Large Image Files and Data

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rnabholz
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Large Image Files and Data

#1 Post by rnabholz » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:43 pm

I was hoping I could raise a subject and get everyone's feedback.

I regularly access this site via a smartphone, as I suspect many do, and most times it is when I am on a cellular data connection. As anyone who has one of these devices knows, there is often a ongoing concern about the cost of data and managing your use to your plan's data limits to avoid the high charges that come with overages.

So what does that have to do with the forum you ask? First, I want to emphasize that this is NOT a criticism or attack, it is simply intended to raise the issue for discussion. There have been some recent image postings that have included images of larger than normal size. One had a file attached that was over 2.7mb.

The issue for someone managing data is the impact that this has on their consumption. For someone on a common 2gb per month plan, simply clicking on that thread with the imbedded 2.7mb file used 1/25th of their data for that day. That is a big bite. Goodness forbid there are multiple files of that size attached!

May I suggest that a couple of strategies be considered in order to avoid this issue.

1. Do not imbed those very large images in the thread in a manner that causes them to automatically load. Provide a link that must be clicked to initiate the loading of the large file, and a warning regarding the size. You could also imbed a small version in the thread with a link to the larger. This gives the user the chance to decide if they want to spend the data to see the large file now, or perhaps wait until later and open it when they are on a WiFi or home connection.

2. If for some reason you cannot prevent the automatic loading, please include a warning in the thread title, perhaps we can come up with an agreed upon abbreviation, to indicate a large file is present.

3. Be aware of the file sizes in all your postings. I believe that 72DPI is considered a pretty standard resolution for presentation on the web, anything much more dense is simply wasted data and time. 800x600 72dpi files will typically run 100 to 200kb. That 200k file represents just 1/330th of a 2GB plans daily data allotment. You can surf a lot of threads at that rate.

Posting large files doesn't mean that your images won't be viewed, but more likely that some will wait until they are on a different connection to do so, and I for one will very much appreciate the consideration you showed by permitting me to make the decision.

One final ancillary consideration for those concerned with intellectual property rights - posting those large files that are dense enough to print in high quality is inviting inappropriate and unauthorized use of your hard work.

So what do you all think? Is this a concern for anybody else? Any ideas to share?

Thanks for reading.
Last edited by rnabholz on Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JimT
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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#2 Post by JimT » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:54 pm

I post my images on Photobucket generally at about 1.5 MB and provide the direct link to this site. Don't know if that is causing a problem. If so respond (or PM me) and I will provide smaller files.

Happy to help.

JimT

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rabitt
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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#3 Post by rabitt » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:35 pm

I've been uploading to photobucket with 1024 and 800 images for the most part but will stick with 800x 600.
Is this a problem with youtube videos also?

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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#4 Post by rnabholz » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:04 pm

JimT wrote:I post my images on Photobucket generally at about 1.5 MB and provide the direct link to this site. Don't know if that is causing a problem. If so respond (or PM me) and I will provide smaller files.

Happy to help.

JimT
Hey Jim,

When I am editing files, I generally save two versions. One will be at the maximum size, say the cameras full capture size at 300 dpi density. That is the master. I will then save a version at 800 x 600 or smaller at 72 dpi that will be used for the web. If you were to save a version at 800 x 600 at 300dpi and view both side by side on a video screen, you will not see any difference, but the file sizes will be incredibly different.

CORRECTION - Gekko reminded me that it is not DPI, but only the file size and the "quality" setting when using lossy formats like Jpeg that will affect file size, my apologies.

By way of example, most of my recent diatom photos from the Armand Bayou are around 800x600, 72dpi at 90 quality and less than 100k in size. If there is any deficiency in the presentation, it stems from my abilities in capture, but not the file size.

If you upload these to the forum storage, the reduced file size will usually mean that the cost of running the site is reduced, as most hosting contracts charge for data and or storage. The site will run and load faster because you can load ten small files in the time it takes to load one large file. As long as the presented image is the same, it makes good sense.

Again, I have no issue with posting large files, just suggest it be done in a way that doesn't make the decision to download the large file for an unsuspecting user, but instead seeks permission by way of clicking on a link.

Thanks

Rod
Last edited by rnabholz on Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#5 Post by rnabholz » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:11 pm

rabitt wrote:I've been uploading to photobucket with 1024 and 800 images for the most part but will stick with 800x 600.
Is this a problem with youtube videos also?
You can make the images larger if you would like, use Jpeg or other compressed format, pay attention to the compression settings, and limit it for the best presentation quality/file size balance.

