.saving for web.

Saving your photo for web display for some people is still a mystery. This tutorial is designed to help people get the most out of their photos.

First things first. I use Adobe Photoshop CS2, so i cannot guarantee that all the dialog boxes will look the same as the previous versions, but I’m sure they are similar enough. One other thing I cannot stress enough is to always work on a copy of an image, never your original!

Before you get to the saving part, you need to prepare the colorspace on your photos. You want the colorspace of your photos to be sRGB for web display, most cameras already use that colorspace when you take the photos, but some can shoot using others. To prepare the photo, look around your menu bar for something that looks like “convert to profile”. When you open up the box, it should tell you what the photo’s color space currently is, and what to convert it to. If it is already sitting at sRGB, you can cancel out the dialog box. If it says something else, select sRGB as your destination colorspace.

Ok, now that the colorspace issue is all sorted out, we now focus on the actual resizing. Go to your menu, “Image” > “Image Size” as shown below.

step1resize.jpg

The next box that pops up has alot of options. See below for an example of the dialog box. Make sure the box “constrain proportions” is checked, and the two as well. I use Bicubic as the resampling method usually, but Bicubic soft and sharp both have their uses. Ok, now that the checkboxes are marked, look up at your pixel dimensions. I usually use a width of 640 pixels but some people use a width of 800 to display their images. 640 works fine for me. If you are working on a photo that is in a portrait orientation, use the height box instead to enter your pixel size. Because you have “constrain proportions” checked off, the other field will be automatically calculated for you. After you choose your pixel size, hit OK.

step2resizebox.jpg

Now comes the actual saving part! Go to your “File” menu, and down to “Save for Web…”

step3sfw.jpg

The box that should pop up will look like what you see below. Make sure you choose the “2-up” tab so you can see a comparison between your original file, and to the right, your compressed for web file. We’ll be focusing on the info to the upper right of this box.

step4sfwBox.jpg

In the image below you can see a bunch of options. Basically make sure it looks like what you see in my example, you can ignore the “Very High” box. You will be using the “Quality” section.

step5sfwBoxFields.jpg

Press the little box with the “>” arrow on it and a slider bar should pop up. When you move the slider bar, look to the left under the image and you should see a section that looks like this.

step6sfwBoxCompr.jpg

The box will show at what level compression will the final file size be. The smaller the file, the more compressed. I usually size my 640 pixel images to a file size of around 150k to 200k. Check above to look at what the compression has done to your comparison image in the 2-up display and if the image looks fine and you are happy with the file size, just hit the “Save” button, choose your destination, hit ok, and you have a finalized image. Remember not to save over your original!

Got comments? Leave a comment below. Tell me if you enjoyed this tutorial or if it was helpful. Comments keep me writing. Thanks.

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