SITE REVIEW: Fine Art Photography

  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey guys, I've been working on a new website for myself and my photography, and I really would like your opinions on all aspects. I've only got the index page done at the moment but the others will be easy and simple to do once I get the design right on this.

Here's the link!

Thanks in advance :)

Edit: I'm looking for a good gallery script, free or not too expensive, to integrate into this site. Any suggestions?
  • George L.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It looks interesting, Breeze. I would suggest maybe the copyright part, you do not need to include the (unless otherwise specified)? It sounds a bit confusing to me.
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well there might be some things I may include that are done by other people (images, code, etc) ... it's just covering all bases, really. It won't have any big effect on a viewer, it's not like they read that as part of the content.
  • Mars
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like it. Nice and simple. I really like how the image border matches the pipe separators in the navigation. Colors go well together. Logo looks good. Can't really find much constructive criticism, but there isn't really much to criticize. I'll have to take a look at it once the rest is up.

I know of a couple gallery scripts. Does your server have php and mysql running on it?

Maybe this one http://minishowcase.net/
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah, it does - I'll check out that link right now, and I'll post here again when I've got more up there.
  • zhouyi
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Breeze,
Really nice design, I also like your Profile Link site.

But one thing,I don't know how to say, just feel that balck background doesn't match very well with the white character,maybe a little too bright or what?
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks :)

Hmm, I'll make the main text light brown and the links white and I'll see if that looks any better.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Breeze wrote:
I'm looking for a good gallery script, free or not too expensive, to integrate into this site. Any suggestions?


Define "not too expensive". :)

There's ImagevueX (demo)
That's $54 for a personal license.
  • natas
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I hate to post a generic "love the site" review, but in fact I do..

The colors are dark hues which I personally love. It all seems to blend together well. Also, after reading the content, I feel as if we are old friends.

As far as a gallery script... check this out also. I use it and it's free and easy.

http://jquery.com/demo/thickbox/
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I only have one really major critique. If it wasn't for the fact that I knew you named your site "Fine Art Photographer" by your title tag (although your keyword in your subject line is "Photography" here in this post), I would never have figured that out by your Title image. Needs to be a little mutual agreement there. Which is it?

It's a lovely font and close to what I think you want, but the word "Fine" is nearly impossible to read if you didn't know what it meant. Kinda like reading the handwriting of someone you've never met.
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah - my handwriting sucks :P A lot of people have been saying 'what is that word?'.

It wasn't helped by the fact that my scanner doesn't like me and I wrote it one a piece of paper and took a picture of it ... I'm getting a tablet soon.

By "not too expensive" I mean around $30US or less, but I'll look into that link Joe, and yours too natas :D Thanks for the feedback, guys!
  • guppyman
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The site looks nice. But, I think it can look better with some brighter colours.
  • CXLink
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Breeze do you have any interest in a flash gallery? If so I would suggest slide show pro and if you don't want to mess with the xml you could also use slide show pro director. If you are interested, in ssp shoot me a pm.

As far as the design on the site goes I like it. Color scheme is good and I really like the lighting and background around the title. I do agree with ATNO though I thought it was a fancy "my art" no idea it was fine. Also I feel a little like the color scheme is different in the header/footer areas and the content area. You pull the red into the border but the rest of the center is gray. I'm not sure if it would work or not but did you try doing your image in a brown duo or monotone and the text to a tan? Not guaranteeing it will look good just something I would try. That way you could continue the red, white , tan throughout. Really good job though on the layout and nice type choice.
  • namecritic
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ok, here is a list of things to consider.

1. Gray text on a black background is difficult for some people to read.

2. Underline the links. No matter how "artsy" it is not to underline links, you need to do it anyway. Build to the lowest common denominator. Not everyone will know you want them to click there.

(Suggestion for point 1 and 2. Make the text the brighter white and make the links orange or red.)

3. The 1st call to action on the page leads to another website. Yes, I know you have a profile there. Use just the link directly to your profile and take out the one to their home page. You do not want your first call to action to take the user away from your website. Also, have it open in a new window so you have not lost them altogether. That is called a "traffic hole".

