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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

johnfriar.com

John Friar, Neskowin, Oregon I—December 2005

Photographer John Friar has asked for opinions about his new website. I imagine most anyone who reads this blog would enjoy a look at this assured, beautiful work; let John know what you think either in our comments or by contacting him directly.

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON

Comment from John Friar: Thank you, to all those who have posted here as well as sent me messages via my website, for your kind words. A few have asked or made suggestions about the website and I'll try and address these now.

The website was built from the ground up and originally started as an experiment just to see if I could do it. Once I became more familiar with web technologies, I started to set some technical and design goals for myself. I wanted the site to be simple, fast, intuitive, and complimentary to what I was trying to show (my photographs). I didn't want to burden the viewer with any technical considerations. For me, that meant no plug-ins. This ruled flash out. I started this a few years ago and things have changed so it may be time to review these design decisions. (Thank you shadzee for your reference to autoviewer. I'll check it out).

In its current form, my website consists of HTML and cascading style sheets (CSS) for the client-side (your browser). No flash, javascript, or java applets etc. The biggest problem in using CSS was browser compatibility. What worked in Firefox often wouldn't in Internet Explorer. I hope I've got over most of those problems! Please let me know if you discover something that doesn't appear to work in your browser.

On the backend (webserver), I've written some java classes and JSP's, and store information in a postgres database. I'm a java developer in my other life so this part was fairly straightforward for me.

Finally, the colours! Based on the feedback I'm getting, it seems that the colour that best works with the photos depends upon the viewer. The colour that I chose to default with (blue) is my favourite. But it's not to everyone’s taste. Therefore, the choice is provided. My original intent was based on wishful thinking..."I like this photo, will it go with my green walls?". Also, for this reason, I display the photos as if they're matted and framed (using CSS to achieve the affect).

Thanks again to all who have commented.

7 Comments:

Blogger johnbeardy said...

Lovely, just right for his pictures.

John

7:22 AM  
Blogger Max said...

Uhmm, it's hard to admit to yourself feeling an insane envy for someone else's pictures, but man, what an eye.
I like the layout very much, although I'm not sure about the background tone. It's (may be) either not different enough or not monochrome enough.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Max said...

Correction, I said monochrome, when I wanted to say achromatic, or desaturated. Somehow it tends to blueish by contrast, but that might be a monitor issue.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

Max,
You can actually change the background colors on the site yourself, by clicking on the little squares up in the upper left-hand corner.

--Mike

10:06 AM  
Blogger Max said...

Hahahhah, I spoke up too early, it seems. The funny thing is the little colored squares were bothering me somehow, but I never thought they were the background color controls. I like the 3rd and 7th colors best.

10:31 AM  
Blogger ShadZee said...

I like it. Here is a few suggestions:
1. I would get rid of the background color choices. Just pick one that works with your own pictures.
2. When you are inside of the galleries (say People) and looking and the individual pictures, you see a grid with the location/position of the picture in a different color! Very nice touch. But you could take it further and have some sort of hover routine so that when you are on top of the other squares you would see a thumbnail of the picture.
3. look into the Autoviewer flash presentation. I think it will also work for you. http://www.airtightinteractive.com/projects/autoviewer/

10:43 AM  
Blogger Raygunn said...

Gorgeous!! I've spent the last five years determinedly trying to go digital after forty years in the dark. After seeing John's pictures (I dont care how they are printed), I am thinking 'why bother'.
With inspirational work like this in monochrome I cant wait to load up my halfplate and make up some more ID11 and ID20 dev.
I'll not equal his work but who cares? I'll be enjoying myself again. Thanks for waking me up.
colour's ok for snaps but proper pictures are always black and white.

3:39 PM  

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