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Author Topic: Garnerimages.com, an alternate, non-Flash site  (Read 6021 times)
Quentin
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« on: October 13, 2003, 09:21:29 AM »
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Fair enough.

I am trying to get the correct ballance for my own print sale site.  I am not planning on selling limited editions, which will clearly have an impact on price.  I am trying to "commoditise" the exercise, with full online credit card authorisation.  My site is not ready to go live as yet, but it will be soon.

I find this pricing thing a pain :laugh:  

Quentin
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
pcg
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2003, 07:26:42 PM »
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Pete,

Thanks again for the thoughtful comments. Took several of your insights back to my designer & we're wrestling at the moment. His first comment: "Man, your splash photo is so cooool!" Of course, he directed the photo shoot that produced the image.

And I agree that the entire splash page should be clickable. Aesthetic opinions are dynamic, right? I suspect I'll win this one shortly!
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2003, 03:50:08 AM »
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DRM, I'm curious about what you don't like about the page background, what makes it unsuitable? Do you think it is simply unattractive, bad style, or makes the text too hard to read?  

Hi Jonathan -

No, it's the photos that are poorly served. Look at Patrick's site - solid colour. Look at Michael's - ditto (although I woudn't choose black personally) - look at this one, ditto. Even look at mine if you want...   Notice that a lot of people use a neutral gray - not coincidentally the same as Apple desktop neutral gray (obviously also available on Windows).
It puts the photos in their best light.  On your site, in my opinion (and let's be clear - I'm no style guru) the background distracts from the photos. This is particularly unfortunate in the cases where you're offering prints for sale.

My advice would be to split things. I've also got a "just for fun, friends & family website, on .mac, where I don't even bother about style, I let Apple do it for me...

David
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pcg
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2003, 06:48:13 AM »
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Jonathan,

I'm totally Mac & using Safari. You should try to view your own site on a couple different monitors, including one's driven by Apple's OS X. Most pros I know (& those I read about) are using Macs, or a combo of OS X & XP.

But the alignment comment I made was a small quibble!
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pcg
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2003, 07:12:05 AM »
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In the context of the recent www.blairbunting.com comments, I just completed work on a site with my own images. I purposely avoided use of Flash, so was interested in Blair's thinking, & reactions to the technique.

www.garnerimages.com

This was created in Dreamweaver.Shots are taken with a Canon 10D, Leica M6 & Hasselblads--all post processing is digital. Comments welcome!
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pcg
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2003, 08:46:52 AM »
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Quentin,
Pricing is complex (at least to me). My editions are small (10 prints max), & I usually sell the first couple prints at $250. But as the edition runs out, I'll bump up the pricing to $350, & finally 500. And it's also complicated if a gallery is involved, as that skews pricing dramatically, so as irritating as it may be, I leave that issue open.
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pete
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2003, 08:50:20 PM »
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Hi Patrick, great images.

My only negative comment would be that the splash/entry screen at http://www.garnerimages.com/ adds no value to the site - it's a good way to turn people away from your site. I'd prefer some 'meat' on the home page - navigation, images, something to get me interested. You can always use that image somewhere else... like in the bio area.

pete
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pete
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2003, 08:51:38 AM »
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Hi Patrick, splashscreens are an interesting issue, no doubt about that!  

I'm by no means a young web designer, but have been consulting for companies in the US from here in Australia for the past six years or so, mainly in the areas of web design, application development and usability.

The reality is that most sites loose the bulk of their visitors at their first page, a few visitors make it to a second page, fewer to a third etc. A splash screen might seem cool to a designer and were all the rage a few years ago, but it adds no value to your site, and infact gaurantees that fewer people will ever get to see any of your online images.

The first page a user sees needs to contain useful/tempting information and site navigation - your splash page contains neither. It says 'Patrick Garner The Images' but I can't even see any of your images on your home page.. only Patrick Garner. In my book it's a wasted page load, and a site can't afford to waste any, esp the first page.

If you do keep the splashscreen it should at least be changed so that either the whole image is clickable, or the 'Enter' is visible without scrolling to people running 800x600 which it currently isn't - the user needs to scroll down to see it and click into your site. (The latest stats I saw still suggested ~50% users were running 800x600 believe it or not)

The site is nicely designed though, no arguments from me there...  don't take my word on any of this stuff though - there are many usability articles etc online that discuss this type of thing - www.useit.com is probably a good a place to start as any.

pete
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2003, 01:52:17 AM »
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So what do you guys think of http://visual-vacations.com/?
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2003, 03:47:56 AM »
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Well I'm going to have to be honest. Please don't hate me. I'm a nice person really. Sometimes anyway.

