Hazy Pamo Valley (fiddling with the WordPress galleries)

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… 😛


  1. Did some searches on Pamo Valley and realized it’s to be part of the San Dieguito River Park trail system. Their site has all the maps for current trails in the system which will run from Del Mar to Volcan Mtn.http://www.sdrp.org/trails.htm. An interesting hike would be from Santa Ysabel Open Space East to Volcan Mtn.


    1. That’s right, but there’s not much in Pamo Valley except for the passage through it (it’s all fenced), and then either up to Black Mountain, or the Lusardi Truck Trail (or Orosco Ridge and Boden Canyon to the west; the only entrance to Boden canyon btw. since the “trailhead” we’ve been using on 78 is closed now). I’ve never been to Volcan Mountain because dogs are not allowed there…


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