e-maginings: Picture This

February 23, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as , with 6 and 0
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I’m currently taking Suzanne McMinn’s online class Color Me Blogging, sponsored by OCC RWA. It’s a great class and we’re all learning a lot.

One of the things we discussed is putting graphics in blogs and whether readers like them or not. The only downside I can see if for people with slow modem connections as the graphics take longer to download than plain text. I spend part of the week at a location with a modem connection and I basically turn off “download images” just to speed up my internet experience. It’s not as much fun, though.

One thing you can do to make the pictures download faster is to resize them to a smaller size, say 200-300 pixels high. I use Paint Shop Pro to do that.

If you don’t have a personal picture to illustrate your blog, there are online stock photo sites where you can pick up pictures relatively inexpensively, if not free. My favorites are:


http://www.bigstockphoto.com/

http://www.dreamstime.com/
http://www.istockphoto.com/index.php

You can register for free at all of them, but you have to buy download credits to purchase the photos. The cost of the credits ranges from $1.00 to app. $2.50. The cost of the photos generally varies by size, with the smallest costing one credit and larger ones running At iStock photo, there’s always a free image of the week, plus their dollar bin section where every picture costs one credit. Dreamstime.com has a large section of free graphics. The picture in this post is a free graphic I downloaded from dreamstime.com because I loved it, but didn’t know what to do with it, so I’m sharing it here.

So, what do you think? Do you like photos with your blog entries or not? If so, small or large graphics?

Linda McLaughlin w/a Lyndi Lmaont

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A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

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    A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.
  • Anonymous says:

    Shauna,

    Good thinking. We are turning into a “visual” society, aren’t we?

    Linda

  • Anonymous says:

    Jina,

    Thanks for the info about taking a snap from a video. I’ll have to give that a try. I’ve created videos using WMM, but never taken a snapshot from one.

    Linda

  • Anonymous says:

    I’ve started using pictures in my blog to break up the text and make it more reader friendly. If I find an intriguing image related to my topic, I open with it as a way to “catch” readers who are taking a quick glance at my Web page.

  • Anonymous says:

    Linda,

    Thankz for the links!! Good info to have when you need a pic.

    I’d also add that you can “take a snapshot” from a video you shot yourself (you can’t do this with copyrighted videos) and use that for a graphic. For PCs, Windows Movie Maker is a free program installed on your computer (from Microsoft).

    Run the video in WMM, pause, then click the “snapshot” button on the far right side of the preview window and save to a file.

    Best,
    Jina

  • Anonymous says:

    Gina,

    Good point about Blogger sizing the photos down for you. LOL, I set my preferences once for that and forgot all about it.

    Linda

  • Anonymous says:

    I *love* pictures with blogs. For my blog, I usually take my own and size them down when needed.

    As for slow-loading, I haven’t used regular phone-line connection in so long I forget how frustrating it is to have to wait for the images to appear. Good reminder.

    BTW–Blogger sizes them down for you, although if you click on the images you can see the full-size of what you uploaded to your blog.

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