Photo’s in Flash™

Sometimes I find placing a selection of pictures online one of the hardest things to get right. And by this I mean it’s difficult to automate the process of uploading and placing images. And then having to build an attractive and usable interface for it. Of course there are many scripts available to do this in PHP or PERL. But for sites that are “designed” the tool of choice seems to be Flash™.
Photographer Anatol Kotte’s portfolio site is a great example of what you can find all over the web. Sliding menus, scaling images and almost helpful tool-tips. The ‘Flashers’ motto seems to be, “If you can, you should”.

Restraint, it seems, is the hardest thing of all. Graphically the site is pretty restrained and looks really good, great visual design work. But… this site seems to do the things it does for no apparent reason. Why must everything move? Why not utilise a more subtle form of movement throughout the site. The menu I can understand, it could be suggesting that it’s a roll of film. It is, however, an often used technique and so it could mean anything you want it to. 

Does the quality of the site reflect the quality of the content? In my opinion it does not, a pitty that. But it does work to a point, due to the nature of the content. Kotte’s brilliant photography is very slick and has almost a hyper-real feel to it. Razor-sharp images of frozen time. The pictures seem to freeze all life within the photograph. It does this more so than capturing emotion for example, and thus lets you step into the picture to make of it what you will. No wonder we see plenty of advertising work.

The site itself could be seen as a hyper-reality wherein everything moves to counter balance the content and to reinforce the stillness of the images. But for this to make any real sense the site should also freeze when a picture is selected. But alas, the menu just keeps on moving, and detracts from Anatol’s frozen moments. In fact I find the menu pretty damn annoying.

So, I’m not so happy with the site, but I love Anatol’s work.

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