Best Photo Resolution for Website Photos

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Doug Mazzacua, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. What is the best resolution for taking photos for posting on a
    website?

    Unless the photos are for blowing up orusing as wallpaper, etc., it
    would seem that the best resolution would be the lowest, provided the
    pics are still clear, as this will speed page loading and use less
    bandwidth. Is this analysis correct?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    _________________________________________

    Center For Practical Self Defense
    Riverside, California
    www.centerforpracticalselfdefense.com
     
    Doug Mazzacua, Nov 23, 2005
    #1
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  2. On Tue, 22 Nov 2005 22:59:57 -0800, Doug Mazzacua <>
    wrote:

    >What is the best resolution for taking photos for posting on a
    >website?
    >
    >Unless the photos are for blowing up orusing as wallpaper, etc., it
    >would seem that the best resolution would be the lowest, provided the
    >pics are still clear, as this will speed page loading and use less
    >bandwidth. Is this analysis correct?


    Well the lowest resolution would be 1x1 pixel, which is of somewhat
    limited use. ;-)

    It's a balance of speed and quality. It depends on a number of things,
    such as whether the photos are the main subject of the page (given this
    is r.p.d. I assume this is what you mean) or merely ancillary, whether
    they are reportage or (intended to be) works of art. It also depends
    whether your expected audience is especially digital photo enthusiasts
    (who are quite likely to have high-res screens and a broadband
    connection) or a more general audience, including a lot of dial-up
    users.

    Monitor sizes vary greatly, but it seems reasonable to suppose that most
    PDA users aren't going to be browsing photo galleries. Most users who
    are going to be doing that will have a monitor of at least 1024 pixels
    wide, and will probably be happy to browse full-screen.

    Assuming the photo is the main subject, the main thing is to include
    thumbnails, so that people can just download the photos they are
    interested in. I'd suggest thumbnails around 150 pixels across, linking
    to photos of around 900 pixels (smaller for vertical photos). But there
    is plenty of room for debate. If you're prepared to put in the work to
    provide links to more than one size, that would be great.

    --
    Stephen Poley
     
    Stephen Poley, Nov 23, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. On Wed, 23 Nov 2005 08:30:19 +0100, Stephen Poley
    <> wrote:

    >On Tue, 22 Nov 2005 22:59:57 -0800, Doug Mazzacua <>
    >wrote:
    >
    >>What is the best resolution for taking photos for posting on a
    >>website?
    >>
    >>Unless the photos are for blowing up orusing as wallpaper, etc., it
    >>would seem that the best resolution would be the lowest, provided the
    >>pics are still clear, as this will speed page loading and use less
    >>bandwidth. Is this analysis correct?

    >
    >Well the lowest resolution would be 1x1 pixel, which is of somewhat
    >limited use. ;-)
    >
    >It's a balance of speed and quality. It depends on a number of things,
    >such as whether the photos are the main subject of the page (given this
    >is r.p.d. I assume this is what you mean) or merely ancillary, whether
    >they are reportage or (intended to be) works of art. It also depends
    >whether your expected audience is especially digital photo enthusiasts
    >(who are quite likely to have high-res screens and a broadband
    >connection) or a more general audience, including a lot of dial-up
    >users.


    Thanks for the reply. I notice that of the recent pics I took, the
    lower resolution ones are in the 50 to 100 kb range, and the higher
    resolution ones are in the 500 to 600 kb range.

    For my purposes, the smaller file size / lower resolution ones look
    fine. It is not a digital art site, these are photos of an event. In
    the interest of faster download times, is there a way to make the
    larger files a lower resolution, and smaller file size? Or does it
    even matter?

    Thanks again for your help and advice.


    _________________________________________

    Center For Practical Self Defense
    Riverside, California
    www.centerforpracticalselfdefense.com
     
    Doug Mazzacua, Nov 23, 2005
    #3
  4. Doug Mazzacua

    Joe Makowiec Guest

    On 23 Nov 2005 in rec.photo.digital, Doug Mazzacua wrote:

    > Thanks for the reply. I notice that of the recent pics I took, the
    > lower resolution ones are in the 50 to 100 kb range, and the higher
    > resolution ones are in the 500 to 600 kb range.
    >
    > For my purposes, the smaller file size / lower resolution ones look
    > fine. It is not a digital art site, these are photos of an event.
    > In the interest of faster download times, is there a way to make the
    > larger files a lower resolution, and smaller file size? Or does it
    > even matter?


