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Display large images on the web

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Display large images on the web
August 03, 2014 01:42PM
Some work below from my recent week in the Eastern Sierra that included a 6-day backpack out of Onion Valley and a couple days day hiking in Little Lakes Valley. This spring bought a Sony A6000 mirrorless 24mp body and 4 lenses. Later after working through using the new body, multi frame stitching, and focus stacking in PS CS6, bought a Gigapan Epic 100 robotic head. At this point I have got proccesses down in the field and at home processing enough that I will more often bring this digital system out into the backcountry instead of my 4x5 view camera using film as it reduces my camera gear weight by several pounds and has significant advantages. Regardless there are still subjects where only my view camera can capture the best image.

A difficult issue with presenting large images on the public Internet is if an image can be displayed on a monitor it can also be copied and stolen. And one reason that happens is the Internet is so vast users that illegally grab copyrighted material of any media can easily hide in its vast sea and doing anything about it is only within the realm of large organizations with legal resources. If a large image is downsized to monitor size, much of what gives it value is often lost with results often looking boring. Accordingly a decade ago I provided 33% pixel downsized crops for images on my homepage gallery that served some purpose of at least showing what small sections of a large image look like. For instance with this image:





Recently worked on this some more because with wide panoramas the monitor sized images become even more pathetic. The below 3 image files show full downsized images at top with some text information then below three 300 pixel wide vertical slices downsized at 50% pixels. I've managed to process a couple dozen of these large stitched images from that week though not all are fit for public viewing haha.

As an example, the below Box Lake image is 12,000 by 10,600 pixels that if printed at 300 pixels per inch will produce a sharp print of 40 by 35.3 inches. I've standardized these presentations to 1000 pixel image widths since most all pc desktop monitors currently at least display at XGA graphic resolutions over that. And web browsers have followed by increasing the sizes of images they can handle. Beyond 1000 pixels in width is still asking for trouble while maximum vertical image sizes are just a matter of using vertical scroll bars. Because the image is displayed in pseudo mat borders,actual image widths are 952 pixels. Below the text are three long 300 pixel wide vertical slices downsized at 50% pixels. So in this example the 10,600 pixel full vertical image is reduced to 5,300 pixels as a source for the slices. Average pc monitors have a dot pitch of about 100 RGB pixels per inch so that is a 5300/100= 53 inches of monitor display. With a HD sized display, about 4 display screens. A professional print that displays more densely at 300 ppi, will of course look even sharper. The green arrows below the image at top, point to locations of the slices.



Notice how the slices show all the trout surface feeding that are lost in the severely downsized image at top. And how much more there is to all the foreground wildflowers at the lake edge and up the near slope?

Of course stitching together images can be performed manually on a tripod with a panoramic head instead of using a robotic head and that is in fact how I proved the function to myself. Easily done when just stitching a few images in a single row or single column. But with multi columns and rows it is increasingly complicated. If a single frame within a set of stitching images has an issue, for instance not having all elements in focus or not covering the proper area, then the whole set becomes unusable. Thus a robotic head at least reduces that part of the difficulty. Most significant subject limitations are images with moving elements like clouds and water and elements within each frame that are at different focus distances. A single out of sharp focus element in a single frame can cause a whole set of images to be unusable. For landscape work that is the key difficulty. Subjects all in the background are easy because one can use infinity focus with open apertures where lenses are sharpest. With typical landscapes having foregrounds, middle grounds, and backgrounds, focus on each frame needs to be manually changed and multiple captures may be necessary that can later be focus stack blended. Intimate subjects can also work like this shot of columbine against a rock wall:



This is an example of a large stitch of some famous peaks that could be printed sharp at an 80 inch width. Below are links to three horizontal sections I cropped just for the ridge skyline that provides some idea of the enormous amount of detail. Had to break the pic up into 3 sections so my Yahoo business site would not choke loading. Note at 80 inches @300 ppi that is about 3*80= 240 display inches for a usual desktop monitor. So in three sections each of the images are about 80 inches of monitor horizontal scrolling.



left section 3.4mb
http://www.davidsenesac.com/Gallery_C/MT03919-03944-ridgeL.jpg

center section 4.1mb
http://www.davidsenesac.com/Gallery_C/MT03919-03944-ridgeC.jpg

right section 2.8mb
http://www.davidsenesac.com/Gallery_C/MT03919-03944-ridgeR.jpg

http://www.davidsenesac.com



http://www.davidsenesac.com



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2014 01:57PM by DavidSenesac.
Re: Display large images on the web
August 04, 2014 08:54AM
Interesting topic. I cannot say that I've ever worried about my photos getting ripped off on the web, but certainly, I dwell on the issue of losing detail when resizing every time I'm processing a photo. Awesome work David.
fco
Re: Display large images on the web
August 04, 2014 01:31PM
Fantastic pictures. Thanks for posting. I will get my husband to translate writing down to the level of a non picture taker for me.
avatar Re: Display large images on the web
August 04, 2014 05:39PM
The solution is pretty simple, straightforward and time honored: display your photos as prints of the appropriate size for each photo in an art gallery (or some other business willing to hang your prints). You might even want to donate some of your prints to your local library or other public government building like your local community center where they could be viewed by the public at large.

Today — more than ever before — it's possible to produce prints of giant sizes of the quality that would do your photos justice. Trying to display them online is just a waste of time and effort, IMHO.

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Re: Display large images on the web
August 04, 2014 09:17PM
Quote
plawrence
The solution is pretty simple, straightforward and time honored: display your photos as prints of the appropriate size for each photo in an art gallery (or some other business willing to hang your prints). You might even want to donate some of your prints to your local library or other public government building like your local community center where they could be viewed by the public at large. Today — more than ever before — it's possible to produce prints of giant sizes of the quality that would do your photos justice. Trying to display them online is just a waste of time and effort, IMHO..

Peter I quite agree that large prints exhibited in public, whether in a gallery, museum, art fair, commercial and public buildings, is the best way to show prints. However that audience is almost always small and likely local thus limited. I have dozens of dozens of large Lightjet prints. You seem to be unaware of my background as an old photographer. Please refer to my site's Style & Philosophy & page and Bio page.

Commercial photographers don't display large valuable images online unless they are at some site like Getty Images where they have the legal power to squash any illegal users. A puny 2 megapixel camera is just as capable of filling a desktop pc monitor screen with a reasonably sharp 1000 pixel wide image as an 8x10 large format scanned image. So the goal is not to display full large images on the web but rather to present them in limited circumstances in ways that differentiate them from the vast numbers of small images thus give an audience an idea of how much detail an image really has. With large images fine detail across the whole frame is a key part of what gives value to an image. My strategy on this thread is a presentation able to show that detail while not providing enough of an image to make it of any commercial interest. Some professional photographers watermark their images and others just print some large text atop an image while the vast majority just display a small image and hope their clients trust that the large images their sites say they will provide can delivery the goods. I think my idea of narrow slices is another reasonable strategy though can understand how it may have little interest to some in the public and that is of course fine..

On the near horizon are multiple monitor video wall systems which my images and large body of large format work is going to be able to take advantage of without making prints. The newest technology wonder, 4k HD monitors, are already coming down in price and commercial engineering designs are going to be putting those together in 2x2, 3x2, and 3x3 panels with the above kind of images capable of making use of all those pixels.



http://www.davidsenesac.com



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2014 09:21PM by DavidSenesac.
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