Solinsky's photography is breathtaking on many levels.
First, there's his image making in exotic locations
that transcends traditional color landscape photography
taking it in new directions, then there's joy in
his celebration of the ordinary captured in extraordinary
© 2003, Steve Solinsky, All Rights Reserved
"I Don't Like
Spiders or Snakes..."
First there were viruses,
then spam, now web surfers have to combat parasites that can hijack
their Internet browsers; it's enough to turn you into a Luddite.
But as the song asks, "How're ya gonna keep them down on
the farm after they've seen Paree?" This month we'll
discuss a problem you may have noticed on your own computer and introduce
a few sites that may have the solution. In addition, you'll meet
a few Webmasters from some of the best and brightest photography sites
on the Internet.
Gallery Of Fine Art
When I see a truly great image I gasp. That's what happened when
I hit Steve Solinsky's homepage (www.solinskyphoto.com)
the first time. Don't rush through or skip the slide show that
greets you; sit back, relax, and enjoy the photographs.
Solinsky's work is breathtaking on many levels. First, there's
his image making of exotic locations that transcends traditional color
landscape photography, taking it in new directions. Second, there is
joy in his celebration of the ordinary imaged in most extraordinary
ways. His Image Catalog contains seven collections that help you rethink
color photography. In each case, Solinsky has created bold, genre-busting
images that are displayed with class and style. Clicking any collection
opens a page of thumbnails; clicking one of them opens a larger image
along with pricing information. You can browse through large photographs
by clicking next and back arrows. Oh yeah, the prices are amazingly
affordable considering the quality.
The posters, although no size is mentioned, available in the Posters
section are a downright bargain. His catalog contains similarly spectacular
images of America, Ireland, The Tropics, and new work, including the
knock-my-socks-off, Uelsmannesque "Tidelands Shrine," which
is labeled a "digital montage." You won't see any
Italians in the Italian collection, but you will see their traces. (Kinda
like the Martians reflected in the water at the end of The Martian Chronicles
miniseries.) Everything in Solinsky's pictures seem meticulously
placed to archive a crisp, formal composition. The way a window curtain
blows in "Curtain in the Wind" is as if a young, barefoot
Sophia Loren just walked by and the breeze from her flowing skirt disturbed
the red (it had to be red) curtain. In the About the Artist section,
there's a great portrait of Solinsky and some biographical information;
he looks like a nice guy. If you want to see his work in person, the
Coming Exhibits section contains information about various gallery exhibitions,
art shows, and tours of his studio. If you go, be sure to say "Hi"
Rudman may feature a beautiful woman's portrait on
his homepage but when you click "Enter" you
are treated to a matrix of all kinds of photographs, including
© 2003, Ed Rudman, All Rights Reserved
Models, Models, And
Connecticut-based Ed Rudman may feature a beautiful woman's portrait
on his homepage (www.emrphoto.com)
but when you click "Enter" you're treated to a delicious
matrix of all kinds of images, including dare-I-say-it puppets. The site's
design is fresh and easy to navigate. Clicking any of the six galleries
in the matrix takes you to a 3x3 thumbnail grid; simply dragging your
mouse over any of them displays a larger photograph. Be patient while
these larger photos load; it takes some time on my (still at it)
Rudman's Model portfolio is full of engaging images with fresh approaches
to tired themes and demonstrates his style with negative space, too. Unfortunately
his site's format prevents the use of any kind of caption, but it
would have been fun if we could see comments or information about some
of these photographs. By the time you click through More Models and get
to Even More Models, you'll see that Rudman's color and especially
his monochrome work has grown and is more spontaneous while being more
deliberate at the same time.
