you download. Most camera also come with a small program that will allow you to crop (cut out sections)photos, change direction of photos and darken and lighten them.

Remember that everytime you manipulate a jpg it loses some quality, as opposed to a gif or other file types. However unless your dealing with the huge file prints it won't matter to you.

Just so you know you can manipulate jpgs with "lossless quality," check your image program for details

What Kind of Image Programs Are there?

Most digital cameras come with simple image manipulators. This will allow you to crop (cut off) photos, darken and lighten them and turn them rightside up.

There are lots of good programs out there that do amazing jobs. But they also cost an arm and a leg. For instance Adobe Photo Shop, which is the top of the line can run between $450-$600 depending on version.

A great alternative is free software called XNVIEW

It will do a lot of the jobs you need, including resizing your pics adding special effects and cropping (removing unneeded background parts of a pic)

It's easy to download and totally free. I can't recommend this enough.

OK I want to put my pics on line, how do I do this?

Very simple all you have to do is upload them to the website.

Whoa slow down, what is upload?

Uploading is when you take something from your computer and transfer it via the Internet to another site. For instance when I'm done writing this I upload this page from my computer to the web space on the Internet so you can see it.

It is the opposite of download, that is taking an image, a song or a file from a website on the Internet and putting it on your computer.

I am trying to upload my pics but it isn't working, what is up?

It could be a lot of things, first of all try to shutting down your computer and restarting. Sometimes you don't have enough memory on your computer to upload, if your pic is big. Restarting the computer releases your memory.

It could be your photo is too big for the site. Many sites place limits on how large your pic can be. Use an image manipulator like XNView to resize it.

Check your format. Some sites limit you to uploading only files in jpg or gif form. Check your file extension if it ends in ".bmp" or ".png" it may need to be converted before you can upload it. Again an image manipulating program like XNView will allow you to convert files.

Try a different browser. Though this is rare a few sites will only allow Internet Explorer (IE) to upload their photos. 90% of Internet users use IE so that usually isn't a problem. But it has happened to me in the past. I use K-Meleon as my browser

Finally check the help FAQs on the website. For some reason a long time ago I could not upload pics to Manhunt but they simply told me to email them to them and they put them on their site.

Is there anything I can do to prevent someone from stealing my pics?

No. Some sites put restrictions like "no right click" but it's very easy to get around them. The best advice I can give you is to put a text message over your pic. Like I could put RIMCHIGUY over my pic

Click Here To See Example

Again XNView can do this for you.

It doesn't block the view of the pic too much. In reality even that can be taken off. I had a buddy who was a whiz with Adobe, he took my pic with my logo on it and in about an hour he got it off. You just open it up in Hex mode. The only reason I tell people this is it is a hell of a lot of work to do this. I can't see anyone spending hours to do this.

The just is like all computer things, digital pics consist of 0 and 1 digits and you open the pic not as a pic but as a series of 0s and 1s. Then you have to look thru the millions of 0s and 1s and figure out what part of the photo is your logo, and remove it. As you can see with millions of data to look at, no one is going to do this. But this is just to let you know even that method isn't fool proof.

Another thing I do is use the lowest acceptable resolution possible. As you see when you try to enlarge my pics they look awful. This is because I run them thru XNView to produce the lowest possible resolution and still give you a decent idea what I look like. That way if people steal them, fine, they can't do much with them, as the quality isn't good enough to messing with them



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