HOW TO WORK WITH PHOTOS
This page is a QUICK Photo Tutorial. You can do it!! Just take a few minutes to check out our instructions and you will LOVE the fact that you are in control of your photos. It's well worth your time to learn this. Here we go....
SERVER LIMITS FOR PHOTOS
If your photos are really large then there are many online systems that can't accept them, due to server upload limits. At our classifieds site, the file limitation is 400k, which is quite a large photo. Huge. It's a limitation, but it's a generous limitation.
The problem is this: the photos that come directly off the camera are like 4000kb or 6000kb or even 10,000kb which is incredibly enormous. You can print an entire poster with a digital photo that big.
The only time you actually need such huge photos is if you're going to print them in books or flyers. THEN you need high resolution photos, but you don't need high-res for pictures that are posted online.
So now you know why you can't upload your pictures sometimes, at forums or clubs or auction sites. If it won't upload, chances are it's just too BIG.
BANDWIDTH IS WHAT THE INTERNET PAYS FOR
There's another problem with such huge photos: they use up a lot of bandwidth during transfer and every time the photo is viewed by users it uses MORE bandwidth... and bandwidth is what we have to pay for on the Server. In fact, there's a problem with bandwidth shortage and geeks are talking about it alot.
So... you need to resize your photos before uploading them. This is a very good thing to learn, or else you're going to have problems with photo sizes many times (such as sending them on emails.)
HOW DO YOU ADJUST THE PHOTO SIZE?
You need to adjust your photos using a graphics editor software program. The editor will allow you to do very precise adjustments. We'll tell you where to get an editor, in just a bit.
WHAT SIZE SHOULD PHOTOS BE?
So what size do your photos need to be? It's a good idea to resize your photos to less than 800 pixels height. Actually 600-700 pixels high is probably ideal. If it's any bigger than 750 pixels high, it will be too large to view the entire photo on your monitor. Here is a photo that is 600 pixels high.
For ebay sellers, ebay now recommends images that are 1200 px or more on the longest side - so customers can zoom in and see details of the item you are selling. Ebay will not accept images that are smaller than 700 pixels.
PIXELS: DO I DEFINE LENGTH, WIDTH... OR BOTH?
PIXELS... You only want to define pixels for ONE side. Your photo editor will adjust the other side automatically. Which side you choose to adjust, depends on the photo and the shape of it. The photo of our Bumble Bee doll (above) is a PORTRAIT photo, meaning that the height is longer than the width.
Generally, the longest side should be under 750 pixels and the "other" side will automatically be adjusted proportionately. You don't want to define BOTH sides or it will get distorted (unless you know how to do the math accurately.)
So if it's a LANDSCAPE photo, where the width is the longest measurement, then revise the width to 700 or 800 pixels and the software will automatically adjust the other side proportionately. Our seashell photo is 600 pixels wide.
Or, if it's a PORTRAIT photo where the height is the longest measurement, then revise the height to 600 or 700 pixels and the software will automatically adjust the other side proportionately.
CROP: ONE OF THE BEST TOOLS EVER!
If you learn how to CROP with your photo software, your photos will be much more professional. The CROP tool (in your photo editor) helps you remove excess unimportant stuff from the edges of the photo and there's more pixel space available for what matters.
Here is a photo that's 600 pixels wide. It has not been cropped:
BELOW, is the same image but we cropped it before we resized it. The photo above is a landscape photo but now the image is a portrait shape and our viewers can get a closeup look at this cutie. You can see that removing the excess makes a big difference:
ADJUST THE QUALITY, TOO!
QUALITY is another thing to consider, when adjusting your JPG photos. The quality setting should be somewhere between 75-90% quality for JPG's. The photo starts to degrade a lot if you set the quality under 75%. Your software will help you adjust quality.
JPG's are the only photo formats that have a quality setting. GIF files and PNG files do not. This is because JPG's are a compressed format; which means they are sorta zipped up and crammed into a little space. When they are zipped and crammed, you can specify how much you want to cram into it. If you select lower quality, the JPG size will be smaller. If you select high quality, the final JPG will be bigger. For websites, it's best to adjust the quality between 75% to 85% depending on your preference.
AVOID "FAT" PHOTOS....
If you adjust the pixel size and the quality setting: those two adjustments will directly affect your KB size. What is the KB size? KB is the amount of space that the photo uses on the hard drive. It's an actual physical size on the hard drive: KB is a measurement. If 200 pounds is a big man, then 400 pounds is a very fat man... And if 200 KB is a big photo, then 400 KB is bigger than most people need for anything online. Think of it like that. Maybe.
Anyway... if your photo is less than 750 pixels and 85% quality, your actual file size will end up less than 300 KB most of the time, which is a good size for website photos. Your photos will load quickly when visitors come to your site, and they will look good.
This is a screen capture from my computer. You are looking at an actual snapshot of my own photo editor software. Notice the file sizes, which have KB after them. My file sizes are less than 100 KB. But they are not small photos (the images you see are only thumbs.) All of these photos are online and being used currently on my sites. (Two of them are in THIS tutorial!) So, this shows that your file sizes do not need to be huge. If your photos are larger than 200 KB they are probably way too big for a web page or auction listing.
There are other factors which can affect the KB size. Black and white JPG files are smaller than full color JPG of the same image. And I've noticed that the color GREEN (such as trees or grass) seems to require a whole lot more KB than other colors.
DO YOU NEED SOME GOOD GRAPHICS SOFTWARE?
1. Picasa (sponsored by Google) and Flickr (sponsored by Yahoo) are sites which can really help you with your photos. They have free photo hosting space. They have free software. They can help you print your photos. I use Flickr and I really love it.
2. Or, maybe you should get a good graphics program for your computer. I have a favorite graphics program that I use, called XNView. It is free, and has been around for a very long time so it's a stable program:
3. I also like the FastStone Image Viewer a lot. It is very similar to XNView, plus it has the ability to add text to images:
So... Let's do it!!
If you can edit, resize and even crop your photos, then you're ready to learn a little HTML. With just a little bit of HTML, you'll get around the internet like a Pro.
I've used this site for years:
Here is the W3Schools website which offers many free code tutorials and you can even get certifications from them:
Here is an interactive HTML
tutorial for beginners. I like the simple lesson plan. If
you only learn this much, you've learned enough to do a
web site. In fact, this is about all I know:
A handy reference list of the most frequently
used HTML code tags. This is a text file, you must open
it with Notepad or another text editor.