Displaying Photography on the Web

Getting Started:

When deciding to display your photography online, there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account as presenting imagery on the web. What I will cover today is image scan quality, the dimensional size of the image, and the impact of image file formats.

Image Scan Quality:

Resolution is the image quality measured in terms of how many pixels make up your image. It is commonly referred to as “ppi”; (pixels per inch). One of the common dilemmas when scanning photo transparencies to digitize them for use on a person’s website is how detailed of a scan do you need to provide your webmaster to post your imagery online. I’m going to sidestep the issue of image copyright concerns for the time being as I’ll cover that in an upcoming article on its own. However, because your images are to be viewed on a screen, all web graphics should be no larger than 72 ppi and thus anything higher has no improved effect, and only creates longer download times. This will also reduce what an individual could do with the image file if they had alternate motives.

Image Dimension Size:

Pixels are the unit of measurement for the screen and most webmasters design a website to fit one of the standard display sizes. Based on statistics that can be looked up on the internet, we have found that most people today have their monitor’s set to display at least 1024 x 768, if not larger.

Why this is important, is that if your scan dimensions in Adobe Photoshop say that the image is 8.5 inches by 11 inches, saving the file at those dimension will not allow a user at 1024 pixels by 768 pixels to see the image in its full presentation without scrolling both vertically and horizontally. Adobe Photoshop provides the ability to resize the image to a size that will fit within your website design. As an added bonus, it will also reduce the download size of the image that the view of the image will experience without losing image quality. This is something that you will need to work with your webmaster to come up the proper tradeoff between file size and the presentation size of the image in your portfolio. It is important to realize that not everyone has broadband connections, so thumbnails are very much appreciated by those who use dialup connections. One thing I would recommend is to come up with standard dimension sizes for your horizontal, vertical, panoramic and thumbnails and stick to them as it will make your life, and your webmaster’s much easier.

Image File Format:

There are two types of color that can be used in Web graphics. The colors can be associated with the Web graphic file formats we just mentioned: GIF and JPG.

GIF:

GIF is short for Graphics Interchange Format and consists of the 216 common colors found on all computer monitors and within all Web browsers. These common colors reside in a Web palette and its advantages are that it is supported by practically all web browsers, can include transparent backgrounds, supports interlacing (providing a low-resolution preview of the graphic to the viewer while it downloads), and can be used as an image map (allowing the viewer to click on the graphic as they would a regular link to another site).

JPEG:

JPEG is short for Joint Photographers Experts Group and is superior in rendering color and detail found in photographs or graphics using blends, gradients, and other tonal variations. JPEG files use red, green, and blue (RGB) for graphical color. The strength of these colors is set in from zero to 255 with zero being the least intensity and 255 being the highest intensity. When red, green and blue are combined at zero intensity the result is black. At full strength, high intensity, where the values are set at 255, 255, 255, the result is pure white. As a photographer, it is important to utilize photographs as much as we can within your Web portfolio to present your work in the best possible quality so that it captures the true spirit of the subject work.

Choosing between the two image formats:

These full color images should not be saved as GIF files because of the limited number of colors. By having limited colors, the full color image will represent the true colors using the existing Web palette of 216 colors and will create a poor, dithered, and ugly image. That is why it is very important to use the right file format for each specific graphic. Sometimes it’s obvious that a graphic on someone’s web page was saved in the wrong file format. Photos may look too grainy, or flat-color images may look too fuzzy. When selecting GIF or JPEG for your graphics conversion, it is important to consider the type of image you will be working with. Use a GIF format if you’re graphic consists primarily of line art or flat colors without gradients. JPEG-converted graphics are best for photographs or images with fine tonal variations in colors, such as images with gradients or metallic images. Choosing the right file format is not only important for the quality, but for keeping your images file size to a minimum.

Summary:

With proper usage of image scan quality, the dimensional size of the image, and the correct image file format, you will be presenting your web portfolio in a manner that the rest of the world can fully enjoy your work.

Guide To Buying Gemstone Jewelry

Gemstone jewelry not only accessorizes your fashion choice, it also allows you to show off to your friends as the gemstone ring, earring or any other piece of gemstone you will be wearing is of high quality. For you to buy the right unit you need to consider a number of factors such as:

Color of gemstone

According to professionals, the color of the jewelry you choose determines 50-70% of the unit’s value. Gemstone jewelry comes in different colors and it’s up to you to choose the one that is ideal for you. For you to choose the right color jewelry you need to consider three main factors: Hue, tone and saturation.

