Facebook is the favorite social network of choice of this generation. We all spend more time on Facebook than we spend time sleeping. Uploading images on Facebook results in very high loss of quality, this has been seen by us and our readers time and again. No matter how good the original photo is but after uploading on Facebook the clarity as well as the overall quality of the image is reduced to a large extent. The major reason behind this is that Facebook uses up to 80-90% compression on images uploaded by users. The final format obtained is in JPEG with lossy compression. In a sample test by a user an original image of 917 kb got reduced to 152 kb even on high quality. So how to maintain image quality when posting on Facebook? This is a question we will answer in the next few paragraphs.
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How to maintain image quality when posting on Facebook : The guide.
So what can you do in order to maintain image quality of your uploaded pictures. You can start from the following practices while clicking pictures in order to make sure that they remain awesome on Facebook.
An image that’s clicked good, stays good. But if your image is already blurry or with distorted focus then no amount of editing can improve or maintain the image quality when uploading on Facebook.
Always shoot sharp to get sharp. This implies that a sharp image starts its journey from the photographers’s hands itself.
The following tips are to be kept in mind while clicking pictures in order to maintain final image clarity:
1.) Always take initial image in RAW format.
No matter how high the megapixel count of your camera is, if you start from an already compressed image i.e. JPEG the final results after applying filters end subsequent editing would be less than the full quality possible for the image. Though the file size of the clicked picture would be really large but in order to preserve every minute detail and image information one must use the RAW image format.
2.) Choose a low ISO setting when shooting in low light.
Make sure you use a tripod. For shots taken bare handed make sure that you have a proper shutter speed which you can carry of with ease without shaking your hands and it should not be less than the longest focal length of the lens of the camera.
3.) Use high color depth while editing to make sure a wide range of colors is used and accurate color reproduction is done from the original RAW picture.
4.) Don’t use sharpening effect until the very end.
Save the sharpening chops for the very end of your editing process. And if possible always use selective sharpening on your images i.e. sharpen only the areas where dark colors meet light colors and not on the the whole breadth and length of the images.
5.) Save the picture at the end as a TIFF file with all the layers unflattened.
Now you can resize the picture or do some final edits before uploading it on Facebook.
Here is a test that we did with an image that we had made.
How to maintain image quality when posting on Facebook : Post production and editing.
The above points were few guidelines in order to make sure that the best image quality is achieved while clicking pictures. But in order to maintain the same good quality on Facebook few more things have to kept in mind while editing and doing post production.
- Maintain a simple editing regime with moderate adjustments to the image. Make sure you don’t over saturate your pictures. Though it might look good on the RAW image but when you compress/resize the image the beauty is lost and the over-saturation would creep in when pixels are not as clear.
- Keep checking your image on it’s 100% image resolution. If you don’t keep in mind that the editing software you use shows you a scaled down version of your images in the editing window then you might end up thinking that the image is looking really good when in reality the pixels might be blurred or distorted. So keep checking whether the image looks good in the 100% mode or not.
- Avoid additional borders, and filters. Using too many filters, frames and borders only adds to fanciness and does nothing to improve the quality of the image.
- Resize the pictures at the end before applying any sharpening effect. After all the editing has been done then you should resize the picture. One more thing you should keep in mind is that no edge of the picture should be greater than 2048 pixels, images larger than that are cropped down to this resolution because it’s the maximum width that Facebook can display.
If you use images which are less than the maximum resolution then compression artifacts would be more easily noticeable because of the aggressive compression. So make sure you resize your pictures to 2048 pixels ( on a single edge) in order to achieve maximum quality when uploading on Facebook.
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- Avoid sharpening if possible. Any image compression algorithm applies sharpening on the end result image, so if you sharpened the image already the end result would show more signs of compression. Shooting images on a high ISO also leads to compression artifacts being more pronounced at the end.
- Use PNG images instead of JPEG images. This is something that is subject to debate but in most cases using a loss less PNG image saves more data in the image as compared to uploading an already compressed JPEG image. Sometimes when the JPEG image has already been compressed to a high point it gives a better result than the same PNG which Facebook sometimes converts to JPEG and sometimes leaves as it is. So it’s safer to use PNG format at all times.
So this was all that we wanted to tell you about how to maintain image quality when posting on Facebook, we hope that you find this post useful and put this knowledge to good use.
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