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Old 08-24-2005, 10:12 AM
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Lightbulb Using Photoshop

Nathaniel,

I'm not sure I know exactly how to advise you. If you send it to me I can probably get it to work. But here is a bit of advice anyway.

Camera advice: Even if you use the smallest resolution size (which is pixel dimension), I would recommend using the sharpest setting on the camera at all times for all pictures. If you need to save it at a lower quality (higher compression), you can always do this later with Photoshop. But if you start with a mediocre picture, it will never get better. Garbage in, garbage out.

Image Compression using Photoshop: When you "save as" a new jpeg (use the extension .jpg for best results), no compression is a setting of 10 (or 100 on later versions of Photoshop). A setting of 9 (or 90) will yield almost exactly the same results, but with a smaller file size. In the world of building web sites, I save jpg images at qualities ranging from 4 to 7 (40 to 70), depending on how the image looks at each compression level, the importance of the image, the overall size of the image, etc.

Cropping: This is the first step. Crop the image to a square size, eliminating the parts you don't need. If the image size is still 250 x 250, that's fine.

Image Resizing: This should be your next step. Go under the "Image" menu to "Image size..." You'll need to have the "Resample Image" box checked. Resize the Pixel dimensions, not the width/heighth/resolution (these are helpful for printing, but useless for screen display). It does not matter what the resolution is set at -- your screen displays pixels only. So change the pixel dimension to 100 x 100.

Save for web: If you have this feature (it comes with the full edition of Photoshop), use it. If not, simply "save as" with an image quality of 7, to start with. Under format options, choose either Baseline option, but don't use "progressive" -- it is not as widely supported.

HTH. Maybe Treeroot and I should put on a Photoshop primer at a meeting sometime.
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