Tuesday Treats: Simple as 1, 2, 3 …. editing photos for your blog

I’ve just spent several days cataloging my father’s photography gear and it reminded me that I had started a thread about taking photos of quilts but had never written the follow-up post, so here it is … my ideas on how to edit photos for use on your blog.

I often struggle to get a good photo for the blog.

The photography either  happens in a rush,  without a lot of planning, or in the poor lighting in the shop. So I have been trying to learn how to edit my photos.

A pattern for this bag, embroidered with Cotton Mako’ 12, will soon be available for downloading.

I know that some editing can be done when the photo is uploaded into WordPress, but I seem to get better results if I edit it in my own photo management program.

My basic editing plan for quilt & thread photos is as simple as 1  __ 2 __ 3

One: Solving Colour Caste

Once photos have been taken, and downloaded to your computer, you may decide that the colours are not truly accurate and have a blue or yellow caste.

This photo has a greyish-greenish colour caste

This can be fixed by adjusting the “white balance” with photo editing software, but it is very useful to have something included in the photo that is a true white.

The white balance has been adjusted to bring the colour closer to reality.

The “true white” item does not have to remain as part of the finished image, and can be cropped out later.  It simply acts a reference point when you are tweaking the colour balance on the edited photo.

Even the most basic photo editing programs will allow some colour adjustment, so read through the “How to” documents that came with the program.

Two:  Cropping to adjusting the position of the focal point of the photo

You may not have noticed some of the distractions in the background  when taking the photo, but they become very obvious when you look at the photo on the computer.

Cropping the photo may solve this problem.

I cropped this photo so that only a hint of the background remained allowing the Cotton Mako’ threads to be the focal point.

Or maybe you want to crop a close up view out of the larger image.

This hand embroidered leaf has been stitched with a single strand of Aurifil Cotton Mako’ 28.

Start with a high quality photo, with a good pixel size, to get a good cropped image

I cropped out a portion of the above image to show a close up view of the Cross Stitch & Blackwork that has been stitched with a single strand of Cotton Mako’ 28

Three: Resizing the photo to help the web page load fast

The third step is to edit the size of the photo before it is uploaded to the blog.

To speed up the page loading time it is a good idea to resize photos for blogs

Large photos are essential for making prints, but using large photos on your blog can make the web page extremely slow to open and cause impatient readers to leave.

The original photo was 1.9MB and after editing it was 67kb

The secret is to take the photo at the best setting and then reduce the pixel size before using the photo on the internet.

This is the finished image after re-sizing for use in the blog

Don’t forget to always keep the original photo and save any changes with a new name!

More reading, and lessons, for taking and editing quilt photos:

Andy & Holly have put together some great information that ranges from choosing your camera, to ideas for taking close up photos for use in tutorials:

http://www.hollyknott.com/stq/index.htm

Some great ideas for styling your quilt photos:

http://travelingbehindtheseams.com/category/photo-styling/

http://www.carolspinski.com/?p=425

This article talks about taking photos of your quilt for use when entering your quilt into a juried exhibition. The clue here is:

“The first thing to remember is this is not about the scenery surrounding your quilt, it is about the quilt itself.”

http://themodernquiltguild.com/2012/07/24/photographing-your-quilt/

Please comment,  and share the way you take, edit & use photos on your blog.

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4 Responses

  1. […] We even wrote a post about how to edit photos for your blog […]

  2. Getting the colour right in a photo is only the first step.

    I have two computers, and IF the laptop is at just the right angle and just the right distance away and the lighting around me is EXACTLY RIGHT it almost matches the colour on the desk top! The desk top has been modified so that skin and known fabric colours are as close as possible to reality. I have seen Virtual Quilts and some of my photos on other computers and they are different colours, sometimes, greyish, sometimes redish, sometimes blueish so we aare all going to see something a little different anyway. Frustrating!

    • Oh Yes! You are so right about the variation in colours on computer screens.

      I completely forgot to mention this and it will effect the way the photo appears when it is being edited, as well as when people are viewing it on a different computer.

      There are products available to help calibrate computer screen colours for people who are serious photographers.

      While we are talking about how colour appears on the screen, copy & paste this link to try this online test:
      http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?PageID=77

      • Interesting link … thank you!

        Should have tried that test earlier in the day ! Have spent a fair bit of time writing and designing quilts .. and picking colours today!

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