I’m learning. We all do, and that pretty much all of the time, but I am learning about image resizing now.
For my new site I need downscaled versions of my images. I think I’ll provide the same sizes as SmugMug does. Using my image database IMatch, I have copied all my JPEG files tagged “Submissions.SmugMug” to a new directory. From there I want to batch-resize them into directories 0150×0150, 0400×0400, 0600×0600, 0800×0800 and 1024×1024. The obvious choice for that job is Photoshop’s Image Processor. At least that’s what I thought.
I had already done all those conversions for all sizes, but when I compared my results to the images on SmugMug, they were pretty poor. Well, you can say all sorts of things about SmugMug’s current stability, but one thing is for sure: they damn well know how to resize images. I tried for more than an hour to get similar results in Photoshop, I tried to vary the JPEG quality, I tried to apply different levels of sharpening, all in vain. SmugMug’s images still looked better. Not by much, but it was noticeable.
Finally I had the idea to try IrfanView, my favorite image viewer. And really, not only does it have a batch facility that can resize (and a hundred things more), not only that the quality matches that of SmugMug’s versions, no, it is also much, much faster than Photoshop, uses less resources and does not block the computer while it runs. In fact I am converting 2164 images to a bounding box of 600×600 pixels right now, in the background and while I write this blog entry. OK, one problem solved 🙂