Photos are perhaps the hardest part of a newsletter to get right. If you don't edit them properly, there's a danger they will print poorly, which will harm the overall quality of your newsletter.
The resolution for printing should be at least 200dpi, and ideally 300dpi. This means most pictures you find on the web, which are at 72dpi, aren't good enough. If you choose a resolution that's too low, the picture might look like this one on the right:
If you crop a photo, you need to make sure that the cropped area is large enough to be meaningful in your newsletter. The picture on the right is an example of a badly cropped photo - it's hard to see what animal is in the picture.
There are, however, lots of online resources to help you manipulate your photos. Many of them are free.
Snipshot: An online image editor that lets you resize, crop and enhance photos. You just browse for them on your computer, edit them and save them again.
Picnik: Another online editor. This works in a similar way to Snapshot. Perhaps the most user-friendly interface.
Pixenate: Another online photo editor. Perhaps less easy to use, but it has a wide range of features.
When you save photos, make sure you save them at the original size so that you maintain a high resolution.
For other useful online image tools, Mike Sansone at ConverStations gives us this list, which contains sites useful for many types of design work.
- Color Blender: Just found this the other day, but I'm already hooked. Choose a color and get a 6-color matching palette (a "blend"). You can modify the blend with different variations
- HTML Color Converter: I use this almost as much as a coffee cup. I often get stuff delivered with RGB colors and need to convert them.
- Color Palette Generator: Upload a photo and get a color palette matching the image.
- Forget Photoshop: 15 Online Graphics Generators: The folks at Mashable list some great tools for buttons and backgrounds
If you know of any others, add them in the comments section or in your own blog. Tell Mike's blog about them too!