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Thread: Revamp! Personal Photo Website

  1. #1

    Revamp! Personal Photo Website

    I decided to redo my website. I changed the layout to make it simpler and more minimalist. I have tried to reduce the amount of somewhat boring pretty-pretty shots, although there are still some there. There are now a lot of BW images.

    I'd be grateful if one or two of you could give it a quick spin and let me have any comments. Sort of comment I'm looking for is...

    1. Nature and quality of images
    2. Style - how does it generally appear to you?
    3. Layout - is it pleasing and easy to navigate?
    4. Does the 'about' sound pretentious? They normally do, don't they?
    5. Too many images, too few, or about right?

    When you select a gallery you get the thumbnails, then by selecting any one it starts the slideshow. You can halt the show at any time and use manual keys to change shots. Roll mouse over image for title. Thanks in anticipation.

    It views much better in full screen mode using toggle F11

    http://carregwenimages.com/

  2. #2
    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: Revamp!

    Rob,

    Very nice! Website is easy to navigate.I'm a big fan of black pages.For me everything stands out nicely.
    Galleries definitely relay your photography style and a nice range of subjects.
    The about page is concise and unpretentious.You need to come across with a show of confidence for potential clients and this does fine, IMO.

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Revamp!

    I'd be grateful if one or two of you could give it a quick spin and let me have any comments. Sort of comment I'm looking for is...

    1. Nature and quality of images
    Excellent. well ordered; i.e. logical. I definitely need to get on here, or something like SmugSmug, and transfer what I hope is the decent stuff and leave the rubbish on Flickr.
    2. Style - how does it generally appear to you?
    3. Layout - is it pleasing and easy to navigate?
    Taking those two together. The only change I would like to see is on your home page. I'm not so keen on the text being confined within such a narrow, vertical strip. The eye doesn't flow over it easily and I have to scroll down to see the last paragraph, commencing, "I really do ...". What do you think about widening that a bit, if you can?
    4. Does the 'about' sound pretentious? They normally do, don't they?
    I like it. It's a lot less pretentious than some of the nonsense you read on sites. I think you've structured it well. The first para gives an insight to your view of photography and the world. The second tells us that the images are available to purchase. The third makes it clear you welcome feedback. The fourth tells us that you are available for commissions. And the fifth offers assistance to thoise who may have difficulty viewing images. As I say, well structured. Succinct without being blunt. And clear. No problems.
    5. Too many images, too few, or about right?
    Biggest (I think it's 'Landscapes') gallery is just right. The others still have, in my opinion, space for more if you wish, but they don't need more. I say this because recently, viewing some galleries, I've felt they were too big. You start viewing and, even if the images are of a high quality, you begin to think 'How many more are there'? So, there is a concentration span issue at work here. More galleries with the right amount of images is better than fewer, bigger galleries.

    Hope my comments are useful. Well done. You're just giving me the bug!

  4. #4

    Re: Revamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Rob,

    Very nice! Website is easy to navigate.I'm a big fan of black pages.For me everything stands out nicely.
    Galleries definitely relay your photography style and a nice range of subjects.
    The about page is concise and unpretentious.You need to come across with a show of confidence for potential clients and this does fine, IMO.
    Thanks, Jim. I agree that black makes a huge difference, provided you have a few discrete flashes of colour, that I think I have, just to set it off.

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Revamp!

    Should have added - I like the way in which you've presented the galleries as a page of thumbnails that we can then click on the start the slideshow. And, then, the size of the images in the slideshow is good.
    Last edited by Donald; 1st June 2010 at 06:22 PM.

  6. #6

    Re: Revamp!

    Thanks, Donald, very good comments. I have now widened the left column and made the slideshow slightly smaller (just on the homepage) It was bugging me to be honest, but I couldn't work out how to do it. Your prompt made me sort it out!

    The pretence thing, yes, I hate it when people speak in the third person - "John is a skilled artist...."

    If you want a site, Clickpic are pretty good, and you can customise a lot. It costs about 50 a year for the 'intermediate' but if you want slideshows you need the professional, which I have. That's 80 a year. Plus your domain name which is about 12 a year.

