farmNwife

broadcast your farm

Category: Photo Help

improving your photography for better pictures on your blog

How to Make a Screen Shot

Making a screen shot is a very handy thing to know how to do for bloggers. I make them all the time. With my mac, I just click shift-command-4 and move the cross hairs hilighting what I want copied. It goes straight to my desktop for easy retrieval. But on PC’s the process is a little more complicated then it should be. Before I switched to a Mac, I had discovered a program that I loved. It’s called WebKut. The program is free. So there are aren’t many directions but it is fairly simple to use.

After you download the program, open it.

1. paste the address of the page you would like to take the screenshot

2. Choose a WebKut Option – All Page: it will copy the whole site’s page, Current view: just what you see on your screen will be copied, or Selection: click on the screen and drag a box around what you want to copy (the box can also be moved)

3. Go further- Click Settings: select the file type (usually jpg), select output directory with the Browse button (usually desktop), click OK. Be patient larger images my take a few seconds and the image thumbnail will appear on your desktop. Ready for you to add to your blog post.

The file name will not mean much if you have to search for it. That is why it is best to send it to your desktop, use it, and file it away later.

For Macs it is super easy. Shift-Command-4. Select the area by dragging the cross hairs. The image will be auto saved to your desktop.

If you would, please help me out. Leave a comment to tell me what other technical basics you would like to know how to do. I would really appreciate it.

 

Resize Your Photos

 

Don’t Super Size That

What to do next after you have taken those flattering farm photos.

I have said this before and it is worth repeating. You have mere seconds to catch a visitor’s interest to stay on your blog and continue reading. If your photos do not load immediately those visitors are gone. These days no one has the patients or time to sit and wait for a large file size photo to finish loading. We are talking changing megabytes (mb) to kilobytes (kb). It is very easy to do and you won’t lose quality. Since there are innumerable editing programs, I can’t go through each one on how to reduce the file size. In general, after you are done cropping and tweaking the photo; before you export or save it, this is when you change the mb to kb. You will want the kb number to be around 100 up to 300 for the pictures to load quickly on visitors browsers. The following photo has been reduced from 6mb (left) to 150kb (right) with no real noticeable difference in quality. But there is a big difference in browser load time especially if your whole post or site has 6mb size photos scattered throughout your blog.

two ribbon pics
6mb (left) vs 150kb (right)

The program I use most to edit my photos is Picasa, which is a free program. Don’t get too hung up on exact numbers. Just reducing the photos will give your pages faster load times. If you have multiple pictures on the post, smaller file sizes is even more important.

Then you can follow the steps on how to add pictures to your post.

Link to any of your posts that have a small file size photo in the comments and tell us what editing program you used. If you are having trouble reducing your picture size, let me know and we’ll try to work it out together.

 

Photo to Slideshow Tutorial

Making a Feature out of

Your Flattering Farm Photos

You have a group of photos that you want to post on your blog but you don’t want to just list them the boring old way. These photos need to be show cased, have a little “Wow” factor. You’ve taken the time to follow the directions given at 5 Tips For Flattering Farm Photos. The shots are especially nice and need to be a whole presentation. One way to do this is to use the free video creator at Animoto.com. (There is another way that I will demonstrate another time.) Professional photographers use the paid version to display their portfolios. The following tutorial will take you through the steps in using Animoto to make a video with your photos.

 

YouTube Preview Image

 

The following is the quick slideshow that I made in the tutorial. I would add some titles to at least the first and last pictures. Also landscape photos look better than profile style photos.

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below. Please answer the poll in the sidebar.

5 Tips For Flattering Farm Photos

5 Tips For Flattering Farm PhotosBetter Farm Photos

Gotta love a good alliteration.

My goal with this post is to help you take better photos to post to your farm blog, facebook, or twitter. I do enjoy photography. Practically all my posts contain my own photos getting many compliments. So I’ll let you in on some of the things I have learned. And I promise they are easy and do make a difference.

1. Change your white balance: This will be the most technical tip. So let’s get it out of the way. This tip can also make the biggest improvements in your shots. Find the white balance settings on your camera. This setting adjusts the exposure for the type of light available. You’ve seen those pictures with the harsh yellow casts. That is what we are fixing here. All you have to remember is: Outside use the cloud setting (even with no clouds). In your shop use the fluorescent setting. In your house use the incandescent setting. Simply set it to the light you are in. Please take the time to do this. You won’t regret it.
2. Use Angles: Don’t shoot your tractor, barn or anything straight on. Go to its corner to get two sides of the subject instead of one. This gives much more depth and interest.
3. Use the Flash in the sun: It may sound weird but it works. This is called “fill flash”. The bulb flash fills in the shadows caused by the sun giving much more detail. Remember the flash on your camera is only good up to about 10 feet. Beyond that, you’re just wastin’ batteries.
4. Fill the frame: get closer, closer still. Do you really need to see peoples shoes in the picture. Then once you are closer, offset the subject to the left or the right by 1/3. Creates more interest.
5. Background Noise: Before you click the shutter, notice what is around your subject that will be in the shot. Avoid telephone poles, wires, buildings, cows in heat. You want it to be uncluttered or I guarantee it will be distracting.

Bonus Tip: Put the sun behind or to the side of the camera. Do not shoot with the sun behind the subject unless you are going for the silhouette effect.

There you have five quick and easy ways to take better photos you’ll be proud to display on your blog. In the comments, link to your picture and tell which tip helped you the most.