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Author Topic: Review my site and galleries  (Read 4778 times)
rgs
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« on: August 29, 2007, 09:23:48 AM »
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I'm new to this forum. I would like to submit my web site for your review. Richard Smith Photography

There are galleries there from a recent trip to Alaska as well as some work from Oklahoma. The landscape of Oklahoma is quite varied and usually a surprise to folks.

Enjoy and please comment. Thanks.

RGS
www.myrsphoto.com
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Chris_T
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2007, 07:40:26 AM »
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The page working area is left justified instead of centered. Why?

Numerous text font problems. The text shading is distracting, making me wonder if I should clean my glasses. Too many (unnecessary) font colors and styles on one (Welcome) page. Red may stand out better, but it is too loud for my taste. Font styles are inconsistent, some Italic and some regular. Font size in the gallery is way too small.

I intensely dislike pop-ups such as "About me". Why is that necessary?

The menu repeated at the footer is unnecessary, and can lead to scrolling, such as on the Wedding Photography page. The line wrap on that page is borken in many places.

I don't like the gallery layout and navigation at all. See my comments here:

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=13890

and here:

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=19206

Unlike most web gallery critics here, I tend to be less kind and gentle. Please don't let my harsh words discourage you from returning.

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I'm new to this forum. I would like to submit my web site for your review. Richard Smith Photography

There are galleries there from a recent trip to Alaska as well as some work from Oklahoma. The landscape of Oklahoma is quite varied and usually a surprise to folks.

Enjoy and please comment. Thanks.

RGS
www.myrsphoto.com
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=136178\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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rgs
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2007, 10:28:22 AM »
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I appreciate your frank assessment. Thanks.

It is centered in Firefox. I have not yet figured out why IE behaves that way.

I did the pop-ups so the more wordy things could be out of the way but available if the viewer is interested. I tried to make the main pages focus on the photography as much as possible. I also tried to keep them short.

The nav bar at the bottom *is* redundant. I just thought people expect it there so I ought to put one there. Most of the pages are short enough that it's not really needed just as you suggest.

I'm not sure what you don't like about the galleries. I thought they were simple and elegant while the little bit of flash (the only flash on the site) was not obtrusive. I have looked at one of the threads you linked and will review the other as well.

As soon as I can understand how to do it, I want to embed the wedding slide shows on the main page so I have left space for them. That's why it looks funny. The word wrap is not broken, it's just waiting for the slide show. Now that we talk about it, I am re-thinking that and may leave the slide shows where they are. Then I will reset that page.

There is some inconsistency in the use of fonts. Although I think I understand the logic, it's not obvious and I'm working on a newer version that will address that.

The fonts on the galleries *are* too small. I agree. That's the way Jalbum did it and I have not found out (yet) how to change them. But I will.

Thanks so much for taking the time to look and make such good comments. I really appreciate that.

RGS
www.myrsphoto.com
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iancl
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2007, 11:30:57 AM »
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I can't quite figure out your reasoning for the variation in image display size in the galleries. I had thought that the reason some might be smaller than others was that the original couldn't handle as much enlargement but that doesn't seem to be the case as some of the large images are quite grainy (or have dust on the negetive -- no. 322 Wichita Mtns) while some smaller one look quite fine. Nor does it seem to be based upon varying subject requiring different presentation sizes.

So, then, why such variation in presented image size?

Also, why include the filenames in the presentation if they are so meaningless (i.e. 322, 8159OO34, etc. . .)?

It would be nice to have some sort of 'back' navigation on the galleries so I could go back to the main page without using my browser's back button. Even better would be to be able to go to the next gallery without returning to the main page.

I had hoped not to actually comment on the images here -- only the functionality of the site. But, they overlap a little at this point. Namely in that I think your galleries could be further pared down. For example, Denali images 308 and 310 are very close. In Kenai, 638-640 are also very similar (the other four of the same feature are differentiated enough for me). There are some other examples too.

Other than those items, I found it a usable site that was fairly straightforward. I found no strange display issues or  other bugs (firefox on PC).
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rgs
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2007, 12:21:00 PM »
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You guys are really good at this! Thanks very much!

The variation in the display size is automated by Jalbum and seems to be related to whether the photograph is horizontal or vertical.  Jalbum tries to fill the frame without causing scrolling. In addition, it also seems to adjust slightly in response to aspect ratio. Since many of my photographs are made on 6x7 chrome, the aspect ration is different from the normal 35mm/digital ratio.

The Alaska photos are mostly digital but most of the rest are originally film, usually Velvia. For the last several years, I have made a practice of having my film scanned when processed but for some of the older ones, I do not have really good scans. The one you mentioned is an older 35mm scan that is not very good. There is some damage to the chrome that should have met with PS. I'll get that fixed. Thanks.

The two Denali photos differ only in the position of the Dall sheep. I should choose one. The two from Kenai (639-640) are nearly identical, I will remove one. I'm still working through the Alaska shots (I just got back about a month ago). There are many more and I will be making some changes. I'm also going to organize them differently.

