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How to reduce the image size of your photo, and keep quality?

by | Jul 15, 2021 | Blog

With the deadline of our annual Nature Photographer Of The Year contest 2021 soon approaching, we’ve been receiving a lot of questions about to how to resize images to the maximum of 1920 pixels on the longest side, while making sure the file size or weight is somewhere between 125 kb and 2 mb (2000 kb). We figured we would share this step-by-step process here, since a number of you might have the same question. 

 There are many tools available for image resizing like Photoshop, Photoshop Elements,  Lightroom and Aperture, but there are also dozens of tools to resize images online, free of charge (see examples at the end of this article). If you have no experience, you can find a quick and simple image resizer that can do the job in a few clicks. If you have a higher level of skill, you can use a tool that has more custom options. 

Image resolution refers only to the size that your image will print. 

pixel is short for “picture element”, pixels are the tiny squares (building blocks) that make up all digital images.

Image dimensions refers to the width and height of the image in pixels, meaning the number of pixels that make up the long and short side of the photo. 

Image Size or Image Weight refers to the amount of space that the image is taking up in your computer’s memory.

When you use free image resizing tools, you might find that the image’s quality is worse. It’s important to make sure that the tool you use doesn’t lower the image’s quality. Many of the free tools you can find online will make it a priority to keep high quality. This can be seen in some of the tools which will ask you what quality you want your final image to be, on a scale of “low to high” or up to 100%.

Step-by-step process
  1. Upload the image: With most image resizing tools, you can drag and drop an image or upload it from your computer.

2. Type in the width and height dimensions: Let’s say the image you want to resize is 6000 x 4000 pixels, and you want to resize it to 1920 x 1280 pixels for initial upload to the NPOTY contest. You simply have to type in those dimensions, and click the Resize image button. Resizing the image will significantly reduce the image’s file size. This will mostly do the trick to set not only the dimensions right but also get the file size between 125 kb and 2 mb. 

3. Compress the image: If it still exceeds the maximum size or weight of 2 mb you can go one step further by compressing it. To compress an image, many tools offer a sliding scale. Moving to the left of the scale will reduce the image’s file size, but also its quality. Moving it to the right will increase the file size and quality.

4. Download the resized image: Once it’s been resized and – if necessary – compressed, you can now download the image with its new dimensions  and use it for initial uploading for the NPOTY contest 2021.

Image size: 7,1 mb

Pixels: 4800×2986

Image size: 986 kb

Pixels: 1920×1194

Resized photo, notice there is no degradation in quality

Erik Ruiterman

Hi there! I am Erik Ruiterman. I love birds and photography so I am an enthusiastic nature photographer. I like writing as well so I am a blogger. And because there must be food on the table I also work as a consultant. Due to my training as a fashion photographer my view on 'natural beauty' has change for ever. You can find my portfolio on Nature in Stock. (https://www.natureinstock.com/search?s=ruiterman) My photo adventures often form the basis for my blogs in which I try to view the phenomenon of nature photography in a relative way. For me that is always with a wink and a nod. You can of course find my blogs on this site. But also on topic2.nl.

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