The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
William Arthur Ward
It’s been too long since I put a post out here. That has not been because I am slacking off. I have two posts that I have written just waiting to be finished up and posted. I will get them out within the next couple weeks. Today I wanted to put some info out on the new galleries that I have been working on for the last few months and are now alive and kickin!
Last year I made the decision to move away from how I had been providing my work to the world. And by this, I mean specifically how I have been providing my photographs for viewing and for purchasing. After three years of trying the various photography hosting solution, I finally settled on Zenfolio for the past 6 years. I am not going to make this about Zenfolio except to say they were not meeting my expectation and a hadn’t been in a major way for the last year.
Some may know and other maybe have no idea and don’t really care, this site is built on WordPress. The gallery site for the last 6 or 7 years has not been built on WordPress but provided on Zenfolios own platform. The two are not the same. They can be made to look similar which is fine, but both require time and expense to maintain. With two platforms I was incurring twice the cost for no additional result. That along with some long-term frustrations with Zenfolio is what spurred this change.
It was almost a year ago I began with a WordPress theme change. As mentioned this site runs on the WordPress platform and along with that, it is designed with an Avada theme. Avada is a premium WordPress theme developed by Theme Fusion.
I already had a premium WordPress theme. The one I had been using was Divi provided by Elegant Themes. There was serious consideration to continuing using Divi. It was and is a nice, very customizable WordPress theme, plus I already had a lifetime subscription to it. But in doing some research, I came to the conclusion Divi is a very heavy theme. That is to say, it has a plethora of options upon options and the folks at Elegant Themes seem to want to have every option in the world included in the Divi theme. This may sound good but when source code it viewed on a Divi sight you quickly see an abundance of code. This in turns makes websites load slower, perform slower, and though not a given, can impede the enjoyment a visitor may experience while on the website. So this very unscientific conclusion led me to believe that that speed is not its strong suit. That led me to what I now have chosen to use, a premium WP theme by Theme Fusion.
Full Steam Ahead
Okay, enough jibber jabber about the uninteresting stuff. In summary, many changes have been made in the last 3-6 months and undoubtedly more will still be made. One thing about having a website there are always changes that one wants to make, and improvements that one needs to make.
Now back on the subject of changes to the gallery and the elimination of my previous platform (Zenfolio). As of today, it is history. When you visit the various galleries by selecting the “Image Portfolio” link in the header you will be presented with a new look, layout, and purchasing options. Keep in mind a dynamic website is always a work in progress and this website by its very nature of keeping current on a regular basis is dynamic. There will always be improvements made when needed.
Familiar & New Galleries
When you visit the portfolio page where you will see the current galleries. Another notable change is the much larger image previews when viewing individual images. As of today, the galleries are categorized by; Flint Hills, Prairies, Trees, Water, Reverie, Contemplation, Patterns & Abstracts, and Favorites.
There is always a challenge to be specific when naming image galleries. The truth is some images are not so specific when it comes to categorizing them. I am always looking for a more meaningful way to present my work. So even though galleries can change or be made more specific as time goes on as of now this is the foundation in which it will continually grow.
I have always believed a website should be as simple and straightforward as possible while still getting the needed work presented accurately and understandably. Hence the fewer galleries as opposed to dozens of galleries that seem to become confusing and difficult to navigate for viewers. I will also mention, compared to the older gallery site there are now actually fewer images available. This is intentional. As I spent the last 6-12 months going through thousands of images it became clear I needed to be much more concise of what I want to produce as prints versus what are just images of various interests. I realized the quantity of work is not my goal, but rather quality of meaningful art is much more desirable. My hope is you will agree.
Please take some time and explore the new galleries. You will find much of the noted work as before along with newly released work. Over the coming weeks, I will be working on various approaches for searching the galleries based on specific criteria such as season, color, format, subject, etc. More updates on that as it progresses.