"Speak the truth
but leave immediately after."--Old Slovenian Proverb
One of the joys of Web Profiles
is hearing from readers about their own websites, maybe a friend's,
or just some great photography they found on the Internet. Recently, I
received an e-mail about a new site and, as I always do, looked it over.
(Yes, Virginia, I review every website that's submitted to me for
consideration.) While the gentleman's work might not be called traditional,
it was stunning and inventive, but the site itself? Let's just say
it's a sight! In the not so distant past, it was enough if you placed
a few pictures along with some text on the Internet and a unique URL,
but not anymore. When planning a new website, photographers should also
think in terms of traditional media, such as galleries and brochures.
It should not take five different button clicks to see one of your images.
And like the old joke about hitting the mule in the head with a 2x4 piece
of wood; you gotta get my attention first.
Stanley Chan's journal-styled website if full of
great images and his portrait at the top of the screen
will be sure to make you smile, as it did me.
© 2003, Stanley Chan, All Rights Reserved
For The Love Of It
When I first visited Stanley Chan's website (www.stanc.net)
I smiled and so will you. The true definition of "amateur"
is one who does something for the love of it, although Chan readily
admits he's a detail oriented dude who won't turn down an
assignment if you ask. His site employs a journal-style design that's
both pleasing to look at and easy to navigate. At the top of the screen,
you'll find a list of places to visit on the site. Because I love
wide-screen images, I clicked Panoramas first and enjoyed the way Chan
used every inch of the format as part of the composition for his Wailea
image, something often overlooked when shooting this format.
One of his journal entries concerned the San Francisco Auto Show, so
you know I had to poke around in there and look around. I enjoyed the
photographs and so will you. Chan has a flair for shooting these kinds
of images and knowing how difficult it is to make images during a show
makes me even more impressed with his images of the Ferrari Enzo, a
notoriously difficult car to photograph unless you have lots of space.
All of these images are fully captioned with complete capture data down
to the ISO, but some of them could have used a tiny bit of Photoshop
tweaking to get the most impact from these strong compositions. Chan's
People images are full of life and some of them show his strong compositional
skill, such as the mellifluously titled DSCN0882.jpg. Places has some
excellent examples of how he works with forms and shapes and I loved
the image of the amusement park at night. Clicking on the large thumbnails
in each of the galleries opens a huge image on your screen, so you can
appreciate what Chan's all about.
Template-based websites don't have to look like they
were built with cookie cutters, as can be seen by one of
the samples that BluDomain has created.
© 2003, Blu Domain, All Rights Reserved
Just add water? Not quite, but as someone who is involved in four (soon
to be five) websites, I must tell you that creating and maintaining them
is a challenge and is fraught with more dead-end alleys than a Raymond
Chandler novel. One concept that's been beaten to death is "the
template" and I've seen schlocky web designers try to foist
off lame-o designs based on templates for $1000 or more. But BluDomain
offers affordable templates with a sense of style that are aimed specifically
at photographers. All of their website interfaces cost $600, and BluDomain
will upload all of your pictures, arrange the galleries to fit your specific
needs, upload your logo, change any colors, insert content, then test
and launch your final site. These websites are fully completed and transferred
to your current URL and hosting company. Be sure to check out these samples:
www.bludomain.com/templates/temp1.html; and www.bludomain.com/photo/photo.html.
They also do custom websites, and speaking as someone who has spent far
more than $600 on web design and got absolutely nothing to show for it,
BluDomain templates are a bargain.
is more than just a photo-sharing site and offers a number
of ways for members to share imagery with friends and family.
© 2003, Webshots, All Rights Reserved
A Shot In The Web
Ranked by Nielsen/NetRatings as the #1 photo site, Webshots (www.webshots.com)
defies easy description; it's much more than just a photo-sharing
site. Sure, Webshots offers a number of ways for friends and family to
share imagery with one another, such as Photo Messages, online photo albums,
custom prints, and gifts, but there's more, like their own software.
Webshots Desktop for Mac OS and Windows is a surprisingly robust (yet
free) photo management application that combines the ability to make wallpaper
and screensavers with tools for managing and sharing photos.
The application lets you produce on-screen slide shows, gives you one-click
uploads of photos from digital cameras to online albums, along with a
feature that lets you track and view the photo albums of friends and family.
Free (there's that word again) membership allows members to download
any of their Gallery images to their computer and upload and share their
own photographs. Once your own image files are uploaded, you can send
Photo Messages or invitations to view entire albums, and can choose to
list albums publicly in the Webshots Community and Photo Search directories.
Within the personal My Photos area, you can track downloads and view statistics
for your images, as well as order prints, frames, and a variety of customized
gifts, such as T-shirts, mugs, and mouse pads. Premium (that means you
gotta pay) features, such as high-resolution downloads, additional image
storage, and ad-free browsing, are available with Webshots' Unlimited
service. For cell phone slinging digital photographers, Webshots'
My Photos Viewer mobile service lets members use their wireless phone
or handheld device to remotely browse their own and favorite members'
albums. My Photos Viewer is carrier-independent, operates on WAP 2.0-enabled,
color screen phones and wireless handheld devices with graphic Internet
browsers. (Wireless Application Protocol is an open international standard
for Internet access using cell phones.) This free service and a list of
enabled handsets are available at: www.webshots.com/html/mobile_myphotos.html.
Thanks to the design efforts of Michael John Parker, the
2004 Take Your Camera To Work Day website will have an all-new
look with image hosting services provided by Smugmug.com.
What Four Sites?
In addition to my websites www.joefarace.com
and www.joefarace shootscars.com, I invite you to visit http://farace.smugmug.com
to see some of my images in categories from cars to fashion to projects
I'm currently working on. Smugmug (www.smugmug.com) is one of the
sponsors of Take Your Camera To Work Day and the site redesign is going
extremely well. Remember: May 21, 2004, is the second annual Take Your
Camera To Work Day, so be sure to visit the site (www.takeyourcameratoworkday.com)
and post images made on that day.
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.