Photography and Graphics
How to Take Pictures for Online Use
Whenever you can, take photographs with a digital still camera, as opposed to a digital video camera or a regular camera. You will be able to turn the image into a web-ready format more quickly and you'll get a better quality picture than if you used a digital video camera or took screenshots from a digital video. or a camera phone?
Getting Familiar with Web Graphics
Only two image formats — GIFs and JPEGs — can be used completely safely on the web. Sometimes, the PNG format is also used, but is not fully supported by all web browsers.
Preparing Images and Photos for the Web
Here are some guidelines for making your images download quickly and display correctly.
Checking and Changing Resolution
Open an image in Photoshop and let’s try setting the resolution.
Getting Familiar with Photoshop
Photoshop is an excellent tool to create new graphics that can range from elaborate illustrations to what appear to be simple text headlines. It’s available as a full version for about $600 (considerably less if you are a student) or a stripped-down version called Elements that can be had for less than $100. There are other programs that do many of the same things as Photoshop, like the open source Gimp or value choice called Paint Shop Pro. All of these programs do the same basic function that we will discuss, but the user interface might be slightly different from one version of Photoshop to the next, so keep than mind as you apply these lessons to your program.
Getting Familiar with Photoshop, Part II
Foreground and background colors, editing modes, jumping to Image Ready.
Working with Layers
If you have ever drawn an illustration with pencil and paper, you’re familiar with the limitations of drawing an object on top of another object. When you change your mind later about it’s placement, the "topmost" object must be erased – and when you erase the top object you also erase what’s underneath.
Creating Web-formatted Images
If your image is at 72 dpi and you've made all your edits (color correction, cropping, resizing), you’re ready to save it as a JPEG or GIF.
Creating Transparent Images
All digital images must be rectangular in shape, but sometimes you may want to create the effect of an irregular outline. You can do this by matching the background color of your image to the background color of the web page it is displayed in or by creating a transparent area in the image through which a web page background will be visible.
Most digital cameras take photographs that can be put onto your Web site just as they are — without being touched up. Some photos, however, will be greatly improved if their color and contrast are tweaked.
Creating Animated GIFS with Image Ready
Small animations can be created directly in Photoshop by using animation tools provided in Image Ready, a tool created by Adobe so Web designers can create animated GIFs.
Using Photoshop Slices
When Web design became a significant part of a Photoshop user’s job, Adobe added Slices to its arsenal of design tools. Slices can be used to save changes as you create graphics for the Web. Essentially, you will use Slices to divide up a Photoshop document. Each “Slice” gets saved as a different image when you Save for Web.
Creating photo galleries and slideshows
Even if you are just starting out with digital photography, you should consider publishing slideshows and photo galleries when one or two photos just won't do justice to the subject.