WordPress Twenty Fourteen Theme

One of the new default themes for WordPress is Twenty Fourteen.  Is this a good theme to use for Photographers? This theme has a nice magazine layout and handles images well, supporting a “Featured Image”, which is the image that appears above this post.   The complexity is that there are several different options on how this featured imaged can be displayed.  If the right side bar is enabled in the WordPress theme, the image will be smaller.  If you use featured content at the top, you have an option to select either a grid format, with a reduced image size, or a slider approach where the image takes the full width.

To control the crop you would need to crop before uploading your image to WordPress.  I setup a custom crop in Photoshop.

By experimentation, I discovered that an image 1038 wide by 576 high will work best for all scenarios.    Otherwise it will crop an equal amount off the top and bottom of the image, assuming the original ratio is 3:2, as is the case for most DSLRs (the ratio of 35mm film).  In Photoshop I setup a custom crop ratio using 1038×576 that makes it easy to crop the image before I upload to Word Press.

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This ratio is 1.80:1, which is close to that used in wide screen cinematography.  However most advanced still cameras use a ratio of 1.5 (3:2), which is not as wide.  It is a weakness of the WordPress Twenty Fourteen theme and so far there is not an easy way to customize this theme to use a different aspect ratio.

How about the images inside the post?  They don’t get cropped to a set aspect ratio as the featured image does.  Since the images inside the post are click-able to view the full image, you may want to use a larger size.  I often pick a width of 1920 pixels, which is as wide as most monitors now days.  A color version of the featured image would then appear as shown below, but if you click on it, a full size can be viewed.

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However you can see that when viewed inside the post this image is not very large.  With this theme only the featured image, at the top, is large while those inside the post are constrained, even though I used an image with a width of 1920 pixels.  This may be enough of  reason to not select this theme for displaying your photography.

One of the advantages of the Twenty Fourteen theme is that it rescales for mobile devices.  If you look at how it looks on a smart phone, you can see the advantage of using a featured image for each post.  Both the left and right side bars disappear and the right content sidebar is accesible from the drop down.  Each post has the image to the left and the title to the right, which makes this a very friend theme for a smart phone.

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