Thursday, July 3, 2008

How to optimize the quality of your photo in JPEG format?

by Dmitry Graphicson

How to optimize the quality of your photo in JPEG format?

In the modern world of Internet and digital technologies we sooner or later are facing the necessity to work with web graphics on your web pages. Unfortunately digital cameras make pictures that contain noise etc that considerably decrease the quality of the graphics on your web and even in your digital home photo collection. Fortunately we have a professional graphics editor named Photoshop at our disposal that will help you to improve the quality of any picture you have.

Photoshop is a universal mean available for people involved in professional web design and for amateurs interested in web graphic design or who just would like to improve the quality of their favorite photos. With its help you can decrease the size of your file without any quality loss and optimize your JPEG image for web pages. We are going to consider these features to be done with the help of "Save for Web" dialog box. Start running your Photoshop and open your image (Ctrl+O) you want to optimize. In the File menu, click Save for web (Save For Web & Devices in newer Photoshop versions) dialog box. You will see the series of options required to help you optimize your picture. There you can start adjusting the size of your image.

If you want to place your graphics on your web pages, you should take into consideration the monitor size. Usually an average user has a screen resolution of 1024х768 pixels. However, if you save a picture for web pages, you should use the resolution of 920х768 in order to avoid undesirable scrolling. Since JPEG format is the best option for file compression, we are going to work clean with that format. In the right window (right side of your screen) you choose JPEG format and choose a compression level of 60-70 that is an optimal solution for any JPEG image. You can check what you had and what you've done by comparing the picture on the left side of your screen with the picture on the right side of your screen after applying the features indicated above. See as well Image size tab and choose the size you need (depending on the width of your image) and click on Apply.

You can vary the image size and quality to your taste however don't forget that being over-diligent in decreasing your image quality you may result in losing some small details and colors. All the tips above are to be applied if you need your image in JPEG. But what to do if your image is in GIF? GIF format is a perfect solution for vector graphics and images with an insignificant number of colors. So we still have our Photoshop running and open again our picture with the help of Ctrl+O hot key (or just using File » Open command). Using the same File » Save For Web & Devices command we choose GIF format, and choose the size we need. Simultaneously if you choose JPEG format and save the same image under the same parameters in it instead of GIF, you'll see that the image size turns to be about twice the size of the same picture in GIF format.

Saving your picture in GIF gives a smaller size comparing to JPEG since GIF format does not support gradients, tone values, it allows designers to apply a slighter color depth that yields the decrease of the file size. If you have a look at the right side of your screen, you will see there Color board where you can adjust the number of colors in the color table of your image. The less colors you need, the lower the value should be set there. Select as well No Dither (the way of mixing pixels) feature. If your image contains transparency, check Transparency option there. For a final step, leave Web Snap at 0% if you don't want to replace your original colors with the ones from the standard web palette (contains the 216 non-dithering colors ) that can also result in your file size decrease. Click on Apply and save your image!

These small tips will be helpful to you whether you are involved in professional web design and web development or whether you are just making your home collections photos more attractive to show your friends!

About the Author

President of Graphicson company.