A Picture Of Amazon

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When you add a new product or bundle listing to Amazon's catalog, you need to submit an image of your product to Amazon. Amazon has a specific set of requirements that must be followed regarding your image. I listed the requirements that are shown on the “Images” tab from the “Add a Product” form.

Images must meet the following requirements:

  • Products must fill at least 85% of the image. Images must show only the product that is for sale, with few or no props and with no logos, watermarks, or inset images. Images may only contain text that is a part of the product.
  • Main images must have a pure white background, must be a photo (not a drawing), and must not contain excluded accessories.
  • Images must be at least 1000 pixels on the longest side and at least 500 pixels on the shortest side to be zoom-able.
  • JPEG is the preferred image format, but you also may use TIFF and GIF files.

Creating an image that meets these rules using Adobe Photoshop Elements isn't difficult and in this post, I'll show you the steps on how I quickly create my image files.

Take Your Picture
Taking a picture of your product is obviously the first step in creating your image. However, before I continue with this post, I want to point out that I'm not a professional photographer and I don't have a fancy (expensive) camera. I use either my Samsung WB350F camera or my iPhone camera to take the personal photos shown on this website and on Amazon.

Paintings

Through lots of trial and error, I found that following these two guidelines gives me a base photo to use for Amazon that requires very little time in editing. Coordinated universal time to cst.

1. Light up your product: You want your product to stand out and not be covered with shadows. I found that natural lighting (sunshine) works well. On sunny days, I put my object near a window and I can usually get a decent picture. However, on those dark rainy days, sometimes I'll drag out one of my lighting kits that I received for my birthday. They are the Fancierstudio Light Kit 3 Point Lighting Kit Fluorescent Lighting Kit Umbrella Kit DK3B and the G-Star PH-Studio-T1 Photography Photo Studio Lighting Kit. If you buy one, keep in mind that they do take up lots of space and you may not have a permanent location for them to always be setup.

2. Take the picture against a solid background color that does not contain any of the same colors of your product: To easily get your pure white background, you want a simple, uncluttered one-color background to start with. Don't take your picture in front of a bunch of objects of different colors. This will just make your editing job in Photoshop Elements harder. In the picture that I'm using in this post, I'm using the dark blue fabric that came with my G-Star lighting kit. But, I have used my walls, closet doors, sheets, table tops and white poster board as a backdrop. It doesn't really matter what you use for your backdrop since it's going to disappear from your picture anyway. You'll understand this guideline better when I demonstrate how to create a white background later in this post.

Now that you have a few guidelines to follow for taking your picture, let's get started with making sure the photo meets Amazon's image requirements. Below is the picture that I'll start with (since it was a dark and rainy day, I used my G-Star lighting kit):

Image Requirement
Products must fill at least 85% of the image. Images must show only the product that is for sale, with few or no props and with no logos, watermarks, or inset images. Images may only contain text that is a part of the product.

To meet the 85% requirement, open the image in Photoshop Elements editor and crop the photo. You do this by selecting Image -> Crop. Below is a screenshot of the cropped image in Photoshop Elements. You can see that there aren't any extra props, logos or text.

Image Requirement
Images must be at least 1000 pixels on the longest side and at least 500 pixels on the shortest side to be zoom-able.

To check the file size, select Image -> Resize -> File Size. A pop up box will show you the dimensions. You can see that this image meets the requirement. If the image is too small, I recommend adjusting the megapixel setting on your camera to a higher setting and then taking another picture. Even though you can resize the picture to a larger size in Photoshop Elements, you risk losing photo quality. Below is a picture of the Image Size dialog box. Notice that the pixel dimension is huge at 5.86 M. We will make it smaller later so that the image loads quickly.

Image Requirement
Main images must have a pure white background, must be a photo (not a drawing), and must not contain excluded accessories.

The Picture Of Amazon Forest

Now, we will create a pure white background by using the Magic Extractor. You get there by selecting Image -> Magic Extractor. Below is a screenshot of the Magic Extractor screen:

The way that the Magic Extractor works is that you tell Photoshop Elements which colors are the foreground (your main object) and which colors are your background. That is why having a solid color background with colors that don't match the same colors of your product is important. Once you tell the program which colors make up your foreground and background, the program will subtract out the background. If your foreground and background colors match, then you should still be able to do a white background but you'll just have to work harder for it.

