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Tips & Tricks

Use Photoshop To Automate And Blog-Ready Your Images

By Kishore Sawh on April 22nd 2014

We do our Adobe products over here at SLR Lounge. Actually, who in their right mind wouldn’t? Photoshop and Lightroom are the usual culprits when it comes to editing. Lightroom tends to be the simpler, yet highly effective tool to do most edits, and organization and such, hence it’s our primary.

However, I’m always using Photoshop to do tweaks, and when I need to ready an image for publishing online, weather here at SLRL, my website, Facebook, or a blog, it can be a bit of a process, with a few steps I’d rather not go through on each photo. There’s a simple way to automate it, however, and this is what I’ll show you; how to simply make a Photoshop action that will allow you save and export images in the format of your choosing in the size you’d like.

How To:

1. [I always do my edits to the image first to the point of completion. That being said, you can automate some edits to be done in the action as well. Adding vignettes, and sharpening are just a few.] Open up the Actions menu and create a folder. Name this as you’d like. ‘Blog’ for example. Then click on the button next to the trash can, ‘Create New Action,’ and name it. You can also select a hot key to further quicken the process.

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2. With that selected. Hit ‘Record,’ and the button should turn red. Just as a heads up as I’ve been asked before, the time it takes you to do the steps will not reflect in the action, as it will simply do them back to back. You could take an hour between steps and it wouldn’t translate that time into the action.
Ensure your image is in one ‘flattened’ layer. You can just right click and select flatten.

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3. You’re now primed. Select Image>Image Size> and set the parameters for the sizing you’d prefer. Depending on your version of Photoshop you may be presented with a Constrain Proportions option, which should be engaged. Once you are satisfied, click save/ok.

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4. It is at this point that you can edit your photo or apply a standard filter or something as mentioned above. I’ve shown in the image below, just as an example of where you can find easily automated and applied edits.

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5. Look at the Action bar and ensure that the red circle, indicating you are still recording is still there, and red. We now want to save the image. Go to File>Save As and choose the appropriate quality standard you’d like to adhere to. This, as with all other steps, will be applied to all images subject to this action.

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6. Hit the Stop button next to the ‘record’ and that’s it.

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Notes

Once you have this action sorted, you’ll be easily able to use either the hot-key/function assigned key to engage it, or simply go to the actions menu, select it, and hit the play button. This should free up a significant amount of time all while making sure your images are all formatted to fit the size you want.

[REWIND: How To Make Realistic Lens Flares In Photoshop & In Camera ]

If you do make an error, no need to panic. Simply hit the stop button, go and delete the misstep, then hit record again. Your action recording should remain in tact and as you want it.

If you like this, and would like to become quickly adept at Photoshop, I might suggest having a look around our site as we generally post tutorials like this often. And to have a look at the Phlearn Photoshop 101 & 102 as they are comprehensive and will have you doing things with Photoshop you may have otherwise thought too complex, or didn’t even know you could do.

About

Kishore is, among other things, the Editor-In-Chief at SLR Lounge. A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

4 Comments

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  1. Sandy Baker

    There is also BLOGSTOMP-works great!

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  2. Bruce Lim

    Just a quick note to Stan about JpegMini – WOW!!! That is some serious algorithm voodoo magic! That you for the tip, I used the trial for about half an hour before purchasing.

    Highly recommended!!!

    **I am not affiliated with JpegMini in any way.

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    • Stan Rogers

      Yeah, I probably should have added the “not affiliated/connected in any way” thing to my own post. I will admit to *acting* a lot like the marketing director for a couple-three days (on various web design/programming forums) after I first tried it on Michael Woloszynowicz’s recommendation. I’ve calmed down since.

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  3. Stan Rogers

    Good stuff, but I’d like to suggest one last thing that will make both you (due to hosting space/cost concerns) and your users (due to download speeds and being gentle with any data caps) quite a bit happier.

    Save your JPEGs using “Save for web and devices” in the sRGB colour space and make sure that the sRGB profile is not embedded (colour profiles take up a lot of room in the file, and sRGB doesn’t need it). You can also make sure that only the EXIF data you’re really interested in sharing is included (in a lot of cases, that will just be copyright and contact, but if you’re posting *about your pictures* as much as the pictures themselves, then the camera, lens and exposure data would probably make sense). Save at a ridiculously high quality level (11 or 12 in Photoshop terms, 90 or better in other programs), and don’t worry too much about the file size.

    This is where things get a little different: run your images through JPEGmini. (You can Google that on Bing-Duck-Go.) The resulting image file will be a whole lot smaller (about 1/5 the size) but the utility uses some sort of voodoo that doesn’t introduce artifacts, and I can’t tell the difference without doing an image subtraction in Photoshop. Now, that might sound like a commercial plug, but the “trial” version is essentially the full version for free for most folks — the limit is 20 images per day, and there’s no time bomb. If you need more (and don’t need to process tens of thousands of images a day or run it on a server), it’s $20 (the key-buying process goes through B&H with a bit of a “fulfillment” delay, which is a bit of a pain if you have as little patience as I do these days). The TL;DR of it is that you get the file size of saving at 7 or 8 with the apparent quality of saving at 11 or 12. I’m sure that some day in the not-too-distant future Adobe, etc., will figure out what they’re doing and end that business, but in the meantime it’s more than worth the extra bother (and expense, if you decide to buy it).

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