Preparing digital photographs to upload to the web
The reason this is such a important issue is it can influence visitors to the web site will experience the web site. A very large percentage of people access the internet at work on a fixed ADSL or ISDN line. These people will be fortunate enough not to notice the difference. But unfortunately we also have a percentage of internet users who are already frustrated because they have to sit and wait for pages and photographs to load. We do not want to aggravate their frustration and that is why this chapter is very important. If you upload very large photographs will you not only waste your own time uploading it, but you will also frustrate these internet users. This will reflect negatively on the whole web site and since you advertise on our site you will loose some of the exposure we work hard on getting for you as our client. I created an example to let you see for yourself. I regret to inform the ISDN and ADSL line users that they will perhaps not have the privalage to enjoy our little demonstration. At the end of this paragraph you will find tow links. The one will lead you to a high (300dpi) resolution photograph and the other one to an optimized (72dpi) photograph. The actual size of both photographs is exactly the same. First click one the one link and record the time the photograph takes to completely load. Then click on the other link and compare its time with the first. I hope that this little demonstration will help you as internet user to better understand why some web sites are so irretating slow and others so fast. Here is the links:
Luckily most people nowadays work with digital cameras. By the way, if you need a camera be sure to have a look at www.digitalexpress.co.za .
Unfortunately we do not all know how it works. The most cameras have a setting where you can adjust the resolution or quality of the photographs. If you take photographs to be used in a printed media you should take your photographs at a high as possible resolution. Most people do not know it, but the images you see on you computer screen is on 72dpi. If you use a photograph for a printed media it must be at least 300dpi. So, you do not need very high resolution images to use on the internet. The higher the resolution, the larger the file size and the longer the photograph takes to download. This is why you sometimes have to sit and wait ages for some web sites or images to load, it is because the developers do not know what they are doing. By the way, if you need a website of your own, don't miss www.exdesign.co.za
All of us are not web developers and this is why I would like to share a few tips on how we can partly solve this problem. The only way that we can solve the problem completely is if each client buys himself the latest Photoshop package for about R7000 and I train all of them. But this is not possible, so please read on and help us building a better home for your homes.
If you do not know your camera well enough, please read the instruction manual. I am a traditional photographer and do not use a digital camera at all, so don't ask me fro help on your camera's settings because I will not be able to help you. "If all else fail, read the manual"
Here is the tips:
First of all, You must play around with your camera. I know you do not have the time, but the exercise creativity will do you good. Take a picture on each quality setting of a certain object. Download these photographs to your PC and have a look at their file sizes. To look at the file size, select the file (one at a time) and then press the right mouse button, select "properties" and then you should see the file size in bytes. There are 1000 bytes in a kilobytes (KB or Kb). We want the image to be as close as possible to 35Kb (35000butes). Amazing, you did not think it should be so small? The DigiProp logo image is only 20Kb big and there is nothing wrong with it's quality.
Most camera's will only be able to bring the resolution down to 40 or 45 Kb. This is still fine. We do not want to go larger than 50Kb.
If you do have software where you can scale your images. You can take your photographs on any resolution and then resize it in the software. If you resize it scale it to 280 pixels wide and see if the software allows you to safe it at 72dpi. Most modern image manipulation software have a function called "Save for web" or "optimize for web" or "whatever for web". You can use this option. It automatically saves your image as 72dpi and remove all unnecessary colours.
We are currently looking for suitable free photo editing software to recommend and will let all users know when we find some.
If you take normal photographs and scan it, scan it at a low resolution. You can also play around with this by scanning it at different resolutions and see what the file size is at different resolutions.
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