Poor quality of e-mailed images

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Chris C, May 29, 2005.

  1. I've just recently started working with my digital camera and images. I'm getting fairly good results...................at least good enough I've started sending some to friends and family through e-mail. But I've seen what it is they are receiving and I'm really disappointed. :cry: I've sent some to myself just to verify that they aren't nearly as nice as when I Photo Shopped them and filed them away. Colors shift and quality is highly degraded. Why is that?
     
  2. fks

    fks

    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi chris-

    what email program are you using to send the images? the program might be compressing your photos (AOL does this if you let it).

    you might want to use a service like ofoto or snapfish. you upload the files to their site, and your family and friends can view them instead of having to download them through email.

    ricky
     
  3. Ricky, I'm using Outlook Express, and, yes, I am allowing the program to make my images smaller so they will transport easier. I can understand maybe the quality of the image changing..........but the color also?
     
  4. fks

    fks

    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi chris-

    i was hoping someone else would give an answer as i'm out of ideas :( do you save your photos in sRGB before you email them?

    ricky


     
  5. Chris,

    Your post got me thinking about how the different program options for sending photos could yield different visual results.

    I sent the same jpg photo at 1024 x 768 size as an email attachment using My Pictures and Nikon View. I then compared the received email photos to the original photo viewed in Nikon view. Surprisingly, the colors in the Nikon View-sent photo were washed out. the colors in the My Pictures-sent photo were spot on. This leaves me clueless, but I guess I'll use My Pictures to forward jpg photos until further tests suggest I do otherwise. I'll have to test for color accuracy when Nikon view changes NEFs to jpgs for email transmission, since that's my usual procedure.

    Is it possible that the color shifts that you've seen could be due to uncalibrated monitors--theirs and/or yours? I just recently calibrated my monitor with Gretag's Eye One Display 2 and it was an eyeopener when I took a look at my old processed photos. Thankfully NEFs allow me to go back and fix things.

    As for image quality, I notice that nothing looks as good as when I'm viewing a NEF in Nikon Capture. I wish I knew why and how to maintain that quality in PS CS2 and all viewing programs.


    Glenn
     
  6. I haven't been around for a while. :( Too busy on another site (unrelated subject) :wink:

    I finally decided to just burn a disc and deliver it to the recepient. No sense compressing the images and destroying the quality. Don't know why I didn't think of that in the first place :oops: except I'm a total newbie at all of this.
     
  7. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    To get better results do not let Outlook shrink the photos. Send them as binary attachments. Do the resizing and compression with Photoshop's 'Save for Web..." command. This way the photo will be recieved as you sent it. Oh yeah, use an sRGB colorspace.
     
  8. Thanks Chris, I had no idea that capability was within PS. I did that with one of the images and sent it to myself..........then sent it again later. It came through with good quality both times. Does that mean it is permanently saved for the web? Does that change the quality for anything else I might want to do with it? And, if it doesn't, would it be best to do that to all images I plan to, or might eventually, send via the web?
     
  9. Oh yes, and I might mention, I'm using PS7. I can't find the sRBG colorspace you mentioned. Where would that be?
     
  10. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    I've got a friend who uses PS 7 - I'll go over there this evening and check it out, then get back to you. Look for a menu item called 'Convert to Profile' or something like that.
     
  11. To convert your image to sRGB in Photoshop 7:

    At the top of the screen click on Image > Mode > Assign Profile. Scroll through the color choices until you find sRGb and then click Okay. You should notice a visible color difference in your image.

    Glenn
     
  12. Thanks, Glen. I did what you suggested and found that sRGB was already checked.
     
  13. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Thanks Glen. I'm not going to dig ps7 out then. But I have a question: Is there also a menu item Image > Mode > Convert to Profile ... ?

    Because ... (color theory from a color blind guy to follow, feel free to tune out)

    Converting to a different colorspace profile is subtly different from assigning the new profile to the image. Colors that lie outside the gamut of the new profile but are in the original profile are clipped to the outer boundry of the new profile when the new profile is assigned. For example, a very slightly brown banana in Photo-Pro RGB (a large colorspace) could be changed to saturated yellow when assigned to sRGB (a smaller colorspace designed for an 'average' computer monitor.).

    When colors are converted rather than assigned, colors outside the new profile are scaled into the new profile, so their color shift is more subtle. The banana would still be brown, just a bit less so.

    This difference between the two methods is subtle. It will only show up if significant parts of the picture are colors in the original profile that cannot be displayed in the new profile.
     
  14. Convert to Profile vs. Assign Profile in PS 7

    Chris,

    After clicking Image > Mode, you can then select either Assign Profile or Convert To Profile. I wasn't aware of the differences. Thanks for the info!

    Glenn
     
  15. And what would "assign" or "convert" do exactly? I see in "assign" I choose sRGB, but not sure what to do in "convert".
     
  16. Chris C,

    Read Chris 101's reply above for the difference between a converted and assigned profile.

    For colorspace conversion in PS7, click Image > Mode > Convert to Profile. In the Destination Space section, click on the downward triangle and select the sRGB profile (12th one down) and then click Okay. That should convert the image to sRGB colorspace.

    Glenn (not a pro on these matters by any means)
     
  17. heiko

    heiko

    May 15, 2005
    Israel
    IMHO, the "Save to web" in PS may be fine for my e-mail, and quite easy to use, but it has some limitations. First, PS drops all the EXIF info - there is no camera info etc. If you don't care for that, or if you want to keep this your trade secret, this is the way. :)

    I usually want to preserve the EXIF and IPTC info for reference, so I now use the "Save as..." command to save jpegs and add them afterwards as binary attachments to the email.
     
  18. Cory Cooper

    Cory Cooper

    300
    May 24, 2005
    Salem, NH
    Good tip...as long as you deselect preview generation, it will save you a little file size.

    C
     
  19. Boy, Fellas, this is way too complicated for my feable mind. Now where in the heck did I leave my Brownie Hawkeye? Hmmmmm!
     
  20. heiko

    heiko

    May 15, 2005
    Israel
    Chris,

    Welcome to the digital world :)

    These computer gurus have pretty much complicated our life.
     
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