    To some extent, it depends on how many of your likely site visitors are
    on dialup. On a 56K dialup, it takes in the neighborhood of 10 seconds
    to download 50K. Particularly on an initial page, people get itchy
    mouse fingers and move if they don't have meaningful content by then.
    Even on a picture page, where people can reasonably expect large files,
    making them wait too long may convince them to go elsewhere.

    Also, you have to balance between the use of thumbnails (generally
    small) and fullsize images, and how many images per page. 10 images at
    a reasonable size (say 50K each) on a page wind up being a half-meg
    page, and make for a very long wait if your visitor is on dialup. But
    you can put 10 thumbs at 5K each, and the page size is then much more
    reasonable. The thumbs then link to the fullsize images.

    Most image editing applications allow you to resize images, and to
    change the quality on JPEGs. Doing both will reduce file size; what
    you have to do is balance between file size(=download time) and
    legibility of the images.

    --
    Joe Makowiec
    http://makowiec.org/
    Email: http://makowiec.org/contact/?Joe
     
    Joe Makowiec, Nov 23, 2005
    #4
  5. On Wed, 23 Nov 2005 11:26:52 GMT, Joe Makowiec
    <> wrote:

    >On 23 Nov 2005 in rec.photo.digital, Doug Mazzacua wrote:
    >
    >> Thanks for the reply. I notice that of the recent pics I took, the
    >> lower resolution ones are in the 50 to 100 kb range, and the higher
    >> resolution ones are in the 500 to 600 kb range.
    >>
    >> For my purposes, the smaller file size / lower resolution ones look
    >> fine. It is not a digital art site, these are photos of an event.
    >> In the interest of faster download times, is there a way to make the
    >> larger files a lower resolution, and smaller file size? Or does it
    >> even matter?

    >
    >To some extent, it depends on how many of your likely site visitors are
    >on dialup. On a 56K dialup, it takes in the neighborhood of 10 seconds
    >to download 50K. Particularly on an initial page, people get itchy
    >mouse fingers and move if they don't have meaningful content by then.
    >Even on a picture page, where people can reasonably expect large files,
    >making them wait too long may convince them to go elsewhere.
    >
    >Also, you have to balance between the use of thumbnails (generally
    >small) and fullsize images, and how many images per page. 10 images at
    >a reasonable size (say 50K each) on a page wind up being a half-meg
    >page, and make for a very long wait if your visitor is on dialup. But
    >you can put 10 thumbs at 5K each, and the page size is then much more
    >reasonable. The thumbs then link to the fullsize images.
    >
    >Most image editing applications allow you to resize images, and to
    >change the quality on JPEGs. Doing both will reduce file size; what
    >you have to do is balance between file size(=download time) and
    >legibility of the images.


    Thank you Joe. I reduced the size of the images that were taken at
    the higher resolution to the size of the others, and that brought them
    down to just under 200k. Now I am resizing them for thumbs to put on
    a gallery page, that link to the other pics, that now range from about
    50k to 200k.

    Thanks for your help.
    _________________________________________

    Center For Practical Self Defense
    Riverside, California
    www.centerforpracticalselfdefense.com
     
    Doug Mazzacua, Nov 23, 2005
    #5
  6. Doug Mazzacua <> writes:

    > What is the best resolution for taking photos for posting on a
    > website?
    >
    > Unless the photos are for blowing up orusing as wallpaper, etc., it
    > would seem that the best resolution would be the lowest, provided the
    > pics are still clear, as this will speed page loading and use less
    > bandwidth. Is this analysis correct?


    You seem to be omitting the Photoshop step (not that one has to use
    that particular product, but "digital darkroom" is much harder to type
    and it isn't really as widely-understood); in which you transform the
    size and select a jpeg compression level suitable for web use,
    whatever you started with. The size you take the photo at doesn't
    directly relate to the download speed / bandwidth use in my workflow.

