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Image quality vs loading speed

Progress made:

  • Second photogallery edited and ready to go ("Pandora dreams of spanking", my introductory photoset)
  • Cut the two hard b/g photosets I shot with D, and sent my selections to the photographer Tricia so she can sort me out with high res copies (after which my editing begins!)
  • Free gallery template upgraded with the shadowbox gallery interface.

The latter is pretty shiny. It also apparently supports streaming .wmv and quicktime video, although I haven't tested this yet.

The only problem with it is that each image, in my browser, is pretty slow to load, and the script generates a "loading" graphic each time which makes the whole thing feel unwieldy to browse. I wondered if the shadowbox code was slowing  page load down, so for comparison I swapped the gallery script to Lightbox2 instead, but the loading speeds were pretty comparable. At around 300kb a piece my photos are quite chunky. That's 800x1200px jpgs, 72dpi, jpeg compression set to around 8/10, so relatively high quality. I think that's a good download size, but I'm wondering if I could have smaller or more compressed versions for the web gallery.

When viewing photosets online, do you prefer to download a zip and view them using your desktop file browser? Or would you rather view the whole gallery in a browser, perhaps only downloading the images that catch your eye?

If the latter, there's clearly a trade to be made between image size/quality and page loading speeds, and I'm not sure where most viewers would draw the line.

Comments

Since you ask questions, I'll answer... With photo galleries I prefer to view them online in my browser.

If I have to download a zip-file to just view the gallery, I won't view it.

But I do not download too many pictures to safe them either. I guess for someone who collects pictures it would be preferable to download all together in a zip instead off download every pic on its own.

Thanks

Cheers, that's really useful data. I'm thinking of using a lightbox gallery similar to the one you can see on the homepage, for ease of clicking through the images. Does that sort of interface suit you? And what size image do you like to see - do you want higher resolution images, or smaller ones for faster loading times?

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