Photographing autos for for sale on the web, using Photoshop Elements to optimize photos of cars for and other online sales sites... Design & Publishing Center,   Photoshop Tips & Tricks Department. . .

Photoshop Elements

Optimizing Images in Photoshop Elements

Before we go any further we want to generate a full size image for emailing or posting on a web site as the blow-up.
Flatten the image. (In the pull-down "arrow" menu in the layers palette.)
Once again, Image > Resize > Image Size, but this time go for about 7.5 inches wide. That will allow it to nearly fill the browser window, or print to an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. (I gave a little sharpening to mine before re-sizing, you might try it and see if you like it.)
Now comes the challenge of optimizing the shot. Currently it's 293K.
Our challenge is optimizing this image to minimize the file size of the image without sacrificing the quality. You can optimize an image based on a fixed file size, or enhance the quality of an image by choosing the best combination of settings for a particular file format.
Choose the Save for Web command from the File menu to preview optimization settings.
With a growing access to fast Ethernet or fast Internet access, I think we can safely get away with 50 or so K for this "show" page. We'll test the waters first.
If I use Element's pre-set of Jpg "Medium" for this image it computes a 30% level of quality, and a 22K file size and a 6 second download time at 28.8. For this larger image we'll be warning the user that it may take a few minutes, so we don't have to make it that small. Notice the degredation in the details of the right sample window. Not good. We can go as high as 50K.
In the second attempt I move the slider (on the right, click and hold the arrow next to the quality setting) until the setting is around 70%. Now our file size is around 53K so we're okay. We've tripled our download time, but then again the quality is very near the original. Good for our upsized version.
For most pictures, you'll find that a 70% quality JPEG creates the smaller, better-looking image.
So that's our 7.5 inch version. Now, use the cropping tool again and crop off the image #3 and use save to web again. This time we'll be down around 30K for the high res and 16K for the low res. 20K is acceptable for this image so we'll take it to that size and save the file for AutoTrader's built in file upload function.
Now, the next time you want to use these settings, if you'll hold down the Option key [PC: Alt] while in the Save for Web dialog, the OK and Cancel buttons will change to Remember and Reset. Click the Remember button and these settings will become the default sefting the next time you open the Save For Web window. Sweet.
Next we'll add a third image -- a shot of the car's interior -- to our upsized version so the viewer can get all three views of our car in a single, fast downloading image.
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