FAQ: PHOTO posting


In order to insert a photo into a post on any of these forums, you must first upload it to a hosting site - your own or one of the many freebies available on line such as (listed in order of my personal opinion of quality / ease of use):


  • or -

------ This one tends to be markedly slower than photobucket.

  • or -

------ This one will require resizing your photo before uploading it to the site; the full size picture tends to be shown large and blurred, the thumbnail is just that - legible but not of much utility. Use the complete line of code provided by the site for “Forums (1)” . . . inserting the URL alone between IMG commands will not work and the code for “Forums (2)” seems to be incompatible with the phpBB code used on this site.

These are all FREE and there are many others.

(The suggestion of using the Kodak site is withdrawn; Kodak no longer provides a convenient way of posting a photo from that site on another such as this one.)

Next, go to that site and copy the URL for the page or the image (“IMG”) string which correlates to your photo. Typically, this will be in the form of: “http://www.PhotoHostingSite/YourAcct/PhotoName.jpg” . . . .

[color=blue]Be sure you have the proper code string!![/color] This should end in “.jpg” or another graphic file extension such as ".gif’ - which you may confirm by right clicking on the image and selecting “properties” from the resulting menu options. The difference between using a URL or image string is in the code seen at the beginning and end of the string. If you are sending someone TO your photo, use the URL which will begin with “[“url”]” . . . for the image to appear directly in your post, the image string will be “[“img”]” (the quotation marks were inserted here because otherwise the commands would not be visible in this document) - most sites offer both alternatives.

For example:

(1) Using the string which begins with the URL code - “[“url”]” - code to direct someone to it, the result will be:


(2) Using the string which begins with the IMG - “[“img”]” - code to display an image within the post, the result will be:

Note that in the above examples, the only difference is in the three characters appearing at the beginning and end of the string - “url” and “img” respectively. Some sites, such as Photobucket, provide the correct bracketed code for you. With others, you may need to enter it manually. In this case, there is a shortcut . . . look at the line of rectangular buttons immediately to the right of the term “Message body” . . . and note “Img” and “URL” . . . . Clicking on your choice creates a opening bracket command such as “[url]” . . . then you need only enter the URL and click the button again, which will give you the closing bracket command such as “[/img]” . . . and away you go. The active button also will display an asterisk ( * ) on it to highlight the fact one must click it a second time to close the string.


When posting a photo, please use the “Preview” button which is to the left of the “Submit” button you see immediately below the poll options [u]before[/u] submitting the post. When you do, please verify that the width of the photo does not exceed the width of the display window. If this happens, anyone viewing the thread usually must scroll the screen sideways even to read text in another post on the thread because text will extend to the width of the page, however wide the page might be made by the photo.

Large format photos not only inconvenience the reader, they chew up server space and can drastically slow use of the site by those with dial-up connections. [color=blue]Wherever possible, [i]please[/i] use the smallest photo which will serve your needs![/color]

In some infrequent instances this may be necessary - for example, to display the details of a large item using only one photo. Generally, however, it is better to use multiple photos for this purpose - one or more of the specimen as a whole and one or more close ups of particular areas of interest. There is no practical restriction on the number of photos one may include in a post and it is easier for people to scroll up and down only (as this is the normal flow of the thread) than to deal also with a side to side motion.

A photo of six to eight inches (or 1000 pixels, depending on the measurement parameter used by your software) width is about maximum which can be displayed on this site without requiring sideways scrolling. Some hosting sites automatically re-size images to some specified maximum (800 pixels for Photobucket), but others do not. Please check the properties before posting. Be especially careful of this when using photos in the .tif or .tiff formats, as they tend to consume a lot of bandwidth and create images much larger than the more compact .jpg or .jpeg formats.

Your camera or computer often will include photo editing tools and there are standalone products such as Adobe’s “PhotoShop” or “PhotoImpact” by Ulead available for this purpose. These programs must be purchased, but there are many programs available as freeware or shareware from sites such as ZDnet and for basic photo editing few people have need of the advanced features standard with the more costly applications.

[color=blue]TROUBLESHOOTING[/color] - “it doesn’t work!”

- is the identifying string correct? I.e., are you sure you didn't truncate some part of the string in the process of the cut & paste?

- does the string end in ".jpg" or ".gif" or some other graphic file extension? The image will not display if the string uses an invalid extension. 

- are the opening and closing brackets correct and matched? The only difference between them is  the addition of "/" (no quotation marks) as the first character after "[" (again no quotation marks) in the second command coming at the end of the string.

[color=blue]BEHIND the Code[/color] . . . or why photos sometimes “die.”

[u]ALL[/u] the images seen in these threads exist [u]ONLY[/u] on other sites; they are not stored here. The basic mechanism is that a poster uses the code sequence to reference an image URL elsewhere. Then, when anyone opens a thread locally (on IAA), the code string directs a subroutine of the forum software to go to the specified Internet address (URL) and retrieve the image stored there for display. This is done in the sequential order these appear in the various posts in the thread (much more obvious on dial-up than broadband).

When the user closes the thread, the call to display the image is canceled and the thread retains only the text, which is stored on this site. This is invisible to the user - one will never see something at which they are not looking.

If the image is removed from a hosting site for whatever reason, the call for the image is frustrated, resulting in the broken image icon we all know and “love.”

So, should you see an image you wish to save, you need to download and save it on your own system (although it can also be uploaded from there to your own account with the hosting service of your choice).

[color=blue]CAVEAT EMPTOR[/color] (or some such thing)!

(1) Do not post copy-righted images - say from a reference work - without attribution and - ideally - the author’s permission.
(2) This is particularly important if you are saving photos posted here. If a thread or post author notes a photo was taken from a particular source, be sure to keep that attribution with it. Don’t simply save it and use it unattributed as the logo for your web site!