Recent Facebook Changes Are Bad For Professional Photographers

- - Social Media

Facebook announced and new photo viewer that they’re rolling out for all their users in the next couple weeks that allows you to upload 2048 pixel wide images to your page. That’s an 8 time increase over the old 720 pixel limit and seems like a boon to professional photographers who use FB to connect with their clients. The viewer also provides a nice way to page through an album of images.

facebookhigherres

Inexplicably they’ve decided to include a link on all the images that allows users to download the high res image. This seems like it would be something you could turn off as I could not imagine a professional photographer wanting to allow viewers the ability to download the images but there’s no setting in the privacy controls.

National Geographic

If that’s not bad enough one of my readers (Marco Aurelio) alerted me to a change to the business pages (here) that now prevents you from placing links, photos, albums and video albums on the front of any Facebook page. Additionally the header images, now front and center, are chosen at random.

Let’s hope there’s enough protest to these changes that Facebook remedies the situation. They’ve done that in the past so I hope everyone makes a big stink about it.

UPDATE: My readers have pointed out that you don’t actually have to upload high res images to Facebook so really it’s not a big deal if you know what you’re doing.

There Are 93 Comments On This Article.

  1. Do they force you to upload higher res images? If not, what’s the problem? Or am I missing something here?
    And no, I don’t send pictures to my clients via facebook. Who does that anyways?

    • @en, EXACTLY! So many of us act as if facebook or twitter or other social media sites are the only essential options to connecting with clients/public. Sure, a protest is cool, but if you don’t like what they’re doing, just don’t use it in a way that might threaten your business practices. I only see facebook as another networking and marketing tool. Nothing more.

    • @en,

      Agreed. I export at 720px width and watermark anything worth watermarking. No way to turn off the download photo for those either but since this is the displayed resolution it doesn’t concern me (whats to prevent someone from taking a screen capture).

    • @en, yeah, I’m not really understanding the problem either. if your photos are 72 DPI and small anyway… who the hell cares if somebody downloads them using a button… in Facebook’s current form, you can already download an image simply by dragging and dropping an image off the browser on to your desktop.

      essentially, by putting any photo online… ANYBODY can steal it using screen capture; off your website (flash or not), off PDF portfolios, etc. you cannot protect digital images from thievery… so i really don’t understand why people are up in arms, you’ve already exposed your images to whatever it is you would be protesting.

    • @en, You’re right. I never post anything over 600px on the longest edge by 72dpi (and highly optimized in photoshop to about 100k) with a copyright notice on Facebook, Flickr or any such place. I figure I’m willing to freely “license” an image of that size and quality to the internet at large. Anybody uploading larger images (especially hi res) is looking to be ripped off.

  2. The changes aren’t as bad as they seem.

    Sure, someone can download an image – but why couldn’t they just take a screenshot? It’s a bad idea to have anything over 72dpi out there in the wild so the same would hold true for uploading to FB. And hosting a comprehensive portfolio on FB seems just as bad as doing the same on Flickr, so you’d really only put a few things there to have a presence. Besides, APF now has a service for creating a custom pdf – it lets people download in larger volumes. No complaints there ;)

    Re: the changes to business pages, you just have to create a landing page for non-fans. There are so many ways to customize the pages now – and the tabs now support iframes – that you can easily put anything up there including photos, videos, links, whatever. For example – I’ve been seeing a lot of ads for this guy lately: http://www.facebook.com/yrtonygranger When you end up on that page, the photos are front and center and they redirect to the Y+R site. For photographers it is easy enough to do something similar so that you can create an impactful first impression to people who find you there.

    • @Mason, totally agree. The changes are not forcing anyone to upload hi-res content and a download link, while maybe inviting web neophytes to download an image, doesn’t provide a function that hasn’t always been available.

      You can do so much more with the landing page than the fb-framed brochure page you posted. The landing tabs allow just about anything your imagination can come up with. It’s a great opportunity for photographers with some programming skills and creativity. For example:

      http://www.facebook.com/markmeyerphotography?sk=app_206982161953

  3. Agree! We need to be able to turn this off if we so choose.

    Does anyone have any ideas about the best, most effective, way to protest this?

