How to get High Quality Photos on Facebook Business Pages

Frustrated by the artifacts? Puzzled by the pixel degradation? Yes, Facebook takes your photos and squashes them down to more download-friendly sizes and in that process turns your art into… lower resolution art. So you’ve taken a fantastic pic and want your client and all their friends (and all their friends’ friends) to see it but, dash-it-all, it looks like garbage! What they hay? When this happens and you want rectification, Portable Network Graphics files are your new friend-o. PNGs for short, pack a larger file size than the JPEGs you’re used to, but the fidelity in the quality is beyond compare. Not sure if this is a photographer’s secret that others are hiding but I follow plenty of other professional companies whose photos turn out junked up by Facebook. So… I pick my RAWs in Bridge, edit in Photoshop, batch convert to hi-res JPEG with Automator, batch scale and convert those hi-res JPEGs to PNGs at 1000px on the longest side (again in Automator) at 72dpi. On Facebook they take about 3-5 seconds longer to load and view on a cable modem but hot damn if the difference isn’t astounding. This is a problem that’s plagued me for some time now and with all the comments and likes on previous photos it would be insane to go back and re-upload all our albums but at least I know for the future. Check out the detail loss in the hair, the artifacts around the face, and the general degradation in the first photo, which is a screenshot of a photo on our Facebook page. The photo looks fuzzy and sharp edges disappear. But the second screenshot (also from our Facebook page), saved as a PNG, sees those problems vanish! Click the photo for a larger version. Facebook business page photo quality - JPEG vs. PNG I specifically remember this next photo being a major pain in the rear. I uploaded it and deleted it. Uploaded it again and then, again, deleted it. The photo on the hard drive looked great! The photo on Facebook looked embarrassing. First photo: fuzzy, unsharp, artifacts, blah. Second photo: great quality, totally sharp. Both photos are screenshots of Facebook business page uploads, there is no sorcery going on here. Facebook business page photo quality - JPEG vs. PNG

    Featured Profile • The Birth Cottage in Tallahassee

    Shutter Pop Photo - Featured Profile

    7:00 pm on a Saturday. It’s graduation day for both Ashley and me but we’re not walking across the stage and accepting our diploma; we’re at our house experiencing the birth of our daughter! We had planned to be at The Birth Cottage for all the excitement but once the contractions started and mama says she doesn’t want to leave the house, well, you just aren’t going anywhere!

    Layla & Alice of The Birth Cottage in Tallahassee Layla and Alice individual shots

    Nestled in the heart of Midtown Tallahassee lies the cozy, intimate cottage where Alice and Layla, a mother-daughter team, have helped hundreds and hundreds of mothers bring their babies into the world. Back to that rainy graduation Saturday – Layla and Alina came to our house in the morning and were there until the evening, coaching Ashley, keeping her calm, and maintaining a positive atmosphere. And then Juni was born, nay, made her dramatic entrance into our lives. Proof…

    Layla & Ashley a few days after Juni was born

    Of course, the welcoming rooms they have at the Cottage are dressed up just like bedrooms to make you feel at home and ready to greet your child, we just never quite made it there the day Juni was born. I can’t say enough about the ladies that run this place – they were awesome through Ashley’s pregnancy and are overjoyed every time they get to see Juni now; they truly love helping mothers and babies and it’s very apparent.

    One of The Birth Cottage birthing rooms and outdoor sculpture Layla & Alice of The Birth Cottage in Tallahassee

    PS The annual Birth Cottage celebrations at Silver Lake are always a blast to attend.

    Vitals:

      Backyard Wedding in Melbourne, FL

      On the east coast of Florida you’re bound for gorgeous weather most of the year, even in the winter. Lizzie and Ryan got married in December in the backyard of a house settled on an inlet. Skies were clear, temperature was nestled sweetly in the mid-70s, fish were leaping out of the water in the middle of the ceremony (no joke and, unfortunately, no photo evidence).

      Backyard details, homemade streamer curtain Back patio in the afternoon sunlight

      See? Gorgeous! What’d I tell ya? The atmosphere was as chill as the photos look. A small group of friends and family were in attendance and were painted in the sunlight as it trickled through the oak trees. See all the photos from this backyard wedding ceremony.

