Evrium Fluid Galleries: March Giveaway Announced.
You’ll be please to know I’ve stopped the navel-gazing in which I was stuck yesterday. Or at least I’ve opted to keep it to myself for now. I’ve got the loan of a 4×5 field camera to play with and if that doesn’t either satisy my need to jump the rut or send me back to digital with my tail between my legs in a hurry, nothing will. So, onward.
I know not everyone agrees with me on this, and I’m cool with that. Different strokes, different folks, etc. BUT since it’s my blog and y’all don’t come here to hear me prevaricate…ahem…Flickr is a horrible thing to do to your photographs. I know, I know, you love Flickr, but before you go all 2.0 on me, hear me out.
Flickr is a great place to connect, a super-duper place even to find sycophantic people who will tell you everything you want to hear about how good your images are. Some of you need that encouragement and, God bless ya, you’ll find it there. Some of us desperately need to be told our images suck and need work. If you’re 5 years old, you should be PRAISED for creating a drawing of a house with a sun on top, regardless of the purple cat. Heck, BECAUSE of the purple cat. But if you’re 25 and you’re still drawing like that, the folks still praising you as the next Robert Bateman aren’t helping. You see that alot on Flickr. Some of us need it. Most should be seeking critics, not fanboys. Myself included. But that’s a digression.
Flickr is ugly, ugly, ugly. And while it has it’s uses, it is not the place to be showing your photographs to the world. Photography is a visual medium. Aesthetics matter. Your work deserves much, much better than the trailer park bulletin board (not that there’s anything wrong with trailers, parks, or bulletin boards, per se) – they deserve a gallery. A space that has been designed for showing the world your art, making it the hero. I guarantee the image that I passed over on Flickr would at least beg my eye for a second chance if it was hung on a stark white wall. (I’m not saying Flickr has no value, it does indeed. But you pick the right tool for the right job and if you’re looking to (1) showcase your images or (b) get truly constructive image critique, there are much better tools than Flickr. That’s all)
Why am I preaching this particular sermon? Because I want to love your photographs. I want to look at them – stare at them – and hear your intention, the thing that moved you to say “hey, look at that,” in a powerful enough way that you captured it in a frame and now compell me to look at it too. I can’t do that on Flickr or a crappy website. But I can do it on a website created, not for interaction and Web 2.0 – but for showing and looking at images.
There is alot of great software out there for this very thing. Some frighteningly expensive, some not so much. The one I use is Evrium’s Fluid Galleries and the good folks at Evrium have ponied up for this month’s giveaway. They’re giving away a Fluid Galleries Professional Package to one luck winner, chosen through a random draw. But wait! There’s more! For everyone who does not win, but who enters, there is a $50 discount coupon code. For sheer simplicity of building a good-looking, Flash-based gallery, Fluid Galleries is fantastic. Yup, lots of other good ones out there too and I don’t have a bad word to say about most of them, but this is the one I chose and the one that’s sharing the love with you. Matt Brandon uses them. Gavin Gough uses them. I use them. If you use them to, there’s a chance we’ll let you into the cult. A slim chance, but a hope springs eternal right? Whatever you chose, I urge you to put your best work somewhere that dignifies it, gives it it’s best shot at speaking to me.
A couple resources to check out. First, PhotoShelter did some great research about creating websites and online portfolios that don’t suck – check it out, and download a pdf, HERE on the Photoshelter Blog. Second, the Fluid Gallery Website is HERE. Lastly, if you’re sold on fleeing from Flickr but need to do it on a shoestring, check out the Lightroom Gallery templates from the Turning Gate HERE, including a great one for quick iPhone portfolios.
Ok, same rules as always. Winner must leave a comment with their name and email address in the name and email fields. No email, no name, no prize. I’ll draw for this in a couple weeks when the mood hits. Those that don’t win will be able to email me for a $50 discount coupon, but I suggest you go to Evrium.com and sign up for their free newsletter and try to win your software first. They do a monthly photo contest – no rights grabbing, no wierdness, and the winner gets free software. Who couldn’t love that? And don’t forget I’ve still got three copies of Joe McNally’s new book, the Hotshoe Diaries to give away just as soon as they’re off the press – enter HERE.