Website Critique: Photographer Tom Hussey

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In learning about website design, portfolio-making, and lifestyle photography, I came across the photographer Tom Hussey. The first thing that caught my eye about his portfolio site was the content and quality of his images. Personally, I am a fan of lifestyle photography that captures a sense of youth and fun, showing the interactions between people and their environment. Tom Hussey’s images do just that. His lifestyle photographs are in both color and black and white, and capture moments of people of all ages engaging in life. The simplistic website design draws the viewers attention to look further into the site at his work.

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When website goers first go into the webpage, they encounter a splash screen with the logo of Mr. Tom Hussey. It then fades into the home screen where one of his images covers the width of the browser window with a vertical menu on the left side of the screen. The menu bar features his types of photos as well as various series he’s done throughout his career. He also includes some of his work in motion and production. Though different mediums his work ties well together in that they depict a certain almost playful reality where he interplays reality and illusion. The one concern I have about his home page is that the image is set to take up the entire width of the screen, while the width is set as being relative. This means that as the window gets smaller, the photograph no longer covers the entire menu bar on the left and there is just blank white space beneath the image. I think it would be beneficial to create a slideshow that eases in and out of a select number of his best photographs on the home page instead of just one image.

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The design of each of his photo pages is neat and clean, drawing all attention to the photographs. When an image is clicked, the image is enlarged in a separate page like a typical portfolio. The really interesting thing to me was the navigation of moving from image to image. Rather than having a static next and back button, Tom Hussey’s site transforms your mouse arrow into either a next or back arrow. When you mouseover the left portion of the image it has a back arrow, and when you mouseover the right portion of the image it has a next arrow, leading you through the images. When you mouseover the top of the image, the mouse arrow changes yet again to feature four boxes that when clicked, lead you back to the previous page. Simple navigation that I think is easy to follow for people of all ages.

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Another aspect and commonality between all his pages is his easing in and out of images, creating a fade effect. Every mouse click eases you into the next image rather than it immediately appearing. I thought of it as a more cinematic effect. Every page has a similar layout, so I guess after a while it can get boring, but this site has the purpose of showcasing photography, which I believe was done very well. His blog also has a photojournalistic design featuring even more of his photographs, mainly commercial and advertising work.

Overall, I enjoyed the portfolio site of Tom Hussey. Many of the moments he’s captured are what I hope to depict and show through my work, too. His modern and clean design provides for an easy navigation and definitely showcases his work well. The only thing I would say is that the front page should feature more than just one image. I hope my portfolio does my work justice as well.

Multi-Monitor Display: Overcoming Adversity

In my advanced multimedia class, I am creating a multi-monitor display about overcoming adversity within oneself, inspired by the work of street artists Morley and Banksy. I took portraits of my friends and manipulated the images to make them appear part of the street art. The idea behind this piece was for people to step out from behind society’s labels and define who they are.

carltestIn the first shot, I composited them into the graffiti background containing all the labels society has imposed on them. carl2_graphicIn the second shot, I composited them out of the background, spray painting over their labels. carl3_graphicIn the third shot, I continued the shot of them spray painting, except this time, they’re spray painting a new, self-defining word. carl4_graphicAnd my final shot is them posing beneath their word. In the example above, my friend labeled himself as loving. The overall idea is to step out from the labels and define yourself as you choose.

Street Artists: Morley & Banksy

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One of the current projects I’m working on is a multi-monitor display featuring photography and street art. In the process of creating my project, my friend directed me to the work of Morley and Banksy, two street artists who have a distinct style. Morley’s typographic posters, showing his perspective towards society is both creative and entertaining. Banksy’s satirical, mainly dark graffiti has a stencil-like style that brought something new to the world of street art. In my project, I incorporated aspects of text like Morley and transformed portraits into stencil-like images like Banksy.

The Getty: Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography

UntitledThis past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit the Getty Museum where I viewed the exhibit, Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography. The exhibit featured work of numerous artists from landscape to the abstract. Of all the artists, I particularly liked the work of John Chiara. His work focused on the convergence of the natural landscape and its man-made elements. His images featuring a dark color palette reminded me of the work of the pictorialists whose images had a mysterious aspect, an almost painterly quality about them.

Jacksgap: Beyond YouTube

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 2.56.39 PMI’ve been a fan of Jacksgap since 2012 when they first made their debut on YouTube. The Harries twins, from the UK, grew in popularity, creating vlogs and other challenge videos on their channel. Although they continue to make videos, their creations are on a whole other level where they travel the world, documenting the stories of people, campaigning, and bringing awareness to its viewers. The content as well as the design of the company is one that brings about a message, while also keeping its aesthetic appeal.

Cityscapes Transformed

city_view(sketch)editcity_view(overlay)editIn my advanced multimedia course, I created city backgrounds where I photographed cityscapes in Los Angeles and rotoscoped over them to create an almost comic-like appearance. It transformed the busy streets of LA into a black and white scene, focusing on the architectural landscape, and geometric aspects of the city.

Clark Little: Ocean Photography Like No Other

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 2.33.41 PMGrowing up in Hawaii, I first learned about Clark Little and his amazing ocean photographs from my surfer dad. His work was the first I’ve seen before the now popular GoPro that captured waves up close and personal. In order to capture these scenes, he positions himself in a wave’s impact zone, just as the wave breaks. I’ve tried capturing much smaller waves in a similar manner, but to no luck, I always get washed away by the waves. For now, I think I’ll stick to admiring the work of Clark Little, far away from the impact zone.

Lifestyle Photographer: Nick Onken

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 12.50.24 AMIn creating my own lifestyle photography portfolio, I came across the photographer Nick Onken. He is a New York City based photographer who does fashion and commercial photography as well as travels the world, using photography as a form of documentation. Someday I hope to be a skilled photographer like Onken who travels the world, capturing the lives of different people, while experiencing new cultures. He has a book entitled, Photo Trekking, where he discusses his travels and photography, and hopefully I’ll get the chance to read it soon.

“Never Built: Los Angeles”

Never_BuiltImagining Los Angeles is a photography course that introduced me to various sites in the city. From exploring Downtown to analyzing the urban culture and city sprawl, I got the opportunity to visit the exhibit, “Never Built: Los Angeles” at the A + D Museum.  The interesting concept of this exhibition was exploring the ideas and blueprints of things that were never built. Life in LA would be completely different if half of these ideas were constructed. Of all the designs, my favorite was the layout of LAX. It had a futuristic design, almost as if the cartoon Jetsons lived there.