I use the following steps, which assumes that you are ready to Reply to a Topic, or Create a New one (just like you did with your original posting):
1. Scan a picture using your own scanner software. Scan as high a resolution as you want, but 1200 dpi is plenty. Try to scan just the area of interest.
2. Crop the picture, probably using the same scanner software. If not, you can crop later.
3. Save your picture on the desktop, so it is easier to find later.
4. Open the Free Image Optimizer software available as a link when you Reply to a topic. It should open as a new tab in your browser. If you can't find it, it is located here:https://www.stampcommunity.org/imag....asp#534,600
5. While in Free Image Optimizer, Browse to your file location (which is on your desktop, remember?), select it, then upload it.
6. If it uploads correctly, you will have two, side-by-side pictures of your stamp, that both look exactly the same.
7. Use all of the tools below your picture to make it look better. I just wish they had a rotate that would only do a few degrees, but beggars can't be choosers.
8. This is also where you can crop your picture, if you weren't successful earlier. Just select the crop icon above your picture, and draw a box around the area of interest. This is where you can really crop out all that unnecessary black space.
9. Be sure to press the Apply Changes button often to actually make the changes you have selected.
10. The final picture (the one on the left) must be 100kb or less. Sometimes mine are much less than 100kb, so I increase it by changing the image quality or size to make it bigger.
11. If you want to, go ahead and play with the image to see what you can do. Try to crop, make bigger, make smaller, change the image quality, etc.
12. The next step (after applying your changes) is to save the picture. I always save on my desktop so I can find it later. You will see a "download this image" icon for this purpose.
13. Press that icon, follow the instructions, and do a "Save" or "Save As" to put it where you want.
14. Lastly, go back to your post (in the other open tab), and Upload that image with the icon that says, "Upload Image". It should be just below where you are typing your question/answer.
15. Follow the instructions to browse to your location, Open, then Upload to your post. You can then close that pesky window.
16. Before posting your reply, I recommend previewing it to make sure everything looks good. (Many times I have gone back immediately and made a simple correction, but why not get it right the first time?)
Go ahead and play in the Testing area http://goscf.com/f/1
until you get it right.
Have fun and looking forward to your first picture.