My parents live in a village in India and broadband internet hasn’t yet found its way there and I’m sure it also hasn’t reached many suburban and rural areas in India where most of our parents live. We the city slickers go on taking pictures using our latest digital cameras showing off the ever growing mega pixels. And when it comes to sending them to our parents there comes a roadblock; it’s nothing but the huge size of the picture files which can’t be downloaded by our parents with their slow dial up connections. And then we complain about the incompetent infrastructure Indian villages have. But what we don’t understand is that sending a picture shot with a 7 mega pixel camera as it is by email not only abuses the bandwidth but also makes no sense to our parents as they are not going to print them onto billboards. My father has complained to me numerous times that the photos he receive from his friends not only took an hour to download but also shows up big on his screen that he has scroll up and down to see the faces properly. To help them what I do is to download those photos myself, resize them to a decent size which fits on their computer screen when viewed in full size and resend to them to make them happy. Let’s not forget that the objective of you sending your pics to your folks would be for them to view and enjoy them and not to guess them by scrolling up and down the humongous bill board size picture.
I use Google’s Picasa to manage my pictures saved in my computer. It not only allows me to sort the pictures date wise, gives me a nice display of them, ability to do stylish slideshows and also to create quick collages. I normally use Adobe Photoshop for editing the pictures but Picasa also has features to quickly edit your pictures or give effects to them. But the best and the most over looked feature of Picasa is its excellent emailing capabilities of your pictures. It not only resizes your huge pictures to optimal sizes but also integrates with Outlook or your Gmail account to send them with ease. You can set the size to which Picasa should resize the pictures when sending emails ; there are a set of email safe sizes from which you can select one; and then put in your Outlook/Gmail/Hello account info and save them. Once done that you have to just select the pictures which have to be emailed and then click on the Email icon, Picasa will then send the pictures which are resized to parents’ friendly sizes.
What are you waiting for? Download Picasa, even if your parents have got broadband connection, it’s a fantastic photo management tool in itself; put in those extra captions, mark your favorite pictures, do some picture editing, give your pictures some effects, show them off to your friends using the an elegant slideshow and of course email them to your folks.
PS: Even though the Email icon on the Picasa screen is prominent enough for us to not miss it, it would have been better to add the Email option to the right click menu on the pictures.
Umesh Gopinath is a User Experience designer and photo enthusiast. Professionally, he looks into the finer aspects of how humans interface with computers. He writes and maintains Whitespace, where he shares his knowledge with us in easy to digest snippets.