Rudman calls the puppet section (there's an out-of-place gargoyle
skulking there, too) Still Life but I think there's some funny stuff
lurking here that he may not yet have discovered and photographed. There
are currently only a few images in this section but Rudman clearly has
a talent for still life and a way of transforming the cliché of
a "daisy in a bottle" into something special. His Portrait
section is filled with photographs of young people, including a baby,
which leads me to think he is either a young photographer himself or young
at heart. Especially notable is the panoramic portrait of four young girls
whose cropping will cause every photographer viewing it to ask, "Why
didn't I think of that?"
the photography and the clean-looking web design are done
by Gilkermaxis Gamez. The site features a newsletter-graphics
style that wraps information around his great nature photography.
© 2003, Gilkermaxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Just Call Him Maxis
You have to love any photographer named Gilkermaxis Gamez, and you have
to visit his website (www.gvisions.org),
too. Both the photography and the clean-looking web design are done by
Gamez, and the site features an almost newsletter style that wraps great
nature photography around information. He's a young dude, too, as
can be seen by the photographs in the Biography section, and while he
considers himself a "bird photographer" the Gallery section
includes portraits and landscapes as well.
His portraits show traces of a talented beginner but his Avian Gallery
contains much for bird watchers and practitioners of this difficult discipline
to admire. Once you click on a thumbnail in a gallery window, you're
taken to another window that displays a slightly larger version (I wish
it were bigger) of the same photograph with back and next arrows, and
clicking the "i" button produces a pop-up "About this
Image" window with technical details. Since the enlarged image is
small relative to the space available in the window, I wonder why Gamez
feels he must place his name so big across these photographs. Right-click
copying is already blocked; try it and see his clever response, but I
respect his concerns about digital theft. The Digital Gallery includes
quiet, yet moody monochrome landscape images, while his Open collection
is ablaze in color and action, including an in-car portrait of the late
NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt.
my Internet Explorer browser became infested with parasites,
I visited www.spywareinfo.com, where I found a storehouse
of information on this subject. As you can see, my short-term
solution was to switch from Internet Explorer to Netscape
A Public Service Announcement
From Web Profiles
It's bad enough computers can get viruses, but parasites? Yes, boys
and girls, exploiting yet another security flaw in Microsoft's Internet
Explorer, vicious hackers and "script kiddies" are using parasitical
programming to hijack your browser software to modify your start and search
pages and even add shortcuts to your Favorites folder--without even
a polite dialog box asking permission. It's all designed to force
you to visit a website of the hijacker's choice. Nope this isn't
the Pirates of the Caribbean; it's worse and since this is the Internet
it even has a buzzword.
Spyware is software that is surreptitiously installed on your computer
to gather information for later retrieval. It comes in two varieties:
surveillance spyware and advertising spyware. Surveillance software includes
the kinds of stuff "the boss" might install on your computer
to see if you're looking at sports or porn sites instead of working.
Advertising spyware is software that may be installed alongside other
software or, more often than not, via Microsoft's ActiveX controls
without your knowledge and can collect personal information or show you
is a "freeware" program that will "quarantine"
parasitic files that have been playing havoc with your Windows
(98/SE/Me/NT4/2000/XP) browser. The company offers an upgraded
version for a modest fee but the freeware version worked
Advertising spyware logs information
about the user, including e-mail addresses, browsing history, online buying
habits, hardware and software configurations, and even your name, age,
and sex. You got it, it's Spyware.
So what are you going to do, call Spy Busters? The Windows version of
Internet Explorer seems the most prone to these sorts of attacks so the
first step is to tighten up its security settings. (If you're already
infected, it may be too late.) Start by opening Internet Options and going
to the Security tab. In the ActiveX area, disable anything not marked
as "safe and not signed." For ActiveX marked "safe and
signed," set the choices to "Prompt." This approach
did not work 100 percent of the time for me, so I visited www.spywareinfo.com,
where I found a storehouse of information on this subject.
Further research on this subject turned up a freeware program called Ad-aware
that will "quarantine" files that have been playing havoc
with your browser. The company offers an upgraded version for a modest
fee but the freeware version worked for me. If Internet Explorer has been
acting strangely and taking you places you don't want to go, get
to this website tout de suite.
Don't forget: If you want to recommend your own or a friend's
website for an appearance in this department, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.