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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Help! My Photos are HUGE!

Digital photos, straight from the camera, are gigantic. They are usually very high resolution and take up a large amount of space on a computer, CD or camera card. These photos can be difficult to email as attachments because of their size, either clogging up a mailbox, taking forever to send or receive, or just not arriving at all. Sometimes when you try to view a photo on a computer screen, it will be larger than the screen – or several screens!

These large photos are great because you can always make them smaller – you can’t make a small photo larger without losing quality.

If you have Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, it is easy to resize your photos in the “Image” section of those programs. But it’s not necessary to pay for those programs if all you want to do is resize. There are several free programs available that will work just fine!

The first is Quick Thumbnail, available at http://quickthumbnail.com/. The instructions on this website are clear and easy to follow. You will upload an image to the Quick Thumbnail website, specify the size you want, and it will be returned to you in seconds. It offers several pre-defined sizes to make choosing easier.

Microsoft offers two programs for resizing photos – one for Vista, one for all other operating systems. The Vista-compatible program is found at http://www.vso-software.fr/products/image_resizer/, and the one for XP and others is at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx. These programs allow you to right-click on an image and choose “Resize” from the menu that pops up. The “small” setting gives you an image approximately 2” x 3”; the medium setting gives you about 2.5” x 3.5”.

For your headshots and other publicity photos, 2” x 3” at 300 dpi is preferred. For anything being posted on the web, keep the file size under 1mb – check the size by right-clicking on your file and choosing Properties. Even though commercial websites ask that your photos be 72 dpi, don’t reduce the dpi on photos that are intended to be used for any Prudential purposes – including the website. And the PCR Media Center prefers that you either bring your camera to them or burn the whole file to a disk, without reducing it at all.

And finally…when you resize an image, whether for emailing or any other purpose, be sure to save the smaller image as a copy rather than replacing the original. Then your original image is still intact should you want to make any other changes!


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