For a while now, I've wanted a place to show off my photography in a better way than the odd article on this blog coupled with my flickr account. Today I launched just such a place: my new site, adamperfect.com.
A month or so ago, some ideas I'd been mulling over combined into inspiration and I started planning out a whole new website that would act as a kind of personal hub: showcasing my photography and design work as well as some more 'life stream' stuff like tweets, bookmarks and Dribbble shots.
During the course of building the site, I remembered my original idea to simply have somewhere nice to display my photographs. Even without having explicitly focussed on that, the site was already heavily weighted towards photography and so I decided to pare down and remove the other stuff.
This was definitely a good decision, as it's left me with a site that focuses on a single thing: my photography. The other stuff is still interesting to me, but I'll end up putting it elsewhere, possibly some of it on this site.
So what does the new site do? At its root, the site is a hopefully more nicely-presented copy of all the photographs I upload to flickr, indeed the photos on adamperfect.com are imported from flickr. This also means the site acts as a nice backup of my photographs (or flickr does, depending on how you look at it).
I'll be writing a journal of my photography-related exploits and thoughts. I've added a couple of journal posts already, based on a couple of recent photography sessions and linked to their related photo sets.
There's a featured photos section where my favourite photos get the 'view big' treatment and go full-screen. Every photo on the site also has its own page with Exif data listed alongside and the key data like shuter speed, aperture, exposure bias and ISO listed under the photo.
Under the hood
As I want to shift Supersonic Feet back to focus on design and web dev, I should mention a little bit about the build of the new site…
The site uses some funky CSS3 stuff like text/box-shadows and the odd rounded corner or gradient, but I also created a nifty photo stack effect using just CSS. I came up with the effect a couple of months ago based on Matt Hamm's CSS page curl demo and posted a preview shot on Dribbble. I'll try to write it up at some point, but a combination of Matt's orginal and viewing source on my site should show how it's done in the meantime.
On a more techy front, I intially used MongoDB as the data store for the new site. It seemed like a good idea as the site is effectively just serving up documents (photos or journal posts) and I'd been wanting to have agood play with MongoDB. I used Mongoid as the ORM with Ruby on Rails.
It was all going quite well, but as I added things like photo sets (where a photo can be in multiple sets), my lack of MongoDB experience and the data looking more and more relational triggered me to switch back to good ol' MySQL. Again, I might write this up at some point in the future.
Go look at the new
Anyway, I've rambled as usual. Go and check out the new site and let me know what you think!
PS: I wrote most of his post on my iPad. A year into owning it and it's the first time I've really attempted any long form writing on it. It was pretty smooth apart from all the extra key strokes required to write HTML tags.