4. I see you are planning a links page. As some young people might say, "That's so 1995". :)

If it is just going to be a hobby website, you can ignore most of what I told you here. I specialize in Internet Business Websites. If you plan to use the website professionally, do some affiliate marketing, or otherwise make money with the website, then you need to go over these suggestions and possibly make some changes.

Here are some tips.

1. Define your goals. If you want them to buy or download your pictures, that is a goal. If you want them to contact you to do photography or to purchase photos by phone or by contact form, those are goals.

2. Plan your website around those goals and make sure you are leading your visitor directly to where you want them to go.

3. Linking to other people's profiles and websites defeats the goal of websites that have goals in mind.

Like I said before, if it is going to be a hobby website, then ignore most of this. If it is going to be a professional website with the goal of making money or achieving a specific purpose, then don't think of all the great places you can send your visitors to, think about how to convert them into leads or sales.

For instance, my girlfriend, no matter how beautiful she may be, could not have a link from a website where I was trying to make money.

Again, please remember, my focus is on business when reviewing a website. If the focus is not about business for you, then I'm the worst person to review the site. The thing about the gray text still applies though.

Hope that helps.
  • Bogey
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Post 3+ Months Ago

@namecritic: You gotta give me a site review once I get done with it :lol:


@Breeze: I really like your site Breeze... I really do, but the first thing that came across my mind when I came to your site is that it's a bit too gothic (Using "medieval: as if belonging to the Middle Ages; old-fashioned and unenlightened;" as the definition from google's 'define' tool).

Even though, I like it that way... but the links... the really dark red on the black background (The voided link that the user is on) is quiet hard to read... and to make it worse, that part of the background has a red tinge to it.

Gray text is fine with me... kind of fits the design... just make it a bit lighter maybe... try #AAAAAA, #BBBBBB, or #CCCCCC. (From dark to lighter respectively).

About links... you can have them underlined and then un-underline it at hover, or keep them as is, but underline them at hover... or just change the colors like namecritic suggested.

I like for the fact that as soon as I get to the site, I know that the site is all about fine art photography.

The design kind of looks empty to me, but it's simple... I like that about it... it's simple.

I generally like designs that have more to it, but if you've ever read my requests for design reviews... :lol: they are either too busy, some 1960's weird thing, or something horrible entirely, so don't take this part of the review too seriously :lol:

Are you going to use purgehosting for free sub-domain hosting or are you going to get a regular host (Paid hosting with your own domain)? Just wondering.

I like your logo image at the top (The image that says "Fine Art Photography Aaron Bradford" at the very top center)...

That's about it with this review of mine... good luck... great design
  • namecritic
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Be happy to review it again when you are done. PM me anytime.
  • Merlyn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think it looks great. Classy and clean which is fitting for a fine art photographer. The first thing I noticed other than the copyright statement mentioned in previous posts was that your name (Aaron Bradford) right below the 'Photographer' in your header seems too small.

To me if your name is your brand, you should make it stand out slightly more. It's a good font choice and the spacing is good between the characters but the font size just seems too small to me.

I understand the look your going for and think it's great but in between the 'Photographer' of the header and the main navigation it seems squeezed.

My 2 cents.

Other than that. Good work!
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

regarding your "handwriting". That png file is interesting to say the least. The transparency "background" isn't totally transparent, per se, but it's odd that only the black background works and makes it look pretty slick. It's just hard to read plus there are some aliasing issues with it. Rather than a manual scanned "handwritten" text, which is what I assume is the effect you were looking for, there are a lot of good script fonts that can still make it look "artsy" yet legible. This is one example with Palace Script MT. I actually used this particular font at work for "Signatures" on company emails for all of our employees and it's been well received.

Attachments:
logo_redo.jpg
  • Bogey
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Post 3+ Months Ago

namecritic wrote:
Be happy to review it again when you are done. PM me anytime.

You can actually review/influence the design part here. I made that a few days ago...

