Common Mistakes When Prepping Your Wildlife Images for Online Use

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry Leave a Comment

More than 250 million images are posted to Facebook on a daily basis.

Add to this platforms like Flickr, Twitter, Instgram, your own blog and website and it is quite obvious that it is very easy for your images to get lost in the masses.

What makes an image stands out is a discussion for another time but for now let’s look at three of the most common mistakes people make when preparing their images for the web.

1.  Dust Spots are bad

Dust spots are a normal part of wildlife photography.  Like it or not, you are going to get them at some point in time.

Dust Spots in Wildlife Photography - Gerry van der Walt

I have been absolutely amazed at how many photographers, both hobbyists and professionals, post image online without checking for and removing dust spots.

With software like Lightroom removing these dust spots is, literally, a two click process.  There really is no excuse.

One of the times that dust spots really show up is during longer exposures so if you have been shooting panning motion or landscape images make sure to check your image before hitting the upload button.

2. Check your color space

Not all too common these days but there are still some occasions when an image with the wrong color space shows up.

Wrong color space - Gerry van der Walt

The above image has been saved in ProPhoto RGB instead of the internet friendly sRGB profile.

If you have your editing software set up correctly this is not something you need to worry about but if you ever save a file, upload it and it just looks wrong take a moment to check what color profile you used to save the file.

3. Sharpen for web – but not too much

You have to sharpen your images.

Even if it is just a little, sharpening an image for it’s intended use is imperative to create the best possible results.

Sharpening images for online use is the same but funny enough the problem is not that people don’t sharpen their images but rather they over-sharpen.  Badly!

Sharpening in wildlife photography - Gerry van der Walt

The goal with wildlife photography is to create a realistic representation of your subject.

When you over-sharpen your image you not only start creating images that look harsh and unrealistic but it can also affect the subtle colors in your images.

If you are unsure rather err on the side of caution.  Less could in this case be more.

Some of the other, let’s call them mistakes, that some people make include cropping way too much resulting in seriously pixelated imaged and watermarks that draw more attention than your actual image.  Watermarks that look like all you do in your spare time is work on creating increasingly more intricate watermarks with text and symbols and images and… don’t. Keep it simple.

You have taken the time to create an image and then process it to maximize the RAW possibilities.

Don’t let one of these three simple mistakes take away from what could be a great quality wildlife image!

Yawning Lioness - Gerry van der Walt

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

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Comments 0

  1. Mark

    Great post Gerry. Such simple things can make the world of difference, but as you say it’s amazing how many people forget about the simple things… Another vote here for not being a fan of watermarks, especially the fancy ones!

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  2. Wayne Marinovich

    Nice Blog Gerry.

    The water mark is still a point of issue for some, but I think that is is vital to have them nowadays. especially since the advent if Pinterest and the likes where after 2 to 3 shares the link back to the sources tends to get lost. As you say even a simple one can add value and not detract from the image. I use my web address as mine which seems to help. Just a question on why you add the year to your watermark?

    Keep the good stuff coming

  3. Andrew

    Always is the little things. People should concentrate more on in camera work and only tweak and check image afterwards…Sharpening is especially off putting when done over the top.

  4. Irene Nathanson

    Thanks for sharing your tips and your photos. I like your recommendation to take the pictures that tell the story. I would love to head out mid afternoon to see what the animals are up to —you never know what you will find. I have been on four safaris to many different camps and to manage expectations is key. Like you said you may see one thing or you may see numerous things. I look for the big things but often find joy in the smallest of God’s creatures. Cheers and happy shooting!


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