How to use pictures

Your website has a lot of features for to help present your photos and other images in the best way possible to users, search engines and social media publicity (facebook, twitter etc). To get the best out of this, please note the following.

1. Photo preparation

  1. Rename the photo: almost all websites will use the filename both as part of the link of the picture and the initial title.  The filename “IMG_0958.JPG” set by your camera is useless to users and search engines, please rename it before it gets to the internet.  Note however it is best to use a fairly short name without too many spaces
  2.  Caption – set the initial photo caption, which can be a longer description than the filename.  Note that Microsoft image editing software does not set the correct caption field, how to do this correctly depends on the software, below we give examples using digiKam and Picasa which are both free!
  3. Crop and Resize the photo – modern cameras take a picture much too large to fit onto the screen which can just slow down your websites.
    1. first crop unnecessary parts of your picture
    2. then resize to reduce file size, as a suggestion for web pages,
      • image width no larger than 1200
      • file size no larger than 2MB
      • image quality 82:  this is the jpeg compression setting used by the website. This compresses the images for faster download without noticeable quality loss:  if your software supports it use this setting.

digikam example

  1. Rename:  menu Image, Rename or right-click, Rename or function F2
  2. Caption:  menu Image, Metadata, Edit All Metadata

    digiKam metadata screenshot
    Screenshot for setting caption in digiKam
  3. Crop and Resize:  menu Tools, Image Editor, then in the Image Editor,  menu Transform, Resize

Picasa example

Picasa has limited features compared to digiKam but it’s really easy to use and does most of what we need:

  1. Rename:  menu File, Rename
  2. Caption:   open the image and type in the box directly under the image
  3. Crop and Resize
    • use Picasa Crop function to reduce area of photo
    • use Picasa File, Export to Folder to export with reduced size

Both Picasa and digiKam complete the various caption fields used by different software, digiKam has full capability to embed additional copyright and other information into the page.  You can see this in Windows Explorer properties for the file:

Windows image properties
Windows Properties screen showing caption set

Lastly even if you haven’t done all of this, the website can help you as below.

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Media enhancements

Hi, this is the geek section on how to setup WordPress for rich photographic sites.

WordPress Media Library

The WordPress media library has very limited capabilities for media management, specifically it doesn’t have any facility to tag or categorise media or organise images into folders.  Also any album like display options are very limited and ‘uncool’ compared to modern sites.

What the media library does do however is allow images to be attached to a page (or post) so if you think of a post as the key organisational unit this will help you understand the native features.

It does also already handle searching, image cropping and scaling with regeneration of thumbnails and gets a big +1 for being a built-in module, therefore highest compatibility, support, possibility of new updates, so…

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