Preparing Images

1) Take hi-res images of work. Take more than one image of each piece, with different lighting, etc.

2) Choose the best images.

3) Create a copy of the chosen image and convert it (File->Save As) into the format of your image editing program. Knight Digital Media has a very good tutorial on exporting jpegs and the difference between “save as” and “save for web and devices”.

Photoshop - Save As

Photoshop - Save As

The format for Photoshop has the .psd extension and the format for Fireworks has the .png extension. Frequently I name my files so that I know which one is a “working” copy, e.g. imagename_work.psd.

NOTE: Do not work on the original image. Keep it, just in case something goes wrong.
And do not work on a jpeg. Jpegs are “lossy” whichmeans every time you save them, data is compressed and lost. The longer you work on a jpeg the more degraded it becomes.

3) Size your image in the working file. Online images should be 72dpi. And for this project images should have a maximum width of 900px and a maximum height of 600px.

4) Color correct your image. In Photoshop use “Adjustment Layers” so changes are not written in stone and can be easily modified. (Fireworks has equivalent functions.)
Work on the image with RGB color, not CMYK.

Color correct for the screen not for print. And remember that different screens, operating systems and browsers render images differently. If you are very fussy about color look at your image on different screens, operating systems and browsers and you will see that color, brightness and contrast will vary quite a bit. When you are color correcting you will have to make a compromise so that the image looks good on the most screens possible. You will not be able to get the color absolutely perfect for all screens, so don’t stress out.

Color Correction and AdjustmentLayers

http://www.zuberphotographics.com/content/photoshop/levels-color.htm
http://www.photoshopsupport.com/photoshop-blog/10/cs5-01/video-adjustment-layers.html
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Photoshop/11.0/WSfd1234e1c4b69f30ea53e41001031ab64-787ba.html

5) When you are satisfied with the image in your working file, then export (not “save as”) it as a jpeg.

See the next page, Exporting Images, for instructions.

NOTES ON IMAGE EDITING SOFTWARE

An image editing program is needed for image resizing, color correction and conversion/compression to a jpeg. These needs are basic and simple. Operating systems come with simple image-editing programs (iPhoto and Preview on the Mac). Flickr and Picasa have some basic image editing capabilities. Most digital cameras come with a basic image editing program. Photoshop Elements will do the trick. There are many online image-editors and WordPress, itself, can do the some image resizing. (prices and availability may vary in the rapidly changing and developing market…).

THE BIG GUNS
Photoshop – $699 – http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/compare/ (also available in Adobesoftware bundles)
Photoshop Elements – $79.99 (after rebate)- http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelwin/
Fireworks – $299 http://www.adobe.com/products/fireworks/ (also available in Adobe softwarebundles)

ALTERNATIVE IMAGE EDITORS
Mac Pixelmator – $29 (for a limited time)- http://www.pixelmator.com/
MacIris – $79 – http://nolobe.com/iris/
Acorn – $49 – http://flyingmeat.com/acorn/

Unix,Mac, Windows – Gimp – Free – http://www.gimp.org/

Online -Free – Aviary – http://aviary.com/
Online – Free -Picnik http://www.picnik.com/ – edit photos stored on Flickr, $29 upgrade, available
Online – Free – Phixr- http://www.phixr.com/
Online -Free – FotoFlexer – http://fotoflexer.com/
List of Online Image Tools – http://www.catswhocode.com/blog/super-useful-online-tools-to-work-with-images

List of online image editing
http://mashable.com/2008/03/01/online-image-editing/
http://mashable.com/2007/08/03/online-image-editors/

90+ Online Photography Tools and Resources
http://mashable.com/2007/06/23/photography-toolbox/

Added, just cuz, it’s cool, an online painting tool
SumoPaint – http://www.sumopaint.com/home/