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That said, people who are used to print don't understand that concept particularly well. For them, "high resolution" means "smaller physical size or larger file size, but higher quality".
You will almost certainly not get the images the size you want them to end up us, and, as has been pointed out, it's far better to downsize than to enlarge. So tell them "300dpi" and they'll be happy.
It's for an 'advertising campaign award' so I guess the pics are coming from the agency (Ugh! I hate agencies!)
Whatever will be, will be...
Thanks for all the kind help guys....
<rant>It's unprofessional and rude to dump whatever came off their Mac into your lap, assuming so, IF you happen to work in a PC environment. I've worn tired of nearly every ad agency I've dealt with automatically assuming the entire 'serious' graphics world revolves around a Macintosh. 'Cuz it doesn't.</rant>
Higher resolution and large sizes (height and width) is better for clarity as an original to work from. As rewboss said, you'll be saving your images for the web based on pixel size, not dpi. But it's nice to have a big, clear, crisp, uncompressed original to work from instead of some cr*ppy, fuzzy little .jpeg you have to "make do" with.
Sorry you're used to dealing with such dips, but it's not because they're Mac users, it's because they're nincompoops. (...besides no simple graphic file is going to be as much of a headache as when some clueless dork sends a PowerPoint file thinking "since it's got pictures AND text, it's all you'll need" to create print/web promotional materials...)
If Nick's lucky enough to be dealing with a competent agency, it won't matter what platform they use, because (much like html) major graphics formats are non-platform specific... and any resonably professional Mac user will either hand out files in a platform-neutral (or Windows) format, knowing Windows users need the help, and Mac users can open them either way, (hehe) or they will ask what your file format requirements are.
Your file format requirements (IMO) should always be (at minimum) 300 ppi lossless format files (like bmps or tifs). I'd prefer getting 600ppi, personally... even for web work. The more resolution you have to start, the more room you have to tinker before you screw something up. ;)
besides no simple graphic file is going to be as much of a headache as when some clueless dork sends a PowerPoint file thinking "since it's got pictures AND text, it's all you'll need" to create print/web promotional materials..
Well, I've got agencies sending me Mac QuarkXpress files (I use PC and have no Quark), thinking pretty much the same thing, like here you have the text AND the images... Oh, and sometimes they don't include the images as separate files...
Hate agencies, and Mac users ;)
Anyone who doesn't ask for file requirements before sending source material out is a nincompoop, platform is irrelevant. Anyone who doesn't give file requirements when requesting source material is, OTOH, asking for it. ;) Nick_W has the right idea... make sure of what you need, and make sure to ask for it explicitly.
What works for me is to scan as jpg at quite high resolution (450dpi) to ensure the photo is sharp with good colour. I detest sh***y greyed out blurry edged images which scream "cheap and nasty" at the viewer.
After cropping the 450dpi images, I resample them down to around 250-275 pixels wide, then use a jpg cruncher to get an acceptable file size.
The image quality usually remains quite good, certainly much better that starting out with a low res capture. I experimented quite a bit trying various permutations and this is what works best for me.