Week 1 – Professional Portfolio

Today’s task is to look at Photography websites and evaluate the things that are good and bad about them.

I will be looking at:

  • Images
  • Type/Font
  • Colour
  • Usability
  • Overall Thoughts

1. Website: Dave Hill

Dave Hill Photography Website

Dave Hill Photography Website

Images: A Wide selection of different sorts of images from landscapes to commercial images. Neither too many nor too few images. Render quite quickly and are of high quality.

Type/Font: Not enough text, website basically only contains links and image titles. The titles are also not very obviously located.

Colour: White background with grey text. Contrasty enough to be seen though. Barely any sign of any colour outside of the images, but a tonal colour scheme like this is popular with photography websites as it stops distracting you away from the content.

Usability: Very straightforward but text size of links is quite small and almost ‘hidden away’. Possibly to make you just click on the images.

Overall Thoughts: A fantastic collection of images, which makes me wonder why his website looks so plain and ordinary.

2. Website: Mark Mawson Photography

Mark Mawson Photography Website

Mark Mawson Photography Website

Images: Some pixelation on some images. A lot of vivid colours used, not many black and white images. More eye catching and more likely to stand out.

Type/Font: Small fonts everywhere and very limited text. No captions/titles/descriptions of any of the images presented.

Colour: Again a colour scheme of black, white and grey. No colour shown outside of the images.

Usability: Very awkwardly placed controls for navigating your way through the images. Contact box opens a pop up window, and no one is a fan of pop up windows.

Overall Thoughts: A lot of decent images however the website seems very minimal as though he wanted to have as little information put on it as possible.

3. Website: Polly Alexandre Fine Photography

Polly Alexandre Fine Photography Website

Polly Alexandre Fine Photography Website

Images: Outline on the homepage suggested an image would load but the box just remained white.

Type/Font: Very minimal. Almost none at all other than the titles of categories.

Colour: Again, only tonal colours used. Almost no sight of colour outside images.

Usability: Every time you click on a category link there’s an animation that plays to bring up the sub categories, annoying after the first one. Homepage slow to load due to a number of animations playing before anything comes up. Music automatically plays without prompting or permission (frustrating) and then the controls to turn it off are difficult to locate/see due to small font (even more frustrating).

Overall Thoughts: Dull Website. Annoying Animations. Good quality images. Very gimmicky and almost like they are trying to use what they think is good website production to try and increase the persona of their work. However it is very annoying and quickly deterred me from being interested in the work underneath the whole mirage of rubbish.

4. Website: Rankin

Rankin Photography Website

Rankin Photography Website

Images: A massive selection of categorised portfolios with some incredible images and a lot of celebrity portraiture. Suggests that he is good and well established. Lacking a description/caption for quite a lot of the images. At least ALL the ones that I looked at, but at least it’s consistent.

Type/Font: Very small, would probably have difficult reading if you have trouble with your eyes.

Colour: Again, the almost generic, black white grey tonal scale is the colour used outside the images in this website.

Usability: If you go on to a different section of the website such as RankinFilm there is no navigational tool to take you back to the overall website home page.

Overall Thoughts: Personally feel that as he is an exceptional photographer and well known, you know exactly what to expect from his images. However it seems as though the website slightly lets down the quality of his work because it is very plain and generic. I think the website could me made to look a lot better without even changing the colour scheme much.

5. Website: Tom Hoops

Tom Hoops Photography Website

Tom Hoops Photography Website

Images: Primarily monochrome images, which suit the black, white and grey colour scheme that is used.

Type/Font: Redundant other than the text used in the menus. No captions or descriptions used. Heavily image based website. I supposed this could be construed as letting the work speak for itself.

Colour: almost ‘standard’ colour scheme used once again however it works very well with the primarily monochrome

Usability: I quite like the carousel style used in this website to display the images when you select a category from the left, however I think it is quite slow and clunky and so hasn’t perhaps been executed as well as you would hope if you used this concept yourself.

Overall Thoughts: A very professional looking website, especially considering that it was made using WordPress. However that isn’t an insult to WordPress as you can make very good websites using the service if you know what you’re doing and know how to make it more effective than just being a blog.

6. Website: Richard Wilson

Richard Wilson Photography Website

Richard Wilson Photography Website

Images: Good quality, high resolution images. Well edited and nicely framed. Plenty of well used colour.

Type/Font: Predominantly text based home page. Suggests trying to sell themselves through writing before the client even gets to the images, where as I am more a believer of let the work sell itself.

Colour: Standard black to white tonal scale colour scheme. Much better applied in the other websites that I have looked at whereas in this one it just looks like ‘playing it safe’.

Usability: Clicking an image opens it so that all you can see is the image in it’s own window and I think for a photography website a lightbox mode works better as it means you don’t have to keep clicking ‘back’ on the navigation bar. EDIT – Now having clicked through some more images, it appears that some of them do open in a lightbox, this is possibly even slightly worse because there is no consistency and you don’t know how the image will open when you click it.

Overall Thoughts: Looks like it was designed by someone who is unfamiliar with web design and wasn’t particularly fussed about making it look too presentable. Very plain, old fashioned website with very boring graphics.

7. Website: Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones Photography Website

Rachel Jones Photography Website

Images:  A good range of different style images using a selection of locations. Well composed and nicely framed. All very high quality as well.

Type/Font: Navigation bar is at a bit of an angle so doesn’t really sit on a straight line. I am not a fan of this as I think it makes the whole page look a bit messy, however in this case that does fit with the background image on the page. The fonts look a bit almost graffiti-like which, again fits with the theme of the website.

Colour: Bold orange colour used makes the website stand out from the crowd as most other photography websites use very plain colour schemes.

Usability: Links back to the photography sections of the website from every other page on the website, which is good because that is supposed to be what the website is selling, plus it makes navigating the website quite easy.

Overall Thoughts: I quite like the home page design on this website. I think the bold ‘in your face’ image display works quite well as it is somewhere she can display her best images so that any potential clients will be met immediately by her work.

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