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  1. #1
    resizing pictures for archiving
    tape's Avatar
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    resizing pictures for archiving
    I seem to come to this problem every couple of months....I shoot in RAW with my DSLR and JPG with my iPhone & other point 'n shoot camera. Lots and lots of pictures mean lots and lots of space taken up on HDD. After every few months, I am pretty sure that I won't be using Photoshop or Lightroom to adjust my images or print them, so I like to reduce their size. My raws measure 17.28" x 11.52" at 21.36MB. My iPhone pics are 34" x 45.3" at 3.09MB. In the past, I've resized by setting the longest side to 12" and adjusting the resolution to 180 or 240. Resizing the RAWS is not too big of a change, other than dropping down file size to @ 1.5MB. Dropping size of iPhone pics is quite a bit more with a file size down to @ 275KB. So my question is: has anyone have a problem with resizing their pics to a max of 12" and then regretting that action?

  2. #2
    resizing pictures for archiving
    RadDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tape View Post
    I seem to come to this problem every couple of months....I shoot in RAW with my DSLR and JPG with my iPhone & other point 'n shoot camera. Lots and lots of pictures mean lots and lots of space taken up on HDD. After every few months, I am pretty sure that I won't be using Photoshop or Lightroom to adjust my images or print them, so I like to reduce their size. My raws measure 17.28" x 11.52" at 21.36MB. My iPhone pics are 34" x 45.3" at 3.09MB. In the past, I've resized by setting the longest side to 12" and adjusting the resolution to 180 or 240. Resizing the RAWS is not too big of a change, other than dropping down file size to @ 1.5MB. Dropping size of iPhone pics is quite a bit more with a file size down to @ 275KB. So my question is: has anyone have a problem with resizing their pics to a max of 12" and then regretting that action?
    Hello - not sure that I can add much, but first was curious about your width/height measurements, i.e. the RAW images have a 3:2 aspect ratio vs. the 4:3 as expected on the iPhone? Of course, the marked difference between those initial MB sizes would be the RAW vs. JPEG format (uncompressed -compressed).

    My main question would regard resolution - if you might print these images out in the future, then 300 dpi (or ppi) might be the better choice; the images could always be down-sized for JPEG or the RAWs converted to JPEG for web uploading or emailing. Dave

  3. #3
    resizing pictures for archiving
    RavingMac's Avatar
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    I probably should keep my mouth shut because, though I always intend to do what I am going to advise, I never end up actually doing it. Regardless, here goes:

    1) Once you have done triage and decided you aren't going to work further with files, convert to JPEG of a suitable size and ditch the RAW files. This alone will save a ton of space

    2) Be willing to delete pics that aren't unique, memorable or of acceptable quality (my biggest offense, as I have trouble throwing shots away)

    3) Invest in cheap external HDs and archive your RAW files that you might someday (though someday rarely comes) work with, and save your internal drive for files you are actively working with, or haven't passed through your workflow yet

    All done . . . now if I would just take my own Advice.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  4. #4
    resizing pictures for archiving
    tape's Avatar
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    Raving mac,
    What you describe is just what I do, except I save my orig raws to a dvd. I'd like to get jogs down to the smallest size without compromising some future printing

  5. #5
    resizing pictures for archiving

    Member Since
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    File compression + external drives?

  6. #6
    resizing pictures for archiving
    FritzDaCat's Avatar
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    The bottom line is this: you can't have BOTH small file sizes for storage AND the ability to later make large prints. You have to make some decisions.

    Your question asks if anyone has ever had regrets about saving files too small to later print sizable enlargements. I'm sure people have. The question I ask myself is: am I REALLY going to someday print this image? You should really only answer 'yes' to that for your very best work. Many might be discouraged by this but unless you're a world-class photographer that is planning large gallery exhibits, most of your print work will only be seen by you and your closest circle. Be discriminating and realistic about what you choose to print and therefore, save large files for. And leave THOSE files at maximum size-- don't resample them in any way. You don't need to worry about 12" or 240 PPI-- those are print options for the future-- just don't resample the pixels.

    For the rest, just save them at about 1000-1200 pixels the long way for web/screen viewing and e-mail. Again, don't worry about resolution settings-- these are for the web and computer screens where PPI is fixed. If it's 1000x700 pixels, the resolution is irrelevant. Choose a compression level that you can live with when saving them.

    Of course, if you are REALLY worried that you might reduce something that you might want to print in the future, just buy a bigger hard drive and worry no more.

