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The Right Way to Share Your Digital Photos

Don't send those enormous digital camera files by email!

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One of the first things new digital camera owners want to do is start sharing their digital photos with friends and family. Of course, the easiest way to do that is by email.

Often, the new digital camera owner will take their enormous multi-megapixel files straight from the camera and attach them to an email, sometimes CCing their whole address book. The unsuspecting recipient may not appreciate this, especially if their ISP puts a small limit on the size of email attachments they can receive. Many times, these large attachments will clog the recipient's inbox, making it impossible for them to access their remaining mail.

There are two solutions to this:

Reducing Digital Photos Before Emailing

The easiest is to simply scale copies your photos down to a reasonable size that will fit on most screens and take less time to download. (You can delete these smaller copies after emailing them.) Users of Windows have a way to do this built right into the operating system, and many photo cataloging programs have a send email feature that will also resize copies of the pictures before sending them. The following tutorial links offer many options for emailing or resizing multiple photos with free or inexpensive software.

Use a Photo Sharing Web Site

Preferably, you could scale copies of the photos down and post them to a photo-sharing site like Picasa Photos, a social network like Facebook, or to a personal Web site. Posting photos to the Web is a better solution if you have many photos to send, or when you want to share the same group of photos with many different people. Most photo-sharing sites will automatically downsize very large images or offer a choice of sizes to the viewer. In addition, they can offer useful services to viewers of your photos such as printing, saving, and slide show viewing. If you already have personal Web space (check with your ISP), you will find lots of free or inexpensive software to build a Web photo gallery for you. These are a little more work compared to using a photo-sharing site, but you have a lot more personalization options when using your own Web site.

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