Are you in control of your digital images?The internet is saturated with digital images, and images are the cornerstone to effective content and social media marketing campaigns. So how do you properly prepare a digital image for use on a blog, social media post, or online advertisement through the use of a graphics editing program and the advantages and disadvantages of using various image file formats?

My Smartphone Takes Pictures, And I Upload Them To The Internet. What’s Complicated About That?

The evolution of digital images on the Internet has evolved along with advancements in digital cameras, smartphones, and blogging and social media services. Before digital cameras became affordable for most consumers, digital images were most often produced from hard copies with scanners – an often tedious and frustrating experience. Digital cameras made the process easier, but it wasn’t until the advent of the iPhone and modern smartphones that taking, uploading and sharing digital images became a seamless and hassle-free experience.

Although this process of producing digital images is easy and convenient, it’s not the only or necessarily the best solution for updating websites, professional blogs and social media accounts. Your photos may require editing, or the dimensions of your images may be unnecessarily large. If you are producing other types of digital images, such as a document or a logo for your website or blog, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of using the most prominent image formats and which image format is the most appropriate for your particular image. Finally, through the use of Exif data (Exchangeable Image File Format), your photographs may be sharing unnecessary and intrusive personal information about you. In this two-part blog series, we will discuss the various ways to edit, optimize and privatize a digital photograph or image.

Editing Your Photos On A PC Or Tablet

When many Internet users refer to editing a digital image, they call it “Photoshopping”. This is in reference to the graphics editing program Adobe Photoshop, which is a popular among artists, graphic designers and both professional and amateur photographers. However, most small business owners and casual photographers balk at the cost of this software – Adobe now requires an online subscription to access their suite of software that can be cost prohibitive. There are less-expensive and even some free alternatives to Photoshop that can be effective replacements such as Paint.NET, the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) and the web app Pixlr Editor.

Graphics editing programs can help you edit your digital images in a number of important ways. Images can be cropped, resized and converted into a smaller file. Various digital effects can be applied, such as altering the contrast and color balance, sharpening or blurring various sections of an image and elements of an image can be edited or removed. Often a digital picture taken with a camera or a smartphone is much larger than is necessary to be displayed digitally on a blog or social media network, so even just resizing your images can result in faster loading times and proper scaling and resolution.

Choosing The Right Image File Format

A multitude of digital image file formats exist, although most are not commonly used. The most common digital image file formats used on the Internet are JPEG, PNG, and TIFF. Another file format, PDF, is commonly used, but it is not specifically a digital image file format. Two other file formats, GIF and BMP, are not as commonly used and are only appropriate for very specific uses. If your digital image file is unnecessarily and prohibitively large, blurry or pixelated or incompatible with a web browser or digital device, you may need to convert it to another digital image file format. In our next blog post, we will discuss these various types of image formats in more detail.