Posted On:November 2008 | Greyscalegorilla
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am very thankful to share a wonderful meal with my family today. I am also very thankful for my readers. Thanks for visiting my site all these years and sharing in my passion for photography, ideas and words. Post a link in the comments to your favorite photo that you took today. It can be of food, or family or anything. Just post a link in the comments to a photo that shows what you are thankful for. Gobble Gobble!
Your site is a frame
A frame exists to hold its art. It should compliment your work, but never overshadow it. Think of your portfolio site as a frame for your work. Keep it clean and easy to navigate. Don’t let your site get in the way of letting me see what I really came for.
Make every project a link (AKA: Don’t use Flash)
Make sure I can link directly to a project. The best thing about using the web to promote yourself is the ease of how a link can be shared with people. If I want to show someone some cool piece you did, I should be able to copy the URL and send it. “Go to thiscoolsite.com and click on project number four” doesn’t cut it, yet this is exactly what I need to do with most Flash based portfolio.
This is mainly a problem with flash sites, but it can also happen with some php sites.
Make it simple
Don’t be clever
Don’t make me learn a new system just to use your site. Use web navigation standards like putting your navigation on the left of the page to make me feel in control. Mystery meat (link) navigation is for entertainment sites, not your portfolio. Don’t make me think, just show me your work.
Make it easy for us to contact you
This is a no brainer, but some sites overlook it. Make your email address easy to find. Especially if you’re a freelancer or looking for a job. Think about adding a “hire me for freelance” button.
Make it easy to update
A simple design also makes it easy to manage and update on your end. Many people I talk to have a portfolio, but they say “I really need to update it.” They are ashamed to show it because it’s not current. You’re too busy making more cool stuff to worry about making thumbnails, adding new html, and changing that complicated navigation system to include your new project. Make it simple and you can update with ease.
It’s the bottom line. Your site only exists to show your work. Your portfolio is a frame used to feature your best work. That’s it. It’s not fun, it’s not fancy, it’s not clever. It is a tool to show off work. It’s your work that should be the fun part. Don’t over think it. Put your best work in a frame and hang it on a wall for everyone to see.
This new video by Michel Gondry is a time-lapse, stop-motion nightmare. It looks as though they took one frame for each scene hours apart. Some scenes evolve over the course of many days. What an artistic, technical and logistical achievement. Imagine, getting every detail in the right position for every shot. The coffee mug, the tripod, the previous position of the actors all have to be kept track of with meticulous accuracy to get the smoothest effect. Wow!
Patron Saint of Startwithagrand, Jesse Lauriston Livermore
A great example of getting your hands dirty doing it rather than sitting on the sidelines until things are “perfect.” Jim Coudal from Coudal Partners started day trading starting with a thousand dollars and Twittering the result. There is no better way to learn then when your own money is on the line. He is just about breaking even so far (not bad in this market) and when asked about his project, Jim says “Real money. Real commissions. No tears.” Wonderful.
I would love to get my hands on one of these and REALLY test it. I’m particularly interested in the low-light capability and the compression rate of the file format. This video looks pretty good, but it’s hard to judge the details when it’s compressed for web. Does anyone have one on order?
Welcome to the first of many weekly link digests. Every Sunday, I will post a weeks worth of interesting, inspiring, and creative links that I have come across and found useful.
Iphone GUI Mockup PSD
This iPhone GUI file came in handy having recently been mocking up iPhone Application ideas.
Vintage Photos on your iPhone
We all know the quality of the iPhone isn’t that great. Its plastic lens does not produce a hi-quality image. What it IS good for however, is emulating cheaper cameras. Erik Pettersson’s Apps Vint Green and Vint B&W process your iPhone photos into Lomo style, vignetted and color shifted masterpieces. Perfect solution.
Nate Ripp Design Portfolio
Great illustration and design work from Nate Ripp. His portfolio is a good example of how creatives should display their work. Very simple. One problem though. His website doesn’t allow me to link directly to specific projects. So now, instead of simply posting a link, I have to say “Check out the “Shook One” gorilla in the Design category”. Make Projects Linkable!
Twelve Virtues of Rationality
It’s a little academic, but this article explains how to embrace your ignorance and pursue absolute truth and knowledge. Great read for the forever-curious types.
I love Frankenstyles’ quirky illustration work and his enthusiastic home page slogan, “Open for busy-ness.”
Six Things I wish I knew on My first day at Berkley
Inspiring as HELL! A great speech from Derek Sivers (Creator of CD Baby) about how to get the most out of your learning years. Not just for students or musicians, this video is a must watch for all creative types. Seriously, go grab your coffee and take ten minutes to watch this now.
It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be
Finally, a book that I read this weekend. This inspiring read for creatives and creators is all about how to become successful in a creative field. Topics such as “Don’t Be Afraid To Work With The Best” and “Do Not Put Your Cleverness In Front Of The Communication,” confirm and concisely enforce things that I have been saying for years. Fifty Percent Validation + Fifty Percent Inspiration = 100% Recommendation! Buy it!
I’m looking for a iPhone developer that would be interested in working on some small simple photo-based applications for the iPhone. I have a few apps that are designed and ready to be coded. I have a budget. You will be paid. Please email me your info to thegorilla at greyscalegorilla.com. Include links to applications or other projects that you have previously worked on.
EDIT: Missed the Special? Thats OK. You can Buy one Here.
I just bought two new toys. The Ray Ring Flash and the Nikon 85mm 1.4 D Lens. I will have full reviews up soon. Many photographers are wondering if the Ray Ring Flash is worth it. So far, I think it is. I have a pretty big shoot with it tonight though, so I will have some “real world” pics to show soon. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Just posted my Ray Ring Flash Review.
How is the economic downturn affecting you? Is work slow lately? Do you find yourself with more free time then you used too? This is the perfect time to go start a new project.
Downturns and lulls are the perfect time to invest in yourself. Have you always wanted to learn that new piece of software or have you wanted to work on that photo project you have had in your head for years? Now is the time. Invest in yourself and learn something new. Then, when things pick back up, you will have new marketable skills and a great new piece to show of in your portfolio.
I totally forgot about this 1st month archive page that i made about one month after I started Greyscalegorilla. It made me quite nostalgic to scroll though about six thousand of my very first shots. I just wanted to share this with everyone again. Do you remember your first month shooting?
Also found in the archives – One Year Of Greyscalegorilla video.
I just finished helping design a site for the subtle yet ridiculously over the top comedy series michalstahldavid.biz behind the star. He just wrapped up filming and the show has gotten funnier every week. Make sure to start from the first episode if you’re new to the series.