If you’ve ever uploaded an image to Facebook (and other social media platforms) and not been happy with how it looks then this post is for you.
Here I share my steps for ensuring that images you upload don’t suffer the Facebook treatment.
It means using Photoshop but only a few simple steps to follow…
Ok so to start off with have your full sized image open in Photoshop.
If you also use Lightroom as part of your workflow then export the full sized image into Photoshop by going to Photo > Edit In > Adobe Photoshop
You’ll then be presented with a dailog box; in here choose Edit a copy with Lighroom Adjustments and then click Edit…
Now that you have the full sized image in Photoshop we need to resize it, sharpen it and then save it.
Go to Image > Image Size…
- Within the Image Size properties I tend to choose 1000px for the length of the longest edge of my images if they are landscape / horizontal orientation. If I’m resizing a portrait / vertically orientated image I resize the longest edge to 900px.
- Make sure that the Resample checkbox is ticked and from the menu choose Bicubic Sharper (reduction) then click OK…
Note: Now that you’ve resized your image you’ll likely find that it appears much smaller within your Photoshop workspace. Feel free to zoom in a little now so you can see it larger BUT don’t worry that it doesn’t look a little pixelated or maybe unsharp; this is purely because you’ve zoomed in to a size bigger than the image has been resized to.
Ok so next thing to do is…
Go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask…
When the Unsharp Mask properties appear enter the following settings:
- Amount: 200%
- Radius: 0.2 Pixels
- Threshold: 0 levels
Once done, click OK…
Now that we’ve resized and sharpened our image, all that remains to do is to save it and we do this by using the export option…
Go to File > Export > Export As…
In the Export As proprties we’ll concentrate on the settings over on the right hand side…
First of all we have File Settings…
- In the Format menu choose PNG
Note: There are also checkboxes here for Transparency and Smaller File (8-bit). With the regards to you’d tick this if there were transparent areas around your image. Maybe this was a cut out and when you uploaded it to maybe a website or something like that you want the text or other graphics to be able to go around its shape as opposed to the straight edges.
As for the Smaller File (8-bit) by not ticking this your image will be PNG-24. What is PNG? It stands for Portable Network Graphics and is a file format that supports lossless data compression, which is most definitely a good thing when we’re uploading images for viewing.
Continuing down the right hand side of the Export properties…
Now when you look at this you might be thinking “Why didn’t we just resize the image here as opposed to using the Image Size option earlier on?” and that would be a fair question.
However, the reason I choose not to do it here is because if you have a large image (say over 5000px on the longest edge) and try to resize it here you may well experience a delay; you may even get the spinning wheel of death as your computer attempts to process it. I just find that using the Image Size menu right at the start as I do is much quicker and ensures I get no slowing down or maybe even a dreaded crash.
Quite simply this will display the exact dimensions of your image that you resized it to earlier.
I always choose the Copyright and Contact Info but I guess that was obvious right?
To finish off with we want to tick the Convert to sRGB checkbox
Note: When you look at your image in the preview at this point you might think that the colours look a bit off. Don’t worrty about it. This is likely because you are viewing a preview of the conversion to sRGB on your monitor that is set to display in Adobe RGB. All will be fine once you upload the image and view it on Facebook or such like.
The last thing we need to do now is click on Export.
This will simply ask you to name the file and choose a location on your computer where you want to save it to. All that’s left then is to head over to Facebook and upload it.
One more thing…
Just incase you’re thinking “Why not just export from Lightroom and set the dimensions and the Colour Space then?” here’s why that won’t work or rather why I don’t do that…
Lightroom sampling is set to Bicubic Automatic which doesn’t work well at all. File type yes and colour space but then we still have to do the UnSharp Mask filter which means having to open Photoshop and open the file anyway. I prefer an easier route of sending directly into one piece of software and doing it all there epsecially as Bicubic Sharper (reduction) isn’t available in Lightroom nor is the UnSharp Mask Filter and the settings applied.
Hope that’s useful.