To use the Magic Extractor, start by selecting the Foreground Brush tool (located at the upper left corner) and click on your foreground (product). The red dots show where you clicked. You can adjust the brush size and the dot color with the tool options located in the upper right corner. I usually go through and click on as many colors as I can.

Next select the Background Brush tool and click a few times on the background:

The next step is to hit the “OK” button and make the dark blue background disappear:

My amazon photos storage

To add in the white background, select Layer – > New Fill Layer -> Solid Color. When the “New Layer” box comes up, just press OK. You'll now go to the color picker screen where you can choose white:

Unfortunately, the white background is covering up the main picture.

To fix that, move the white layer so that it's underneath the main picture. You do this by changing the layer ordering. As you can see, my main picture is on the bottom.

I need to move it to the top by sliding it with my mouse pointer. Now, the main picture is on top:

Now, I have a white background!

Image Requirement
JPEG is the preferred image format, but you also may use TIFF and GIF files.

The final step is to save it as a JPEG. Since the image will be viewed online, I use the File -> Save for Web selection. This will save it as a JPEG file and also reduce your file size. Remember the 5.86M size earlier? The reason why I reduce the size is so that the image loads faster. In the screenshot below, you can see that the original picture was 7.82M and now it's 294.9K. You can also adjust the width and height in this screen too.

Now, I have my final image that meets all of Amazon's requirements:

I hope that this tutorial helps you create your image files for your product/bundle listings! If you want to learn more about Adobe Photoshop Elements, you can read about it here on Amazon. Keep in mind that the version shown on Amazon is Adobe Photoshop Elements 13. I am using Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 as I purchased my copy a long time ago. I wouldn't think that cropping, checking for image sizes, using the Magic Extractor and saving your files would be too different in the newer version but there is always that chance.

As always, please ask me any questions in the comment form below or you can ask me questions on my new Facebook page!

Photo Credits
Featured Image of Camera with White Background: © coloured photograph – Fotolia.com
Blog Post Images: Diana Poisson

If you found value in this blog post, please share it to help others. Thank you!

2018JPEG

Editor’s Note: This story is the first part in a series. Please read part 2, part 3, and part 4 for a more complete picture of Amazon deforestation.

The Amazon basin is exceptional. It spans at least 6 million square kilometers (2.3 million square miles), nearly twice the size of India. It is home to Earth’s largest rainforest, as well as the largest river for the volume of the flow and the size of the drainage basin.

The rainforest, which covers about 80 percent of the basin, is home to one-fifth of the world’s land species, including many found nowhere else in the world. It is also home to more than 30 million people, including hundreds of indigenous groups and several dozen uncontacted or isolated tribes.

The Amazon rainforest is also an enormous carbon sink—an area that draws down carbon from the atmosphere. It also pumps huge quantities of water into the air through a process called transpiration. Enough moisture rises out of the Amazon to supply vast “flying rivers” and about half of the rain that falls back down on the region, explained Thomas Lovejoy, a professor at George Mason University and a senior fellow at the UN Foundation for Science, Economics, and the Environment.

In spite of its vast size and clear significance to the planet, there is much about the Amazon that remains enigmatic because it is such a complex and challenging place to study. It is just as hard to manage. Surrounded by mountainous plateaus on most sides, much of the basin is remote and difficult to access. It covers about one-third of South America; it spans eight countries and many more state and tribal borders; and it features a mosaic of intersecting and overlapping ecosystems.

January 5, 2015JPEG

A Picture Of Amazon

The skies above the Amazon are almost always churning with clouds and storms, making the basin one of the most difficult places for scientists to map and monitor. The astronaut photograph above—taken while the International Space Station was over the Brazilian state of Tocantins—captures a common scene from the wet season. Vast pillars of moisture rise via convection and then spread outward into anvil clouds as they collide with the stratosphere. Even in the dry season, legions of cumulus “popcorn clouds” appear over forested areas, obscuring satellite views of the land surface, as in the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image below.

In the early years of the Landsat program (1970s), whole years would pass when the satellite could not collect any clear images of some parts of the basin. The curse of cloud cover long made it complicated for cartographers to define the edges of biomes and to categorize land cover or land use—tropical rainforests vs. savanna; primary vs. secondary rainforests, pasture vs. cropland, etc. It was even harder to track how these features changed over time and across the basin.

