Gamma Gallery: A Responsive Image Gallery Experiment

Gamma Gallery is an experimental responsive image gallery that attempts to provide an adjustable responsive images approach taking its grid layout and the full slideshow view into account.

Gamma Gallery: A Responsive Image Gallery Experiment

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Creating a truly responsive image gallery can be a very tricky and difficult thing. There are so many factors to consider like the layout and the features, and so many choices to make when it comes to delivering a good viewing experience for every device. Gamma Gallery is an attempt to create an image gallery that uses a similar responsive images approach to the proposed picture element. Focused on providing suitable image sizes for both, the fluid grid thumbnails and the full image view, the selection of images also depends on container dimensions and not solely on the window size. In some cases it might even be reasonable to load larger thumbnails for a smaller device if we, for example want to show less columns in a grid. So, smaller windows don’t necessarily mean smaller thumbnails.

Gamma Gallery uses David David DeSandro’s Masonry in a fluid mode where column numbers are defined depending on the grid container sizes.

Inspired by Picturefill from Scott Jehl, the responsive images approach that mimics the picture element, we’ve come up with the following HTML structure for defining different image sizes:

<div class="gamma-container gamma-loading" id="gamma-container">

	<ul class="gamma-gallery">
			<div data-alt="img01" data-description="<h3>Assemblage</h3>" data-max-width="1800" data-max-height="2400">
				<div data-src="images/xxxlarge/1.jpg" data-min-width="1300"></div>
				<div data-src="images/xxlarge/1.jpg" data-min-width="1000"></div>
				<div data-src="images/xlarge/1.jpg" data-min-width="700"></div>
				<div data-src="images/large/1.jpg" data-min-width="300"></div>
				<div data-src="images/medium/1.jpg" data-min-width="200"></div>
				<div data-src="images/small/1.jpg" data-min-width="140"></div>
				<div data-src="images/xsmall/1.jpg"></div>
					<img src="images/xsmall/1.jpg" alt="img01"/>
		<li> <!-- ... --> </li>
		<!-- ... -->

	<div class="gamma-overlay"></div>


Depending in which viewing mode we are, thumbnail grid view or full image view, the choice of the fitting image will depend on either the list item’s size or the whole viewport size. Let’s call that the “container size”. An “xsmall” image will be chosen if the container size is less than 140 pixels. A “small” image is picked if the container is wider than 140 pixels (data-min-width=”140″). A “medium” image is chosen if the container is wider than 200 pixels and so on.

Because we have a “fluid” image approach where we define the max-width of the image to be 100%, we will fit the image in its container if the image is bigger than the container. For that, our images will have the sizes that are defined in their consecutive (upper) step. For example, the “large” sized image will have a width of 700 pixels. This will ensure that the image shown is always equal or larger than its container, never smaller. In order to maintain the layout of the grid and never show a pixelated image (i.e. by stretching it), this approach seemed the most reasonable one.

The data-max-width and data-max-height attributes defines the largest image dimension which will restrict it to that size and not stretch it fully in the slideshow view. The slideshow view will take all the window size into account and allow the image to fill up all the possible space. The attributes ensure that the image doesn’t get resized beyond its largest dimension and become pixelated on huge screens.

Some things we are using in Gamma:

There are many things to improve here, it is a very experimental implementation that tries to tackle the responsiveness of a special scenario, an image gallery.

In the demo we don’t really take care of the vertical images which should of course have a set of reasonable dimensions that take the height of common screen sizes into account.

Here are the settings in the Gamma gallery script:

// default value for masonry column count
columns : 4,
// transition properties for the images in ms (transition to/from singleview)
speed : 300,
easing : 'ease',
// if set to true the overlay's opacity will animate (transition to/from singleview)
overlayAnimated : true,
// if true, the navigate next function is called when the image (singleview) is clicked
nextOnClickImage : true,
// circular navigation
circular : true,
// transition settings for the image in the single view.
// These include:
// - adjusting its position and size when the window is resized
// - fading out the image when navigating
svImageTransitionSpeedFade : 300,
svImageTransitionEasingFade : 'ease-in-out',
svImageTransitionSpeedResize : 300,
svImageTransitionEasingResize : 'ease-in-out',
svMarginsVH : {
	vertical : 140,
	horizontal : 120
// allow keybord and swipe navigation
keyboard : true,
swipe : true,
// slideshow interval (ms)
interval : 4000,
// if History API is not supported this value will turn false
historyapi : true

And here is an example of how we can initialize the gallery:

<script type="text/javascript">
	$(function() {

		var GammaSettings = {
				// order is important!
				viewport : [ {
					width : 1200,
					columns : 5
				}, {
					width : 900,
					columns : 4
				}, {
					width : 500,
					columns : 3
				}, { 
					width : 320,
					columns : 2
				}, { 
					width : 0,
					columns : 2
				} ]

		Gamma.init( GammaSettings );



The viewport width is the width that we will take into account for choosing the right sized image but also for defining how many columns in our grid layout we want to show. For example, between 320 and 500 pixel we would like to show 2 columns.

The images used in the demo are by Idleformat.

The thumbnail hover style is inspired by the one seen on Nudge.

Feedback, suggestions and comment are very welcome, there is lot’s things to improve and make better. Thank you!

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ML is a freelance web designer and developer with a passion for interaction design. She studied Cognitive Science and Computational Logic and has a weakness for the smell of freshly ground peppercorns.

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