I have many more Oklahoma shots that I think are worthwhile and cover a variety of subjects. There will also be a new Arkansas gallery and more for the Colorado gallery.

The file numbers are only for precise identification.

I will see if I can get some navigation among the different galleries. I thought the browser back button would be enough but others have mentioned this as well.

I am especially appreciative of comments about the galleries because I want them to work well and I am learning a lot about what others expect and how it differs from my own expectations. Thanks.  

RGS
www.myrsphoto.com
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James Godman
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2007, 01:29:20 PM »
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Hello-

Your homepage image has vertical lines in it from scanning or something.  Many of your other images have these lines as well.  How are you scanning your pictures?
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thompsonkirk
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2007, 04:55:17 PM »
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Are your prints as saturated as your web images?  This is just a matter of taste, but to my eye your landscape colors are somewhat oversaturated, sometimes passing over from realistic to exaggerated, or even to gaudy.  But others may reply that they like 'em that way!  

Kirk
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rgs
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2007, 09:24:20 PM »
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Which ones are you asking about?

Oklahoma has some very intense colors, especially in the summer when it's very hot. Except for the Alaska photos, which are digital, most of the others were shot on Velvia, usually 6x7 but some 35mm as well. Velvia is known for intense colors. I once had an editor who raved about the color and I kept telling her, "it's not me, it's the film."

The Alaska galleries are my first digital work. They were all shot in RAW and I am still learning how to process them. In trying to get a similar feel as Velvia, I have boosted the saturation *slightly*, usually without increasing contrast. I think I have a bit left to learn about digital exposure. Alaskan foliage is very lush in the summer and many of those reflect that.

It's interesting that you should ask about that because someone else recently said one of my favorite Alaska shots (Alaska294 in the Denali gallery) looked flat. What really happened is that that one was taken over considerable distance with 300mm lens to flatten the perspective. Might I ask, do you think it's too flat?

This forum is so much more critical than others I have visited. I am grateful to get thoughtful, honest opinions that afford opportunities to evaluate and learn. My thanks to all.

RGS
www.myrsphoto.com
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thompsonkirk
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2007, 12:27:15 AM »
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You're right - I'd been looking at the Oklahoma images, & not at the Alaska sections.  

Yes, the scanned color does look like Velvia - that's what I was talking about.  Indeed it's a matter of taste.

As you try to bring your scanned & digital captures into harmony so that they can be used in the same shows or publications, it looks like you'll want to decrease saturation in the former & increase it in the latter.  I agree that the Alaska shots tend to look flat.  You might want to use more of the Vibrance slider in ACR - it will increase midtone saturation without pushing intense colors out-of-gamut.  

On the overall issue of what makes for a good website, how about more editing of the Alaska material?  Many are alternate versions of the neighboring frames, & that reduces the viewer's patience.  Pick the ones that matter most to you?  

K
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Chris_T
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2007, 06:47:17 AM »
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I'm not sure what you don't like about the galleries. I thought they were simple and elegant while the little bit of flash (the only flash on the site) was not obtrusive. I have looked at one of the threads you linked and will review the other as well.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=136385\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

For me, a photo site's web gallery should be the focus of the site. I think of presenting one's work online like one framing/matting his/her prints and/or arranging solo exhibits at galleries. The same amount of care and attention should go into a web gallery design. But many great photogs don't seem to get that.

If you have patience, I suggest spending some time on the first thread. You will find numerous comments on different web galleries. Since many apply to your gallery as well, I don't want to repeat them here. Months after the last post, that thread continues to get ~50 hits a day.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2007, 09:40:10 AM »
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For me, a photo site's web gallery should be the focus of the site. I think of presenting one's work online like one framing/matting his/her prints and/or arranging solo exhibits at galleries. The same amount of care and attention should go into a web gallery design. But many great photogs don't seem to get that.

If you have patience, I suggest spending some time on the first thread. You will find numerous comments on different web galleries. Since many apply to your gallery as well, I don't want to repeat them here. Months after the last post, that thread continues to get ~50 hits a day.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=136536\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Chris_T is right on about this. When I get around to designing my own website the right way, that thread will be my bible. IMHO every important point is discussed in it.

As I see it, the key ideas in that thread are that a site should be simple, elegant, with easy and intuitive navigation, and no unnecessary distractions, so that the emphasis is on the images. It takes a lot of work to get there (and especially if you want it to work in IE, Opera, Safari, and Firefox).
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
rgs
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2007, 10:19:12 AM »
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I agree. That was my goal as well. It seems I must have missed it somewhat, but I know the work is not over yet and I am working on a revision. I've read that thread and also find it very useful. The folks on this list have given me much to think about for which I am grateful.

RGS
www.myrsphoto.com
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sinc
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2007, 08:44:33 PM »
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Attractive website. Works well. Good photos.

Good job!
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Joseph T. Sinclair, Author
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