How To - Event Reports and Photos the easy way

How To - Event Reports and Photos the easy way

Postby ash » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:09 pm

It's too rainy and windy to fly today, so I'll start this thread detailing the shortcuts and handy facilities that are available for sharing our aeromodelling activity with the wider public. I'm convinced that the future of aeromodelling is in our efforts to show people the fun we can have with model aircraft. The Internet is full of good places to do that and most of them are free.

The same methods are also very useful for compiling information and pictures for publication in the Model Fliers' World and other magazines, so it's relevant for the old-school approach as well.

This will be an ongoing project, so come back regularly to see the latest updates and ideas.


Likely Contents In no particular order

Photo management - Picasaweb
What to write - and what to avoid
MFW submission - guidelines
MFNZ forum hints - Text format, pictures, video, etc
Results formatting - Making it line up
Where to post reports - Other forums, newsgroups, newsletters, magazines
Other free resources - YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook, Wordpress etc
Event promotion - Who to tell, how and when
Why YOU should do this - Someone has to
Adrian Hamilton > CL + FF
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Re: How To - Event Reports and Photos the easy way

Postby ash » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:06 pm

Photo management - Picasaweb

Aeromodelling of all kinds is a very visual passtime, so it makes sense to share our activity through visual media. The Internet is huge and free and also very visual... how convenient! Obviously it's a matter of words, pictures and videos. Words and videos are easy... pictures can be easy, but there are a lot of not so easy and not so good ways to present them. In the process of trying to share my information both at work and for fun, I've been through a few of them and found Picasaweb to be by far the most suitable for model related tasks.

As you'll guess from the web address, Picasaweb is a Google product, which generally means it works well, is clever and is free. It started out as a piece of software, Picasa, to download and use on your computer to manage you digital photos, but as Internet connections have grown more capable, it has become possible for all the clever functions and storage to be performed at the website itself. That means you don't have to do any messing around with the pictures to get them to fit different forums, waste email bandwidth or waste hard drive space - it's all done for you! On the other hand, if you're still a dial-up user, you'd be best to do it the old way by downloading the full Picasa software to use on your computer before uploading.

Step 1 - Sign up

Go to

Image1.jpg (37.01 KiB) Viewed 3869 times

You may already have a Google account for G-mail, Youtube or other Google products and you could/should log in with that to keep everything easily manageable. You should shortly end up on the main page for your new Picasaweb account. It should look somewhat like this, but with no pictures:

Image3.jpg (76.36 KiB) Viewed 3869 times

Most important thing on the page at this stage is the Upload button. Click on it to add photos of your contest, rally, build-log or whatever.

As you can see my page has a different gallery for each topic and the first picture in each is automatically displayed as the icon for that gallery. You can upload more pictures into any gallery at any time, rename them, re-order them, change the front picture, change the caption etc. Go and upload your first pictures now!

Step 2 - Uploading

All you have to do is choose the pictures you want, full size and un-altered. Picasaweb will give you options later to deal with most things once they are uploaded. I like to crop the pictures and decide which ones are best before uploading, because I tend to (and recommend) take LOADS of pictures and discard the ones that come out blurry, wonky or otherwise naff. If you don't have too many you can upload them all and edit in Picasaweb. Mobile phone/camera pictures can be uploaded directly from the field using the Mobile Picasaweb app. You can also email pictures directly into Picasaweb - look in the settings section (gear shaped button, top right corner) to activate that function.

Image4.jpg (77.33 KiB) Viewed 3869 times

Step 3 - Captions

Once you have chosen your pictures and they are uploading, you'll be able to add captions to the complete ones by moving the mouse cursor over the image. If you want to add more click Upload more. If you're finished, click OK. You MUST CLICK OK for the upload process to complete. Don't click anywhere else other than Upload more or OK. Now Picasaweb will take you to your freshly uploaded gallery page.

Image5.jpg (52 KiB) Viewed 3869 times

Step 4 - Share them

Where the right hand column has a little padlock and says Only you, click edit. New uploads are automatically set to private so that only you can see them. In order to share them you have to change the visibility to Public, on the web and click Save changes. You can also rename the gallery, add a description, location etc.

Below that in the right hand column, you will now see a chain link icon and link to this album. That is obviously where to click to share the whole album in a contest report or elsewhere. Use the top link it provides for a forum or email. The second one is for conventional websites. There are also buttons for posting directly to Blogger or Twitter.
More useful is to click on one of your images, which will take you to the page for that picture:

Image9.jpg (72.06 KiB) Viewed 3869 times

Click the left and right arrows to go to previous or next pictures. In the main white background area you can: rotate it, edit it, move it, rename it, add a caption, delete it, view it full-screen, zoom in or out. In the grey column to the right, you will again see the link icon, but this time it has magic properties. Obviously it gives you a link for that image, but by selecting image only (no link), you can embed the image directly into your post on the MFNZ Forum, where it will display in whatever size you have selected in the drop-down box. The MFNZ Forum likes images under 700 pixels square, so choose 640 from the box. Or, more magic, you can change the number in the link to whatever size you like, 700 for example or 800 on other forums, to make the picture whatever size you need. This only applies to the link, not to the image saved on Picasaweb. You can still send links to other sizes via email or post on other forums and Picasaweb will automatically deliver the size requested.

Here's a link to another picture - the whole page this time: ... directlink

Here it is in 144 pixel size:

Here it is in 288 pixels wide:

And here in 700 pixels wide:

You can see in the links themselves that the only difference is the size notifier - s144, s288 and s700:

Code: Select all

Step 5 - Make us of it!

There you have it, the easiest way I've found to manage my aeromodelling pictures for distribution to the MFNZ Forum, MFW and other places. Also perfect to email image links in any size or just send links to the individual image pages or galleries so that the recipient can choose the size and see all the other public images without having their email inbox clogged up with several gigabytes worth of photo data.

I know most of you will probably just keep doing it the way you've always done it - cropping photos down to useless, grainy sizes just to save email bandwidth and then emailing them en masse to everyone you can think of. Seriously, you're more likely to get people to actually look at them by presenting them in a permanent, well formatted forum like this one. Not to mention only having to upload them once and resize never! You can post on as many forums as you like, as many emails as you like, this week, next week, next year or next decade... they will always be there, ready to use.

Next time we might look at how to put this stuff to work within the MFNZ Forum.
Adrian Hamilton > CL + FF
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