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Photo posting on BF - ID, Gallery, Opus (1 Viewer)

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
I'm posting this here, although it's not about a specific ID. I wonder what others think, after this new format has been around for a while.

Today, I took a few nice pictures of Red-flanked Bluetail, and I thought I'd check if BF Opus and Gallery needed any more. But it's really difficult (compared to the old system) to see the Opus and Gallery photos.

When this new format came out, I complained that the whole photo posting system was a mess. Two things in particular were big negatives for me, and neither has been changed: the old thumbnail and five photos rule, and the opus direct link to the gallery.

1. The thumbnails in the Q&A section now are always squared-off sections of the posted photo and often include none of, or only a part of, the bird that is being queried. This seems to me to be as big a failure as the failure to give a location in a thread title. But posters have the alternative of posting full-size photos and as many as they like, so some posts have small thumbnails with no birds visible, while other posts have twenty massive photos where the bird may be only a small part of the photo and many photos are essentially the same. I (still) think this whole system is rubbish, and that the old system was much better.

2. Despite my comments in 1, I have answered a few questions under the new system. But sometimes I have wanted to post a link to the Opus on which some people have spent a huge amount of time. In the old days, the 'Search for photos of e.g. Red-flanked Bluetail in the BirdForum Gallery' would take you directly to all the photos of this bird that had been posted by members over the years and it would be easy to switch between these photos and to compare them. But this is no longer the case. You have to enter a new search term into a box; you have to go back and forth to get to another photo and so on. For me, Opus and Gallery have become mostly useless (a Google photo search is quicker and better).

I'd be interested to hear if it's just me. Maybe I've missed some easy way of doing what I want to do.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I am still hopeful that the link from Opus to Gallery can be brought to work again, but I do not know for sure.

One hint for searching the gallery now: If you are trying to search for two words such as a common name or scientific name, surround what you are searching for with double quotes. As an example, don't search for Red-flanked Bluetail as it is shown here but search for "Red-flanked Bluetail" or for "Tarsiger cyanurus" including the quotation marks. In the old version of the gallery it was almost impossible to search for common magpie and get only this species, but now "Pica pica" will find those images where the scientific name is included.

Niels
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
I am still hopeful that the link from Opus to Gallery can be brought to work again, but I do not know for sure.

One hint for searching the gallery now: If you are trying to search for two words such as a common name or scientific name, surround what you are searching for with double quotes. As an example, don't search for Red-flanked Bluetail as it is shown here but search for "Red-flanked Bluetail" or for "Tarsiger cyanurus" including the quotation marks. In the old version of the gallery it was almost impossible to search for common magpie and get only this species, but now "Pica pica" will find those images where the scientific name is included.

Niels
Thanks Niels for explaining all this so well.

Ollie is working on the Searches using the Tags. So to find pictures it now relies on people making use of them.

The minimum that's needed in the Tags, is the scientific name, the common name and the location.

Of course, many more can be added (such as a national park) and they would be a bonus.
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
Thanks for the replies.

I know that some people find the new thumbnail / full-size photo system better, and I have adapted to it (though it still seems strange to me that the thumbnail is sometimes just a piece of sky or grass with no bird).

But when I used Opus, it was often when I had a juvenile or eclipse or dull female birds and wanted to check (before asking for help via a post). I would read the Opus page, and then look at the linked Gallery photos to see if I could find a match. Sometimes Opus alone gave the answer, but usually the Gallery was helpful too. The old direct link was useful. I hope it will come back.
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
What I do to see other birds that are the bird you are viewing in Opus is just copy the name of the bird as it appears on the top of the Opus page, then scroll down to the bottom of that page and click on the search for other link and then paste the name of the bird that you copied and then click on the search link and all the birds will appear.

