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President's Blog

Creating PPC Website Banner Photos
By Ray Roper
Posted on 1/22/2018 5:36 PM

Okay, okay, I did say I wasn't going to spend a lot of time here on technical matters, laid plans....

I’ve had several questions about PPC website banner photos after posting my request for submissions of that species on the club Facebook page and in an all-members email blast. So those of you who already know all this stuff, bear with me and we’ll endeavor to find a more interesting topic for the next post.

I’m a Lightroom nerd, and other than freebies like Picasa, I’ve never used any other editing program, so those of you who do use something else may have to interpolate a bit here, but I think the general actions and sequence of events is relatively similar in most photo editing packages.

The first trick is to select an image with a narrow strip through its middle somewhere that will still make visual sense when cropped to the rather drastic dimensions needed for the banner photos, which, you may recall from the earlier post, are 310 x 1900 pixels. The image below is one that looks favorable to me, so I enter the LR Develop module and first note the pixel dimensions of 5472 x 3648 in the upper right corner.

We want to use the full width of the image file and crop the height so that it matches the 310 x 1900 pixel ratio of the banner we want to create. It’s a simple ratio of height ÷ width = 310 ÷ 1900. Substituting the width of the image above, that becomes desired height ÷ 5472 = 310 ÷1900. Solve that by (non-math nerds, take a nap here) multiplying both sides by 5472 and you get desired height = (5472 × 310) ÷ 1900. Get your calculator out and you end up with the desired height = 892.8. The formula can be generalized to: desired height = (width of your source image × 310) ÷ 1900. That doesn’t seem so hard does it?

So we need to crop the above image in Lightroom to full width and a height of 893, or as close to that as we can get with mouse control of the crop window. In Lightroom, remember to unlock the aspect ratio in the crop tool, then drag the crop handles to get the desired height..

In my example, I got to a height of 896, which is about as close as you can hope for, given that LR does not let you type in a specific number.

Once you have the image sized in this way, the last step is to use the LR “Export” dialog to create a JPEG file of the correct dimensions for the website. The key entries in the LR Export dialog are shown here (LR nerds, note that I have saved all these export parameters as an LR preset, “PPC Banner”):

That’s it. Save the exported file in a place where you can find it and upload it or email it to me. On that latter matter, it occured to me after my earlier post on the subject that website member photo albums filled with these very oddly shaped images might not be the best way to go, so I recommend you just email them to me. My email address can be found in the website Member Directory and also on the Contact Us and Executive Committee pages.

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