You tube is different. First, I have to click on your link to play the video. Right there you have given me the opportunity to decide to use the data to view the video or not - perfect! Most times I wait until I get to wifi or home to view videos. YouTube also allows the viewer to select the resolution the video is displayed at which also permits conservation of data use.

Thanks

Rod

Edited to correct DPI/compression error.
Last edited by rnabholz on Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#6 Post by gekko » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:46 pm

My 2 cents' worth:

(1) One possibility (may not suit everyone) would be to add the file size after the title, for example:
Diatom [170,000 bytes]. I'll try to do that when I post images if I remember. I'm not sure how to deal with multiple images in the same post; perhaps quote the size of the largest file.

(2) The file size uploaded to the image hosting site is often not the same as the file size posted in the forum (the hosting site can change both the actual image size [pixels] and the jpeg compression (which changes the file byte size but not the image pixel size).
Examples:
- One of my jpeg files of size 800x635 pixels, 206,785 bytes as saved (quality jpeg quality 10), when uploaded to imgur then downloaded or linked to, shows a size of 800x635 pixels but only 179,999 bytes.
- I tried the same thing by downloading JimT's 2nd Verigated vinca minor image, and the size was 1024x682 pixels and 255,290 bytes, which would be the size that loads when one views the image on the forum.

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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#7 Post by hkv » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:21 pm

I see your point. I guess I was responsible for the 2.7 MB file :oops: :oops: It was just a test I did with an unusually long picture. I put all my images on Dropbox and then post a link which automatically download when you open the thread. I put two versions there. One 1024 wide and a second in 2048 wide. The 2048 wide goes to Flickr and the 1024 I post on forums. I find 1024 to be a good balance between resolution and viewing size. Any less, and you loose a *lot* of details in the final image. I even see 2048 as being a border line where you start loosing details. Using a full frame CCD sensor that is. I see that many that post on Flickr post at 2900+ wide. My 1024 wide images I normally post is between 250 kb and 600 kb. That is with the best compression quality enabled.

Personally, I would not like to have to click on every link to see the pictures. That would be a hassle (especially on a mobile device) and I like to get the images served as soon as I click the thread. That leaves two options:

1. Put a waring in the header of a thread that it contains large images.
2. Post a smaller picture, say with a cap of 300 kb and then a link to the bigger file.

None of these can be enforced by the forum but solely rely on users complying to the "rules".
Last edited by hkv on Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#8 Post by rnabholz » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:23 pm

gekko wrote:My 2 cents' worth:

(1) One possibility (may not suit everyone) would be to add the file size after the title, for example:
Diatom [170,000 bytes]. I'll try to do that when I post images if I remember. I'm not sure how to deal with multiple images in the same post; perhaps quote the size of the largest file.

(2) The file size uploaded to the image hosting site is often not the same as the file size posted in the forum (the hosting site can change both the actual image size [pixels] and the jpeg compression (which changes the file byte size but not the image pixel size).
Examples:
- One of my jpeg files of size 800x635 pixels, 206,785 bytes as saved (quality jpeg quality 10), when uploaded to imgur then downloaded or linked to, shows a size of 800x635 pixels but only 179,999 bytes.
- I tried the same thing by downloading JimT's 2nd Verigated vinca minor image, and the size was 1024x682 pixels and 255,290 bytes, which would be the size that loads when one views the image on the forum.

Thanks Gekko.

I would suggest that perhaps we might agree on a file size that should carry a warning, or in the alternate be placed in a thread as a non-autoloading file that one has to click on. I would hate to clutter the forum directories with file size numbers. Maybe a size that will support Jpeg at 1024x768 at 90 quality, I am wide-open to suggestions, and even open to being told that I am all wet!

I think most of the hosting sites will provide a link text that can be pasted into a post.

Would like everyone's thoughts, In the end it would rely on everyone's goodwill to put anything in place, a Gentleman and Gentlewomans's agreement if you will.

Thanks

Rod
Last edited by rnabholz on Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#9 Post by gekko » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:42 pm

For what it's worth, I edited the titles of two of my posts to incorporate the size of the largest file in the post just to show what I meant.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3645&p=32966#p32966
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2445&p=20221#p20221
Of course, once you click on those links you will automatically load the images, but normally you would be looking at the list of posts in Active topics or Pictures and videos (or other section) and you would decide whether to look at the post or not after seeing the file size. I tend to agree with hkv that I think just posting a link to the image such that one needs to click on the link inside the post would be onerous.