    On Saturday I created a jpeg image, with just text, which I posted to my FB ‘wall’. The text was:

    ATT: FACEBOOK – I do NOT want anyone to download any of MY images without MY permission!! Make “download high resolution” a privacy option! I give permission for THIS image to be downloaded. Feel free to share this.

    More than 30 people ‘liked’ or wrote approving comments. Many ‘shared’ the image. That is not enough to get FB’s attention, however. So – what can we do next?

    Thanks,

    Susan

  4. It is tough to stay away from FB especially with the potential to have so many followers and fans. For now I am staying away from a FB fan page until FB can actually not strip all my meta data, allow full res downloads, and when someone takes an image for a profile pic…bring it back to my site.

    I will stick with what I am doing…using my blog and website to maximize their potential where I have full control and can respect my image rights.

  5. You’re using Facebook wrong. You might as well gripe about your bicycle not being able to get you 10 miles in 10 minutes or complain that you can’t accurately converse with your clients via Twitter’s 140 character limit.

    I hate stupid posts like this.

  6. Juan Carlos Farias

    My problem with it is that we now have to replace the photos we uploaded at the lower resolution. There is no way of doing that without losing “likes” and comments already on them.

    Photos should be big, immersive, almost tangible. If we are worried about people stealing our images we must, 1 share less of them in Fb, and 2, add a discrete watermark.

    Btw, FMBL is going away in March, replaced by iFrames, so I would hold off making drastic changes right now.

  7. Just dont upload a high res image. Save it web quality before you post it and dont check the check box that reads “high resolution”.

  8. 1.) Nobody is forced to upload full-res images
    2.) If you see an image in your browser, everybody can download it. That’s the web, it’s accessible via an URL. The download link makes it easier, but changes nothing on the “problem”. If you don’t want downloads of your image, hang it onto your wall at home…

  9. Hmmmmm, I upload only 72 dpi 900×600 pixel images and my mom was stil able to download one and send me a birthday card with it, and it looked good!

    I do my best to keep people from using my images without my permission, and before it wasn’t an issue, but now I have to go through all my albums and either remove them or add extra protection like a watermark, which is sad because I wanted to share my pics of my new puppies with all my friends.

  10. I know that Facebook is a good way to reach the masses, but an informal one at that.
    I don’t think it would be very prudent to conduct major business with clients through it, therefore I don’t see necessary the sharing of huge files for client use via facebook.
    I believe photographers today are savvy enough to know how to size down their pictures and only upload what they think is necessary for advertising purposes.
    As always, is up to everybody, to determine how much of themselves they expose to the world.

  11. two thoughts.

    1) it’s time to watermark photos.

    2) people could always steal images on facebook using image capture. the new system just makes it a bit easier to do that…

  12. Unfortunately this has been the case, high res download option, for months. Old news really and I and others have complained to FB about it. Would be nice to turn this option off.

    Having said that, I’ve never uploaded to a third party site anything over 72dpi and 900. People can and will screen cap and more images anyway so watermark if you feel the need and push for the changes you would like. This is a good business practice no matter what the site.

  13. I don’t understand half the comments above, nor the referals to DPI etc..

    Pro’s should realise DPI means nothing until printing (.e.900×600 as above gives a 3″ x 2″ 300 DPI image no matter what you up load it as)…

    Any image can be downloaded or grabbed at a least screen resolution.

    You need to connect with potential clients, so get over it, learn the limitations and then work with them.

    • @Julie Edwards,

      Uh this is a huge pet peeve of mine. I hate when people say “I need a 300 dpi file” as if that means it’s high res… 1″x1″ @ 300 dpi is NOT high res!

      • @Jeff Singer, Agree! My friend enters contests, and will come across a few that ask for 300 dpi files at huge dimensions. It becomes clear they do not know what they are doing. Most of the contests ask for the standard 72 dpi, though.

  14. Please explain to me why ANYONE was uploading high-res image to FB in the first place? No one does anything web-res these days? Plus the landing page is not gone… you just create an FBML page and set it as the default landing tab for first time viewers. They can interact there and then on to the wall. Really the changes are not bad at all. I’ve used and will continue to use FB to success.

