How to prepare photos for emailing
This very simple easy to read article will have you mastering the concepts of sending images over the internet in no time!
In order for you to send your photos via email you must first make sure that they will transfer across the internet at a reasonable speed. A typical digital photo could exceed 5 mega bytes and could easily take 15-20 minutes to transfer.
With a few tools and some simple guidelines you should have no problems preparing your images for emailing or even website display. The standards for email and websites are both the same. The reason for this is that both are viewed on computer monitors and need to transfer at reasonable speeds over the internet.
Let's first take a look at computer monitors and resolution. The most common resolution setting for monitors is 800 pixels X 600 pixels and is probably the best to use unless you know that the person that will be viewing the image(s) has a different setting.
Computer monitors do not view in inches so inches really don't have any bearing on your image size what so ever.
The most important aspect to remember when preparing your image is resolution or total pixels. Pixels per inch (ppi) is not even very significant, just remember TOTAL PIXELS.
If the standard monitor resolution setting is 800 pixels X 600 pixels then we would like our image to be within these total pixel settings. Otherwise the viewer may have to scroll to view the entire image.
I generally like to cut total monitor pixel height or width in half when resampling images. So depending on whether the image is in landscape or portrait I size to half of that resolution setting.
For instance if my image is landscape which means that it is wider than it is tall I will cut the monitor pixel width in half. So if we are using the 800 pixel X 600 pixel standard the width is 800 pixels wide and cut in half would be 400 pixels wide, that would be my image width.
So when you resample your image at 400 pixels (total) in width the image will appear on half of the monitors width which is set at 800 pixels wide. The monitor size does not matter. I use a 19 inch monitor but let's say that my sister is using a 15 inch monitor, if both are set at 800 X 600 pixels the viewing area is the same 800 pixels wide and 600 pixels tall so no matter what the monitor size the image will still appear in half of the screen.
The typical web page standard for file size is not to exceed 100 kb the reason for this again is download time. Who wants to wait minutes before the website appears? So when we save our image we want to save it as a jpeg or jpg and compress it to around 50 kb or so depending how high the quality we want. You can go larger or smaller depending on how many images you're sending and at what quality you're willing to sacrifice.
These settings are just fine for viewing and sending images over the internet. If you are sending images for other purposes besides viewing you will have to send them with a quality that is adequate for your purposes.
Let's rap it up...
A little testing on your part will soon have you mastering this process.
Bert is author of "Digital Photography & Images for the Technology Challenged". His 20 plus years in the printing and graphics industries offer a simple and unique view to the concepts of digital imagery.