I need some critiquing/feedback on new webite.

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Shane Knight, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Shane Knight

    Shane Knight Member

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    Howdy all!

    I would like to invite critiques, feedback, and/or suggestions regarding my new website. Flash Player and high speed internet connection are required. After surveying a quite a few of my customers regarding internet availability and opinions; I have decided on Flash.

    I understand some here on APUG do not like Flash and/or do not have a high speed connection; I also invite your/their opinions. I can understand why some do not like Flash for many reasons ex. large files, flashy designs, etc. I tried very hard to keep this website simple. Please let me know if you feel different.

    If you will, please let me know the system, program, and type of connection you are using.

    Thank you in very much for your time and opinion.

    Shane Knight

    www.shaneknight.com

    horse photography
     
  2. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Hello Shane.
    I am one of those people who doesn't like flash.
    My connection is not that bad (2Mbs/640) and your site loads quickly
    its just that the flash slows down the navigation and I find that a tad tiring.
    The presentation is very nice though and I don't mind the music either
    which usually scares me off a site.
    One thing that it does is open its main window to full wide screen and since my d
    esktop resolution is 1920x1200, that's way larger than the actual website design.
    The photographs are incredible btw.
     
  3. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    Hi Shane. You've got some beautiful photos on your site. Although I don't like flash either, I will put up with it for good content - which you have lots of :smile: The colour scheme, fonts and gallery layout work really well for me. Navigation is clear and everything is easy to find.

    On the other hand I consider opening a new full size window "bad behaviour" for a web site and usually close it immediately and move on. I also loath web sites that play music - except iTunes of course! IMO music is a waste of bandwidth and almost always detracts from the real content.

    So 10/10 for your photos. I would say 9/10 for your site, but with music and a popup window I can't go over 6-7/10.
     
  4. eric

    eric Member

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    Windows XP
    decent video card
    1600x1200
    32 bit color
    (hey, its a work machine)
    19" Sun Microsystems monitor (rebadged Sony trinitron I think)

    After clicking the "enter" link, the page is too wide for my screen.
    I don't mind the flash if its the first time I visit the website, but if I wanted to check out new photos or look at your pictures again, it tends to get boring fast. Music, don't know, I have (need) headphones plugged in so I didn't hear any. But probably the same, if I hit your site 5 x in one day, I'm sure I"ll get tired of the music and flash.

    Photos....just AWESOME.
     
  5. rjas

    rjas Member

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    Hey,

    Really nice site. My moniter is 1024 x 768 and it looks great.


    Would you mind sharing how you get that very brown look to your prints? Are some of your prints lith prints? Thanks
     
  6. wfe

    wfe Member

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    Wonderful images Shane and the design is very nice. The only problem I have is that the images change automatically and I can't fully appreciate the photograph, it changes too quickly.

    Regards,
    Bill
     
  7. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Beautiful!

    I can live without the music, so I'm glad I could turn the sound off. Not that the music is bad, it's just I personally think it's not necessary.

    Your work is fabulous.
     
  8. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    Hello Shane, I think the content is fantastic but, as Bill mentioned above, you might consider an higher interval for image visualization, they switch too fast IMHO.

    Cheers

    André
     
  9. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    yikes!

    Shane, your photography is outstanding. It speaks for itself, without further adornment.

    That said, I detest music and motion graphics on photography websites. I want to explore such sites at my own pace, and I want to experience my own emotions while I do so. To me, having syrupy background music playing with faux-profound philosophical musings waxing and waning is almost like being told what to think or feel, when I just want to look at the d*** images! I also don't like the automatic slide-show progression; i'd rather have thumbnails to click on, and be able to click right/left or up/down arrows to scroll through a series of images.

    I apologize if my candor is more than you bargained for. Be assured, I'm not attacking you personally, nor dissing your work--which as I said, is splendid. I just think the other stuff is a distracting sideshow for work of the quality of yours.
     
  10. Derek Lofgreen

    Derek Lofgreen Subscriber

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    Shane,
    I love your images! Great stuff as always. You really opened a can of worms asking for input here didn't you? :smile: The site is close, but a few points need to be looked at. Never pop a full window when opening a site, never. People hate that, not to mention some popup blockers will not allow it to work. A solution for this is to use a flash "sniffer" script that will redirect the end user to an html version or a flash version depending on the plug in installed.

    Navigation is a little clunky, once I enter a portfolio I loose the ability to go to another portfolio. I have to go back to the portfolios link to see the other portfolios again. You should be able to go directly from one portfolio to another without having to back out to the portfolios link. Also tighten up the whole thing to be within 800x600 pixels. I know people say that monitors are bigger now, and they are (I even have two), but busy people multitask and have many windows open at the same time so keeping it at 800x600 will be optimal for all.

    I would start off with the images static (no slide show) but give the user the option to view it as a slide show turning the music on when the show starts.

