"Even he, to whom most things that most people would think were pretty
smart were pretty dumb, thought it was pretty smart."--Douglas Adams
Do you wiki? A wiki is a special kind of website that lets users collectively
add and edit content. (Wiki wiki means rapidly in Hawaiian.) If you want to
create your own online wiki take a look at Wetpaint (www.wetpaint.com) which
combines the best of wikis, blogs, and forums, letting you produce a blank digital
canvas where everyone gets to have their own brush to connect with people who
are passionate about the same subject. If you want to set up a website about
collecting model fire trucks, Wetpaint will help you do just that. Creating
a site or contributing content is fast and intuitive and you don't have
to learn anything new. You can see how easy it is in The Wiki Sandbox or just
do it. It's free. I created a wiki called "Digital IR Photography"
and Shutterbug readers interested in this topic are invited to visit and contribute.
© 2007, Joe Farace, All Rights Reserved
Kip Cole's site is a photographic blog but it's his images that
really count. Cole is an Australian whose job responsibilities include Asia
so while traveling for business he uses spare moments or weekends for shooting.
"The greatest gratification comes from meeting people and cultures,"
he tells me, "but that's nearly matched by the opportunity of trying
to capture what I see and feel with the camera." Gallery headings include
Australia, Asia, World, Elements, and Events, or just scroll down the blog as
I did and explore his images.
While an amateur, Cole's photographs are clearly professional in quality.
His shots of New York City show familiar landmarks such as the Flatiron Building,
Empire State Building, and Brooklyn Bridge in a fresh light and the blog format
lets him include technical details about how each image was captured. But it's
his trips to more exotic locales that will hold the most interest for Shutterbug's
Cole likes night photography and his 15-second exposure of the Singapore Esplanade
adds drama to a scene that would be lost in the daytime. Switching to monochrome
to capture misty, dare I say, romantic images of Halong Bay in Vietnam that
while made in 2007 could have been photographed in 1907. Similarly, his expressive
black and white images of tigers, locals, and bridges at night (Cole has a thing
for bridges) in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, add an insightful dimension to what
could easily be just another tourist's pictures. There are lots more images
on the site. Just keep scrolling down. Nudity advisory: Cole's photography
is eclectic and some of his studio sessions include tasteful black and white
nude images. He provides a warning on the site but if this sort of thing bothers
you, don't look.
© 2007, Kip Cole, All Rights Reserved
Art Herman is an old school photographer who works in black and white film and
occasionally with digital imaging. His site is old school, too; no Flash, no
video clips, just thoughtful, well-crafted photographs that reflect inspirations
from the work of Berenice Abbott and Ansel Adams. The "Moods" gallery
is mostly monochrome but the lone color photograph "Contemplation"
steals the show because although it, too, is mostly monochrome a red umbrella
adds a dash of "essence" that makes the picture go BAM!
The "Nature's Beauty" gallery most noticeably shows the Adams
influence and contains small thumbnails on the left that when clicked open into
larger images (but when horizontal not so much). Hey Herman, bigger versions
of your photographs, especially "Blown in the Wind," would be awesome.
After all the subtle imagery, clicking on the "Stone and Steel in Living
Color" gallery contains a literal explosion of color. Here Herman shows
his forté unencumbered by the creative baggage of other photographers,
displaying a personal vision that is visually stimulating and just plain fun.
The biggest compliment I can pay any photographer is to say, "I wish I
had made that photograph," and that's how I feel about all of the
images in this collection. In "Playgrounds, Parks, & Schoolyard I
and II," Herman continues playing with color, creating more formal Mondrian-like
images. I loved 'em.
© 2007, Art Herman Photography, All Rights Reserved
In past issues when I mentioned how hard it was to find amateur photographers'
websites, Cynthia Lee Katona e-mailed "that's because most of us
are posing as professionals." Pro, schmo, it doesn't make any difference
to me, and Lee Katona's dynamic photography proves my point but her site
design makes you work to see it. Tiny thumbnails, when clicked, bring up small
photographs in separate windows but oh, what photos. One of her images, "Man,
Dog, Pacific," appeared in the "Picture This!" section of
the October 2003 Shutterbug.
The Portfolio section of her understated site contains an eclectic collection
where urban landscapes such as "SF Breakdancer" find themselves
juxtaposed with nature scenes such as "Saguaro." Portfolio depicts
a three-by-two grid of thumbnails where photographs depicting kinky goings on
such as "High Stepping" (nudity advisory) sit above an image called
"Rural America," featuring a horse and a barn straight out of Normal
Rockwell. I don't think I've found a website that showcases images
from San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair alongside photographs of a night
baseball game. If you're game for a collection of colorful images of the
usual and the unusual, you'll want to check it out.
© 2007, Cynthia Lee Katona, All Rights Reserved
Proving that you don't need a high-paid designer to produce an attractive
website, Rick McIntyre's site was created from a template that cost $200.
When asked about the site design, McIntyre told me he has "absolutely
no experience of that kind whatsoever." While most of the galleries are
dedicated to manipulated imagery, his current exhibit, as I write this, is "straight"
travel shots of Africa. But you don't go to a pancake house to get steak,
so head on over to the eight collections of cleverly tweaked and massaged photographs.
I really enjoyed the colorful images found in "Structures," although
McIntyre's large watermark does detract from its complete enjoyment.
The "Botanicals" collection serves up some tasty images, including
the mellifluously named "Picture 2-6" whose retina-searing reds
leap off the screen. "Colorscapes" contains cleverly composed and
rendered examples of McIntyre's trademark posterization style with the
windmill a.k.a. "Picture 3-7," deserving of your careful attention
for its kaleidoscopic interpretation. Similarly, the aesthetically abandoned
vehicle captured and displayed in "Artifacts" is worth a look. The
"Scenics" collection bursts with color with so many interesting
images, all of which would make wonderful large wall prints. There's lots
to see here, so click on an image, select the "Slideshow" option,
and sit back and enjoy the entire collection!
© 2007, TMGI, All Rights Reserved