Resize Photos Or Images – It’s Not Just Size That Matters

You have just taken your digital photos, now you need to convert them to be just the right size. Whatever your purpose is – you may want wallpaper for your phone, you may be a budding webmaster, you need to send some photos through email to your family or friends – you need to resize your photos.

It’s not necessary that you know what size your photos are; what’s important is that you know what size you want them to be. Of course it helps to set your camera for the right size (the setting might be called “resolution”). If you know how to do that, your camera to take bigger, clearer photos; however, they will eat up memory faster than smaller ones. You don’t have to make a choice between two extremes, though. If you want to take a lot of photos and still want acceptable quality, then you can go for medium resolution.

Most cameras have a setting like medium resolution. If there’s no such setting, something around 600 pixels wide gives you a size that is acceptable, unless you want an incredibly artistic photo that you’ll want as big as possible.

Camera manuals have additional specific tips on resolution or image quality settings. Whatever your camera is, whether it’s a cell phone camera, a web cam, or a regular digital camera, or you scanned some photographs from your family album, there are some settings to configure. Cameras come with default factory settings that are good for general usage. This setting will allow you to get acceptable image qualities without knowing all the tricks from the manual.

Now, let’s get back to the photos that are already saved in your hard drive. If the photos are too big for the application you need them for, you can easily resize them with the Bulk Photo Resizer, an easy to use software you can download and try out for free.

The question is: what size is the right size? For attaching photos to email, a conservative size is about 400 pixels wide. For use in social networking or dating sites, you will want to check on the resolution they prefer. Resizing the photo to the sites required or preferred dimensions will give you the best-looking result. After clicking on a thumbnail (the smaller image), you see the larger image which is usually around 300 pixels wide, although this varies. Finally, if you’re creating wallpaper or an image for your screen saver, you need to consider your monitor’s resolution, unless you just want to let Windows stretch the image. The resolution would not be quite that good if you do this.

Whatever size you decide on choosing, you’ll need to do a lot of the following three things: crop, resize, and compress. Our featured program, Bulk Photo Resizer does all these three easily. The user interface is very simple; using the software is very easy to learn. Use it for one photo at a time, or use it on hundreds or even thousands of photos all at once. Our software testers found it nearly impossible to make mistakes. The software even prevents you from stretching the photo too tall or wide keeping everything the right shape. This is called “preserving the aspect ratio.” The resizing choices Bulk Photo Resizer gives you are already preset to ensure that the aspect ratio is preserved.

One thing that is almost as bad as stretching your photo out of shape is enlarging it. If your photo is not large enough, it’s best to leave it at its resolution. Bulk Photo Resizer prevents you from enlarging the photo. If you want larger photos from you camera, you need to learn how to set it for higher resolution photos.

Why does Bulk Photo Resizer prevent enlarging? When digital photos are enlarged, they start to get jagged edges known as the “jaggies”, which are the little squares that make up the image. If a photo gets too big, it starts to look like what they do on TV to hide someone’s face or license plate, turning it into little squares. This effect is called pixelation.

Great news! There’s no problem if you don’t know what the size of your photo is, Bulk Photo Resizer will tell you!

If you need to know what the size of your photo is and you don’t have software similar to Bulk Photo Resizer, you can check the photo on your computer using a Windows program called Windows Explorer. Windows explorer will help you find where your files are. First, you need find the directory that has your photos. Thumbnail view will be very helpful in finding photos. To switch to Thumbnail View, just click View (in the menu row near the top of the screen), and then select Thumbnails. Windows explorer helps you figure out what directory to look in by showing you some of the images in each directory when you are in thumbnail view.

After you find your photo, right click on its thumbnail or file name, then select Properties, and click on the Summary tab. This tab will show you the height and width of your photo in pixels.

