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Ready, Aim , Fire

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  • Ready, Aim , Fire

    Ok, so I know theres a website category here, but I dont know who goes to it, plus I really only ever come to this area on this site anyway, and know most of you, as Im sure you know me as well. Im usually the guy with the wise ass comments kicking the bee hive (I hope you all know its all done in jest). So to the point, heres your chance to fire back at me. For the past 4 months Ive been working on a new website, with a lot of new work. I just launched it the other day. Its about 85% there. So I am asking anyone interested to take a look and let me know what you think. be honest, I dont care if you hate it or say it sucks, Im really looking for feedback. Also would like to know what you think of the navigation, ease of use, load speed (Pics are big) etc. I am still working on tweaking it, and have a lot more stuff to add, so check back from time to time.

    My thanks in advance.

    http://www.garibaldiphoto.com

  • #2
    Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

    Looks nice and clean to me. Pics load in about 1 sec. I like the thumbnail view. Everything fits on the screen. Full Screen mode works great. Thanks for not making us click through a splash screen and having it automatically disappear. Pics are nice and large and clear.

    1440x900 19"w, Firefox, Broadband cable

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    • #3
      Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

      Not to shabby for someone who uses a Phone cam!

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      • #4
        Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

        I don't know, images are great, and I'm really liking the simplicity of the site, really helps to make images stand out. I've just gone through the same process of redesigning my site and its amazing how much you have to consider to do with layout and the way other people will view your site. Why can't I just do this? Because of this... What about this? No some people won't understand... It's an ongoing process really and I praise you for finally having an online version.

        Although I appreciate the function of a rescaling image to match screen resolution, it is hard to do well, and on your site images suffer quite badly. Also I don't like all the details being below the image, the design of the site is clean, and then you have all this text crammed up against an image. It doesn't flow well with the rest of the site and the way it has been layed out.

        Just my opinion really and other users will see it differently, you've probly thought about it way too much already aswell, and there is no easy solution catering for people viewing your website with smaller screen sizes, but in the end it has to be done. I was 50/50 about the whole icon/mouse changing for left-thumbnails-right sequence and decided not to use it as I feel it does get in the way of viewing images.

        A lot of this depends on your main audience too and who you are striving to market your site to the most, just my thoughts after going through a simlilar 4 month process of tweaking and changing to try and get things right.

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        • #5
          Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

          Hey I appreciate everyones feedback. Glad to know the site is loading ok. And yep...all shot with my camera phone lol ;-) do the images not look good on smaller monitors? THe images are sized at almost 2000 pixels wide so they scale ok on everything. Ive tested the site on a 30", 23" 17" and 15" is it not looking good on your monitor? It is tough becasue they are big, so how i save them and size them becomes even more critical, esp if i want them to load pretty quick.

          its tough mac as you must know, we share the same pains im sure! i remember starting this project and being like yeah ill be done in a week or two, that was in June lol. basically I chose this design becasue I wanted it clean, fast, simple and show the images big, and get in touch with me easily

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          • #6
            Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

            I was "just kicking the bee hive" with the Phone cam remark.. I only know the Phone cam is your primary camera because you carry it with you all time and you told us so in your sig not because of the photos displayed... the pictures and the site look fine and scaled down very well on my baby 10" screen..

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            • #7
              Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

              I know I was joking, i wish my phone cam could take pics like that, would save a lot of lugging crap around hahaha thank you for taking the time to look too!

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              • #8
                Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

                First off, loved your photos.
                Shows you have lots of talent!

                What I notice:

                In your "about" writeup, I found the text/font to be too small AND too light for my eyes and hard to read as a result. Only one typo I saw... "out on a test drive in a customer's car after coing a minor repair"; coing should be doing.

                Although it was hard to read, I enjoyed its content. The Ferrari destruction reminds me of my own experience long ago with an air cooled rear engine car I burned up because I didn't notice a red warning light come on when the fan's belt for cooling broke and I continued to drive it on the highway. The motor over heated and seized up.

                Thought everything came up quick enough and flowed nicely. Counted 10 seconds at the beginning to get the photo show up and going. Nice pace to the slideshow, not too fast and not too slow for me.

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                • #9
                  Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

                  thank you, got the typo, and I do know what you mean on the text, im gonna increase the font and maybe change it to black, much appreciated on teh feedback! (See there goes my typos again! hahaha)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

                    Sadly not accessible on handys/mobiles.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

                      sure it is, it has iphone, palm, blackberry and mobile mirror sites so it can be viewed on those too. Im looking at it on my iphone right now should be working on your end

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

                        Curious...did you do the website, contract it or is it template oriented from a 3rd party? A little slow starting..anyway to speed up coming into the website? I really like your photos..especially the landscape pics...very clean and crisp...you provide good space and a look I don't see often. I like most of your people shots, some very good, some not as appealing, but I like ALL the landscape pics. Good stuff!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

                          Well I would of loved to ripped you a new one.... But sadly I can't, I like your web page and your work very much, the only thing I would recommend is to do a stronger edit on the photos. That and after looking at all your portfolio I'm beat I don't think a client would look at ALL the photos in your port so It would be something to think about if you leave all that or display way less photos.

