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Picture Specifications

I normally apply two rules to adding images to a page: size and size.

The first size is the "physical" size in kilobytes. The majority of the pictures on my sites are less than 15 kilobytes (with most of the sales pictures settling in around 8 kilobytes).

I like getting bigger pictures from my clients so that I can do more with the editing. If I get a picture that has already been compressed, it is much harder to do color and lighting corrections.

A typical example was when a client sent me a picture of some Anatolian Shepherd puppies for sale, and the original picture was 835 kilobytes and was 1620 by 1200 pixels wide and tall; After doing my work on the picture, it appears on the net as a 8.5 kilobyte picture that is sized to 250 x 188 pixels.

This brings me to my second "size:, which is display size (in pixels). I ask that my clients not crop their pictures either (because that really limits what I can do with the pictures). If a picture is cleanly cropped, it is nearly impossible to change the aspect ratio and get it to the same size as the other pictures.

If you observantly scan my sites, you might notice that I try to make all of the pictures the exact same size. I do that for a variety of reasons.

 

Dreamers Farm

 
The main one is to control the flow of the page. HTML web pages are not designed like powerpoint slides or word documents; On those, the images and text are all statically placed and do not move. The nature of HTML is that you use tables to get the images to line up, but you have to account for different screen resolutions by your customers (internet explorer does not have a zoom feature like you will see in the aforementioned applications.

If you go to a site that doesn't care about that, you will see short pictures in the same row as tall pictures and wide pictures in the same column as narrow pictures. This results in a page flow that is uneven to the eye and often displays poorly on different screen resolutions.

So, I try to make the images the exact same height and width and I have pretty much settled on pictures that are either 250 x 188 (which is a factor of the standard dimensions like 1024 x 768 or 1600 x 1200) or I make landscape pictures that are 500 pixels wide (and however tall I crop them).

Having guidelines for picture specifications has streamlined the development of my sites, giving them a somewhat standardized feel -- in the same mold as a catalog or a brochure (which is an apt comparison for most of my web sites).

See some examples below of how different sizes of a similar picture set can not look as good when they are sized the same.

The first row has pictures that are unevenly sized (88 x 125), (125 x 155), and (125 x 125)

The next row shows how I would try to resize unevenly sized and cropped pictures. I normally try to make all of the pictures the same height if that is the case.

Finally, the third row shows how when pictures are set at the same width. You can see how setting pictures at the same height is better than the same width.

 

 

Prefered specifications - height and width the same throughout the table:

Finally, this shows how the images set at the same width and height just come out better. Ultimately, if you compare how the two sets of 9 pictures look, you can see how the bottom grid looks a lot cleaner.
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