Just a quick post to mention an extension for Chrome called Imagus.
When you hover over a link or an image, it'll show you the enlarged version (as if you followed the link), or it'll follow and parse the destination image and show that. It saves you having to manually follow the link and hitting back.
It's bloody useful - give it a try.
Note: The Imagus extension has nothing to do with me; it's just damn useful.