The digital gallery
This column originally ran in ComputorEdge on March 16, 2007
About a year and a half ago, we visited the issue of putting your photographs online. Much has changed since then, most notably the number of people who have taken that technology and created online galleries. Including some pretty good photographers.
This week, we look at what some photogs are doing with online exhibitions.
David Matt Green, a longtime San Diego journalist, maintains a Web site called ShyCloud.com. On his site, he has one of the larger photo exhibits you'll find mostly of concert shots he has taken.
Green's approach seems to be more along the quantity over quality approach. There are some really strong shots in here, some wonderfully composed photos, but he also posts his lesser stuff as well. That lack of editing gives it a bit of a feel of a box of family snapshots. (Although his photos are all better than anything you'd find in my shoebox of old pictures!)
His site also isn't terribly well-organized or laid out. The labeling of shows and photos is haphazard, and while the overall organization seems to be at least semi-chronological (in reverse order), it's not immediately clear when the events happened until you open each event's exhibit.
On the other hand, given the number of local music shows Green attends camera in hand (and these are all local, San Diego-based musicians, not the big touring acts that come to Coors Amphitheatre or the sports arena), his online exhibit is a remarkable documentation of San Diego's live music scene. If you're a fan of the burgeoning local music community (which seems poised to become the next Austin or Seattle), then you're going to spend a lot of time on ShyCloud.com.
It is hard to imagine that any other city has a resource like this offering a visual archive of its local music scene.
And yet, San Diego has another local photographer as profligate and loyal to the local music scene as David Matt Green.
At Steve Covault Photography, Covault has nearly as many exhibits, nearly as many photos up as Green.
Covault's online exhibit space is organized a bit differently from Green's. It's better labeled, for one. Band names, dates and venues are clearly marked from the main index, so you can quickly find a show you were may have been at or an artist you admire.
Covault also has designed or found a nice little navigation system for scrolling through the photos on display once you've chosen an exhibit.
And you can order prints of photos you like from Covault's site I didn't see a way to do that on Green's site.
Between the two of them, David Matt Green and Steve Covault are a near-omniscient presence on San Diego's music scene and by using the Web to share their photos, they provide a pretty cool service to San Diego's music fans.
I don't know that I've written about it in this space, but for almost five years now I've published and edited a literary and arts 'zine at Turbula.net.
For the past year or so, I've been having an online art exhibit in Turbula's gallery space. And recently, we had the opening of our first online photo exhibit featuring the photography of Anna Morris.
Anna is a stay-at-home wife and mother in Michigan who I ran across on MySpace. The first time I popped into her MySpace profile, I was struck by a beautiful photo of a old weathered red barn the kind of shot Ansel Adams might have gotten if he'd shot in full color. The lighting, the composition, everything was perfect.
And I knew immediately it was time to add photography to Turbula.
The neat thing about all this is Anna had never been exhibited before. Now, I don't own a gallery, and gallery owners I know tell me that photography is the hardest medium to sell and so very few carry much of it.
But with no overhead and only a few hours work in sizing her photos and then laying out the pages in Turbula, we've managed to bring Anna's lovely work to an audience of several thousand people over the past four weeks.
Let's make it a few thousand more, eh? Her work is that good, and you deserve to have that kind of beauty in your life as much as she deserves the attention.
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