    You could try One exposure. I have just joined them, mostly because they have an excellent critique system (bit daunting, but you get good C&C). They have a website facility if you have the 'bronze premium' at about 40 a year, plus domain name (you can import your own domain name). And you get the critique system. Just started mine, but it's here http://carregwen.1x.com/ You can upload as much as you like, and there's only a 10mg restriction on files, so you can get really good quality. Although I noticed today that I could upload 500k files to Clickpic, and they used to restrict you to about 200k, so maybe they have changed it.

    Thanks again, very useful.

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    Re: Revamp!

    Hi Rob: Here are a few thoughts.

    ON MAIN PAGE:

    Perhaps just a little more colour in the scrolling shots on the main page, just to keep everyones attention.

    Asking for feedback and giving any impression about helping to improve your photography, while being very honest does not sound confident to me. I think having this on the main page might cause some to lump you in with the everyday Joe who knows how to make a web page. Yes the images speak for themselves, but you don't want to give anyone a reason not to look further.

    Perhaps something like. "If you have any questions or comments on my work, please use the contact section or the email link above. I will answer all questions and am always open to discussion."

    ABOUT PAGE:
    rather than say "I don't like highly representative "pretty" images...." Perhaps leave that sentence out and start with the next sentence. "I prefer more abstract...of our world and tend to shy away from highly representative "pretty" images.

    The reason I mention this is because if you are looking for commissions, you may be limiting yourself by the use of language in this paragraph. Of course if you are only looking for certain types of commissions then I guess what you are saying works. It does not sound pretentious, but it does sound opinionated and might keep some people from checking further or contacting you with questions.

    2nd PARAGRAPH: one too many pleases

    3rd PARAGRAPH: I think the feedback request is OK on this page

    MAIN GALLERY PAGE AFTER CLICKING ON RED IMAGES LINK:
    third line on the far right says Images Shouldn't this say Galleries on this page? For that matter maybe the main red link should say Galleries

    AFTER CLICKING ON A GALLERY AND GETTING THE THUMBNAIL VIEWS:
    instead of the "Roll mouse over image for title email..." I would prefer to see something to the effect of "Click on thumbnail for larger view and use video buttons to....

    AFTER CLICKING ON A THUMBNAIL AND GETTING THE LARGER VIEW:
    Again, I don't like the mouse over thing for the image title. I would prefer to see the Image title in place of that message, preferably in large print and on the same line as but left justified beside Gallery title. Perhaps you could have a line at the bottom asking potential customers to use the image title in an email and/or put that on the about page along with your other purchase info.

    I suppose everyone nowadays knows how to use the video button to start the slide show and/or pause or single step, and that the bunch of little squares means thumbnails, however, just in case, is there any chance that tool tips could be added to these buttons for the icon illiterate?

    Of course these are just my thoughts and I know you will consider the source. The site looks very professional. It is well balanced and I agree with Donald that you don't want to get too many shots all at once or it will get overwhelming and people will loose interest. I think what you have is great and the photos are exceptional.

    Wendy

  8. #8
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Revamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    I have now widened the left column and made the slideshow slightly smaller (just on the homepage) It was bugging me to be honest, but I couldn't work out how to do it. Your prompt made me sort it out!
    Yes! That's much better.

    Just working my way through Wendy's comments.

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    Re: Revamp!

    Hi, Rob;

    Very nice-looking site. A general style comment is that the horizontal rule after the header doesn't seem to span across the whole content. This makes the content seem to overflow on the right. It's a perennial problem in web design.

    In "about":

    > I aspire in most of my work to represent the every-day world in a way that hopefully causes the viewer to stop and reconsider.

    "Hopefully" seems redundant, since you begin by stating that this is an aspiration. I wouldn't have commented, except that "hopefully" feels a bit clunky here. If you want to keep something, maybe change it to "ideally"?

    > I can see reality with my own eyes, as you can, I don't need to see it again in photographic images.

    I would put a period or semicolon after "as you can." Or you may be rewriting per Wendy's comments.

    > I really do appreciate any feedback (good or bad) on my work, as it helps me to improve my photography.

    I would change "good or bad" to "positive or negative." I realize that positive/negative is a bit stilted and business-speak, but good/bad does carry its own connotations (a user thinking, "Do I want to give him 'bad' feedback?").

    I expected the "about" section to have an explanation of where "Carregwen" comes from.

