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  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Pannin' and scannin'

Doug Kerr

Active member
When "widescreen" motion pictures are prepared for television transmission when a 4:3 format is involved, in most cases a technician views the film and does a "dynamic cropping", moving a 4:3 area to where it makes the best "crop" of the entire image. This process is known as "pan and scan".

I am beginning to feel these days like a pan and scan technician as more and more images are presented here with pixel widths greater than what I had thought were suggested by the "recommended practice" here. My browser invites me to see them by "pan and scan". a horizontal scroll bar coming to life to support that.

While without doubt these images (like all images presented here) deserve a "showing" at relatively-high resolution, there are various disadvantages of presenting them at a pixel dimensions greater than our "recommended practice". For one, often the impact of the entire work is lost. Often, I copy the image and then send it to my image viewer so I can see the whole thing at once, to grasp just what it is.

Then there are the mechanical details. On my browser, when viewing on my display (1680 px wide), for images with really substantial pixel dimensions, the "Quote" button and such on the post "frame" are hidden until I use the scroll bar to move them on-screen.

And of course, the whole thread, including the following comments (at least on the "page" of interest) is afflicted this same way. For example, when "proofing" my comments (using the "Preview post" functionality), I have to use the scroll bar to read the entirety of the various lines.

Yes, it would be lovely if I had a 40 inch wide, 4096 px wide display to see these images in their better glory. But I don't.

Yes, bigger is better, and it's always nice to have four pounds - unless you only have a three-pound bag.

So I wouild suggest that our host refine and restate the "best practice" here regarding the pixel width of displayed images, and then urge that we follow that except, of course, in an extraordinary circumstance. If in fact we have an image of the five hundred members of some graduating class of a university at fairly high resolution, and want the viewer to be able to examine in it the faces of seven later-famous persons (perhaps all highlighted), an extra-wide image, to be "panned and scanned" by the viewer, is probably ideal. But save that for such cases, please.

Best regards,