  15. Like it’s been said before, this article should not have been titled “facebook is bad” but “learn how to use facebook”.

    You’re a photographer, you probably use photoshop, so go edit the size of your image to some decent size (like 800 or 900 pixels wide) save for the web and then upload in your albums… tadaaaaa.

  16. I NEVER upload anything not low-res to FB, and each image contains my URL watermark, so for some clients, I see them spreading low-res images with my URL on them as self-promotion….

    The bigger issue for me is FB making it harder to self-promote using links,etc…. but there are often ways around this….

  17. @Rob – I can’t see why a photographer would actually ever want to upload hi-res images in the first place, since they can trim, resize and watermark at will. The feature seems aimed at the general public who can’t resize and thus upload snapshots directly from their camera or computer.

    As for the claim that “the header images, now front and center, are chosen at random”, that’s not quite true. Facebook’s documentation is poor, to be sure, but the way to select which images show in the Photostrip is to go to your Photo Albums and tag your selected images with your FB page. It then shows the 5 most recently tagged images in the Photostrip, although it does shuffle the order.

    Even so, adding the option to the Photo App to disable download would be an excellent idea. And maintaining image metadata is essential.

    Also, for FB users using a personal profile, there’s a lot of granularity in the privacy settings for photo albums; you can restrict access to a specific list of friends, and even add or exclude individual friends one by one.

  18. photographers in the 90′s – why would i put my images on the internet. people will only steal them. useless for connecting with clients.

    photographer in the 00′s – why would i blog, bloggers only write about what they had for breakfast. useless for connecting with clients.

    photographers in the 10′s – why would i put my images on facebook. people will only steal them and all anyone does on fb is talk about what they ate for breakfast. useless for connecting with clients.

    • @A Photo Editor, Love it Rob! What a great statement about the human condition and how people complain about change.

      What would people do if you took away the web, TV and cell phones?

    • @A Photo Editor,

      10′s – why would i assume this business produces a ROI. useless for making a living even if connecting with clients.

  19. Cliff Cheney

    Wouldn’t the rights grab in the FB terms of service make it ill-advised for a pro to post any images to the site even with these changes?

  20. Too much emotion running around. IF you are using common sense you should know by now that putting any of your work on the web for others to see presents risk. However if you do your homework correctly you would know that like mentioned here numerous times that an upload at 72dpi is sufficient for the web. Since the sizes of screens are getting bigger,13-20 inches a long side of 900 to 1000 is sufficient anything bigger will make a viewer scroll and typically is a turn off. Water marking is good if it is indelible, that is that it is done in a way where it can’t be cloned out by someone with some mediocre shop skills.

    So it is best when putting images on the web to have this in mind, don’t! put images on it that are very important to you unless it is on your own site where you have the proper controls versus the loss of rights on a social network site.

    So don’t get mad at FB just be smart and put in the effort to do what is best for you. I too don’t like the changes. I wish they were a bit more upfront.

  21. “Additionally the header images, now front and center, are chosen at random.”

    I’m not certain about the accuracy of this statement. On personal profile pages you CAN choose what photos show up in the header as well as their order relative to each other. I don’t know about business pages but it’s worth verifying this with more than one individual before including the statement in your article.

  22. I understand where some of us are coming from with the philosophy of ‘Duh, people could already do screen capture, etc… and if you don’t want your images stolen, don’t put them on line,’ but there is a key difference in an individual user, who may or may not hesitate over the ethical implications of taking an image without permission, and a large company endorsement of downloading said image. We, as photographic professionals, should be doing everything that we can to influence the future of our industry in a positive way, instead of just accepting whatever decisions that are made for us as a cost of doing business. Everyone talks a lot about the importance of education in the industry, educate new photographers, educate clients, etc… and accepting an issue like the subject at hand only serves in the long term, to educate the public that taking an image is absolutely the norm, and should be done without hesitation. Whether, to you, facebook is irrelevant or you just gotta have it, let’s work to affect positive change and influence the future of general perception.

