How to Make Your Images Ready for the Internet
These days most of our photos make it onto the internet as soon as they come off our digital camera. Sharing photos on Facebook, Twitter and the dedicated photo site Flikr has become a fun thing to do for both amateur and professional photographers. It lets you share your photos with friends, or if you are more serious, it lets you find an audience for your art.
The Internet age has given photography a new lease on life and has made it a more popular past time than it ever has been. Access to affordable compact devices such as an Olympus digital camera, Canon or Nikon has also made it easier for us to capture special moments. The more improvements that are made to our digital cameras, however, the more the file sizes increases which in turn makes it harder to publish on the net.
So what can you do?
What Type of Camera?
The beauty of putting images online is that it levels the playing field in terms of equipment. For sure, you are going to get better shots from an expensive, professional camera, but you don’t need the same resolution for online photos. Online photography means a lot of resizing and this will also reduce image quality so compact cameras (and sometimes phone cameras for experiments) are good for posting quickly online.
Doing a Pre-Edit
if you are serious about your online photos then you will want to do a pre-edit before you resize the images. The resizing is necessary so as to make the image a more manageable upload size. You should aim from anywhere from 20 kilobytes through to about 200 kilobytes depending on where you are uploading them to and your audience.
A pre-edit is best done in the full resolution so that it is easier to adjust especially if you are going to do any retouching. Most photo software (much of it will come with a new camera) will at least allow an auto adjust feature for such things as colour and contrast. You might also want to play around with creative edits using colour or black and white before you resize (keep in mind a website width is approximately 800-900 pixels wide).
Where Are They Going?
The size of the files you want to end up with will depend on where they are going. If you are using it to put on your website just to accompany a blog post or other writing then the smaller the better. It is best to have the image a little smaller than try and save size by reducing quality. Facebook, Flikr and other social media is very flexible as their upload tools will automatically adjust the image appropriately. Remember to consider your internet usage as well so you do not waste it on massive photo uploads!
Making Files the Right Size
Adjusting the images is easy and can be done even with a basic photo editor found on a PC or Apple. Just select the ‘adjust size’ option and remember to keep the ‘constrain’ button ticked as this will keep the image in proportion. The last thing you want to do is stretch someone’s head in the photo so it looks like a football!