How to Prepare a Photo for the Web

It is important to prepare your photos for the web before you upload them. This is necessary because a photgraph that is too large in size will be cumbersome to view and slow to upload, and a photograph that is too small, though quick to upload, will appear unprofessional to your audiences.

Step 1 - Take a Photograph

Modern digital cameras have a megapixel selection menu, where you can select the desired resolution (in megapixels) of your photos. Consider this: a standard JPG image will take approximately 20 seconds to upload over a basic terrestrial broadband (cable or DSL) connection. Add 10 seconds per megabyte as size increases, and adjust for your computer's speed and your host's bandwidth.

Before taking your photograph, ask yourself this: "Will I need a high-resolution copy of this image for my records or will a low-res copy suffice?" If your answer is the former, take your photo at full definition, but if it is the latter, simply shoot your photos at 2 megapixels or so and upload the resulting photos directly to your file host.

Step 2 - Shrink Your Photos

If you decided to take photos in high-resolution, already have photos which you wish to upload, or have photos in a format other than JPG, it will be desirable to lower the size of your files. This will both ameliorate the uploading process and consume less space on your host's server.

Your author uses a program called "Easy Graphic Converter" from etrusoft.com. EGC is minimal, powerful, and free, but there are other good options for image conversion: Irfanview has a built-in converter, and higher-end graphical editing software suites (such as Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and GIMP) have built-in conversion.

For this article, consider a test photograph with a point-and-shoot. At 5 megapixels, it is a 1.68 MB JPG file. In EGC,i has two outputs. For the first, the original size is maintained, but dropped the image quality to 33%. For the second, keep the quality at 100%, but drop the size to 600X450 pixels. Both files were below 200 KB in size, and were very quick to upload. Play around with the converter and find optimal settings for your purposes.

Step 3 - Batch Convert and Upload

EGC has a "batch" image converter, meaning that it can automatically convert multiple image sources. Just point it at a directory and let it do its stuff. Once everything is ready to go, find a host with a good batch uploader, and upload all of your photos in one go.

Enjoy your uploading!

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