Do you reduce picture size before uploading to the site? - CycleBlaze

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Do you reduce picture size before uploading to the site?

Scott Anderson

I’ve never bothered with limiting the size of photos I upload, but as a friend pointed out to me this means that pages load more slowly, and photos upload more slowly.  And, they take more space on Jeff’s server too, though I’m happy to contribute to the site to offset that.

For me, it’s a quality/time tradeoff, and I prefer taking the extra time and uploading it as it was captured.  What do you do, and what do you recommend?  Should I/we use an app to reduce picture size before uploading them?   

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2 months ago
Keith KleinTo Scott Anderson

Hi Scott,

I crop most of my photos before uploading, which does reduce their size, but otherwise I don’t worry about it. If that becomes a problem, I’m sure Jeff will let us know.

Cheers,

Keith

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2 months ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Scott Anderson

For me, it depends.  I rarely edit photos while travelling other than to crop or straighten them if needed.  I learned a lot on my recent trip with my new camera.

Photos taken with my camera can be up to 20 MP.  These load reasonably quickly if I'm at home; our home wifi is lightning fast compared to that in most hotels, for example.  If I'm on the road, with only my iPad, I use an app to reduce their size.  Otherwise, the upload will take ages!

I plan to get a proper editing app for my iPad so I can save raw files to both cards and then process small jpg versions while travelling.  Until then, I need to save raw to one card and jpg to the other.  I could, of course, set the second card up to save smaller jpg files, but these are my backup so I want the best quality I can get.

Using only Apple Photos, raw files get uploaded to the cloud and then downloaded again as jpg.  This takes forever because it requires two uploads and a download to add them to my journal (once as raw to the cloud, back down as jpg, then up to the journal page).

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2 months ago
John SaxbyTo Jacquie Gaudet

My experience may not be typical, as I write and post my journals after a tour.  Writing en route is a matter of pen(cil) and notebook at the end of the day, mainly 'cos one of the delights of cycle-touring is that it loosens the e-ties that bind my Regular Life.

I usually reduce the size of my photos when posting, however.  This happens in a couple of ways:

  • I use the less-than-max resolution on my camera, a Panasonic Lumix ZS40, a lovely wee thing that's now five years old, and still can do more tricks than I can ask of it.  I store my photos on my hard drive, which I back up regularly.  I've had some bad experiences with the cloud, esp Google's. Occasionally, I take photos with my MotoG phone, but I've rarely had satisfactory results with the phone. (My problem, I assume.)
  • As a rule, I crop and edit photos before posting them.  I use only the editing tool in the Photos app on my Macbook Pro laptop--I've never used Photoshop, for example.
  • Exporting some hi-res photos from the Mac's "Photos" to my desktop where I can caption them & upload to my journal, I've found that they're mysteriously converting into <.psd> files--i.e., Photoshop.  When that happens, they become much heavier, often increased from, say, 7 or 8MB to 30-plus.  That in turn requires another step, to convert them to _2000.jpg files, which are much more manageable for uploading, email attachments, etc.  (I have no idea why this happens, tho' I'll ask my Mac fundi about it when next he services my laptop.  It's a bother, but my workaround does fix the blip.)
  • The result is that many/most of the photos posted in my journals are relatively hi-res, say 5-10 MB.  This is standard practice for most of the photos I keep for "publication", because I also use them for photobooks, prints of various sizes, etc.
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2 months ago
Victa CalvoTo Scott Anderson

Hey Scott,

I'm trying to minimise the gear I take with me on tour now, the hills are getting steeper as I grow older. So, I'm trying to take just my phone (Samsung S7) and sometimes the Sony mirrorless and an extra lens. Both take rather large photos that don't upload easily from hotel/cafe wifi. So, I crop as needed and shrink them, too, if required using a phone app. Moving photos from the camera to the phone app to the web site for upload is a PITA sometimes, so I'm going to try to use only the phone camera on my next trip (Japan in 2 weeks!!), crop and shrink as required and see how that goes. 

I think computer and tablet screens can't "see" hi resolution photos in all their glory anyway, so a cropped/shrunken fit for purpose photo is probably the best way to go. 

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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Victa Calvo

Thanks for the advice, Victa.  I’ll take it under advisement and think about it.  Also, I’m excited to hear you’re going to Japan too, and look forward to following along.  We’ve been there once before (Narita to Fukuoka), and keep looking for the right year to go back.  Maybe you’ll give us the prod we’ve been waiting for.

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2 months ago
Jeff ArnimTo Scott Anderson

Some additional context from the website administrator: your friend is half-right. If you upload images straight from your device and they're large in size it will definitely result in slower uploads. These raw images are also what you see when you edit your journal entries, so large images mean longer loading times when you're editing.

But anyone reading your entries will get a smaller image - sometimes much smaller - depending on the type of device they're using. Desktop/laptop devices receive an image with a maximum width or height of 2,000 pixels; for tablets it's 1,000 pixels; and for mobile devices it's 600 pixels. It's a basic way to help keep smaller devices from using a lot of extra data they probably don't need.

Here's an example. This image from your most recent journal is 4.6 MB in size in its raw form. If you view it within that journal page on a laptop or desktop, it clocks in at 1.3 MB. But on a tablet that drops to 342 KB; on a mobile device it's 119 KB.

The fact that you have to load that 4.6 MB image whenever you edit the entry is an issue I hope to eventually fix. It's especially painful when you're trying to crank out an entry with a lot of images on a really slow connection.

While image storage and delivery make up the vast majority of costs associated with this site, those costs are still quite modest, and there are also several opportunities to further optimize them. I wouldn't worry about down-sizing your images unless you somehow find yourself with hours of idle time at the end of your cycling day!

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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jeff Arnim

Thanks so much, Jeff.  Helpful input, especially as it pertains to the cost of maintaining the website.  I’ve already factored in the time cost of performing the uploads, so I think I’ll just keep with what I’m doing.

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2 months ago
Andrea BrownTo Scott Anderson

As a regular desktop viewer of this website I certainly appreciate those photos that are large and clear, they make my enjoyment of the journal all the more, and I think in the end, when you are old and gray and sitting by the fire looking at your journal from years past, you'll be glad you have the larger and clearer image. There are several admirable photographers on this website (Scott being one of them) and knowing firsthand how long it takes to upload those images in sluggish wifi-land makes me all the more appreciative of everybody's efforts to amplify the quality of CycleBlaze.

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2 months ago