                          Bear with me since its just my opinion, specially since most people think "you can only opine and be (right) about it if you (know) what you're talking about". Which if you see my work IMO it isn't on the same plane as yours yet. Just take it as another point of view....

                          In my opinion I would edit out.

                          On your "un advertising" section please take even with more salt than usual, since I believe this section is for showing your artistic side and its very subjective.

                          (the 8th photo on the form part didn't load for me, but I could see it in the thumbnails, so I would take that one out as well)
                          Form: The fourth (I would take out the photo that just has the dry lake bed), the trailer home (most of the photos are bordering on super simplistic or even abstract, this one that you can see everything breaks the flow of the slide show), the last one with the pond and the "forest" (again this one even if its the last breaks on the simplistic flow of the others).

                          Areal: the sixth (even though this is an areal I would put this one in the form section), the seventh (the angle it was taken doesn't really show the streets clearly so there's no real "grid" to make the chaos "smooth" so it just leaves chaos in the photo), the ninth (was it snowing or did you photoshop them B&W? What ever is happening in the trees makes that areal photo "less areal" because I can't really see the details on the forest), twelfth (even though you can definitely see the two streets going over times square [at least I think it is times square] there is still too much chaos in the photo), the last one (although this is also an areal I would put this one in the wings section because of the size of the airplanes it breaks the whole areal "miniature stuff" flow of the series).

                          Wheels:
                          2Wheels: the first one (the crop is too wide), the one with the 18 motorcycle and the second motorcycle in the background (even though the other one is a bit blured because of DOF I can't decide which one to focus on), the one with the dude with the beard is super cool (but I believe this would go better in the people section its more powerful than some of the ones you have there), the one with the two photos of the two riders (I would take out the one with the white uniformed rider and leave the other one), the one with the helmet "on a stick" (I don't know if to focus on the blury helmet or look at the focused rider), the one with the "body work" upside down (only the people that know what it is will recognize it quickly).

                          4Wheels: The first one with the Mercedes (the fine lines and curves look jagged instead of smooth, and on this particular photo It takes the focus away from the car, also for I have the image of Mercedes as more pompous and grand, the crop makes it look like a lexus), the second one with the audi tt roadster (the crop would be better if there was equal "empty" space on the front and the back of the car), the one with the two guys and the "no windows" car (to me I identify more with the two guys, the journey, the friendship, the wind, but not the 4wheels they're riding), pick of one of the magnificently restored beetle or try to put them in the same slide, the one with the green mitsubishi wagon (breaks the whole mood and beauty of the earlier cars), the one with the classic fiat 500 (also breaks the mood of the whole slide show, the last one of the Aston Martin (although I like the 2 photos for a while I thought it was a photo of only the mercedes, until I took a longer look and saw the it was actually an Aston in the left photo).

                          Wings: the plane and the moon (you can barely see the nose of the plane), the one with the back of the "private jet" (I know its the heat from the exhaust that's making the distortion but to me it screams photoshop!, the framing doesn't work), the one with the two turbines (maybe a tighter crop would work better), the one with the red helicopter (I don't know which helicopter to focus on either the red one or the other that's framed by the blades), the last one with the 3 helicopters (again I don't know which to focus on).

                          People: the one with the guy jumping out to the "lake/pond/sea" (it looks cool that he's in flight but other than the 3 people already in the water there's nothing to make the photo stand out), the one with the kid and the trees and palms in the background (its soft and has less impact than the rest of the photos so it breaks the flow of the slide show), the one with the effect of the "motion blurred" reflections (breaks the flow of the slide show everything before it feels more organic and this one doesn't have it), the one with the guy and the white bike (if its people your main theme the building is taking the show from the subject, everything's in focus and very contrasty so the last thing I end up seeing is the guy), the guy with the shades doesn't work (that kind of photo is very tricky to make work, specially if you can see gear other than your camera and the water bottle next to the photographer), the girl with the smirk (the WB, the smirk, and the skin screams to me "I'm wrong, I'm wrong", the only good thing I found though is that it made me feel visceral rejection as soon as I saw it, so if you where looking to make people feel something when they see that photo it succeeded), the one with the kids I found it a bit bland (although the girl takes your eye first because of the wide crossed eyes the boy is just bland, maybe its just the primadonna elitist in me talking), the last one of the woman and the park is another bland photo compared to the others.

                          Lifestyle: The photo of the woman with the sunflare is stronger than the B&W one, the guy walking the rail road tracks slows the pace down in the order, the one with the five guys to me looks like the "grooms" photo and the jeans and "dress trousers" combination is off.

                          Sports: The bike flip sequence although its cool I find it "hey it looks photoshoped" when I saw it, the photo with the guy running you cropped the arm off, of the same session the photo where he's stretching you can't see his face, the photo of the female doing a pushup yes I know she's doing it but I wouldn't think the normal viewer would get it at first because you can't see the rest of the body.

