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Facebook and Pictures

As a photographer, I'm often confronted with a dilema. There are times people want a picture I've taken and I try accommodate. Or they want me to do something with a picture they took and I also want to give them the best possible results.

The problem is many people who are relatively new to the photography industry have no idea what happens to pictures behind the scenes. They happily snap a picture and send it via whatever social media or picture sharing type applicaiton is the current fashion of the day.

Unfortunatley, that often results in a sub-standard or even completely unusable image.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I decided to take a couple of images, transfer them in a couple of different methods, and show you what happens with before and after images.

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Show me the images!

I took pictures of our exchange student and her friend just before a dance. Here is the original image (as a thumbnail, if you click you will be able to see the full image):

I took that same image file, posted it to Facebook, then downloaded it from Facebook. Here is the image as it came back from Facebook:

So... the first image is 3840 x 5760 pixels. The image that came back from Facebook is 640 x 960 pixels.

If you didn't click on the smaller version, you probably can't see any difference in the pictures. But if you crop a bit of the image and zoom in, you can clearly see the image degradation:

On the left is a magnified view of the original image. On the right is the same section of the image that came after downloading the same image from Facebook. If that doesn't disgust you, then click on the thumbnail above and view it full-screen.

What is the take-away from this? If you want to send a picture or receive a picture and look at it, go ahead and use Facebook, look at it, and enjoy it. If you want to print it, edit it, crop it, touch it up, fix the color balance, or do anything at all with it other than look at it on the phone / tablet / computer screen, then don't send it through Facebook.

This article is a WIP - I have more things to add! Coming soon!



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