Thursday, May 9, 2013

Time For A Web Site Re-Design

As I've noted in past posts, I am in the midst of a total web site re-design as it became glaringly obvious after Photoshop World that mine was in dire need of retooling.  I've been working on a new design as time has permitted since I returned from PSW as well as pouring through all of the photos on my various hard drives to look for images that could replace some of the ones I've used before. I've found many, which means processing time and effort, plus I've been re-processing the ones I've used before given my discovery (see  Monday's Blog post about monitor calibration) that they were processed too dark.

My current web site was created using's web site, and aside from the need to be more selective with the images I have used to show off my work, the web site has been nothing but a disaster. After I created the Wix site a year ago, I signed up for Wix's Premium Package which eliminates all of Wix's banners, ads, etc. from the site. Even though I used an HTML5 template, the site has always loaded slow, it does not play nice with iPads, the slide show scrolling of images isn't smooth, and Wix's customer support has been abominable in terms of working out the bugs. I'm not the only one - I started a thread on their support page right after I began having the problems, asking Wix how to fix the issues with iPads, etc. To this day (it's been a year), Wix has not done anything to correct the issues. The thread now contains hundreds of posts by others complaining about the same thing. You'd think Wix would have noticed, but noooooooo.

The icing on the cake was when I accidentally discovered last week that Wix had renewed my Premium Package automatically, without any notice to me, at the end of April. They charged my credit card with the renewal amount and that was the straw that broke this camel's back. Can you say dirtbags?

And then Squarespace dropped into my lap, as if a gift from the Photgraphy gods. While at Photoshop World, +Scott Kelby  was singing the praises of a new web site hosting company that he is using for his sites - Squarespace. After taking a peek at his new Sports Photography site, I was sold. Taking a page from the Grand Poobah, I have been redesigning my site using Squarespace and it is a dream to use. The templates are geared towards making beautiful, simple photography portfolios and they're a snap to use. Great flexibility in altering the templates to one's liking is possible, allowing me to change the design of the template and make my site more personal. 

I've decided to make some Gallery category changes, such as breaking up the "Sports" gallery into two - one for just football images and another for all other sports. I'm in the middle of processing many new images to include in all of the Galleries and am sorting through the old ones, deciding which will and which won't make the cut. It's a time consuming, difficult process to weed out images and make sure only the best of the best make the final cut but it has to be done. I've had way too many marginal images featured on prior web sites and I have no one to blame but myself. I must ignore any sentimental attachment I may have for any given image and select the ones that will be displayed with a cold, analytical heart.

Look for the new site soon (I hope) and as soon as it's finished, I intend to have a serious Come-To-Jesus chat with the folks at Wix. Can you say refund?

2013 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger

After the spring cleaning trip to the cabin in North Georgia, I hit the ground running as soon as we returned late last Thursday afternoon. Play began in the 2013 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger tennis tournament on Monday and I needed to get out to the courts for the Thursday evening matches so I could begin to compile images for the USTA and the Tournament folks.

I photographed all the matches from Thursday evening through the finals on Saturday, dodging a constant drizzle and rain every day. On Saturday, the doubles final went off as scheduled but the ensuing singles final was delayed some 4 hours due to the rain. The final match finally began at 6:15 pm and by the time it concluded and I finished up shooting, I made it home around 8:30 pm. After processing images for the local paper, I was finally done around 10:00 pm.

I always enjoy shooting the Challenger event but was not counting on being at the tennis courts from 10:30 am Saturday until 8:00 pm or so. I was hoping that play would wrap up by 2:00 pm and that I would then have all afternoon and evening to work on my Guest Blog Post for Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider Blog. In the end, it was all's well that ends well with the Blog written and transmitted before Monday afternoon's deadline but I still have tennis photos to process.

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