Picture quality is important if images are to be used to promote Remap’s work and also if others are to be able to build upon previous work. They are a most valuable contribution to the growing body of Remap knowledge and preserve your work and ideas so that others can benefit from them.
For the majority of Remap purposes, what matters most is the human story behind each Remap project. Invariably, some aspect of the client’s life is improved. It might be a simple daily task that is made easier, it might be some leisure activity they have longed to enjoy but haven’t been able to until Remap came along. Ideally, pictures ought to reflect the client’s pleasure in their new capabilities. Sometimes this is impossible – the client might not want attention drawn to whatever it is they had difficulties with and their wishes are paramount.
The key to success is variety of pictures. You should always aim, first of all, to get a picture of the client looking happy, without worrying whether your device is in the picture – a broad smile always makes a positive impression and attracts attention the reader’s attention. The importance of this cannot be overstated – what viewers of the material most need to know is that Remap makes people’s lives better – and the material they see must underline this. It is a key reason why the National Office prefer to use professional photographers for pictures to be used in publicity. They are skilled in making subjects feel relaxed. This enables the clients to move swiftly from feeling nervous about having photographs taken to a state where they can express visually the pleasure they feel in what the Remap panel has done to improve their lives.
Once you have taken these person-centred photos, by all means move to the pictures showing the device you have made. Ideally these pictures should show both the person and the device, but they can be separate. The important thing is variety. Getting lots of pictures can be tricky. It often seems intrusive, and embarrassing to request. It is useful in these circumstances to tell clients that photographs of projects are hugely helpful in explaining to others what Remap’s capabilities are and that if you take lots of pictures there are bound to be some which are really good, even though many will not be. The key thing from Remap’s point of view is to paint as broad a picture as possible of the benefits Remap has brought to the client’s life.
It is important to involve as many people as possible. If there is an OT or other health professional concerned with the case, it is very valuable to get a picture of that person – on their own and along with the client. It all adds to the versatility of the pictures.
If you believe the project is a particularly interesting one and you do not feel confident about taking photographs, do please contact Paula Allchin or Adam Rowe at the National office. They will be able to give you special advice, or even get a professional photographer to help you out. Good pictures of the work Remap panels do are really that important.
If pictures are to be used other than for Panel records and they include clients or other recognisable individuals, the subject’s permission to use the photographs must be obtained. This is extremely important. Remap cannot use a case study unless it is clear from the outset that the client, and their parents or carers where appropriate, are happy for the case to be publicised. A Remap form giving a broad consent to publicity can be found HERE.
Most film cameras other than “disposables” will produce prints adequate for this site. Ideally prints should be on the larger of the two sizes usually offered by processors (7 x 5″).
Most digital cameras should also be OK as long as the camera is capable of at least 1 megapixel resolution. For cameras below 2 megapixel sensor size set the camera to take pictures at its highest resolution and best quality (Usually called something like “Large” and “Fine”).
Cameras in mobile phones will possibly just about manage images for this web site but it doesn’t matter how many megapixels they claim – the lenses are usually simply inadequate and camera shake too obvious unless the light levels are very high.
Many digital cameras now produce large image sizes. These huge images are wasted on web sites where the effective resolution is that of the viewing screen, normally 96 Pixels (Dots per Inch (DPI)). Large images also eat up server storage space and make pages slow to appear for people looking at the site. Aim to have images with no more than about 800 pixels on their longest side unless it really does need to be bigger. Maximum file sizes should be 500k – 1MByte unless it is really necessary to have larger.
Software to resize large images includes (free) Irfan View
or “Free Photo Resizer” http://download.cnet.com/Free-Picture-Resize-Starter/3000-12511_4-10297789.html (If anyone has any other favourites please let me know)
Please take care when you are composing the photograph to look at the background. The human eye and brain are very good at filtering out what they don’t want to see when viewing a scene in 3D but much less good when it’s in a photograph. The swirling green and red Paisley carpet may be Mrs Smith’s pride and joy but doesn’t do anything for your picture of a wheelchair foot taken with carpet as a background.
Try to avoid background clutter which is distracting. Don’t be afraid to request that items should be temporarily repositioned to make for a picture which focuses on the important things.
The Rule of Thirds
When composing a picture a more pleasing effect is usually obtained if the subject is not placed in the centre of the image but at a point 1/3 of the frame from the edge. This can be from the top, bottom or sides. The point to place the subject is shown by the dots below at the intersection of the 1/3 lines.
In the photos above and below the subject is placed in the centre of the frame, a typical “snapshot”.
In this pair (above and below) the subject is moved to one of the “thirds” points. The result is better composition (although the model had nodded off while waiting for the picture to be taken).