Best Photography Sites On The Net?
"If it works, it's obsolete."--Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)
I n researching Web Profiles, I see lots of websites. Many homepages, including my own, use Flash (www.macromedia.com) animation, but there's resistance by digital purists who prefer that a site's focus be on images, not the message. The proliferation of cable, DSL, satellite, and other forms of broadband communication lets designers use Flash to communicate a message that might just transcend the photographs themselves. "The medium is the message" is just as true today as when Marshall McLuhan said it in 1964.
OK, I'm gonna say it: Jerry Avenaim (http://jerryavenaim.com) has the best photographer's website on the Internet. It contains images that speak to the viewer beyond the pixels they're rendered on and tells the image-maker's story in a way unlike any medium since the multi-image slide projector shows of the 1970s, except instead of lugging 15 Ektagraphics around, you can just e-mail a URL.
The opening dialog box specifies 1024x768 screen resolution, Internet Explorer, and Macromedia Flash Player, but Internet Explorer 6 has so many security holes I long ago switched to Opera (www.opera.com) and after clicking Enter everything worked fine. After you catch your breath, you'll have witnessed how this medium tells you what Avenaim does, where he does it, and the impact his images have on viewers.
Avenaim's specialties range
from celebrities to fashion to athletes to fine art and have a unifying theme.
Avenaim photographs people, but how he approaches each subject is unique and
unaffected. His real style is built around a commitment to excellence and an
uncompromising desire to make each image reflect the person being photographed,
not himself. Look at his portraits of the wacky Tom Green and the achingly beautiful
Charlize Theron and you'll notice the images reflect the subject, not
In the Celebrities Portfolio, there are images of such grace they will be an inspiration to anyone who photographs people. His portrait of Charlton Heston radiates dignity, and look at Heston's eyes; Avenaim has connected with him. The photograph of Angela Bassett with milk poured over her (OK, tell me you would have thought of that) combines sensuality with a sense of tactile abstractness you don't see in celebrity images. This tells me his subjects trust him.
The Fashion Portfolio images combine
the expected with the unexpected, including 1920s black and white men's
fashion blended with today's sensibilities. Avenaim's monochrome
images like the "black and white feet" transcend the genre. Sports
and fashion have little in common, so I was unprepared for the Athletes Portfolio
that ranges from no-nonsense portraits of the Green Bay Packer's Ray Nitschke
to my favorite, the Denver Bronco's Neil Smith. I wish there were more
pages of sports images.
The Fine Art Gallery takes you to what is essentially another site displaying images from Avenaim's book Naked Truth; landscape images that demonstrate what a terrific photographer he is; and images of celebrities such as a hunky David Duchovny, a chilling Robert Blake, and a winsome portrait of the late Rod Steiger that breaks my heart. There's also a Bio with a nice photo of Avenaim and information on buying prints.
Avenaim's website changes
the rules and guidelines about what a professional photographer's website
should look like and how it can communicate with, as the site itself says, "the
This site carries a nudity advisory because of the fine art nudes and some artistic nudity in the Celebrities Portfolio.