Posted by CANbike on Fri, 24 May 2013

Flickr Cover Photo: Scaled and Cropped Based on Width of Window

The post, Flickr Cover Photo Dimension - 2048x492, had a brief section on the changing size of the cover image. It stated that the cover photo is scaled and cropped.

Since it's posting, the section has been updated with details of the process, and a diagram was added to give a visual summary of the process.

Summary of Flickr's Process

  • Flickr scales the cover photo to the width of the window
  • Window has a minimum width of 975px
  • The scaled cover photo is then cropped to a height of 234px

Recommended Flickr Cover Photo Size: 2048x492

Flickr Cover Photo Size 2048x492-thumb.png

Further Examples of Flickr's Scaling and Cropping

The following provides further visual examples with crops of the cover photo based on the window's width. The cover image is 2048x492. Windows with a width of 975px, 1898px, and 4002px were used.

Example 1: Fullsize Crops of the Gear

Flickr cover photo-scaled-cropped-thumb.png

Note the pixelation of the gear in the window with a width of 4002px. A 2048x492 cover photo will ideally work up to a window with a width of 2048px, which is beyond the resolution of a 1080p monitor (1920x1080).

Example 2: Fullsize Crops of the Cover Photo

Flickr cover photo-scaled-thumb.png

Note the zooming in effect as the cover photo is scaled and cropped to a height of 234px.

Final Words

The scaling and cropping of the cover photo resulted in an ambiguous recommendation of image size. Flickr provided no recommendations of sizes, when updating the cover photo.

In short, the answer depends on the width of the window. The cover photo is scaled to the width of the window (minimum of 975px) and then cropped to a height of 234px.

Since 2048px is the current largest supported dimension, it was picked as the cover photo width. Given the minimum window width of 975px and fixed height of 234px, 2048x234/975 = 491.52. Rounded up to the nearest pixel is 492px. Hence the recommendation of 2048x492. In the narrowest window, it will fill up the cover photo area. In wider windows, the image will be scaled and cropped to a height of 234px.

In the end, the new cover photo is a great addition to make accounts more personal looking. However, it is unconventional as the image displayed is not fixed, but dynamically scaled and cropped to a fixed height.


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