Today in pictures is my favorite section in www.time.com . With an Alexa rank of 575 (at the time when I am writing this), the site gets no less than a few million visitors every month.
Such enormous traffic screams about the mammoth amount of queries the database is being bombarded with every second of day. And since Today in Pictures is a photo section, the amount of load on the servers and database is unthinkable.
Currently, each request for a new picture is served in a new page, which according to me is the worst way ever to design the site !! Resource intensive, worst user experience. The only reason I can think of, for this kind of implementation is more page hits. Other than this, I don’t see any other good reason.
Better way to implement this is to embed a flash or AJAX component. They should go figure !