    • @Kitfox,

      Great post! Well said.

      FB is rolling out the red carpet and actively encouraging people to download images from the web — legitimizing/sanctioning their doing so.

  23. With Facebook social plugins on your blog to connect to your Facebook page ‘like’. Facebook does provide a pretty convenient hub for connecting your Website and other networking tools.

    Facebook is now I think an essential, (though sometimes painful) part of getting your work out there. Especially if you don’t google well…

    Of course if you don’t want someone sealing your pictures just don’t put them up there! Because ultimately that can’t be stopped.

    I am noticing a trend (though not new) of some top of line fashion and advertising photographers supplying a light table for shots you like so you can download them.

    The future as with everything on, ON the Internet is free!

  24. My two cents on this:

    - Don’t upload any high quality images to Facebook and always brand everything you upload with a watermark of your logo.

    - As a rule of thumb try to use Facebook to drive traffic back to your website. Where you own your content and call the shots.

  25. What? FB made these changes automatically without allowing us to opt out or to turn the feature off. We shouldn’t be surprised.

    I’d be more interested in seeing a post about how pro commercial photographers are making use of FB to connect with editorial and advertising clients. Are art buyers and art directors making use of FB for finding talent? There are PLENTY of posts about photogs finding wedding, baby, and family portrait clients, but what about for finding commercial clients?

    Rob – maybe this could be something to investigate for a future post.

    Thanks,
    Jay

  26. The real issue isn’t what anyone on this blog posts to MyTwitFace.

    By having hi-res images by the millions it just means you are needed less.
    Many will use images from this and other sites for PowerPoint shows at
    conferences you’ll never know about. They’ll be Hi-Res screen savers you
    never see. Prints on desks you never know about. All these are revenues
    you forfeit.

    The NatGeo site mentioned above allows the photographer and requires the
    photographer to maintain the copyright while simultaneously granting Nat Geo
    editorial, usage and your basic copyright to them. Think about how much $$
    they save from their old model to this model. They can build and create an
    image based website for perpetuity with no image cost if they want using all
    those donated images to MyPhoto.

    Your site should be your best work you can afford to lose not all your work.
    Your site should be for building a network of private clients that you fight
    to maintain. The relationship you have with the client is what keeps you
    going.

    Build a website like Rob and a template site builder then hope you can have
    that pay the bills for as long as you can. I’ve been a photographer for over
    30 years. I also own patents I develop as a creative alternative. Mail money
    from stock revenue dropped a long time ago when I didn’t submit into the
    new contracts of post mid ’90s. In this world you work full time doing photography
    and then equally as hard in what used to be considered spare time, you time,
    friends and family time.

    • @KSW,

      BINGO!

      “Your site should be your best work you can afford to lose not all your work.
      Your site should be for building a network of private clients that you fight
      to maintain. The relationship you have with the client is what keeps you
      going.”

  27. I just went through the comments and one thing is clear.
    Don’t put hi-res images on FB..Thank you all.
    Apologies to thoses I left out. Jeeeezzzz.

    How about video. Oh crap, another can of worms. :))))

    Do they force you to upload higher res images?

    Agreed. I export at 720px width and watermark anything worth watermarking.

    @en, yeah, I’m not really understanding the problem either. if your photos are 72 DPI and small anyway…

    It’s a bad idea to have anything over 72dpi

    I also post low-rez images with a frame and my contact information.

    you are a fucking moron. (Just cause that’s funny)

    Just dont upload a high res image. Save it web quality before you post it and dont check the check box that reads “high resolution”.

    1.) Nobody is forced to upload full-res images

    Hmmmmm, I upload only 72 dpi 900×600 pixel images…

    Having said that, I’ve never uploaded to a third party site anything over 72dpi and 900.

    Pro’s should realise DPI means nothing until printing (.e.900×600 as above gives a 3″ x 2″ 300 DPI image no matter what you up load it as)…

    Please explain to me why ANYONE was uploading high-res image to FB in the first place?

    …so go edit the size of your image to some decent size (like 800 or 900 pixels wide) save for the web and then upload in your albums… tadaaaaa.

