Want your im­ages to look their best on­line, work well with search en­gines and load quickly? then you need to pre­pare ac­cord­ingly

Digital SLR Photography - - Contents -

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!

1 lo­ca­tion,

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.

4 Size

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.

2 What’s

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.

3 Qual­ity

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.

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