Web standards change for images

In the old days of CRT Monitors, all images were displayed at 72 dots per inch (dpi /pixels per inch /ppi). With the advent of  Flat Panel monitors the resolution moved to 96 ppi. But with the new screens being manufactured, a new standard is emerging for screens that are capable of displaying 300 ppi.

This has huge implications for photographers.

Online galleries will display smaller and smaller images as people get larger and larger screens. The images will not be a ratio of the screen size, they simply will get smaller, much smaller.

Back to photographers…  I know some photographers that edit their images at 900 x 600 x 96 ppi because they have no intention of printing them and images load and save faster at that size. On a new screen, these will display at approximately matchbox size. Even on the currently most popular 1366 x 768 x 120 ppi screens, these images are no longer powerful – they are almost thumbnails. Of course you can use Browser Zoom and get Fuzzy lumps of images…. hmmmm

Everyone is moving to HR screens, 3D, and beyond. Our TVs are already at 1920 x 1024 x 120  ppi and the huge change is just about to start.

I urge all photographers to edit their images at full size and save them as PSD or TIFF (or any other lossless format). They can then resize down to the (next) new standard which appears to be 1920 x 1200 x 264 ppi on its way to 2,800 x 1,800 x 300 ppi.  (The iPad has already reached 2048 x 1336 x 264 ppi as of 2012)

What can be done?

Some websites are able to store multiple size images and display the right one to fill the gallery space. Most are not that helpful, more will be when they wake up.

In the meantime – start editing Huge and resize to the current standard, being prepared to resize and upload again next year – and again the year after.







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