As a basic "mom & pop" family home page built with basic tools, ok, fine. But as a shop window for you as a professional (?) photographer, sorry, no cigar.

First problem: it really looks like it was built with something like XYZ PageBuilder V1.0 1997 vintage. There is no consistency, no design really. You mix up family stuff with attempts to market yourself as a fine art photographer. The navigation is inconsistent and the links a poorly defined. For example, is NEW Home Stuff Page at title, four links, two links... I could only work it out by trying it. And yet you have clear links in the centre which make this on the right redundant.

Second problem: the backgrounds are...let's say unsuitable for a photographic site.

Third problem: having empty pages such as the waterfalls index is bad PR and unprofessional. Same goes for the pointless events page.

Sorry to be unkind, but I think your photography is badly let down by your web site. It is quite remarkable how a reasonably good design (which I'm forward enough to think mine is) can boost people's impressions of your photographs. Certainly it seems to work for me - my stuff is average at best but seems to benefit from presentation.

But it isn't necessary to be a good web site designer to be a good photographer. Possibly even the reverse as diluting your creative efforts on too many things can be damaging. On the other hand, people with judge your esthetic and artistic sensibilities on the whole, not the part, so do yourself a favour and build, or get built for you, a seperate fine art web site.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2003, 04:47:35 PM »
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Well, my site started off as a kind of personal project, a place where I could display my photos for family and friends, and I'm updating it to be more of a professional showcase of my work. The only blank page currently is the waterfall page, I'm reworking the images there; the original renditions had some technical issues I wasn't comfortable with displaying to the world. The event gallery page does have content, it's listed in the navigation area at the top of the page. Look for Birthday Party...

DRM, I'm curious about what you don't like about the page background, what makes it unsuitable? Do you think it is simply unattractive, bad style, or makes the text too hard to read?
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2003, 04:36:01 PM »
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Well, I gave my site a major makeover; I'm curious to see what you think of it now.

http://visual-vacations.com/index.html
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2003, 10:34:36 PM »
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Which browser are you using? The top-of-page stuff lines up with Internet Explorer...

As far as your site, the only quibble I have is that it doesn't attempt to take advantage of large screen, it looks kind of lonely in the middle of a 1600x1200 monitor.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2003, 02:12:00 PM »
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According to my site statistics, 85.44% of my visitors use MS Explorer, and 14.56% use Netscape. Safari doesn't even show up as an entry, though Netscape 4.8 is listed at 0.59%. 16.5% are Mac users.
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Quentin
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« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2003, 07:25:39 AM »
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First, congrats on not using flash. I never did get to see the latest BlairBunting site: I don't have broadband (not available where I live) and I ran out of patience waiting for it to load.

Your site shows that a tasteful design absolutely does not need flash. Nice, simple, site design and some innovative imagery

My only issue is the absence of pricing. Why not state your prices upfront?

Quentin
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
pcg
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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2003, 06:58:11 AM »
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Pete,
Thanks for the comment. You've touched on the one area of the site that has been most debated. I disliked it; my web designer loved it. Seeing it I feel like a snake oil salesman; my designer is younger & thinks it's 'absolutely cool.' His taste is generally dead-on, so I've been hesitant to fight too hard on this.

I'm fairly reticent in personality, so there's been (& remains) controversy. Interesting issue, isn't it? I appreciate your critique!
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pcg
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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2003, 07:06:10 AM »
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Jonathan,

At first I thought DRM was referring to my site. Then realized he was describing yours. So I too popped over to view it. My reaction is somewhat different.

You didn't describe how you use the site. Is it a family fotolog for friends? Is it a personal project? If that's the case, the format lends itself to easy updates & quick scans--& therefore works nicely. On the other hand, if you're trying to use it to market your work, his comments become more meaningful.

My site (www.garnerimages.com) is specifically set up to display my work, & enhance (hopefully) my marketing. If I were to set up something for friends & family to view what I've been up to recently, I'd shift over into something closer to what you've created. So I'm curious: how do YOU view the use of your site?!
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pcg
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2003, 07:41:59 PM »
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Jonathan,

Nicer. Easier to navigate, cleaner interface. The graphic design is still slightly clunky (for instance, the 2 boxes on the top right on the opening page are slightly out of line w/ each other). But more accessible than the previous iteration.

And after a couple comments on my site (www.garnerimages.com), I've added pricing info under Purchase. Thanks to all for the constructive opinions!
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