Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What Makes a Good Blog Photo

When I'm not knitting or watching numerous TV shows, I read a lot of blogs. I especially love blogs that inspire me to think more creatively.

One thing I've noticed about all of my favorite blogs is that their photos are large, well-focused, and tell a bit of a story. Maybe it's just me, but when a blog has poor photos, it really turns me off.

This got me to thinking about what makes a good blog photo. Here are my thoughts:

Photos should be large, but not too large.

Photos (in landscape mode) should ideally fit the width of your blog post. You want your readers to be able to see the photo clearly and easily. Don't make them have to squint at a 150 pixel wide photo or scroll around to view a 1500 pixel wide photo. Make all your photos easily viewable and you'll make your readers much happier.

Photos should be edited for color, light, and tone.

I'm not talking about "photoshopping" them, but you should always consider the levels of your photo. Check them in a basic editor before you upload them to make sure that things are looking color-balanced, bright enough, and clear to the eye.

Levels can be checked on a histogram, which can be found in most photo editing programs. The graph-looking color part should be nice and mountainous, centering towards the middle of the graph. Too far in either direction and your photo will end up too dark or too light.

{A more technical explanation of the histogram can be found here: ARTICLE.}

Photos should tell a story.

Don't just upload a bunch of photos without telling us why we should care about them. We really want to care, but it's hard when you haven't put any thought into the composition of your post.

Some ways to do that are:
  • Edit for content. Pick out the best only the best five to ten photos of your day and show us those. Leave out the blurry, awkward ones. Upload them up in chronological order. Put a caption under each. Pretend you're talking to a friend!
  • Edit for viewability. Again. Please leave out the blurry, awkward ones. Really. It just makes you look like you don't know what you're doing. Better to have less photos than poorly taken ones.
  • Edit for a theme. Have fun with photos! Have a theme that runs through your post. Tell a story with color, light, and expression.

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