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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Web Optimization, Part I

Determine your audience and size your photos correctly for the Internet

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Optimizing photographs for display on the web is as essential as ever. While many photographers focus attention on optimizing photographs for print, it’s important to recognize how powerful first impressions can be with web-based photographs. Whether preparing photographs for inclusion in a web portfolio, to share in online community forums or for someone to review via e-mail, photo optimization for the web is a critical skill to master.

In the first part of our Web Optimization series, we’ll look at determining the audience and the target use of the images, as well as how to establish the proper size for files.

Audience & Target Use
Once you have a photograph that’s ready to be placed online, consider your audience and identify the target use of your photograph. Evaluating who will view your photography and how your audience might use your online images will drive file preparation choices, including files size, sharpening, presentation and watermarking. These basic considerations will make the world of difference to your viewers and enable you to make the greatest impact on them.

Questions to consider include: Will your primary audience critically evaluate your work, such as for an online portfolio review? Will they glance at it quickly, evaluating general impact, such as might be the case with a photo editor reviewing a large set of photographs? Will they forward your work to others as might be the case with fans of your photography?

Recognizing your audience and understanding how they’re likely to use your online photographs will enable you to optimally prepare your image files.


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