How to Resize Digital Photos

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You took that shiny new camera out of the box and started using it. Maybe you went through the user manual once, set the camera the way you want it, and forgot it. Picture size? Who cares, they look great, right?

Well, maybe. Photos should be sized to fit the way they’re going to be used. If you’re selling images for a magazine cover you’ll probably need a 24 megabyte (MB) file, which is really big. If you’re emailing pictures to friends, they’ll be annoyed if you send huge files that take a long time to download.

To submit photos to Yankee‘s online gallery, your file should be no larger than 10 megabytes. That’s a very large file! If you’re producing such a big file from your digital camera without a reason, you should reset your camera to take smaller images. This will allow you to fit more photos on your camera’s memory card, save storage space on your computer, and reduce the need to buy more disks. But if you do shoot large files for some purpose, you should know how to resize them for other uses.

First, check the CD that came with your camera. It has software that probably includes resizing features. Look in the menu bar under File or Edit. Otherwise, if you have purchased photo-editing software such as Adobe Elements, Photoshop, Lightroom, or Apple Aperture, those applications can resize photos.

If you don’t own editing software, try free software. Picasa can be downloaded from Google. There are also online versions of Picasa and Piknik which can be used to change images and to resize them. If you don’t like those, do a web search for “resize photos”. You’ll find many options including:

I tried www.shrinkpictures.com and the process was easy. Just upload your picture, choose one of the dimensions (I would try 75% and see how that works), click the resize button, and it will tell you the old and new sizes of your file. Make sure the new size is smaller than the Yankee limit of 10,000K (10MB), and that the dimennsions do not exceed 2100w x2100h pixels. Then save the picture back to your computer and upload it to Yankee. You may need to experiment a bit to get the right size.

Please note that I have not tried all these software applications, and that neither I nor Yakee Magazine is endorsing any of them. I have image-editing applications that do what I need, so I don’t usually look around for other apps.

For a step-by-step resizing tutorial, go to About.com’s page http://cameras.about.com/od/printing/ss/resize.htm

All photos © Susan Cole Kelly.

Susan Cole Kelly is a compulsive shutterbug based in Boston and downeast Maine. You can see more of her work at http://susancolekelly.photoshelter.com/


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