Topic Author
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 7:40 am

Recommended Screen Resolution For Uploading Photos

Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:55 am photo gurus,

Ever since I've been taking digital photos and posting them to this site, I've been using a monitor with 1600 x 1200 resolution. I run Photoshop CS on a Dell Inspiron 8100 in which 1600 x 1200 is the native screen format. For a laptop, the screen on the Inspiron is awesomely sharp, and I can get away with a lot of USM and and other corrections without adding artifacts like jaggies and noise.

Once in a while, I'll log onto the site from my wife's machine or my computer at work (both with "standard" 1024 x 768 screens) and notice that my photos look a lot "worse." Even though I upload shots in both 1600 and 1024 pixel sizes (depending on the relative quality of the shot), I consistently find more noise and image artifacts in my photos after looking at them on a 1024 x 768 monitor. Obviously when viewed on a 1024 my photos are a lot "larger," so some photo flaws are a little easier to spot - but i'm wondering if these are just due to the fact that I'm using a lower quality monitor?

My conundrum is this - when post processing, should I continue to optimize my images so that they look great on my sierra-hotel 1600x1200 screen, or modify my workflow so that they display correctly on everyone else's? Or, for that matter, does it make any difference?

Of course, for all intensive purposes, the differences I see when using different monitors could just be inside my head.

I'm all ears if any of you bazillion photo-view folks have any thoughts.


Posts: 2966
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:17 am

RE: Recommended Screen Resolution For Uploading Photos

Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:46 pm


I can't find your full details through your profile, and so cannot check out any of your photos - can you show us any to comment on?

Whilst I am certainly no 'Guru', nor for that matter a technical expert, my initial thought would be that most people I have read here will generally say that a laptop screen is not the best for viewing at the highest quality - but as I say I know nothing about the relative quality of your screen. However, if you are editing your photos on the laptop and they look good to you there, and then the screeners agree and accept them, then you can't be doing a whole lot wrong.

All I can say is that I am able to view my photos here, at home, and also at work on a laptop (good quality screen) and also a PC at work. Without a doubt the photos always look best here - in terms of colour, clarity etc. Though I have optimised my screen here for my editing (at least I think I have  confused  ). Maybe it will be easier to comment if you could post an example. But my guess is the majority of site viewers look through a 'standard' screen.

Posts: 3527
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:11 am

RE: Recommended Screen Resolution For Uploading Photos

Mon Mar 28, 2005 6:04 pm

Yes, the standard upload size is 1024x6** ( 680 I think? )

Jet Visuals
Posts: 3874
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2002 10:43 pm

RE: Recommended Screen Resolution For Uploading Photos

Mon Mar 28, 2005 6:19 pm

My home computer is at 1024 wide, and I keep it that way because that's the size I want to upload at. I think it's a good idea to have your screen size at the same sizeof your photos.

While I was pleased with my photos on my computer, I was scared to look at my pics on my friend's insane several-thousand dollar mac setup. I thought the better attention to detail in the top-of-the-line monitor would make my work look like shit. But it was quite the opposite. They looked better than I had ever seen. It was so motivating for me.

When you go to other monitors, I doubt the work monitors are very good, so of course your shots are not going to look that great on them.

Phil Derner Jr.
Posts: 7962
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2003 10:37 am

RE: Recommended Screen Resolution For Uploading Photos

Mon Mar 28, 2005 6:33 pm

I personally do the vast majority of my uploading at 1024x683, yet my monitor is a 17" IBM ThinkVision TFT. Very sharp for photoediting I must say, however I did manage to get a few in the database from an older monitor at 1024x768, still I like not viewing 1024 images at full screen width. When they are ever so slightly smaller, they are exponentially sharper to me.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
Topic Author
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 7:40 am

RE: Recommended Screen Resolution For Uploading Photos

Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:28 am


Thanks for the input. Please find below an example that seems to illustrate my point. The photo below looks pretty good-to-go on my 1600 x 1200 screen. It's a hair oversharpened for my personal taste, but recently it seems like the screeners always prefer images that err to the sharp side than one that's a tad soft.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Charlie Mauzé

When this same image is viewed on my wife's 1024/768 screen, it definitely looks a lot worse. I can see MUCH more visible noise throughout the image - most notably on the blue sky and on the aircraft's lower fuselage below the horizontal stabilizer. Would you guys agree with that assessment?

Regardless, the point here is not that one image of mine or another has more artifacts than another - The main thing I'm wondering is if there is a "standard" monitor configuration that will ensure the product I produce looks the same to me as it will to the screeners. My ultimate goal is not just to be able to ensure a photo passes the screeners (I've pretty much figured that one out), but to ensure that my photos that do get accepted are of the highest possible quality.

Again, I'm open to any input you guys might have.....I've been shooting for a while now, and have finally just come to the point that I need to solicit some unbiased feedback to help me refine my products.


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