Light Ranger

Photography on the Web

The Light Preserve began as "The SunLizard Pages" during the early days of the internet. It was consistent with presentations and designs of the period, which means it was pretty bad. Its transition to The Light Preserve was about more than a name change. It was about quality and appearance. The code used to display content at The Light Preserve, HTML and CSS, is written to strict World Wide Web Consortium standards. Adherence to those standards by popular web browsers permits attractive and reliable presentations at The Preserve, and at other web sites, that had not been previously possible. By 2008, even Microsoft's Internet Explorer, the popular laggard in standards compliance, had sufficiently caught up to W3C standards that the current iteration of The Light Preserve can be expected to render correctly on the overwhelming majority of systems. It has been a long time coming. By 2013, HTML5 and CSS3 have become widely supported, and The Light Preserve now benefits from the two-column format.

The Preserve has grown to include a magazine section with news, editorials, and additional galleries of photographs. The magazine and main galleries offer a variety of images including landscapes, seascapes, urban views, performers, portraits and people enjoying life. The main galleries are divided into six sections, and the magazine includes a table of contents to help you find subjects of interest.

Trail Maintenance

Getting the Best View at The Light Preserve


The images here, and at many other sites, meet W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) recommendations and will look best if your monitor is optimally adjusted. To assist with that, I have included the grayscale rectangle below. Set the brightness and contrast of your monitor to display the complete range from white to black. In addition to displaying the complete range, you want to be just able to discern the inner square of the left block. Monitor gamma issues, which affect the brightness and color balance of midtones, are another matter. Recent global data indicates that the PC comprises 93% of the web-surfing population, and the images on these pages have been prepared at gamma of 2.2 for best appearance to that majority. Mac users may see brighter images with less saturated color.

Screen size, color depth and pixel quantity add more variables to the mix. Since the presentation here is of photographic art, I have made no concessions to systems displaying less than 24-bit color. More global statistics: displays of at least 1024x768 pixels comprise over 97% of the web-surfing population. I have therefore designed these pages with that minimum amount of screen real estate in mind.

Despite these efforts and considerations, there are issues. If you're viewing this page with a 4K monitor, that's probably unfortunate. Most browsers, with 4K, default to enlarging images "to improve the user experience." They fail. Their enlargement interpolation algorithms are truly horrid, and the result is blurry images with egregious loss of detail. If I provide images large enough to prevent such browser "enhancements" (cough, cough), the pictures end up on coffee mugs and t-shirts. So, we're kind of stuck with a less than ideal situation. You can download your favorites to view in other software.

The Presentation

← Restrooms ← Gift Shop

I gave substantial thought to how the images would be presented here. Most important, and easiest to decide, was image quality. Since each image has a small thumbnail for selection, no time is lost or wasted downloading larger images of subjects which do not interest a particular visitor. For that reason, I give quality the priority over small file size for the larger images. But I've not ignored the file size issue, and images will load in reasonable time for dial-up connections as well as broadband.

Many of the photos displayed here, and their thumbnail links, are in the progressive jpg format. I've chosen the progressive format because file sizes are frequently smaller than standard jpg format and they generally render nicely while loading. Some versions of the Microsoft browser that I have used do not display progressive jpg images until they are completely downloaded, a Microsoft quirk that completely defeats the concept of the progressive jpg format (the operative word is "duh"). All browsers will display the finished image in the same length of time, but MSIE users might see only a background until the image file is entirely received. Curiously, MSIE for the Mac (not Windows!) seems to have getten it right with progressive jpg files.

The photographs displayed at this site are not "scanned and jammed" onto the web. They are individually adjusted for color balance, luminosity and contrast. Linked images here contain ICC information since many systems are now capable of using that data for more accurate color rendition. Compression levels of the jpg format are set specifically for best results with each image.

Design and Implementation

Another Trapper of Light

I got started coding HTML (the instructions for content and display of web pages) using a text editor, and I'm still doing it that way. It gives me control over how the code is written to generate the design I want, permitting me to avoid deprecated instructions which won't be supported in future browsers. In addition, the code I write is generally more compact and efficient than software-generated instructions. It is also strict, standards-compliant code that does not rely on quirks, hacks, or workarounds to appease older, non-compliant web browsers. But it is not "cutting edge" code, either: it does not require the most recent hardware or software. You won't be locked out by using a seven-year old system (and probably even older) These pages load fast. They also load for everyone: The Light Preserve is designed so that all navigation and content is accessible without plug-ins, javascript or active-x. You won't be denied content if you have javascript "off," and you won't be asked to download any plug-ins.

I think you'll enjoy the photographs here, and the experience viewing them. It will be interesting to know if my favorites among them are also your favorites. Pop me an e-mail and let me know.