New To Photography:Learning to print or web publish photographs

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This page is a chapter in the book Learning Plan Overview.

[top]Image publishing

Publishing requires that you consider how you are going to publish your images. You have some options.
1. Publish for web in some sort of gallery or post to this forum
2. Printing (either on your own photo printer or via a shop)

But before you go further please calibrate your computer monitor so that the colour you see on the screen
will be the same as the colour on someone else's and on the printed copy.
Here are a couple of links that will help.
a) Colour Calibration
b) Monitor Calibration
c) LCD Monitor Test Images

Once you have calibrated you are ready to publish. How to post and link your photos into forum threads

Generally you reduce the size of the image for Web publishing, both in dimensions and JPEG compression.
AP has a limit of 1024 pixels on the longest edge.

On the other hand, when producing an image to print the more pixels the better.
Do not compress JPEG at all. Leave images with the maximum detail you can.

Another thing to watch is what is known as colour space.
In the first instance use sRGB for everything and you will not have too many problems.
Later you can start using alternate (and in some ways better) colour spaces.

Note: You must use sRGB colour space when publishing to the web as it is the default (and only space) rendered
correctly by Internet Explorer. If you don't images will look flat when published.
Alternate colour spaces include Adobe RGB and CMYK which maybe of use for better colour reproduction when printing.
This link for a technical explanation.

You may wish to think about how to manage all your images via the idea of a workflow in Workflow - Putting it all together

[top]JPEG image sizing for web

There are two main controls for image file size when saving as a JPEG image. For printing purposes we don't re-size images because we want as much detail as possible. But for web publishing we do want smaller files sized for purpose.

[top]First is the size in Pixels.

I.e. The number of pixels width x height.
Changing the size in Pixels has a secondary effect of changing the file size.
Eg. an image 3000px x 2000px resized to 1000px x 667px will be a smaller file, 6,000,000px
down to 667,000px.

But is the file small enough?

[top]Secondly, the JPEG compression setting.

File size can also be adjusted by setting the JPEG quality (1-100) when you save the image.
The quality is also another way of saying which compression level you want.
The more compressed the image the more detail you may lose.

So to size an image for AP you should set the pixel size you want (typically no more than 1200 on the longest edge)
and adjust the JPEG quality (compression) to get the file size under the 350kB limit.

[top]Other settings

Some other advanced controls that have a minor effect on the image size are:
  • Including meta data all, in part or none
  • Saving baseline or progressive (and how many scans, 3 or 5 etc)
  • Saving colour profile information (don't bother with anything other sRGB as that's the web default)

Note: You should always make sure the image is saved as an sRGB colour profile for web publishing.

Something else to watch out for is the DPI setting which confuses many people.
Other then for a specific output device like a printer it is meaningless.
The number of pixels in the only number that matters when printing.


When printing it is handy to know what size print you need based on your camera's sensor aspect ratio.
This table helps.

Aspect Ratio Scaling
Scale 2 3 4 5 6 7
3 x 2 (Typical DSLR)
3 6 9 12 15 18 21
2 4 6 8 10 12 14
4 x 3 (Typical Compact)
4 8 12 16 20 24 28
3 6 9 12 15 18 21
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