Friday, December 19, 2008

Sometimes the Most Detail is Not the Best Choice

When I first learned about posting photographs on the web, another educator with whom I was working objected when I said that she should save her JPG photo at an 8 out of 10 quality. She wanted to know why she shouldn’t save it at the “best” quality of 10 out of 10. I needed to explain why the “best” wasn’t really the best choice.

When students—and adults—learn about posting photos on the web, there are several topics they need to understand. File format and size, pixels, thumbnails, photo resolution, scanning, JPG quality and compression, cumulative distortion, and design guidelines are issues that should be discussed.

I know about these things, but I didn’t use my knowledge recently as I was trying to quickly post some photos on a wiki for a community group. You know, of course, what the result was… good pictures… once they loaded. I wonder if any of the community folks hung around long enough to see the result after the photos did finally load!

Thank goodness for Dennis Benson, a friend who was working on the wiki with me. He modified the photos so that they had both quality and speed. And he shared with me a web site — — that I’ll use with my students to provide very simple guidelines for posting photos on the web.

What do you use to help your students take and use better photos?


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