Digital Photography – Preparing Photos
Now that the showcase/gallery site is completed and up and running it is time to prepare the photos that are to be used on the site.
We live in a very visual environment, everywhere in everyday life we are surrounded by images and photos are just one of the powerful forms of visual expression, thus a photograph needs to tell a story, create a mood, passion or disgust to do its job correctly.
Click to enlarge view
Any image that is to be used on any website needs some preparation beforehand. In order to use our photos we need to choose the best format and compression to provide the end user with the best quality and correct file size for fast loading.
There are different formats available for images however not all suit digital photopgraphy. The most common formats used are:
.gif – is used more for graphics with few colours and have clearly defined shapes like a logo
.png – not widely used and although compresesses well is not recognised by all browsers
.jpg – is the best format for photos as it supports colour and subtle tones and textures however there is image deterioration over time.
Preparing my Digital Photos
To prepare my digital photos I need to optimise them for best results. I need to consider all the image dimensions.
When I transfer my photos from my Nikon Coolpix to my computer it comes as a very large file 4000×3000.jpg usually on average around 5.00MB. If I used this photo as it is now my readers would spend ages waiting for it to load and it would slow down the site almost to a halt. Not to be recommended.
To use my image on on my website I need to resize my image to a more reasonable size, one that is required on the site in this instance 800x600pixels. My photo also has a resolution of 300dpi this needs changing as its too high for use on the web. 72dpi or 96dpi is quite sufficient.
All this I can do in my Photoshop, or any other photo editor like Gimp or Paint.NET that permits this function. I have used both of the free image management editors in the past and they are both sufficient for the purpose.
To have a fast loading image on any site I also need to decrease the file size, the best file size to use on the web is around 100KB or below. For this I use Photoshop to debloat the image. Once the photo is resized, then choose Save for Web & Devices, here you have the options to choose the file format, .jpg which is best for photos, change the quality till you see around 100K choose bicubicsharper and save.
Now my image/photo is ready to be used on my site, as you see on the image above, or any site that requires this size. These have been the very basic steps to prepare a photo however there is much more editing that can be done to create a smashing photo that is ready for the web or printing.