Using the CP5 image editor

Plus: Eight simple tips for uploading images

Published: Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Updated: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 15:07

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When moving an issue of your newspaper from print to online, special attention should be given to the photographs.  As easy as it might be to just upload the same photos from the print edition and be done with it, it's important to consider that internet gives you many more options than you'll have in the print medium.  Here are 8 things to keep in mind when optimizing your pictures for the web.

1) Upload color pictures
It may seem like a no-brainer, but be sure to get color images from your photographers and designers to run online.  Just because you might be limited to black and white photos for some of your print edition stories, does not mean you should be uploading B&W images for your website.  Unless the photos are specifically in B&W for a reason, color is the only way to go.
2) RGB
Again, another simple thing that seems to be overlooked from time to time.  All pictures uploaded to your site (or any site for that matter) should be in Red/Green/Blue color space. Cyan/Magenta/Yellow/blacK color space is for print and print only, images uploaded to the system in CMYK will not display on the internet (although, Safari on a Mac will show CMYK images on the internet).
3) 72dpi
Although the CP5 system will correct this, I've always found it easier to work with photos as the resolution that they will ultimately be in.  200-300dpi is great for print, but the monitors that your readers will be seeing these images on will be 72dpi, so they should be uploaded at 72dpi.
4) Keep the file size down
Photo files that are uploaded should be no larger that 800px wide, as that is the largest they will ever display.  Abiding by that rule will also keep the file size of your photos down.  Photo files shouldn't be larger that 80k, as having files larger than that will cause your site load times to go up. 
5) No need to crop (most of the time, see #8)
Another print to online dilemma, the photo had to be cropped to fit into the required spot in the print layout, should it be the same way online?  No, photos should be shown as taken online, again unless they were cropped for a specific reason.  The limitations of print layout shouldn't limit your website.
6) More photos
Your photographer took 10 great photos, but only 2 could fit in print, upload them all to your site. You can even tease in your print edition that there are more photos available online.  That being said, should all 10 run right down the right side of your story?  Probably not, consider a slideshow for stories with more than 3 or 4 photos.
7) 2 sets of photos
Color correcting is a major part of having good-looking photos in print or online.  But, after the color correcting is done, one set of photos should be saved for the web before applying any print specific filters and converting to CMYK.  Masks and filters can add unnecessary noise to your photos and the process of converting a photo from RGB to CMYK will dull the colors.  Avoid these issues, and save twice.
8) Consider the format
Depending on how a given photo might be displayed throughout the site, from being in a rotating box for a lead story to a teaser photo, you should always consider the best crop for any particular use.  Sometimes what would work best for one area wont look best for another. Don't be afraid to upload multiple copies of the same photo for this reason.  Also be aware of when a horizontal photo may be necessary compared to a vertical photo.  Having vertical photos in certain areas can cause your layout to become skewed or create awkward white space. 
9) Save time
Upload your images using the zip file uploader, this is a quick time saving feature of CP5. Simply place all the images that you would like to upload, zip up the file and upload one file rather than 30.
10) Use a naming convention
What you name your photo files is the name that's going to be displayed in the alt text field on your site.  Be sure use a naming convention that is relevant and memorable, as this will making searching for your photos much easier in the CP5 system.  Example: don't name your photo basketball 1.jpg  name it mens basketball jones 12-02-09.jpg

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