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Thread: Fight over pet images...

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Fight over pet images...

    I just had a big fight with my spouse over, of all things pet pictures. She is having a website designed and wanted to place images of our rescue dogs on the site.... She admits that good pictures of dogs are essential in getting people to contact us!

    First, I asked the web designer what size pictures he would be using so I could provide the images in that size. He never got back to me...

    Secondly I suggested that we paste the images on the website from smugmug. He said that was not the way to do that... O.K., I thought, "He knows best, I'll go along with that!"

    When I saw the images on the tentative website, I was aghast. They really looked bad. The web designer said that he had to resize the images, "and naturally you lose quality when you do that!" That angered me because I had offered to provide good quality imagery in any size he needed.

    My wife said to me. I don't want you to gripe to him about the pictures! It really doesn't matter what the images look like... I countered with "If it doesn't matter what the images look like, then you shoot the darn things yourself!" Perhaps I used a stronger term than "darn"! However, if she is going to tell her friends that "My husband is a photographer." and then show them a website with inferior imagery, it certainly MATTERS A LOT TO ME!

    One image that she has on the website is this one...

    Fight over pet images...

    I think that this is a pretty decent shot and it bothers me when I see an oversharpened, noisy and muddy variation that will be attributed to my skills as a photographer.

    Maybe, I am angry because the web designer just went his own way and did not accept input from me and resulted with an inferior product. She says that I am being unreasonable but, I do care about my pictures. In reality, I probably care more about what kind of a photographer people consider me. This is probably my vanity that is talking. However, Maltese are really supposed to be white, not gray and muddy.

    Unfortunately, the website is not online yet so I can't give a side by side example of the original and the website quality.

    I am sorry if I am venting off... But, I really have nowhere else to vent! I promise everyone... No more griping!
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 21st July 2010 at 05:44 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: Fight over pet images...

    College professors - what do they know! (academia smilie)

  3. #3

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    Re: Fight over pet images...

    I know how you feel

    The term "It's hard to soar like an eagle when surrounded by turkeys comes to mind"

    One could argue that as the creative rights holder, you get to set the terms ... so if they don't process the images the way you want then they can't use them. From what you've said though, it should be as simple as the designer telling you the pixels dimensions he needs, and you providing the images to that specification. Too easy. Less work for them - less expense for you - better quality all round.

    I know it sounds petty to them, but wanting your images - but on their terms - when it's your pride and reputation at stake, just isn't a win / win; they win, but what's in it for you?

    PS: I might add that when you down-sample an image you lose potential detail and potential quality; that doesn't necessarily equate to a visible loss of quality though, and may very well equate to the opposite as it's better for us to have control over the down-sampling than to let a broswer or web designer loose on the job!

    Perhaps wait for the site to go up - see what size images are needed - prepare your own at that size - and then "attempt to persuade" / "demand" (delete as applicable) that yours be used.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 21st July 2010 at 06:26 AM.

  4. #4

    Re: Fight over pet images...

    Richard

    How important is it that you have a professionally designed and built website? Did you consider doing your own via one of the many systems that are available for computer amateurs? I did my own site through Clickpic, as many photographers do. Just a thought.

  5. #5
    Klickit's Avatar
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    Re: Fight over pet images...

    I can well understand you griping, Richard. I'd gripe too, if it were me. Getting someone who already has a fixed opinion about something to change their mind is always tricky. But, he no doubt is proud of his work and likes it to reflect his abilities, so he should be able to understand that you are equally proud of your work for the same reasons. If you can get him to that stage, you could then offer to send him your resized images to use. Best of luck anyway and do get back with the outcome.

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Fight over pet images...

    Hi Richard,

    I can certainly sympathise with your predicament.

    However, it sounds like the web designer may not even be aware of how seriously you take photography (nor your spouse for that matter!).

    I would be tempted to drop a polite e-mail to the web designer enlightening him that just as they are a serious web designer and wouldn't want an unfinished, 'proof' site exposed to the world, neither do you want less than ideally down-sized images showcasing your work. Try not to make it sound like you are threatening to expose the site though, that's not what I am suggesting for a minute - I am just trying to give him an analogy they can relate to easily. Since I guess you now know what size he is using, perhaps include some resized and resharpened images to replace those he's used so far, and point out it'll make the site look better!

    On the 'analogy' theme, perhaps have a similar, less heated, discussion with your 'better half' and, since it concerns rescue dogs, discuss how she wouldn't want images of cowering, or even slightly sad looking, dogs displayed, as that wouldn't promote a good view of your joint work together with the dogs. Say how it is the same with your pictures; even a hint of low quality isn't acceptable, not after the work that goes into them.

    It is easy for me to say (not being emotionally involved); but try to remember that losing one's temper also loses the argument.

    Disclaimer: please don't follow my advice if you think it'll make things worse though.

    Hope that helps,

  7. #7
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    Re: Fight over pet images...

    I have to agree with Dave on doing some of the work yourself. You can examine the pictures with a copy of KUSO and get the sizes and such from there. Modifying the page is easy with any one of several programs available, if you have the proper url and password to get access to the site. Even PhotoShop has a website function built in.