Before resizing your photo, you should consider cropping. Cropping a photo simply means you are trimming away the parts around the outside edge so that you can have the things in the photo positioned and featured the way you want. Look at some photos in a magazine, or observe how things look in movie scenes. You will notice that the important parts of the photo stand out. They aren’t surrounded by too much of the scenery or background, unless there’s a good reason to show it. Never show someone from the chest up and then have several inches of sky overhead as though his head was a bulls-eye. Have his head shown at the top of the photo.

The Bulk Photo Resizer software makes it very easy to crop any image. You will actually see right away how it will look. It’s also very easy to undo things and try over.

After cropping an image, it will have a smaller size. You can now check the size of your photo so that you can decide if it needs to be even smaller for your purposes. Don’t be too eager to click that save command. When cropping an image, you might want to save it as a different file just in case you change your mind and would want to revert to the original image. This advice applies to images that you resize as well. You may just need that image in its original size later?

When saving an image, you will need to decide on how much compression to use. Compressing an image means making it take up less space on your hard drive. The problem with compression, however, is that you lose image quality. If you go too far in compressing, your photo can look downright blotchy. If you will be doing more editing to an image, you need to save it with no compression.

If you are saving an image in its final form, then some compression is usually recommended, especially for the web. If you intend to show an image on the web, you want it to be shown on visitors’ browsers as quickly as possible. Social networking and dating sites have rules about how many kilobytes an image can be as well. If they say an image has to be less than 100 KB, then check to see if your image needs to be compressed or made smaller. Either of these actions (cropping / compression) will make the file size smaller. Image size and file size confuses a lot of people. Image size is how big an image looks while file size is how much space it takes up on your hard drive. Larger file sizes take more time to show up on a webpage because a visitor needs to download more data in their browser when they go to the page.

With Bulk Photo Resizer, compressing images is very easy. If you want compression to be not that obvious, use 80. Compression scale goes from zero to 100. 60 is a considerably high level of compression since the image starts to be noticeably blotchy at this setting. There should be no noticeable effect of compression at a setting of 90 or higher, although it will still reduce the file size a good bit.

As a side note, the kind of image file or file type that is compressed is usually those that end in .jpg. People usually call these file types “jay-pegs,” but no one spells it that way. A great majority of photos or images on the web are in .jpg’s format.

There are a lot more facts you can learn about digital photos, but now you know the most essential stuff. We hope you enjoy resizing, cropping and compressing your photos!

How to Get Started on a Scrapbook Project (Organizing and Cropping Your Photos)

After learning how to find the albums and materials for a scrapbook project, the next thing that beginners should know about is how to organize and crop their photos. This may seem like a trivial thing at first, but the longer you do scrapbooking, the more you will realize how important it is to have a properly-organized system for your photos, as well as knowing how to crop them according to your needs.

It is recommended that you work on your scrapbook project in a workshop or area that has enough space to accommodate several piles of photos. You will not need all of this space every time you start a project, of course, but having a regular available space set aside for scrapbooking purposes would really help in the long run. Just set aside a portion or area of your home that is not usually used, such as a spare bedroom or maybe an area next to the garage. Of course, you need to keep in mind that the area you choose will have to be free of humidity, and well-lit (although free from direct sunlight).

Now that you have a pile of photos in front of you, what’s the first step in organizing them? Well, you pick out the ones that are obviously damaged or those that are blurry (out of focus). You should also separate the Polaroids from the photos that were taken by a common film camera (or those that were printed from digital copies). Polaroid pictures can contain a type of acid that may eventually ruin your photographs, so it would be best if you separate them right from the start.

If you could produce copies of the photos that you do like, it would be great. This will save you a lot of grief when you are working on a scrapbook project and you make a mistake. When you already have a copy of the photo you are using in your scrapbook, then it won’t be a problem replacing them.

With that said, I totally recommend making copies of the original photos and using those instead. Can you imagine using an original black and white photograph of your great-grandparents in your scrapbook, only to find that you’ve dropped a teeny weeny bit of glue on them, or maybe finding a few spatters of ink from the stamping you did the other day? Now you’ve ruined an original heritage photo of your ancestors, and you’ve got nothing to replace it. Totally unthinkable, right?

