Long time gone; AND, "f – eleven, volume 2"

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted anything here. I had planned to make a post a week ago – on my birthday – but the day before I discovered that my website had vanished. You may have read about this in a recent blog post by my friend Dave Levingston. As Dave wrote, his website as well as mine (and a bunch of others, I suspect) just disappeared overnight. They had been hosted by a friend of ours in Germany, but we haven’t heard from him for quite a while so I guess it was just a matter of time.

The bad thing about this is that I don’t have a finished website now. The good news is that it’s lit a fire under my ass and finally got me back to working on my new website, which is hosted by GoDaddy. I’ve been paying for it for over a year, and have done quite a bit of work on it, but it wasn’t ready to go live yet. I needed to come up with something interesting for the home page, and I needed to upload more photos to even out the number of photos in each gallery.

Well, I’ve spent a lot of time this past week going over the design program, both on my own and on the phone with GoDaddy’s people. That’s the reason why I haven’t made a posting here for so long.

One major difference that has been made since I last worked on the site is the style of the photo galleries. With the old method, each thumbnail image was in a square box that had white space around the image – on the sides for a vertical image, above and below for a horizontal – to fill the empty space in the square. I hated the way the way that looked. To make it look better, I created a gray square to match the gray of the web page. Then I would overlay each photo on the gray square and merge them together. This created an uploadable image that was a square to fill the square thumbnail box, with the gray around the image matching the gray of the page to look smooth.

As you can imagine, doing this for every single photo was a real pain in the ass. Then, when someone clicked on a thumbnail, a new window would open.

Well, things have changed – for the better. The thumbnails, as far as I can tell now, are no longer in a square box. They’re just thumbnails on the page. Therefore, I no longer have to go to the trouble to create my own squares and overlay the image on it. Great. When a thumbnail is clicked, instead of a new window opening with the image in another square (as before), the full size image is displayed against a black background with the title of the image below it.

The only bad thing is that for advancing or reversing through the images, the icons for doing that are overlaid over the title. Having arrows to the right and left of the image would be much better as they wouldn’t block the title. You can also do a slideshow of the images now, but unfortunately, they’re done with hard transitions. A nice dissolve from one image to the next would be much better. Still, overall, it’s an improvement from the old way.

However, having said this, I also have to say that the galleries created the old way are still presented the old way. This means that I will have uninstall all of those images (with the gray squares) and reload them the new way. Not the most difficult thing to do, but tedious and time consuming.

If you want to see for yourself, you can take a peek and maybe let me know what you think. The primary URL, http://www.figuresofgrace.com/, is still waiting to be transferred over from Yahoo. However, you can see the new site as it is now at http://www.figuresofgrace.net/ . All of the galleries, with the exception of Vietnam in the Travel section, were uploaded the old way. Only Vietnam is done by the new method. Take a look at each, click on a thumbnail and see the difference.

Another thing I really need to do – and have been wanting to do – is to add unique titles for each photo, especially as I do hope to try marketing my photos a bit more seriously. This shouldn’t be a problem for my travel photos, but for nudes it’s another story. I just name each photo by the location and by the year of the image, with a unique number added based on the order in which I print the photos (ex., “Nude, Tuscany, 1998, #3”).

Well, for photos that I haven’t yet printed but want to post, I don’t yet have a print order. This should be an easy one to solve, as I’ll just assign numbers ahead of time and try to stick to them in printing – unless someone wants to buy one on a print to order basis and that image gets printed out of order. (It should only happen!) Of course, the number would still remain the same.
What will be more work is for the prints that I’ve already made. Yes, in my printing notebooks I have the title of each image next to the negative’s inventory number, but I don’t have a photo to go along with that in my notes. Therefore, I basically need to scan the negative of every photo that I’ve printed (over 200) so I can match them up with their respective titles – and that WILL be a lot of work!
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I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while, and most of you have probably read about it already, but the “f – eleven” photography group to which I belong has recently published a second volume of photographs by its members. (The cover is shown above.) My photos included are images of Venice, all from last year, and nudes wearing masks.

One of my photos from Japan was on the cover of the first volume, but the cover honors this time go to Ward Shortridge for his photo of Japanese butoh dancers in Oregon, I believe.

All proceeds from the book are going to benefit autism research. For more information, please click here. To see a full preview, click here.

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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