Despite trying a number of times, I just haven’t been able to get on with Instagram.
One of the major stumbling blocks for me is that it’s such a mobile based platform.
Fine for quick snapshots between family and friends, but not for photography that’s more intentional and artistic.
Why would someone who would like others to appreciate their work, their vision, their art, to the full, want it seen on a screen just a few inches wide?
How can you possibly convey a gritty portrait, a stunning sunset, or a glorious flower on such a small screen – many magnitudes smaller than life sized?
Well, in my view, you can’t.
My main machine for viewing photographs until recently has been my old 2008 MacBook Pro, with its 15″ screen.
I still use this to upload photos from my digital cameras, then back up with Google Drive and an external HD, but as some applications will no longer update, for my day to day online experiences – mostly reading blogs, writing for 35hunter and viewing photos – I bought a 14″ HP Chromebook.
It doesn’t have the same class of screen as the MacBook, but is decent enough, and of course at 14 inches is massively larger than a phone screen.
Since last March, I’ve been working from home for at least a part of my working week, and since January it’s been over 50%.
My 21″ work monitor was decent enough as a second screen to my laptop – I had the laptop in front, using its keyboard, then an external mouse, and the big screen behind and above, as an extension to the laptop screen area.
But, I realised I could also easily hook up my, and my daughter’s Chromebooks via a neat USB-C to HDMI converter.
I thought a larger screen would be a worthwhile investment, given how much time we’re using it (me working from home, and writing in the evenings, her learning from home on it the days I’m not here).
So we bought a fairly inexpensive 27″ monitor, and the difference is vast.
As I said, photos looked pretty great before on my old MacBook, and more than decent on the 14″ Chromebook. Both of course being vastly larger than a typical smartphone screen.
The 27″ monitor takes the viewing experience to another level.
Viewing my own photo archive on Flickr I’m seeing details in the images I’ve never seen before, and my best photographs look even better.
It’s one of those purchases where you wonder why you didn’t make it sooner, such is the genuine enhancement over what you had previously.
Especially as I’m supposedly a photographer with a strong visual sense!
So, if you want your photos to look even better, I highly recommend getting a larger screen and hooking it up to your laptop or desktop computer (or even your phone or tablet, if they have the connectivity).
In fact the Chromebook plus 27″ monitor cost under £400, which seems a fantastic buy when the same money will probably only buy me about a quarter of a new MacBook with a 13″ screen!
How do you usually view photos online – yours and other people’s? How could you improve the experience to enjoy and appreciate the images more?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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