The Digital Photo Guy

Resize & Compress for E-mail in Photoshop Elements

by on Dec.13, 2010, under Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photoshop Elements

Wild Animal Park Workshop
Pin-Up Shoot – Sock Hop Theme
Palomar College – Spring 2011

Sending High Quality Small Photos

Last time, we covered resizing & compressing photos using Windows Photo Viewer, an easy, free tool for Windows users. That’s fine if you just intend to sent a photo to someone who’s not all that critical. However, sometimes, you want to send a higher quality image at a size and/or compression ratio that’s not available in WPV. Or, you might already be in Photoshop Elements and want to send the photo you just edited.

As in all things PSE, there are several ways to do this quickly and easily. The photos below show where several of these tools hide and how to use them


In the Editor, click the Share button (top right of palette/panel bin). Under Share, you’ll see two options labeled E-mail Attachments… and Photo Mail… To send me photos, you should use E-mail Attachments. Just click that option and follow the instructions. Both of these options actually exist inside the Organizer so the first thing you’ll see is Organizer being launched.

In Organizer (middle photo), you’ll notice there is a check box to convert to JPEG, check that unless you want to send Uncle Ernie a 72MB PSD file. Note that, unlike Windows Photo Viewer, this tool gives you the option of selecting size and quality (compression) independent of each other. In other words, you can send a small, high quality image or a large, low quality image or any other combo. Click next.

First and foremost, DO NOT send the default message, “Here are the photos that I want to share with you.” I hate e-mails with default messages and subjects because I can’t tell if they’re legit or spam. Your photos stand a good chance of being round-filed if it arrives with defaults. Second, unless you’re a masochist of the first order, don’t bother entering or importing recipient names and e-mail addresses at this point. Who needs another contact list. Click Next.

Organizer will launch your e-mail client (the software you use to send/receive e-mails). The resized and compressed photos will be conveniently attached to the e-mail template. Now just type in a message, any message, so I know it’s not spam. Something like, “Hi Lee, You’re the smartest guy I’ve ever met!” will ensure your e-mail receives immediate attention! Seriously, tell me what you’re sending, why and what I’m to do with the photo. I receive lots of e-mails. “Here’s the photo you requested” takes me too much time to scratch my head and remember the details of our “conversation”.

Photo Mail does the same thing except it gives you the option to add cutesy frames and clip art. If you send me a photo framed with pink kittens and yellow daffodils, I will never open another e-mail from you. That is a promise! Save Photo Mail for your nieces, nephews, Aunt Ruthie and Cousin Erma.

Now, For the Rest of the Story. This tool has a big problem. It strips out the Exif data. Exif data, as you know is information about the photo that is embedded in the file at the time the photo is made. It tells me the camera make & model, sometimes, the lens make & model, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, EC, FEC, and lots of other details I use to assess a photo. Without this, I’m flying in the dark and making guesses.

Next time, I’ll tell you how to resize and compress in PSE and preserve Exif data. In the meantime, look below at some photos from students and readers. These are some outstanding photos made by people who, at one time, could barely find the “O-N-O-F-F” switch on their cameras.

Photos From Students and Readers


The first photo (left) is by Jill, one of my first students. When I first met Jill about 6 years ago, she was still using a clunky old Sony Mavica that wrote to floppy disks. After seeing her photos, I took her to the local camera store and pointed out the cameras and lenses I thought made sense for her. To his credit, her husband, Jerry, didn’t bat an eyelash as Jill walked out with $3500 worth of gear. Since then, Jill has become a formidable force in her local club competitions. Jill doesn’t just want to win, she wants to stomp her competition into the ground. She consistently wins the highest scores.

Marie first attended one of my classes at Mira Costa Community College. Since then, she’s attended several more of my workshops and always amazes me with how quickly she picks up on complex concepts. This is all the more amazing since she still works full time as a scientist/cube rat at a biotech firm. Marie sent me this photo soon after attending my flash photography workshop. Until then, she hadn’t even taken the Canon 580EX II out of the box. In a few short weeks, she learned how to apply the concepts from the class and produce a nearly perfect image SOOC requiring only minor touchup in Photoshop.

Jim jumped into bird photography less than a year earlier. He has a good eye and knew his photos lacked “pop” that he hoped could be cured with new gear. In Jim’s case, I agreed that a Cann 7D and a 300/2.8 made a lot of sense. Since buying the new gear, Jim’s photography has been kicked up a notch and he regularly makes outstanding images like this cardinal. Jim’s biggest advantage is his dedication to practice. I’d guess Jim shoots over a dozen hours each week. His dedication has clearly paid off in the quality of his photos.

Workshops and Webinars

Wild Animal Park Workshop – Sat, Dec 18, 9AM

Learn to control and master your dSLR during a “hands-on” workshop at Wild Animal Park. In just 3 hours, learn tips and techniques that can be applied under any condition. Practice the techniques on the spot to make it easier to remember. This has always been our most popular field workshop. Includes 1 hour Photoshop Elements class at WAP. Click for more details.

Sock Hop Theme Pin-Up Shoot – Sun, Jan 16, 2011

On Sunday, January 16, 2011, I’ll be photographing 3 cute models for a Sock Hop Pin-Up shoot. There’s no formal instruction but you’ll have the opportunity to work with me and a few other experienced photographers. There are 3 spots left. If you’d like to join me, send me an e-mail. There will be a $25 fee plus an $8 entrance fee for the venue. The $25 goes to the models for their time, makeup and accessories.

Palomar College – Spring 2011 Schedule Posted

Palomar College has posted my Spring 2011 classes. I’ll be teaching both Digital SLR for New dSLR Owners (Feb 1 & 3) and Beginning Adobe Photoshop Elements (Mar 1 & 3) via webinar so you can learn from the comfort of your own home computer. Back by popular demand is the my popular Hands-On Photoshoot (Apr 2) at Kit Carson Park in Escondido.

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