A couple of times a week I post single photographs to my “alternative” Facebook page under the “Occasional Sparroworks” identification – see https://www.facebook.com/sparroworkswildlife/

The pictures that I post there and which a lot of people tell me they enjoy, are ones that (I think) are a bit better than run of the mill snapshots and so I would like to enable people to see them at as high a quality as possible. I use Facebook for this because, and I know it’s an awful cliché, that’s “where everyone is”.

But, and it’s a big but, FB use really savage algorithms to compress and degrade the quality of any posted image they let you put on their site. It probably doesn’t matter if it’s another selfie or kitten but it matters to me. To get around this, I use FB to alert people to the presence of an photograph and also post a link to my photography website where a much better quality version of the image is available for those who care about these things.

Why bother? Well, here’s a great example that clearly demonstrates the damage FB does … the first photograph below is the version FB have made public. The second is a screen copy from my website (http://photography.sparroworks.ca/2017/04/17/iris-reticulata/). Look at the water droplets on the petals … this is exactly the same version of the photograph but in FB’s iteration they are fuzzy edged while on the other site they are bright and sharp.


Degraded Facebook version


Much better and sharper Website version

And here, to emphasise the point, is a selected area to demonstrate exactly the problem … FB on the left and Sparroworks on the right.

Now, I now why they do this, it’s to save file size. My original photo is 761 KB and Facebook’s version is a mere 45KB … that’s a mere 6% of the original web image uploaded to their servers. That is not “compression” but premeditated murder … 

I and others would happily pay a little fee to be able to post better quality photographs on FB but they don’t give us that option. I’m not looking for freebies but I do think this is unconscionable behaviour on their part.

So – be warned … those pictures you share are being downgraded too. Not just a bit, but by a LOT.