What size stock photos do I need for good quality

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by fool32696, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    Here's my work in progress to see how big the pics will be: www.centralfloridalandscape.com/MnGhome.html

    I'm debating between buying small files (847x567) and medium files (1694x1133). I'm thinking that the medium file will be overkill for the pic size on the site and be a waste of money. What do you guys think? I don't have any experience in buying stock photos.

    Feel free to tear my site apart while you're at it.
     
  2. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,960

    The internet displays photos at 72 pixels per inch. Your 847x567 would display at roughly 12" x 8" and you will likely have to reduce them in size to use them. You would be wasting your money to buy the larger size. They too will have to be reduced even more and you would not gain anything.
     
  3. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,960

    Just as a little example of what I was talking about is the photo with the boys and dog is at 389 x 280 pixels. Whatever size you buy it in would need to be reduced to 389 x 280 so no sense buying something you can't use.

    The photos seem nice by the way.
     
  4. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    thanks for the advice, exactly what I was looking for
     
  5. Jb3NH

    Jb3NH LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    if you have the time to edit your photos, croppin and what not, i'd suggest using the .bmp (bitmap) format for your pictures. Saves space, and loads a heck of alot faster for your viewer. theres a common function "save for web" that'll do that for you.
     
  6. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,960

    JB, since you do website work part time I am assuming you know what you are talking about but it goes against what I always thought. My impression was always that BMP files were larger than JPG and did not work as well as photos. I was under the impression that JPG was the choice for photos, GIFs for solid colors and things like logos and TIF for printwork. Click on almost any photo on the internet and it is a JPG.

    Assuming he is using a digital camera the native format would be jpg and I also thought it was better to not convert format's any more than you have to. Truthfully I didn't even think a Bitmap photo would display on the internet.
     
  7. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,174

    The only file formats that will display properly in a web browser are .jpg, .gif and .png. Jpg is the best format for these types of photos.

    When you buy stock photos, you should only purchase .tifs since they can be retouched, resized and saved without losing quality.
     
  8. amtrucker22

    amtrucker22 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 69

    Site looks good. I would like to meet the girl in the picture on the Contact Us page :D
     
  9. cbscreative

    cbscreative LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    I recommend against this. The BMP format is PC based and Macs will most likely choke on them unless they have some kind of add-on to view BMP images. The advice to use JPEG for photos, and GIF for images like logos that have solid areas of color, is good advice. If you're concerned about file size, you need software that has a save for web option. Unless you're doing high end work, Paint Shop Pro form Corel is a great program for the price and will suit your needs nicely.

    As for the question of what size to buy, the advice given so far is pretty accurate, but I would advise thinking about whether you might need the images for other uses. If you want to also use them on printed materials, they need to be at least 300 pixels per inch (ppi) for good quality printing. The larger the better when you are printing (you can always go down in size, but they look horrible if you try to go up in size). For the web, 72 ppi is enough, and 300 pixels or less on the longest dimension is good for most page images.
     
  10. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,960

    When CBS said 72 dpi is enough he is correct but let me clarify that a bit. Whatever the dpi is on your photos they will display on the internet at 72 dpi. To make what I am trying to say clear if you had a 2 x 2 photo at 144 dpi (exactly twice the 72 just to explain) then it would appear on your web page at 4 x 4. If it was a 2 x 2 photo at 288 dpi then it would display as 8 x 8. If you want the photo to appear as 2 x 2 having the wrong dpi could mess up your layout.

    If you want to do print, print is usually done at 300 DPI in a TIF format. The colors on the web use an RGB display (Red Green Blue). For print they use a CMYK color scheme Cyan, Magenta,Yellow, and Black. (Don't ask me why K= Black) Many photo editing programs will let you set the mode to either RGB or CMYK.
     

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