Thursday, 8 August 2013

Cutting an image down to size

Digital photography has come a long way in the quality stakes. The photos that can be taken even on your SmartPhone, never mind on a 'real' camera, can be of sharp enough quality (DPI, or dots-per-inch) to be printed to poster size.

However, this does have a drawback if you want to upload an image to somewhere on the internet. A photo that comes out of your camera as, say, 2500 x 1900 pixels, and as a result is around 3-4 MB in size, won't be appropriate if what you're wanting to do is to use it as your Twitter photo, or as a mugshot - which would be displayed at, say, 200 pixels wide. Some websites won't accept anything that large; and if you do upload it to your website at full size, it will take an irritatingly long time to download - especially for those (like myself) in areas where broadband is much slower.

So how do you resize a photo to a sensible size? Some sites will automatically do this resizing for you - Facebook does, for example. However, it's worth knowing how to do it yourself.

There are many excellent free options around, including Irfanview, Google Picasa and many more. [Just search for 'photo editor' and you'll find plenty to choose from.] If you want to get a little more creative about using your photographs, it's well worth investing a little time in learning how to use these valuable tools (and you know where to come if you need help!).

However, for a quick editing tool, online and without the need to install any software, there are loads more options. Try this:

It's very intuitive.

  • Click on Browse; find the photo you want to edit; open it. 
  • Choose Adjustment; choose Resize. You'll see the number of pixels used in your original photo. 
  • Leaving Keep Proportions in place (so the shape stays the same), change one of the two dimensions to the desired size. Apply. 
  • Click Save. Choose the quality you want (slide it to 100% to preserve the original image quality). The new file size will be displayed. 
  • Finally, if you don't want to overwrite the original image, type in a new name. 

Abracadabra - a much smaller and more web-friendly image.

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