    I NEVER upload anything not low-res to FB

    @Rob – I can’t see why a photographer would actually ever want to upload hi-res images in the first place…

    IF you are using common sense you should know by now that putting any of your work on the web for others to see presents risk. However if you do your homework correctly you would know that like mentioned here numerous times that an upload at 72dpi is sufficient for the web.

    FB is the death of us all. (Just because…)

    a tempest in a tea pot me thinks – dont upload high res images …… duh…..

    My two cents on this:
    - Don’t upload any high quality images to Facebook and always brand everything you upload with a watermark of your logo.

    • @Paul O’Mara,

      Let me share something with you regarding your quote.

      “Pro’s should realise DPI means nothing until printing (.e.900×600 as above gives a 3″ x 2″ 300 DPI image no matter what you up load it as)…”

      The digital world doesn’t care about printing it cares about
      screen space. That is a big image on a screen.

      Now for the bigger picture. Baidu the Chinese search engine
      was the second search engine to scroll my site. The web is
      global. How many foreign websites can you or anyone search
      for a screen grab? None? You embedded a digital watermark?
      So what it’s invisible and the screen grab makes it non-existant.

      The best images are being harvested and used. It’s just
      what happens. No OS maker or web maker is disabling
      keystrokes to stop illegal seizure of web content which is
      easily doable in all kinds of ways. Why not? Money. Why
      don’t people care that good “researchers” can use your email
      and get all your personal data including Social Security?
      They don’t want to be left out. Why are people making
      money off your personal data, because people don’t care
      enough to be left out. Why was recent law passed that
      considers all information including images on public websites
      not protected by copyright except that which is granted to
      the owner of the site? Money, for the conglomerates.

      Hopefully that has made you think about DPI in image
      resolution. Again only post it if you can afford to give it
      away because that’s what you’re doing.

        • @Paul,

          @Paul,

          Your welcome.

          Screen Image size was the point of my post.

          I have a perspective from both the photographers view as well
          as business. I’m related to media owners, know major players
          in business, helped launch E Schwab.

          The fact that FB changed their user interface is to be expected
          if you’ve watched the history of these type of sites since the
          internet has gone public. I’ve had email long before that.

          Next up is Apple who’s changing to a subscription model
          for iPad news/media with iTunes as the hub. The previously
          free Apple Downloads site is now the for fee Apple Apps Store.
          A phrase in business is “Built to Bill”. That’s what all these
          sites are. CEO’s aren’t on CNBC touting they don’t have a
          revenue problem because they can increase the subscription
          base, for nothing. Only when consumers revolt do they then
          pull back and change their behavior/business model.

  28. KSW

    I think you missed my point. Everything below
    “Oh crap, another can of worms. :))))” are quotes lifted from the
    comments on this post. So much for making a point…

    • @Paul O’Mara, yes, some of us got your point, pounded in like a friggin’ nail. A wasted use of space, when you feel you must regurgitate what others said, hoping to be funny.

      • @Paul, Thank you. No, I’m not just being funny Paul. I”m only interested in moving productive conversation along. Although a bit of humor doesn’t hurt to take the edge off.

        We signed up for FB. FB didn’t force us to participate. FB created a platform that is appealing to us (photographers). We signed up, most likely without reading the fine-print– the potential FB offers is too great to resist, right.?

        It’s one thing to see a problem with the way FB does business and just bitch about their rules, but FB offers a way to correct what the masses think is wrong! Set up a FB page to get management’s attention, just like what’s been done http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_179652465410050

        Hell FB is free!

        Enough….

        • @Paul O’Mara, yes I agree with your current points, Paul. Sorry for my hard ass comment before. Bad day. Thanks for keeping this civil.

  29. It’s up to the individual photographer whether in their particular market there is anything gained from a full FB presence, or maybe just a simple page, or not play at all. Are your clients on FB? Is talent your work with on FB? I’m not sure that there is a one-size fits all answer.

