How do I make my images smaller???

Someone recently asked me: I send e-mail news-letters complete with photos to my clients. However when I add the photos the email is HUGE!!

Learn to use your camera settings, then the photo editor it came with.. do this best by playing with some test images.

You need to reduce the photos before it is emailed. There is no reason on this good earth any huamn should be emailing anything that can be described as HUGE!

Learn how to use the photo editing software that came with your camera to reduce the images before putting them in the email. Note I said REDUCE not compress..
The camera is probably set to 1064x768 pixels resolution. Compressing does not reduce the heightxwidth size but removes extra characters in the base of the image reducing the kb size of the file itself. Most cameras use JPG as its file type. JPG by nature is already compressed, so compressing it further usually only reduces the kb size by +/- 2%.

So the answer is to CROP and or RESIZE the image.
For email puposes the images should be in the range of 200-500 wide or high mximum.

Lets say you have a picture on the camera that is 1024x768.
If you look in Windows Explorer or My Documents you will see the image is maybe 1.3MB or 1,300k. Remember I said that JPG by its nature is compressed, when it is being viewed this same image is actually 2.3MB or 2.200k
When you RESIZE that same image to 500x375 the image is now maybe 48k, a HUGE reduction in the "weight" of the image.
Resizing smaller usually makes the content clearer also - especially if it was a little fuzzy.

The exact method of CROPping differs in each program, but generally speaking, using the mouse, you select the area of the photo you want to KEEP and select the crop command.

These 2 commands -- crop & resize -- are pretty much universal and work the same way in all but 1 photo editor I have ever seen/played with.

Does increasing or decreasing the megapixels/resolution on the camera affect all this also?
Changing the megapixels/resolution settings will determine how much the image initially "weighs" (1.3mb 5mb etc) and how large it is: 1064x768 2048x1536 500x375.
Increasing the resolution/megapixel expotenially increases the HxW and kb size
The higher resolution you are taking the shots at, the "heavier" they will be and physically be larger.
Higher megapixels/resolution settings means more dots per inch. More info needs to be stored about each one of those dots in that inch, making the picture go from 1.3mb to 6mb

Another factor that leads to large image sizes: if you have a kid in a white shirt, blue jeans brown hair, we're not talking a whole lot of color ranges in this shot.
If you have a bouquet of flowers that have high concentrations of large ranges of colors, then the flowers will "weigh in" at maybe 6mb for the same resolution shot as the kid which might be 4.5mb because of the additional info needed to define all those extra colors.

Deciding what resolution to take your pictures at is not really difficult, you merely have to think about the final location/use of this particular image. Pictures taken for use on your web site need not be taken at a higher resolution, anything ending up as 1064x768 or smaller is fine. If you are taking shots of your child that you want to print and give to grandma, then you want to use the higher resolution settings.

To really see the effect of this pheomimum, take the same picture with each of the megapixels/resolution settings on your camera.
Open the shot taken at the highest resolution and note the height and width and kb size, this can usually be seen when you hover your mouse over the listing in My Computer or My Documents.
Reize it in the photo editor by 1/2 of it's original size and SAVE AS a new name (test1.jpg)
Open the original again and reduce it by 3/4 of its original size and save that as test2.jpg

Now go into My Documents or My Computer and find those images and see how large each of them are, what their height and width dimensions are.

This will give you a REAL base understanding of whats going on with image sizes from your camera.

As an added note, you can DECREASE images with good results in most programs.. but NEVER EVER try to INCREASE the size of an image cause it will be yucky to be polite about it.


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