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Create a new folder on your computer and copy an image to it, open up notepad and place the following text. Be sure to replace the filemane for the image with your own.
<title>My Test Page</title>
Save this to the same folder that you image is as test.html , make sure you don't save it with the default extension .txt If you examine this file through My Computer you'll see its quite small in file size. If you open it in your browser the image will display.
The bulk of the download will be the image file...
The best way to reduce the file size is to optimize the image. You can use just about any decent image application to optimize images like jpg's.
When you go to save it there will generally be a sliding scale that allows you to set the "quality" or amount of compression. Setting this higher or lower will create larger or smaller file sizes. Using lower settings for smaller file sizes also reduces the quality of the image. Some applications will even have a defualt "save for web" option that has defaults that generally work well for most images.