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The next step in our process of preparing our files to be viewed online or with an email, is to go to the Save for Web dialog and this is a really critical. Here if we go to our File pulldown menu, sometimes what people do is they simply choose Save As and then they choose the option for JPEG. This won't work because it won't optimize the image enough. We need to get this image so that we can have this as small as possible, but we want to have a really nice quality. So in order to properly save this for viewing online or with an email, we need to choose the Save for Web dialog.
This will then open up this whole new dialog which allows us to really dial in an appropriate amount of compression so that we can optimize our file. Well, the first thing you want to do here is click on this little green button so that we can extend this. Next, we need to select from this pulldown menu JPEG because JPEG compression is what we want to do for these files. You also want to make sure to turn on the option for Optimize. We want to have the default selection of Convert to sRGB turned on in case we've forgotten to do that.
And here the Preview is showing us how this image would look on a monitor. In regards to compressing this, typically what you want to do is choose a Quality setting. You want to choose a Quality setting which is low. You want to kind of go as low as you can without the image falling apart. There are different ways that you can evaluate the quality. You can click on the 2-Up tab in order to see two different qualities side by side, or the 4-Up. Here you can see the original quality of 60, 30, and then 15 and you can kind of see how the image falls apart there in the sky.
Now in my own perspective, I typically just use the Optimized tab because I want to see all of the image. Then I work with the Quality slider. Typically you want to start somewhere around 60 or 70 and you want to see what your image looks like. If you have a lot of gradation say in the sky, well, you might need to go a little bit higher, perhaps up to 75 or so. On the other hand, if it's a really simple image, you might be able to go even as low as 50. It really depends on the file and the detail that you have in the file.
As you make these changes, you also want to pay attention to your file size. A Quality of 66, well, that's a file which is 46K; that's pretty small. So I might want to just crank this up a little more. Now it's only 52K, and by having that relationship between our quality size and also our file size kind of gets us in tune with how this image will be viewed. In other words, how long will it take someone to load this image if they're viewing it maybe on their mobile phone or a tablet or a laptop computer.
And by looking at that file size, ideally we then want to dial in our appropriate quality, and perhaps most important, we want to make sure our image isn't falling apart. We want to make sure that our image looks good. What happens a lot is this. A lot of times photographers say, well, I like my images, they shouldn't be 70 because that's kind of like a C on the grading scale. I want mine to be an A so I go up to 90. Well, by doing that, we're just adding extra file size which typically really isn't worth it.
Typically you can bring this down a little bit further and the photograph will still look really good. Of course, just keep an eye on the image and if you need kind of a default number for your Quality setting, I would say go with about 70. I think that's a pretty good standard starting spot for your Quality setting. Yet of course, this will vary on an image-by-image basis. Next, we have the ability to do some image resizing. I don't recommend that you do that here. You want to do that in Photoshop so that you can then apply the appropriate amount of sharpening at that new size in Photoshop rather than doing this in this last step here kind of after the fact.
So this dialog is really for those who don't really know how to prepare their files for the Web. But we know how to, so we're going to skip that aspect of the dialog. The next and last step is to simply click Save. This gives us the ability to save this file out to a location. And here I'm going to save it to a folder which I've defined. It's called the web folder and I can go ahead and give this file a name; I'll call this sunrise, and then you simply click Save in order to create that optimized and compressed JPEG file so that you can then attach it to an email or post it online so that others can enjoy it.
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