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Photo Tutorial and Tips

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Scott Wheelman

Legal Advisor
420 Staff
Greenest Greetings —

In an effort to showcase the plants and buds out there, I thought I'd offer some help/support in the area of embedding photos in threads and photography to improve the Contests, Grow Journals, Strain Reviews, and Plant and Bud Photo threads. How else can you show off the fruits of your labor to all those people reading 420 Magazine? Check out our online Uploading Tutorial, and remember you can skip the "Resizing" portion of this guide due to the most recent server upgrade, which takes care of image re-sizing for you. Once uploaded to your gallery, you can once again follow the online Uploading Tutorial to learn how to insert your images into your posts.

In browsing the grow journals, it appears as if many growers are simply grabbing the link to the image shown in your gallery and pasting it into the image link for your posts. While this gets the job done, when others view your post and click on the image, they only get the smaller image generated by the server software for viewing in the main thread. Here is an example of the difference in size/quality of the images:

Smaller/lower-resolution image:


Larger/higher resolution image:

See what I mean? :)

So, instead of grabbing the link to the image shown in the photo gallery, you can:
  1. cut and paste the "Direct Link" (shown below) into the post for your image;


  2. or click on the "
    " icon above the text/data window when entering the post, which will also grab the highest resolution image available, and ensure it only displays the allowable resolution in the post, but retain the higher resolution image for when people click on the picture;
  3. or click on the MEDIUM sized photo in their gallery, then right click on the larger image that pops up and grab the url properties from there, instead of grabbing it from the MEDIUM version.

By following this simple procedure, everyone can enjoy the highest resolution image possible when they click on a picture that interests them.

Also, you don't have to be a professional photographer or have a bunch of high tech gear to get good pictures. The really cool thing, is just about any camera made in the last 8-10 years is more than adequate for documenting your plants and processed flowers (ie buds). That's right, it doesn't take a fancy digital SLR with multiple lenses to get your grows photographed and uploaded to 420 Magazine. Sure, better camera's can provide better results, but anything from an entry level point and shoot to high-end professional equipment will work (I know I've shot with everything from an iPhone to my DSLR's with more than acceptable results).

Now, before you get too excited, please make sure you have your camera set for medium or high quality, as many cameras are able to take small/low resolution images for e-mail or web purposes. This will ensure your pictures are a minimum of 1024*768 resolution when you take them.

Photography tips...

  • Careful with lighting — some of the various light systems put a "color cast" to your pictures. Use you camera's "Auto White Balance" to compensate for strange lighting situations. Also try to keep the light source coming from behind you — shooting into the light results in over exposed pictures with poor detail.
  • Use you camera's automatic "scene" settings, if available. I like using the "macro" setting (usually a flower icon) for close ups with lots of detail (ie showing the actual trichs on a bud or plant) and either "Portrait" (typically a persons head icon) or "Landscape" (typically a mountain icon) for shooting bigger items — such as plants. Even professional photographers will let the camera try to get the exposure setting correct a few times before giving up and going manual. Then, it's usually only Aperture or Shutter Priority as opposed to full manual.

If anyone has any questions or is looking for camera help, please feel free to drop me a PM, and I'll do my best to help you out.

As someone that has failed miserably, I know that I especially appreciate the efforts that go into a successful grow. So, let's see those bigger, better pictures in your Contests, Grow Journals, Strain Reviews, and Plant and Bud Photo threads!!

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