Image manipulation tends to be resource/time intensive any way you look at it. Especially when there is a lot of it occurring, like within a loop. Do you really need to watermark on the fly, or this something that could be done only once?
On a side note, if you are reusing the same watermark each time you should resize / rotate it before you enter the loop. So you are only manipulating it once, not once for each loop.
I pulled the watermark out. That was a good suggestion. Now...how would I go about looping through the query using threads and then rejoining them?
Without knowing much about the process, it is hard to say if cfthread will help or harm here. For things like single watermarks or thumbnails, it is often more efficient to perform the operation only once as images are added/uploaded. Rather than repeating them on each request.
However to answer your question, there are some very thorough blog entries on the topic of using cfthread (not image handling specifically). I would start there.
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I am just not getting the thread stuff. So I thought I would try recordset paging. It helps, but not the best. anyone else have any thoughts?