New look for Terrance Alexander Photography

Since the migration from BL2 to BL3 went so smoothly, I thought it was time to take a stab at refreshing the look of my site - not to mention I have a lot of time on my hands with the lockdown!

The more I played with it the more features I found and was able to implement. I went back to a darker theme that I had not been toying with since BL1 and I like the look. The only piece I have not yet figured out is the RSS feed, but I will keep plugging away at that piece. Anyway, the new site is at:

Terrance Alexander Photography

Great looking site! I like how you’re incorporating the background image into the design and color scheme, and you’ve made great use of hero images in your galleries. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks Matt - you’ve designed a great looking and functional tool in BL3, and it’s been a lot of fun exploring the options.


Well, with way too much time on my hands I’ve once again reworked my website with further refinements. I took a que from Daniel’s use of a tabbed structure and combined it with IFrames to tie my galleries together on pages based on the subjects of Fine Art, Michigan Galleries, and Project Galleries. I also switched some of my pages over to a two column design. I think the look simplifies my menu structure by eliminating drop downs and puts the galleries front and center on the pages. I hope you enjoy the look.

I’m all for eliminating drop-downs. I am not a fan of iframes, though. And I think the iframes are a little whacky on iPhone; you’re losing a lot of slideshow real estate by windowing the slideshow. The icons also get pretty cramped.

Thanks Matt - I understand the real estate issue, although on my iPhone I only lose about 1/8 inch on each edge over my old site version. Not sure what icons you refer to as nothing was changed on those?

I just had a look and your gallery pages take about 2-3 seconds to populate the thumbnails first time around on each tab, with just an empty frame to start with.
High speed broadband/Windows 10 Pro/Firefox 80.0.1 64 bit

These icons:

And an eighth of an inch is huge on an iPhone screen, given they’re pretty narrow to begin with. You’re also losing a lot on the vertical for each image by not allowing it to use its full width. And trying to use the phone in landscape orientation breaks everything.

Here, the entire image cannot be seen, because the slideshow is filling the iframe height – not the viewport height, as intended – and so a lot of the image, and all of the icons are off-screen and difficult to access. To use them, or to view the entire image, it’s necessary to scroll the page by trying to grab onto that eighth-inch frame around it. Not a good user experience.

I know it’s fun to customize things, but you’re basically preventing Backlight from doing all the good things it should be giving you as a matter of course.

Thanks - I think it changed when I switched to a higher resolution camera and am ending up with larger files. I’ll try dropping the image quality on the thumbnails to see if that speeds things back up.

Matt - thanks for the feedback. Back to the drawing board. I really want to eliminate submenus if I can - especially in the vertical menu because I think that can look really unwieldy, but I hate adding another intermediate page for the gallery set as I find clicking through too many pages irritating too. I’ll keep trying.

Just be careful that you’re not endeavoring to circumvent the intended user experience with a worse user experience. I think that’s the danger you’re entering into with iframes.

IFrames are gone and back to the BL basics. It eliminated the screen real estate issues and compressed icons as much as possible. I think it looks good for now so guess I’ll go back to photography for a while and think about the menu/click through challenges later. Thanks for all the feedback.

Great! IMO, much better this way.

There are things you could do with the JSON API later on, but that would also require a lot of copy and pasting for markup and styling … I’ve been trying to think of ways we might be able to make that easier to implement. I think the API itself is easy to use, but I’ve been trying to think of ways of getting at gallery styles … that’s been difficult.