© Downloading images...

Browsers spoil the colours of our images. They accentuate then so badly that all subtle hues are lost. Everything turns too green, too red and too blue – and particularly on a quality screen! A downloaded image can show so much more.

From the Picture Gallery three types of images can be downloaded:

1. a 550 x 367 pixels image that appears on the left side when you click on a
    thumbnail in the “ladder”
2. a 550 x 550 pixels detail image that appears on the left side when you click
    on “zoom-detail” below the thumbnail in the “ladder”
3. a 1100 x 772 pixels image that appears in a separate window when you click
    on ‘here’ in the text “Click here for a larger version”; this text is always printed
    next to or below the image described in 1.

All downloaded images may be freely used for all sorts of non-commercial purposes. We’d appreciate being mentioned as the source – just by referring to ‘IWACC Netherlands’.

Downloaded, even the large image type is rather small and “coarse”. Yet owners of an image program that doesn’t spoil embedded colour profiles – like browsers tend to do – may then get a better impression of the colours. One such application is Adobe Photoshop Elements. To be sure, the colour profile (8-bit sRGB) of our wee web images is quite a bit less impressive than that of our real pictures (16-bit Adobe RGB in older pictures and 16-bit ProPhoto in younger ones), but the advantage is that most environments showing images will know how to handle it. Moreover, it’ll fit better within the limitations of most displays. Mind you, those same displays generally will be “uncalibrated”, so it remains something of a lottery.

Virtually everyone will be aware of how to download images from the web for their private use. In the Internet Explorer e.g. a click with the right mouse button on an image reveals a context menu; in this, you just left-click on the “Save Picture As...” line, and finally on the “Save” button of the “Save Picture As” window that appears. This works with all three image types.

Finally, a tip (no doubt quite redundant for the experienced). After editing an image in an application, it’s better not to save it again in the JPEG format (as a *.jpg file). That method uses a type of compression that isn’t loss-free, so it degrades the image. It’s happened already once to our web-site pictures – well, we did it. Every time an image is saved in JPEG format, more gets lost. This doesn’t occur with formats as TIFF (*.tif) or PNG (*.png); the image file then will turn out a bit bigger, of course, as no compression is applied. (With some applications it’s possible to save 8-bit TIFF format files with LZW compression, which is loss-free.)

NOTE When downloading files, images are not degraded. Image content in that case isn't opened and recompressed, but copied without change.