Image
Guidelines

Image
Guidelines

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Spice up your donations with images!  Images add WOW power to your donation.

Images also have important practical purposes: they are used in the Online Catalog for navigating readers over to the individual Auction Donation Items.  The Auctioneers may also project your images to “sell” the item, in advance at Coffee Hour, or on Auction Night.

If you’re selling a unique artwork, craft, rug, or piece of furniture or jewelry, or if you’re donating a getaway in some wonderful faraway place, photos are especially important for giving potential buyers an idea of the offering.  And buyers who are contemplating bidding on expensive items or a getaway can plan better if they can see what they’re thinking of acquiring.

You’ll upload photos and other images when you submit the donation form.  So, if you want to dress up your donation, get these ready before you start filling out the form.  (We can add them later, but it’s a lot more work for us, so we really appreciate you using the upload feature if you can!)

About Images, Generally

All images must be in one of the following formats:

  • JPEG (filename.jpg or filename.jpeg)
  • GIF (filename.gif)
  • PNG (filename.png)

We can accept multiple images, and if they’re all the same size and shape, we can even turn them into a slideshow for you that displays in the online catalog.  This is especially helpful for things like vacation getaways, to show off your accommodations, views, and activities.

About Featured Images

Featured Images are a special kind of image that gets used in important ways by the Online Auction Catalog.  These images are displayed in a banner-shape.

There are pages in the catalog that collect groups of donated items – for example the Category and Theme pages.  On these pages, the Featured Image, Item Title, Scheduling/Date Info, and a Read More button are displayed.  If there is no Featured Image for an Auction item, the page won’t display correctly. Images should also be fairly big (ideally at least 1600px wide), but virtually all mobile phones and tablets take photos that are bigger than that.

On the individual-item page, the Featured Image is displayed behind a translucent green filter, behind the item title.  Without a Featured Image, the title is displayed on a solid green background.

Your Own Photos and Original Artwork

In this era of modern smartphones, it’s easy to get great photos of your Auction Item.  And if you’re contributing original artwork or crafts, you can snap some photos of your work and upload it to us for the catalog.

Here are some helpful tips for getting ideal shots:

  • Make sure lighting is even across the item and there are no shadows.
  • If you’re shooting a photo for a Featured Image, be mindful of the banner shape when you compose your photo. If the photo is taller than it is wide, or is square rather than banner-shaped, the content you want to be in the photo may not be there.
  • PLEASE try not to take a photo of your item at an angle. Problems occur when you take a photo of an item lying on the ground, or propped against a wall or a table at an angle.  The problem is worse when the item is rectangular – for example, a rug, painting, or print – the result is a skewed trapezoid, rather than a rectangle.  See image below.  To improve the visual result:
    • Find a way to make the item absolutely vertical – perhaps you can tape it to a wall, or have someone hold it for you. Or, if the item is small, you can lay it on the floor and straddle it.
    • Have your camera or cellphone lens as close to the exact center of the item as you possibly can.
    • If you have a nice, high-resolution camera or smartphone, stand a little farther away from the object: it will be less distorted that way.

  • NOTE – if you snap a photo on your phone or tablet that you want to use in your catalog listing, you can fill out the form on your device – the new tangible item form, https://annex.uucolumbia.net/donate-tangibles-2020/, is designed especially for this purpose. The upload-field function on the last page of your donation form will work on iPhones, iPads and Android devices of fairly recent vintage. You can even shoot a photo as part of the upload process. (We can’t give instructions because the methods vary with the vintage and operating system of your device.) .
  • If you’re unable to take your own photo or upload it to the auction form, please contact [need contact folks here].

Downloading Images From the Internet

Using the internet as a resource for photos and images is easy and fun.  Just make sure you have permission to use them.  If the item is in the public domain, you’re good to go.  Here’s an easy way to obtain useable images:

  • Navigate to Google, and click the word Images in the upper right corner of the browser window.
  • Type in some appropriate search terms and run the search.
  • Click on Tools and then on Usage Rights. Select Labeled for Reuse With Modification or Creative Commons License. Photos from sites like Wikipedia Commons often are rich sources of public-domain photos and images.
  • Also click on Size and then Large to obtain larger images.
  • Look for images that are attractive, and, if being used as a Featured Image, are roughly banner-shaped, wider than they are long (remember that when displayed, they will be 4 times as wide as they are long, cropped as necessary). If you see one you like, click it to focus on it, then right-click and select SAVE-IMAGE-AS to your computer.  (On Microsoft Edge browser, the correct selection is SAVE-PICTURE-AS.)  Save it to a location on your computer that you can find later, and contact [need contact info] for help getting it posted to the catalog.

This page last modified 10/14/2020

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