Coursework,  Coursework 1,  Learning Log,  Research

Research – jpegs

My initial thoughts on ‘Jpegs’:

  • Just a poor res image.
  • Saved badly, not loaded correctly.
  • Years of photographing for clients means always striving for the sharpest image.
  • Look past the pixels to envision the detailed image.
  • Maybe a by-product of my age and getting into photography just before the dawn of the digital camera.

Campany thoughts on the subject:

  • Element of control; Jean-Luc Godard ‘In a world in which we are entertained from cradle to grave whether we like it or not, the ability to rework image and dialogue … may be the key to both psychic and political health.’
  • Archival – photography by its nature archival; standardisation of the use of media – print sizes, formats, media files. The need to standardise a chaotic process and infinite source of data.

My own experiments

Images saved in photoshop at 200px wide and 0 quality, and then passed through an image compression program ‘Imagine’ to save as smallest possible file size.

I then opened these in Affinity Photo and used screen grab to save them larger – as they displayed on my monitor:

I was interested to see how when viewed as thumbnails the images look identical, but when you open the larger images you can see how abstract the images look and it’s impossible to tell what the image is if you hadn’t seen the photos previously.

I wondered if this could be compressed further. So I sized the document up in Affinity Photo from 200px wide to 1500px, and exported the image then at both the highest and lowest quality settings.

The results on ‘Market Rows’ can be seen below.

200px to 1500px – 100% quality – click for full size
200px to 1500px – 0% quality – click for full size

Again, I was surprised by what details were preserved in each scenario, creating very different versions of the same image. Especially with the colours. With more time to play, I could see how experimenting with this could create some really exciting and aesthetically pleasing results. And yet the ‘displeasing’ aesthetics, colour clashes and the resulting strange compositions are also just as interesting.


I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed experimenting with these settings and seeing the results. It’s made me rethink what makes up the image, both in terms of what we see and what goes into the files themselves.

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