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Chapter 12. Optimizing Web Graphics > Capturing and Preparing Images

Capturing and Preparing Images

This section gives some guidelines that work with all types of images. The key to reducing image file size is to reduce the number of colors, resolution, dimension, and quality of your web-bound images. The art in graphics optimization is in balancing this size-versus-quality tradeoff. On the web, you can err on the low side of the quality scale. Here are a few general guidelines for preparing your graphics for the web:

  • When taking photographs, minimize smear and maximize sharpness by using a stable platform, such as a tripod, image stabilizer, or gyroscopic stabilizer (http://www.ken-lab.com).

  • Simplify your designs to remove extraneous detail, minimize colors, or work in grayscale for smaller images (see http://www.the5k.org).

  • Creatively crop your images to reduce their size, or eliminate them altogether and replace them with text and CSS.

  • Minimize HTTP requests by combining, reusing, and eliminating images where possible. Convert graphic text to styled text. Substitute styled backgrounds or table cells for graphic backgrounds.

  • Use thumbnails to point to larger images to save bandwidth.


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