Preparing photos for the web

This page is still under construction

Image Formats/Types

There are a number of image formats that are available today.  Probably the most common format is the JPEG or .JPG format.  Most digital cameras today save images to this format.  There are also .GIF images and .TIF or .TIFF.  Another type is the .PNG format.  These are the most common ones that one will find when needing to upload an image to the web.  For the most part the best image format to use in a blog is usually a .JPG.

Image Sizes

When you download images (photos) from your digital camera or from your scanner they might be in a large array of sizes (I am defining size as the amount of space they take up on a disk or on the web).  Images might be anywhere from a few kilobytes to a good number of megabytes.  This is an important consideration because a larger sized image takes longer to open in a browser.

Image Resolution

Digital images are not measured by inches or centimeters but rather by their resolution because they are made up of tiny digital dots (pixels).   Image resolution refers to how many dots an image contains along both its width and its height.  The product of those two measurements are described in “mega pixels”.  An image with many mega pixels will take up more room on a disk than one with a few mega pixels.  This disk space is measured in bytes.  A high resolution image can be many megabytes.  For example, if I take a photo on my 8 mega pixel camera at its highest resolution setting a single photo will be 3264 pixels wide by 2448 pixels tall and the photo’s size (disk space) will be over 5 mega pixels.  To upload a photo that large to the Northwest website would take a very long time and it would take an equally long time for someone to view it.  So images loaded to the website must be fairly small.  Usually an illustrative image in a blog article does not need to be more than 30 to 150 kilobytes.

Image Sources

There are a number of sources from which one can obtain images.  Here are a few:

  • Computer clip art – such as Microsoft clip art that ships with their Office software.
  • An online photo warehouse (some are completely free others are “royalty free” after you have paid a one-time fee)
  • A digital camera (cameras today can produce excellent quality photos – however they tend to be fairly large [high resolution] and will need to be reduced before they can be used on the web.  See Image Editing below.)
  • A scanner (produces fairly high resolution images)
  • An image creating software program like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop and many others.
  • Microsoft Publisher has a little known feature where any diagram/sketch/compilation that you can create in it can be saved to your computer as an image file in several image formats (jpg, png etc.)

Image editing (with Microsoft Office Picture Manager)

Microsoft Office comes with a basic image editing program called Microsoft Office Picture Manager.  Though a basic editor it is more than enough to edit images for use in a blog.  The images below demonstrate how to use Picture Manager.

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