I’ve been asked many times by other photographers to share how I prepare images for my blog, or online ordering. Here is the nitty gritty of it. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask, either in the comments section (always best since others might have the same question) or through email.
I’m all about streamlining things when I can, to ease my workload and make my life easier. One of the ways I do that is using actions to prep my files for online useage. I create (record) an action in Adobe Photoshop that does everything for me with one click. It converts the color space sRGB, resizes the images, sharpens the image, applies my watermark, applies my border/frame that I use (I have different versions for different online places), and saves as a low resolution (web ready) jpg file.
Before we begin, you will want to create a watermark action. I’ve explained how to do this on another page. How to create a watermark action
You will also want to create an action for any border or frame you put on your image. I have a simple border frame I put on all blog images, and have that already recorded as an action. Whatever border or frame you use is fine as long as you’ve already developed an action to place it on your image.
For batching, if all you want to do is add the logo watermark, then just run a batch using the action you already created.
fill in the boxes with the appropriate information.
Set=where you have the action you are going to choose. I have mine organized so I choose BATCH and all my different batching actions have been put there.
action= choose whatever action you want to do, such as the watermarking action
Source=folder (if you are batching a whole folder. can batch all open images, or whatever.)
Click CHOOSE and choose the file you want to batch.
select SUPPRESS COLOR PROFILE WARNINGS
leave all the rest unselected
Destination= folder where you want the new batched images to be put.
click on CHOOSE and choose (or create) the folder where you want the new batched images to be placed,
select OVERRIDE ACTION “SAVE AS” COMMANDS if your action has a save command in it, you will want to select this option. If there is no save command in your action, no files will be saved.
choose your file naming for the batch.
Click OK, and let it do it’s thing.
BATCHING IMAGES WITH MULTIPLE ACTIONS APPLIED
If you want to combine a few things into your batch process (like I do), an easy way to do it (at least to me) is to write another action that combines the steps I want into one. So, let’s say I want to resize the image for web viewing, add my logo, add a frame, save as low res jpg file.
I’d make a new action, with each of those steps recorded. I’ve already created an action to watermark my images. I’ve already created an action to apply a border frame to the images. Now I want to put everything together. First, if I don’t already have one, I’d create an action folder within your action palette where you put all your batching or workflow actions. it makes them easy to find when you want to batch something.
My batch action for my main blog does many things:
- convert color profile to sRGB
- convert bit depth to 8bit
- resizes my image
- sharpens for web
- applies my watermark
- adds a border frame
- saves as low res jpg
So, each one of those steps needs to be recorded into a batching action. You should have already recorded your watermarking action, and whatever border framing action you are going to use. For sharpening, use whatever system you currently use. So, you have all the main components of this batch action ready to go, you just need to put it together.
Open a full resolution, 16bit, aRGB file (I have you open with all those things so that you record adjusting each of those things. If you never work in 16bit, or never work in anything but sRGB, then you can skip that whole part as you won’t ever need to adjust those).
CREATE NEW ACTION and START RECORDING
EDIT>CONVERT TO PROFILE>sRGB (if you work in a different color space/profile, you will need to convert the profile to sRGB for online viewing)
IMAGE>MODE>8 BIT (if you work in 16 bit then you will need to convert to 8 bit for jpg)
FILE>AUTOMATE>FIT IMAGE> put in the dimensions you want the image to be (before the border frame is added. If you add a border frame, this will add to the size of the finished image so take that into consideration when deciding on your sizing and whether it will fit into your blog)
SHARPEN FOR WEB use whatever method you normally use to sharpen your images for online viewing. If this is already an action, just run that action and it will be put into your batch action. If you normal do a couple steps, just carry those out. I already have an action SAVE FOR WEB so I jsut run that and it’s mow part of my batch.
PLAY WATERMARK ACTION click play on the watermark action you already recorded.
PLAY BORDER/FRAMING ACTION Play whatever border or framing action you use for your blog.
SAVE AS LEVEL 6 JPG
you’re done. Now test it out and make sure everything is working properly. Follow the directions above on how to batch images if you do not know how to actually run the batch.
Once you’ve done this once, it’s pretty easy to create different batch actions for different purposes. So, you might have a batch action for blog images, a slightly different one for online proofing, a different one for flickr or one that preps files for a client DC. I have separate batch actions for each publication I submit to. I also have a batch action for blog images that are in a storyboard format, since my bordering is slightly different (no keyline on the inside edge of the border) and I use this usually on an individual basis when I’m going to post storyboards/collages in the blog instead of individual images.