Resizing photos



In this day and age of digital photography we are all finding it easy to go out with our new cameras and snap up photos of tombstones. However, today's cameras are designed for top high quality photography and if you don't reset your resolutions manually then the chances are that you will be coming home with photos of tombstones which can be up to 3 or more megabytes in size. These simply are not  suitable for our project and must be resized and or cropped before posting to the USGenWeb Archives Project.
Tombstone photos are meant to show the tombstone, name and date. It does not need to be the highest quality photo for our project. Since we have worked for so long trying to keep our project free, it is important that we use disk or server space very carefully. Thus we need to keep tombstone photos to a minimal size while still having a photo which can be used for research purposes.
For photos of persons and or historical hand written documents having a larger size photo may be appropriate. In that case contact the file manager for the state or county if you feel that it needs to be larger size and/or better quality.

Ideally for a photo of Great Grandma or Grandpa then 300k to 1 megabyte is ok, but that is not ok with a tombstone photo.

Tombstone photos should never be larger than 300kb and using a combination of both resizing [width/pixels] and compression will allow you to easily reduce the photo under 300kb. This allows us to hold far more photos with much less disk capacity. Once you have done a few it becomes easy.

There are many digital editing software programs which will allow you to resize and crop photos. Most of you will get software included with your camera which will allow you to do this. So do check the software that comes with your camera, look under the help menu to see if there is a way to resize or make your photos web ready.

There are many programs out there to work with along with many operating systems and some of these change frequently so I am not going to give individual resizing instructions. You can easily search for "free image resizing" and you can get recommendations for the best image resizing software, some allow you to resize many at a time and some even allow you to resize at an online site.

Resizing a photo means changing the width/height/pixel size. Compressing a  photo means reducing the byte size. Cropping a photo means cutting out all the unnecessary background. It can take a combination of all three to get the best quality photo at the lowest byte size. You should look at your photos before editing, if there is alot of background in the image then it may be best to crop the background out first which means you can then resize less.

Please remember that for tombstone photos once you have resized the photo the names and dates on the headstone should be clear and easy to read, otherwise the photo is of little use to anyone.
I'm including some links below for examples of photos which have been resized, cropped or compressed. All four examples show that the end result should leave you with a photo of a tombstone which is clearly read.

Following are some examples of images that have been resized and or cropped 
warning large photos may take time to download)
Example 1
Example 2
Example 3
Example 4