Reflection of Week Two’s Lesson

This week I developed my existing skills regarding image formats. Image formats enhance readability, quality of images, continuity of blog posts and standards of online journalism. 

I worked through my first published blog post and put image formats into practice. All my photographs were taken as a portrait orientation. However, this is not suitable for online journalism. All images must be landscape.

To the best of my ability I had to crop the image to be a landscape orientation and adjust the image size to 640 pixels wide. It was important all images had this format to give continuity and accuracy. 

Also, I added captions and Alt-Text to the images. It is important that the captions are used to give further information or context to the image. For example, I used secondary sources statistics for some photographs to further the information as to why I chose to take that photograph. The Alt-Text description does the opposite of what a caption does. It is used for the visually impaired and the computer essentially ‘speaks’ the text so they can get an essence of the photograph. 

One example within my photographs of this is ‘A Big Issue Vendor offering a magazine to two women walking towards her. Photographed from behind.’

Never the less, portrait images can be used for online journalism. Often, portrait images of people will be used to accredit an author, writer, journalist etc by their Byline. I incorporated a photograph of myself to demonstrate this in my first blog post and aligned the text to wrap around the image. Again, it is important to adjust the image size so it doesn’t dominate the article. I adjusted the width to 215 pixels. 

Finally, we discussed in class different type of Image File Formats. Even though we discussed many such as GIFS and PNG  files, the ones I will predominantly be using will be JPEG and RAW files. 

JPEGS are a great, widely used file format. They support 16.7M colours which offer ‘true colours’ which make the image more realistic than other formats could. As JPEGs are supported in all major web browsers, this is a wonderful tool to publish my images online. However, they use aggressive compression which make files very small, although this is an advantage to your memory space, this can create banding and this compression can discard data from the image. To avoid this, it’s important I set the quality to maximum when saving as a JPEG and only saving the image as a JPEG when the image has been through all stages of editing I want it to. 

In future weeks, I shall be using a RAW format when shooting and saving as much as I can. Karl described this file format as:

‘Uncompressed image information direct from the camera sensor. It’s the best format to shoot in as it gives you flexibility over editing images.’

This lesson has left me with the following ‘Top Tips’ to ensure I succeed with image formats and sizing:

  • Every image should have a caption
  • Every image should have ALT-TEXT
  • Featured images should be sized to 640X480 pixels
  • Always landscape for online (unless a portrait image is suitable to context)
  • Resize images in articles to 640 pixels wide, this is often an industry standard for online journalism

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