What do we
Ideally we want you to send us pictures no wider than 450 pixels
at 72 DPI and in JPG format preferably with a file size lower than
25Kb. If you're not so sure how to do this then read on...
straight from your scanner will be fairly big files, considerably
larger both in pixel size and DPI (dots per inch) than they need
to be for the web. Large files take quite a long time to email.
This is very inefficient and very wasteful of your online time.
You can streamline the images so they are radically smaller in Kb
and will travel by email quite quickly.
tend to default to a scanning resolution of 150 DPI. This is around
double the DPI figure required for screen viewing on the web. For
example a postcard sized photo scanned at 150 DPI will typically
produce a file of around 900 pixels wide by 600 high - i.e.1.5Mb
for a BMP or TIF, or around 60Kb for a JPG. This can be reduced
dramatically. The objective is to reduce the file size as much as
possible without causing a noticeable degradation to the picture.
As a rule, web images are usually prepared at 72 DPI. The largest
width we can display on "Your Place & Mine" is 450 pixels.
If you send us larger ones, they'll be reduced to this maximum width
There are many readily available software tools for manipulating
images. These range from the very expensive "industry standard"
tools, to simple freeware or downloaded "try-outs". Chances
are you've already got some software on your computer that can crop,
resize and, to some degree, optimise pictures. The terms "crop"
and "resize" are self explanatory but what is meant by
"optimise"? When you optimise a picture you encode the
data in a compressed form so that the number of kilobytes used is
reduced. The more compression you apply, the more quality is lost
in the picture. Just how much compression you can use depends on
each individual picture. You can often afford to lose a surprising
number of Kilobytes of information before the degradation becomes
visually unacceptable. If you haven't got any software that does
this then there is a plentiful supply which you can acquire online
without even leaving your seat. Here are a few pointers that might
get you started...
There are many sites where you can download freeware or shareware
imaging products. These will vary in features and functionality
and probably won't be as powerful as the big established named products
but many of them will do all that you need - and they're free!
Here are just a few such sites that you might look at to get you
Producers of established brand-name imaging software usually
have free downloadable "try-outs" which are similar to
the full programme but are cut-down. Some may also have a time limit
on the trial period.
Here are just three such websites that you might visit:
There are also some websites which will resize and optimise
images for you "while you wait". These are becoming very
help and advice on optimising images at:
The few addresses suggested above are literally just the tip
of the iceberg. There are thousands of places on the web where you
can get help and downloads or take part in discussion groups etc.
Try going to a search engine and type in "Image Optimizing"
as your search clue.
The web addresses listed above are just a small sample of a vast
online resource comprising many products and brands. Their appearance
here does not imply in any way that the BBC recommends, favours
or endorses them.
There is an
excellent BBC "Webwise" article about scanning which goes
into more detail.