... Sending Your Photos
If you are considering sending us pictures of your communicator prop, great! But you might wonder how best to do this... and what happens next. For starters, please know that we are flexible and sensitive to your needs and preferences. None of our policies are carved in stone. But just so that there is a place to start, here are a few preliminary thoughts and suggestions:
If you have a (potential) original prop:
1) By sending us photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, you are allowing us to both distribute them internally within our organization for review and to contact you privately with our thoughts and opinions. Please indicate up front in your first email that we are looking at a (potential) original. If we do conclude it to be authentic, we would like to make at least a few of your pictures public on our site to announce the good news, though we will dialog with you further before proceeding to that final step. However, if we decide we cannot add yours to our Master Tracking List, be assured that your name and photos will never be posted, allowing you to seek unfettered opinions elsewhere.
2) In the best case scenario (where we think yours is the real deal), this is going to be a two-step process, and the more you give us the more quick and certain we will be in our call - and the better we can defend the authenticity of your prop against naysayers. For your initial submission, we request nine photos that show off the key details we use to make a first rough call. Those photos are: 1) top straight down, open antenna 2) bottom straight down; 3) top front-left low angle, open antenna; 4) top back-right low angle, open antenna 5) top front-right low angle, closed antenna; 6) top left-back low angle, closed antenna; 7) control well details straight down; 8) bottom Velcro details low angle; and 9) antenna inside straight down. Samples of these nine ideal photos are shown below:
3) Please send photos as large (the raw mega-byte files right out of the camera, like this one) and clear as possible. Consider bracing the camera on a tripod or against a table surface or stack of books. Purely hand-held exposures often lack the necessary sharp clarity. To minimize lens "fish-eye" distortion, use the zoom fully to back the camera as far away as possible while still capturing the intended area. Using a flash is usually fine (though in some straight down angles it can wash out detail off shiny surfaces), as is also taking them in diffuse daylight. The brighter the ambient lighting, the shorter the shutter time and the crisper the image.
4) Should your prop open up by the removal of the four screws from the bottom shell, then also please include an inside photo of both top and bottom shells, showing off the inner surface texture of the plastic. If yours is a mechanized hero, then sending along some detail shots of the stopwatch and wind-up assembly would naturally be in order. Reading the brand of watch, found under the round protective cover (easily removable by two tiny screws), is also going to be invaluable to the confirmation process:
5) If we are leaning towards the affirmative from what we see in that initial batch of photos, we're going to then move into Round Two and ask you for additional shots, just to be sure and to learn of the tiny aspects of your prop. It is a very high bar we must clear to opine with full confidence a prop an original Wah, and with all the better information and replicas now out there, we need to take ever more care. We trust you can appreciate our caution and our efforts to get it right, both for our benefit and ours. Basically, every angle needs to be hit, which does add up to quite a few photos. Use the two following galleries as a guide. The four edge shots in the second grouping below on the right have the prop raised so that the midplate is at the same level as the camera lens, for a more revealing straight-on perspective:
5) If possible - providing the antenna swings far enough to lay the prop flat and open upside down - a flatbed scan or two at 600 dpi would also be a generous and valuable addition to this second batch of photos. Note... in scanning this original (Alpha, below and right), the aluminum midplate was leveled by raising the back end up on some small pieces of cardboard. This is preferable but not essential. The two scans done at right angles to each other helps us to eliminate the minimal optical distortion of the scanner in the axis perpendicular to the scan movement. An orange towel was draped over for optimal stark contrast with the black and silver parts (the same towel was used as a backdrop for the profile shots immediately above). The bottom shell can also be scanned in the same way.
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