Before posting your art on a website or social network, it is advisable to go through various steps to properly fix pictures and prepare them for the web. As artists, we should desire to make our art look as good as we can when viewed by others.
This is something I do, and even for the artists featured here.
At times, artists have submitted artwork images which were poorly presented, with parts of the wall showing.
I take the extra effort to crop out the wall, so the artwork can be displayed in a way that is complimentary to the artist.
Before uploading images, I need to do four things:
- Fix my images in Photoshop.
- Reduce picture sizes.
- Name my artwork files according to SEO tips and guidelines.
- Decide if I want them watermarked.
These four photo manipulation steps are thoroughly discussed below.
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Fixing pictures in Photoshop
This is something I do with all my images before I post them online. First, I open up Photoshop and then from there load the pictures I will be working on. Sometimes photos need to be rotated and cropped slightly. I also adjust the contrast and color saturation slightly. This makes the colors appear as vibrant as they are in life. I have a complete two part tutorial on how to do all this using Photoshop, which can be reached here:
How to Reduce Picture Size
Since the largest image is on the Wix front page slideshow, and this is generally a good size for full screen image previews, I will find out the size of this box.
Wix makes this very easy to find.
Simply go to the template here: Artist Painter Template.
Click the Slideshow icon in the center, then Settings.
Right at the bottom of the popup menu are dimensions for the slideshow box.
The dimensions I see are 715 width and 535 height. I have varying paintings of different dimensions, but I want them all to fit on the page. I can do this by giving all the pictures the same width or same height. When the height is the same, images which are a lot wider than they are tall display very small in the image preview. I do not want this. I would like the image to be as large as possible.
With the same width, pictures display more consistently, but portrait style images may take up more than the visible screen, and the viewer may have to scroll down to view the picture in it’s entirety. This is fine with me, but if this is something you do not like, it may be best to go with a consistent height for all your images.
So, the width I will use for every single one of my images to reduce my image sizes is 715.
To reduce picture size, go to your image in Photoshop. Click Image, then Image Size. Make sure Constrain Proportions is checked, then enter the dimension in the width box. The height will automatically adjust to match the proportions. Then hit OK. Use the same width for all your pictures and save them to a separate folder for easy retrieval.
Name Pictures - SEO Tips (Search Engine Optimization)
Naming image files is a very important step and often overlooked. The reason it is important is because search engines use file names and content around the picture to determine what it is about, so it can be properly indexed. But if you leave the file name as something like img2748736.jpg there is less information for search engines to tell what the image is about. They may index it properly by alt and title tags, along with content around the image, but it is less likely that the image will easily be found at the top of Google Image Search without all SEO related information.
To name your picture files, use words to describe what is on the actual image.
For my oil painting Caplin Run, I named the image file caplin-fish-painting.jpg The phrase fish painting had 27,100 searches worldwide in the last 30 days, according to Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
So, by placing that phrase there, hopefully my painting can be found by some of these searches. This is a phrase I will also be using in my title and description at my Wix portfolio.
Should you Watermark Photos?
Generally, I like to watermark artworks at social networks, though I still have some work to do in that area. I usually place my website url there, which will lead people to my portfolio. For my Wix portfolio, I will not be watermarking, since I want the image to appear as as good as possible, without the distraction which a watermark often brings. But, if you do decide to copyright pictures, the best time to do it is immediately after you fix them in Photoshop. Ideally, you should save two versions – one copyrighted and the other which isn’t.
To learn more about watermarks and copyrights, please visit these posts:
Assignment: Spend some time fixing photos of your art, and naming the image files according to SEO rules. This may take awhile, but the effort will be worth it. Consider backing up these files to ensure you never lose them.
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Do you have anything to add to these tips for preparation of artwork for display on an artist website?