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Thread: Micro Tutorial : editing photos for the forum

  1. #1
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    Micro Tutorial : editing photos for the forum

    Micro Tutorial: Photo Editing

    Here is a minimalist tutorial on how to edit your photos for posting to this (or any other) forum.

    There are many photo editing packages out there. You probably got a basic one with your digital camera. I can't explain all of them in depth, so I won't even try. Instead I'm going to give a few basic pointers that I think will help you figure things out.

    I think most people here are pretty bright, and just need a few hints to point them in the right direction.

    The main issue seems to be photo size. You want your photos to be nice and large, so that people can see lots of details. But if the photos are too big, then the software will reject them.

    Therefore, photo sizing is what I will focus on.

    Here is my one line executive summary: I find that if I resize my photos to about 800x600 pixels, and save them as jpegs, with an "85%" quality rating, I usually get them to be big, and yet under the 100k file limit.

    All the photo editing programs that I have tried support the basic functions that you need: Load your photo, crop the area of interest, maybe tweak the brightness/contrast, and resize it to an appropriate size for uploading.

    ----------

    1) www.pxn8.com

    I just found this web page this morning when looking for online photo editing. It's free! And even better, you don't need to install anything, it runs off of their web server.

    They have simple tools on their web page. You can upload a photo, rotate it, crop it, resize it, and save it back to your computer.

    First, select "1. choose your image to edit", and upload a photo. Next, click on "crop" and select the area of the photo you want. Finally, if necessary use resize to get it under 800x600 pixels in size. Now save it to your home computer.

    2) Gimp

    Gimp is a free image editing program, with a very goofy name.

    It offers much of the same functionality as Photoshop. The main difference (for the basic user) is that it is free, and that it has menu items in different places (which confuses people who use photoshop at work or school.)

    But it does the job. I've used it for a few years, can't beat the price.

    Load a picture with "file->Open". Crop with "Tools -> transform -> Crop" (or shift-C). Tweak brightness with "Tools -> color tools -> Brightness-Contrast". Adjust size with "Image -> Scale".

    3) iPhoto

    If you have a mac, you've got iPhoto installed. To crop, use the mouse to drag out an area, then click the "crop" button along the bottom of the window. To adjust brightness or contrast, click on the "Adjust" button along the bottom.

    Resizing is a bit awkward. Click on "Share -> Export", then in the "Size" box you can set the size to 800x600 or whatever. iPhoto does NOT give you a "quality" option when saving, unfortunately.


    2) picasa.google.com

    Google offers a free photo editing tool named picasa. I haven't tried it out, as it is Windows-only. (Linux version in beta)

    3) Photoshop.

    I'm going to skip this one. Photoshop is a huge program, with tons of features, and it is expensive. I have to believe that anyone who has bought it, knows enough of how to use it.


    Perhaps someone else, who has a copy of Picasa, or Photoshop Elements, or some other common program, can post their own "micro tutorial" in this thread to add to the knowledge.

    ...art

  2. #2
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    Art, I use a Mac and I also use MacImage Resizer. http://www.tucows.com/preview/206512

    You need to have your photos in a separate folder as, to my knowledge, MacImage Resizer won't take the photos directly off of my desktop.

    It does a great job of bringing images down to a size that works here. It DOES have quality setting choices, Best, High, Normal and Low. After exporting my photo(s) from iPhoto at 640 x 480, I use the normal setting in MacImage Resizer and it reduces my photos down to about 40% of their previous size.
    Thanks, Mark.

    Custom Bonehead.

    My diet is working good. I'm down to needing just one chair now.

    "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin

  3. #3
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    If you're using Windoze, this is about the easiest thing I know of. It ONLY does pic resizing, so if you need to crop or adjust color/brightness/etc, it's not the right tool. This is Microsofts free 'powertoys' page for Windows XP. They have powertoys for other versions of Windows if you search around. The image resizer powertoy on this page couldn't be simpler. You can do one or multiple pics just by right-clicking on the file in Explorer.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/d...powertoys.mspx
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  4. #4
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    Irfanview is one of the best photo viewers/resizers available for Windows. it's stable, regularly updated and ...free!

    http://www.irfanview.com/

    For the Mac, I use PhotoShop Elements, or a new one I found...Image Well (free). Small, fast and works very well. (no pun intended)

    http://www.xtralean.com/IWOverview.html

    Greg

  5. #5
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    Cool. Thanks for that link Greg. I'll check that out.

    MacImage Resizer is super easy for me and only does resizing, as far as I know.

    It looks like Imagewell does some more stuff though and I look forward to checking it out.
    Thanks, Mark.

    Custom Bonehead.

    My diet is working good. I'm down to needing just one chair now.

    "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin

  6. #6
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    Irfanview is all I use. It is super quick. Somehow my wife insists on using an antiquated program that came with the scanner 8 years ago. I tried to show her this and she turns her head. Oh well. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
    Exclusively Irish!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas
    When Irish Eyes are smiling, they're usually up to something!!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3


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