Editing photos for the net

Due to the lower resolution of a typical monitor than even a mobile phone camera, many people who upload photos to the net are wasting precious space and bandwidth, as the photos are uploaded at their full size.  If you are going to upload a 13MP photo which measures 4208 pixels across, you are just taking up unnecessary space, because a photo measuring 700 pixels across will probably fill more than 2/3 of the screen! Now, you can use a myrid of photo editing options out there. I personally use CS, but that’s a very expensive piece of software. So if you want to save some money, go for the free options. There are many out there. PIXLR is my favourite, as there is a full suite of editing options. Plus, it runs off your browser. Cool ain’t it? PIXLR homescreen

Today, I will focus my discussion on PIXLR Editor. So go ahead and click on the butterfly! You will see the following. Pick your image source and you are all ready to start editing.
 PIXLR Select photo

Here’s a photo of my lunch, that I’m going to edit.

PIXLR Edit

The layout of the workspace is very much like CS. Which is another reason why I like using it. 🙂 Most digital cameras today take very good photos. So you hardly have any need to edit your photos. But if there is a need, you merely need to do an Auto levels and maybe a little sharpening. Now I’ll walk you through the idiot proof way. Click on the task bar as pictured and find Auto Levels. Click. There, you are done. PIXLR auto level

The next step is to size the photo.

PIXLR image sizePIXLR image size box

Ensure that Constrain proportions is checked, before setting the width to 700 pixels and let the height be automatically adjusted. Once done, you can save the file. It will be nice and small for uploading to the net. Do not worry, it will look perfectly sized on your screen, yet be only a fraction of what the original photo was. However, if you feel that some sharpening is in order, do not save yet. Go on to the next step. Remember, sharpening is always the last step in the editing workflow before saving.

PIXLR UnsharpPIXLR Unsharp Mask

Now, look for Unsharp mask under Filter.    On the subsequent popup, set Amount to 200. Then, play with Radius, by increasing it until you get unnatural weird effects. Dial it back till it looks natural. Finally, play with Threshold. The bigger the number, the softer (less sharp) your photo will be. I usually end up with something no more than 20.  Ok, you are all set. Upload and share your wonderful photos to everyone on the net. Go!

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