The Perfect Web Image

    I often receive comments that my web images look so perfectly sharp and well processed and I thought this blog is a good way to share my web image editing process. For all of you who think I sit in front of my images for hours and process them heavily, I have to say that’s not the case. When I prepare an image for my website it usually takes 2-3 minutes. I start in Lightroom2 , where I correct the exposure and WB if needed and then I move the image to Photoshop. This post does not intend to change your post processing or has any intention to become a guideline. It’s just a description of how I process my images.

    In Photoshop I adjust the levels, add saturation and add contrast. Then I select the background and use some gaussion blurr on it. Sometimes I also use the internal PS Noise reduction. That was basically it. So far I think I do nothing special and most of you do it likes this.

    The important and different part comes now . Instead of resizing my image in one step and sharpen it at the end. I resize my images in 500 pixel steps and use an USM at every of those steps.

    I describe my technique for a Mark IIn Image. It has a width of 3500 pixel on the long side.

    My initial step is to sharpen it heavly and strength 120 and radius 1. (120/1) Then I resize it to 3000 pixel on the long side. In the next step I sharpen it a little less. 80 strength and radius 1. Then I proceed as the following:

    resize to 2500 – sharpen 90/0,6

    resize to 2000 – sharpen 60/0,4

    resize to 1500 – sharpen 80/0,4

    If you use a different camera or file size you might to change these values slightly or add more/less steps. Just play around a bit and you will find your perfect fit.

    I then resize it to my designated web size, which is usually 999 or 750 pixel. If I resize them down to 600 pixel I sometimes add one more sharpening step or use the sharpening brush in Photoshop, if I find some parts too soft. To make things easier I created a PS action, which also adds my signature and a small frame. The whole process may take 5 seconds.

    Sometimes you get some dark or bright halos around the bird. I get rid of them by using the softening tool(what’s the right name of it?) with a strength of 85% and a pixel size of 2. And go over them and they disappear.