I read a lot of other blogs and the other day I learnt about a free web site called Web Resizer.
For those of you who enjoy taking pictures but don't have much experience adapting them to go online then this website is a gift.
Most people now have cameras that take images 8 MP or more leaving you with files ridiculously big if all you're going to do is share them online. Web Resizer is designed to take an image and optimize it for online use.
If you're using Facebook or uploading directly to blogger to share images then they do this automatically for you. But have you ever emailed or received an email from someone where the file size seems huge, takes a long time to send/open and can display too large in the message? Or do you have a website but find that the photographs you've put on it are the slowest things to load? Then this site is for you!
I believe its main usage should be for the downsizing and fast cropping, it displays a before and after so you can see you don't lose any quality, but it also offers borders and rounding of edges plus sharpening and exposure adjustment. All the changes can be seen straight away so you can play with your images to see what's best! When done you simply download your new version.
Here's my before and after with a picture of Hannah I took at the hen do I was at over the weekend. I'm uploading with blogger so it will make it's own adjustments too:
After (which was considerably faster to upload!):
I know it still doesn't look great. I'm cross about the weekend, I knew it would be dark but not that dark. I hate using flash so I didn't take it, just put my D80 on ISO1600 with a 50mm 1.8 but the photos were still rubbish. I'm trying out a D700 in a couple of weeks and I think the difference will be radical and then i'll have to find £3000!
So, in summary, the free image adjustment website Web Resizer is great for taking pictures straight from your camera to be ready for emailing or put onto a website. I highly recommend inserting this step in the middle for those of you that don't already. Also stop using rubbish editors like Paint or Office Picture Manager to do it!
It's not great for working on lots of pictures as it only does one at a time but I will certainly be using it for the odd quick email turnaround as I hate crashing people's inboxes with 2mb files!
If you want to invest in some picture editing software I highly recommend Photoshop Elements.
Personally, for my wedding workflow I use Aperture, which is Mac only. Version 3 Aperture has just come out so if anyone knows if it's worth upgrading please tell me about it!