Following the redesign of my web site I became increasingly frustrated by the mediocre presentation of my image collections. The final straw came a couple of weeks ago when I noticed that my site’s photos looked super-saturated on my wide-gamut monitor. “That shouldn’t happen” I thought – both safari and firefox are colour managed. It turns out that the Flash based gallery I was using was the cause of the problem, and although the latest version of Flash does support colour management, Lightroom can’t yet use this version. My images weren’t be displayed correctly and there was nothing to be done about it.
So, I started to look around. There is now an impressive array of web engines available for Lightroom, offering more and more advanced features, however it seemed that my particular – simplistic – needs weren’t to be met.
This is what I was looking for:
- A simple and elegant design that would fit well with my site’s clean look. I didn’t want navigation bars or indeed anything else that would make the galleries feel out of place.
- A showcase for small collections of images, certainly no more than 30 at a time and probably less than 15. No need for multiple pages – just an elegant presentation of each collection.
- No Flash.
- No Flash.
The last point is so important that I’ve repeated it twice. I can’t abide Flash and I refused to have to use it again. I have two big issues with it (aside from the colour management problem):
- The visitor has to have an appropriately up-to-date version installed to be able to visit a Flash-based site site. I want my visitors to have an easy viewing experience, not an aggravating one.
- You can’t see Flash galleries on most mobile devices, including the iPhone.
I’d previously been obliged to use Flash due to the lack of a visually appealing HTML based web engine for Lightroom, but this time I was determined to find a better option.
Sadly, my search was in vain.
In fact, I decided to go quite a few steps further. I created my new web engine and then extended it far beyond my own needs, making it highly configurable so that other people could benefit from it too. This gallery is called Elegance and I’m making it donationware like I’ve done for all my Lightroom plugins. You may download Elegance from the Photographer’s Toolbox.
You can see many examples by browsing my portfolio. I’ve also created another look for The Bicycle as a sample.
If you use Elegance I’d love to see some results.
(Oh, and the cherry on the cake – not only are Elegance galleries viewable on the iPhone, they even support finger swiping gestures )