The TrueDelta site has not been friendly to the visually oriented. In other words, it has lacked photos of the cars it provides information about.
Well, I’m finally doing something about this. Beyond making the site prettier, photos should help those who haven’t a clue what the name of Kia’s minivan is (Sedona). Thumbnails will be attending the model selection pages in the near future.
Getting these photos hasn’t been easy. All of the manufacturers provide photographs for editorial purposes, but the quality of these photographs ranges widely, and the selection can be slim.
This is especially a problem because I’d like all of the shots to be as uniform as possible. I’d like the exterior shots to all be from the front quarter, showing enough of both the front end and the side so that both can be clearly perceived. Similarly, I’d like interior shots that display both the instrument panel and the adjoining door panel. The pages for the Chevrolet Corvette and the Honda S2000 are two cases where I found almost exactly what I was looking for.
Unfortunately in many cases the angle was wrong, or glare on the car obscured part of the design, or the raw image had been Photoshopped a bit much, and emerged from the process a cartoon. (Many of the shots I have selected use stock backgrounds. At least I’m pretty sure all of these cars weren’t flown to scenic vistas in the American Southwest.)
Sure, I’m tough to please. I want the shot to be attractive, but also realistic enough that the car is accurately portrayed.
And then there’s my least favorite problem: photos where the photographer tilted the camera in a lame attempt to make the car seem more exciting. I could find a decent shot of the Ford Focus for this reason. And the Kia Optima’s photo album is similarly afflicted. Sorry, but tilting the camera as you shoot the car motoring about in a suburban neighborhood doesn’t make the car look cool. It just makes the photo unusable for me.
Then I realized that the 3000×2000 resolution of Kia’s images might be put to good use. When I’d tried to rotate images earlier, I’d done so with relatively low res images. I’m just seeking 250×150-pixel final images, after all. And when rotated these, they became very jaggy, and thus unusable.
But just as I was fretting that Kia doesn’t provide medium-res images to view and save, and that its three-meg-plus images take forever to load, even on broadband, I realized that their high resolution might make rotation practical. And it did.
While I’m at it, I might as well confess to one other trick. In many cases the only remotely suitable image had the car pointed in the wrong direction. So I flipped it. Don’t pay too much attention to which side the steering wheel is on, and we’ll all be okay. (Luckily any writing on the cars isn’t legible at 250×150.)