Best workflow for posting images here?

kallisti

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 22, 2003
1,533
4,958
For years I've noticed that my images posted here (for example in the POTD thread) are significantly degraded in IQ compared to the JPEGs I see on my screen. I've always chocked it up to the nature of the beast--small files posted on the internet can't be expected to look as good as the actual files.

My usual workflow for images I post here consists of exporting largish JPEG files from LR to my desktop and then uploading the files to flickr. From there I create a link to my posts here.

Flickr uses whatever algorithm it uses to compress the files from say ~7k x 5k pixels to a "suitable" resolution for the web. In the process lots of stuff gets thrown out. Again I have always just accepted this as normal, trusting that starting with a larger file for flickr would mean that the algorithm would necessarily create the "best" version of a file for showing on the web.

I'm wondering if this is actually the case. Might it be better to export the file from LR at a lower resolution in the hopes that flickr (or Facebook or whatever) then does less processing on the image? Better to export the image at a resolution that won't require as much processing by flickr? Or does the processing happen regardless and starting out with a larger file with more information is better than starting with a smaller file?

Have never thought to test this, though I will below.

First example:

Moon shot that was heavily cropped and then increased in resolution using Gigapixel AI prior to export from LR.

Image #1:

Exported from LR as a JPEG with a file size of 7 MB and pixel dimensions of 6496 x 6496

Image #2:

Exported from LR as a JPEG with a file size of 524 KB and pixel dimensions of 1400 x 1400

Second example:

Only a minor crop on the original image.

Image #3

Exported from LR as a JPEG with a file size of 10.6 MB and pixel dimensions of 7396 x 4931

Image #4

Exported from LR as a JPEG with a file size of 918 KB and pixel dimensions of 1400 x 933

For printing, the larger files can obviously become important (depending on how big I want to print). But for posting the images on the web, is one workflow better than another? Are there other tricks I'm missing that would optimize IQ for images posted here (or elsewhere on the web)? What is the best way to process images and/or set export options in LR for images to be viewed on the web?

I should add that one of the reasons I export as large JPEGs is that it serves as another level of backup for my images. They are processed JPEGs so can't be edited later to the degree the RAW files could, but they are large enough to give me options in printing should all of the backups of my LR library simultaneously "poof".
 
Last edited:

someoldguy

macrumors 68000
Aug 2, 2009
1,883
5,048
usa
I've always just taken the image (jpeg after processing)I want to post , duplicate it and downsize it to 1024x768 or thereabouts . Then save it under a new name , and post it. But , you're right , the posted images never look as good as the big ones on my screen.
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68000
Sep 26, 2017
1,983
6,417
Tanagra
I always resize my shots here to be under 2MB. If nothing else, I find that to be helpful for mobile browsers—really speeds up the load times on iPads and such.

I have also noticed a few shots seem to lose some quality when posting them. Must be something in the forum’s formatting that is scaling the image to fit properly?
 

stillcrazyman

macrumors 68020
Oct 10, 2014
2,439
16,870
In Exile
I host my full resolution jpegs on SmugMug and post a link from there. Sometimes I will upload a full jpeg directly to these forums and they post without too much compression. Image quality reduction doesn't always manifest, but some sites are worse than others.
 

mollyc

macrumors 68020
Aug 18, 2016
2,129
9,838
I have a preset I use from LR to save all web files and then just upload them through forum software. I don't link, although I suspect that could likely offer a higher resolution.

When I do run into the occasional forum that is unable to host photos and I do have to link them, I still post them from my site at a web-resolution size.

I do agree that linking the full res images from Flickr or SmugMug or where ever take a long time to DL properly sometimes, even when I am sitting at my ethernet connected iMac.
 

SkiHound2

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2018
164
111
I've read the dpi should be set at 72. For FB I usually use 2048 on the long edge, dpi = 72, quality = 90, and set sharpen from screen to normal. Something SmugMug, which I view as a different animal that can serve as a repository of full size jpegs.
 

tizeye

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2013
671
4,222
Orlando, FL
I do twin exports in Lightroom. The first to a full size subfolder and the other to a downsized subfolder. If not changing the camera file name, the subfolders will be labeled "Full size" and "whatever pixel" and if altering the file name, full size is just the file name and the other is "file name - 2000px (or whatever)"

Started doing that when delivering photos to Realtors and MLS put a 1500px limit where full size is great for printed brochures. Personally, 1500-2500px is best for web display fast loading and typically will downsize mine to 2500px...which appears to work well here.