Long ago I saved an article from your magazine describing how to e-mail photos, Photos in the Fast Lane, and I have been doing it that way since. However, it is a multi-step process in which you: make a copy, save the copy at the highest image quality (12), lower the resolution to 72dpi, reduce the image dimensions to no more than 6 inches high or wide, sharpen the image, then do another save as at a lower quality setting of 5-6. Finally it is under 100K!
Is there any quick and easy way of doing this, especially if you want to do a lot at once, such as in the Batch processing or something like that? I'm using Photoshop CS2.
Well, that was our advice in January 2004, and while it was may have been good advice then, there's a quicker way now. First downsize your photo, then take advantage of Photoshop's Save for Web feature to compress it for email. Record your steps as an Action (check out my post on Actions for help), then batch process all the rest.
Step 1: Scale your picture down. Go to Image > Image Size. Make the longest side of your picture 800 pixels, and it will be a good size for most computer screens. Then make sure to select Bicubic Sharper under Resample Image. That will take care of the sharpening you had to do in your old process.
Step 2: Save for Web. Photoshop's Save for Web dialogue will help you compress your imges and keep the detail. You can just go for Optimized and set the Quality for 8, or you can select the 4-Up tab and pick your favorite compression rate for best results.
Hitting Save will automatically create a copy, so you won't overwrite your original file.
Hope that speeds things up for you,