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Photography Question 
Phil Ramey

Way to Downsize a File Without Making It Smaller?

My file size is huge and no matter what I do in Microsoft Digital Image Pro 9.0, I can not get the image file size down to 150mb. The images are scanned where scanned in by the lab at 6000X7400 dpi for some reason. I have to open the images in MS Paint and change it to 6000 X 7000 just to get the image pro program to open the file.

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12/14/2003 5:15:32 AM

anonymous    Try opening the file in Photoshop and then go right to Save As (without editing the file or doing anything to it). Save the file wherever you want and then Photoshop will let you choose the quality of the file ranging from 1 to 12. Try 10 or 9 or even 8, which still qualify as very high or high quality. Check the file size and retry until you are satisfied with the MB number.

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12/14/2003 6:13:46 AM

doug Nelson   I haven't used MS Paint, so I can't comment on exactly how to do much of anything, but it sure would help if the industry would agree on common terms for image manipulating operations. We use Photoshop terms, because even the $80 Elements 2 uses the same terms.

What has the lab scanned for you, 35mm negatives?

MS Paint must have some screen for setting Image Size. The total file size from this scan must be monstrous. It may also be in high bit color, which many imaging programs, including Elements 2, cannot handle. Ask the people doing your scans if they are in higher than 8-bit color. That may be why they won't open.

I suspect that scans like this are costing you an arm and a leg. Back the raw scans up to CD before you start messing with them. You will then have archival copies of the originals.

Then go to that Image Size page and tell it NOT to resample. Enter 150 ppi as your resolution and see what happens to the image's dimensions.

If they are unmanageable huge, tell it to Resample. You will be throwing away some pixels here, which is why I recommended you archive the original scans. Enter the dimensions you want.

Something else to consider- 150 ppi is a rather low input for true photo quality printing. For a scan that starts off this big, consider using 300 ppi as your print resolution, or, at least, 240 ppi.

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12/14/2003 6:16:40 AM

Ms. Shan Canfield   There's a correlation between the general size of your files and your available RAM. Adobe recommends the RAM should be at least 3 to 5 times the file size (to operate "efficiently"), so for your 128MB file, you should have between 384M - 640M of available RAM to efficiently work with this file in Photoshop and probably Photoshop Elements, too. Now if you add duplicate a layers, double what you're pulling on the ram, etc. You can also change how much Ram allocated to Photoshop by Edit>Preferences>Memory & Image Cache and bump Photoshop up from 50% to 75%. Don't have any other programs running, but Photoshop and your system. The idea is to get the files opened so you can downsample to around 20M (that should serve mostly all your future needs).

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12/30/2003 1:48:45 AM

Ms. Shan Canfield   another thought--but I see Doug has mentioned it---and I'll second the motion. Yes, sometimes labs do CMYK scans (Elements can't handle) and/or 16 bit mode scans,but the latter, while it increases file size still retains the same resolution, so you may first have to go to Image>Mode and see if 16-bit is checked, if so then check 8-bit. Then you still probably want to downsample it in the Image>Resize menu. With the 6000 pixels you have now, you would be able to print a 20 inch wide photo with a file resolution of 300ppi without resampling. If you don't need a print that big, or you're not zooming in and cropping part of the image for print ---then "resample" it and get it down to around 3000 pixels wide for a great 8x12 print. How many images did the lab get on your CD? around 5 or 6? or did they have to burn a DVD to accomodate your images?

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12/30/2003 2:16:36 AM

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