How to send your photo
Sending your photo for the Class Website is very simple.
- If you have a photo print (hard copy) then mail it to the address shown near the bottom of your "Class Reps" page (see the menu item at the top of any page). Your photo will be scanned for the website and returned to you.
- If you have a digital photo image file from your digital camera, then attach the image file to an email and send it to the email address near the bottom of your "Class Reps" page (see the menu item at the top of any page).
On some email software, such as Microsoft Outlook, the function to attach a file to the email is labeled "Insert", "File" (not "insert" "picture"). Then all you have to do is browse to the location of the photo image.
If you are not sure how to attach a file to an email, then please consult the user documentation or "Help" on your email application. You can also contact the class representative responsible for the class photos, or website to help you with this process.
PLEASE NOTE: try to attach the complete image file, unprocessed, as it came from your camera. Do not use any photo album software to compress the file for an email. This compression may degrade the photo image substantially. We would like an image file that is greater than 500kb (kilobytes) in size.
Photo Tips for the Class Website Portrait Photos
You don't have to be sitting in a Moffett studio to get a good photo to post next to your Roll Call photo on the profile page.
There are just a couple of important tips that will help you get a good photo image for the website.
- Try to get your subject(s) close enough to the camera to almost fill the photo view finder. Close-ups of people are generally desirable. However, on rare occasion you may wish to have a piece of some historic or meaningful object in the background.
- Take a number of photos of the subject(s), with perhaps slightly different posing. Hey, that’s what the professions do so that they can choose the best picture.
- Try to get your classmates spouse in the portrait photo if appropriate.
- Ask your subject(s) for a natural smile (not exaggerated). Let them know that you will snap the photo after a count of three, so that then can give you that perfect pose and gentle smile.
- Have your subject(s) turn their shoulder slightly while facing the camera. You are not trying to get a squared off, mug shot for the local PD.
- ALWAYS use a flash: even outdoors. This will ensure that you will not have a darkened face image if the background is brightly lit. It also brings focus to the face(s). If you have a fancy automatic camera, then you may need to look in the manual to see how to force the flash to fire, even if their is enough light outdoors. If you
feel adventurous, you might try different light settings or other adjustments. When using a flash, don't get too close to your subject(s) (unless you can bounce the flash, or dim the flash with a handkerchief, or filter).
|Too much background|| ||Now that's more like it|
Outdoor People Photos - Use a flash!
Most times we don't think about using a flash outdoors. If you are using an automatic camera, most times the camera will detect a bright sunny day and not fire off your flash. However if you are trying to take a photo of a person who is within 8-15 feet of your camera, then you will want to use your flash. If you don't you will likely end up with a picture similar to the one on the left.
|Outdoors - No Flash|| ||Outdoors - with Flash|
The camera simple figures that the scene is bright enough and closes down the shutter.
If you have an option in your digital menu that allows you to force the flash to fire or provides you with a flash fill option, by all means use it. The photo on the right, above, shows the difference.
Focus - Watch Out!
Another nasty little thing that an automatic camera will likely do for you when you are photographing a couple, it to focus on the wall behind them!
This occurs when the automatic focus detection is in the center of the lens, and the couple are standing or sitting apart. The closer you get to the subjects, the more pronounced this out-of-focus condition becomes.
|Issue with center focus.|
Look at the back wall
| ||Focus Corrected.|
The solution is to center one of the two subjects in your lens, even though the photo will seem off balanced with the other subject on the right or left. You can fix this later by cropping the photo correctly.
The other way to handle this is to focus on one subject, press the shutter release half way down (which typically locks the automatic adjustment. When you see that the adjustments are set, then pan your camera slightly until both subjects are balanced left and right in the viewfinder, and press the shutter release the rest of the way. This technique may need some experimentation on your part until it becomes natural.
Beware of mirrors!
If you are shooting indoors with a flash, watch out for reflective surfaces. They don't even have to be directly behind your subjects. A reflective surface can bounce a flash right back into the camera and the automatic sensors will simply say "I'm done.", far short of providing the light correctly on your subjects. See the effect below and note the flash on the left, center of the photo.
What you can do with Graphic software tools
If the photo image that you have is not what it could be, and seldom are, then you can use any one of the excellent graphic software tools to enhance your photo.
Do be intimidated by all of the functions that your graphic tool can provide. There are five simple functions and steps to improving your photo image: Crop, adjust the brightness and contrast, resize the image, apply a little bit of sharpening, and save the results to a JPG formatted file with a high-quality or no compression setting. That's it.
Portrait photos are about the subjects, and not the swing set, the cars in the background, or the buildings. On some occasion it may be desirable to include a little bit of the background if context in important to the subjects. Otherwise crop the image close.
You will wish to experiment with the brightness and contrast adjustments to get the image to kook just right to you. Typically if you brighten an image, you will need to increase the contrast to bring the depth back, otherwise you may end up with a washed out result.
I stay away from the "automatic" adjustment that some album and graphic software may provide. I seem to find that the automatic adjustment ends up over correcting for both contrast and color saturation to give you an image that looks more like a scene from "Miami CSI" than a natural view as you would visualize it.
|Not enhanced|| ||Too bright|
JPG is a wonderful format for compressing a high resolution, large file into a useable, smaller filesize. Beware. JPG is a lossy compression process. A lot of software allows you to set the compression quality. The higher the number or setting, the less the image is compresses and the higher the quality. If you chose to use a high compression (low quality) then the compression algorithm must make choices about what it keeps and what it throws away. At very high compressions you will end up with jpg artifacts (fuzzies) in the final image.
A good rule of thumb is if you are starting with a filesize of less than about 100 kilobytes (kb) to start with, then it has been compressed to hard. Note that the filesize of most new digital cameras is in the order of 500 kilobytes to 3 megabytes. The filesize of an image that has been highly compressed from photo album software to be attached to an email is about 29-39 kilobytes. Too small. Hey image filesize does matter.
|JPG artifacts appear|
when highly compressed
| ||Correctly compressed|
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