You can’t stop learning when it comes to photography; even long after studying I still find new things that make me go ‘say whaaaaat?!’ which goes to show how rapidly evolving technology and features are now.
After the amazing feedback on my previous In-Depth Photography Tips post, I thought it was only right to share a few more bites of informations that will help improve your photography and also how you edit your images, utilising them to their full potential for your blog or studies.
How Do I Resize My Images Without Losing Quality?
This has been my biggest thing throughout my blogging career, constantly wanting to keep a crisp image that isn’t too large and slows down my site, but looks professional and clear. Photography is one of the biggest draws for new readers these days, so you want to make sure they reflect you and your style whilst looking uber professional and clear.
Realistically, you don’t need an image over 800px in width and you can also add in CSS codes to automatically resize your photos to the width of your blog (a huge saviour), however compression or reduction can leave your images looking grainy and feeling flat. My pro tip? Reduce your images in 25% increments. Depending on the size of your files (I shoot on a Canon 70D so mine are usually 8000px wide in RAW form) you can test the size and clarity of your image at 75%, 50% and 25% to see which works best. By sticking to 25% reduction, it’s easier for the image to compress down rather than adding in an specific dimension which can sometimes add some pixelation.
Save for Web is also a great way to optimise your images for blogs and websites, which works to reduce the file size whilst preserving details and colour from the original edited photo. This is perfect for blogs and people who have high MP cameras but don’t want to compensate on quality, so use this every time you edit as you’ll be able to reduce the size of your images to fit your blog, keep it running fast, and maintain the crisp edge you originally photographed.
Photoshop vs Elements vs Lightroom
If you’re looking to purchase editing software, then there’s plenty of choice especially in terms of Adobe. Throughout school and college, I used Photoshop CS5 and 6 which was brilliant for detailed editing and manipulation, allowing you to fully capture and enhance areas you wanted. If you’re a photographer or need Photoshop as part as your career, I would strongly suggest buying full version Photoshop as the tools are brilliant and allow you to really enhance your images.
If money is an issue with this however, I cannot fault Photoshop Elements; this is basically the condensed version of CS with some features such as curves and colour balance omitted, however it is a fully comprehensive piece of software which has edited 90% of the images on this blog plus my Company Magazine feature. Prices range from £45-70 dependant of the version you buy and whether there’s an offer on, however Amazon stocks all the versions released so far and Adobe has a list of versions to suit your camera here so you can find the best equipment for your photos.
Lightroom is a relatively new discovery and with the short amount of playtime, I can see why bloggers love it. The white and blacks enhancer really makes those clean areas bright and light without bleaching out shadows or dark areas that you still want to remain crisp. There’s also the added collection organiser which is fabulous for business work or portfolios, however in my personal opinion, the lack of resizing and inability to do more than enhanced colours and brightness puts me off. I use Photoshop to create thumbnails, logos, merge images for posts, so this need outweighs the beautifully crisp images of Lightroom – you can of course save and then import into Photoshop, but we all want something quick and simple right? (If you are a Lightroom wiz however, leave your tips below!)
There is also an option to try before you buy – if you set up an Adobe Creative Cloud account, you can trial all three of these programs and more for 30 days at a time, which is fab if you want to learn about the software or try the programme before you purchase it!
Camera Storage Filling Up Quickly?
I have to hand this one to Lily Pebbles really, but it’s such a useful tip that I had to make sure everyone knew about it! Even when you clear your memory card and are ready to utilise all that free space, sometimes it can run out quicker than expected and this is because – like on a computer – there is software and tech on the memory card that requires the space. Formatting the card helps clear out some of the unused or temporary memory (just like clearing your cache or cookies folders) so if you need to completely wipe your memory card, make sure you format it.
On a Canon camera you can find this setting under Menu > Yellow Spanner Tool (Settings I guess?) and it will be in the first set of options. This will clear everything off the card remember so only do it if everything is backed up!
How Can My Photos Help My SEO?
A bit off the photography track per se, however with this being a photography tips for your blog post we need to discuss how it can utilise your SEO and blog ranking. Now there are many SEO posts that are a lot more detailed than this, but as a general overview your photos can make a huge difference to the success of your blog – as I mentioned before, large images slow down your page and this also affects your SEO ranking and DA which isn’t that great if you’re trying to build a brand.
Meta-tagging is also really important as all your post images will come up on Google, and the online search bots find it easier to read ‘britton-loves-photography-tips-blog’ and match it with someone’s search for photography advice than they do ‘image-0868.jpg’ or even ‘britton loves photography’ without the dash between the words. This all adds to your keywords and helps your blog rise fast through Google, allowing more people to find your photos and blog when looking for a specific review or topic.
I’m a Beginner Photographer, What Camera is Best?
I’ve been asked this question a few times and it’s difficult as I am very biased towards Canon, however I do have some knowledge of what types of cameras are the best fit for your needs, budget and quality.
If you are a beginner photographer who is studying photography at school or for a hobby, then a DSLR is the way to go. I used the Canon 500D from 2010 to March this year and it was a brilliant piece of kit, 15MP and produced some great quality images with interchangeable lenses. If you want to go that step further and be able to see your images at various angles or even dabble in some filming, then scout out the Canon 600D on Amazon or eBay which is an incredibly cheap option now that it’s been discontinued.
If you’re looking for something more practical in daily life (aka, not a bulky DSLR) then a bridge or mirrorless camera is a good option. Many bloggers use the Canon EOS M which is basically a compact DSLR (it’s super tiny) but produces images on par to a 70D which is amazing. You do have to buy an adapter to fit your lenses on, but this makes it worthwhile for taking to events or holidays. There is also the Olympus Pen which so many people are going for these days, due to it’s WiFi technology and clear crisp images. Again, perfect for on-the-go, and possibly an option for logging if you want to kill two birds with one stone!
MP is a big selling point with cameras and I personally like to use camera with a high MP because the images are clearer, however this means larger files so realistically to start with, you only want something between 12MP and 16MP. Images will look near identical, however file sizes will be different and if you shoot in RAW then you’ll still have the freedom to enhance details. Don’t go for something with gizmos and gadgets just because it would be cool – will you really use this function? Do you need to spend £500 more for auto-focus? Will I be using this camera to its full potential with my current needs?
Ask important questions when researching a new purchase, investing in cameras is pricy so make sure you find one that has a decent quality and MP, suits your needs, and will last a long time.
Learning about your camera and getting to grips with the technology and editing can really transform the performance of your images. Finding what works for you and your needs is important, and investing in the products that will advance your skills is a great way to expand your knowledge too. Hopefully now you’ve got to grips yet again with your photography equipment, so get snap happy and make your blog look fabulous!
Do you have any photography tips you’d like answering? What is your biggest photography investment? Would you like to see more In-Depth tips?
Lots of Love,
Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.