Getting Started with gatsby-image

Published: March 29, 2020 | 3 min read

If you've been following my 100 Days of Gatsby series of blog posts, you may have noticed that I have been completing them in a slower cadence than the release of the official prompts. Technically, I'm still on track considering it was never specified that the 100 Days of Gatsby should be completed... 100 days in a row! Anyhow, now that I have an unexpected amount of free time, more of my focus has been dedicated to working through these prompts.

Learning How to Use Images with Gatsby

I was pretty excited to learn how to use the gatsby-image plugin, and started the challenge by following the Working with Images in Markdown link found in the Challenge 03 resources section of the prompt.

After installing plugins related to gatsby image, npm warned me in the Command Line Interface (CLI) that my project had security vulnerabilities. I love this new feature of NPM by the way. Running the npm audit command gave me a list of all the vulnerabilities and which commands to run to fix them. I especially loved the flag for minimist that showed the —depth 8 because it allowed me to target the exact place where that package is in the dependency tree. I fixed the errors, and did a clean install.

When I got to this error in the CLI:

The fragment “GatsbyImageSharpFluid” does not exist

I realized that I had to start following instructions from the Using gatsby-image page instead — and then decided to start from the top of the section altogether at the Images, Files & Video page — to get a better sense of things before diving deeper.

This helped me understand what Webpack does with the images at the bundle stage. Is this specific for Gatsby sites, though? Or is this what Webpack does at the bundle stage for all sites, as long as you specify the output path?

Ahhh, I read this in the docs, and it helped:

At build time Webpack moves the images into the public folder and provides the correct path.

Next, I went through the part 1 steps, and made pages with images for the Markdown pages. I got a bit stuck when trying to do the same with MDX files, and remembered that you need to use the MDXProvider to wrap your Layout component when using MDX. I wanted to see if you can do both Markdown and MDX queries at the same time in a page, so I tested that out and it worked.

While reading the pages and layouts recipes docs section, I remembered that the createPage() method uses the path value to create the route, the component value to set the component you want to use as a template, and the context value to set the context object in your gatsby-node file. In the provided docs example the createPages method used the forEach() method to loop through the dogData array of objects to provide the path component and context value for each dog.

Once that was set up, you could then access the dog value in your page component by destructuring the pageContext object like so:

import React from "react"

export default ({ pageContext: { dog } }) => (
    {} - {dog.breed}

I abandoned the MDX portion in this challenges and chose to stick with using Markdown for the short term.

Things I learned:

I learned that while working with images in Markdown, I had to make sure you pass in linkImagesToOriginal: false into the gatsby-config settings, otherwise the image would be served up at full size.

The rest of the challenge was straightforward. Later on I planned on learning how to use the Cloudinary image service to host my images, but for now... on to 100 Days of Gatsby — Challenge 4.

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