Preparing a Photo for Posting to a Photo Site

Sites that allow users to publish their photos usually have restrictions in terms of file format, weight, and pixel size. Photostocks, specialized hosting sites, and virtual galleries allow you to upload larger images (usually up to 150 MB). Web resources where the function of publishing pictures is auxiliary put more stringent restrictions. Often the larger side of the picture should not exceed 900 pix to make the picture easier to view on any screen size.

photographer woman working her bench

Preparing a photo for publication

To start with, you have to edit the photo: level out the horizon, remove distortions, make color corrections, etc. You don’t have to do it by hand! You can use the to remove the shine from your skin and touch up other imperfections. After processing is complete, you can save the picture together with the “raw” source in a large size (specialists recommend the TIFF format), and a copy can be prepared for publication. This will be done in several stages.

  • Reducing the size

    Today’s cameras produce fairly large images with good detail. Some sites provide automatic compression of images if their size is too large, but the photos lose a lot of beauty. Let’s get ahead of them and reduce the image yourself. To do this, open the image in a photo editor, such as Photoshop. Use the function “Resize” (names may vary depending on the program and its version).

    Set the desired values in pixels on one or both sides. If the original image has a horizontal orientation, it is recommended to use proportional reduction, setting the value only for one side. Otherwise, the image will have serious distortions. Check the “Don’t zoom in” box, if there is one, and save the result. If you press CTRL+ALT+0, you will be able to evaluate the photo at 100% zoom.

  • Optimize Sharpness

    Reducing it makes the picture less detailed, the image starts to look blurry and loses its expressiveness. It is impossible to make a small size and clarity match, but it is possible to improve the perception of a photo. To do this, let’s apply the “Smart Sharpness” option. In the main settings of the filter, we set the effect of 500%, the radius of 0,2 pix, “Remove Blur at shallow depth” and check the box “Sharper”. Save the result. Open the advanced settings of the filter, in the tab “Shadow” set 0 for attenuation, 100% in width of tonal range, and 1 pix for radius. On the tab “Light” in all items put 100%, set the radius of 1 pix, and save the result.

    The photo looks much better but also seems to be more grainy. Let’s soften the light and dark edges. To do this, let’s open the “Layer Style”. On the “This Layer” scale, set the sliders to a new position. Hold down ALT and pull half of the arrow. You can manually adjust the optimal position of the sliders in the black-and-white half of the scale. Examples of values are 0/28 and 97/175.

  • Create an edge mask

    As a selection, load the most contrasting channel (ALT+CTRL+5). The image should get a copy of the layer associated with the blue channel mask. For the mask, select the “Stylization” option, then “Edge Selection”. Invert the image with CTRL+I (the edges should become white). After that, apply “Gaussian Blur” to the mask. The radius is selected individually for each image, usually 4–5 pix. Let’s save the result and switch to the main image to evaluate the work. The only thing left is to adjust the transparency of the layer.

  • Let’s save the picture

    When saving the final file, choose the “Save for Web” option. Preferably, choose JPEG format, quality from 75 to 100. In Adobe Photoshop, you can see in advance how the picture will look in the browser. To do this, the saving window has a button “Preview”. If you are satisfied, you can click “Done”. All that’s left is to upload the image to the selected site.
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