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Photographing, documenting, and evaluating treatment results

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Photographing, documenting, and evaluating treatment results

Post  cdto2012 on Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:16 am

Hello,
    The reason I am starting this thread is for the following reasons. First new growth is often seen under a microscope and can take months to develop after a possible shed.  Even for my comparatively quick and camera friendly growth starting on page 4 of  "Detumescence really works." ;  there are many times that I look in different mirrors and cannot see any of the existing  new growth due to lighting and background colors. Imagine if a person stopped a working treatment just because the light was wrong ! Or if the reason that a some people report no results is due to not viewing with proper light and background ?
  Second will be some basic tips to encourage more people to use the camera and upload pictures.  Part of this effort is that the camera is very useful for seeing more clearly, and at magnification, than the human eye trying to view from a distance over a curved skull. I could see things with my cheap android camera that really helped with treatment decisions. Such things as hair quality at magnification, and how the skin was reacting to some treatments like dead skin areas.  Others may have useful ideas if they can see and recognize areas.
  Thirdly will be a few tips about viewing and evaluating  photos.  If you have never taken them, you may not understand the limitations. From a recent post "  you might think in the photos that if small hairs are not showing in the surrounding area there are none.  In my photos there are hairs growing in many other places; but the light, background,  camera focus, and angle has to be just right to see any of the early growth hairs.  "
Also I will include a post on how fake photos can be done and an example of a probably fake video series. I am a webdesigner and of course know photoshop well. I will have some interesting things to talk about manipulating photos. I am not covering to pull some kind of April fools stunt. My photos of growing hair are accurate and authentic.
   So I will follow up in separate posts with details. I am not a pro photographer and only have a cheap cell phone camera. This is kind of a " if I can do it, anybody can" orientated thread. The hope is that the forum will get much more useful as more people post photos. People need encouragement beyond general talk to get into action trying treatments that can benefit us all. Of course I invite others to add any ideas they have.


Last edited by cdto2012 on Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:45 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Photographing, documenting, and evaluating treatment results

Post  johndoe1225 on Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:11 am

This is very important yes, even if just for personal use to see if it's working, since most people are probably reluctant to post progress pictures on here lest they be accused of a massive government photoshop conspiracy

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Re: Photographing, documenting, and evaluating treatment results

Post  Folliwake on Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:19 am

I look forward to reading your advice. I actually think that it can be very difficult to ascertain hair growth improvements by comparing hair growth pictures that are one or two months apart. Hair takes time to grow and regrowth takes many months to achieve. The hair that we see on our head is invariably not the result of things that we have done in the past few days or weeks, but actually up to 6 months before, unless you have some adverse shock to your body like chemotherapy.

Don't forget to mention about trying to keep the same angles of the head and aspect ratios for good hair growth comparison pictures!


Last edited by Folliwake on Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:34 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Photographing, documenting, and evaluating treatment results

Post  Changexpert on Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:23 am

I feel this pain as well. I've been documenting my results, either good or bad, and it really is difficult to see progress or loss until 4-5 months later. Growth is definitely harder to keep track of than loss, especially when shedding is present. You might gain some ground in one spot, but losing more on the other part will compensate for it. I wonder why shedding never stops in many people. Without shedding, tracking hair growth would be just as easy as tracking hair loss. What the heck is the trick to stop shedding permanently? My shedding comes and goes so often that it drives me crazy.
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Re: Photographing, documenting, and evaluating treatment results

Post  Folliwake on Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:47 am

Changexpert wrote:I feel this pain as well. I've been documenting my results, either good or bad, and it really is difficult to see progress or loss until 4-5 months later. Growth is definitely harder to keep track of than loss, especially when shedding is present. You might gain some ground in one spot, but losing more on the other part will compensate for it. I wonder why shedding never stops in many people. Without shedding, tracking hair growth would be just as easy as tracking hair loss. What the heck is the trick to stop shedding permanently? My shedding comes and goes so often that it drives me crazy.

This is indeed very true because hair loss is part of hair growth, and this can make it difficult to make a proper evaluation of hair regrowth progress. For those who take regular pictures of their hair, I guess what most of us wonder is whether the hair that was shed came out because it was at the end of its natural growth cycle or if we somehow caused it to fall out, for example, by pulling on it or mishandling it. I try not to think about it any more lest it makes me get stressed out. Stress is not a friend of hair growth!

