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Do you value posts more when they include photos?

I ask because since I learned how to post photos here, I often take/include photos with my posts (both on home cooking and when posting about restaurants on my local board). Sadly, it's a major PITA. Downloading the photos, e-mailing each one so it compresses the size to less than 2 MB, then saving one by one individually to my hard drive, and finally uploading. Lately, I've delayed some of my posts because I don't feel like devoting the hour or so it takes to go through the whole process. I find myself wondering...does anybody care and find the photos valuable? When it comes to talking about food, is a picture really worth a thousand words? What do you think?

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  1. I LOVE the photos. Words are often biased and unconvincing, and links are time consuming. In this disinflationary environment, pictures are still worth 750 words.

    1. Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words. I wish more folks would post picts. It doesn't happen on the Home Cooking board so much, but when searching the internet for a recipe I'll bypass one with no picture and look for one with a picture. I know that's wrong, but that's just me. I want to see the finished product and preferably a few steps in between. However, I will say I'm a beginner cook (been seriously practicing for the last few years only) and perhaps those with more experience do not need picts.

      1. Boy, k-e, I hate to say it but I'm actually turned off by pictures. It's not the pictures themselves, it's my knowing that someone was sitting in that restaurant going snap, snap, snap. And most of the pictures - I'm NOT talking about yours :) - arent even that good. I'd much rather have a written description of the dish. I've had plenty of things that LOOKED good but didnt taste nearly as good as they looked. So at the best, the pictures are a non-event for me. But I'm a weirdo, right?

        2 Replies
        1. re: c oliver

          "I hate to say it but I'm actually turned off by pictures. It's not the pictures themselves, it's my knowing that someone was sitting in that restaurant going snap, snap, snap."

          Assuming the photographer isn't using a flash I don't see why it would be a problem.

          1. re: Bob Martinez

            Gotta say, I'm right there with you, Bob. I don't use flash and many times am quietly sitting in a booth or at our table trying to be as discreet as possible...kinda like a phantom diner. :)

            We recently went to lunch at one of my very favorite places--my mom and I and a friend of hers and her daughter. It's a place I've visited many times and loved and in past visits, we just took photos of EACH OTHER (not the food) as it's a lovely setting. I wasn't sure if everyone else at the table would be into "the picture show" so I asked if they minded. Do you know what they said, "Oh, no! We'd like to document it!" and we had a very lovely meal, too. I posted about it last night on the New England board (Sharpe Hill Vineyard).

        2. I just resize all the photos in one go in Microsoft Office Picture Manager and save them with one click of the mouse before uploading. Takes up a lot less room on my hard drive as well.

          And, I do enjoy seeing photos on the Home Cooking board, but agree with c oliver - I'm not a fan of people taking a zillion photos of food in restaurants.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MMRuth

            I'd just had that thought. For Home Cooking I DO like it. Perhaps because it can be "staged" with bright enough light and camera angles so you can really tell something about the dish. Not trying to "suck up" to you, MMR, but yours have always been the best :) I chuckled when you wrote once that your husband knows dinner isn't served until he sees the flash :)

          2. The picture upload issue can be painful; I usually just post a link to my photo site.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Caralien

              I'm just wondering - what is painful about it? I do it all the time and it usually is very easy and quick.

              1. re: MMRuth

                For me, I have about a 70% success rate uploading pictures. Others, and myself have not been able to upload some pictures for unexplained reasons. The moderators once said this to me: "Sorry, we wish we could explain what's up with the photo uploading, but we don't know either. It's something Engineering will have to address eventually, but unfortunately, right now, it's fairly flaky." The issues remain and there is not a good FAQ for photo uploading.
                I am a photographer and somewhat a perfectionist. I always spend time editing and adjusting my shots before I upload them. It is frustrating when one out of four don't load and when I have no issues uploading to any other sites.
                Simpler is better and some people don't have any issues because they shoot in jpg format and it goes up without change. There should be a place for more exotic jpg formats on this site and it should not reject them because there is extra info tagging along. BTW, I've never been given any clarification as to what jpg formats are preferred and my experiments have been rather fruitless.

                1. re: Scargod

                  Near as I can tell, anything with an embedded colour profile will be rejected. I don't know anything about other kinds of .jpgs, but I suspect that if they're anything other than bog-ordinary, it won't be accepted.

                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                    I may have mispoke slightly. Rather than a specific "jpg format" I meant "Color Profile". In Adobe app's you have a number of choices. I have gone to Lightroom for exporting because it was typically reliable (compared to Photoshop), when uploading to Chowhound. I still have the option of three color spaces: sRGB, AdobeRGB (1998) and ProPhoto RGB. AdobeRGB (1998) being the oldest.

                    "Many JPEG files embed an ICC color profile (color space). Commonly used color profiles include sRGB and Adobe RGB. Because these color spaces use a non-linear transformation and many applications are not able to deal with JPEG color profiles and simply ignore them." I am paraphrasing Wikipedia info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPEG#Der...

                    Seems like the application that you ("Chowhound"), are using simply ignores (or rejects), some of my jpgs. How it picks and chooses which one to reject is beyond me, because it seems inconsistent. Just recently bigfellow could not upload a picture, where he has uploaded many in the past. We are not isolated cases!
                    My guess is "you" are using a antiquated or non-conventional app. Whatever the case it is super-irritating to me. It is an impediment to adding pictures for me and others.

                  2. re: Scargod

                    By contrast, I'm not a photographer at all - only my cooking and my dog! Maybe you could keep things simpler for the photos you want to load on to CH?

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      Your photos do come out really well. I'm impressed that you're not a photograper because your food looks mouthwatering. Mine never look as good as the actual food, the upload takes forever and usually doesn't upload, maybe it's the size of the photo.

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        I resize all my pix to 640x480; maybe that's the difference.

                        I also think Home Cooking photos have the advantage that you can get above the subject, move it around, change the ambient lighting.

                        I rarely look at non-HC photos. I did recently because Steve Timko of Reno was describing the plating of a Peruvian combo dish. They divided the plate into threes with fried yucca. Just had to take a look at that :)

                        I feel like I can tell more about a dish by reading about it than looking at it. I frequently ask for a menu to take with me if I think I want to post about it. Maybe it comes down to some brain thing where some people are happier looking at pix and some by reading.

                2. I think you know I generally, but not always, like to take pictures for a first time restaurant review. I like to showcase what they can do and who they are at least once. If I've taken pictures in a restaurant before I usually don't do it again.
                  Here's some things to consider:
                  If you dig on the internet you may find all you want to know about a restaurant, visually. Some have their own sites with staged, pretty pictures. Wouldn't you rather see the restaurant in action than it empty and perfect? Wouldn't you rather see Kattyeye's pics than their staged food? Pictures keep places honest.
                  If there's a problem, oddity or anomoly you won't see it elsewhere where they promote the restaurant, will you?
                  People post to sites like Chowhound and they end up in Google's Images for more to see.
                  Google Maps will often let you see the building front and neighborhood. Some end up looking scary in broad daylight. Why not show them here so people can get a "feel" for the neighborhood, since Chowhound moderators don't want you talking about the dangerous aspects of a neighborhood?
                  They add flavor and a visual reference for what you are describing, rather than you mentally guessing. Even if the pictures are perfect they tell a story.
                  It is another way to share the experience. Photos don't need to be elaborate, staged or time consuming. Most of mine are done with a good pocket-sized camera and I don't often use the flash. I try not to be annoying or intrusive. Usually it works the other way around.
                  I've only once been asked not to take certain pictures of food and that was by the owner who wanted the uniqueness of his chef's desserts to remain that way.