Alright, now that you’ve got some usable photos for your scrapbook project, you will want to organize them in chronological order. Don’t be overwhelmed, though, because you really don’t have to know the exact dates of when these photos were taken. Just sort them by year, or even by decade if you cannot identify them all by year. Separate the photos from the 1960s, the 1970, etc. You get the idea. You can then go back later on and sort them some more, like photos from the early ’80s, late ’80s, early ’90s, etc.

You can also sort them out chronologically according to whatever your purpose for scrapbooking is at the moment. For example, if you’re creating a scrapbook for your daughter who’s about to get married, you may want to start with the earliest photos you can find of her, up until the most recent picture. If your scrapbook is about the different holidays or festivities of the year, then the best thing to do would be to sort the pictures starting with the holiday or occasion that is nearest to the start of the year (starting with New Year, for example, then moving onwards until Christmas Day).

Some scrapbookers stop right here already, but if you have the time, I suggest that you move on and organize your photos according to events or occasions. This arrangement could include birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, sports, etc. and not only for holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Different strokes for different folks, of course, so it’s up to you to find and use the system that works best.

Here are a few more suggestions and ideas that you can use to organize your photos, depending on the purpose or theme of your scrapbook project:

– If you’re sorting photos for a wedding scrapbook, start by sorting the individual pictures of the bride and groom first. Use the baby pictures of each partner and go right up until adulthood. The couple will have lots of pictures that show them together, of course, so you should place those in a separate pile. If one of the couple (or both) has children from a previous marriage, you should also separate those pictures in a different pile as well.

– For a project such as a family tree scrapbook, you can start by collecting pictures of each member of the family from both sides (mother and father). It’s up to you how extended you want your family tree to be, but make sure that you will have photos for each of the family members, or else your family tree would look terribly lopsided. Start with collecting pictures for the most current family members, then work your way downwards.

– The size of your scrapbook album should also be a factor. Remember that most scrapbook pages can comfortably hold an average of 4-5 photos (more if the picture sizes are small). However, you should also take into account the space that you will need for journaling or embellishments. A scrapbook page can hold more than 7-8 photos if you really fill it up from border to border, but you won’t have room left for anything else.

– Now that you have a collection of photos that have been sorted by type, date, and/or occasion, it’s time for you to decide what the main photo will be. Scrapbookers usually pick out a single photo to serve as the focal point for all the other stuff that they put in a page, whether it’s journaling, embellishments, or more photos. The main photo should have a larger size than the other pictures, with great color and sharp focus. Ideally, it should be the best photograph among all the others in your collection.

– You can edit your main photo if you feel like it, so that the resulting picture will have that feel and look that you are going for. You can use your computer and a good photo editing software to enlarge or reduce a photo, add some borders or framing to it, or convert a colored picture into black and white for a classic or vintage look. If you don’t have a computer or the skills to do this kind of work, you can just bring it to a photo shop and have someone do it for you (or ask a friend).

– Sometimes you will finish the organizing part of the job, but won’t be able to actually mount the photos on your pages until some time later. If this is the case, you should store your selected photos into an archival-quality container. This will ensure that your photographs will be safe until you are able to mount them in your album. You can buy good-quality photo cases in department stores or a crafts shop, or use any airtight container that is also acid-free. For a quick solution, just get some Ziploc bags and place your photographs in those, then keep them in an airtight container until you can use them.

Okay, now we’re done with the organizing part. Let’s talk about cropping your photos and how to do it the right way.

If you’re not familiar with cropping photos, don’t worry; it’s not as complicated as it may sound. When you crop a photo, you’re simply cutting away the elements that distract the viewer from the subject of the photo itself. For example, you may see a lot of pictures that have distracting backgrounds, so it would be a good idea to trim the photo in such a way that the distracting background is minimized and the attention is more focused on the subject.

