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Bryan

UK Passport photo problems

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Apologies, this is way off topic, but maybe of interest to UK togs.

 

I had to renew our passports and used the online service. Despite following the detailed  guidance for the photos, I had difficulty in having the system accept my efforts. I sized the shots precisely in PS, and checked the dimensions using the ruler tool, they were well within tolerance,  but the automated check would not accept either shot. I eventually managed to get my photo through by changing the proportions of the image, but I couldn't manage it for my wife's photo, which, after I had altered the proportions, was rejected on the grounds of colour. Why this should be I have no idea, the photos were both taken using bounced flash against a white background, and I could not detect any colour cast. At this point I gave up and submitted the rejected photo despite warnings that it could result in delays or possible failure. There were no delays and both new passports arrived within a couple of weeks.

 

I used the online feedback to express my concerns about the system, but have not received any response.

 

From memory I don't think that the criteria include DPI, which I set at 300, maybe I should have submitted full resolution images?

 

 

 

 

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I took my new pix the other day (for a future renewal, so haven't submitted yet), but there was no requirement for resizing- you just submit a picture OOC (jpeg obviously) and they crop it. Don't know about colour.

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Thanks Mark, maybe I was trying to be too clever!

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23 minutes ago, Bryan said:

Thanks Mark, maybe I was trying to be too clever!

All done for 10 years then.

Who knows what our next passports will look like.

My first one was a camera-shop wipe-down Polaroid but I've taken my own since 1987, and printed them too till last time. No point opening up the darkroom and blowing a roll of HP5 and two sheets of 10x8 for two 2"x1.5"s. Shame though.

Edited by spacecadet

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5 hours ago, Bryan said:

Apologies, this is way off topic, but maybe of interest to UK togs.

 

I had to renew our passports and used the online service. Despite following the detailed  guidance for the photos, I had difficulty in having the system accept my efforts. I sized the shots precisely in PS, and checked the dimensions using the ruler tool, they were well within tolerance,  but the automated check would not accept either shot. I eventually managed to get my photo through by changing the proportions of the image, but I couldn't manage it for my wife's photo, which, after I had altered the proportions, was rejected on the grounds of colour. Why this should be I have no idea, the photos were both taken using bounced flash against a white background, and I could not detect any colour cast. At this point I gave up and submitted the rejected photo despite warnings that it could result in delays or possible failure. There were no delays and both new passports arrived within a couple of weeks.

 

I used the online feedback to express my concerns about the system, but have not received any response.

 

From memory I don't think that the criteria include DPI, which I set at 300, maybe I should have submitted full resolution images?

 

 

 

 

 

I had problems with this service too. My attempt failed on colour. In the end I made some adjustments in PS. Selected background and made perfectly neutral. Selected face and adjusted for correct skin tone and to increase contrast slightly relative to background. Resubmitted. No problem. They say you shouldn't edit the picture, but they don't seem to check the meta-data to see if it's been anywhere near PS... 

Edited by M.Chapman

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2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

All done for 10 years then.

Who knows what our next passports will look like.

My first one was a camera-shop wipe-down Polaroid but I've taken my own since 1987, and printed them too till last time. No point opening up the darkroom and blowing a roll of HP5 and two sheets of 10x8 for two 2"x1.5"s. Shame though.

My first one was 1961 and a self-portrait using a wobbly tripod, a camera with no self-timer, just a borrowed long squeezy bulb release.  Developed and printed myself in my, then, fairly basic darkroom. No problems at the passport office. I still have it somewhere. The passport I mean, not the wobbly tripod.

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I always have my passport photos taken in a local camera shop. It's quick, cheap and saves a lot of potential hassle.

 

In Canada we are now no longer permitted to smile or show any hint of emotion in passport photos. Apparently, the idea is to look as grim as possible. Looking at my most recent passport pic, I would be very hesitant to let this person into my country. ^_^

Edited by John Mitchell

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John, maybe they no longer want Canadians to look nice and polite. Or they want Canadians to look unhappy with something in this part of the world.

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20 minutes ago, Bill Kuta said:

John, maybe they no longer want Canadians to look nice and polite. Or they want Canadians to look unhappy with something in this part of the world.

 

As a nice Canadian, I hadn't thought of that.

 

Hang on. We ain't seen nothin' yet.