    The images are a great selection. I agree with Donald that there's room for more. I did see what appeared to be a glitch. When I browsed through, the title of the image would sometimes not advance. I'm afraid it wasn't repeatable, so I can't give clean "steps to reproduce." But it was happening quite regularly. I was using IE 8.0. Is anyone else seeing this?

    Cheers,
    Rick

  10. #10
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Revamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    When I browsed through, the title of the image would sometimes not advance. I'm afraid it wasn't repeatable, so I can't give clean "steps to reproduce." But it was happening quite regularly. I was using IE 8.0. Is anyone else seeing this?
    No, I didn't see that (Firefox). What I did see were a few images come up with 'No Title'. Not sure if this would leave those looking for a name (does anyone do that?) with a feeling of 'Did he think this one wasn't worth giving a name to'.

  11. #11

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    Re: Revamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    I did see what appeared to be a glitch. When I browsed through, the title of the image would sometimes not advance. I'm afraid it wasn't repeatable, so I can't give clean "steps to reproduce." But it was happening quite regularly. I was using IE 8.0. Is anyone else seeing this?
    Cheers,
    Rick
    I think this is the mouse over function. The title does not show up until you mouse over. It does not advance and change with the shot as you scroll through. I'm usin IE 8 too, and I also find the image title very small. I did not even see it at first.

    Wendy

  12. #12

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    Re: Revamp!

    I have just noticed that the keyboard arrow keys are not working for me to scroll through the images. IE 8 Windows 7. I don't know if this is just my setup or if anyone else has the same condition.
    It would be nice if they worked. I think if I was browsing through images thinking to purchase, I might like to just sit back and not worry about mouse clicks.

    Wendy

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    Re: Revamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    I think this is the mouse over function. The title does not show up until you mouse over. It does not advance and change with the shot as you scroll through. I'm usin IE 8 too, and I also find the image title very small. I did not even see it at first.

    Wendy
    I don't think it's mouse-over. I noticed that the title appeared/disappeared depending on where the mouse was. This was where the title of an image viewed earlier in the session remained. If it's not appearing for others, it may be an unusual combination of browser and plug-ins.

    Rick

  14. #14

    Re: Revamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Should have added - I like the way in which you've presented the galleries as a page of thumbnails that we can then click on the start the slideshow. And, then, the size of the images in the slideshow is good.
    Yes, I like the way you can do that. And it actually cycles around, so no matter where you start you get back to the same point.

  15. #15
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Revamp!

    Hi Rob,

    On the whole pretty good effort to confirm what the others have said.

    I too cannot navigate a gallery via keyboard (FF on Vista).

    One neat thing I like is how the thumbnails for each gallery are different each time you go to the Images page, keeps it looking fresh.

    Cheers,

  16. #16

    Re: Revamp!

    Wendy

    You are marvelous! very good points, and I agree completely. You might need to do a server refresh (CTRL/F5) to see the changes I have made on each page.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Hi Rob: Here are a few thoughts.

    ON MAIN PAGE:

    Perhaps just a little more colour in the scrolling shots on the main page, just to keep everyones attention.
    Yes I have that on my list to do. I also need to put a thin white border on the images that don't yet have it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Asking for feedback and giving any impression about helping to improve your photography, while being very honest does not sound confident to me. I think having this on the main page might cause some to lump you in with the everyday Joe who knows how to make a web page. Yes the images speak for themselves, but you don't want to give anyone a reason not to look further.

    Perhaps something like. "If you have any questions or comments on my work, please use the contact section or the email link above. I will answer all questions and am always open to discussion."

    ABOUT PAGE:
    rather than say "I don't like highly representative "pretty" images...." Perhaps leave that sentence out and start with the next sentence. "I prefer more abstract...of our world and tend to shy away from highly representative "pretty" images.

