in Adobe Photoshop®
submitting images for identification
first-time bird photographers face issues sharing their images with others in
forums, websites or even with friends and relatives. The main problem
is an issue of size. Digital cameras these days are competing with
each other in a megapixel war - adding more and more (often useless)
pixels to impress an unsuspecting market. This has the side effect of
creating very large files regularly crossing 5MB in jpeg format.
Many users have no idea about processing/resizing and share the images
as shot, aided by ever improving broadband services often paid for by
others. Not only is this a great wastage - it can also be a source of
embarrassment for both the sender and the receiver.
widely used monitors can display a full screen image if the dimensions
of the image are 1024x768 pixels. This translates to 14.2 x 10.7
inches at 72 pixels/inch (dpi). As computer screens does not resolve
images better than at 72 dpi, it is not necessary to size images at a
higher dpi when the viewing is done only on computer screens. Prints
require higher dpi's.
Any image resized to 1024x768 pixels is already
about 1/4th the size of a native image shot in a 10 megapixel camera. So
resizing to the largest size that one can view the image in, without
scrolling, reduces file size by 1/4th to say 1.25Mb. But even this is too
large for sharing and most public forums insist that images have to be lower
than 200Kb. How does one reduce a 4-6Mb file to meet this target? Here is how
it is done by those who use Adobe's Photoshop®
Resizing in Adobe Photoshop®
Open the image in Adobe Photoshop
(PS) as a jpeg image, edit as per your taste including colour, exposure
correction etc to arrive at a final full-sized image (Fig 1). [ If you want
to crop the image then go directly to the
Crop section ]
Fig 1: Full size image viewed in Adobe PS3
Step 1: To resize image select Image >
Image size and enter (Fig2).
Fig 2: Choose Image
Step 2: Fix resolution at '72' in the
Size' box (Fig3)
Fig 3: Select resolution for web viewing
Step 3: To create an image of 864 pixels
(12 inches) wide at 72 dpi, fix width at 12 and make sure that both
'Constrain Proportions' and 'Resample Size' boxes are selected. Press OK (Fig4).
To fix the height, change 'Height' only and 'Width' will be chosen
automatically. Usually images loose sharpness on compression. Sharpen
selectively after the image has been resized.
Fig 4: Select Width
(or height) keeping Resolution at 72
Step 4: Select 'File' and 'Save
for Web' from the drop-down box. Press Enter (Fig5).
Fig 5: Choose 'Save for Web...'
Step 5: Select the 'Optimized' tab
on top. This fixes a 'Quality' at 60. Check the resultant file size
at the bottom left and change quality to meet your target file size.
70 to 75 quality will give best results for normal images and
anything higher will be a waste. Below 60 quality, the image will
start loosing details and become flat. Choose a quality that gives
you a file size less than 200Kb for efficient web use (Fig6).
Fig 6: Use
'Optimized' compression & select desired quality
Step 6: 'Save' and give a file
name in the save window that pops up. Note that images shot and
processed in Adobe RGB will, on saving, tend to get a little darker
and gain yellow and red because 'Save for Web' converts images to
the sRGB colour space.
That's it! You have now managed to
reduce a 2,300Kb file to 29Kb for presentation!
Cropping in Adobe Photoshop®
Cropping is an essential tool in
any thoughtful and eye-catching image presentation. Almost all bird
images benefit from some amount of cropping by removing unwanted
elements, helping to focus on the subject of the presentation,
allowing images shot horizontally to be presented vertically, or
simply by resizing the image.
Crop 1: For a horizontal
presentation, a) choose the rectangular 'Marquee tool' from the
'Tools' (Window > Tools). b) On the tool bar preferably choose
'Fixed Ratio' and fix a 'Width' and 'Height' ratio according to the
image needs. Popular ratios are 6x4 and 7x5. c) Drag cursor over
area you want to present (Fig7).
Fig 7: Choose a fixed
ratio and select presentation area
Crop 2: Select 'Image' > 'Crop'
and enter. This will only keep the cropped area (Fig8).
Fig 8: Crop only the
Crop 3: Resize the image as in Step 3 above (Fig9).
Fig 9: Resize for
Adding text Adobe Photoshop®
Adding Text: Text, be it image
details or copyright information is often added to images. The steps
Text 1: a) Choose 'Type Tool' from the 'Tool'
drop-down; b) Choose font, font size & colour; c) Place cursor where
you want the text to be inserted; d) Type necessary text (Fig 10).
Fig 10: Inserting text
with 'Type' tool
Text 2: Choose 'Layer' and 'Merge'
or 'Flatten Image' after the typing is over and enter. This will
complete the text insertion process (Fig11).
Flatten layers to preserve typed material
Text 3: Follow steps 5 & 6 above
to complete image for presentation.
submitting images for identification
for the purposes of seeking identification is a regular image
processing activity of bird photographers. However, most images are
submitted incorrectly hampering the process of identification. Usual
1. Abnormally large files containing
irrelevant information like open sky, water, vegetation etc.
2. Dressed up images including adornments like borders and using
image enhancement tools like saturation and contrast.
3. Lack of descriptive information on the image itself.
That often makes
some of us believe that the presentation of the image is the main
intention and the identification is only incidental. Such requests
often draw no response and who can blame those who spend time and
money trying to help others.
Here is how I would
go about seeking identification help for
the duck (behind
the Gadwall) from the image I shot in Fig 1, above:
a) I have kept the
Gadwall in the frame to offer a size reference
b) I have eliminated all the other birds and open space
c) I have inserted the shoot details in the image itself.
I now have a file which takes up only 12kb
(original (2,300Kb), is focused, contains location and date details,
and can be easily mailed and received by the people who will help me
with the identification. With a file this light I can even add a
couple of more images (if I have them) on the same mail/post without
feeling embarrassed about the inconvenience that I could cause to
the potential identifier.
All the tools to
achieve the image in Fig 12 have been explained in this
presentation. Please think of using them the next time you you want
someone to help you with any identification using an image as the
Note: All images
processed with Adobe®
CS3 of Adobe Systems Inc.