    If the picture is *for sure* to be used for nothing but the web, it's
    okay to start with a lower resolution -- though I'd go for twice what
    I wanted on the web, because you often end up doing some cropping when
    you get a change to examine the photo carefully, and because expanding
    the file is such a losing proposition you want to make *sure* you
    don't need to do it. But next year you'll come up with an idea to use
    the photo (which has by then become part of the sites visual identity)
    in a print piece, and find yourself regretting not having more
    resolution.

    > Center For Practical Self Defense
    > Riverside, California
    > www.centerforpracticalselfdefense.com


    I'm always amazed at the number of gun training organizations (I'm
    guessing) located in CA. Must be kind of a thankless task in some
    ways.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Nov 23, 2005
    #6
  7. Doug Mazzacua

    Frank ess Guest

    Doug Mazzacua wrote:
    > What is the best resolution for taking photos for posting on a
    > website?
    >
    > Unless the photos are for blowing up orusing as wallpaper, etc., it
    > would seem that the best resolution would be the lowest, provided
    > the
    > pics are still clear, as this will speed page loading and use less
    > bandwidth. Is this analysis correct?
    >


    I think so.

    My experience and learning tell me a page that doesn't show something
    worthwhile to the visitor within about eight seconds is subject to
    abandonment. In spite of the broadening access to broadband, that is a
    parameter unlikely to change.

    My approach is to make a thumbnail of a size that it provides enough
    information for a viewer to decide whether or not an expanded view is
    worth the effort. For the most part that seems to me to be an image of
    about 200 short-side pixels. In the interests of consistency and
    convenience in Web-page building I let the verticals fall where they
    may, and make all thumbnails 200 pixels high. Saving them at Photo
    Shop quality 30 yields images of four to seven Kb or so, a quick load
    even on dialup.

    Depending on content, the linked images are 500 to 1024 pixels on the
    long side, saved at the same PS quality 30 they yield 30 to 120 Kb
    files, not an unconsionable burden to someone who has responded
    favorably to a thumbnail. Example:
    http://home.san.rr.com/fsheff/coverst05.htm

    On the other hand, your commercial photo-display sites make smaller
    thumbnails and allow size choice for the linked images. Example:
    http://www.fototime.com/inv/DB6CEACBC6F75CE

    Pays you money and makes you choice.

    I found a lot of good help at newsgroup alt.www.webmaster.

    --
    Frank ess
     
    Frank ess, Nov 23, 2005
    #7
  8. Doug Mazzacua

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >Doug Mazzacua writes ...
    >
    >What is the best resolution for taking photos for posting on a
    >website?


    Two things involved here ... one is the pixel dimensions and the other
    is the amount of jpeg compression you apply.

    Lot of debate about the 'right' pixel dimensions but a lot of people
    try to keep the images at 800 x 600 pixels or less since larger pixel
    sizes mean many users have to scroll to see the entire image, which is
    usually not desirable.

    So pick a preferred size in pixels, then decide on a target size in
    KBytes ... I typically shoot for 3-4 KBytes for thumbnails and 50
    KBytes for images, though some images with a lot of texture have to be
    larger. With a good editing program like Photoshop you can watch the
    compression and not go too far, keeping good quality with a relatively
    small size. People with cable or DSL often make much larger images
    since they load fast on their systems but this slows down readers on
    dial-up and there's usually no gain in quality.

    I've been working on a page of animals in my extended 'backyard'
    (within half an hour drive) and most of the images fit my target sizes
    .... not quite ready for release but here's an early version so you can
    see what I mean ... http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/desert/index.htm

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Nov 23, 2005
    #8
  9. Doug Mazzacua

    Jim Townsend Guest

    Doug Mazzacua wrote:

    > What is the best resolution for taking photos for posting on a
    > website?
    >
    > Unless the photos are for blowing up orusing as wallpaper, etc., it
    > would seem that the best resolution would be the lowest, provided the
    > pics are still clear, as this will speed page loading and use less
    > bandwidth. Is this analysis correct?



