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6 Tips For Using Pictures & Videos on HubPages
Photo and Video Capsules
If you've crafted a Hub, you've used these capsules before. Text forms the backbone of any article, but vivid pictures and engaging videos help entice readers to visit your work in the first place.
Using these capsules isn't terribly difficult, but using them effectively takes practice. Save yourself some stress by examining six awesome tips for bolstering your Hubs with a plethora of alluring media!
Photo Capsule Tips
1. Use Full-Width Photos
Don't: Use half-width photos unless the image would become fuzzy at full-width. Or at least place them sparingly. Many new Hubbers fall into the trap of copiously planting half-width images, for some reason fearful of their larger counterparts. Ignore this temptation, and utilize full-width unless you have a good reason not to.
Do: Insert engaging and relevant picture capsules in full-width throughout your Hub. Another pitfall for new Hubbers to avoid: Don't simply place a photo at the beginning and end of your article. Spread them out; it helps divide the text into manageable portions.
2. Crop/Rotate Photos to Fit
Don't: Place too many vertically-oriented pictures in full-width, as they often lose resolution upon being stretched. For example, the above corn seizes a large area requiring an annoying amount of scrolling to travel through. Either half-width, crop, or rotate such pictures to obtain a superior size.
Do: Crop and rotate pictures to fit your Hub. Many can be quickly edited using a program like Photo Viewer, PhotoShop, or Gimp. Some images (like pictures of people) lose value when rotated; crop these to become more horizontal, or search for less-upright selections.
The same corn, now below, fills a more reasonable area when pivoted 90 degrees. Not all crops need to be cropped.
Selecting a Profile Background
The image you select for your background will be distorted because its center will be blocked by various information on your profile. Try to find a relevant picture with interesting visuals on its sides rather than in the middle; this will likely develop into a trial and error process. If you really get stumped, HubPages has some decent suggestions to hold the fort until you make your choice.
3. Source Photos
The official way: Source all photos you insert, as very few fall under a license available to the public. The format goes "owner, license, website obtained from."
Example: John Doe, Public Domain, via Shutterstock. Check out the above image for another example.
The practical way: We're opening Pandora's Box here, people. Yes, you should source wherever possible, but in reality, most Hubbers simply backlink to the site where the photo was discovered, only including its URL for sourcing. Is this technically correct? No. But it's easier and directs people towards the site where the image was obtained, making it a beneficial process for both them and us.
Following the official process to the letter would drastically restrict Hubbers' ability to supply interesting and relevant pictures. I can't promise you'll never encounter problems, but the simple truth is most Hubbers source this way.
Hubbers, be honest: have you used a shortened format for sourcing?
4. Import Photos Rather Than Uploading Them
Don't: Brandish photo capsules by saving pictures you find and uploading them. Downloading images takes longer, clogs your hard drive, and risks viruses and legal issues. A superior process is to import photos.
Do: Click "Import" instead of "Choose photos" when using a photo capsule. Then, simply copy and paste an image's URL into the space, and voila! Now you can bypass the hassle of downloading pictures, searching through your computer for them, and deleting them once finished.
Don't know how to find an image's URL? It's easy, just follow these steps:
- Search for your subject on Google Images.
- Click on the picture you want to use.
- Click the "View Image" button near the mid-right portion of your screen.
- A tab should have opened showing the image. Double-click the URL at the top, and right-click to copy it. Paste it into the import section of the photo capsule and you're good to go!
Video Capsule Tips
5. Skip to the Desired Portion
Don't: Post longer videos without jumping to the meat. You can right-click a YouTube video when it's paused and select "Copy URL at current time" to obtain a URL linking to that specific time. However, as of this writing, this link only works for your browser, not for video capsules on HubPages. Review the method below instead.
Do: Skip ahead using alternative routes. I recommend the site YouTube Time, which lets you paste a video's URL, select the desired time to cut to, and obtain a new URL which HubPages supports. For example, I've skipped ahead in the below rain video. No one wants ten hours of precipitation, but two... is still probably excessive. Point stands, though.
6. Beware Videos Likely to be Removed
Don't: Rely too heavily on videos you suspect may be taken down. Users uploading another person's content are prone to having their videos removed; those who share original work tend to stick around.
That said, it's not the end of the world if someone deletes a video you capsulized. You can always replace it later (assuming there's an acceptable substitute), but this adds to the workload of constructing and maintaining Hubs.
Do: Utilize appropriate videos to add spice and variety to your articles. Strive to find long-lasting, user-created recordings to reduce your editing labors.
Maintaining Your Articles
Hopefully these pointers will guide you towards the proper usage of photos and videos! No matter how diligently you select your media, know that occasionally a broken URL or removed video will arise.
HubPages notes articles with broken links using a black triangle with a white exclamation mark inside. To check for this, browse your Hubs under the "My Articles" tab, and look for any with this adjacent symbol. Corresponding articles should be edited to remove the malfunctioning link(s).
Use photos and videos effectively, and keep a keen eye over your portfolio, to ensure your writing stays fresh and functional for years to come.