Bye bye black, hello white with a new look and feel

Bye bye black, hello white
January 6, 2011 Johan Peijnenburg
In News

In spring of 2010, I published the first version of this photography portfolio website. That first version had a black background with dark grey highlight areas. Initially I thought it looked great and images really did pop out. Over time I couldn’t get used to reading text on a dark background however and I also felt that some images really looked over-saturated and unnatural. As you can see, I have now left the dark side!

PhotoShelter just featured this website on the PhotoShelter blog:

I worked on this new version of the site during the last few months of 2010 and managed to get it live just before X-Mas. I tweaked it a bit in the past few weeks and it’s finished now. The site is still based on WordPress (to facilitate publishing blog articles) and PhotoShelter (image archiving and e-commerce). I used the Modularity WordPress theme of Graph Paper Press (GPP) as a starting point for structuring the site. It is hardly recognizable by now however ☺

It wasn’t easy to come up with something that I really liked better than my previous site. I found out that it is much harder to design a site with a white background then designing with a black background, so I went around in circles for quite a while. Sticking to a couple of aesthetic starting points, helped me a lot though. I defined the following before I started:

  • I want a white background.
  • I want a maximum of negative space around everything.
  • Content is king and I will not include anything that distracts from the photographs.
  • I want it to be as minimalistic, simple and clean as possible.
  • I want to achieve a better balance between blogging and showcasing images.
  • It should be easy to navigate.
  • I want the look and feel to be consistent across the whole site, including the PhotoShelter part.

Along the way, I customized the blog archive pages (see: archive page example), introduced new post formats to showcase images better (see: wide post example), created a featured gallery page (see: featured galleries page) and a what’s new page (see: What’s new). I also put quite some effort in customizing how images are displayed (see: image display example).

Old look:

Screen capture of the new site of NiO Photography

New look:

Personally I am really happy with the end result. I feel my alpine nature and landscape images look much more natural on white and I think I found a good balance between blogging and showcasing images. The site looks and feels much cleaner in general.

I can now focus on catching up with my post-processing backlog and I hope to be posting and sharing a lot of new images in the first months of the new year! I’ll also be writing a new post on my experiences with PhotoShelter, WordPress and Graph Paper Press, as a follow up on my previous review (see here).

Anyway, hope you like the new site too!!! Please do leave a comment and let me know what you think! Best wishes for 2011!