03 May 13 10:52 am
Those are some good ideas for some videos there, Mary :D
I must admit that for myself, I learned on GIMP, mainly because Photoshop is out of my budget. But from what I've learned, at least 75% of what you can do in Photoshop can be done in GIMP. There are a few things GIMP is lagging behind in, but they're making some progress on those.
As to your questions:
Generally speaking, when it comes to images for the screen, such as images for the web, the only really important measurement is pixels. Most measurements on a screen are measured by how many dots it takes to go from one edge of the screen to the other. A monitor set to 1280 x 720 has 1280 pixels across and 720 pixels top to bottom. (Incidentally, that resolution is where we get 720p from. :D )
When determining the size of your header, some of that may be determined by your theme. If your theme has a set (or recommended) page width, then that is the width your banner should be. If you can adjust the sizes of the areas in your page, then the header should be the width of your content + any sidebars + any padding or margins. So if you have a page that has a content width of 720 pixels + a sidebar width of 200 pixels and a 10 pixel margin around each, then that would give you 960 pixels in width. For height, you want it to be big enough for your message, but you also want readers to be able to get to the content. I typically aim for around 150, but anywhere from 100 to 200 pixels in height should work. Most of mine wind up being in the neighborhood of 960x150 pixels.
As far as where you can get images from, just like with getting articles, you kind of get what you pay for -- and free isn't always as free as you might think. One place to get free images is http://www.sxc.hu
. The thing to be aware of with free stock images is that you often must place a notice on the page with the image of where the image came from. Even if you've done some modifying of the image. For that reason, I usually only use free stock images for post content support, not for creating a theme.
If you want to use an image for creating a header, on a product image, or any other commercial use, I'd recommend checking out one of the many royalty free stock image sites, such as one of my favorites, http://www.iStockPhoto.com
. Most of the images that I have used in my sites that I have used in headers and other things on the site I have gotten from here.
Just like when you go to a forum, you always want to read the terms of service to make sure what you can and can't do with the images you are getting and to see what you have to do if you use an image. Using free images may be fine for your own personal practice when it comes to designing a theme, but personally, I'd hate to have to put a notice on every page of my site that I used an image from free stock site. It might be fine for a one-off post, but not for the main site.
Now, there are some "open source" and public domain images out there, but again, you need to make sure you read what you can and can't do with an image. And don't assume that just because you find it on an image site, like Flickr or Instagram or Facebook, etc, that you can use an image for whatever you want. Always ask permission if you find one you want to use one from these places.
Thanks for the questions, Mary!