Now if you don't know how to get to the Opus page for that bird, click on the scientific name next to the name of the bird and that will take you to the Opus page.
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
What I do to see other birds that are the bird you are viewing in Opus is just copy the name of the bird as it appears on the top of the Opus page, then scroll down to the bottom of that page and click on the search for other link and then paste the name of the bird that you copied and then click on the search link and all the birds will appear.

Now if you don't know how to get to the Opus page for that bird, click on the scientific name next to the name of the bird and that will take you to the Opus page.
Thanks. Pro tip! Much smoother. How stupid of me not to think of that.

I guess it's partly that, having used the old way for years so that it became automatic, then even a small change seems big.

As it happens, a couple of things that I thought didn't work - for me - when the new BF started, now do work. My recollection is that having searched and then looked at a photo in the Gallery, I had to search again to see another photo; now I can backpage with the mouse and get to the list of photos directly and choose to see another phots. And also, if I cmd-clicked to open a photo in a different tab (so I could open several photos each in its own tab and flick through to compare them easily) this didn't work (a photo opened in the same page, as is still the case for photos on the ID page). But now this works too. It might have been my browser settings and add-ons that caused these things, which is one reason for posting this, to see if others have the same experience (though I haven't changed them but these now work).

The new BF does have many advantages and improvements - for me, notably, that I can see the thread while writing a post, and that even if I backpage with my mouse, the partially written comment is preserved when I mouse back to the original page. Not having to re-type when I backpage without thinking (to see the photos, as we used to have to do) will save me a lot of time.

Or would have done if we were all free to travel and find new birds that we can't ID and need to ask about, so the forum is less quiet. Let's hope we can do this sooner rather than later.

Best wishes to all reading.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
The mechanism for search KC stated works -- but as I said above would be improved if you surround the words you copied with quotes. Sometimes it might be better to use the common name and sometimes the scientific name from the top of the opus page, which of them depends on whether any of them have changed recently.

I assume the Cmd-click is similar to me doing right-click or CTRL-click on a windows machine: it works if you click the title of the image but not if you click the thumbnail of the image in the list.

Niels
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
I assume the Cmd-click is similar to me doing right-click or CTRL-click on a windows machine: it works if you click the title of the image but not if you click the thumbnail of the image in the list.

Niels
Niels Larsen, you are a genius!

My browser (Firefox on a Mac) is set to open any cmd+linkclick in a new tab and then to move to the tab. This used to work fine on photos in BF threads but no longer does (though it still works on everything else). So it never occurred to me to try something else, since I thought they were the same thing.

But if I right-click on BF ID thread photos (which on an Apple 'Magic Mouse' is essentiallly a right touch and very simple) and choose 'Open in new tab' (the first choice, by luck), then it works! The photo on the ID thread opens in a new tab, and stays there, and I can open several and do what I used to do (click between them easily to compare). I'm very glad I posted this thread!

Incidentally, 'drag and drop' to the desktop used to copy photos to the desktop where you could lighten them, or zoom in, or whatever, to help with a reply. This also stopped working, so I had resorted to using a screengrab to do this, which needed a series of clicks. But right-click + 'Save Image As...' on the opened photo (not a thumbnail), saves a copy to the desktop (if that's where you've set as the default).

Banzai! as we say here when things go right.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Thanks for the replies.

I know that some people find the new thumbnail / full-size photo system better, and I have adapted to it (though it still seems strange to me that the thumbnail is sometimes just a piece of sky or grass with no bird).

But when I used Opus, it was often when I had a juvenile or eclipse or dull female birds and wanted to check (before asking for help via a post). I would read the Opus page, and then look at the linked Gallery photos to see if I could find a match. Sometimes Opus alone gave the answer, but usually the Gallery was helpful too. The old direct link was useful. I hope it will come back.
There is a rather new development: the search terms chosen by the editors now are placed into the search field automatically. There has been some other changes so not all of those work well yet - if you see one that should find images but do not, alert us in the Opus discussion area https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/6...12.420462962.1614472571-1598864267.1582678996

Niels
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
The search works differently now, from the old system.

