WeTransfer

There are some simple methods for sending large files across the web but we think this might just be the simplest.  And ‘simple’ doesn’t mean ‘useless’!!

Many email providers limit the size of files you can send through their system and, generally, this isn’t a problem.  A few holiday shots will not clog up the services but, if you use email professionally, to send files (large images and videos, presentations or designs), then it is a real problem.

WeTransfer solves the issue in three clicks and, what is really nice is, you don’t have to register with them.

Go to www.wetransfer.com

In the little window on the left of the page, click on “+Add files” (Click 1)

Select the file you want to send which can be up to 2GB (Click 2)

Enter the email address where you want to send the file to.

Add a message if needed.

Click “Transfer”. (Click 3)

It really is that simple.

They do have a “Plus” version which lets you send up to 10 GB files, you can customise your own background screen (which might be useful for ‘branding), the transfers can be password protected and you can store the files for longer.  That will cost you $10 per month paid annually.

However, unless you have lots of massive files to send the basic, free, version will probably make your life just as efficient.

WeTransfer started in 2009 and is based in Amsterdam.  Their mission is “…to create a platform that allows anyone in the world to send large files, free of stress and of charge.”  which they do remarkably well.

We like stress-free and simple!

www.wetransfer.com

 

  • Published in Tools

Resizing your Images

A bit of a crop can make improvements.

At some point you will need to change the size of your images, or crop them, so they represent your work properly and can be used in different situations.  We show you how, using free online software.

If you are a Photoshop Guru, this isn’t for you! However, for those starting off with digital images, this may be useful.

We are going to use the online image editor Pixlr, which is free and contains all the bits and pieces we need for this basic operation. 

1. Make a copy of the image you want to edit and place it in a folder on your computer. Don’t EVER edit the original. We normally make a new folder, on our desk top, so it is easy to find.

2. Visit www.pixlr.com and click on the "Open Pixlr editor (Advanced)" link on their homepage.

3. Select "Open image from Computer" and navigate to the folder you placed your image in, on your desktop, select it by clicking on it and then click “Open”.

4. Your image will open up in the Pixlr site.  If you look at the bottom of the image window, it tells you it is being displayed at 100% and the dimensions (in our case 400 x 300 pixels). You can change the viewing size (%) if you need to so that it is easier to work with.

MAKING A CROP

5. On the left of the screen you will find the tools pallet. Similar to many applications, it has a number of options. If you place your cursor over any of them, you can read what they do. Select the ‘crop tool’ - top left.

6. Now move your cursor, which is showing the crop icon, over to your image, and place it in the top left. Click and hold, then drag the cursor towards the bottom right. Pixlr draws a ‘crop grid’ to help you see where the image is in relationship to the crop you will make.

7. Use the blue ‘handles’, in each corner of the crop grid, to click and drag the size of the grid until it is exactly the way you want it. In our case we want to crop the bananas so we no longer see the foot/leg on the left side. You can also click and hold in the centre of the crop grid to move the entire grid around your image, if needed.

8. When you are happy with the layout of your image, double-click in the centre of it and Pixlr will make the crop.  You will see that the size, in the lower left of the image window, has changed to the new dimensions.

RESIZING

9. Now we want to change the size of our newly cropped image. In the menu at the top of the Pixlr window (not the top of your computer or the browser), select “Image” and then “Image size”.  A small window opens where you can add new dimensions.

10. We want our image to be 200 pixels wide - so, making sure you keep the “Constrain proportions” box ticked, enter ‘200’ into the width box.  It immediately resizes the image and you will see that the height box has changed to reflect the new proportions. Click “OK”. The image is resized, the new dimensions appear in the lower left of the image window and that’s it.

11. Save your newly cropped, and sized, image by clicking on the small cross in the top right corner of the image window. You will be asked if you want to save the image before closing. Select “Yes”  and in the next window, make sure your new image has a new name - in our case “bananas_edited.jpg”.  