    But if you like to have a FB presence yet have concerns about uploading your images (in whatever res), one tried and true solution is to put the image on your own website or blog, then post a link to it on FB. When you post a link you can select one of the linked pages images as a thumbnail. That image is embedded dynamically anytime that link is displayed, so you never actually gave the image to FB legally, it never resides on their servers, and they have no control over it. Nor do any of their ever occurring UI changes affect it. It’s not as pretty as uploading the image to FB, but it’s a viable trade-off. It also resolves any concerns you may have about the terms of use and what FB is allowed to do with images you upload to their servers.

  30. 1.low res vs high res
    why do people have a strong desire to get nasty over such a simple, inconsequential thingy, a 9 year old can fix? Chill out!

    72dpi and 600 pixels on the long side, and “save for web” at 54-63%, make sure to add .2 unsharp mask, and add about 27 vibrance, and voila. it’s a file between 50-90kb that can never be converted to anything threatening. NOW… add a copyright sign (because social networks own your images, whether you like it or not… read the fine print), and your website as watermark, and hide it in the center of the pic vertical side up and no one will get near your images and on top of it they will get an everpresent link to your main site. i have a photoshop action for these simple tasks that knock out as many images as i want in 10 seconds, and they go up to all my social network sites and my bloggie.

    end of story. Geez!

    That is the least of our problems.

    here’s the big to do.

    2. With new changes, Facebook Business Page IS NO LONGER RELEVANT AS A BUSINESS PLATFORM. It simply kills all traffic to my websites.

    Before changes took place, right smack on the front page of personal and business page, I had:

    a. links to my website, my blog, twitter, linkedin, vimeo account, facebook pages, etc, etc, etc. Meaning I’d upload my latest job, drive the more than 2700 people who like my work to my facebook page, and a lot of them would then click on the several links I had on my front page. Result? My google analytics was showing me that over 80% of my traffic to my sites was coming from my facebookbusiness page. Result? I got jobs that way. Many jobs in my local market, in Medellin, Colombia of all places.

    b. On my front page, I could chose to display specific photo and video albums to again catch the attention of my 2700 fans and growing at 10 – 20 per week and get them to sample my work and then hook them to come to my websites.

    These are huge HUGE traffic rainmakers for my site, which are now dead in the water because I can no longer place links, phot and video albulms, and instead have some random, very-annoying bot choose what images are displayed on my header.

    I speculate that FAcebook wants to drive BUSINESS to their ad campaigns, and only to their ad campaigns, and in doing so, restrict my business platform very much the same way AOL tried to keep everyone accessing the web in AOL’s world, or very much the same way Microsoft tried, and failed, to have I.E. be the only browser on the planet. They want my business platform limited to the FACEBOOK world and nothing else.

    ASPIRING PROGRAMMERS… a social network that allows me to show links to my websites, platforms for samples of my work (photos, video, multimedia), and allows me to add friends and colleagues and potential clients, and allows me to dictate the presentation of my work on the front page as I please is what not just photographers like me, but millions of other business NEED BIG TIME.

    For every giant collosus like FACEBOOk there are hundreds of kids building the next big thing in the college dorms.

    So get to work, buds. We are ready for the right interpretation of the social network as open source business model and platform.

    The future belongs to those who adapt and change, those who build the platforms that are most needed, so the future is now.

  31. New FB group: No more “Download Photo”

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/No-more-Download-photo/164740860241426?ref=mf

    Joe Whittle, who started this group wrote:

    This is the text I just included in a complaint to the Facebook administrators about the “Download this photo” button now included with ALL of your photos. I suggest all of my professional photographer friends do the same. Facebook photos s…hould not be right clickable or have this option.

    “My professional photography images are my intellectual property and are subject to my complete and total control in their usage via U.S. copyright law. By including a “download this photo” option with all photos published in Facebook albums, Facebook and it’s owners/operators are not only facilitating copyright infringement but encouraging it by including an option for people not in ownership of specific ntellectual property files and data to gain control over it’s usage. In this way Facebook aids and abets the violation of federal United States copyright law. I am hereby announcing my intention to sue Facebook for violation of U.S. copyright law if it does not cease and desist facilitating the theft of my intellectual property, both for monetary damages in the case of registered materials, and for desistance.”

