How to Choose the Best Pictures for Your Articles
Choose Colorful, Eye-Catching Pictures
Pictures Are Important To Your Hub
Photographs, clip art and illustrations are extremely important components in any hub or website design. Pictures and colors make your article eye-catching and attractive. They will appeal to the senses as well as to the mind, and they will draw readers in for a closer look and keep them moving through your writing.
Choosing an eye-catching photo for the lead picture in your article is an important part of creating an attractive and readable on-line article. Whether you use your own original pictures or choose from the plethora of free pictures and free clip art available on the internet, you'll have some decisions to make before you publish your writing masterpiece.
How To Choose Photographs From Your Photo Library
Be sure to choose photographs for your article that meet these criteria:
- Relate to the topic. First and most obvious is that the photo must relate to the topic. Sometimes a photo will not relate to the topic until you add the capsule subtitle and the caption underneath. Make sure that you give the picture an appropriate title and an explanatory caption that relates the photograph to the article.
- Good focus and lighting. The photograph must be well composed, clear and bright. Strong colors will be more eye-catching in a lead photo than muted colors.
- Good composition and focal point. There should be a strong focal point in the photograph. Before uploading the photo into your article, crop out distractions and focus in on your subject.
- You have permission from any people in photographs to publish their picture. Always ask permission before using someone's picture.
- Choose judiciously. While it's tempting to use all sixteen of the great pictures of your hand knit sweater or wildflowers of Olympic National Park, choose only photos that show significantly different views and are not repetitive.
- Illustrate your points. Although there are some times when you only need one or two pictures for an article, sometimes it is necessary and appropriate to use many photographs to illustrate a how-to, travel or cooking hub. Learn to know the difference.
Clip Art Choices - I Like Simple, but Unusual Designs
Sometimes I Just Take a Quick Picture With My Cell Phone Rather Than Using Clip Art
Choosing Clip Art
Choosing clip art for your hub can be confusing as there is so much out there. When you do decide to use clip art, take these things into consideration:
- Relate to topic. Pictures should relate to your topic.
- Pictures should not be overwhelming. When loading clip art into your photo capsule, choose a quarter or half size rather than full size art unless there is some statement you are trying to make with the picture. Clip art is often used as a splash of color next to a text block, and look best when pushed into the right hand column rather than across the full page.
- Don't overdo it. Be careful to choose only pictures that will add to your hub. Because there are so many cute clip art illustrations out there, it might be tempting to put in six or seven of your favorites. Be careful that your hub isn't littered with so many distracting pictures that people ignore your text.
- Go for the unique. Select pictures that are a little different from those you see everywhere. You don't have to use the same stylized turkey or Santa that you see everywhere when there are hundreds of choices available.
- Always attribute the source.
Thumnail Views are Great for Showing a Group of Pictures Like This Collection of LighthousesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Mistakes and How to Fix Them
We all make mistakes, and I know that I've made my share of them. Here are a few common mistakes and how to correct them without reworking the whole hub layout.
Mistake: Too Many Full Size Photos
Adding too many pictures to an article can slow down load time and cause viewers to become impatient and move on to something else. I LOVE my pictures of Arizona Wildflowers but I know there are too many for full size viewing.
Correction: Convert a related series into thumbnail views. Here's how:
- Place all pictures you want viewed together into one photo capsule. If you've already uploaded them to different capsules, you don't have to do it again. Just go to "My Pictures" and select the ones you want. Organize the show by dragging the pictures into the correct order within the capsule.
- Near the top of the photo edit capsule select "Thumbnail."
- Choose either the "Full Size" or "Half Size" mode for best results. (The lighthouse pictures at the right are in full size mode.) If you choose "quarter size", the picture won't be much bigger than the thumbnail when it's in the right column.
Save the capsule and click on the arrow to move the whole thing to the right as I've done with the lighthouse collection shown here. You will have a mini slide show next to your text that won't make readers impatient when trying to open the hub. I've actually done this on several articles where I didn't want to give up the pictures that I knew were overpowering the hub. It's a great way to have your cake and eat it too!
Mistake: Poor Choice of Lead Picture
Generally, the first picture in your hub is the one that will appear when you send your hub to a bookmarking link, share it on Facebook, or other sites or when you share your article with your followers across the Web. Make a good first impression by choosing something relevant, appealing, well designed and colorful.
Correction: Delete or move weak lead picture to a different location within your article.
Mistake: Article is Too Cluttered!
Just as a house feels cluttered and uncomfortable when there's too much stuff around, an article will feel the same way if there are unrelated graphics or haphazard layouts. Use the hub preview to look at your final layout before publishing to make sure it's pleasing to the eye. As I'm answering comments on my hub, I usually look it over again to see if I can improve it.
Correction: Remove any pictures or clip art that doesn't add to the overall article design.
Think of it as Hub Feng Shui! (sorry, Feng Shui people...)
Adding Pictures to Your Hubs Is Fun
Whether you use your own photographs or pictures from another source, I hope you enjoy the process. The photo capsule on HubPages makes it easy to add pictures and easy to set the viewing options. After some experimenting, you'll find the best way to display your pictures so that they enhance your work.
Copyright ©2011 Stephanie Henkel
Useful Links on article design and using pictures
- Breathing for the Eyes: How to Improve Your Writing using White Space
White space refers to the blank lines and empty spaces that surround your text. You can use white space to improve readability as shown by this article.
- Quick and Creative Tips for Using Original Photos on...
Enhance your on-line articles and web pages with original photographs. A well-placed image can lure the reader into your article, add color and interest to your work. Here are some quick tips to improve your original pictures for use on your website.
- How to Use Free Photos and Free Clip Art on Your Hub...
Find and use free photographs and free clip art on your website, blog or HubPage. Tips on where to search for the best Creative Commons images.
- Photo Capsule Advanced Techniques
The HubPatron of the Arts contest is approaching—will you enter photos? Do you know the features of the Photo Capsule well enough to win? Can you optimize your photos, exploit a bug in the slideshow feature, and use thumbnails in your slideshow?