Preparing Photos for Posting on Nudipixel: Guide for Digicam Shooters

Author: Marli Wakeling

We often like to see bright colours in our photos, but in "science" photography, exaggerated colours can mislead those trying to identify your nudibranch. True colour is often difficult to achieve with point & shoot cameras, as the processors boost colour saturation automatically. As well, some of the underwater modes cause a red shift and exaggeration. Here's a few tips on how to prepare your image for posting on Nudipixel, specifically for you point & shooters out there that are shooting JPEG format.

Download your photos into an image editing program, such as Adobe Photoshop Elements, or Adobe Photoshop. Try to honestly look at your photo. Is it screaming fluorescent orange? If so, you need to tone it down, unless it's the one and nly Nembrotha kubaryana, which truly is flourescent! There are several options. In Photoshop, you can use “Auto-color” under Image>Adjust>Auto-color. It is not perfect, and can go really haywire if you have a lot of blue water. You can also try adjusting the levels: Image>Adjust>Auto-levels.
Note: This is under Enhance in Photoshop Elements.

If your colours need to be toned down still, go to Image>Adjust>Hue and Saturation. Just pull the slider to the left a bit to desaturate a bit.
If your monitor is really old, it may have a colour shift. Short of buying a calibrator, there is not much you can do, unless you are using Photoshop. Included with the program is a tool called Adobe Gamma. Do a search on your computer to find it, and run it. It's not bad, particularly for CRT rather than LCD monitors.

Remember your critter should take up 40% of the image, so crop your work if need be using the crop tool or selection tool.
Once things look good, it's time to size your photo for the web. Go to Image>Image Size in Photoshop, or Image>Resize in Photoshop Elements.

You want have a minimum of 500 pixels on the long side, and 72 pixels per inch (or dpi) for resolution. I recommend a bit larger than 500 pixels in case your image has too much background. I use 1000 pixels for the longest side.

Once you have resized, then you need to sharpen your image so it displays the details well on the web. Go to View>Actual Pixels. Then go to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask. (I know, I have no idea why they call it this!) Adjust the sliders until your image looks crisp. A suggestion is 65-80 percent, 1 to 1.5 radius, and 0 to 2 for threshold. Remember, the more you sharpen, the more noise, in the form of coloured pixels, results.
If you find all of this too confusing, go to Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen

Hope this helps; happy posting!

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