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I took my husband's then set mine up for him to press the shutter for mine.  I think there was a size recommendation and it took me a bit to get them just right. Like 2x3 inches, crop showing just head/hair/neck or something like that. I think there was a box they went into online and I could move the photo around in it. But I'd try to make a minute adjustment and the photo would jump more than I wanted and cut something off.  Very fiddly to get them just so, which caused me to enlarge the crop.

 

They went through ok. But that's US passports. They would have taken them at the Dept. of Motor vehicles for a fee. That saved fee bought me a few tropical beverages of the giggly kind in St. Croix, :wub:.

Betty

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Keeping in mind that I am in the U.S.  I have done my own and everyone in my family passport photos for years

and never had a problem.  My wife likes my retouching so much she tried to talk the department of Motor vehicles

into letting me take her drivers license photo, not allowed.....

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You guys might be out of luck in Canada. The requirements state the following:

 
"1. The photos must be taken in person by a commercial photographer."
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell

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20 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

You guys might be out of luck in Canada. The requirements state the following:

 
"1. The photos must be taken in person by a commercial photographer."
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

No problem. I'm a commercial photographer. So are we all.

Rather cumbersome regulations in this day and age, though.

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Sadly, all of these issues, sizing, smiling or not smiling etc, comes down to security.  What most people don't know or realize is that these passport photos, in most every advanced country, are used in facial recognition software by various security agencies.  For instance, smiling vs not smiling has a dramatic impact on facial recognition processes.  The U.S. and Canada are very strict about this.  A friend, and Canadian, was nearly ripping his hair out over getting a new passport through the mail.  He was living in the U.S. at the time.  I believe he had his application rejected more than four times due to the photo not being correct.  He wanted me to give it a try.  I happily rejected his pleas for help.  Just reading the instructions / guidelines gave me a headache.  :-)  

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Ah. I'm glad mine and hubby's went through without a hitch since they were home jobs.  All your friend had to do is go to the DMV and they would have done it to specifications. Or did he?  Not all DMVs take passport requests, but those that do, will shoot the photos. I was just stingy and didn't want to pay for that service. It was a bit of a pain, though. I definitely earned what I saved.

Betty

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For anyone using magiclantern on a Canon they have a passport photo overlay. Look through the viewfinder line up the outlines and shoot.

Easy as you like ;)

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2 hours ago, LawrensonPhoto said:

For anyone using magiclantern on a Canon they have a passport photo overlay. Look through the viewfinder line up the outlines and shoot.

Easy as you like ;)

That's no longer necessary for the Passport Office. They crop it themselves. In fact with the online service they positively don't want any attempt at cropping.

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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

That's no longer necessary for the Passport Office. They crop it themselves. In fact with the online service they positively don't want any attempt at cropping.

but surely they still need a head and shoulders shot?

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A shot including your head and shoulders, sure. But plenty of space around is fine and recommended.Like this.

https://www.passport.service.gov.uk/photo/photo-guide-space

Mine is even looser. I didn't even bother to make it portrait. Mainly because I was on self-timer though.

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Nope.

I used to have an oval mask for my Hasselblad finder to get heads the right size on a 5x5 print. In those days you could even cut one down from a family portrait. Ancient history.

Edited by spacecadet

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11 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Ah. I'm glad mine and hubby's went through without a hitch since they were home jobs.  All your friend had to do is go to the DMV and they would have done it to specifications. Or did he?  Not all DMVs take passport requests, but those that do, will shoot the photos. I was just stingy and didn't want to pay for that service. It was a bit of a pain, though. I definitely earned what I saved.

Betty

 

I don't think our DMV provided that service.  We went to our Post Office and had ours done to specifications (U.S.) with no problems.  He went to several "passport photos taken here" places then finally found a photographer that did it right, for Canada.  :-)  

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I had mine done about 4 years ago at the local drug store. Costs $10 and no problems.  I certainly wouldn't call the people working the cash who take the photos "commercial photographers" although supposedly they have had a course on how to take the photos.  You can't hide your ears either. Hair must be back behind them.

 

Jill

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UPS stores do it here. Dreadful lighting on my last one but it was just for a visa. I used to have a neighborhood photo store that did a nice job but they have been gone for a while. Everything except chain stores is disappearing in Greenwich Village.

 

Paulette

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I'm a bit surprised that we're the only ones with an online application process.

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