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Thursday, December 20, 2018

How to Send High Quality Photos Online

If you want to send high quality original photos to your friends and family, then there’s really only one good way to do it: with a cloud storage provider. Social networks like Facebook and Instagram don’t store the original files; they reduce the quality, so pages load faster. Even good, dedicated photo services like 500px do it.

This isn’t an issue if you’re just posting photos so people can view them on their smartphones or computers, but if you want them to be able to print the images, you need to give them high-quality files.

RELATED: Why Do Photos Look Different When I Print Them?

What Counts as “High-Quality” Files?

The photos your smartphone camera—or any proper camera—can take are far bigger and of higher quality than social media sites can handle. If every image on your Instagram feed were 2 MBs and 12 megapixels, you’d burn through your data cap in no time. The thing is, these, high-resolution, 2 MB files are exactly what you want if you’re going to print them, set them as your desktop background, or do anything except view them in the correct size box on social media.

Here’s a photo of mine I uploaded to Facebook—it was 2.7 MB and 5166×3444 pixels. When I downloaded it from my Timeline, it was 74 KB and 860×640 pixels. You could barely print that on a postage stamp!

In general, when we talk about high-quality files, what we mean are the original photos straight from your phone or camera or, if you’ve made any edits, a saved copy in full resolution. If you shoot RAW, you can send exported full-resolution JPEGs; full-size RAW files can be a bit unwieldy, especially if the other person doesn’t have the apps to deal with them. These are the kind of files from which they’ll be able to print nice prints.

RELATED: How Big of a Photo Can I Print from My Phone or Camera?

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