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How to Resize Digital Camera Pictures



Ever get an email from a friend with a link to their recent travel or new baby pictures? But when you follow the link (hopefully you don't have to log in and create a new account to see them!), you see a bunch of little thumbnails which are too small to recognise, and when you click on each thumbnail, it takes forever to download each one. Not to mention that some have not even been rotated for you! Or the pictures are not even that great! In cases like this I often abandon the project and go on to other things. Your friends might do the same if your pictures are presented this way, without even telling you. If you want your friends to view all your pictures and enjoy the experience, you should prepare each picture for the web. This may require you to resize each one, and then save them in a more compressed format. For printing, each picture should be at least 6MB in size, but for the web 20 to 60kb can often be plenty. Resizing them to a size proportional to your computer screen and saving them in a compressed format will make them load a lot faster on the page. If you put a lot of pictures on each page, in nice viewable sizes which download very quickly, they can all download while the viewer reads your text or appreciates each picture. Otherwise, clicking on thumbnails and waiting for slow downloads can become rather tedious and boring.

On the other hand, look how easy it is to view the picture to the right. This picture has been resized to the dimensions that you see, and compressed down to 70kb, so it loads fast. Not a great quality for printing, but certainly good enough to view on a webpage.

On my 5Mpixel camera, since I never really print my pictures, I keep the quality setting at the lowest level, produces 250kb pictures which are still four times larger than any computer monitor.
I personally use IrfanView, which you can access from the Download Translation Programs pages, and manually do each one, using the shortcut keys to resize and rotate everything. The program is very fast and light. And free. Another thing I sometimes do is, in my Total Commander (download from a view the Total Commander Help pages), I right click on a folder and then press Explore, Thumbnail View, then you can select a bunch of pics while holding down the CTRL button, after which you right click and choose either Rotate Clockwise, or counterclockwise.

And lastly, a friend of mine a professional photographer says he made some macro in Photoshop to go through a folder and do certain adjustments on all the pics. So you could try that too. My lowest setting on my camera is 250kb, and it still uses up four computer monitors. So, in my file manager I'm in a folder I want to work on, have the first picture and select ENTER, which opens the picture in IrfanView (I have my computer set this way because this program is super fast and useful). Then I can press R or L to rotate right or left, and then CTRL R to resize.

At the bottom left I always have checked "Keep aspect ratio", and while the top left cell is selected in the "Set new size" subwindow, I'll punch in between 350 and 700, depending on if its a vertical or horizontal shot. You'll get a quick feel of what number to choose. If I don't like the size, I press CTRL Z and take it back to the original size, because it seemed to me resizing a resize started screwing up the quality. You can also screw around with brightess and all sorts of cheesey effects, but when I occasionally want to change colours, I prefer to do that in Corel Draw, because the effects are better. Then, once resized, I press S (save as - stays in the same folder once you set it up the first time), through the Options tab I set the quality level I want (usually around 80%), and then press Enter. I go check out the picture I saved to see how many kb and it's final quality, and if I am happy with that, I'll do the rest of the pics in that folder the same way. The final pictures are between 20 and 70kb in size, so they load fast, and fill up between one quarter to a full monitor, depending on the individual picture. <change format to more point form, put in pics> The way I prefer to show my pictures is to make simple webpages, putting pictures and text into tables. As the person is reading some hopefully interesting text, the pictures download in the background.

You can make a longer page, so all the pictures have downloaded once you get to the end of the text. And the person can scroll the page up and down to see all the pictures before them. Or make little horizontal slide shows when there are too many pictures (see examples on the travel to Stoliv Montenegro pages - and the "galleries" for an alternate horizontal presentation).

Always ALT TAB back to the file manager, down arrow once, ENTER, maybe L or R, CTRL R, punch in a number, ENTER, S, ENTER. You get into a groove and you can do a folder fairly fast.

Handling Batches

If working with a LOT of pictures, you may want to perform these tasks on a lot of pictures at once. When you have the first picture open in that folder, press T, which opens up a Thumbnails window. Here you can also rotate certain pics. With the first file selected, hold down SHIFT and then click on the last file. Or hold down CTRL and click the pics you want to work on. Once that is done, press B, which opens the Batch Conversion window. Choose your directory etc., the Output Format, the Options tab next to that, and then you can select "Use advanced options" to the right of that, press the "Set advanced options" tab and have a hootin and holerin blast! In the program's Thumbnail window, when your pics are selected, you can right click them and do a bunch of other stuff, like make a contact sheet.

If rotating and resizing the pictures individually, while doing so, you may also want to crop them. Do this simply by selecting with the mouse the area you want to crop and press CTRL Y. If the image is zoomed in and very large on your screen and therefore difficult to select the area you want with your mouse, simply zoom out of the picture by pressing the - (minus) key on the keyboard. The plus (+) key zooms back in.

Now that you know how to quickly resize your pictures, you might want to know how to prepare your digital pictures in web pages.

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