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Entries in Ocular (1)

Friday
May222009

Facebook, and the amazing destruction of images.

I've been uploading some of my Photoshop/Illustrator work to Facebook lately. I find it to be the most efficient way to get people I know to see the stuff I've fashioned together, using only my inferior skills and less than acute sense of style. Getting people to pop on over to a blog every time I leave another brain dropping is not exactly easy. By plopping these things into an album on the FB (that's what the cool kids are calling it, the FB. Or so I have been informed) I'm sort of forcing them to notice it. They can't not see it. Cruel, I know.

Facebook does not seem to appreciate my artistic endeavors and chooses to utterly obliterate the image quality. Escalating what would have been a mild assault on the visual senses into a full scale ocular genocide. Is it not enough that I'm hampered by the cruel luck of the genetic draw? I have to get repeatedly molested by Facebook as well? Feast your eyes on this digital atrocity.

faceProbably not my best work ever.

Now, to some this might not seem like such an intrusive reduction in image quality. "Hey, that's only slightly more artifacts." a person might say. That person also doesn't notice any difference between SD and HD television and will be wondering what all the hubbub is about. He is also 57 years old, loves sweater-vests and owns the collected works of Tom Clancy. This person needs to leave the room immediately.

The reason for the re-compression is in all likelihood storage space. Facebook deals with millions upon millions of photos after all. That is a lot of data and jiggabits and hardspace disks and whatnot. And how much larger is the already compressed "50% quality JPEG" file than its Facebook counterpart? The answer: about 8% smaller. Bare in mind this image consists of three colours. Facebook's re-compression can't handle the colour red? Seriously? I could understand if there was some gradient effect tripping up the algorithm here, but these are three clearly separated colours. Would I have crashed the servers with this image if it happened to be some blue in there? Should I stick to cubist black & white pictures? I can only imagine what other optical horrors FB has in store. Check out a reasonably well compressed version of the actual image over in the Flickr-stream to the right, or here

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