Sharing With E-mail Attachments

Easy to use, but also easy to clog up your best friend’s inbox

You’ve taken your first digital photograph. You’re excited. It may not be the most glorious thing in the world, but you want to share it with everyone you know. You sit down at the computer, attach your photo to an e-mail and click the send button.

That was sure easy, wasn’t it?

How To Kill E-mail In One Easy Step

If your digital camera has 6.0 Megapixels, you’ve just sent all the people you know a 4MB file. Good if they have broadband, bad if they have dialup.

Your 4MB file will take your friend with the modem anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to download. The person on the receiving end will probably think that there is a problem with their e-mail program. It will connect, say that it is getting mail, and then nothing will happen.

Since most e-mail usually arrives within a matter of seconds (it’s not nearly as big as your photograph), they will wonder what in the world has gone wrong.

Also realize that even if you send this to someone with a fast Internet connection, it will still probably take several minutes for them to receive your e-mail and its attached photograph.

Avoid an E-mail Fiasco

So how do you share your photos with others without shutting down their e-mail for hours? The answer is that you have to reduce the file size of your photograph down to something manageable.

Get a program that automatically reduces the size of photographs that you send via e-mail. In this case, even though you have selected to send your original photograph, the program performs some steps to knock the size down, so that even people with slower Internet connections can see them. Kodak EasyShare is an example of such a program.

You can also use software programs like Adobe Elements to reduce the size of the photos you send to others.

Adobe Elements offers you two options: if you’re just sending one or two photos, you can open them in Elements, reduce the size of the image, and them save them for Web (as if you were going to put them on a web page). Save For Web further reduces the size of the image, so that it is convenient to e-mail.

Elements also has a batch feature, so that you can reduce the size of hundreds of photos without having to open each and every one. All you have to do is select the photos you want to reduce, tell Elements what size you want them to be, and set it loose. Be careful when you do this — if you overwrite your original photographs, they will all be reduced in size, and no longer suitable for printing.

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