WP is cropping your images to fit a Refreshed Reader as many of you know, and annoying a lot of photographers in the process. Can you minimize the damage done to your compositions? Yes, you can. Read on…
I’ve spent a bit of time working out exactly what WordPress is up to, and how it is cropping images, and these are my findings:
Firstly, and particularly relevant to those of you who post images with little or no text. If the character count of your text (presumably including spaces) is 100 or less, or zero, then your image will appear as a thin letterbox shaped (banner) image across the Reader window. This crop will be through the centre of your image.
For all those who write more than 100 characters the following points are relevant.
Portrait mode images (taller than wider) will be cropped through the middle of the image to result in a 2:1 ratio landscape-shaped image. In the process people may lose their heads and flowers will be cut off mid-bloom etc etc.
If your images are in landscape mode then the news is better. If your images are twice as wide as they are tall (eg 3000 pixels wide by 1500 pixels high) then it seems that they will be fully displayed. If your landscape images are slightly squarer (images from my Nikon are in the ration 3:2 (eg 3000 pixels wide by 2000 pixels high) then your image will be trimmed top and bottom to a 2:1 ratio. Letter box images may be truncated but I have yet to confirm that.
Three lines of text are printed to the right of the image shown in Reader (assuming the character count is greater than 100). The third line of text starts to grey-out towards the end of the line, but the readable number of characters in those three lines is approx 200 (including spaces), Therefore it makes sense to maximise the use of this space. Avoid starting a new paragraph within those first 200 characters and choose your wording carefully to get readers wanting to read more. But, you should be aiming to do that anyway.
It’s worth taking a look at the Reader window to assess what is happening. I now ‘follow’ myself which means I can see exactly how my Posts are displaying.
So the message at the moment is: Post images in landscape mode, preferably in a 2:1 ratio.
Meanwhile, there is a growing list of comments from photographers in response to the WP News item, complaining about the changes. Make your voice heard and let’s hope that we will be listened to, and that common sense will prevail.