What are the specs for uploading photos to the site?
Short answer: the site will reject a photo that has a dimension larger than 640px and/or that has a file size larger than 250k.
Longer answer: The figure listed above means that your photo's longest dimension can not be bigger than 640px. Most photo editing tools have a default setting of 640 x 480 pixels for photo reductions. This size will be fine for the forum. If you are familiar with photo editing it is requested that you reduce your photos even further.
Using photo editing software it is quite easy to crop you original photo to down to its most interesting area and then do a final reduction to keep the longest dimension less than 600 pixels. Simply use the proportional scaling tool in your favorite photo editing program to re-size your original photo's longest dimension to less than 500px. The other dimension will come along for the ride. Save your reduced copy for upload to the forum.
What is the maximum size photo I can upload?
Simply put.. we want to conserve server storage space. Our goal is to continue to display your photos for the next several years. A 250k .jpg file is actually quite a large photograph and very good quality. Of course you are all encouraged to make your photos even smaller. You'll be surprised that with very little effort you can make a small photo look great. No need to hog server space.
Photo editing program? What the heck is that?
Whether you know it or not your digital camera came bundled with a photo editing program. The purpose of these programs is to allow download from your camera to computer and to manipulate your photos once they're on the computer. Manipulation includes adding captions; cropping, removing red-eye, sharpening, blurring, and reducing the photo dimensions and file size.
The gold standard among photo editing programs is Adobe Photoshop which is a professional-grade workhorse. However, Photoshop is needlessly expensive overkill for what you have to do. The photo editing program that came with your camera might be good or it might me junk -- they vary widely in capabilities and ease of use. If you are comfortable with what you have keep using it.
We would suggest two alternatives. the first is the consumer-grade version of Photoshop called Elements which can be purchased many places for less than $100. My other suggestion is even better -- because its FREE! Google has a great photo editing program called Picasa that can be freely downloaded at http://picasa.google.com/download/. Picasa is widely supported on the web with lots of available online tutorials.
How do I learn how to use Picasa?
Picasa is quite a robust application considering the cost — which is FREE!. Luckily you will only need to scratch the surface in order to get your photos into tip-top shape for uploading to the CRBMW site.
We intend to write up a tutorial that will cover the basics for resizing photos for upload. In the meantime, there are plenty of tutorials available on the web.
A good place to start is the user guide is located on the Picasa site.