Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Web Optimization, Part I
Determine your audience and size your photos correctly for the Internet
While some might subscribe to the philosophy that one size or one format fits all, the reality is that different audience types hold different expectations. For some, how fast a page and its photographs load is the critical factor, in which case viewing a smaller photo or series of photos will be enough for the viewer to get a feel for a photographer’s work. On the other end of the spectrum, a viewer might be willing to endure a longer load time in order to see larger photographs with greater detail.
Similarly, being sensitive to file size in order to minimize load time will improve overall user experience for those viewing your photography, whether on a personal website, in an online portfolio or in a community photo forum. Best practice dictates keeping file sizes low while maintaining enough image quality to avoid degrading the image. While Adobe Photoshop Lightroom enables you to both export files (File > Export) and apply custom presets or bulk export photographs via the Web module, the greatest flexibility in managing an individual file’s size still resides in Photoshop’s Save for Web & Devices function (File > Save for Web & Devices). The Save for Web & Devices function enables you to preview image size as you adjust quality settings prior to the file being saved.
Look for Part II of this series in the next issue of Outdoor Photographer.
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