Have you ever tried to squeeze 14gb of clients JPGs onto your 8gb USB flash drive? I bet you have!
With the megapixel war continuing to boom, our RAW and JPG file sizes are doubling and tripling in size, you Nikon D800 /810 shooters will know exactly what i’m talking about! And are probably already delivering your wedding clients photos on 16 or 32gb flash drives.
I have a solution to help you reduce your JPEGs size 50-80% without reducing any image quality, I personally use this method for all my clients photographs as well as for my websites and blogs to help boost my website page speed / server load.
For this tutorial i am assuming most photographers are now using Adobe Lightroom.
So you have finished your hours of editing and have selected all your best photographs to be exported from lightroom as JPEG. Now selected File -> EXPORT and you will be greeted with the export dialog box, In this dialog box you will select your export destination, rename your files and probably set you image quality to 100%
This is the magic.
Take a deep breath and set image quality to 76% (This is found under the File Settings tab) yup i said it reduce your image quality setting, you will be thinking i’m nuts how can you possibly reduce the quality by 24%… I have learnt the magic quality setting of 76% greatly reduces your file size as well as speeding up export time and has ZERO visible effect on image quality.
Here is a Before and After slider of the same image exported at 100% (Before) and at 76% (After)
I know some of you will be thinking “but what does it look like if you zoom to 100%” so here it is a Before and After slider at a full 100% crop, the same image was exported at 100% (Before) and at 76% (After)
With just a quick change of the quality setting in lightrooms export I have reduced my file size from 10.6mb to 2.5mb (thats a 75% reduction in size) and there is no visible difference in image quality, detail, colour or contrast.
Sample of different situations on different camera and lens arrangements all exported at 76%
Nikon D750 – natural low light and hi iso, ISO 2000
Canon 5D Mark III – Photographed from moving car
Canon 5D Mark II – Hi contrast image photographed with window light at F1.4
Canon 5D MarkIII – Long exposure using additional LEE GND filters with loads of colour contrast
All photos by The Official Photographers