I have a special technique that I use for re-sizing and sharpening images for the web. At first glance, it would seem like getting your digital images web-ready would be simple. You just re-size and do a quick sharpening and it’s good to go. I used to think that, too.
Then a few years ago, I noticed that other photographers seemed to have much more detailed images with more depth. They looked much more realistic and they accomplished it without any over-sharpening.
Turns out there’s a pretty long process to getting a great-looking web image and I’m going to share it with you. I know there are as many ways to re-size and sharpen for the web as there are photographers. This certainly isn’t the only way, but it’s the way that works for me. I’m not sure who came up with the technique. I’ve seen several great photographers that use a version of this technique. I just modified it to work for me.
Now since there are a whole lot of steps, I’ve modified it into a set of actions you can download and install into Photoshop. I’ve also made a helpful instructional video that explains the entire process and how it works. You’ll want to learn the whole technique in case you need to re-size to a size that’s not available in my Photoshop actions.
The first step is to re-size the image. Take what you want as your final outupt size and multiply it by 1.67. For example, an 800 pixel wide final image starts by first reducing the original image to 1336 pixels wide.
This would be an incredibly long set of instructions to put in an article, so I’ve made a really helpful step-by-step video.
To watch the video on YouTube, click here.
To download the Photoshop actions, click here and select sharpen-actions, then download them to your computer. It’s a ZIP file, so you will need to unzip it. The file will be called “Steve Perry Sharpen.atn.” You can save it anywhere on your computer you choose.
Then open Photoshop and choose the Actions tab and then select the menu to the right that looks like a row of lines.
You’ll see this drop-down menu that will allow you to load the actions. Select Load actions.
Then select the Steve Perry’s Sharpen.atn file.
You’ll see a variety of image sizes to choose from.
Again, you can see the complete steps in the video. Have fun trying it out.
You can see more of my photo tips over at Backcounty Gallery.