Today, in the world of digital photography, a large part of the job is being able to manage your images online.

For professional photographers, it all starts with shooting images at the best resolution possible, downloading them and then editing them.

If you would like to properly understand all this, part of the process is to learn about resizing your pictures. Often, you will need a manageable image size to upload to digital platforms which will only accept certain image sizes. Resizing images is also necessary to be able to send via email.

So whether it’s a Gif, Jpeg or RAW file, at some point you will need to use a photo resizer.

So, how would you go about changing the size of your image?

In this article, you will nifty way for resizing your pictures, using a photo resizer to change resolution, file compression and how different image format types.

Resizing Your Pictures Using Paint

If you are working on a Windows PC, you probably have Paint which is an image editing programme. Besides being able to crop and convert images into different formats, one of the most effective tools in paint is using the photo resizer which is really easy to use. To do this, follow these simple steps:

  • Right-click on your image and click edit.
  • Open with Paint and then click ‘resize’ which will open a menu.
  • Choose your new dimensions in the image size reducer.

When resizing images to a particular percentage, try and work this out first which will prevent your image from distortion. If you are resizing your pictures in terms of pixels, simply enter the size you want and to prevent distortion, all you have to do is tick the box to that says it will ‘maintain aspect ratio’.

Always make sure that you save the file when resizing your pictures.

Use the Photo Resizer in Adobe’s Photoshop or Lightroom

If resizing images without losing quality is important to you, then using Photoshop, Lightroom and Bridge – all of which are Adobe products, is the way to go!

man editing images on laptop
The first step in editing photos is transferring your photos correctly. - Source: Unsplash

Resizing Images in Photoshop

Resizing your images in Photoshop is pretty easy with these simple steps:

  • Open the image in Photoshop and select the image menu.
  • Next, select, ‘image size’.
  • Type in the width and height of the number of pixels you want your image to be.
  • Check the ‘constrain proportions’ box to prevent image distortion.
  • Click on the file and then ‘Save as’.

Resizing your pictures in Photoshop is so easy and nothing to be afraid of!

Using Lightroom’s Image Size Reducer

Using Lightroom is one of the easiest methods for resizing images without losing quality, just follow these easy steps:

  • Open your image.
  • Select ‘File’ and then select ‘Export’.
  • In the export tab, you will see destination, filename and format.
  • Use this image size reducer to choose the desired size of your image.
  • Like with Paint, type in both height and width.
  • Use 72 pixels per inch (PPI) as a rule of thumb for digital images.

Using an Online Photo Resizer

If you don’t have licenced software like Adobe’s photo editing software on your computer you could always use a free, online image size reducer. To find them, simply use Google and enter keywords like ‘photo resizer’ or ‘tools for resizing image’ – you are bound to get a good result.

These steps are very similar to what you would find in the programmes already mentioned here. Simply select the number of pixels you want by height and width, choose a format (Jpeg, PDF, Tiff etc) and click OK.

Don’t forget to always choose a file destination when resizing images so that you can easily find it again!

Reducing the File Size

Don’t let this confuse you, because, in a way, it’s really the same thing! By resizing your pictures with a photo resizer, you are automatically reducing your file size. However, it is also possible to convert your image into a specific file size too, if that is what you want!

Using photo resizer software will allow you to adjust the file size without changing the dimensions. So while dimensions are critical, there are also ways to convert the file size. However, if resizing images without losing quality is important to you, then this should not be your chosen method because reducing the file size could sacrifice quality.

gallery of photos on smartphone
Know how to resize images so that you can share or upload them to different platforms. - Source: Unsplash

Regardless of the programme, you are using, whether that is Lightroom, Paint, Photoshop or Gimp, you can adjust the quality of your image through the image menu. In order to decrease quality, simply reduce the percentage quality, and as always, don’t forget to save your changes.

Don’t forget that reducing quality is the price you will pay for creating a smaller file size. Alternatively, there is another way to reduce a file size without affecting the quality or dimensions of your image – compression!

Take note that different file formats also affect the size of the file. For instance, Jpegs are not the same size bitmaps or png images.

Another example would be to compare a PDF file to a Word document. The PDF is much larger than a word document! Note that when it comes to PDF’s, it is quite easy to find a free online converter, but rare to find a compressor.

Compress Files to Reduce File Size

Compressing images is a sure way to maintain the overall image quality of an image, without reducing the dimensions. Whether you are resizing it or not, you can adjust the file by simply compressing it.

Compressing Images on a Mac

Apple products are really ideal for compressing images, here are a few simple steps:

  • Right-click on the image or folder in question
  • Click “compress
  • You will see the new compressed file, or folder appear next to the original

The compressed folder will have the image in the same resolution and dimensions and not be compromised by any loss of quality.

Compressing Images in Windows

Compressing images in Windows is not too different from a Mac. To compress a file in Microsoft Office, simply select the image you want to work on, go to ‘Image Format Tools’ and then ‘compress images.’

Next, follow these easy steps:

  1. Resolution
  2. Print
  3. Web
  4. Email

And if you are looking to save on disk space or convert a PDF document to Word, there are further compression tools available that you can download.

Compressing Files Online

photo editors on computer
You can find both licenced and free photo editing software online. Source: Pexels

When it comes to the easiest, fastest and most convenient way to compress a photograph, it is definitely online. Simply search ‘image compression’ and you will be amazed at the results.

Remember that when you compress an image, the main idea is to lose absolutely no data. Generally, image compression is quite simple, all you have to do is upload your photographs, choose the compression level, confirm the action and you’re all set.

Once that has happened the website you have used will give you a compressed folder or file, which is easily downloadable to your computer.

The two main advantages to having compressed images is that you can send them in an email and also have them take up less space on your hard disk! While each technique has its own pros and cons, it is a very simple way to make sure that your photos have the same dimensions and quality.

Why not try a few until you find one that works for you?

Finally, if you are a digital photographer, then it is safe to say that these days you are also an online picture editor! If you are working with RAW, png or video files, there are many things you can do to make your archiving and editing more manageable.

You could ask around, search the internet or you could find a private photography tutor who is specialised in post-production. On websites like Superprof, there are hundreds of private photography tutors located all over South Africa. You could search by location and have someone teach you in your own home, at your time and pace, or you could even opt for online lessons which are equally effective.

It doesn’t matter how amazing your photography is, if you don’t have the necessary post-production skills for downloading, archiving, editing and correcting your images, you are only halfway qualified!

It all depends on how serious you are about your photography, but if you are going to be taking a lot of pictures, or want to go somewhere with your photography, consider investing in good photo editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom. But remember, professional tools like these are only as good as the knowledge you have to operate them.

Once you invest in learning as much as you can about post-production as possible, you will be astounded at the rewards that come with it. Not only will your images look polished and professional, but you will have a system and like anything you want to take seriously in life, systems are necessary. Good luck!

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Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.