Show me a picture of amazon

But as satellite observations have accumulated over the decades, as computing and cartography techniques have advanced, and as new satellites have been flown, remote sensing scientists have found increasingly sophisticated ways to piece together maps and narratives that better explain the Amazon region.

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September 2, 2019JPEG

“What we see in the Amazon over the past four decades is extraordinary change,” said Matthew Hansen, a University of Maryland remote sensing scientist who specializes in mapping land cover and land use change. “We see major losses in both humid and dry forests; incredible expansions of pasture and agriculture; and clears shifts in land use driven by economic forces and the way land is managed. There is really nowhere else in the world that compares to the Amazon for the scale and scope of change.”

The map at the top of this page—a mosaic of cloud-free images collected by Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 in 2018—offers a clear view of the entire basin’s land surfaces. (If no cloud-free observations were available in 2018, imagery was taken from another recent year.) The false-color image (bands 5-4-3) incorporates observations of near-infrared and shortwave infrared light that accentuates key differences in vegetation, moisture levels, and other surface features.

The darkest green areas show where forest—mostly tropical humid rainforests—thrive and have not been severely changed or degraded by human activity. Lighter green areas in Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and southern and eastern Brazil are generally tropical savanna (called Cerrado in Brazil). These woodland-grassland ecosystems often have trees, but they are spaced widely enough that the canopy does not appear fully closed.

Although tropical savannas receive plenty of rain during the wet season, they typically have vegetation that can withstand the lengthy dry season as well. Since water strongly absorbs in the near-infrared, moist areas are accentuated in this map. Rivers and reservoirs appear navy blue. The brown areas are seasonally flooded wetlands, notably the Llanos de Moxos, a seasonably flooding savanna in Bolivia, and the Araguaia River floodplain in the Cerrado.

Areas strongly affected by human activity also stand out. Forest areas that were converted to pasture generally appear yellow. Savanna converted to cropland is generally pink, especially if fields are fallow or have exposed soil.

2018JPEG

“In a natural-color image without near-infrared, most of the forests and even some Cerrado areas to the southeast would end up having a similar green hue. A false-color image like this brings out variations,” explained Viviana Zalles, a researcher at the University of Maryland. “However, it is important to understand that the boundaries between biomes or land cover or land use classes on maps are not as neat and clean in real life.”

On the ground, ecosystems often fade gradually into each other, or there can be variations within a patch of land. “The key thing to remember is that the Amazon basin is an extremely diverse place,” said Zalles. “It includes the rainforest biome—Amazonia—as well as Cerrado. And Cerrado itself is a broad term. It can include dry forests, savannas, shrublands, all the way to grasslands with very few trees at all.”

In some cases, the nuances can be lost on a continental-scale map. For instance, land cleared for crops and pasture along a deforestation frontier in Rondônia (a state in Brazil) appears to be a fairly continuous yellow area on the continental map at the top of the page. However, as seen in the more detailed view above, the area—which shows development extending into a seasonally flooded savanna near the border with Bolivia—is really a mixture of clearly defined pastures, fields, and forested stream banks of differing green, pink, and brown shades.

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Amazon Photo Cloud

“The other thing that can be confusing about this part of the world is that different research groups use different systems when defining the boundaries of what they are studying,” Zalles said. “Some researchers, government agencies, and NGOs look at what’s happening in just one state or country. Others look at just one or two biomes. Others will look more broadly but still differ by focusing on just the Amazon basin or on the larger Amazonia biome or just the Brazilian Legal Amazon.' (The second designation includes rainforest areas north and east of the Amazon basin and excludes parts of the Andes Mountains; the last designation includes Cerrado areas in addition to rainforest.)

“Even getting basic numbers, like the area covered by rainforest in 2018 in South America, is not as easy as you might think,” Zalles said. “The numbers that are quoted by different groups and media conflict in confusing ways because of slight differences in the way people define ecosystems or where they put the focus of their analysis.”

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NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview, Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey and University of Maryland, and topographic data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). River data from the World Wildlife Fund HydroSHEDS Project. Amazon biome boundaries using data from Olson, DM, et al. (1998). Brazilian Amazon legal boundaries using data from Potter, C.S, et al. (2003). Astronaut photograph ISS042-E-215303 was acquired on January 30, 2015, with a Nikon D4 digital camera using an 98 millimeter lens and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. Story by Adam Voiland.