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Living in today’s age, we all have used social media to share our minute-by-minute updates with family and friends. Not to mention, pictures by the ton. There’s not a single professional photographer out there who doesn’t have a client who wants to share their little prince / princess’ picture with the rest of the world via Facebook. To remedy that, there are, I’m sure, a bunch of actions around that allow you to “create a 960px wide image for facebook” – For free.
Have you wondered what goes into those actions? How you would actually do it without the use of actions? When you read the jargon 960 px, sure it sounds very geeky. You think eh why bother with doing those calculations and what not. On the contrary, its easy and very simple to understand. I for one, don’t use actions unless I know exactly what that action does and know how to create the look without the action. Once I have that mastered, I don’t mind (infact I love) using an action to do it. It quickens up my workflow t-r-e-m-e-n-d-o-u-s-l-y !
Here’s how I do it.
1. I open up the picture i need in my favorite software (photoshop, PSE, GIMP doesn’t matter which one as long as it has a capability to resize)
2. I then select the menu option Image/Image Size. For this example I am using Photoshop. Make sure you select the Image Size option under the Image menu and not the Canvas Size because they have very different effects.
3. This is the box that will popup.
Change the width to “960” making sure pixels is selected. Also ensure “Constrain Proportions” is selected. Now, since the smart guys at Facebook allow anyone who’s your “friend”, or in the case of your business page, your “fan” to download the images you post, you do not want, in most cases, to upload a high resolution picture. So go ahead and change the resolution to 72. If photoshop changes your width again, make sure you reset it to 960. Then click ok.
You now have an image that is 960 px wide. I like to take it a step further and sometimes give it rounded corners. If you want to do the same, go ahead to the next step. If not you can stop here and your image is ready for upload after saving it.
4. I add a blank layer and change the name of the background layer to “my picture”. Then I drag Layer 1 below My Picture.
5. Then, I select the Rounded Rectangle tool and create a rounded rectangle covering the entire image area.
6. Now change the My Picture layer into a clipping mask and tah-dah ! The image now has rounded corners. You can now flatten this image. The background will be white.
If you want it to have a black background, you will need to perform an additional step below
7. Create a layer filled with black as the last layer. Then flatten your image. You now have an image with a black background.
Here’s what they finally look like –
Since Facebook uses a white background, thats what I’d stick to if I was uploading to Facebook. If I was using Flickr, I’d use black since Flickr allows for it. On a side note, I personally think pictures look nicer on black contrary to what Facebook might say and think.
Now that you know how to do it, go ahead and download one of the free actions to do it. Or just make one of your own !
About Me: I am a newborn and Children’s Photographer based out of Woodstock GA, USA. In my spare time, I like blogging tips and tricks related to Photoshop, PSE and GIMP. Find me on Facebook or drop me an email using the contact form on my website.
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