    When dealing with something that will be displayed on a computer
    monitor, the ONLY thing to consider is the pixel dimensions of
    the image.

    You want an image that's not so big it scrolls off the sides, of
    the monitor and one that is not so small, you can't see any detail.

    Given that nowadays few people use monitor resolutions less than
    1024 pixels x 768 pixels, an image with a bit smaller resolution
    will would work well.

    I like to use an image that's around 900 x 675. That will ensure
    that it fits on a monitor that displays 1024 x 768 (This also takes
    into account space lost to the browser's tool bar, status bar and
    frame).

    Note that DPI has *nothing* to do with how an image fits on a monitor
    or how it looks. Ignore the 72 dpi myth and just consider the pixel
    dimensions.
     
    Jim Townsend, Nov 23, 2005
    #9
  10. On 23 Nov 2005 10:16:01 -0600, David Dyer-Bennet <>
    wrote:

    >Doug Mazzacua <> writes:
    >
    >> What is the best resolution for taking photos for posting on a
    >> website?
    >>
    >> Unless the photos are for blowing up orusing as wallpaper, etc., it
    >> would seem that the best resolution would be the lowest, provided the
    >> pics are still clear, as this will speed page loading and use less
    >> bandwidth. Is this analysis correct?

    >
    >You seem to be omitting the Photoshop step (not that one has to use
    >that particular product, but "digital darkroom" is much harder to type
    >and it isn't really as widely-understood); in which you transform the
    >size and select a jpeg compression level suitable for web use,
    >whatever you started with. The size you take the photo at doesn't
    >directly relate to the download speed / bandwidth use in my workflow.


    You are right, I was omitting that step. I finally accomplished the
    photo sizing with PhotoImpact - the other programs I tried, Serif and
    the Microsoft Photo Editor, didn't seem to allow me to resize and
    change the resolution on photos as easily. Maybe it could be done
    with these programs, but PhotoImpact made it easy.

    Thank you very much to you and everyone else who responded, this is an
    excellent group.
    _________________________________________

    Center For Practical Self Defense
    Riverside, California
    www.centerforpracticalselfdefense.com
     
    Doug Mazzacua, Nov 25, 2005
    #10
  11. On Wed, 23 Nov 2005 08:30:55 -0800, "Frank ess" <>
    wrote:

    >Doug Mazzacua wrote:
    >> What is the best resolution for taking photos for posting on a
    >> website?
    >>
    >> Unless the photos are for blowing up orusing as wallpaper, etc., it
    >> would seem that the best resolution would be the lowest, provided
    >> the
    >> pics are still clear, as this will speed page loading and use less
    >> bandwidth. Is this analysis correct?
    >>

    >
    >I think so.
    >
    >My experience and learning tell me a page that doesn't show something
    >worthwhile to the visitor within about eight seconds is subject to
    >abandonment. In spite of the broadening access to broadband, that is a
    >parameter unlikely to change.
    >
    >My approach is to make a thumbnail of a size that it provides enough
    >information for a viewer to decide whether or not an expanded view is
    >worth the effort. For the most part that seems to me to be an image of
    >about 200 short-side pixels. In the interests of consistency and
    >convenience in Web-page building I let the verticals fall where they
    >may, and make all thumbnails 200 pixels high. Saving them at Photo
    >Shop quality 30 yields images of four to seven Kb or so, a quick load
    >even on dialup.
    >
    >Depending on content, the linked images are 500 to 1024 pixels on the
    >long side, saved at the same PS quality 30 they yield 30 to 120 Kb
    >files, not an unconsionable burden to someone who has responded
    >favorably to a thumbnail. Example:
    >http://home.san.rr.com/fsheff/coverst05.htm


    Thank you Frank, that was extremely helpful. I have my images and
    thumbs all sized and at an appropriate resolution now, so that I am
    able to start working on the gallery pages.
    _________________________________________

    Center For Practical Self Defense
    Riverside, California
    www.centerforpracticalselfdefense.com
     
    Doug Mazzacua, Nov 25, 2005
    #11
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