However, do be careful when cropping away the backgrounds, because some of those photos might have backgrounds that are essential to the overall message or story of the photo itself. As an example, you might have some photos of your grandparents, with an old house or building in the background. That old house might be the house that your mother grew up in, or that old building may be the place where your grandparents got married. These backgrounds, therefore, have a sentimental value to them that can contribute more to the story behind those photos, so it would be foolish to crop them out.

For the fastest and easiest way to crop photos, use a tool with a straight edge, such as a ruler. Sometimes it may seem fun to crop the photos into a variety of shapes, but remember that too many assorted shapes will just make your pages look messy and disorganized. You just need a pair of sharp scissors, a ruler, and a pencil. Use the pencil to trace the line where you would want to crop the photo off, and then wipe off any residue after you finish the cropping, so that your photos will be protected from deterioration. You can also buy a small paper cutter if you can afford it. This way, you can accomplish a cleaner, smoother crop even faster.

You can try using photos that have been cropped into different sizes and mount them all in one page. If you have a photo that you really like, or maybe one that has several persons in it, you can produce several copies of that single photo and crop them all into different ways before mounting on the scrapbook page. This technique also works really well with landscape photos.

You may also have lots of photos with colorful backgrounds, like a field of blooming flowers or a beautiful lake scenery. These photos don’t really deserve to get cropped closely, because they can add a lot of brightness and color to your designs. Put away those scissors and try to find ways to work these photos into your layouts instead.

If you do want to get creative with your cropping, you can use a pair of decorative scissors or shears. There are several varieties of these tools now available in office/school supply stores, or you can go to your crafts store and see if they have them in stock. Aside from creative cropping, you can use these decorative scissors to trim the borders of cardstock, frames, etc. in a variety of shapes.

Special occasions or events can be exceptions to the “straight edge” rule. For example, when you’re creating a page for Valentine’s Day, you can be forgiven for cropping your photographs in heart shapes of different sizes. When you want to crop your photos like these, I suggest using a cookie cutter as a template to get the desired shapes that you want. Trace the photo using the cookie cutter and mount it on cardstock. The cardstock can also be cropped or shaped in this way if you prefer. Using cookie cutters for this purpose can be a lot less expensive than buying die cut embellishments, especially when you’re using them for just one event or occasion.

Aside from a straight edge crop, there are lots of scrapbookers who vary their styles and use a few other shapes, like an oval and a square. A round or oval shape is quite difficult to produce precisely, especially for beginners, so I would recommend that you buy some templates. Using templates for cropping your photos will let you produce clean, smooth results again and again, with less effort than you might expect.

However, templates can be a bit expensive, so I suggest that you stick with two or three basic shapes. Avoid buying the other specialized template shapes, because even though you think they look “cute” now, there are not too many projects or photographs where you can use “heart” or “Christmas tree” templates.

The one type of photograph that you must never crop is the Polaroid photo. Photographs taken with a Polaroid camera contain a type of chemical inside the paper itself, so when you crop or trim these photos in any way whatsoever, you run the risk of having the chemical leak out and destroy the other photos on your page. There are other ways to attach and display Polaroid photos, such as using photo corners to mount them on the page, or attaching pocket sleeves on the scrapbook page and then inserting the photos inside the sleeves.

Remember, though, that even if we’re talking about cropping your photos now, there are some pictures that look great just the way they are. Don’t get trigger-happy with your scissors and take some time to analyze each photograph. Look at the photo and try to understand what it is in that particular image that grabs your attention; what the main subject is trying to tell you. Is the background distracting you, or does it add more to the story? Would it work better with a different shape, or is it just fine the way it is right now?

You should crop your photographs depending on the layout and the project, but don’t go around thinking that all photos should be cropped. When you do decide to crop, you can try using special shapes and different sizes, but remember that working with a clean, straight edge will produce the best results at all times.

