Building A Better Web Mousetrap; Without All The Usual Headaches

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If there is in any theme to Web Profiles during 2005 it's that there are lots of ways to create an Internet homepage. Unlike other technologies used in web design, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) wasn't adapted from the print world and was developed specifically to enhance the HTML (HyperText Markup Language) code that's the basic building block off the World Wide Web. CSS is an extension to HTML allowing "styles," such as color, font, or size to be specified for certain elements within a document. Style information is included as part of the HTML code or in a separate file that can be shared by multiple HTML files.

"CSS Layout Techniques: for Fun and Profit" (http://glish.com/css) is a wonderful resource for Cascading Style Sheets and you can also learn more about this technology from Martina Koslof a.k.a. the CSS Shark at: www.mako4css.com. If you'd like to see a wonderful and inventive example of a CSS site, visit John Allen's combined website and blog at: www.jonra.com/blog/photography.shtml.

There are several innovative techniques at work on Allen's site. There are 34 photographs and 24 wallpaper images on the overall site and it's designed so that one page can appear to be several different pages. Each photograph appears in at least two different sizes: thumbnail and standard viewing size. Many of them have a larger size that allows the viewer to zoom into them and the wallpapers are available in three different resolutions. A JavaScript function Allen wrote serves up the correct size image based on your actual screen resolution.

There are 34 photographs and 24 wallpaper files on John Allen's site. A JavaScript function he wrote serves up the correct size wallpaper image based on the user's screen resolution.
© 2005 John Allen, All Rights Reserved

Chip Off The Old Block
Chip Talbert's slickly designed site (www.chiptalbert.com) showcases the work of this talented Tennessee photographer who is also a skilled web designer. His Gallery contains eight collections, including one of my favorites--Infrared digital photography. His IR images are warm toned and combine classic composition with technical brilliance. Subject matter, such as a photo of an ordinary house, that might be mundane in color or even black and white easily becomes a metaphor when captured by Talbert in IR. His Architectural and Landscape photographs, especially in monochrome, are formally elegant, while the color imagery is just nice pictures with colors. Yet Talbert's People collection, both in color or black and white, is fresh and full of energy. The clever cat portraits in his Miscellaneous section will amuse cat lovers. (I smiled.)

The content of the Digital Art collection varies from creepy George Romeroesque Night of the Living Dead people photography to funky sci-fi to what appears to be digital interpretation of manipulated Polaroid prints. Love 'em or leave 'em, none are boring. Navigation between the galleries and within each collection is elegant and intuitive and is a tribute to Talbert's design skills. Take some time poke to around in the Experimental section. Talbert is clearly a guy who is passionate about his photography, and it shows.

Chip Talbert is clearly a guy who is passionate about his photography and it shows in his cleverly designed website.
© 2005 Chip Talbert, All Rights Reserved

Go West Young Man
Doug Dreyer is a South Dakota shooter with a neatly designed website (www.dakotaimages.net--don't forget the ".net") highlighting his stock, assignment, and editorial photography. All his imagery is infused with the kind of photojournalistic vision you would expect from a guy whose images have been widely published through the Associated Press. While I'm not sure the three cuties belong in Dreyer's News section, the rest of the photographs combine spot news coverage along with some interesting wide angle lifestyle images. I especially liked the (untitled) photograph of an elk skull stuck in a wire fence. Lots of connotations can be attributed to that one image; probably a lot more than Dreyer intended. The Commercial collection has some great cowboy images combined with interesting "men at work" shots that show a distinctly Western point of view. The Stock section is a potpourri of images; the best being one of a train conductor checking his watch while a row of passenger cars await departure in the background.

Doug Dreyer is a South Dakota shooter with a neatly designed website highlighting his stock, assignment, and editorial photography that has a distinctly Western perspective.
© 2005 Doug Dreyer, All Rights Reserved

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