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Working with Digital Images

Information for the BC Community

Seurat: Invitation to the Sideshow

Below are some selected tools you can use to edit and share your images. At least for basic functionality, these tools are all free, although many of them will try to get you to sign up for fee-based "premium" features. Those that require an email address may also send you promotional emails, which you can usually opt out of.

The use of images from University collections is often governed by licensing agreements or other types of guidelines, and is generally restricted to use by members of the Boston College community for teaching, study and research purposes. Please do not share or upload to unrestricted websites images from University collections.

But first, you're probably wondering...

How Can I Determine How Big My Image Is?

Digital images have a FILE SIZE (expressed in kilobytes, megabytes or gigabytes, like all digital files) and DIMENSIONS, expressed by the number of pixels. You'll be more concerned with the former in relation to storing or sharing images, and the latter in relation to displaying images. PLEASE NOTE: the pixel dimensions of an image are often referred to as the image's "resolution." This is not to be confused with another specification -- pixels or dots per inch -- which is also referred to as "resolution" but more important for printing purposes, which we will not address here. See The Myth of DPI (external website).

On a Mac, hold down your control key and click once on the icon or filename of the image file you're interested in. From the drop-down menu, select "Get Info." The file size is displayed in the upper right-hand corner of the info window. The pixel dimensions are below, in a tab called "More Info." To display the pixel dimensions, you may need to click on the arrow next to "More Info" so that it's pointing down.

On a PC, right-click on the icon or filename of the image file you're interested in. From the drop-down menu, select "Properties." The file size will be displayed in the "General" tab, and the pixel dimensions in the "Details" tab.

Image Editing & File Type Conversion

Sharing Digital Images (and other large files)

Please remember to investigate permitted uses prior to sharing images from ARTstor or other University-licensed sources.

Other Useful Links

The Getty's "Introduction to Imaging" (external website)

Understanding Digital Images (external website: clear, concise information from the University of Reading)

Quick Specifications for Digital Images

Creating/Processing Digital Images: Some Considerations

Managing Your Digital Images

Copyright issues

Boston College Media Technology Services Photography Department (x28677)

Pons Milvius, Rome

Images courtesy of Saskia, Ltd.
Top: Georges Seurat, "Invitation to the Sideshow," 1887-88 (Metropolitan Museum of Art); Bottom: Pons Milvius, Rome, 109 BC (remodeled in the 15th century)