Hue: It’s the basic color of the gemstone. When making the purchase, go for units that exhibit a pure color. If the jewelry has to have other colors, they should be minimal.

Tone: The tone represents the depth of a gemstone color. It can be light or dark. Professionals put the tone in different categories that include: light, medium light, medium, medium dark and dark.

There are some unscrupulous sellers that might try to sell you other items posing them as gemstone. If you are keen you can tell a real gemstone by simply looking at it. A real gemstone shouldn’t be too dark or too light. The unit should have a bright, rich look. To tell the real color of the jewelry you should look at it at different lights.

Clarity of the jewelry

Clarity describes the presence or absence of flaws inside or outside the gemstone. While it’s rare to get a flawless gemstone, you shouldn’t settle for one that is of poor clarity. While jewelry with a poor clarity is cheap, it’s not of much value to you as it will give you a poor, cheap look.

To tell the clarity of the unit that you are buying you should examine it from the top. If there isn’t a flaw, the flaw won’t show up in the face up position; therefore, it won’t affect the value and beauty of your unit. If you aren’t experienced at picking flaws, take the jewelry to a professional who will examine it under a microscope.

Cut of gemstone

A properly cut gemstone jewelry is beautiful to look at as it reflects light across its surface when you hold it up. If the unit has a cut that is too deep and narrow the surface area will be dark. If the cut is too shallow and wide, the jewelry will have parts of it washed out and lifeless. When making the purchase go for a unit with an ideal cut and desired shape. The jewelry that you go for should be symmetrical in all dimensions so that it appears balanced.

Conclusion

These are the few factors that you should consider when buying gemstone jewelry. To buy a real, high quality unit buy it from a reputable gemstone store.

Do Something Out Of The Ordinary With Adventure Vacations

So you have had enough of sightseeing and historic places and want to do something different this time for your vacation. The best idea would be to opt for adventure vacations organized by adventure travel agencies. Whether you are a beach lover or a mountain person, there is some adventure in every place for the avid adrenalin junkie. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about the planning and organizing of the trip because all this is taken care of by the travel agency.

The best way to find an adventure travel agency is to conduct a search on your favorite search engine on the internet. You will get a long list of websites and you should study as many as you can. Then short list 3-4 of them and call them up on the phone numbers published on the websites. Ask some pertinent questions regarding their skills and expertise and the kind of services that they provide. Some of this information is also published on their website, but you can go into the minute details on the phone. Whether you want to go trekking in the Himalayas or scuba dive in the Andaman Islands, everything is possible and available with these adventure travel agencies. In fact the best agencies will also create tailor made holidays with a combination of activities which will give you the kind of thrill that you have never experienced before.

When it comes to adventure trips they can range from paragliding, jet skiing, trekking, motorbike tours, cycling tours and much more. All the paraphernalia required for the trip is provided by the travel agency and you only need to carry your personal belongings. For instance if you are going trekking in mountainous areas then the travel agency will take care of the food and water, tents, sleeping bags etc. There will be porters and mules to carry the stuff required along the trip and also to carry your luggage. They will provide you with a mountaineering expert and a local guide so that you don’t have to worry about losing your way. At the same time, there are also facilities for first aid and emergency evacuation if the need arises. This means that you are always safe and secure. At the same time, the travel agency will also conduct training and counseling sessions which will prepare you mentally for the trip and they will guide you on how to prepare yourself physically before taking on the ordeal.

On the other hand if you are going on a motorbike trip through rugged areas then the travel agency will supply the motorbikes and other gear required for the trip. These trips will also be led by skilled guides who will ensure that you do not get into trouble. These guides are completely aware of the entire route and they know the eating joints on the way where you can make pit stops and refresh yourself. Any mechanical trouble with the motorbikes will be taken care of by the guides and the travel agencies also have tie-ups with road side assistance providing companies which will ensure that you have the best adventure holidays without having to worry about anything.

Now if you happen to be a beach lover then the adventure travel agency will ensure that you can enjoy the adventure activities like scuba diving with your family. Children of the age of eight years and above can go scuba diving with their parents. The travel agency provides guides and instructors who prepare you for the scuba diving experience and provide some preliminary training so that you don’t feel at odds when under water. Your kids will be specially trained in a kid’s training session so that they feel confident and comfortable during the adventure.