I realize now that you didn't like the idea, but I thought I'd post this anyway :) .

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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#10 Post by JimT » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:49 pm

OK -
800 x 600
is my new mantra. I do save all my files both as RAW and the final TIF version but will (try to remember) to use 800X600.

JimT

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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#11 Post by rnabholz » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:39 pm

hkv wrote:I see your point. I guess I was responsible for the 2.7 MB file :oops: :oops: It was just a test I did with an unusually long picture. I put all my images on Dropbox and then post a link which automatically download when you open the thread. I put two versions there. One 1024 wide and a second in 2048 wide. The 2048 wide goes to Flickr and the 1024 I post on forums. I find 1024 to be a good balance between resolution and viewing size. Any less, and you loose a *lot* of details in the final image. I even see 2048 as being a border line where you start loosing details. Using a full frame CCD sensor that is. I see that many that post on Flickr post at 2900+ wide. My 1024 wide images I normally post is between 250 kb and 600 kb. That is with the best compression quality enabled.

Personally, I would not like to have to click on every link to see the pictures. That would be a hassle (especially on a mobile device) and I like to get the images served as soon as I click the thread. That leaves two options:

1. Put a waring in the header of a thread that it contains large images.
2. Post a smaller picture, say with a cap of 300 kb and then a link to the bigger file.

None of these can be enforced by the forum but solely rely on users complying to the "rules".
First - no worries about the large file. (which is gorgeous by the way) you didn't do anything wrong, and I enjoy the experimentation that goes on here on the forum of which that was a part.

1024 as a width is fine. I did a quick test on an image, 1024 wide vs 800 wide at 90 quality setting saved to jpeg yielded an image that was 69kb vs 52kb. 1024 at 95 quality came out at 111kb.

I absolutely agree that I would not want to click a link to every image, but if we are talking about the large file sizes that really should only be required in limited scenarios, a link would be a very nice and considerate gesture.

Also agree that nobody should have badges made saying "File Size Sheriff", but perhaps a sticky post or PM would be helpful.

Thanks for the input, again, just interested in everyone's opinion and thoughts. I can certainly adjust to whatever everyone thinks is appropriate regardless of the decision.

Rod

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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#12 Post by rnabholz » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:44 pm

JimT wrote:OK -
800 x 600
is my new mantra. I do save all my files both as RAW and the final TIF version but will (try to remember) to use 800X600.

JimT
Thanks Jim.

800x600 is my choice, others might do 1024x768 the difference is not huge.

Do you post TIF's? Jpegs would usually yield a smaller file size than the same size TIF and for web display the difference in a TIF and a high quality first generation JPEG would be negligible.

Anyway, I appreciate your willingness to consider the idea.

Thanks

Rod

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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#13 Post by zzffnn » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:52 pm

95% of my forum time is spent on cell phone. So I agree with Rod's suggestions. Especially, auto load small files and separate click for a large file. Thank you.

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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#14 Post by gekko » Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:27 am

OK I get it now. So an image with a file size of, say, x kBytes or less would open as at present, but an image with a larger file size would only be shown as a link. Very reasonable. I think if x = 220 kB, most images would open directly. So perhaps 220 or 250 kB could be the trigger size? Or is that too large? I am guessing there as I don't have a smart cell phone :( .

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Re: Large Image Files and Data

#15 Post by rnabholz » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:00 am

gekko wrote:OK I get it now. So an image with a file size of, say, x kBytes or less would open as at present, but an image with a larger file size would only be shown as a link. Very reasonable. I think if x = 220 kB, most images would open directly. So perhaps 220 or 250 kB could be the trigger size? Or is that too large? I am guessing there as I don't have a smart cell phone :( .
Yes, the clickable links would only be for the very largest files, and you could provide thumbnail of the large file along with the link as a preview.

I do think that 250kb is a reasonable place to start. That gives our 2gb data plan user about 265 image files a day at a full 250kb or 500+ at 125kb. That should go a long ways for most people.

I think that for 95% of the forum traffic that would work. Making folks more aware of the size of the files will I think make it something that is easy to comply with and won't effect the presentation of the images.

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