Zoom In on the Best Image: Production Graphics with Wendy Peck at webreference.com | WebReference

Zoom In on the Best Image: Production Graphics with Wendy Peck at webreference.com

Zoom In on the Best Image: Photo Composition for the Web



The last article, Web Photos that Pop, attracted a lot of mail. It seems there are many of you out there who feel a little out of control when it comes to photos for your Web pages. We looked at enhancing images with raster program controls in that article, and this time, rather than go deeper into the correction mode, I want to focus more on composing your images, or choosing the best way to present your photos.

If you have any experience with photography, you know that using the correct light, film, or settings will only take you so far. Soon into your development, you will discover that the best technical settings in the world will not overcome weak composition. Artists who work with pen or brush discover the same reality. Good composition is the backbone of any photo.

Most times, however, we do not have the control with Web photos that we have with photography. If we are working for clients, or even compiling our own pages, we are usually working with prepared images. These images can be poorly composed, and if scanned, quality is questionable. To bring this content to life, make sure you see Web Photos That Pop. You can also add energy and impact to photos, by cropping the image, which means to trim some of the content, or stripping out a background. Reducing clutter in a photo can make the difference between a "yawn" image and one that makes your page sizzle.

Take a look at the images at the left. In the top image, it is hard to find a focus for the image. Are you showing a family, a car, or a suburban street scene? Pay attention to how your eyes dart all over the image without finding a resting spot. This is a weak photo.

However, zoom in many times, and strip out the background, as in the lower image, and you are making a connection with this family. The detail that emerges as the size increases brings the people to life.



Photos in this article are from the Hemera Photo-Objects 50,000, Volume 2. The images in this collection are excellent quality. However, for this article I may deliberately wreck images to represent a common problem with image composition, so that I can show you how to fix them


Before we get into the specifics and artsy topics of selecting image content to feature on your pages, we need to step aside for a discussion about resolution. There may be no more confusing topic to beginners in the graphic world, and even designers with excellent skills and years of experience may not understand resolution issues well. The next page is a bit dry, and certainly not exciting, but please do not skip over it. Unless you understand how resolution works for images, you will never reach full mastery of images.



Wendy Peck is a working Web designer and writer living in NW Ontario, Canada. http://wpeck.com


Next page

Zoom In on the Best Image: Tutorial Index

Photo Composition for the Web
Know Thine Resolution
Taking Advantage of Resolution
Finding the Right Portion of an Image
Removing Backgrounds

Front Page2345

Created by Wendy Peck,
URL: http://www.webreference.com/graphics/column50/
Created: July 21, 2001
Revised: July 21, 2001