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    Question How do I get my article, collectible firearm or accessory published in the Library?

    Question: How do I get my article, collectible firearm or accessory published in the Milsurp Knowledge Librariesicon?

    If you have an article, video, music or other detailed scanned research material, simply email it to me. If it's too large with a lot of pics or videos, burn it onto a DVD or CD-ROM and then read Item #2 here under the Collector Comments and Feedback section of this post.

    If the submission is a photo montage of a firearm or accessory, then please follow the procedure below:

    1. To take good quality digital photos of any of your collectible pieces, you need a reasonably decent 2 mega pixel or greater digital camera of any make. It should have a "macro" or "magnify" function that can be turned on to permit in-focus close-up photography. This is the ONLY way you'll be able to take pics of small markings and manufacturing stamps on your collectible pieces. The digital camera also needs a good flash that illuminates the entire piece when you snap the pic, plus a really nice additional feature is AUTO FOCUS. After seeing the amount of blurred pics posted in various on-line forums, you'll understand why I think this is such a nice feature to have.

    A really professional solution, although not necessary to get the job done, would involve separate photographic lamps to illuminate your piece to the point that the flash wouldn't be needed, yet be bright enough that a high shutter speed will prevent any kind of blurring due to low light conditions. In general though, it's more important to have a camera with the close-up function capability and auto focus built into it, then any other features.

    When getting the camera ready for a shoot, make sure you set it on the highest and most detailed setting. This is often called "fine" and it means that the size of one (1) digital pic could be 2 megabytes or more, on a 5 mega pixel camera. The reason for doing this is to capture as much detail as possible, but you will end up with very large pics that consume a lot of disk space. They will be unusable to display on the Internet, simply because that huge size takes far too long for people to transfer across the Internet and view on their local screens. Don't worry about that for now, as we'll show you how to easily convert your huge pics to a size that makes them quickly viewable, even for people who have old and slow dial-up phone connections. More on that below.

    2. If the piece is an accessory of any sort, take LOTS of digital pictures from various camera angles. Error on the side of taking too many pics, because you can always edit the montage later, choosing the ones you want to keep and discarding the ones that didn't come out right. I always take two (2) shots of the same angle, just to be safe. Remember, there's no cost of film and you can re-use over and over again the digital memory card, so it costs you absolutely nothing financially to take a LOT of pics. Also, remember to set-up the background for your photo shoot. Tack a lightly colored sheet to a wall behind the piece you're going to photograph, or lay it on the floor, in order to create a background for your photo montage that doesn't have the viewer seeing anything extraneous, except a pleasant view of your collectible piece. I've seen enough "toes" and other strange backgrounds to last a lifetime.

    3. If the piece is a collectible rifle, I've experimented over the last year with various approaches to shooting a virtual tour photo montage of a complete rifle in "chunks", so that people get a sense of having handled it like they would in real life. I've tended to start at the front left side of the rifle, taking pics down that side towards the butt, then I go back to the front and across the top towards the butt, then back to the front turning the rifle over viewing the underside and again, snapping pics all the way to the butt. Finally, I then turn the rifle around viewing its right side and do the same sequence as I did from the left, all the way to the butt. Don't forget to take a complete overall view of the left and right sides. I find that I end up with a rough footage of pics, ranging anywhere from 85 to 120 pics, depending upon the amount of small markings on that particular piece. On really expensive pieces, I will often strip the rifle down, removing the wood, then take pics of the underside of the wood and hand guard where one often finds stamped serial numbers. I'll also strip the bolt down on Mausers and take pics of the individual pieces, simply to show the matched serial numbers on firing pins and various small bolt components.

    4. After the picture taking session is done, upload all of the raw pic footage to your hard disk in a folder labeled for that piece. If you already have Microsoft's Windows XP add-on called Image Resizer (This FREE PowerToy enables you to resize one or many image files with a right-click), then "View Select All" your pics and "right click" on any one of them. The drop down box will appear and you'll see the Image Resizer's function "Resize Pictures". Click on it and check the box for MEDIUM size screens (800 x 600) and click OK. You will now end up with a whole bunch of pics with the same names, except they will have the work "medium" in their description and be a LOT smaller. These are the ones you need to email me, or send on a CD-ROM.

    5. If you don't have Microsoft's Windows XP add-on called Image Resizer (This FREE PowerToy enables you to resize one or many image files with a right-click), then click on the link below and install it on your system. Following that, go back to step #4.

    Microsoft's FREE Image Resizer (click here)

    6. If you really want to get fancy, some people use photo editing software to blur serial numbers, add comments, figures and arrows, copyright data and other information imbedded within their individual pics, in order to clarify certain points within each photo.

    7. Once we receive your material, we'll set-up an album in Image Event for your piece and place all of your photos there. We'll then contact you with a private link so you can view the photo montage privately. At that point, individual descriptions can be added to each pic and when you agree that it's ready for public viewing, we'll create a post in our standard Milsurp Knowledge Library format that looks like THIS (click here) and put it into the appropriate section.

    If you have any questions on the process, please send me an email and I'll be happy to answer any questions or clarify the procedures.


    Collector Comments and Feedback:

    1. For those of you that don't have a digital camera, or feel you don't have the skills or time to create a photo montage, we will offer to do it for you. It would end up looking like some of the samples you've seen in the various display sections. Your only requirement would be bearing the costs of shipping your collectible piece to us (Toronto) and of course, the return trip. We would do the photography and set-up the Image Event album for you. If you're interested in this approach, send me an email and we'll coordinate the activity. (Feedback by "Badger")

    2. If you'd like to publish appropriate article, video or music in The Screening Room Forum, you can either email it to badger@milsurps.com, or send the Internet link that points to the file, so we can download it from there. If the file is too large for you to email, then you may burn it on a DVD or CDROM and send it through "snail" mail, to D. Peel c/o MILSURPS.COM addressed to:

    MILSURPS.COM
    c/o D. Peel
    P.O. Box 193
    Stouffville, Ontario
    Canadaicon L4A 7Z5

    (Feedback by "Badger")


    Last edited by Badger; 02-25-2007 at 03:22 PM.

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