                          Habitat: the antlers I loved the idea of a welcoming image but repeating it again is a no no unless you didn't show it completely in the first instance (for example cropping it), the "uterus" sofa is a cool idea but it looks flat it would be cool to ad a second photo, the photo with the two "high chairs" they're so alike that its like looking at the same photo (maybe turning one horizontally so they're symmetric to each other, either that or just pick one), the one with the white sofa the coffee table with the antlers breaks the continuity of the slide show, the one two photos "lounge chair and lawn" don't work good together and the lounge chair doesn't work alone (either look for another pair that has to do with the same motif as the lounge chair retouch the wood floor or take them both out), the one with the dinning table breaks the flow of the slide show and the "chair drapes" are wrinkled (compared to your other photos that are almost immaculate), the last one of the bedroom doesn't work (maybe its the angle but it doesn't feel good for a last photo).

                          Product: The one with the 4 "spray bottles" in a row I would take out you've got stronger images of products like it later, the lipstick and eye shadow compact has "too much going on" because of the water droplets it makes my eye look all over the place instead of just focusing on the product, the one with the two spray bottles (even if the liquid is originally "yellowish" I would change it to something completely clear or make it go "bluish"), the "kai" body lotion doesn't work (I think its because of the angle feels like you're selling the pebbles and the "bowl" instead of the body lotion), the one with the brush doesn't work in that breaks the flow of the slide show (the box its what breaks it all, and without it it doesn't work, the white bristles are barely visible with the white background), the memory of kindness perfume is very powerful the only thing that bothers me is the "black" distortion ( its not uniform if you look at it it changes from dark gray to lighter gray, you could up the contrast a bit of the "chrome" spray and cap), although I love the concept of the umbrella it takes a while for it to sink in that its an umbrella because the crop is to tight on the extended one (also the wrinkles on the fabric I would take out), the last one of the belt buckles the crop doesn't work (the space you leave for text is great for the client but not for showing the photo without it).

                          BLEH I'm beat, don't take my comments the wrong way, just take them as I said "an opinion of another point of view".

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

                            Layout is clean, professional, well scaled, navigation easy. After going through about 15 images, they stopped loading. I'll update my Flash to be sure it isn't that; but, if others notice it too, you may want to investigate why.

                            Image selection good. I like the division of styles, easier to navigate and allows us to compare your abilities for a particular type of shoot. Images load fast, look good, crisp color and edges, good resolution.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ready, Aim , Fire

                              Wow , first off I jsut want to say thank you guys for looking at my site, I really appreciate you taking the time and giving me your input. Like I said, Im still tweaking some stuff so I am all ears. Really though thank you !

                              Skydog, I did the site with Aphotofolio. http://aphotofolio.com/ I shopped around for quite some time. I originally got a flash site through flashden, but I am a total moron with xml coding etc and ditched that idea. then I came across this fantastic blog called A Photo editor and there was a page discussing all of the portfolio sites for photographers http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2008/01/...ebsite-design/ . I spoke to a number of people I knew and was looking at companies like Live books, Click book etc and found that aphotofolio was the best in terms of product value, ease of use and cost. I couldnt be happier with them, theyre stuff is that good, Ill plug it without batting an eye hope that cool up here.

                              Cuervo, well, ahem, what do i say? I thought for sure Id get some shots from you haha (Joking, were old pals!!!) I really appreciate ALL of your feedback, I never expected such an in depth review, much much much appreciated. I agree with some of the stuff you mentioned, and I am still tweaking the site, so I certainly appreciate everything you had to say. that must have taken a while to write, so I owe you a drink or something for sure! I know theres a fair amount of content on the site, and I am going to refine it and clean it up a bit. Its going to take tiem to strike a balance and flow within each portfolio since I shoot a lot of different stuff and I have found that my styles and aesthetic have been changing over the past year or so. Also some of that content I had no control over while shooting for various reasons so there are some things like locations, decor, styling, clothing, product, and client demands that I couldnt work around, but I still would like to include it for viewing so I can potentially get more of that work. Its a work in progress for sure.

                              I remember over 4 months ago buying the site and saying oh Ill have it up and running in a week or so. then I sat down and started looking through my archives, my current porfolio and all of the stuff I never had gotten to yet, and it took on a mind of its own. I literally pretty much worked nonstop on an entire new body of work since June, my electric bill spiked, I went through 3 cases of vitamin water, my ass hurts, my eyes burn, and I just noticed today that the tip of my wacom pen is worn down to almost nothing and theres a ridge on the tablet hahaha. to add to it, Im still blowng through folders of shoots and stopping on images and pulling them so I certainly am spinning a bit with what I want ot have up there. Needless to say it was a bit overwhelming but I had to get it up and gets started. I still have an entire shoot I did this summer out west that should be incredible when I get to it that is going to get its own category, its just too cool not to, so ill be sure to let you guys knw when i get that up too.

                              TommyO thank you as well. dont know why it would have stopped loading for you, should be working fine, Ill certainly look into it though thanks for pointing that out!

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