When choosing photos for your website, look for high quality pictures.

With digital cameras, it’s now so easy to point and click, then download and email the picture.

However, the old rules of photography still apply if you want quality.

  • Watch the light source. If it’s behind the subject, the photo will show the subject in shadow or silhouetted.
  • Think about composition in setting up the subject.
  • Choose a suitable background. e.g. A surfboard looks better at a beach than in a garden.
  • Choose a plain background to show an uncluttered photo of your subject. Avoid showing background things growing out from your subject.
  • Choose a background with colour different from any on your subject. e.g. You want the subject moved from the photo and shown against another background on your web page. If your subject wears trousers the same colour as the background, guess what’s left behind in the move.

Formats for web pages:

  • Best formats for web pages are currently JPG or GIF. Another format PNG is recognised by only some browsers.
  • Every time you save a JPG its quality depreciates. If you want to work on an image to enhance it or change brightness or contrast, work in another format like TIF, so you only save it in JPG once.
  • Photos are usually best in JPG while images with flat areas of colour are best in GIF.
  • When sending photos to us for your web page, send larger, higher resolution photos than necessary. We can scale down or crop the best part from large photos, but we can’t scale up.
  • Photos can be emailed, but send each as a separate email. Large emails can be held up by your ISP. Send on disk if necessary.

Optimising photos for web pages:

  • If uploading photos yourself, first resize them to the size in pixels that will suit the web page.
  • If your menu is down the side of the page, and you want the photo to fit the page with a little margin around it, then to suit the 800 x 600 screens (which are still around) size the image to not more than 750 pixels wide minus the menu which may be 200 pixels = 550 pixels maximum width.
  • After resizing the photo, check the size in kilobites in Windows Explorer of the JPG or GIF file.
  • GIF file sizes may be reduced by reducing the number of colours from 256 to whichever still looks good.
  • JPG file sizes may be reduced by changing the compression factor ib the options before saving.

A good quality photo can make a good impression on your visitors.