Many of us photographers are using Facebook on a daily basis. It is quite a brilliant tool both for sharing photos and doing some marketing. It is free(ish) and extremely widespread .
Sadly, facebook still has a major issue – especially for the ones who using it to showcase their work – Image quality.
Facebook applies some heavy compression to uploaded pictures. Maybe it’s because over 90% of these images are cell phones snapshots of cats, babies and cars (or sometimes all combined). I guess facebook does not really have a choice when it comes to managing such a big amount of “cute” images. They have to compress them. Sadly, they also do it with our pieces of art.
You can find a few tips to improve the quality online, some better than others. The topic “Facebook messing up images” is incredibly omnipresent.
A few days ago I discovered a new tool for managing the quality of facebook uploads and wanted to share it.
Conny Wallstrom is a photographer based out of Sweden, a retoucher and a computer specialist. The combination of those skills makes him an ideal integrator when it comes to improving Photoshop tasks and that’s what he did with Facebook Powertools, a facebook workflow enhancement panel for photoshop.
The idea behind the panel is quite simple. It presents the workflow you should do to get a decent photo even after facebook applies compression. good results. The panel handles resizing, sharpening, noise addition (a step needed to keep gradients in a photo), copyright marking and saving. If you want to dive deeper into that magic box, you can visit Conny’s Blog – you can find all the knowledge about the ideas behind it.
Besides improved quality, there are also some profile preset buttons – for the profile photo and the cover photo. For me as a Facebook-power-user, this tool is a saver – even if I am not the one who’s always upset with Facebooks image quality.
Here is the official feature-list:
- Creates a merged duplicate before doing any resizing, so that you do not accidentally overwrite your original file.
- Resizes the image without sharpening! Separate buttons to sharpen for a better result.
- No input needed! Simply press the buttons and it will do all the hard work for you.
- ‘Add Noise’ button to help with banding.
- Create header and profile images with ease.
- Warns you if you forgot to set a copyright on the image.
- Easily edit the copyright information.
- Separate setting for JPEGmini software – If you are hardcore serious about image quality, this is a must!
The Panel is designed for Photoshop CC and will not work with older versions.
My own experiences with the tool are quite good. After downloading the tool, it was very easy to install (with Adobes Extension Manager). Working with the tool is nice – you simply work your way up from top to bottom – so you can’t forget steps – as you probably would if you follow various instructions from the web…
Brock McFadzean just released a quick video about the Facebook Powertools. It shows how to work with the tool and also gives some insides on the clever extras (for example automated meaningful filenames).
I think it’s safe to say: I will use this panel on a regular basis, it makes me even more confident in terms of Facebook image quality. Of course there is one major drawback: I will lose the ability to deliver excuses like “You probably can’t see the flawless beauty of my work, because Facebook messed it up” 😉
If you want to give the “Facebook Powertools” a try, visit Conny’s blog and get a copy.