    Publishing is not hard. Designing the original is where the skill comes in. A little research in the very basics of HTML and you can do the maintenance yourself. Make sure you have the url and passwords, as you own the site.

    Pops

  8. #8
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Fight over pet images...

    Can you negotiate a link on the website?

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    Re: Fight over pet images...

    Richard , perhaps your wife doesn't want to rock the boat with the designer. You might have caused her a fair amount of stress by suggesting that she talk to him about the quality of his work and maybe, just maybe, she over-reacted a little bit from sheer anxiety. If she is not used to hiring designers, critiquing their work, negotiating etc, it would be reasonable for her to feel that way. You're her hubby; you're a safe sparring partner I'll bet that if you calmly broach the topic again and explain how you want the site to reflect the quality of your work and the quality of the care you have given the dogs, she will listen because she loves the pups, too. Personally, I would not seriously consider a site with shoddy graphics or text. Your little dogs deserve nothing but the best.

    Now, I could be totally off the mark, too. As Dave said, Disclaimer: Please don't follow my advice if you think it will make things worse!

    Myra

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    Re: Fight over pet images...

    Hmmm ... Richard has been very quiet ... I hope SWMBO hasn't taken away his computer privilages!

  11. #11
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Fight over pet images...

    The website is online. I have given up the image fight. It's just not worth the hassle that it causes us...

    It's not a bad site really. It gives all the information we want to give despite the muddy imagery.

    http://julemaltese.com/

    As soon as we get total control of the website - I will start tweaking my images to look better. It seems that I should use lighter and more contrasty images to show up better on the site,

    We have been working hard with our five litters of Maltese puppies plus trying to socialize three adult females who have never before experienced much human contact and are very fearful, plus one Maltese mother who was really too young to have puppies. She's not the greatest mom in the world which takes extra work on our park to keep the puppies clean and well fed.

    Plus, we have upgraded our computer systems and I have installed Photoshop Elements 8 as my editing program.

    Additionally, I am getting my extra photo gear ready to sell at a giant used camera market on Sunday. Plus I am getting my fishing gear ready for an overnight fishing trip to Ensenada, in Mexico's Baja California. I sure hope we are not attacked by a drug syndicate.

    Anyway, four Maltese have been adopted (which leaves 17 to go) and our computer growing pains will soon be over and I can get back to photography.

    Oh! Oh! The dogs are telling me that it is time to eat.

  12. #12
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Fight over pet images...

    Richard

    The images are not at all bad on the site. Yes, I'm sure you can improve them once you get some control, but given the overwhelming majority of site visitors are not going to be as critical as us lot on here, the images do what they need to do for the purposes of the site - engage people and draw attention to the accompanying textual information.

    In fact, all concerned should be noting that your images make the site. They give it the visual 'bang' that's required.

    Well done.

  13. #13

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    Re: Fight over pet images...

    I agree with Donald 100%. People are used to seeing non-art-resolution images on web sites. It's a left-over from the days when lots of people had low bandwidth. The images will make people smile because of the composition and sympathetic poses. I'm sure you'll make them even better when your changes make the eyes jump out at the viewer, for example, but they're already a positive draw.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  14. #14
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    Re: Fight over pet images...

    I took a look at the web site and, as a web site developer, the presentation looks rather unsophisticated. The center light blue back grounded content area is too narrow for the yellow Dog Bone patterned background where it is obvious that the texture repeats, poorly. Note that I keep my browser maximized to the full 1280 x 1024 screen. PHP or Javascript could have easily adjusted the presentation to fit the browser's window size. Regarding the forms handling, I know the Adoption Application asks for a lot of information, understandable, but I would have broken it down into multiple pages with a better and cleaner layout.

    I see by the tag <meta name="generator" content="WordPress 3.0" /> plus the logo at the bottom of every page that WordPress was used. Nothing wrong specifically there, but I tend to prefer hand coded HTML since it provides a greater level of control both in presentation and performance.

    I also see what you mean regarding the quality of the photography. There is no reason for the photos to be so small. I also feel there should be more photos and potentially videos to "show off" each Dog. Remember, this site is to help people fall in love and adopt a Dog needing a good home.

    I have no idea if it was due to development costs, but I would expect that the photography should be given a very high priority and such a site should provide a slide show to let site visitors see the Dogs needing homes. When they see the Dog they fall in love with, a link should be immediately available to the Adoption Application with the fields regarding the specific Dog already completed. I do not know what facilities the site developer put into place to add and remove Dogs featured on the site, but it should be an easy administrative function with no coding necessary. A server with php and a MySQL database with a page to add and remove Dogs would be easy to set up. I agree with you, having the photos all served by smugmug means even less overhead on your web server. The database would just need to store the reference to the image and PHP can easily assemble a page or multiple pages. Even a Javascript based slide show would allow dynamic content and the currently available Dogs easily being included with no coding necessary as part of day to day site administration.

    I'd say that you have every right in the world to be pi**ed over the results. Rock the boat and get your money's worth.

    Just to show my level of proficiency, here is the link to my engineering, electronics, software, and web development site:

    http://www.kitsune-eng.com/

    and I explicitly state my photographic skills as relating to the professional services I provide and I allow people access to view my photography that I have available for sale.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 27th July 2010 at 11:31 PM.

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