P.S: Sorry to be off topic ATNO/TW and other mods... don't punish me :|
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

CXLink wrote:
Breeze do you have any interest in a flash gallery? If so I would suggest slide show pro and if you don't want to mess with the xml you could also use slide show pro director. If you are interested, in ssp shoot me a pm.

As far as the design on the site goes I like it. Color scheme is good and I really like the lighting and background around the title. I do agree with ATNO though I thought it was a fancy "my art" no idea it was fine. Also I feel a little like the color scheme is different in the header/footer areas and the content area. You pull the red into the border but the rest of the center is gray. I'm not sure if it would work or not but did you try doing your image in a brown duo or monotone and the text to a tan? Not guaranteeing it will look good just something I would try. That way you could continue the red, white , tan throughout. Really good job though on the layout and nice type choice.


Thanks for the link - I'll do some more research :) Thanks for your suggestions.

namecritic wrote:
Ok, here is a list of things to consider.

1. Gray text on a black background is difficult for some people to read.

2. Underline the links. No matter how "artsy" it is not to underline links, you need to do it anyway. Build to the lowest common denominator. Not everyone will know you want them to click there.

(Suggestion for point 1 and 2. Make the text the brighter white and make the links orange or red.)

3. The 1st call to action on the page leads to another website. Yes, I know you have a profile there. Use just the link directly to your profile and take out the one to their home page. You do not want your first call to action to take the user away from your website. Also, have it open in a new window so you have not lost them altogether. That is called a "traffic hole".

4. I see you are planning a links page. As some young people might say, "That's so 1995". :)

If it is just going to be a hobby website, you can ignore most of what I told you here. I specialize in Internet Business Websites. If you plan to use the website professionally, do some affiliate marketing, or otherwise make money with the website, then you need to go over these suggestions and possibly make some changes.

Here are some tips.

1. Define your goals. If you want them to buy or download your pictures, that is a goal. If you want them to contact you to do photography or to purchase photos by phone or by contact form, those are goals.

2. Plan your website around those goals and make sure you are leading your visitor directly to where you want them to go.

3. Linking to other people's profiles and websites defeats the goal of websites that have goals in mind.

Like I said before, if it is going to be a hobby website, then ignore most of this. If it is going to be a professional website with the goal of making money or achieving a specific purpose, then don't think of all the great places you can send your visitors to, think about how to convert them into leads or sales.

For instance, my girlfriend, no matter how beautiful she may be, could not have a link from a website where I was trying to make money.

Again, please remember, my focus is on business when reviewing a website. If the focus is not about business for you, then I'm the worst person to review the site. The thing about the gray text still applies though.

Hope that helps.


Yeah, I changed the text to test it out, just experimenting (kill me for editing a live site, but my files are on my now-stolen laptop).

I'm not sure I'm on the Agree-Gree train with this one ... personally I hate underlined links unless they work well with the design (which doesn't occur often). Just as long as they're different from the content is fine with me.

Totally agree with #3 :)

At least the design's not 1995 :P What hell that would be XD

It's mainly just a hobby website, but I wouldn't mindmaking some money out of it if I could ... and I want to avoid putting any ads at all on this website.

Thanks for your input, Chris! I really appreciate it :)

Bogey wrote:
@Breeze: I really like your site Breeze... I really do, but the first thing that came across my mind when I came to your site is that it's a bit too gothic (Using "medieval: as if belonging to the Middle Ages; old-fashioned and unenlightened;" as the definition from google's 'define' tool).

Even though, I like it that way... but the links... the really dark red on the black background (The voided link that the user is on) is quiet hard to read... and to make it worse, that part of the background has a red tinge to it.

Gray text is fine with me... kind of fits the design... just make it a bit lighter maybe... try #AAAAAA, #BBBBBB, or #CCCCCC. (From dark to lighter respectively).

About links... you can have them underlined and then un-underline it at hover, or keep them as is, but underline them at hover... or just change the colors like namecritic suggested.

I like for the fact that as soon as I get to the site, I know that the site is all about fine art photography.

