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The internet is an exciting medium increasingly used by photographers to publish their work. Images must be digitized, and you must have a computer connected to the internet to access the worldwide web. It is then a matter of deciding what you want to achieve, and establishing an appropriate website. This can be a simple selection of images made accessible to friends and relatives through a basic personal site, or a sophisticated picture library. In the latter case it should include a statement of purpose, background and contact information, and an indexed library of images.

Images consist of large amounts of data, and can be slow to download. This is frustrating and discouraging for users of a website. It is therefore necessary to optimize images for Internet use. Essentially, this means that each one must be reduced to a minimum size, and compressed using the JPEG or GIF format, prior to uploading. Images of people tolerate generally tolerate compression than those of other subjects. An effective solution is initially to offer surfers a number of thumbnail images that download rapidly. These should be of sufficient quality to enable a selection to be made prior to downloading a few larger but higher-quality versions.

Alternatively, there are numerous organizations that run professional websites designed to facilitate the publication of your images. For an agreed monthly subscription your selection of images can be incorporated into a site featuring numerous photographers and types of image. Such sites are well advertised, easily found by surfers, and likely to be seen by interested people all over the world. Standard personal websites can also be purchased and set up in a matter of hours.

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