We've all been there, we work so hard preparing, shooting, editing or whatever it may be when we're involved in taking photos. After everything is finished and the photos look amazing, we cannot wait to share our photos to the world. But are they the highest quality possible?
Too often as I scroll through Facebook, I see photographers, model, makeup/hair stylists, etc sharing their hard work... all to be left with compressed and rather pixilated photos. It is well documented that Facebook "destroys" or compresses image quality when uploaded to the platform. So what is the root to this problem?
Exporting Photos from Lightroom for Facebook
The root of this problem is better known as "compression artifacts." While we all enjoy the ease of posting unlimited images free of charge to our friends and followers, Facebook compresses their images in order to reduce file size, hence save bandwidth space.
Since you're probably already aware of this issue, how do we overcome this? After experimenting with different uploading methods to the platform, I've found a solid export preset on Lightroom that I use on a daily basis. Before I share the preset I've made for Lightroom, I’d like to make clear that there are multiple ways to get to the same desired result of high quality photos for Facebook. This is simply the method I’ve found more suitable for my workflow.
The key here is set the pixels to the longest side at 2048 px. This is what Facebook considers the "high quality" dimensions when uploaded to their platform. I have read in other places that setting your "Quality" option at 60 renders good results, but from what I have found, setting at 100 works fine. The final crucial setting is the "Color Space," setting at sRGB is important because if the Color Space option is set to a different color profile, you may see color shifts when exported.
An additional method I found useful was from photographer, Erich Caparas, and how he exports his photo from Photoshop.
Uploading Photos to Facebook
Now that we've exported our photos via Lightroom, what is a common mistake to avoid when uploading to Facebook? Simple. Post your images from your desktop or laptop opposed to your mobile device.
Below is a comparison of the same image file, one uploaded from my desktop and the other uploaded from my iPhone onto Facebook. Look closely, can you see the difference?
The difference between sharpness quality is night and day. Even though most photographers upload from their desktops, I see this all too common from other team members involved in the creative process. Just make sure to make a friendly reminder on why this is important. We all work very hard on creating the best imagery as possible; we shouldn't leave out the presentation of our work as part of that process.
Do you have your own method use? Share your thoughts!