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Flickr's blurry photo problem | by Andy Marfia
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Flickr's blurry photo problem

UPDATE 05/21/13: Flickr went live with a redesigned web site today, and... the BLURRY PHOTOS ARE BACK. Photos below 1024 are being downsampled again, and the slight blurriness that I noted in that first example below has returned. Sigh. I give up.


UPDATE 06/13/12: Following a suggestion made in the help thread, I'm happy to note that FLICKR HAS REMOVED DOWNSAMPLING FOR ALL PHOTOS BELOW 1024px. For me, that effectively solves this issue. I'm going to leave this post in place for purely historical purposes.




The image above is an example of a problem that's appeared on flickr since they released their "liquid layout" a few weeks ago. What flickr is doing with the liquid layout is downsampling images via the browser to fit the size of the window, and this results in soft images for some users.


I've noticed this effect is most pronounced between 800px and 1024px, and most obvious on photos that include text. I've tested this on multiple browsers and on two different windows machines... I see the same thing every time.


I've complained about this in the help forum, but at this point I've lost faith that flickr intends to fix this problem.


Original image:


The next photo is an example of a vertical image displaying this problem.


I also wrote about this on my blog:

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Uploaded on May 31, 2012