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Digital Guide to Moth Identification



Cropping
Small Photos
Large Photos
Sharpening
Brightening

Cropping Photographs

Photographs should be cropped to appropriate sizes before sending to MPG or posting them at BugGuide (recommended for all moth photographs). Huge, unedited photographs are particularly inappropriate because they consume large amounts of disk space and bandwidth, both of which cost money. At BugGuide, all very large photographs (sometimes 3,000 x 2,300 pixels) are reduced to no more than 560 pixels when displayed. This has the effect of reducing several-fold the size of the moth or other insect in the photograph. Properly cropping your photograph to no more than 560 x 560 pixels ensures that people will actually see the detailed markings of the insect and make identification of the species much more likely.

Many people do not have any computer software for processing photographs except, perhaps, software that came with a digital camera or cell phone. These software applications may only permit you to transfer photographs from your camera or phone to the computer. Sometimes they permit you to store the images in small, medium or large sizes, but without editing the photos in any way. If this is the situation you find yourself in you might want to consider getting the photo-editing software that I have been using since 1995. It is called VuePrint, is very easy to use, and costs only about $30.

There are, of course, many applications that DO permit you to edit photographs. Some of the very sophisticated applications such as Adobe Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro can be quite expensive. But whatever application you use, cropping photographs will go something like I show below (my examples are all steps that I go through using VuePrint). The photograph I am cropping is an excellent one by Gary Phillips of Meropleon cosmion. It was originally posted at BugGuide in the sie you see here (597x503 pixels). I want to end up with a 225x225 size for use at MPG.

My first step is to bring the photo up in my VuePrint photo editor and crop a slice out of it to limit the height. I positioned my cursor (left click) at the upper left of the photo and dragged it down to the lower right as seen here:


When I released the cursor the scene changed and I now see the cropped portion of the photograph. It now measures 312 pixels in height.


Now I will repeat the procedure to end up with a square. VuePrint has a live-time meter built into the editor screen and I will keep an eye on that as I again drag the cursor from a point at upper left to lower right. When I am satisfied with the resulting square [312, 312] I release my cursor.



Now I have my square photo at 312x312 pixels as seen below. In my last step I click on the "File/Resize" option and set the width to become 225. Please note that the "Aspect Ratio" box is checked ON. When I click on OK my photo become the 225x225 size that I want and I save the new version of it. You may want to save the new photo at an earlier step to preserve the work done thus far.

    

A larger copy of this photograph (370x350) was saved to be used at the top of the species page for 9425 - Meropleon cosmion. The trimming of large photos is a subject for Associate Editors working in this area of MPG. Notice in the photo below the amount of margin space above and below the moth. Such margins are permitted in large photos, but not in smaller photos where the size of the moth is at a premium.



Cropping
Small Photos
Large Photos
Sharpening
Brightening



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