It picks up pictures from information in the Tags, so the scientific name should be included, along with the common name and the location would help too (if you're only looking for birds in China, you might not want to look at ones in India for instance).

These tags also allow another way to search, as by clicking on the scientific name, you'll get all the similarly tagged images that are in the Gallery.

Hope this helps you too.
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
Hi Delia, Neils, and others.

I'm afraid I still find Opus and Gallery less useful than before.

Also, I have noticed that the new format allows the posting of beautiful thumbnails (or full-size photos if you prefer, though I think these are anti-social since they ignore bandwidth issues or download volume issues that people may have (especially in certain countries)), all the thumbnails for the entire existence of Bird Forum have been translated to the square, fuzzy, sometimes-the-bird-is-not-even-in-the -thumbnail thumbnails, which is a massive degrading of the site (since if you don't open the thumbnails you can't see much, whereas before you could often judge whether you were likely to be able to help just from looking at the thumbnail.

I don't see why a competent coder couldn't make all these new fuzzy and mostly useless thumbnails appear automatically as the pretty thumbnails which are available in the new BF format.

I attach examples of the same photo from a couple of days ago, once with the new BF proper thumbnail view, and once with the (in my opinion) duff thumbnail view (the one with the photo title and just a square blurr) which is now what appears for every single photo that has ever been posted to BF ID prior to the new format.

I explained in another thread, but few seem to have understood (it just requires two extra clicks).

210225044B Heijokyo.jpg
 

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foresttwitcher

Virtually unknown member
United Kingdom
Hi Mac, this is probably not going to help you much but is it an issue with your browser or the device you are viewing the thumbnails on as both of your attachments appear fine for me. The first is a bit more rectangular and the second square with the title along the lower edge but the size of the bird and image quality is the same in both, as thumbnails and when clicked.
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
Hi Mac, this is probably not going to help you much but is it an issue with your browser or the device you are viewing the thumbnails on as both of your attachments appear fine for me. The first is a bit more rectangular and the second square with the title along the lower edge but the size of the bird and image quality is the same in both, as thumbnails and when clicked.
Hi Pete: I think you are missing the point. It's nothing at all to do with what browser you are using or the OS or the device.

If you use the new BF system correctly and chose 'insert > thumbnail' then you get a thumbnail which is a reduced-size version of the full picture which has been posted which is what my rectangular thumbnail shows. But if you fail to choose either 'insert > thumbnail' or the alternative 'insert > full-size' then you get these square 'thumbnails' which are actually a crop of the full photo posted, and therefore sometimes fail to include the bird at all. The example in my previous post didn't show this well, but I have attached another example which shows this better.

The square thumbnails are actually just to let you know which photos you have uploaded - which is why they include the title. In theory you are supposed to click on the insert button at the top left of the square thumbnail, choose which photos you want to actually want to put into your post, and then choose 'thumbnail' or 'full-size'. I think the fact that the 'uploaded' thumbnails are included by default if you fail to select 'insert' for any photo you have uploaded is a defect of coding (that is, I don't think the coders themselves really wanted this to happen, otherwise they could have made the full-photo thumbnails the default). And the fact that all the thumbnails ever posted on Bird Forum have now defaulted to this seems to me a defect. And I don't see why it would be so difficult to re-code so that the thumbnails of the full photo was the default.

210216A Mandarins.jpg
 

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MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
I was not missing the point at all but simply pointing out that the examples you first posted did nothing to help make your case - which the more recent ones of course do very well.
Apologies; didn't mean to be snippy.

I don't understand why Bird Forum hasn't made more effort to explain and promote the new method. And I still think it shouldn't be too difficult to code so that historical threads show the full thumbnails as they used to, and not these little squares.
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
And this problem isn't just with photos where the important bird is on the edge of the photo, but also photos where the bird fills the whole frame.

210116001A Nara Ponds.jpg
 

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