  32. Guys … FB sucks anyway I have it, but only for FUN, never would conduct a conversation with a client over it. Prospects maybe, but just to say that i want to send them something by EMAIL or to call them over the phone to plan something. If and when I need to send files, I just use my FTP or a file tranfer anyway
    So what FB is tryinh to do is just to collect high resolution images to compete with flirck and one day be able to get some money out of it too.
    Until then only morons will keep posting 2048 images there, and NOT professionals
    Anyway I’m on to protest if it move on
    best
    Ayrton

  33. I cringe every time I hear/read someone speak of 72DPI as the Holy Grail of low-res images. DPI is a derived measure and means NOTHING if you don’t specify the Inches parts of it. Pixels are an absolute measure. 600 pixels is 600 pixels whether I see it on my DROID or my 24″ LCD monitor or the 7 FOOT wide image my projector puts out. 72DPI is only low resolution if the Iches are low… as in 72 DPI at 1 Inch is 72 pixels. At 2 Inches, 144 pixels. What if I delivered a 72DPI image that was 20 inches according to Photosho? You’d have a 1440 pixel image, fairly hi-res. At 40 inches, 2880 pixels and getting dangerously useful to someone. Try it: take your highest res image, go to Photoshop Image Size and turn off Resample Image. Now change the Resolution all you want and watch the pixels stay the same. Make your 300DPI image 72DPI, and it will still be a high-res image. In theory, it would print larger, but not more or less detailed, that’s all.

    So please understand that saving at 72DPI is meaningless when you’re outputting to a medium where inches are meaningless , i.e. the web or HDTV/DVD/BD etc. Monitors and TVs may have different inch measure but all display pixels, so that’s the only true measurement that’s relevant to those mediums. Only printed material cares what the DPI is and even then, only if you know what the size in inches will be, too.

    • @Chris Rakoczy,

      Chris, i was clueless about the inches ratio. so thank you. yes, @72dpi and 600 x 400 pixels, it will print an 8 by 5″ print. that is a terrific size print, low res, but still pretty good for an amateur photo enthusiast. but is it useful for printing on a magazine, a street board? but, when i uncheck resample, and lower to 1 inch, say, i get a 4000dpi image, though. does that mean someone can take that 4000dpi image and upsize to a good quality magazine cover?

      how can i lower inches as well as pixels down to say 600 on the long side?

      thnaks!

      • @marco aurelio, DPI and image resolution is actually a big topic.

        If you’re going to print something on paper, you need to know how big it will be. DPI stands for Dots Per Inch. In your 72DPI image, there are 72 color dots for every linear inch of the image. (However, for photographic images we really SHOULD be saying PPI, Pixels Per Inch, as DPI has a very different technical meaning in the printing industry.)

        72 PPI is very very low for printed images – close to newspaper comic section quality. Most people don’t realize it was only the APPROXIMATE the size of pixels on old CRT computer monitors. WAS, not even is anymore. Monitors are higher resolution now than they were when the myth of 72DPI got started. Modern LCD monitors and laptop are closer to 96DPI. Then again, with everyone viewing web sites on different computers, monitors, browsers, iPads, mobile phones, etc, the whole notion of a fixed DPI and trying to make images for web a certain DPI or Inch size, is outdated and unneccessary. DPI is only important for physical prints.

        Pixels in a digital image are real, while PPI and inches are sort of ‘assigned’. If I have a 600 pixel wide image, I could print the same image 6 inches across at 100 PPI or 2 inches across at 300 PPI. One is larger but has less apparent detail. The other is smaller and has more apparent detail. But the image and its number of pixels is the same. In Photoshop you can uncheck “Resample” and play with these numbers and see how they relate. If you have a 600 pixel image and lower the inches to 1″, your PPI would go up to 600. Lower the inches to 0.1″ and the PPI goes up to 6000!! That doesn’t mean you more detail in the actual image – you STILL have only 600 pixels, you’re just telling the computer that if you print it, squish those pixels closer together.

