EDIT SKILLS: PREP FOR ONLINE
Want your images to look their best online, work well with search engines and load quickly? then you need to prepare accordingly
Optimise your images for online use by following our simple guide and make your photographs web- friendly
WHen we’re preparing our images for print it’s relatively simple – we want them sized at the best possible resolution so that they print in glorious high quality. preparing images for the web is different, however, as we also have to contend with file sizes, SEO ( search engine optimisation) and image resolutions.
Before preparing your images for web, it’s worth reading up on the website/ s that you plan to upload to – they'll often provide guidelines for the optimal resolutions to use, which gives you parameters to work within.
as we’re concentrating on optimising your images for exporting to the web in adobe Lightroom, we’ll assume that you’ve already imported and edited your images and have reached the final stage when it’s time to optimise them for web and export them. in the Library module, select all of the images that you wish to export, then right- click on one of them and select Export> Export…
5 MYTH BUSTING There’s a myth out there that you should set your images to 72ppi ( pixels per inch) for web use. However, contrary to popular belief, this does absolutely nothing when exporting for web. Screens and monitors only work in image height and width, so you can leave the Resolution option set to whatever it’s currently on as ppi only matters for print. Don’t believe us? Export the same image at 7ppi and then at 700ppi – the file size and quality will be exactly the same.
7 EMBEDDED INFO In the Metadata section you can choose whether or not you want the metadata embedded in the file or not, or just some of it. If you choose to include all of the metadata then people can see what camera, lens and settings you used, as well as who took it. Alternatively you can choose to include only copyright or contact info, or nothing at all – it’s up to you. We’d recommend ticking Remove Person Info and Remove Location Info below, for privacy reasons.
9 WHAT NEXT? Finally, it’s time to tell Lightroom what to do after you press Export. Do you want to see the files in the folder on your computer? Or open them in another software program automatically? The latter can come in handy if you want to use Photoshop or another program to make some last- minute tweaks, or add a watermark ( see p52 for more on this). If there's no additional editing and you don't need to use the images straight away, then select Do Nothing.
6 SHARPEN UP We covered sharpening in detail last issue ( Issue 126, May 2017) and, as explained, output sharpening is dependent on the media that the images are going to be viewed on. As we’re preparing for web, select Screen from the Sharpen For menu. The next part is personal preference – many people leave the Amount set to Standard, although you could set it to Low and sharpen more manually in the Develop module prior to exporting for added control, if you wish.
8 MAKE YOUR MARK Next you can choose to add a watermark from within Lightroom. This can be a default Simple Copyright Watermark, as chosen from the drop- down menu, which reads the Copyright information from the file’s metadata and displays it in the bottom corner in plain text form. Alternatively you can choose to create a custom watermark text or graphic using Lightroom’s watermark creator by selecting Edit Watermarks… from the menu.
NEXT TIME You’re all done, but don’t click on Export just yet – we want to save these settings as a preset ready for next time. On the left under the Preset window click on the Add button. Give your preset a name such as ‘ Save For Web’, and then click Create. It’ll now appear under User Presets in the Preset window, which is where you’ll also find it next time you go to export. One click and it’s ready to go, you just need to choose a filename and you’re ready. Easy!
location, location in the export window you’ll see some presets, but they aren’t ideal for web, so let’s create our own. Starting at the top, your first port of call should be Export Location – this is where you tell Lightroom where on your computer to save the files. as we’re aiming to create our own preset, we recommend selecting Choose folder later from the list. Lightroom will then ask where you wish to save the files each time you export a fresh batch.
matters The Image Sizing parameters depend on the website that your images are to be displayed on, so check first – you should always export your files at the maximum resolution that they are likely to be viewed at – you don’t want the website increasing the resolution and spoiling quality. The easiest way to set size is using the Longest Edge option – simply tell Lightroom how many pixels you want the longest edge to measure and it works out the rest for you.
in a name? Default filenames aren’t very useful for web – search engines like google use filenames to index your website, so it’s best to use the Custom Names - Sequence option to choose filenames that are relevant. For example, ‘ DSC_ 4773. jpg’ won’t help on search engines, whereas ‘ lake- district- ross- hoddinott- 1. jpg’ tells search engines exactly what’s in the image. including the date or year is also a good idea, as it helps identify the files on your own system too.
control Under File Settings, set Image Format to JPEG and Color Space to SRGB ( see panel, top). For Quality, at web sizes, it’s difficult to tell the difference between an image exported at 75 and 100, but there’s a huge reduction in file size between the two. Setting Quality to around 80 strikes a nice balance. alternatively, you can enable Limit File Size – Lightroom then considers the image size and sets the quality accordingly to keep the image under a certain size.