Digital Photo Hints

When you take digital photos, they are generally taken at a medium to high resolution to be suitable for printing. Most cameras save files in JPEG format (the filename will end in .jpg). This is a routine whereby the information is compressed to save space while maintaining much, if not most, of the picture quality. A decent 10cm x 15cm print requires .jpg files of at least 200KB in size. A 2 megapixel camera will accomplish this quite nicely. Cameras with greater resolution produce proportionately larger files. Herein lies the problem. These files are very large to email, resulting in:
1. The rejection of messages containing multiple images. Most servers have a 2MB limit on email.
2. Extra bandwidth usage both on your end and the receiver’s. This can be quite expensive for those on Telecom’s limited Jetstream plans.
3. Extremely long up and download times on dialup connections.
4. Images too large to be comfortably viewed on screen.

In order to optimize your digital photos for email, I recommend the following:
1. Open the photo in some photo editing software (most digital cameras and scanners are shipped with some sort of photo software).
2. Crop to eliminate unnecessary background
3. Resize the cropped image so that the largest dimension is no more than 1280 pixels
4. Save the file as a DIFFERENT FILENAME (perhaps putting a w for web or e for email just before the .jpg). Otherwise your original image will not be saved. You want to save the original for printing purposes. Files saved for emailing do not have sufficient information for printing.

Alternatively, Google provides, free of charge, a simple application called Picasa which can process your images for you. Doiwnload Picasa at:

http://picasa.google.com/

The bottom line is you need 2 versions of the same image - one for printing and one for email.

The above also applies most especially if you are obtaining your digital images from a film camera and having them put on a CD by the film processor.