Facebook Privacy and Your Photos

With all the changes to Facebook Privacy and the new photo viewer, it’s hard to tell just who can see your photos and what they can do with them. In this post I will explain what you need to know about the new photo viewer and how people can download and possibly print your photos. I will also outline how to change your Facebook Privacy settings to give you complete control over who sees your photos and what they are allowed to do with them.

The New Photo Viewer

The new photo viewer on Facebook provides users with a very different way to view photos than the old version. When you click on a photo or album, a photo viewer pops up so that looking at someone’s photos becomes your main focus. Not only is there a pop up display that grabs your intention, but your profile is also grayed out behind the photo viewer so that all of your attention is on the photo you are looking at. As someone who can easily be distracted by the many ads and links on Facebook that can divert your attention, I personally like the new way to view photos. As with any new change on Facebook, there will always be some people who appreciate the change and others who don’t like it or even hate it. Therefore, I think it’s best to lay out the facts so that you can form your on opinion as well as make informed decisions about how you want to use Facebook from now on.

Features of the New Photo Viewer

  • The name of the album and who created it is located under the photo on the left side.
  • You can “Like” a photo or leave a comment under it.
  • You can tag, share, download, or report the photo.
  • You can look through the photos in an album by either clicking on the photo or using the forward and backward arrows.
  • When you’re finished looking at photos, click the white X located in the upper right corner of the photo viewer.

If Someone Can See a Photo They Can Print It Likewise, if you can see a photo you can print it. Each photo has a “Download” or “Download This Photo” button in the lower left corner below it. All you have to do is click on this button and choose the location on your hard drive where you want to download and save the photo. From there you can upload the photo to any online photo printer and get a copy.

While this may seem surprising to some of you, the truth is that even before this “Download” button was made available, anyone that could see a photo could still download and save it by right clicking on the photo and selecting “Save As”. They could also print a copy of the photo once it was saved on their hard drive.

You have always been able to download and save a photo from Facebook and then print it, but now Facebook provides a “Download” button to make it easier and more obvious for people who didn’t realize it before.

What You Need to Consider First

Before you start worrying about what people may do with your photos, I want you to step back and think for a moment about the chances that someone is going to print a photo that they are just looking at and have no personal interest in (i.e. they are tagged in the photo or were at the event). Unless you are a photographer with interesting photos, then people probably aren’t going to want to print your photos. As I said previously, they could also download and print them before Facebook updated the photo viewer.

If you don’t want someone to print an embarrassing photo of you such as that crazy photo from spring break, then it’s safe to say you don’t want them to see it either. Use the guidelines below to change your Privacy Settings.

How to Change Your Facebook Privacy Settings

So as you probably have realized by now, the only way to prevent someone from downloading and printing your photos is to block them from being able to see them. In this section of the post I will outline how to do this.

Photos You Post

  1. Go to “Account” in the upper right corner of Facebook then “Privacy Settings”.
  2. Click on “Customize Settings” in blue in the middle of the page.
  3. Beside “Posts by me” under “Things I share” click on the drop down menu where you can choose from Everyone, Friends and Networks, Friends of Friends, Friends Only, and Customize.
  4. If you don’t like any of the other options, click on Customize where you can choose to whom to make photos visible and/or who to hide them from.

Photos You Are Tagged In

  1. Go to “Account” in the upper right corner of Facebook then “Privacy Settings”.
  2. Click on “Customize Settings” in blue in the middle of the page.
  3. Beside “Photos and videos I’m tagged in” under “Things others share” click on the drop down menu where you can choose from Everyone, Friends and Networks, Friends of Friends, Friends Only, and Customize.
  4. If you don’t like any of the other options, click on Customize where you can choose to whom to make photos visible and/or who to hide them from.

Your Albums

  1. Click on the album and under the photos click “Edit Album Info”.
  2. From there you can click on the drop down beside “Privacy” under “Edit Info”.
  3. Choose from Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends Only, and Customize.
  4. If you don’t like any of the other options, click on Customize where you can choose to whom to make photos visible and/or who to hide them from.

I hope this post was helpful and I look forward to reading your comments!