Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Project: A web gallery

There are two main considerations when creating a web gallery, as we are advised by the course notes. Firstly, the preparation of images for on-screen displays, and secondly, designing the viewers experience of visiting the site to best show off the images. The selection of images is important – only showing the best images, and also, presenting them central on the webpage – the image comes first!

I am starting by looking at other photographer’s web galleries, firstly looking at some fellow students work, for two reasons. Firstly I aspire to be like some of them, and secondly, they are on a similar pathway to me (though possibly further along), and so I can relate to them. So I started with Duncan Astbury whom I met when I lived in Edinburgh. His work is professional and his website looks well designed. Here is a screenshot:

It clearly shows his main interests, and specialities. The images certainly are central and the text is simple and surrounds the images complementing them. I probably wouldn’t overlap images, but that is simply personal preference.

Next I looked at the work of fellow DPP student Nathan Adams. He details on his blog (http://dpp.nathanadams.org.uk/2012/07/exercise-web-site-portfolio.html) how he designed his own website, the splash page which I show below

It is a strong starting point, a bold clear image with strong subject, supported by simple text of the photographer’s name. Upon clicking ‘Enter’, the viewer comes to another clean simple screen where the image comes first:

The thumbnails down the bottom are clear, and easy to click on to view at a larger size. The text on the left is simple, and does not dominate.

Keith Greenough was next, and his site keithgreenoughphotography.co.uk was also simple and clean, which I liked. The images pan through showing one scene at a time from each of his ‘portfolio’s’ which are displayed on the right side of the screen. It is simple and effective. Each portfolio can be clicked on to open a set of images. I thought each one took a little long to load for my liking, this would depend on internet connection partly, but is a consideration.

I also looked at Gavin Gough’s images, whom a fellow student had linked to. His images are mostly Asian travel theme, which must be his personal interest. The images fill the area and the text is very simple. I liked how he had the ubiquitous facebook/twitter/share symbols on his page.

I’m a big fan of the work of Viviane Sassen’s work. Her webpage has a rolling view of images, each highlighted in turn depending on where the mouse hovers over the screen. I find it a little distracting, but it does show her variety of strong images and might keep people on the site a bit longer, to see ‘what is coming next’! Her work is so distinctive and unique.

A slightly different slant for my final choice – Douglas Ethridge is obviously quite a widely published photographer, so his website has more detail of books, news and events. The layout is simple and highlights his key recent achievements.

So after looking at the above (and many other) websites of photographers, I will make some generalisations:

  • What is the purpose of the website? This varies depending on the photographer – art/commercial/student etc Make it appropriate!!
  • The most effective sites are SIMPLE! – in design/layout and information content
  • The images must stand out – and only the (very) best should be included
  • Easy navigation is also important – the average person only spends a few seconds looking at a website, so the whole thing must come together effectively and easily.

At this stage I do not plan to set up a website for my own photography. I am not interested in getting commercial work and do not have a coherent body of artistic work that I would be happy to put up – this is all in the future I hope! Nonetheless, an interesting exercise.

Adams, N (2013), Nathan Adams Photography. Online, available at: http://www.nathanadams.me.uk/ [accessed 2 July 2013]
Astbury, D (2013), Astbury Photography. Online, available at: http://www.astburyphotography.co.uk [accessed 2 July 2013]
Ethridge, D (2013), Douglas Ethridge Photography. Online, available at: http://www.douglasethridge.com/ [accessed 2 July 2013]
Gough, G (2013), Gavin Gough Photography. Online, available at: http://www.gavingough.com/ [accessed 2 July 2013]
Greenough, K (2013), Keith Greenough Photography. Online, available at: keithgreenoughphotography.co.uk [accessed 2 July 2013]
Sassen, V (2013), Viviane Sassen. Online, available at: http://www.vivianesassen.com/ [accessed 2 July 2013]

1 comment:

  1. Interesting overview. I've kept pondering a website, especially as Flickr has changed so much. Something else to look forward to for DPP.