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Re: Photographing, documenting, and evaluating treatment results

Post  Changexpert on Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:03 pm

I can't believe people with hair loss have to go through shedding to see regrowth... This process alone is so grueling and demoralizing. The worst part is that nobody knows for sure (even yourself) if shedding is going to be beneficial or harmful in the long-term. The only way to figure out is to wait it out. Also, it's not like all hairs are shedded at once, then massive regrowth happens. Shedding happens differently for all parts of the scalp, so usually people are constantly shedding hair. Lastly, shedding may happen more than once, making this process even more horrendous. I really want to know/experience what a non-hair loss sufferers shed in a day.
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Re: Photographing, documenting, and evaluating treatment results

Post  cdto2012 on Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:15 pm

Hello, and glad that others are contributing. I think I will follow their lead and try to briefly continue with the challenges of documentation, then get into the basic technique.
First we are dealing with micron/millimeter measurements or hair count in a given area. Second is progress is measured/compensated against the loss that would have occurred over the treatment time- if there was no treatment given. Example I normally lose 30 hair per day but with the treatment now I only lose 10 hairs a day. When measuring thickness this is difficult to judge. Also if trying to document the hairline.. which hairs are new growth and which hairs are thin dying hairs ? Then finally is that most heads do not have many fixed landmarks to precisely track distances of progress.
The most obvious is for critics and skeptics to be understanding of these factors. Just be understanding of people posting photos and time will tell the long term results. Next is for photographers to do a bit of real measurements if possible - like 4 inches up from the ear and 3 inches from the eyebrows. This is so later pictures can be taken in the same place and angle.
For my personal documentation with DT I was fortunate to have growth in the middle of my temples. I focused my early photos there. It was an easy way to see the true growth far from the hairline.
As for shed before regrowth, here is my theory, although it is of limited application (as I cannot speak to all situations). I had some shed after stopping minoxidil years ago. During most of my different alternative treatments I did not have shed first, just fairly quick growth. I wonder if the shed is caused by side effects of the chemicals (natural or synthetic). For example what if the propylene glycol in minoxidil first caused/poisoned weak hairs to fall out. It is only after a few months that the intended effects of the active drug start causing regrowth. When I used DT I saw immediate growth with no shed, perhaps because I was not using any toxic/shocking chemicals with the treatments?
Just a side thought, as some people blame a treatment for shed ... but perhaps it is just the fallout that would have happened with no treatment, plus the stress of new "chemicals/nutrients" in the body. Even if you strengthen your immune system to try to regrow, your T lymphocyte might just attack your bacteria infested follicles with more force, first showing more shed. Perhaps stopping the bacteria/mites first might avoid a shed. My point is that is is not a "given" that shed has to happen before regrowth. Progress and treatment evaluation has a new context with a different perspective/theory on shed.
To make each post not too long I will get into the basics of photography and viewing. The most important thing is a (portable) mirror that can allow overhead lighting to highlight the small hairs. Search for this ideal location where the mirror can be placed down. The single light is usually overhead and behind, allowing for the small hairs to light up as the head is moved to see different areas. The background should be a dark color or just dark for contrast. I do like a cell phone camera because the LCD display can be seen in the mirror.** Turn off the flash.
Basically the camera will record what you see on the LCD in the mirror (after it focuses) or some phones have cameras on both sides. . I guess for close up's of the back of the head a partner would be needed. Do take general photos of all parts of the scalp for long term improvements. I took video also.
The hairs are best seen if they are slightly wet or oiled and finger brushed to stand up. This helps the camera to focus on the hairs. Then hold the camera steady and wait for the click. I take about 20 and only use 2-4 every time. I must upload them to my laptop to see the quality. Of course the same angle and lighting over time are useful.
On the laptop you will get your reward. You can really see magnified images and with "Windows photo viewer" you can zoom in. Also this standard program will resave images if you rotate them upright. These photos might surprise you how useful they are to see details. Other posters have said things like... the camera captures the real details of the growth (much better than just looking directly).
Next time I will go over uploading, setting up archive folders, cropping, putting text on photos, and intro to photoshop and faking photos

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Re: Photographing, documenting, and evaluating treatment results

