Resizing photos



In this day and age of digital photography we are all finding it easy to go out with our new cameras and snap up photos of tombstones.

However, today's cameras are designed for top high quality photography and if you don't reset your resolutions manually then the chances are that you will be coming home with photos of tombstones which can be up to 3 or more megabytes in size. These simply are not  suitable for the web and must be resized and or cropped before posting to the USGenWeb Archives Project.

Ideally for a photo of Great Grandma or Grandpa then 300k to 1 megabyte is ok, but that is not ok with a tombstone photo.

Tombstone photos should never be larger than 300kb and in fact when I resize tombstone photos I use a combination of both

resizing width/pixels and compression and can often keep the tombstone photos between 50 to 75kb in size. This allows us to hold far more photos with much less disk capacity.

In resizing photos I find that it takes a bit of practice to do them but once you have gotten the steps down it's very easy.

There are many digital editing software programs which will allow you to resize and crop photos, most of you will get software included with your camera which will allow you to do this. So do check the software that comes with your camera, look under the help menu to see if there is a way to resize or make your photos web ready.

There are many programs out there to work with but we are trying here to give you some basic instructions on a few common and hopefully easy to use programs.

There are two free software programs called Irfanview and Microsoft Image Resizer, both are very easy to use and allow you to resize in complete batches.

For now I am including instructions below on how to resize using both of these programs.

Hopefully with the help of other volunteers we will soon get more instructions here for various software programs on resizing and cropping photos as well as information on where you can get these programs. Most programs work similarly so it is possible to check the instructions on some software to see if those same options are available in your software program.

Resizing a photo means changing the width/height/pixel size. Compressing a  photo means reducing the byte size. Cropping a photo means cutting out all the unnecessary background. It can take a combination of all three to get the best quality photo at the lowest byte size. You should look at your photos before editing, if there is alot of background in the image then it may be best to crop the background out first which means you can then resize less.

Please remember that for tombstone photos once you have resized the photo the names and dates on the headstone should be clear and easy to read, otherwise the photo is of little use to anyone.

Software Instructions Get Software
Irfanview Resizing Instructions
Irfanview Cropping Instructions
Microsoft Image Resizer Power Tool for Windows XP Microsoft Image Resizer Power Tool

Following are some examples of images that have been resized and or cropped 
warning large photos may take time to download)
Example 1
Example 2
Example 3
Example 4

Debra Crosby