Choosing Images for Your Home Page Carousel
Adding an image carousel to your homepage is one of the easiest and most effective ways to capture the attention of site visitors. Simply add one or more carousel entries using your site setup screen, click save, and let the Brick River image handler worry about the nitty gritty.
Other than choosing beautiful images, you don't need to worry much about details. But it will help if you understand how Brick River handles the size and shape of image files.
In a nutshell - Brick River is going to take whatever you upload and fit it into a rectangle that is 708 pixels (wide) by 473 pixels (high). You should avoid images smaller than this. More on that below...
You don't need to count exact pixels - the important thing is the general SHAPE of the image. It should be 3 units wide by 2 units high - exactly the dimensions of a 4X6 photograph laying on its side (also known as Landscape orientation).
If you upload an image that is NOT roughly that shape - if its tall or a super wide panoramic image - then Brick River is going to have to shrink it until it's either 708 pixels wide or 473 pixels high and then it's going to CROP off the whatever it needs to from the top and bottom (or sometimes from the left and right) until it gets the 3x2 rectangle it wants.
Here's an example. I have two images on my computer, cross2.jpg and cross3.jpg.
Cross2.jpg is pretty close to the right shape but cross3.jpg is taller than it is wide (also known as Portrait orientation)
When I create carousel entries I get...
a cross2 image that looks exactly like the original, and...
a cross3 image that has it's top and bottom cropped off
Sometimes the Brick River crop chop is fine - because it grabbed the middle of the picture and that's what you wanted to begin with.
Sometimes you will want to crop images yourself before uploading them. There are tons of programs to do this, ranging from free to thousands of dollars.
One free and easy way to crop photos is with the free website pixlr.com
. (you'll need a browser that supports Flash to use this site)
Here's cross3.jpg opened in the pixlr editor.
I can click the cropping tool 1 and set the selector to use an aspect ratio 2 of 3 units by 2 units. I can now draw and move a rectangle 3 to select the 3x2 rectangle that I want, click enter....
and then save my cropped image. If there are choices for size and resolution when saving - make sure you're not shrinking you image below 708x473 pixels.
The problem with small images...
It's never great to try to stretch small images to larger spaces. If you upload an image that is less than 708 pixels wide Brick River will not ruin it's resolution by trying to stretch it out. It will simply place it in the carousel with some unfilled space.
Here's a 300x300 pixel image loaded to the carousel... not that great.
That's it! Go take some pictures!
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