Post  cdto2012 on Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:45 am

I will get a few more tech details out of the way, so I can move on with the more interesting subject of dealing with fake photos. I will choose an example series of videos to discuss.  I thought it would be interesting to have others list photos/videos they were curious about also. I guess I will devote a separate post to the details of forgeries.
        To continue on with how to crop and upload a photo.  There some good basic windows programs that will crop, draw lines and arrows, and place text on photographs. If you have  "Windows Photo Viewer" default program displaying your photo; there is an "Open" tab. Use the choice "Paint" .   This should open the picture in the Paint program. If not just search  for the paint program to open the picture. It takes a little  practice to use paint, so make sure you work on a copy of the photo, not the original. "Control z " will undo the last change made in paint , also in a text editor.
     On the subject of organizing possibly hundreds of photos. I make in my "pictures document area" a new folder each time, labeled with the date of the photos - in the folder name. Then I make inside that folder a new folder called selected photos and date. Of course I dump all of the folders from the camera into the outer folder and copies of the best ones in the selected folder. Photos  are usually given a number by the camera, so I keep a notepad with the last 3 digits of the best photos. Also on the notepad (this is another program you can search for) I paste the forum host links next to the photo ID number. I will tell you about where to get these links soon.
     With the photo link it is good to put a description to the forum reader what area is shown, important details, what you are trying to show, and how long you have been treating the area. Try to get some good close up photos, it is really hard to evaluate far away photos for a few new hairs.
     Now for the upload process.  In the posting area there are boxes above the text. To the left of the You Tube logo there is a square screen with a disk. This is to host an image. This is where you browse to locate the single file in your selected folder. I choose to not resize any of my photos. Leave the "file" choice, and press upload. Then 3 links are given.   Copy the bottom link .. this is the link you will place in the post for others to open the picture with. Press host it. Then the box opens for another photo upload if you want. If you lose this box before finished, just reclick on the logo that originally opened the uploader.
 To get a link to be usable or show up as a hyperlink it must be pasted to the very left hand side of the page - no spaces preceding.  Put details/descriptions on another line.
  Well I know this is a bit dry, but very useful I think if you are new to posting on a web interface . Next will be how to evaluate authenticity of photos.

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Re: Photographing, documenting, and evaluating treatment results

Post  cdto2012 on Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:16 pm

I will post the links for the videos that I have selected to examine. They are a 6 part series on a supposed amazing growth of 2 cm in 43 days. I am just going to focus on 2 short videos the first and last.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sESIOctllik
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhWT7XejXpQ

It is more a demonstration on how not to do hair documentation. We can share the unlikelihood of the reality of the claims also. I do not think they are high tech to have altered the videos, because the before and after are not much of a statement of dramatic regrowth. I did track down the probable name of the common plant. It is a fairly toxic sap that was probably doing a reasonable exfoliation.
Euphorbia tirucalli pencil cactus plant
I read some inconclusive trails of it on other forums. I just wanted to post the videos early so others could comment if they want. As for the the videos, there is probably a reason the tests and follow up died out in 2010.
I will get into some about photoshop video and photo editing and evaluation of claims in next post

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Re: Photographing, documenting, and evaluating treatment results

Post  cdto2012 on Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:38 am

Traveling so I have some time on my hands. I think I will eventually write some on what does it mean if posters just disappear and stop posting results?  For now I prepared some photos in the links below to show forgery tools.  The well known program is Photoshop.  
      To start with, of course there are many ways for  a dedicated pro to make photos look as they desire.  I will show the common tools that could be used.  My angle in this post is that the human eye is quite sharp and it takes a lot of work to fool it if the photo is in good detail..  So take a look at the photos below.
http://i68.servimg.com/u/f68/19/35/15/42/front_11.jpg  original
http://i68.servimg.com/u/f68/19/35/15/42/front_10.jpg   demo of Photoshop
     This is my own recent photo of growth, so I know the original is authentic. The long hairs are graphs. In the demo photo I used some basic tools on the right.  Of course it was not an attempt to fool anyone, just a quick demo of the tools.  On the demo, the top square is the clone copier tool.   Below that is black and white hair lines, most on the smallest brush size for PS.  And below that is a copy and move by layering nearby.  
    As you can quickly see, it would take a lot of work to make any of these tools fool the eye. Most of these tools are not understood by average computer users.  So the point is that with good clear, detailed , photos,  it takes a committed person to fake them well.  So these clear photos are the kinds of photos that stand up well for documentation and to request from others. Request multiple shots of the same area from slightly different angles. It is really hard to fake multiple photos that match with light, background, and shadow
   Now some basics on how growth could more easily be faked or misleading.  It is hard to tell near a hairline what is new growth and what is dying thin hair. With shaving or the right light is is easy to show a hairless "before " photo and then regrow dying hairs and make them look like new growth.  Also with shaving the reference point of where the regrowth was located could be moved.  
   Basically with some basic tricks somebody could fake regrowth by photos of hairloss presented in reverse order.  Even videos can be edited frame by frame in Photoshop.
 For those that viewed the videos, notice how desperate people were even with such poor documentation offered. There is big money in hair regrowth and I offer this small tutorial in hopes that people spend their efforts and money on worthy pursuits

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Re: Photographing, documenting, and evaluating treatment results

Post  cdto2012 on Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:11 pm

Hi, a quick update since I have been learning to use my Samsung android camera. Learned to take off the auto focus, no flash, macro focus mode, spot metering, and superfine image quality. Then I move the square on the screen to where I want the focus to be. My image quality seems much better than when I was stuck with the auto focus. Then I try to get the strong light reflection just outside the area that is being photographed. Then the hairs that I have oiled end brushed with my finger to stand up can be photographed to show the length.

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