I had a great weekend, I hope everyone else did, too. I shot a wedding for a friend at work. It was a lot of fun.
I showed up at 8:15 am, about 45 minutes prior to the ceremony, I wanted to check the lighting, etc. The groundskeeper was up and doing all of his daily maintenance beginnings when I asked him about this particular wedding. He told me the wedding was scheduled for 3 pm. This was a little different than what the groom had mentioned. The groom said the wedding was scheduled for 9 am. So, a quick call to the groom on the cell… “What time’s the wedding again?” “9 o’clock”. “That’s what I figured, I’m here already, I’ll see you when you get here.” No need to get him even more worried.
It seems there had been some earlier confusion about the ceremonies schedule because of musician conflicts, etc. So 45 minutes prior to the ceremony, the priest is still in bed, (he had a going away party with his congregation the night before, last weekend in town). The building had not been opened or cleaned, it was a small chapel with a rock grotto up above the altar. And the groom was proceeding merrily on his way unaware of any of this.
I did what I could to help the custodian prep the building. He did a fantastic job of knowing what could be done and what would just have to be skipped due to time. As you may have expected the wedding started a few minutes late, but nobody carded because, when was the last time you’ve ever been to a wedding that started on-time or without drama of some sort?
Web vs. Print
Have you ever tried to email someone an image and when you sent the email, or when they eventually got the email, you found out that it took them 30 minutes to try and download the picture, or they couldn’t get the picture because it was too big for their email account? If you’re going to take the time to share your photos, make sure they look right for the type of display you’ll be using, printed photos or computer images. These types of displays have different settings or resolution. Resolution is nothing more than the number of dots in the picture within a given measure, usually an inch.
If the person you’re giving the picture to plans to print the image you’ll use one set of settings, if it’s part of an email or just the picture, you’ll want to make sure your picture is set for that type of display.
Most programs will allow you to use a “Convert for email” button or something similar. When you’re familiar with how that button works, a description of the settings this changes is given below. If you’re not interested in all of the technical gobbledygook, then jump to the bottom for the quick cheat sheet specs.
When showing off your images on a web page, you have to think about average monitor resolution. The normal setting these days is 72-96 dots per inch (dpi). When displaying printed pictures for regular viewing, typically 4″ x 6″, the resolution is 240 dots per inch to 300 dots per inch, depending on the megapixels on your particular camera. So, in order to keep your web pages loading rapidly, these images have to be changed to the right settings.
On top of changing the dots per inch, (resolution) of the pictures, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right color setting for the media or type of display you’ll be using. Without getting too technical, you’ll want to use your particular brand of image-editing software, Picasa, Elements, Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, GIMP, etc. All of these programs either have settings to convert automatically, or with a little looking you can find the settings I’m referring to. The settings you’ll be changing are Convert Color Profile and the Image Size settings. If you are having trouble finding these, just do a quick search for these topics in your image-editing software help menu, which is found on the far right of your menus up top.
For displaying pictures on the Internet, a slide show, television, projector, etc.:
Change your image size to 72 or 96 dots (pixels) per inch. Changing the size of the image should always be the last thing you do, after you’re happy with the way it looks. One of the settings it will ask you if you want to do is resample the image. Resizing the image will allow you to change the size of the dots in the picture. Resamplingthe image will change the number of dots in a picture. You can resize the image repeatedly without affecting the overall quality of the picture, but if you resample the image, the image can start to look bad very quickly. So, when you see the resample option, if you’re going to use this, use it sparingly and as the final step of your editing process. Resizing can usually be done repeatedly and with few harmful effects. Resample changes your picture, resize changes the size of the dots in the picture.
When changing the color settings, for display on the monitor, projection, internet, or television, change the color settings to sRGB. This is a clipped color setting that was created just for using display media like televisions or computer monitors that best matches the available colors for those devices.
For print, always use Adobe RGB and 240 to 300 dots per inch for saving and printing your photos. I always shoot for print and convert for electronic media later. It’s easier to have information that you don’t need, than to try and add that information.
Email: 72-96 dpi, sRGB Color Setting, no larger than 800 pixels wide or 600 pixels tall.
Print: 240 – 300 dpi, Adobe RGB
As always, whatever medium you use, double-check it to make sure it meets your expectations before you post or email it.