      Wide angle view of the backyard Son of the bride Couple sharing a moment Newlyweds kiss by the water

      Everyone headed over the Melbourne Causeway to City Tropics Bistro in Indialantic for dinner. The room that was reserved continued the intimate atmosphere of the ceremony perfectly.

      City Tropics Bistro reserved room Couple reading notes written to them from family and friends Bride and groom first dance

      Lizzie & Ryan’s full backyard wedding gallery

        Lindsey & Adam’s Vintage Engagement Photos

        The love between this couple is so apparent through their loving gazes and the joy shines through Lindsey’s infectious smile. They were a blast to hang around and Adam’s humor has us all frequently in stitches. Their wedding day is on November 11th to honor the veterans who fought to protect the US and also to honor the loved ones in their families who have passed on. To celebrate and accent their new lives together and recall the past, they are having a vintage/DIY wedding and wanted a vintage/DIY engagement shoot to accompany. I was happy to oblige.

        We met out in the late afternoon at St. Marks near the lighthouse for a beautiful sunset shoot. Then, on another day, we completed the engagement shoot at the Tallahassee train station with Lindsey and Adam dressed in their vintage finest, lookin’ pretty sweet.

        Lindsey and Adam enjoy a beautiful late afternoon picnic near the St. Marks Lighthouse on the Florida Gulf Coast Lindsey and Adam enjoy a beautiful late afternoon picnic near the St. Marks Lighthouse on the Florida Gulf Coast

        View the full vintage engagement photo gallery »

          There’s a Polarizing Filter For That

          Pop those greens, in fact, pop all those colors. Get in-camera higher dynamic range. Clear up blue skies. What if I said this was all possible with one add-on to your lens? Scope the difference –

          Polarizing filter effect looking up at the sky through pine trees

          Absolutely ZERO work in post production to achieve the greater exposure and colors that wow, mind you. Yes!

          Ready for another?

          Polarizing filter effect on afternoon sky

          I wasn’t going for award winning composition, just a view that would allow the difference between polarized and non-polarized to shine through. One small caveat to polarizing an extremely wide angle lens (like the Tokina 11-16mm I’m using here) is that due to the scope of the sky covered, falloff of the polarization occurs (see right side of second set). Again, this is an extreme case, and it still looks better than its non-polarized cousin.

          But wait, there’s more! Another incredible aspect of the polarizing filter is that you can erase reflections from water surfaces, car windows, and other shiny surfaces. The filter works best when facing 90 degrees from the sun.

            Featured this week – Lonni Hopkins Studio Jewelry

            Featured Profile of the Week

            Aloha again, welcome to this week’s Featured Prof- what’s that you say? You haven’t seen a Featured Profile of the Week in… how long? Over a month?! That’s odd, I could have sworn I said I’d keep up wi-… abandoning the site? Never! Vacation time and a broken computer will slow you down. Now pipe down, time for the show!

            I may be a little biased here, but my mom makes some stunningly original and gorgeous jewelry. Did I just destroy my credibility for these Featured Profiles by featuring my mom? Nah. I profile artists, small business owners, and the like; she happens to qualify under a few categories.

            • three handmade silver rings
            • Lemon Quartz Pendant with 14k gold
            • Pyrite & Silver Bracelet
            • Green Amethyst Necklace & Earrings
            Jewelry photos by the masterful Robert Dimante

            Lonni Hopkins profile photo Lonni has lived a life of art: bouncing from lithography to photography, quilting, watercolor, sculpture, and so many mediums in between; her endeavor into metalsmithing kicked off circa ’96. Jewelry seemed a natural progression, pulling from past experiences and artistic expressions, culminating with the acute skill and careful workmanship metalsmithing demands.

            “How light dances across the surface of the metal is an important consideration in the designs.” – Lonni Hopkins

            A new metal has recently entered the field, which Lonni has adopted, more pure than traditional sterling silver, called argentium. It’s a modern sterling silver alloy which modifies the traditional alloy (92.5% silver + 7.5% copper) by replacing some of the copper with the metalloid germanium¹, yielding purities from 930 to 960. In terms that I can understand, it’s a brand new DSLR that has a buffer like an abyss, shoots at 300 megapixels, and downloads 64 gigabytes of data to your computer in 5 seconds. See, I’m already losing readers. In simpler words, it’s a game changer. Another metal new to Lonni’s jewelry designs is 18 karat gold. I suggested titling her ring collection ‘Bling Bling Ring Rings’ for younger crowd appeal but I don’t think she’s going for it. The gems and stones picked for pieces bear names nearly as beautiful as their appearance – aquamarine, amethyst, citrine, peridot, aventurine, and sapphire are just a few. Almost makes me want to start a gem collection. Almost.

