Tumblr Offers Panorama Photo Viewing

There is a geometric disconnect online. Web pages are vertical, but posted pictures often have a horizontal orientation. And they are getting wider thanks to easier panoramic photo modes in digital cameras and smartphone apps, including new built-in support for panoramic photos in the iOS 6 camera app.

While the shape of the Web hasn't changed, photo-heavy blogs on the Tumblr network now have a way to show panoramic shots in more detail. Yesterday (Jan. 17) the site announced an upgrade to the blog and its iOS apps.

Normally, in order to fit the entire width of the photo into the width of a Web page, very few pixels are left for the height, and the picture appears as a thin strip.

Tumblr now provides the ability to view a larger, taller version of the photo and scroll left and right to see it in more detail.

Here's how it works. If you upload a photo that is at least three times wider than it is high (a 3:1 aspect ratio) and at least 1,000 pixels wide, your Tumblr blog will automatically set it up for panoramic viewing.

The photo will initially fit within the width of the page, meaning it will appear quite short. But clicking on the photo brings up a new window with a much taller image that extends beyond the right side of the page. Clicking and dragging the photo allows you to scroll left and right to reveal the hidden parts.

The process works similarly in the iOS app (for iPhone and iPad). Simply tap the photo to enlarge it and flick your finger left and right to scroll. Tumblr has not yet said if or when there will be an Android version of the viewer, but panoramic photos uploaded from any source will appear in panoramic mode on the website.