01. April 2013 · Comments Off on Let the Buyer Beware · Categories: Developing Content for Your Web Site · Tags:

Today my client The Investor Advocate posted a remembrance of the great legal journalist Anthony Lewis, who died a week ago today. As a young man Lewis was greatly influenced by Justice Harlan Fiske Stone’s footnote to his opinion in U.S. v. Carolene Products Co., decided in 1938. You can read the details as they relate to Lewis in the post.

My job was to find an image to go with the post so I started by searching for anything related to the court case.
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16. October 2012 · Comments Off on Business Portraits · Categories: Photography, Portrait · Tags:

I had an amazing photo shoot this morning with Randy Sabien.
A few weeks ago we did a shoot at the University Club in St. Paul and our goal there was to get a standard portrait with nice lighting and a good background. I posted some of the results on this blog and soon we’ll be adding photos to Randy’s web site that people can download for publicity purposes when he does concerts, etc.

This morning’s photo shoot had a different goal.
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Someone was curious about the “mood” image on the home page of my website.  My daughter made a puppet in 8th grade art class.  First I photographed the puppet as a standard portrait:

puppet against white fabric

Then I wrapped it in black fabric and startled it with a spotlight pointing up towards the face!

puppet wrapped in black fabric

I took this image and used Photoshop to paint around the face and hands with black.  Then I used the perspective tool (Edit – Transform – Perspective) to distort the proportions.  Finally, I used Curves to saturate the colors for a lurid effect.

transformed in photoshop

Analysis by Smart Alice Web Design & Photography, smart web design for businesses who want a unique and effective presence on the internet.

Copyright 2010,  Alice Gebura,  All Rights Reserved.

I attended a workshop in Ikebana,  the Japanese art of flower arranging. The Ikebana concept that impressed me the most was that of visual motion.  Ikebana strives to keep the eye engaged by eliminating any element that would stop the continuous scanning motion of the eye.   Some examples of such eye stopping elements are:

  • Straight lines
  • 90 degree angles
  • Absence of  negative space (space between objects)

The photo to the left shows an Ikebana arrangement.

Example of Ikebana

Example of Ikebana

Notice the following:

  • Simplicity, only 3 elements: white calla lilies, pink azaleas and black tray
  • Curved lines, no straight lines
  • Only 5 upright flowers grouped as 3 + 2, creating negative space between the vertical elements, the stems
  • Negative space between the horizontal elements: calla lilies at the top,  azaleas and tray at the bottom

Despite the sparse, simple aesthetic, its visual interest  pulls you in and keeps you there.  Isn’t that what we want for our own web sites?

I gave some thought to how I could  apply this to web design.  I believe when you drill down and understand your goals and core values and how to realize them, you arrive at a truth that can be expressed simply and effectively.

If you don’t really understand who you are and what you’re doing, what better way to cover it up than to keep piling on more and more until you get a web site that looks like this:

hutchins for congress

Analysis by Smart Alice Web Design & Photography, smart web design for businesses who want a unique and effective presence on the internet.

choclateOne of my all time favorite web sites is David Lebovitz, Living the Sweet Life in Paris. Lebovitz is an all star pastry chef. His web site/blog has fabulous food photos (I’ve included an example here). The images are superb – beautiful, professional photographs that instantly tell you this guy is serious about food and food quality. He uses those gorgeous photos to illustrate his various culinary adventures with ingredients and funky kitchen gadgets.
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