            Lonni working on a piece at her home studio

            Hold on, got a call coming in. It’s my mom, gotta take this. Tune in later for more profiles, posts, and pictures; in the meantime, get more sleep and eat your veggies (says mom).

            Vitals:

            ¹ Argentium Sterling Silver on Wikipedia.

              Photographer Confessions

              Confess your photographic sins, my son…

              Well, Ansel, I got started in the wedding business at 19 years of age, shooting video for a great company down in Tampa. Then, a friend of the video company, employed me to second shoot still photos for quite a few weddings. Oh, this is so embarrassing… that whole time I worked for both companies I didn’t know what f/stop was, what it did, or how to manipulate it. It’s not that I knew about f/stop and didn’t take initiative to school myself on its importance, it’s simply that I didn’t even know the term. Naive. Wow. I don’t know if I’ve ever told anyone that before. Now, I did know what shutter speed was and how to change it to achieve certain effects. Also, I knew how to roll on the ground and climb up stuff to get interesting angles. This helped provide variety to the main photog since he got straight forward shots.

              Continue reading “Photographer Confessions”

                Album of the Year 2011 & New Music in General

                No good music made any more? Are you kidding!? When people say there is no good music coming out any more, I feel sorry for them. What are they listening to, or not listening to, to make this statement? Because I’ve witnessed this comment enough times that it has stuck and I feel the need to defend. Now, there is a lot of mediocre to bad music played on Top 40 stations, but I imagine radio play has always been like this. Think of how much music has been produced in the past and the narrow selection still played on the radio. People who think good music production has ceased are missing out on enjoying massive amounts of great, new releases.

                I’ve been on a new music rampage recently! Side note: when I was younger, for one reason or another, I’d never listen to a whole album, only the singles I knew and liked. Why? Nervous I wouldn’t like the remainder of the songs, perhaps. Luckily, I’ve learned the err of my ways and changed my behavior over the past couple years. Today, my audible journey took me through new albums by CSS, Stephin Merritt (of the Magnetic Fields), and Fool’s Gold, each one issuing a unique and dynamic sound! The dance-y, upbeat grooves helped the workday pass quickly. Ahh… the feeling of listening to a through-and-through solid album all the way is spellbinding, sends a chill down the spine. Hearing Merritt’s baritone voice crawl out of my speakers threw me back to my dorm daze, where the Magnetic Fields were a big part of my freshmen playlist. It was very comforting to recall those memories and think of all that has happened in my life since. See what music can do – now I’m getting all nostalgic.

                CANDIDATES!

                Bon Iver - Bon IverFool's Gold - Leave No TraceCults - CultsDale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - It's A Corporate WorldFoster the People - TorchesWashed Out - Within and WithoutContinue reading “Album of the Year 2011 & New Music in General”

                  FSU Graduation Pics at Westcott and Head Shots

                  View more recent graduation photos from FSU.

                  A friend, to whom I owed a photo shoot for some acting she did in a short film of mine, informed me of her upcoming move to California. We never wound up finishing the short film, which was made for Tallahassee Film Festival’s 48 Hour Film Competition, but she did put in long hours and hard work and I wanted to compensate her for the help. We met up to take some iconic photos of her with her gown and mortarboard in front of Ruby Diamond and next to the Westcott fountain at FSU. Being Florida in the summertime, a storm was a’ brewin’ and the lightning started cracking closer and closer to us. I think my insistence on getting our shot in made Amanda a bit wary.

                  Amanda at FSU's Westcott Fountain for a graduation photo Continue reading “FSU Graduation Pics at Westcott and Head Shots”

                    Fun Photo Moments • Double Pictures & Unposed Formals

                    Two types of photos not staged but that I love getting are pictures of people taking pictures and shared moments between newlyweds during formals when everyone else has taken a break from posing.

                    Lovers' glance during family pictures at Goodwood Museum & Gardens

                    Continue reading “Fun Photo Moments • Double Pictures & Unposed Formals”