The same is true for any kind of adventure activity that you wish to experience. In fact some of the best adventure travel agencies also provide a combination of experiences like hiking up a volcano, scuba diving and trekking through lush green forests all combined into one package. They can suggest the best destinations for the activities that you are interested in. Whether you are new to adventure travel or have experience it does not matter because the adventure travel agency will prepare you for the ordeal that lies ahead of you and ensure that you go back home with lasting memories of your adventure trip.

Answers To 7 Popular Search Engine Optimization Questions

More and more website owners realize the benefits of top search engine ranking. Therefore, they are willing to invest their time and money in search engine optimization. At the same time, many search engine optimization problems arise. I am trying to address some of them in this article.

Question 1. For the sake of time saving, I just scan our pamphlet as an image file and put it on our main site. Can you help me optimize the website for high ranking?

Your pamphlet may contain lots of text for visitors to read. Since you only scan it as an image file, search engines only recognize that you have a single image file in your webpage. Simply put, they just treat it like a photo or a graphic, and do not convert your image text for analysis and indexing. A solution is to add an alt attribute for the image. It is a bit better because a few HTML text are available for search engines to "understand" your webpage content. However, comparing with rich HTML text in a webpage, text in alt attribute is too few for search engines to analyze significance of your webpage.

Therefore, I do not recommend this approach although it may save you time in building a webpage.

Question 2. If I implement a SEO campaign, does it mean that I can give up my pay per click search engines marketing (PPC marketing)?

SEO campaign and PPC marketing are not mutually exclusive. On the contradiction, they are complementary with each other. First, I suggest you implement both natural SEO and PPC marketing for high conversion keywords. You can get more exposure in the search result pages. Second, because of copywriting or marketing communications consideration, you may not be able to implement SEO for all useful keywords. Under this circumstance, why not use PPC marketing as an alternative? For example, the word "pay-per-click search marketing", "PPC marketing", "search engine marketing", "paid search" are more or less with the same meaning. However, it may be confusing to use all the terms interchangeably through your website.

Question 3. My boss wants to have a full flash website so that our company site is more visually appealing. Can you help me to optimize the website after we make a full flash website?

From experience, many search engines can not "read" content from flash files. In many cases, search engines only treat flash file as if it is a single image file. They do not index the text or follow the navigation links to index content.

Matt Cutts, a Google representative, stated that Google has some improvements in reading textual content of a flash file by utilizing the search engine SDK tool offered by Adobe / Macromedia. However, the tool has not been updated frequently and extract text out of a flash file correctly is difficult. To conclude, reading textual content from flash file is still at a preliminary stage.

It implies that a full flash website is unlicensed to be well indexed by search engines. If natural top search engine ranking is very important to your success, it is not recommended to make a full flash website unless you have a large PPC marketing budget or very confident to create high link popularity over short period of time.

Question 4. Does a dedicated IP address help my search engine rankings?

Dedicated IP address is not an imperative to get top search engine ranking. Many websites with top search engine ranking are using shared web hosting plans. It means that they are sharing the same IP address with other webmasters with low search engine ranking.

However, if your IP address is shared with many search engine spammers, your site's ranking can be adversely affected. Therefore, some search engine marketers prefer to get a dedicated IP address from their web hosts.

Question 5. If I have lots of content in a webpage, is it better to separate the content into 2 webpages?

I think it depends on search engines. For example, Google crawls only about the first 101 kilobytes of a webpage. If your content is more than 101Kb, you're better separating the content into 2 webpages.

Question 6. Why does my site suddenly disappear in Google?

There are several reasons for Google to exclude your site. First, you must make sure that your site meets Google's quality guideline, ie no spamming. For example, you do not put hidden text and links in your website. Second, your site is not hacked. Third, you should check whether your site has some malware. Last but not least, your site may be too new and Google is in the process of refreshing their index. During the process, Google may fall back to the old index version and hence your site suddenly disappears.

Question 7. How can I increase ranking of internal sub-pages?

Many webmasters found that sub-pages of their sites have poor search engine ranking and want to improve rankings of sub-pages. To solve the problem, you should ensure the sub-pages are not buried too deep within a site. Important sub-pages should get more internal links via cross linking related pages. In addition, you should try to get some external site links to your specific sub-pages.