I was browsing The Boston Globe's The Big Picture website today after not having visited for quite some time. The first thing that stuck out to me was how small the images were. The Big Picture was one of the very first major news publications to start posting images at larger sizes to accommodate for higher resolutions of modern computers. I remember before The Big Picture came around and seeing news stories with pictures that were literally only 400px across. It bothered me so much because I always wanted to see them bigger and at the time it just wasn't possible (this was before the age of widespread reverse Google Image Searching).
I can't recall exactly when I started reading The Big Picture, but the earliest archives on the site point to some time in May 2008 which to me sounds about right. Over the years, The Big Picture would go on to spawn similar news website clones all showing larger than normal [at the time] images. Some of them I can remember are The Atlantic's Photo blog, The New York Times' Lens blog, and The Sacramento Bee's The Frame. I loved the trend that these journalism websites were going in at the time because it meant I could finally see a little more detail on images that would otherwise be posted in tiny sizes elsewhere around the web. And with the onslaught of retina-displays on iPads, iPhones, and computers, it meant that these "big" images were going to soon become borderline "small" again.
And I think we're there now.
These images don't seem so large anymore and I wish these websites would adapt faster to the changing tech landscape as high resolution screens become the norm. Sure, there's still a very large contribution that these sites bring beyond picture sizes -- after all, the editors behind them are good at what they do and present images and stories that are often seen first on these pages. But, maybe, they can make them bigger...again?