Make sure the “Save to my computer” button is checked, that the format is JPEG, the quality ’80’ and click \"OK”. You will be asked where, on your computer, you would like to save the file. We normally put it in the images folder we started with and make a new folder called “Edited”. That way you can always find the starting image and the edited one. Click “Save”.

You can, of course, apply this process using any image editor - just hunt around for the equivalent menus and buttons - they all work in a similar way.
  • Published in Guides

Organise you Images

BE IMAGE READY

You will, at some point, be asked to send images of your work for inclusion in a website, catalogue or directory. Be ready and get in the habit of organising your images as you take them.

It is easy to snap away and just let them pile up. How often do you know you have a great image of a piece of your work - you hunt and hunt through your hard disk and CDs, but can’t find it?

Here is one method we have found which works well.

Set up a new folder on your computer with the name of your piece of work. Then, inside this folder, set up new folders for: Originals, Edited, Print and Web.

This covers most of the options and keeps the folders logical.

SELECTING IMAGES

Firstly, and most importantly, be clear about what you need so that you can select recently taken images of your work which really represent the piece well. Place them in the ‘Originals’ folder and give them logical names.  image1, image2, image3... will be unhelpful when you have 20,000 images in a few years. Give them names you can recognise which relate to the work.

EDITING

Now, copy all of the images in the ‘Original’ folder into the ‘Edited’ folder and make any adjustments to improve them. This might mean cropping them, to remove unwanted distractions, or to make sure your work is central to the image. You may need to change the brightness, contrast or colour balance, or just sharpen them a little.

You don’t have to be an image-editing expert to do this, just sensitive to how you want your images to look. Many people use the industry standard, ‘Photoshop’ (or \'Photoshop Elements\' which is smaller and cheaper), for image editing, but there are a number of economical or free alternatives. Have a look at our free software section.

Never, NEVER, edit your original images!!!  One day your computer will crash, be stolen or explode and apart from the ensuing mess, your originals are gone, too, so always keep a copy of your selected original images on CD, DVD or some other back-up system and keep them safe, away from your computer. Remember, you will have deleted them from your camera and can’t go back and retrieve them from there if you have a problem.

VARIATION

Copy all your edited images into the ‘Print’ folder, making sure they are saved at the highest resolution and at least 300 dpi (dots per inch).

Copy these files into the ‘Web’ folder and edit each of them down to a smaller size and resolution. Websites work at 72dpi, a much lower resolution than print and a way of keeping file sizes small so they download quickly and make the website they are on load faster.

We suggest that you first change the resolution (down to 72dpi), then the size of the image with a maximum width of 600 pixels.

THAT’S IT

Now, when someone e-mails you, asking for an image for a website, for example, you can decide which image you want to send them, go straight to the correct folder, select the ‘Web’ folder and attach a copy of the image to your reply e-mail.

In real terms, all this folder-making and image-editing helps in two ways. Firstly, it saves you time, meaning that you don’t need to hunt around for a particular image. Secondly, it makes you appear professional. If you respond quickly to a request, you make the life of the person who asked you for the image easier. They remember this and you get a reputation for being organised and professional.

Believe us, and we talk from experience, if you are working with ten artists who all produce similar work relevant to your project and 9 of them faff about waiting until the last minute to send you their image, and one of them is fast and efficient, that gets remembered. Next time a project is being planned, the organised one will be the first to be contacted. This really does work, so spend a few minutes filing your images and improve your chances in a competitive world.

 

  • Published in Guides

Image Credits

All our images are either supplied from our own archive, the artists, galleries or organisations we write about or come from a number of online imagebanks.  We pay for quite a few of them and never take them from sites without permission.  

That said, we do grab images of entire homepages to use for illustration or to illustrate news items but alway when we are informing you about that site and can link directly to them.

If you have an issue with our use of images on the site please feel free to contact us:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

  • Published in About Us
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