Image Basics for Bloggers

My all-in-one scanner/printer scanned this picture at 1.2 MG. I brought it down to around 50 K for this post.

How does one find, much less decide what images to post on a blog? How does one determine if it is OK to use an image found somewhere on the web? Here’s my overview of images, choosing them, adjusting them, and incorporating them into your blog post.

Photos and Drawings

Personal photos are the easiest and most enjoyable images to use on a blog — yours, those taken by members of your family, and the amazing historical family photographs that we accumulate as we get older (and that almost always interest our children).

With a print or old family photo, the easiest thing is to scan it as a jpg file. The best resolution for a blog is 72 dots per inch (dpi). Some scanners allow a user to chose the resolution and others do not. Some might use the words “prepare or export for web.”

The higher the resolution the bigger the photo and the more memory it uses. A large image takes much longer to load when people check out your blog. Smaller is faster and better. If your scanner does not allow a user to set the resolution, scan it first and then use a photo editing site or program. My scanner scans at high-resolution and leaves it to me to adjust things. Read lots more information about scanning.
If you have a picture taken with a digital camera, chances are the image is high (in fact, very high) resolution. Most of us keep buying new digital cameras even though, eventually the increasing mega-pixels do not mean much — how many pictures need to be 15 by 18 inches? While blog sites make valiant efforts to upload and adjust the size of these huge images if you try to upload them, it’s far better to use an image editing program to reduce the resolution and the size. I’ve listed a few below. Many more are available.

  • Picassa
  • Photoshop Elements
  • iPhoto
  • Picnik
  • Preview (a Mac program)

Kids Drawings

Kids drawings and pictures should be scanned in the same way with the same. Save a picture as a gif because a jpg file is a photographic format and the gif file format has more ability to deal with lines and brush strokes.

Images from the Web and Copyright Concerns

The web is chock full of images, and they are so easy to find through Google images, but copyright and license issues are always a concern. You want to set an example here for your kids and your readers — demonstrating your respect for intellectual property.

Look for this symbol, which means you can use an image as long as you attribute the source.

To help you choose images that can be legally used on your blog, Google provides an advanced search filter that helps to identify images you can post. Click on advanced search, and at the bottom is an option to filter by usage rights. The various licensing filters can be confusing, so Google has a page where users can learn more about Google image usage and filtering.

The best reservoir of images that I’ve found is EveryStockPhoto.com. After registering (it’s free) a blogger has access to millions of tagged and searchable photos. Read the site’s about page. Another good site is Flickr, searching using the creative commons tag. Learn more about creative commons licenses.

Making an Image into a Link

To make an image into a link, use the instructions and links in Lesson 11.

Free Images for Your Blog

Free Images for Your Blog 

My gratitude to Stacy Nockowitz from Some Novel Ideas for discovering two of these.

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