  7. #7
    resizing pictures for archiving
    tape's Avatar
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    FritzDaCat,
    Thanks for your input. My pictures library is the biggest user of HDD space for me, so I try to make an honest approach at deleting 'bad' pics and scaling them down in size after a few months go by. Many, many years ago, I put together a family history for my aunts, cousins, etc. The document was saved as a WORD item and filled with scanned pics from family. All I saved was the original WORD piece and since then, have wanted to print some of those old pics, but they are all sized to 1 x 1 or 2 x 3 inches--wish now I had those original scans.

  8. #8
    resizing pictures for archiving
    FritzDaCat's Avatar
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    awww, that's too bad about the family pics. But it's great that you're thinking ahead now!

  9. #9
    resizing pictures for archiving
    chas_m's Avatar
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    I'll disagree with RavingMac about throwing away RAW files -- I would never do that, but neither would I ever keep them on my hard drive.

    When working with RAW files, I convert to uncompressed TIFF and use the TIFF for editing. The original RAW files get burned onto DVDs (about the only burning of DVDs I do anymore!). Once I'm done toying with the TIFF, I create a JPG of the result which goes into (iPhoto/Aperture/LR/et al). The TIFF versions also get burned onto the DVD with the RAW files.

    This system -- which I don't use all the time because I don't shoot in RAW all the time -- gives me the option of going back to the unedited RAW, or the edited TIFF, or I can just use the JPG on my hard drive, depending on the need, but only the JPGs take up any permanent space on my media drive and backups.

  10. #10
    resizing pictures for archiving
    Exodist's Avatar
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    I would never throw away my raw files. Doing so blocks you from ever being able to do any real retouching of the image.

    Also I agree with Fritz on about going through your images and determining if your really ever gonna use that image. This is something I do frequently and is a must. I dont shoot sports, but even on nature or architectural shoots I can shoot over 300 images in about 2 hours. If I doing time-lapse that I often do, I can take around 2000 in a setting. Just dont got room for junk..

    That said, there are those "home/personal" photos of my wife, daughter and I that have as well. Now those I dont plan on selling, so they get a quick white balance adjustment, noise and lens fix, a quick look then export to a manageable jpeg size that I can still print to 8x10 if I wish.

    I have heard the Nikon guys really have it bad with RAW sizes. Canon RAWs are about 45MB each for about a 18MP file and the Nikons from what I have been told get about 75-80ish for the same MP count..

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  11. #11
    resizing pictures for archiving
    RavingMac's Avatar
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    I can understand the urge to hang on to RAW files. I shoot RAW and convert to JPEG as needed, and I don't do a good job of Triage either. But, I stand by my original advice.

    Probably 10% at most of my shots are true keepers, and there is little to nothing gained by holding on to every image.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  12. #12
    resizing pictures for archiving
    chas_m's Avatar
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    Yes, I should clarify that I weed out the obviously bad shots before any of the other stuff I mentioned happens. I also weed out the shots that are virtually the same as the "final pick" but not quite right (blink, mouth funny, water not quite right et al).

  13. #13
    resizing pictures for archiving

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    I shoot RAW (Nikon D5100....17-18 mb files) and use Lightroom 5 to import, edit, and weed out the non keepers. I set up Smart Collections where I can rate photos 1-5. I save my 5's as DNG. I export these 5's via a preset (full size) to a USB flash drive.

    My 4's go to another Smart Collection "for iPhoto." I export these using a preset where I reduce them to a JPG 1920 by 1200 at 85%. The files shrink to between about 1 mb and 2mbs. I've gone smaller and didn't see much if any difference. Installing a new 240 gb SSD later today so I have a feeling I'll be reducing the size even more. These 4's eventually go to iPhoto to be synched with my devices (Apple TV, iPhone, iPad). I don't bother rating anything below 4 as what's the point in keeping a 1 or 2?

    All photos eventually get backed up as JPG's, long edge 1920 at 93% or I sometimes use 3600 x 24000 if I think I may want a large print. I'm pretty sure 1920 x 1200 is plenty for 4x6 or 5x7 prints. Some time ago I found this website below helpful. Not sure how old (or good the info is) but it was easy to follow.

    Printing images - what file size do you need? Resolution, pixel sizes and file sizes compared for print

  14. #14
    resizing pictures for archiving
    tape's Avatar
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    trs0722
    Thanks for the info. I use the 12" length on longest side (w/o increase) and keep the resolution as is. However, some of my pictures come from my iPhone of a point'n shoot Canon and the native resolution for those pics are 72 and 180 respectively. Still not sure if I should just go with the 12" long side when I export with the resolution as shot. The biggest print I would be doing is a 8x10

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