    The reason I mention this is because if you are looking for commissions, you may be limiting yourself by the use of language in this paragraph. Of course if you are only looking for certain types of commissions then I guess what you are saying works. It does not sound pretentious, but it does sound opinionated and might keep some people from checking further or contacting you with questions.
    You and Myra must think along the same lines - she PM'd me with the same thoughts. And you are both quite right. Thanks to both of you. Page amended.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    MAIN GALLERY PAGE AFTER CLICKING ON RED IMAGES LINK:
    third line on the far right says Images Shouldn't this say Galleries on this page? For that matter maybe the main red link should say Galleries
    Quite right. Items changed,

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    AFTER CLICKING ON A GALLERY AND GETTING THE THUMBNAIL VIEWS:
    instead of the "Roll mouse over image for title email..." I would prefer to see something to the effect of "Click on thumbnail for larger view and use video buttons to....
    Agreed. text changed

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    AFTER CLICKING ON A THUMBNAIL AND GETTING THE LARGER VIEW:
    Again, I don't like the mouse over thing for the image title. I would prefer to see the Image title in place of that message, preferably in large print and on the same line as but left justified beside Gallery title. Perhaps you could have a line at the bottom asking potential customers to use the image title in an email and/or put that on the about page along with your other purchase info.

    I suppose everyone nowadays knows how to use the video button to start the slide show and/or pause or single step, and that the bunch of little squares means thumbnails, however, just in case, is there any chance that tool tips could be added to these buttons for the icon illiterate?
    I can't get the title to come out any larger. I need to contact Clickpic to see if it can be done. There isn't a facitly to place the title anywhere else. I do agree with you though.

  17. #17

    Re: Revamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    Hi, Rob;

    Very nice-looking site. A general style comment is that the horizontal rule after the header doesn't seem to span across the whole content. This makes the content seem to overflow on the right. It's a perennial problem in web design.

    In "about":

    > I aspire in most of my work to represent the every-day world in a way that hopefully causes the viewer to stop and reconsider.

    "Hopefully" seems redundant, since you begin by stating that this is an aspiration. I wouldn't have commented, except that "hopefully" feels a bit clunky here. If you want to keep something, maybe change it to "ideally"?

    > I can see reality with my own eyes, as you can, I don't need to see it again in photographic images.

    I would put a period or semicolon after "as you can." Or you may be rewriting per Wendy's comments.

    > I really do appreciate any feedback (good or bad) on my work, as it helps me to improve my photography.

    I would change "good or bad" to "positive or negative." I realize that positive/negative is a bit stilted and business-speak, but good/bad does carry its own connotations (a user thinking, "Do I want to give him 'bad' feedback?").

    I expected the "about" section to have an explanation of where "Carregwen" comes from.

    The images are a great selection. I agree with Donald that there's room for more. I did see what appeared to be a glitch. When I browsed through, the title of the image would sometimes not advance. I'm afraid it wasn't repeatable, so I can't give clean "steps to reproduce." But it was happening quite regularly. I was using IE 8.0. Is anyone else seeing this?

    Cheers,
    Rick
    Thanks for the feedback, Rick - much appreciated. Because of the comments from both Myra and Wendy, I have now re-written the 'about' section, which I think covers most of the points you make. I will look into the horizontal line. I know what you mean.

    Most grateful.

  18. #18

    Re: Revamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Rob,

    On the whole pretty good effort to confirm what the others have said.

    I too cannot navigate a gallery via keyboard (FF on Vista).

    One neat thing I like is how the thumbnails for each gallery are different each time you go to the Images page, keeps it looking fresh.

    Cheers,
    Thanks, Dave. You can specify all the images to appear in turn on the gallery selection icons, but I need to sort that. At present it only shows a few. If you do a CTRL/F5 on that page you can see them change.

  19. #19
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Revamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    Thanks, Dave. You can specify all the images to appear in turn on the gallery selection icons, but I need to sort that. At present it only shows a few. If you do a CTRL/F5 on that page you can see them change.
    I find f5 alone does the trick.

    I still can't get either the arrow keys or my video buttons to work to navigate within a gallery
    FF or IE8

    I also find that to get back out of fullscreen with F11, I first have to move the cursor off the flash player part of screen and get back to html around the edges - that may just be a default behaviour of Flash and/or FF though, yours is not the only site I have experienced this on.

    Cheers,

  20. #20

    Re: Revamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I still can't get either the arrow keys or my video buttons to work to navigate within a gallery
    FF or IE8
    I'll try IE8 tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I also find that to get back out of fullscreen with F11, I first have to move the cursor off the flash player part of screen and get back to html around the edges - that may just be a default behaviour of Flash and/or FF though, yours is not the only site I have experienced this on.
    Yes, I get that too. I get it on other sites though. Flash problem?

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