How Did That Giant Picture Get Here?

by wjw on October 18, 2010

So, I’m new to WordPress, and so is this blog.

Why, in my previous post, did it take a digital photo only four inches long and blow it up to the size of Mississippi?

Any clues out there?

UPDATE: Okay, problem solved.  Thanks to all for offering suggestions.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt October 18, 2010 at 2:59 am

It’s all a plot by the broadband providers to force people to buy premium connection packages.

TJIC October 18, 2010 at 3:02 am

Looking at the HTML,

(a) wordpress is tagging the image, saying “no matter how big this image is, I want it to be stretched or compressed so that it’s exactly 1,024 pixels wide

(b) the image is stored on your server, in fact, exactly 1,024 pixels wide

TJIC October 18, 2010 at 3:05 am

How did the image come into existance? You shot it with a digital camera, connected that to your ( Mac? Linux box? Windows box?) and clicked (import? save?), and then clicked… what?

My suspicion is that somewhere along the line you picked a very big size, and viewed it in a way that scaled it down – maybe you saw it at 33% size on your screen using whatever tool you use.

I use Gimp on Linux, and often have a similar problem – the picture looks like a good size, until I realize that it’s 3,000 pixels across and really zoomed out, and I need to crop it and scale it down to about 450 pixels across (to render well in my blog).

wjw October 18, 2010 at 3:06 am

But you see, I didn’t tell Wordpress to do any of that. It insisted, regardless of my wishes.

And why does Wordpress insist on doing its measurements in pixels? I can deal with centimeters. I can deal with inches. But how wide is a fucking pixel?

wjw October 18, 2010 at 3:11 am

Oh yeah, the original photo was three feet long or something, I used Microsoft Digital Image Whatsit to reduce it to four inches long. (Microsoft Digital Image Whatsit also insisted that the resulting image had to be 860 pixels per square inch in order to do this, who the fuck knows why.)

Then WordPress took over and ignored everything I told it to do.

Matt October 18, 2010 at 3:19 am

Well Microsoft does own quite a bit of fiber around the country, so it probably is an evil plot.

Urban October 18, 2010 at 4:15 am

This causes a lot of confusion on photography discussion forums (and in real life): Pixels per inch is NOT a property an image file really can have in itself, it’s a computed value which basically is there to tell you what image quality you’d get if you printed it in a certain physical size; Images can only have physical sizes after having been output on a device where you can control that property.

I don’t know how Wordpress works and what you can customize, but next time, look at the image you plan on uploading in an separate viewer like Irfanview at 100% before uploading and you’ll get a feel for what the image editing software actually did.

You can use HTML/CSS determine image display sized on the web in other values than pixels, but cm/inches is not a good unit to use. On my blog, I’ve set image max width in relation to the size of the characters, but both that and pixels as a width/height have the drawback that the image file might still be megabytes.

Ken Thomas October 18, 2010 at 10:06 am

OK, so you’re writing a post in WordPress, and above the field where you put the text is an ‘insert image’ button, right? That opens a little pop-up window. You ‘select image’, choose a photo from your hard drive, click upload, all that. Now the pop-up window has field where you can enter a title for the image, a caption for the image, a url if you want the image to link to something else, yadda, yadda.

Down at the bottom of that window are several options. You can choose to have the image display ‘actual size’ (which I think is what you did) or thumbnail, or you can choose a specific size. In pixels. Trust me, for web content pixels are a better parameter for sizes, because we’re all looking at this on different-sized monitors.

Jewel October 19, 2010 at 5:30 am

I sometimes have this problem at Blogger, but I usually fix it in html edit. I get 4 choices, usually, and none of them are the correct size I want, so I always have to put in the height and width myself.

Alice October 22, 2010 at 1:54 am

Here’s a photo of Paris using 26 gigapixels:

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