Do your images take a long time to email to your relatives? Do your friends ask that you not send pictures to them because of the download time?
This usually happens when your photos are a very large size. Large images take a long time to transfer over the Internet.
Cameras available now have 6 mega pixel or more resolution which means that there are 6 million pieces of information for each photo that you take. That's a lot of pieces to store and transfer! The JPEG format for storing photos helps by compressing the data (so a 6 million piece image can be stored in about 3.5 megabytes) but 3 megabytes for a single image is still a lot of data and can take a number of minutes to email - not to mention the fact that a lot of email programs can't handle an email that large. Particularly if you send more than one photo.
Fortunately there is a solution. Your images don't need to be sent at full size to everyone. In fact, if your friends will only look at your photos on the computer screen (and not print them), then you can save a lot of time by reducing the size of your picture files before sending.
Use an image editing program like Photoshop Elements or Paint Shop Pro to reduce the size of your files. Or use my favorite program, the free Google Picasa which makes emailing photos really easy.
I reduce the size of my images to 800 pixels in width (or 800 pixels in height for a portrait shot). This creates a large enough photo so that my friends can see what's in the photo, but the file size is small enough - between 0.1 and 0.3 megabytes - that it's quick and painless to send over email.
If you have a whole lot of photos to send in the one email, I recommend reducing the size even further to 400 pixels wide. The resulting file size will be under 0.1 megabytes per image.
Remember to never save your reduced size photo over the top of your original file. By reducing the size, you're also removing detail from the image. If you save over the top, you'll lose the additional detail of the original photo forever.
Here's how I do the resize:
- Either open the photo I want, or select a range of photos from my library by holding down the CTRL key and clicking on the images
<li>Click on the File menu and select Email...</li> <li>Choose your email program (either your local mail program, or GMail if you use that)</li> <li>Picasa will resize your photos and open a new message with the smaller photos attached ready to send!</li> <li>Enter your recipients names and select Send.</li>
Photoshop Elements 4 (or 5)
- Load the Elements Organizer
<li>Select the photos you would like to email by holding the CTRL key down and selecting images</li> <li>Click on the "Share" toolbar button and select Email, or select the File menu and choose Email</li> <li>In the wizard, you can select people to send your photo to (but I usually leave that blank and fill the recipients in later on)</li> <li>I select "Photo Mail (HTML)" from the format dropdown to the right. I also enter a message for my friends in the "Message" area and click Next</li> <li>Then I select a frame for my photos. Choose a fancy frame, or a simple one. Click Next Step</li> <li>Now, I choose the photo size (either the smallest, or next largest) and a layout I like and click Next</li> <li>Elements will create the email and open a new message ready for you to enter your recipients.</li> <li>Click Send!</li>
A final note: Another way to share your photos is to upload to a photo site like Flickr.com. It's a free service that can be a little daunting which is why I have created a video that walks you through the most common areas of Flickr, and how to upload your photos. You'll find the video as a bonus to my Digital Photo Secrets book.
By resizing your photos before sending, you'll cut down on sending time and your friends and family will have more time to look at your wonderful memories!
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