One of the shortcomings of hosted WordPress.com blogs for photoblogging is the lack of a “lightbox” type image display for single images (using the class=”thickbox” trick doesn’t work when you’re not logged in, and WP’s own thickbox is not exactly pretty anyway;-).
I’ve been using galleries for it with just a single image, which works, but when using the (beautiful) Tiled Galleries, the problem is that images in landscape orientation get resized beyond the actual image size – the only limit for Tiled Galleries/Photon (the WP.com hosted CDN for images) is the content-width of the theme, which results in blurry images if your image isn’t big enough. I asked about it in the forums and apparently, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. It’s an odd one though, for sure. Uprezzing images = shudder!
The solution is of course to simply use the “old” gallery style (shortcode parameter type=”thumbnails” or type=”regular”) instead. I had completely forgotten about it, I was so used to the Tiled Galleries! When combined with the additional shortcode parameters size=”large” and columns=”1″ you get a nice and big “thumbnail” to fill the blog (which will be good enough on smaller screens), and it’s still possible to click on it, and open it in Carousel in a solo 1:1 view, on larger displays. Most importantly, size=”large” never sizes the image up like Photon does!
The complete shortcode for the image above looks like this:
[gallery columns="1" size="large" type="thumbnails" link="file" ids="4379"]
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to set these parameters in the “Add Media” dialog. One has to switch to the “Text” mode of the editor, and manually add/adjust them.
This can also be used to neatly align a group of multiple images in a post, like in the “High Surf” post from a couple of days ago. For that one though, I left the “caption” of the image empty, otherwise it would appear under each image in the post. Actually, the addition of a switch to turn captions under the thumbnails on and off in the gallery shortcode would be great… 😛