I was watching a bunch of Matt Cutt's old youtube videos over the weekend and at one point I swear I heard him respond to a question about whether links to photos carry PR, to the affirmative. On a large number of our pages we have say 25 paragraphs of text accompanied by an average of 10 .jpg photos in thumb-print size, which in turn have an HREF link to a full-screen-size .jpg of the same photo. I think this makes total sense as far as visitor experience and useability (a biggie with Google lately) and reduces bandwidth as it allows visitors to only select those that they really want/need to see larger versions of. As a result a lot of our photos are somewhat well ranked in G's image search, but we could do without the traffic from them as they tend not to monetize at all.
However, if what Matt says is true, in the long run, it would seem that this would leak a lot of PR as there is no way to LINK BACK from a .jpg and pass on the PR. basically the PR hits a dead-end if I understood the question and answer. Using a nofollow on the link to the .jpg has no effect since the consensus is that nofollows still leak PR. I imagine one could create a .htm page which had nothing but an IMG tag for every larger photo and a single link back to the home page or other appropriate page. But what would Google think about a huge number of such "empty" pages? Even with a title, description and at most a one line description I think these would be considered shallow content, but at least they would pass back PR.
Is there a standard method or any other suggestions on how to either not pass PR to the large photos or to not set off bells at G for 1000's of shallow pages, while retaining as much PR as possible and focusing it on to the text pages rather than the photos?