Sites With Impact; A Pixel Is Worth A Thousand Words

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"One picture is worth a thousand words."--Fred R. Barnard

How are websites chosen for this department? It's easy. In addition to my own ongoing research, I look at every site suggested by e-mail, friends, and colleagues. I'm not prejudiced in favor or against any single genre or style, preferring sites, as well as the images on it, to have impact. Sometimes beautiful photographs get wrapped in a gawdawful site design, and when that happens I keep looking. OK, I try to expose you to all kinds of image making and am a sucker for cute and people working out of the mainstream, because humankind does not live by images of Half Dome alone. You can recommend your own or a friend's site by e-mailing joe@joefarace.com.

The simplicity of Blake Shaw's homepage hits you over the head with a soft hammer belying the complex imagery within the Portfolios inside.
© 2003 Blake Shaw, All Rights Reserved

His Master's Voice
The simplicity of Blake Shaw's homepage (www.blakeshawphotography.com) hits you over the head with a soft hammer belying the complex imagery within. The images are found in five Portfolios and inside each one you'll find other collections. Places contain collections with geographic subject matter ranging from China to Mexico. When you point your mouse down Route 66, you'll discover that you're dealing with a master of the art and craft of image making. From Shaw's subtle still life of an old oil can to sweeping panoramas of the American West, his Route 66 images contain hints of people, but the closest it gets is Howdy Doody "driving" an old car.

His other collections, however, are brimming with life, including Sports that captures the action, speed, and poetry of tennis and cycling. When you get to People, with its separate, less effective portfolio of musicians, you'll see that Shaw's evocative images go beyond traditional portraiture and capture a subject's soul, not just their likeness. Before you leave, explore Color to experience one soft impressionist image and others containing sharp focus and wry humor. The classically simple site design is by Jonathan Thrasher (www.jthrasherphoto.com) whose own travel photography is stunning. Be sure to compare Thrasher's image of a woman riding a bicycle in Cambodia to the LeRoy Neimanesque swirl of racing bikes on Shaw's main menu page.

Kati Rudlova is a Czech photographer/model based in France and has constructed a model website. It's bilingual, so click your preferred language and the site magically transforms itself into readable text.
© 2004 Kati Rudlova, All Rights Reserved

Body Language
Kati Rudlova, a Czech photographer/model based in France, has constructed a bilingual website (www.katirudlova.com) in English and French. Click your preferred language and the site magically transforms itself into readable text. Rudlova's About Me section contains a biographical sketch along with a baby picture. If you are offended by artistic nudity, please do not view this site. For more recent pictures click Portfolio; the Fine Art Model collection contains several galleries of her modeling work for some of Europe's finest fashion and fine art photographers, along with an extensive display of tear sheets.

Photographers looking for inspiration will find plenty in both areas, especially the dreamy collage-like imagery of Jean Sebastien Rossbach found in the "Kati by..." collection. The site design places emphasis on easy navigation and image display. Clicking any of the tiny thumbnails opens a separate window containing a larger image and arrows that let you move back and forth through a particular collection. In Rudlova's "Photographer" portfolio, you'll find several different collections of her own images including self-portraits that feature some of her best photography. Her dynamic and colorful industrial landscapes are self-assured, but whatever she tries (and she tries everything) the results are always interesting. As can be seen by browsing the hundreds of images on this impressive site, Rudlova is as talented behind the camera as she is in front of it.

Larry Pratt is a scientist and photographer working at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, but his passion is photographing the human form in natural settings.
© 2004 Larry Pratt, All Rights Reserved

Arts From The Cape
Larry Pratt is a scientist and photographer working at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (www.whoi.edu), but his passion is photographing the human form in natural settings. If you are offended by artistic nudity, please do not view this site. His personal website (www.artscape.com/larrypratt) provides a unique interface that lets you view the most unique, beautiful, and touching black and white imagery I've seen in a long time. That doesn't mean there aren't any color photographs here. There is a Color gallery but these images are merely competent and don't have the raw power of Pratt's monochrome photography, as seen in "Spirit of the Water," especially the close-up of a human foot in shallow water intertwined with kelp.

Similarly, I appreciated the brooding energy of the Bergmanesque photograph of the woman looking at a tree found in the People collection. Some of the portraits in this collection are joyful or pensive, while others revel in alienation and angst. Ya want more angst? Look at Supernatural for Pratt's vision of Ghosts Along The Mississippi played out on Cape Cod. Oh yeah, on some he tries too hard but other images, like the sixth in this series showing a woman's hand, are clearly more than simply photographs of a hand. Edward Steichen's "Equivalents" anyone? In Human Form you will find that Pratt's images have a touch of Edward Weston sprinkled with Ruth Bernhard. Although I loved his metallic twist on "Woman in a Box," when Pratt speaks with his own voice, as in the single male image in this section, the results are spectacularly baroque.

And There's More
One of the people who I contacted for an appearance in this month's Web Profiles never responded to my request to make a screen shot. This is not as unusual as it sounds and I prefer not to feature any sites without the photographer's permission.

In case you wondered, "One picture is worth a thousand words" first appeared in a 1921 ad for baking soda and was written by publicist Frederick Barnard. He headlined his ad with "One look is worth a thousand words" and attributed this maxim to "a famous Japanese philosopher."
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