I sometimes rankle when people ask technical and process questions about how I make photos rather than talking about the aesthetic content. But let’s face it, the photos of late haven’t exactly been art, and it presents an opportunity for some tech notes.

I’ve been carrying my usual film camera, but won’t get the film back for several more days so let’s talk about the digital shots. Geek notes on my film process another time. I’ve also been carrying a T-Mobile Dash and using it to take 1.3MP digital photos – largely of food – and email them to the blog. (With Blogger, you can set up an email address, yourblogname.secretword@blogger.com which posts anything you send to it, which is a lot easier than using a mini web browser on the Blogger site.) The photo quality is just good enough for quick and dirty documentation, and the keyboard and connectivity are just good enough for quick and dirty blogging. There’s a convenient setting in the phone for reducing the size of photos (1.3MP = 1,280×1024 native) to save bandwidth, which isn’t cheap when roaming on GPRS. But it has an odd side effect.

Here’s the photo from the recent tomato post, as originally displayed by blogger:

The odd thing is that there’s an IMG WIDTH tag set for 320, but the image is only 300 wide, so it looks fuzzy. Let’s remove that tag and look at it at 300 wide.

A little better. I wasn’t expecting much from a little phonecam, but when I looked at the photos on my iMac, I was pleasantly surprised. Here’s a comparable size reduction saved at a much higher quality. The 1.3MP file was 332k, the phone crunched the file to 16k for emailing, this version is 128k.

And finally, here’s my usual treatment with some color correction and cropping.

That’s more like it. Yum. Now, the question is, should I go back and re-do the photos from the last ten or so posts? I already went in and removed the IMG SIZE tags, but I see there’s more that can be done.