I have decided to concentrate this week on my website and how I might develop it in order for it to work effectively in support of my professional work. This is a timely reminder as a number of things are concerning me about my current website presence:
We have been asked to consider in particular whether the work on our website is up-to-date, whether it is technically up-to-date in being responsive to being viewed on different devices and whether we are demonstrating a “strong edit” in the work we present.
I am pleased to say that the work on my website is up-to-date and I have been systematically loading work that I am completing on my MA Photography. I am using my website to share work in progress. I have also been ruthless in only displaying my best images – so quality rather than quantity. I have very recently upgraded the software on my site to ensure it is compatible and works effectively with mobile devices.
I have learnt a lot about presentation during this module and have received a lot of help and support from my tutor Sophie Gerrard in finalising the presentation of my Work in Progress Portfolio (WIPP). This has led me to question the current layout of my website such that I have decided to submit my WIPP in pdf format in order to give more flexibility in the presentation of my work. Sophie has suggested I keep my presentation simple in order that my images can take centre stage rather than being dominated by a dark and complex web page structure. Adding words to my images has introduced a further complication and complexity in delivering it effectively through my website. My decision to present my images one by one (in order that the viewer can take in the images and words) rather than as a portfolio or grid of images also led me to prefer the pdf format.
Moving forward I am considering transferring my website to WordPress and moving away from Clikpic. Whilst I am aware that all generic website solutions are likely to have strengths and limitations I would prefer to be using one provider for my website and blog. I am also intending to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org to enable me to take advantage of plugins and other functionality that is currently not available.
In preparation for these changes, and in the context of finding a new presentation format I am happy with and consistent with my commercial brand, I have been looking at some fine art photographers’ websites.
The first screen shot is of Paul Nicklen’s website. This was my favourite layout and presentation of photographic work when I last reviewed websites during the Surfaces and Strategies module. I find the simple panel layout of the home page clear and crisp while providing a professional impression.
Roman Loranc is a photographer that I have researched during Surfaces and Strategies and Sustainable Prospects. Like me, he focuses on monochrome landscape work. It is interesting that a number of the photographers working in monochrome have chosen a white background whereas my current website is black. I do think I need to give this some further consideration.
Like Loranc, Martin Henson has also chosen a white backdrop but in his case he has a changing gallery of one large image. Although this is an option for me I think, at this stage, I prefer the tiled presentation of Paul Nicklen’s work.
I had a look at Sally Mann’s website to give me some perspective as to how photographers from other genres present their work. Again, a tiled approach but a rather more contemporary feel.
And finally, Hiroshi Sugimoto has chosen a grey background and one large image on his home page.
I think the coursework this week has provided me with a useful prompt to develop and enhance my website in the near future and this research has given me some ideas to consider moving forward. I am currently favouring a clean, simple and crisp layout similar to that of Paul Nicklen.