Photoshop Tips & Tricks answers readers' questions about using Adobe Photoshop Elements to optimize photos of cars for and other online sales sites... Design & Publishing Center,   Photoshop Tips & Tricks Department. . .

Photoshop Elements

Optimizing auto shots for the web

Dear DT&G:

 > I'm using Photoshop Elements to upload
 > photos of our cars to and
 > do not really understand what "optimizing"
 > is all about. Can you help?
Sure, it's relatively simple for that purpose.
Prepare the photos
First of all I assume you've surfed, and you understand the size a good photo should be, and you've noticed those which load quickly and those which load slowly.
      In my experience it's best to strike some medium size where it will load relatively quickly, yet retain a lot of its crispness and detail -- it is, after all, a multi-thousand dollar purchase and you want to represent it right.
      In another column we'll show you how to make minor changes to your auto photos, or photos of merchandise for eBay that will make your item really look good.
The Photography
I also have to put in a note at this point that photographing the car is as important as optimizing it after its been shot. No manner of manipulation can really save a bad photo. Garbage in, garbage out -- as they say.
Two shots better than one
I advocate for my auto dealer clients combining two views of the auto into a single, well optimized photo. This serves two purposes: getting a better view of the auto, and getting TWO views loading up top so the reader doesn't have to scroll, thus losing the previous view.
      Those of you who have not marketed vehicles on AutoTrader, or products on eBay should remember that the following really can be applied to any image you plan to transmit online -- whether it's a web page or attachment to an email.
Continues on next page...

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