No matter how much you gussy up your text or fiddle with borders and margins, nothing affects the appearance of your site more than the images you add to it. And once again, CSS gives you more image control than HTML ever dreamed of. You can work with graphics in CSS on two fronts: the <img> tag and the background-image property (which lets you place an image in the background of any tag on a page).
This chapter delves into some of the creative ways you can deploy images with CSS. The best way to learn how to use graphics in CSS is to see them in action, so this chapter has three—count ‘em, three—tutorials. By creating a photo gallery web page and using images for overall page styling, you’ll be an image-slinging pro in no time.
The venerable <img> tag has been the workhorse of photo-heavy websites since the beginning of the World Wide Web. Even sites without photos use it to add logos, navigation buttons, and illustrations. While CSS doesn’t have any properties specifically aimed at formatting images, you can take advantage of the CSS properties you’ve already learned to enhance your site’s graphics. For example, the border property is a quick and simple way to frame an image or unify the look of a gallery of photos. Here’s a rundown of the CSS properties most commonly used with images: