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Image Size?

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A recent discussion with a fellow flickrnaut, about image size, has me interested to hear others thoughts and ideas on 'image size' in a web context?

293 pixels   interface

Viewing images, and by images I'm talking photography, although paintings and prints fit this idea to a certain extent too, in a gallery context for example, gives many artists a great deal of control on how the images are read by, and impact upon, the viewer. Taking them out of that context, and putting them in/on a web site, is a profoundly different process, with a potentially different outcome.

There are several variables to consider when using a web site to view images.


  • Screen Size
  • Graphics Card/resolution
  • Colour controls
  • Navigational elements within the user interface of the web page.

As a photographer, you have no control on how people, set their computer up or buy the hardware they use.

As a photographer, using sites such as flickr, you can control the maximum size displayed in the options available to you, but not the size displayed as the main size.

500 pixels   interface

My argument is this, if a fairly common resolution is 1024 x 746 pixels for the majority of monitors, why upload anything larger. As this will result in the images needing to be scrolled, thereby changing the experience of the image.

You see composition for me is the most important factors in making the decision to press the button, particularly with large cameras, such as my Hasellblad, or Linhoff Tecknika. That decision is destroyed in a screen based environment if the viewer needs to scroll to see the image, in my opinion.


1024 pixels - interface

So my question is this, is there any value in uploading large size images that while the viewer can see more detail, the image as a whole, is destroyed?

A caveat if I may, all this is based on the assumption that, people are using a computer to view your work. This problem is going to be multiplied upwards as people consume content on different devices, iPods though to plasma screen and projectors.

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