BLUF Backstage: Introducing HD Photos

BLUF • technical

Submitted by Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3), 17 February 2016

 

Index

Over the past few weeks, some of you may have noticed our new HD Photos feature rolling out on the site. It represents a major update to the way we handle photos on BLUF, and it's now almost complete, so here's a full explanation of what it is, and what difference it will make.

Until the start of February 2016, when photos were uploaded to BLUF, we resized them all to fit the format of our profile display pages. That meant that they were reduced in size to no more than 600 pixels in each direction, a size that we'd been using since a very early version of BLUF.

Now, however, digital cameras are much higher quality, and many people have screens that are larger and more detailed than just a few years ago. In time, doubtless the design of some BLUF pages will change, and when that happens, we don't want to be restricted to having unnecessarily small images.

For any site that has member profiles, photos are important, They're one of the key ways in which people find others with whom to interact, and many of our members put a lot of effort into having their profile photos done by professional photographers. Those photographers do a great job, and by showing all the images on BLUF at the size we have been using, we're not really showing off their work as best as we can.

What are HD images?

Since the start of February 2016, when you upload an image to BLUF, we now accept any resolution (though we still have a size limit of around 4.5MB), and we store the image as you upload it, in either JPG or PNG format. If it's larger than the size we presently display, we also create the smaller version too.

On member profiles, the standard gallery still uses the smaller images for now, but where a member has images with a resolution of at least 1080 pixels in either direction, you'll also see our new HD Photos button. This shows off the original image files, in a gallery that allows zooming in, and even full screen display. I think this gives BLUF the most impressive display of member photos of any similar site.

Each member can individually choose whether or not their images are watermarked, to help protect them, and for HD images there's a choice of two watermarks - a large or a small one. And, as with standard images, we also provide a way for you to download all your photos from BLUF in a ZIP file, without watermarks, so you can retrieve them from the site even if you lose the originals. No one else, of course, can download your images this way.

Beyond profile pictures

Having high quality pictures on BLUF profiles is just part of the changes we've made with photos. We've also made it simpler to upload, with a new drag and drop uploader that allows you to start several uploads at the same time, instead of doing them one by one.

We've added similar support for high quality images to our Magazine pages, so in future you'll see much better quality pictures from BLUF events, too, starting with our World BLUF Day events in London and Melbourne.

In addition to that, we are adding new ways in which we can showcase some of the great photos that BLUF members upload, starting at the beginning of March 2016 with the BLUF HD Portfolio. This is a selection of images chosen by the BLUF admins, representing what we think are some of the best, most striking photos uploaded over the previous month.

At the start of each month, a new gallery will appear on the page automatically, giving members another chance to see some of the best new photos to appear on BLUF. As with profile photos, the HD Portfolio will not be accessible to non-members.

If we think a photo you've uploaded is suitable for including in the portfolio, you'll receive an alert via the BLUF message system, letting you know. A link in that message will take you to the new HD Photo Settings page, where you can either accept or decline our request to feature your image in that month's Portfolio.

HD Photo Settings

You can reach the HD Photo Settings page at any time, by selecting Photo Organiser from the menus, and clicking the HD Photos button.

Besides accepting or declining a request to feature your image in the HD Portfolio, the new page has some other options. If you think a photo, while high resolution, isn't good enough to show on your profile, you can tick to hide it from your personal HD photos collection. It will still be visible in the standard gallery, unless you choose to delete it completely.

You can also help BLUF build an image library, by ticking a box to give us permission to use your photo on event posters. When you do this, your photo will be added to a selection that we can browse when we're creating posters, but we will still always ask you to confirm you're happy, before using your picture on a poster. So, if you fancy being a poster boy, please upload some photos and tick the box.

The final option on the HD Photo Settings page lets you pick the photographer for an image. As I mentioned, the professional photographers are an important part of the fetish scene, and I believe that they should be given proper credit for the images they take.

So, you'll see a drop down list featuring some well known photographers. Just pick the person who took each of your photos, and they'll be properly credited whenever it's shown in one of our HD galleries. If the photographer isn't there, let us know, and they can be added to the list.

The BLUF Portfolio

The final part of the jigsaw, for now, is the BLUF Portfolio, which comprises two parts. Firstly, both members and non-members are now able to view our listing of photographers, which you'll find on the site's Info menu. We start with around twenty, and hope that will grow, enabling members to find someone who can take great shots for them, around the world. Many of the listings include a small portfolio of images from the photographer.

Secondly, BLUF members will also be able to view images on the site that have been taken by the photographers in our list, via a member images portfolio. When you're looking at the HD photos on a profile, you'll be able to jump to the photographer's details, too.

I hope that, together, all these changes will encourage more people to support some great fetish photographers, and BLUF members in particular to upload more brilliant HD photos to the site.

FAQ

I uploaded a high res photo, why isn't it in my gallery?

Unless the photo is at least 1080 pixels in either direction, it won't display in the gallery (so, a photo that is 1024x768 doesn't count as HD). It will, however, still be stored on the BLUF server at the original size, so you can download it again if you lose it

Can I upload HD photos from BLUF apps?

Yes. The latest versions of BLUF Messenger for Android and BLUF Desktop Messenger allow you to upload high resolution photos. Just upload them in the normal way. Both accept PNG as well as JPG images. In Desktop Messenger, make sure you choose the HD Photos option on the upload screen.

Can people steal my HD photos?

It's impossible to guarantee that no one will be able to copy a photo that's displayed on a computer screen. But we do watermark all images we display (unless you ask us not to, via the Preferences page), and make it as tricky as we can for people to save images on BLUF. We don't display HD photos in BLUF apps, at the moment.

Can I replace old photos with HD versions?

Yes. Simply upload the pictures again, using the high quality files, and then when they're approved, use the Photo Organiser page to delete the small versions. On that page, we mark which photos are in HD, so you can make sure you don't delete the wrong ones.

Why don't my photos appear in the member Portfolio for a photographer?

Your profile photos will only appear in the portfolio if you've used the HD Photo Settings page to set the photographer for each one.

Why isn't my favourite photographer listed?

We're happy to list professional photographers, and amateurs who take photos of lots of BLUF members, eg at events. Just send us the details and let us know if you want your entry to be visible to everyone, or just to BLUF members.

I'm a photographer. How do I get on the list?

See the previous answer; contact us by email, with the details you want on your entry, and we'll set it up for you. It is, and will remain, completely free.

How do I download my photos from BLUF?

Go to the Photo Organiser page, and in the panel on the right you'll see two options. Click Download your photos to see them all on one page, where you can right click and save them, or drag them to the desktop. Or click the ZIP link to download them all in a zip file. The zip will also include a text file that allows you to match the captions to the file names. Note that the files will not have the same name as when you uploaded them.

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