Night photography website update: The monitor is the new print

I migrated my website to a new design using A Photo Folio about a month ago, and have been adding images from the archives every week. There are currently 7 night photography galleries on, including a Mojave Desert gallery I just added today. I’m really happy with the website design, and the back-end interface is easy to use. The images are optimized for a screen resolution of 1600 pixels on the long side — if you have a reasonably large monitor you can view the galleries with the big, full screen view. I’ve tried to balance the image size and load time to work for a wide variety of viewing conditions. On a 24″ monitor with a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels, the landscape format images are 11.5 x 17.5 inches – the same size image area as a matted 12 x 18 inch print. I’m a firm believer in printing, but as we barrel into the second decade of the 21st century, perhaps the monitor is the new print. I hope you enjoy the galleries.

7 thoughts on “Night photography website update: The monitor is the new print”

  1. Joe,

    The new design looks great. I like how you have two major categories: one for day, and one for night. This is really making me feel guilty about letting my site get moldy for so long.

  2. I like the new design. The layout is clean and simple, yet not boring. I agree with Andy that it’s nice to have night and day galleries.

    It definitely seems like the monitor is the next print, but as photographers we should not happy with this. We have little control over what others see in this format. Not everyone has a high quality monitor with a panel inside geared for photography. For instance, at home, I have a calibrated Apple display, but right now I am looking at your photos on a low end monitor at work that has never been calibrated. We don’t get to control how others see our work online, but with prints, we are able to force a certain color temp, contrast, brightness, etc on our viewers.

  3. I agree with Amy, it’s hard to not be in control. That said, realistically if we want to reach a mass audience, we’ll need to figure out ways to deal with this lack of control.

    Props on the new site. Great to see some work I haven’t seen before (love the Bombay Beach stuff, esp the one with the dog)!

  4. Andy – hopefully this will be an inspiration. I know you have a lot of great photos on your hard drive!

    Amy – thanks. Happy or not, that’s the situation many of us are in. Oftentimes even printing is a compromise because we can’t control lighting and viewing conditions.

    Cody – thanks. The dog photo makes me think of John Divola’s book Dogs Chasing My Car in the Desert, which is exactly what was happening.

  5. Yeah that’s the thing about paper prints that everyone forgets; you have no control over how people view those either. In most situations, if your work is reproduced in print like a book or magazine, you have absolutely no control over that either. Every photographer that has appeared in print has horror stories . . .

    The LCD is the new print and I personally think digital photography looks much better on a LCD/plasma screen in a gallery than on paper with a spotlight on it, but the real problem is that it’s impermanent. Take the paper print down and it’s still a paper print, ready to hang someplace else. Take the image off the LCD and it’s gone forever. Fine today, but you have to wonder what will happen to your image after even 10 years, let alone a hundred, if there’s no actual physical, tangible object to store . . .

    The new site’s come together nice.

  6. @Joe — Omg, I have to order this book! That Dog chasing thing happens to me at least once a trip, and usually it’s some sneaky dog that hides out behind something when he sees me coming.

    @Troy — That’s fair. The last show I was in had terrible lighting on my prints, and it was a total bummer.

  7. Troy – thanks for reminding us that things are tough all over whether online or print. I’d really like to investigate backlit displays for night photography, and have started looking into a few options. Unfortunately they are expensive and require power.

    Cody – Divola’s book Three Acts is the one to get – usually avaialble for under $20 used, and discussed in this post.

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