Digital cameras have become close to ubiquitous. They’ve gotten easier to use, they continue to come down in price, and they’ve grown to be more powerful than ever — we can capture 10 or 12 megapixel images using a device no bigger than a pack of cigarettes. Storage is faster and cheaper, too — both the memory cards within the cameras and the hard drives we use to store our images. As a result, there’s little reason not to use the highest quality settings your camera affords. Shooting at higher resolutions and bit depths gives you an advantage, because it lets you do more with your images once they’re on your computer.
Enter tools like Photoshop Lightroom, an image editor that’s made for processing high-quality RAW and JPG images and getting them web-ready in little more than an instant. Lightroom is Adobe’s version of Photoshop for the photographer on the go, and the software (and other apps like it, such as Apple’s Aperture) have taken off among bloggers, Flickrers and others who want to post their work quickly but still have it look professional, polished and stunning.
Lightroom 2.0, the latest release, has new features like better file browsing, more filters, a new graduated filters tool and the ability to mask and selectively edit portions of an image. But the new features also add more complexity and, as with its older sibling Photoshop, that complexity can be overwhelming at times. Powerful features and extra options can lie hidden or out of sight.
Here’s a collection of tips, tricks and slightly hidden features to help you get more out of Photoshop Lightroom 2.
Continue Reading “Get More Out of Photoshop Lightroom” »
Dozens of video sharing sites may offer streaming video that plays back in higher quality than YouTube, but if you want eyeballs (and millions of them), then Google’s monstrously popular YouTube is the place to be.
For a long time, all you could do with YouTube as a web publisher was embed its hosted videos on your site. But thanks to a recent overhaul to the YouTube API, you can now do much more.
YouTube recently unveiled a new and improved Player API that allows developers to do things like re-skin the video player or create their own custom controls. In fact, if your scripting chops are up for it, you could build your own uploading interface for YouTube and then simultaneously post videos to YouTube and your site with one click of the mouse.
There are actually two different YouTube APIs — there’s the aforementioned Player API for skinning your embedded players and adding custom controls, plus the Data API for grabbing information about movies. Each API has a number of different functions.
We’re going to take a look at both the Data API and Player API on Webmonkey in this tutorial, but we’ll start with the Player API since it’s a little bit simpler to interact with.
Continue Reading “YouTube Tutorial Lesson 1 – The Player API” »
In this tutorial, we’ll look at how Dijits work and how Dojo can help you write some powerful web applications.
Continue Reading “Get Started With Dojo” »
OK. Let’s talk frames…. No, wait! Where are you going? Come back! Perhaps I should’ve been a little more subtle. Chatted about the weather, or maybe the Green Bay Packers.
Instead, I came right out and used the “f” word. I understand your reluctance. Everybody, it seems, is sick of frames — including the W3C and other advocates of web standards. But frames still have a place in this world. So you just sit back and let me finish.
“So,” I say, “I’ve got these killer frames….”
“Sure, whatever,” you reply.
I look at you coyly. “But these frames, man … these frames, they float.”
Intrigued, you turn around and smile. “They float, huh? Tell me more.”
Continue Reading “Floating Content in I-Frames” »
We’re all tired of waiting for web pages to download, aren’t we? To make sure that visitors to your site don’t get frustrated, we rounded up some in-house experts to help you make your pages faster ‘n greased lightning.
Pictures are worth a thousand words — especially on the web, where pages of text can download in the time it takes for a single image to load. Your images may be sub-zero cool, but if they’re too plump, few people will stick around long enough to see them. We’ll dig into tricks and optimizations to speed up your GIF, JPG, and PNG downloads.
Once you’ve learned the basics of shrinking your images, we’ll will walk you through the advantages of using CSS for your page layout. And, if you’re one of those people who insists on using tables, we’ll offer you a few choice hints on how to get those tables slim and streamlined.
After you’ve removed the bloat from your layout code and your images, you’ll learn how to cut needless elements from your pages. Hint: Start with all those links.
The series concludes with wise words about how to come up with benchmarks for speed and how to test your site using nothing but a stopwatch and a pencil.
Get started with with lesson 1
Site Optimization Tutorial