Some people need assistance when preparing images for our beautiful virtual studio tour or for the Celebration of Clay People’s Choice Vote. It makes it SO much easier to update these websites when the images are received exactly as requested. Easier translates into faster and more accurate.
Let’s divide this up into two parts: Taking of the pictures and preparation of the images.
In contrast to the start up of claystudiotour.com when I would offer to make digital images of anyone’s work who brought it to me (I still do), most artists now seem to have the ability to take good quality images of their work with their digital camera…or get someone to do it for them. Also, for taking pictures, there is lots of information available. There are books, friends, on-line resources…they can all get you some digital images. For example, go into a search engine, like google.com, and put in “how to take pictures of sculptures” or “how to take pictures of pottery” and you will find lots of links. Just make sure the images are staged professional looking photos of your work…not snapshots like you would post on facebook or send to friends.
The 2nd task, preparing the images to send to the NMPCA webmaster, can be overwhelming to artists who are not used to working with image manipulation programs. Many artists still have trouble preparing the images. This article tells you how to do it: ImagePreparationforClayStudioTour.
The article assumes that you are somewhat familiar with using your computer, finding things on the internet, locating and saving files on your computer’s drive, moving the mouse and selecting options. If you need help with these basics, I recommend you get a computer-savvy friend to help you or take a basic computer skills class.
Most of you realize that sending people the image direct from your camera does not give the recipient what they need. Usually, the image from modern cameras is too large for use on a website, the image may need to be cropped, color corrected, or otherwise adjusted to show the work to advantage, and the file name must be changed to allow proper identification of your work. The process of transferring the camera image into something that can be emailed as an attachment is called preparing the images.
Many people use Photoshop Elements or Photoshop to prepare images, but this requires buying (and updating) software on your computer. Most digital cameras come with some image editing software, but this must be installed and learned. I have recently been using a free on-line tool that costs nothing and only requires a computer (or a tablet) and an internet connection to use with your digital images. It does a great job of preparation and is easy to use. The article describes the steps to use Pixlr.com Express to prepare images for claystudiotour.com. Article on Preparing Images for claystudiotour.com