Stupid question....

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jenn76, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. jenn76

    jenn76 TPF Noob!

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    I am submitting my son's photos into a contest, but they have to be under 2MB each. They're jpeg files, but they're almost all bigger than 2mb. I use a Mac, and I don't have photoshop. I have recently downloaded Gimp, but haven't used it much. Is there a way to reduce the file size without messing with the pic too much in iPhoto or Gimp? I'm sure there is, I just don't know how. I never had to worry about it before! Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are two things to consider. First is the size of the image, in pixels. You need larger files for prints that you do for web viewing. The standard is 300 pixels per linear inch of print...so a 5x7 print would need to be 1500x2100 pixels. If you are not printing the image and only viewing it on a screen, then 800 pixels wide would probably be plenty big enough.

    The second thing to consider is the compression/quality of the image. When you save a JPEG file, you can usually set the compression/quality. This will greatly affect the file size...but the more you compress it, the worse it will look. For web viewing, you can easily set the quality down a couple notches before it's really noticeable.

    When submitting an image for a contest or whatever, it's probably best to find out what criteria they are looking for and set your image to that.
     
  3. jenn76

    jenn76 TPF Noob!

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    It's more of a "cute kid" contest than a photography contest, so I'm not too worried about the compression, although they do look at the "overall" appearance of the photos. So my question is HOW do I change it, without having photoshop?
     
  4. jenn76

    jenn76 TPF Noob!

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    Oh, and I'm not printing... don't know if they do or not.
     
  5. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First off, you open the image in the Gimp (I'm afraid I don't use Macs, so you'll have to figure that out. It's the equivalent of right-click > Open With...), then you go to Image, Scale Image. You'll only be interested in the two numbers at the top; they will probably be between 2,000 and 4,500 depending on your son's camera. You can enter the numbers yourself, or you can hold down one of the buttons until you're happy. A word of advice, though: Make sure the top two buttons are "locked" (there's a little icon to the side of them). This makes sure that, when the image is resized, it doesn't look squashed. Resize the image to a level that you're happy with (if you think they're going to print the photos, I would recommend a resolution of 1,200-1,500 pixels in the largest dimension). Click OK.

    After that, the compression. Go into File, then click Save As. Rename the file as you wish, but make sure the file suffix is .JPG. Check to see if the file destination is right (I have found the Gimp's file saving windows a bit confusing at times), then click OK. It will then ask you about compression. Like Big Mike said, the more compression, the smaller the file size, but the worse the quality. I find a number of about 90 to be good. Then click Save and check it looks good.

    Now, I shall admit: This is not very good if you want to process 200 photographs, but for one-offs, it's fine. Enjoy, and best of luck in the competition!
     

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