Observation 11587: Agaricales sensu lato

When: 2008-09-25

Collection location: Forest near Elgin St., Pembroke, Ontario, Canada [Click for map]

Who: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)

No specimen available

This little grey mushroom was in sandy soil, already knocked over when I found it. I actually flipped it back upright to get the photo of the cap’s top.

A useful tip with this site: you can make your observations of small specimens like this have more detailed and interesting thumbnails by making the first image you add be a thumbnail of your own construction. The site uses, or at least seems to prefer, 160×120 thumbnails. Copy one of your better images of the mushroom and crop it to a 4:3-proportioned rectangle just framing the mushroom, or even just its cap, and downsample this cropped copy to 160×120. Use that as the first photo you upload or attach to your observation, and the observation thumbnail will be exactly the same size and appearance as the one you created. (If there’s really nothing very interesting in the scenery, you might also just crop the original photo to a 4:3 rectangle framing the entire mushroom and use that as the first image.) Oh, and reusing a lower-numbered image on your observation will put it ahead of your thumbnail in the image list shown for the observation but will not displace it as the observation’s own thumbnail. (Changing an observation’s thumbnail seems to require removing all of its images (note down their numbers!) and then adding them back (with “reuse image”, preferably, to save bandwidth, hence the need to note down their numbers) in a different order, with the desired thumbnail first.)

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Add Comment
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2011-05-19 02:01:26 CDT (-0500)

you read it wrong. Sort of. If you have only a wide-field image (e.g. of a polypore way up a tree, taken from the ground, or a mushroom seen through nettles you don’t want to try wading through to get closer), and you use that as the first image in the observation, the observation thumbnail ends up being a speck of mushroom surrounded mostly by non-mushroom image area.

If you make a cropped copy and use that as the first image, the cropped copy has no more detail as a full sized image. Obviously. But the thumbnail may have the mushroom filling most of the frame. The mushroom will appear more detailed in the thumbnail in that instance.

I do try to get a good closeup, these days, of each specimen. The older observations used a crummier camera that was poor at close-in focus, and I lacked a tripod then, which limited the range of photos I could take.

a matter of opinion
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-05-18 18:12:56 CDT (-0500)

really. i disagree with your advice. and only your methods were referenced, not your person.

I read the first sentence as equating cropping with adding detail, which is wrong. i see what you’re getting at by trying to make the thumbnail the most diagnostic image, but I believe it’s better accomplished with a photograph which renders equally well at all resolutions. doing as you’ve suggested makes for an image which functions as a thumbnail and only a thumbnail.

No, not wrong.
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2011-05-18 04:41:16 CDT (-0500)

And I’ll thank you not to insult me.

The advice given was to make the thumbnail more detailed, not the image itself, in cases where you don’t have a better closeup for whatever reason. More is discernible to someone looking at a list of observations that way.

By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-05-17 20:43:03 CDT (-0500)

a smaller image does not mean more detail. what you crop, and therefore render more visible in thumbnail view, is just as easily visible by viewing the original image at its full resolution. instead of cropping a poorly composed image, take a picture which clearly portrays both subject and setting.