Questions about getting digital photos & video on line

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  #1  
Old 01-30-08, 04:53 PM
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Questions about getting digital photos & video on line

I am a real estate broker trying to figure out how to best handle marketing homes with digital photos & video.

Some sellers want to get there favorite photos to me easily.
The best way is to have them send them w/out reducing the file size so I can resize & crop etc. as necessary.
But I have found sending large files by email often times is very difficult for most people.

Last week I tried to upload some photos to WebShots but found when I tryed to copy them from the site they were greatly reduced from the file sizes I had uploaded.
I did this as a test hoping this would be a good way for sellers to get photos to me.
Any thoughts what a better way would be?

Also...I have a Panasonic PV-GS300 VIDEO CAMERA which I like very much but have not had time to figure out how to get the video online.
Realtor.com will take Virtual tours & video of homes.
or maybe other sites could be liked to, YouTube?
Thanks in advance for any help w/this!
Scott
 
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  #2  
Old 02-05-08, 11:29 PM
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A few thoughts about handling photos

I can't tell clearly what your main problem is from your brief description, but it sounds like your sellers are having trouble transmitting high resolution images to you via email. These larger files are generally better quality to start working with.
I also don't know what you might be using to process these images (crop, resize, adjust lighting, etc.).

One excellent program that is not terribly expensive but very powerful while still relatively easy to learn is Adobe's Photoshop Elements. It has all the important tools provided by the high-priced professional version of PhotoShop but without the professional color standards, etc.

PhotoShop can quickly crop, resize, adjust lighting and contrast and do a lot of other corrections and then save the result in various formats. It is always best to do all of the corrections in a high quality format such as Photoshop's own PSP format or else something like a TIFF format. Once the corrections are done you can then save it as a standard JPEG format and adjust the resolution to whatever file size you like. It's amazing how small you can make a JPEG file (small in terms of kilobits or megabits not inches) and still have a very high quality image.

As for video, there are video cameras and programs that can easily convert standard video camera files to MPEGs used in things like U-tube. Check out some video editing forums by a Google search. Hope this helps.
 
  #3  
Old 02-06-08, 02:35 PM
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As I understand the problem isn't what to use to process them images but rather how to get the unedited images from the customer in the first place. (You certainly don't want sellers monkeying around with image processing if this is not their hobby.)

You've already discovered that many freebie photo sites resize the image for convenience of the visitors. Some sites out of the hundreds out there _may_ link to the unedited version as well. Unless someone chimes in here and says that know of one, you may just have to start signing up at places to find out. flickr.com, etc.

But I think if I were selling a house through a broker and he sent me to one of these freebie sites I'd think that was a bit strange. YouTube would be even WORSE, but of course that's not for photos.

Kinda like [real example] there's an art gallery down the street from me, and on the lighted sign they must have paid $10k for, it says "[email protected]". Extremely unprofessional almost to the point of being silly. If someone doesn't spend the $5 a year for a real domain name with a real email address I gotta wonder.

What you really need is a way for customers to upload the photos to you directly on your web site, via their browser. There are free PHP scripts available out there which do precisely this, although you may need a few minutes of help to get it installed. Even if you wanted something more custom you could get a barebones custom photo upload page written for you for about $20 via several freelance sites I know of. That is if you are willing to work with foreign programmers.

-core
 
  #4  
Old 02-12-08, 11:29 PM
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Another option is to create your own website so the customer can upload pictures and then you can download them to your server. Most hosting companies offer free galleries with their service; some of them limit the file size though so you'll have to watch out for that.

Look into www.bluehost.com ($6.95 mo.)

They have a couple of different gallery programs for free.

By doing this, your customer could upload to your site whenever they want then you can save the pictures to your computer and edit them as needed then re-upload the pictures to a realestate site. Coppermine is available for free, bluehost.com does provide it but you technically don't have to use a hosting service - it's just easier that way. Pay $6.95 per month and use their program to install the gallery and you're done.

EDIT: I believe free hosting sites will automatically change the file size (thus quality) of the picture when uploaded. Systems like "gallery" (free web gallery software provided at bluehost.com and other hosting services) limits the file size. Gallery in specific limits the size to 2mb I believe, which may be too small for your needs. If I think about it I'll poke around for other gallery programs.

EDIT 2: I poked around and Coppermine gallery allows you to set the file size max for uploading files. I set it at 5mb and it accepted it, that should be good enough for your use.
 
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