The design kind of looks empty to me, but it's simple... I like that about it... it's simple.

I generally like designs that have more to it, but if you've ever read my requests for design reviews... :lol: they are either too busy, some 1960's weird thing, or something horrible entirely, so don't take this part of the review too seriously :lol:

Are you going to use purgehosting for free sub-domain hosting or are you going to get a regular host (Paid hosting with your own domain)? Just wondering.

I like your logo image at the top (The image that says "Fine Art Photography Aaron Bradford" at the very top center)...

That's about it with this review of mine... good luck... great design


I wanted to make it look old and classy, but I agree it can be a bit to dark, so I'll try and lighten it up a bit.

I'mn going to be adding a bit more content soon - I just wanted to get some feedback on the design first of all, so there wouldn't be as much work to do when I change it all.

And yeah, I'm going to get a proper domain with paid hosting, probably with PurgeHosting. This subdomain is just for testing and such.

Merlyn wrote:
I think it looks great. Classy and clean which is fitting for a fine art photographer. The first thing I noticed other than the copyright statement mentioned in previous posts was that your name (Aaron Bradford) right below the 'Photographer' in your header seems too small.

To me if your name is your brand, you should make it stand out slightly more. It's a good font choice and the spacing is good between the characters but the font size just seems too small to me.

I understand the look your going for and think it's great but in between the 'Photographer' of the header and the main navigation it seems squeezed.

My 2 cents.

Other than that. Good work!


Yeah, it is a bit small. I wanted to shy away from the name-is-the-brand thing most photographers have got going on. To me it just reaks of self-importance and I'm not a fan of that. I'll try to make it a bit more readable, though.

ATNO/TW wrote:
regarding your "handwriting". That png file is interesting to say the least. The transparency "background" isn't totally transparent, per se, but it's odd that only the black background works and makes it look pretty slick. It's just hard to read plus there are some aliasing issues with it. Rather than a manual scanned "handwritten" text, which is what I assume is the effect you were looking for, there are a lot of good script fonts that can still make it look "artsy" yet legible. This is one example with Palace Script MT. I actually used this particular font at work for "Signatures" on company emails for all of our employees and it's been well received.


Hahaha - yeah, it's a strange file alright. I hand-erased it, and it looks so dodgy. I'm going to redo it with a tablet.

Thanks for your suggestion. I'll do some comparisons when I get said tablet.



Thanks for all the input, guys! I appreciate that you've given it so much thought.
  • Bogey
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have one thing on your links... make the hover color to be your link color and your current link color to be your hover color... :D

That would look better in my opinion.
  • CXLink
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm diggin on the white (or much closer to white) content. But I am going to go with ATNO on the title font go here and pick out something nice our else your name will always be Rnu Ant to me. lol

EDIT: I actually like this one.
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Rnu Ant ... Image

:D

I'll look into some fonts, thanks for the suggestion.
  • vivon 1
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Nice website i like colour theme and background.
  • namecritic
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Are you going to use purgehosting for free sub-domain hosting or are you going to get a regular host (Paid hosting with your own domain)? Just wondering.


Great question. Get your own domain and hosting. And if you can, don't get cheap hosting. Hosting is one of the most important decisions you will make.
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I answered that one earlier on :P

Going to get paid hosting with my own domain when I'm ready.
  • flishyflashy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I know you are still getting other pages done, but so far, I really love the background wallpaper. It lends itself to photography. It looks professional to me, and that's a great pic (and camera too) on the homepage. I think the text color is good, I might say to make it more contrasty, but then again, it might be too gawdy...so you made a good choice there i think.

You did good on the copyright notices at the bottom, and I like that you paid attention to your title tag (i made a bad mistake by leaving this as untitled, for weeks) and i only had 1 html page! LOL

Look forward to seeing more, and I'm a little into photography myself. Just picked up a sony dslr.
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for your thoughts ... I've been a bit lazy on it, as in I haven't gotten around to getting those other pages done ... I've got a massive backlog of work to be done on more important things.

Have you put any of your work online?

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