        Now if you do want to print big, detailed images, you need files that have lots of pixels. Original pixels. You can’t take a tiny webcam image and blow it up to make a giant sharp detailed print from it. There just aren’t enough pixels to begin with. But if you take an 8MP or 12MP camera, you have a few thousand pixels to start with, thus you can actually have enough detail to print big images. I’ve made 20″ x 28″ prints from a 12MP camera and they look amazing! I typically don’t print anything lower than 150 PPI. That means a typical 4″ x 6″ print has 600 pixels x 900 pixels. I feel that provides okay detail. For my fine art prints, I keep it to 300 PPI for better, sharper detail. That makes my 10″ x 14″ images a big 3000 pixels x 4200 pixels! That 20″ x 28″…? Do the math ;-)

        Finally, since we were talking about scaling images to fit FB and other sites, first assume that an image of only a few hundred pixels is useless for anyone trying to steal it. So you want to make your image a few hundred pixels, at most. Make sure “Resample” is checked ON, and then just change the pixel size of your image. Ignore the DPI and Inches. They don’t matter. Both exist ONLY in the metadata and probably get stripped anyway, because they’re just assigned numbers, not real measures of the image.

        If you watermark your images, that’s even better protection. I feel it’s better to upload to Facebook small (600 pixel or less) images that have been watermarked. I’d rather benefit from the social buzz of friends and fans than stick my head under a rock and refuse to upload anything for fear of theft. People get to see what I’m doing, cool new stuff I’m creating, share it all they want, and EVERY image has my name and phone number on it. It’s called social marketing and branding, and it’s fun and powerful.

  34. What is this DPI confusion? I post all my 1″ x 1″ photos at 600 dpi and they come out on FB looking just as screwed up as my 6″ x 6″ 100 dpi images. They don’t take that much longer to upload either.

    • @GlenF, You’re right, a 1″ image at 600 DPI and a 6″ image at 100 DPI are the same. They both contain 600 pixels across (1 x 600 = 600 and 6 x 100 = 600). Pixels are all that matters in video and web applications, not the DPI or inch size. You can effectively ignore those units and just set your pixels to an appropriate size.

      -CR

  35. In terms of the download feature.. maybe the proprietary days of image hoarding our over.. if you are putting the images on the internet, you are engaging in giving away information for free.. your photograph, once uploaded to facebook, is just information.. and should be free. Use it to promote, use it to showcase your work.. but dont be greedy. The old ways are dying, the internet is balancing the playing field and you may have to think of something else to sell besides the photograph…

  36. For those who dislike the way pictures are now displayed on Facebook-Just found this out by accident……open any picture(now the picture is smaller and in a black frame), go to the top of your page and click on the “refresh button” and the page refreshes but the picture is converted back to the former Facebook style and stays that way throughout the album.

  37. As long as we can still upload watermarked files, I think there should be no problem. Clients will best get their pics via CD/DVD or email (if it´s just a few) anyhow. Not via Facebook.
    Facebook is a great means to show some of your portfolio, but never in a high res…
    That´s my opinion about it so far.

    Greetings,
    Claudia

  38. i never upload hi re mages, i always save them for web at much lower resolution and i always watermark them, so this isnt really a problem, any proffesional photographer in this day and age should know how to do this , its part of the job.

  39. give it away. this is great. everyone needs to put this idea to test: since there are so many people out here making fine images, you need to give it away, at the best quality, and may the best photos win. I think if you do this, more people will be proud to display your work on their walls and refrigerator, and know your work, and will come back to you to buy the official stuff, which also must be of good quality. branding watermarks across your photo like it belongs in the smithsonian is pretentious. If you want to act like its all that, is easy enough to go someplace else. I think this is great, it makes the quality better, and everyone work harder, so stop your belly achin’ and work on getting it out there or else get left in the dust by the new ones who will, while your watermarked lo res photos fade into oblivion. if its good, be known for it. if I like your photo, Ill come to you to get a print, or I will move on. is that simple.

  40. Ignoring the resolution argument, I return to a fundamental question: should Facebook have any right to allow others to download your work?

    I believe that right is something that should be given, not taken, and thus there should be an option to prevent it (which would after all be a very simple thing for them to enable).