I have spent this afternoon looking at a number of photographers’ websites and was surprised at the variation in terms of style and quality, especially considering some of these people are professional photographers and presumably use this as one of their main sources of marketing.
The first one I looked at was Heather Angels as I am a fan of her work, particularly macro and flower images. I struggled with her website though. http://www.heatherangel.co.uk/ [accessed 4 August 2013]
For a start, the background is dark grey and I felt it would have had more impact, had it been black or white, or green even. The sequence of pages did not seem very logical to me, there is no home page for example and some open as a new page, others do not. The menu consists of a list down the left hand side and navigation instructions are in small text at the bottom left of the page. What is good is that you can choose between thumbnails, normal view or full screen, though once in full screen, what you have to do to get out is not obvious. For me the most confusing thing though is that Heather’s images are in two places, either the portfolio or a separate image gallery run by Nature Visions. Love your pictures Heather.
The second website I looked at was another of my favourite photographers, Laurie Campbell, Scottish Natural History Photographer. http://lauriecampbell.com [accessed 4 August 2013]
My initial reaction is that this site is much more inviting, you are met with a panel of 9 stunning pictures and although there is a very small ‘click to enter’ at the bottom of the page, wherever you click gets you into the home page where there is a short biography. A series of tabs, in very small text, across the top and bottom of the page, takes you to portfolio, stock list etc., and when you click on portfolio, the images are very large and take a time to open with no obvious means of navigation, although once they are all loaded, you get a set of thumbnails and from there you can choose an image and navigate by arrow but no obvious means of getting out of the sequence. There is some absolutely stunning work here but I’d like to see larger text and better navigation.
I read Outdoor Photography magazine and always enjoy David Ward’s articles so his website was my next stop. Not easy to find in the search engine as there are so many photographers called David Ward. The one I wanted is called ‘Into the Light’ http://www.into-the-light.com/ [accessed 4 August 2013]. Again, a really inviting website with 3 stunning images on the front page and tabs across the top of the screen taking you to workshops, gallery, blog, etc. This was fairly easy to navigate and I like the exif data that went with each of the images. I also liked the fact that you could choose a standard or full-sized version of each picture, although once in full size, it didn’t tell you how to get back to standard. Some of the pages needed updating, for example when I clicked on ‘news’ and ‘basket’ I got a page which didn’t mean anything to me but for me the biggest problem is that there is too much text on most of the pages and that it is quite small.
The best by far, in my opinion, of this first batch is Colin Prior’s website. I was fortunate enough to join one of Colin’s workshops in North West Scotland last year, which was a real inspiration, so maybe I am biased! http://www.colinprior.co.uk/ [accessed 4 August 2013] Colin’s website is clear and uncluttered with a white background and good sized tabs across the top of the page to aid navigation. The portfolio tab takes you to further sub portfolios shown in good sized images and from there to a series of thumbnails of the images within. The images are quite large but once loaded they’re fine and you can view them individually or as a slide show. This was the first site that I looked at that gave you a route-map of where you are, e.g. home, portfolio, wild land, and also the first that showed an option to ‘close’ the large images. Definitely my favourite to date.