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August 19, 2007

Getty Center Garden Reeds

Photo of reeds in the Getty Center garden

One of the most frustrating things about posting photos to the Internet is the need to "optimize" the file size so that the images don't take too long to load. And you need to consider that many people are still using dial-up to access the Internet, so if you want people to spend time looking at your photography, you have to basically size the images for the slowest connections. This means converting your files from an uncompressed format, to the standard compressed image file format that we all know as jpeg.

The frustrating thing is that in doing so you lose so much image information that was was a bright and varied palette ends up flat and "dumbed-down" in terms of its color range. Then there's the whole range of monitors out there too, some with millions of color available and well-calibrated, to those that are best suited to rendering text, not colorful images.

This photo of reeds in the garden at the Getty Center in Los Angeles is a case in point. The original photo has a rich palette of color consisting of greens, blues, some red, and yellow. Turn it into a jpeg file and it becomes very gray. It was so bad that for the first time I even spent some time trying to adjust the colors of the jpeg image. Still, its a mere shadow of the original. This photo will print beautifully from the uncompressed file, and will greatly exceed any expectations gained from viewing it online.

Just so that you can get some idea of what the original looks like, I have created a small tiff file of the photo - small for tiff, that is; 400x500p pixels with a mere 75dpi resolution. It's 800kb nonetheless, but if you have the bandwidth or time and would like to see it, here's link to it: photo of Getty Garden Reeds tiff format. You will be prompted to open or download the file so don't be shocked if that happens. Hope you like it.

Canon EOS 20D
18-55mm lens at 35mm
1/15 sec at f/11
ISO 400

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