    Hope it helps,
    D.
     
  11. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    First impressions are that it is an excellent site with some wonderful images with my personal favourites being the horses. I can live with music, I am an ex pro musician and like your choice, but I think I would quickly become bored with it when returning unless of course you continually change the songs used. I did not like the automatic change of image, like a few others I prefer to choose for myself when to move to another picture. My biggest crit is the very dark background which I hate and to my eye degrades some beautiful images, but that is just personal taste. Thanks for sharing Shane.
     
  12. Gary892

    Gary892 Member

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    Shane, I agree with some of the other comments about the large popup window. I somewhat disagree about the music. I do like the music choices, however if you had composed and recorded specific music to set the tone, pardon the pun, in an effort to convey the message in your work then the music would be great. As it is, it is borrowed and applied after the fact.
    I also would rather select from thumbnails to see a larger image.

    Summary:
    The images are arranged well.
    Website is well designed as a whole.
    Images are wonderful.

    You will get many different opinions here so keep what you like and discard the rest.

    Gary Fairchild
     
  13. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Hi Shane,

    Yours is the first site where I was content to 'be led by the nose' through a website...only because your images were so good! Some people (hint-impatient folks who have little time yet make heaping mounds of cash) may want to have the option of a more 'self guided tour' like a normal website.

    Like I said, your work held me...

    Murray
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Shane:

    I too like your website, and like your photos even more.

    I think the music is okay, but mostly because it starts out quietly, without lyrics.

    At home, I'd be happy to leave it on, and in fact turn it up.

    At the office, I'd prefer to have the choice to leave it off.

    Is it possible to have that as a choice from the initial page - i.e. "Enter, with music", or "Enter, in silent mode"?

    Matt
     
  15. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Ok, there are some technical issues that you need to work on (like that full screen thing). But otherwise, I love your site. Your musical choices are some of my favorites and I felt the did set the tone beautifully for your work. Excellent job.
     
  16. CGross

    CGross Guest

    Shane, your pictures are absolutely wonderful especially the horse shots.
    There is lot's of good feedback here so I won't write a book :smile:. Overall the site is beautiful.

    You may want to give the website visitors an option to view your site with or without flash. Maybe a quick excert about what they will experience if they were to choose the flash version. You can write the code so that it is not a pop up, but rather a new page in a new window (at least that's what all of my developers say at work!!!) Alot of users do not allow pop ups and although it is easy to temporarily allow them, I am not a fan.

    Excellent Job, and with or without any changes, you have created a very nice digital doorway to your photos.

    btw..a perfect selection of music.
     
  17. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Shane

    As others expressed great images.
    but
    dislike the brown background, I do not like the inability to click on images and move around myself , I found the transition very slow from image to image, I actually do not mind the music but I would prefer a quicker transition when moving around.Also whenever I see that loading graphic I am wondering if it is my problem uploading or a slow service at your end.
    Over all though the site is quite nice . I am sure clients would love to keep on seeing more and more work in the portfolios , I am not sure how quickly you update the imagery or how you plan to rotate your work. I would suggest a larger portfolio section.
     
  18. Shane Knight

    Shane Knight Member

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    I would like to thank you all for taking the time to view the website and post your comments. I have noted all suggestions and I will slowly work on new improvements here and there. My busy show season has started, and I have to slowly make improvements.

    I have already turned off the automatic slide show (for the gallery pages) which was very good advice. If I was a potential client, it would be frustrating if I did not understand how to shut it off.

    I am working to change the "pop-up window" to "same window".

    I love the music and it will stay. I have been showing this site to many non-photographer groups and everyone seems to enjoy the music.

    Over the years, I have had many different websites with many different background colors. I have mainly used dark gray colors and they seem to work well. I just started using this dark brown and I am loving it. Although, I have noted some of you did not care for it as you thought is was harder to appreciate the work. I will look into this matter and see if my tastes on background color change over time.

    Soon, I will add a couple of new portfolios and add new work throughout along with a stock/archive section. The current number of images on the site are about 25% of my edited work. I had to get this site up and running before my busy season gets too deep with work. So this number of images along with 20 more next next week will be it for awhile.

    Thank you all very much, ALL comments are appreciated, even yours Mikeseb,:smile:

    Shane Knight
    horse photography

    Ps. rjas, you asked about the brown tone on the photographs. With some horse images, but not all, I love blown out detail and stark blacks using very dense negs making some of the photographs overall dark (and mysterious) and contrasty. We bleached 50%-100% and use Kodaks Sepia II (new and exhausted).

    Also, depending on your monitor's color and density differences compared to mine when I was preparing the images for the website may portray the image inaccurately on your monitor. I match the images online to the hand-printed images the best I could. Most are very close.
     
  19. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Great work Shane. Your website is already one of those I bookmark, and I like the new layout. I'm not the least bit botherd by the Flash, in fact, I like Flash sites.