What are the issues particular to viewing, purchasing and selling panoramas on the web?
First, a definition: on this site panoramas are images that have a ratio of width to height or height to width of greater than 2:1, sometimes much greater. At dbdimages the panoramas are not cropped segments from common aspect ratio images. The panoramas here are built from multiple conventional images or captured with special cameras that produce larger images.
The most common aspect ratio for computer displays is 4:3. Some displays are as wide as 16:9. This isn't a perfect fit for panoramic images. If horizontal panoramas are scaled to fit within screen width, the image height becomes very small. For vertical panoramas the situation is even worse. To view details of panoramas it is necessary to use enlarged displays that allow the images to be panned across the viewing window.
It's Too Big!
Because each panorama can contain the information of several normal images, it is difficult to navigate and view high resolution panoramas on a computer screen. Download times also grow as the file size of panoramas increases. The SMUGMUG sizes of Small through X3Large are too small for good viewing of high aspect ratio panoramas. What can we do that is in between?
Viewing Large Panoramas
The SMUGMUG image viewing size called Original is the largest size that can be viewed. But, high resolution images are too big to navigate well. The solution is an image selection that has the smaller dimension scaled to fit within the appropriate dimension of most viewers screens. One scrollbar is then sufficient to view all but the largest panoramas. This also reduces download time for viewing images. So you can understand how much better the full sized original is the Smugmug information widget tells you the size of the full resolution original for panoramas available for digital download or cropped printing.
dbdimages contains some images with severely limited vertical resolution. These are usually mountain top horizon views with peak names labeled. SMUGMUG properly enforces minimum resolution requirements for printing and will not allow cropped printing of image sizes that lack the resolution to provide a quality print.