Every great website has pictures that give meaning to the words and messages that the website wants to display. Your photos need to compliment your page in order to help viewers better understand the content. Photos are important whether you are a retailer who wants to display your product, a restaurant who wants to show off some food, or a blogger who wants to put imagery to a story. Visual appeal is extremely important on the web, which is why you should know how to make your photos stand above the rest. This post is the 1st in a series of how to improve your photographs on your website.
There are many photo editing programs available, all with their benefits and setbacks. In this post, we will review 4 of the most common applications: Photoshop, Lightroom, Gimp, and Instagram.
“Photoshop” has become a household word in the last few years, referring to how advertisers can take a real image and change it entirely without the photo losing any credibility. If someone is standing in the background of your photo, you say you’ll just Photoshop them out, or if you think your bikini body could lose a few pounds, you’ll just Photoshop them away. But many people don’t really understand when photoshop is necessary and when it may just be excessive. Photoshop is useful mainly for photographers and advertisers or hobbyists. With it’s price tag and technical learning curve, it’s not recommended for those who just want to quickly edit a few pictures every now and then.
Photoshop is best for editing a single photo to look exactly how you want it.
Pros: Can do virtually anything, extreme flexibility
Cons: $550+, difficult to master
Lightroom is another application by Adobe and is a branch of the Photoshop suite. Lightroom comes installed with many functions that most people look to Photoshop for: blemish removal, recoloring, touch-ups. Lightroom also has the functionality of organizing and sorting your photos, allowing you to manipulate and store many at a time. Lightroom is a great tool for businesses who need to keep different products or services organized and edit many pictures. With it’s relatively small price tag, it’s a good investment for many.
Lightroom is best for editing large amounts of photos quickly
Pros: Quick and organized, comes with many important presets
Cons: $70 – $150, small learning curve
GIMP is a free software that provides functions such as photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring. Gimp is the only product that currently works on Linux and is also convenient due to the fact that it uses very little room on your hard drive.
Gimp is best for editing photos on a budget.
Pros: Free, user-friendly
Cons: Not as sophisticated as Photoshop, doesn’t have many plugins
Instagram is the number 1 photo editing app for smartphone users around the world. Very rarely will you find a picture on a social network that has not been filtered by this app. Instagram does not yet have compatibility with computers yet, but for those who need a quick fix to a picture they took on their smart phone, this program is perfect.
Instagram is best for quick edits to Smartphone pictures.
Pros: Easy to use, free
Cons: Low customization, only works for phone pictures
What programs have you used to edit your photos? Have any recommendations? Let us know in the comments and stay turned for part 2 in our series on improving images on your website!