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iLife '04: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Chapter 11. Photos Online—And On Your Network

Even if you don’t have a high-quality color printer, traditional prints of your digital photos are only a few clicks away. Sending photos via email, sharing them across the network, using them as a screen saver, or posting them on a Web page couldn’t be more convenient, for both you and your audience. And compared with making printouts, sending them electronically is faster, less expensive, and much better for the rain forest.

Emailing Photos

The most important thing to know about emailing photos is this: full-size photos are usually too big to email.

First, a little math: A typical 4-megapixel shot might consume a megabyte of disk space. So sending along three shots would constitute a 3-megabyte package.

Why is that bad? Let us count the ways:

  • It will take you 12 minutes to send (using a standard dial-up modem).

  • It will take your recipients 12 minutes to download. During that time, the recipients must sit there, not even knowing what they’re downloading. And when you’re done hogging their time and account fees, they might not consider what you sent worth the wait.

  • Even if they do open the pictures you sent, the average high-resolution shot is much too big for the screen. It does you no good to email somebody a 4-megapixel photo (2272 x 1704 pixels) when his monitor’s maximum resolution is only 1024 x 768. If you’re lucky, his graphics software will intelligently shrink the image to fit his screen; otherwise, he’ll see only a gigantic nose ...

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