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Monday, 9 April 2007
How to Optimize Your Photos for the Web and Dial-up Bandwidth
Topic: Technical

This is a recurring situation: people tell me they will send me a photo and I worriedly start to explain that I'm on dial-up so please make your photo a small file size. Here is the, probably unwanted, advice I just sent to two friends. Perhaps it will help someone else. You can help me clarify this or add to it.

To one I explained how to make photo a smaller file size:

Remember you can adjust your photos to be a smaller weight (not pixel dimensions but file size in bytes/bits). Send your photo to your email client from the photo browser (where you look at your photos and do things to them). You will have the option to change how large the photo will be in pixel dimensions and at what quality it will be. The lower the quality setting, (which has nothing to do with picture dimensions/pixel count) the lighter/smaller the file will be. Play around with it.

And to the other, how to make the photo be bigger in dimension but smaller in weight: 

You brought the file size or weight down to 52kb, a very good weight/size. At that rate you could also have kept the pixel dimensions larger, and, using the same 'quality' setting as you chose this time, it would probably still yield a low file 'weight/size'.

Next play around with intensifying the color. Use the bright, the contrast, and the saturation +- settings or levels. Usually I lower the brightness and contrast, and raise the saturation. Most of the time the lighting that photos of artwork are taken in just doesn't bring out the best in them. They need pop. I have to do this with almost all of mine, even when I'm scanning. Otherwise it looks flat like there is a haze or fog over the picture. It doesn't matter if it seems to match the original. It matters that it looks good when it translates onto screen or print.

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 12:20 AM EDT
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