Read these 8 Image Resolutions Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Stock Photography tips and hundreds of other topics.
JPEG photo files make sharing photos on a computer easier and faster. But you should be aware of specific changes to a photo that happen when a photo is compressed into a JPEG file. A given color in a photo may have a variety of shades to it. But, JPEG files may take all these shades and save them as one shade of that particular color. This is how space is saved. You may want to especially take notice of flesh tones as they may be the most noticable loss of quality when a photo is saved in a JPEG file.
As computers and the Internet became more widely used, problems resulted with the use of photos. Photos take up a relatively large amount of computer space and downloading or maneuvering photos around can be time consuming. Be reducing the size of the image, or compressing it, these problems can be solved. One popular such format is called JPEG, which stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. JPEG is know well-known as a standard photo format and it makes sharing photos between computers much easier and faster.
Since it is well known that compressing an image into a JPEG photo file does sacrifice some of the image resolution, you may sometimes want to avoid using this type of photo format. Keep in mind that JPEG files are quite popular and work well for many uses, but photos with images that are quite detailed and colorful may require another format. It is possible to save a photo image without compressing it. Two other types of photo files are BMP and TIF. If you use these types of photo files, the image may be better, but the storage space on your computer will be much greater since the original image will not be compressed.
High resolution images are composed of more pixels than low resolution images. Photos made up of many small pixels generally look smooth and crisp. Those made up of fewer, larger pixels may appear jagged and unclear. However, this does not mean that a photo with a lower dpi (or resolution) is always unusuable. If you plan to use a stock photo in a small size (such as a wallet photo), you can use a photo with a lower resolution and still get a good result.
Before downloading any images you find on your computer, you should review all applicable copyright laws. Images seen online might legally belong to someone else. But also, images used on the Internet are likely to be a low dpi, or resolution. This makes them easier to view on a monitor. If you try and download a photo from the Internet, you are likely to get a poor resolution and one that would not suffice for printed material.
If images are made up of many tiny pixels, the resolution of an image is determined by their spacing. High resolution, such as 300 dpi, will show more detail in a given photograph. Colors and subtle features will also be more clear in a higher resolution image. The monitor of your computer is likely around 72 dpi, and it may be fine for the type of work you need to do. But, a photo that is only 72 dpi is not likely to suffice for many other purposes. For quality use of stock photos, you'll want a much higher dpi.
Computers and the Internet have allowed photographers a wider audience. Some even sell their photos worldwide on stock photography sites. But, computers also offer unique challenges when it comes to using and sharing photos. Because photos take up so much computer file space, some programs actually compress photos to help speed up the process of moving them around. Be careful when you use a compressed photo because you will likely see the image resolution decrease somewhat.
Once you find or take a great photo, you'll likely want to adjust it for your purposes. You may want to crop the photo to fit in a particular space or possibly enlarge it. If you increase the photo size, it's important that you don't assume it will have the same image resolution as it does on a stock photography website. Let's say you have an image at 100 dpi. If you enlarge that photo to four times its original size, each square inch will have the same number of pixels so the photo will likely appear grainy.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|