How to Submit Pictures

A personal account by Richard Criswell

The question was asked by Pat Bailey: "How do I put a picture of my car in the owners section"? Mike Plumstead responded with:

  1. Email me a gif or bmp or jpg file (uuencoded in the text) or as a binary attachment if you are using Eudora for Windows.
  2. Send me a photograph through the snail-mail.
Well, being a long time MGist and a photographer of sorts, I, like Pat, have pictures I'd like to share. It didn't look all that hard. All I had to do was Email something called a gif, bmp, or jpg. Now, I didn't know what all this entailed but I learned. It was easy and fun, and if I can do it you can too.

Basically a gif, bmp, or jpg is an image file in digital format. I found out that there are at least four ways to achieve a picture in digital format.

  1. Use Seattle FilmWorks film and processing as Pat Bailey did: Seattle FilmWorks, P.O. Box 3406, Seattle, WA 98124-1056 (206) 283-9074
  2. Select Digital processing from Kodak:
  3. Secure and use a digital camera (whatever that is):
  4. Produce your own using existing photograph and a scanner.
I chose number 4 since I have a scanner.

The first lesson I learned was how to attach a file to Email. My software has a pull down menu labled "Attachment". It gives five options: Browse, Text, UUencode, MIME QP, and MIME base 64. Since I wasn't paying attention to Mike, I failed to specify UUencode for my first attempt.

Second Lesson was that you need specify a complete path to the file to be attached in the Email header. i.e. C:\ipplus\plug_in\zb1.jpg.

The third lesson was that the three different file formats produce files of varying sizes. i.e. an 8" x 10" photograph scanned at 100 dpi produced a jpg image of 103,994 bytes and a gif or bmp image of 2,415,414 bytes.

I initially went with the jpg image of 103,994 bytes only to learn my fourth lesson. Image files greater than 30k are split into pieces on Mike's end and need to be stitched back together. Also large files seem to be subject to corruption.

I found there are several ways to reduce file sizes. Start out with a photograph as small as practicable. Use a snap shot not an enlargement. Scan at lower dpi, although I don't like to go under 100. Reduce the scanning scale. i.e. from 100% to 70%.

After all this trial and error I am now able to pop a photograph into the scanner; scan it at 100dpi and 70% scale; fiddle with the brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, sharpness, etc. until I get an image that I feel is as good as posible; and save it to disk in the proper format. Then is is simply a matter of initiating an Email Message to Mike at, making sure UUencode is selected, and that a complete path to the file is given. In due course, your efforts will appear in the picture gallery and/or owners section of the MG Home Page.

To view those I've submitted look in the USA owners section under Dick Criswell.

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