Friday, June 03, 2011

the laughing victorians

[Don,I got an email this afternoon telling me PJ Harvey plays The ManchesterAcademy2 in September.we are thinking of going.You&Margaret interested/available? I will email details in due course.]

Do you fancy doing a little Market Research for me? This website appeared on the web about 24 hours ago.It's more-or-less finished, but it needs a bit of tweaking in terms of colour/font/layout etc.I would appreciate anyone taking a look & giving some critical feedback.(truly) how do you think it looks?Dont Worry! I didn't do it so you wont hurt my feelings! 
You might know I bought a small/cheap place in Italy.Well Mick & Shelley (see website) are starting a business there in the splendid Abruzzo Region..Painting:Photography:Creative Writing Residential Workshops.(They already have a Painter from Hebden Bridge on board to deliver some Courses).I said I will help a little .Both with the courses themselves (I will be paid a salary for this) Also, out of the kindness of my Heart, I am organizing advertising;promotion & suchlike.It's kinda nice because it ties in with my Abruzzo Caper and I am not investing/risking any of my own monies in the venture.Let Me Know Your Thoughts.
This Week's suggested theme at Sepia Saturday is 'Trains' but I don't really have any old photos with them featured.The nearest is this one of my son Chris in The Dominican Republic when he was wee.

Instead.Consider this............ 
When Joseph-Nicephore Niepce took the first photograph in 1828, his photographic plate required an exposure of eight hours. That exposure time was drastically reduced across the course of the nineteenth century, so that by the 1890s the Collodion process had cut exposure times to two or three seconds.
Nevertheless, a three second exposure meant that subjects had to stand very still to avoid being blurred, and holding a smile for that period was tricky. As a result, we have a tendency to see our Victorian ancestors as even more formal and stern than they might have been.Retronaut
see more photos here & here
LA VITA-HOLIDAY WORKSHOP EXPERIENCES

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On the other hand............ This is clever — in 1974 Cecil Slemp invented shoes with reversed soles, to leave footprints that point in the opposite direction.
So now your bloody tracks will lead to the murder scene.Of course,one year later, Bob Dylan released the album!
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"Train" is mentioned (somewhere!) in the  lyrics of the video below.
"If the clouds don’t drop and the train don’t stop........."Bob Dylan:Basement Tapes

POSTSCRIPT in this old post I tell you how I am related to George Stevenson the very famous Victorian railway geezer! They even have a statue of him outside Euston Station in London.Although,as I recall, he's not even smiling ......



33 comments:

ArtSparker said...

Hi Tony, here is my ex-graphic designer opinion, for what it's worth. I like the doors thing in general, but would like it better if all the door lintel type was the same size (same size as smallest). Also the doors stretch out a bit too far and are kind of floaty, I think they might be easier to concentrate on visually if they were in two rows- and pulled in from the sides. If the fact you have seven is a problem, maybe you could put in one that is open and has no type over it, just to break things up. Hope this helps.

Postcardy said...

The page doesn't fit on my 17 inch monitor without scrolling.

I think the doors and windows are too gimmicky and childish. I would rather see a clean design with photos and menus.

It might be nice to use ONE door with some nice type to make a logo/header for the page.

Karen S. said...

Awesome new website...stunning design..great use of my favorite blue...the open the door theme is cool...and photos of Italy all lovely and it pulls you right in...I'd be tempted...but I couldn't seem to find the actual prices...maybe you're still working that out! ON to Sepia stuff, I love the photo of man and dog with a roaring train ready to plow them down? ! Oh no! Save the dog man please!!! You always come up with such interesting posts..thanks so much!

Brian Miller said...

not big on the design and feels very amateurish...too much going on, on each page...too much info...simplify, keep it neat and clean...lose the stark teal....

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

I always thought people didn't smile back then because they had bad teeth.

Tess Kincaid said...

Oh, how I adore the sweet laughing photo. So rare. What a jewel. Thanks for the smiles.

tony said...

Thanks To All....Keep 'Em Coming!

Betsy said...

I agree...clean, simple and sophisticated would be more appealing. Minimize!

LOVE the laughing victorian photo! I've never seen one and therefore, you are right...we never get to see their smiles or personalities.

Roy said...

I dunno, I kinda like the whole look of the homepage of the website; the windows as links to other pages makes stylistic sense to me. Of course, this is from the guy who has picture frames as links to various places in my web empire, and at one time used a picture of the Pleiades, with each major star a link to a different page in the website. So you should probably take my opinion with a wee grain of salt.

Howard said...

Thanks for the smiling Victorians link! Your top picture is terrifying but the happy couple are great fun.
I think you should make your holiday workshops website much simpler with less graphics.

Brett Payne said...

By the 1890s, exposure times had been significantly reduced by the development of faster photographic emulsions, but I can't give you the exact figures. Although the need to keep still must have caused some discomfort, and therefore strained expressions, the real reason for lack of smiles in Victorian era portraits was convention. Photography was invented in an era when portraiture just didn't involve carefree happy expressions. There's a lot more to it, of course - portrait conventions would be a study on its own - but sombre poses were largely a result of what was considered proper at the time. You will always find exceptions, and these finds are often delightful.

After the turn of the century, particularly with the rapid development of "instantaneous" photography in the form of fairground stalls, photo booths, etc. the rot set in!

I think that strip of four is delightful. You should start a competetion for readers to come up with the words that were said between shots #2 and #3.

Kurt said...

As a web site user (as opposed to a graphic designer), I would say the #1 thing to work on is the fonts. They looks like default fonts. The doors look good, and the functionality seems fine.

Does this mean I'll have to pay to stay at your place in Italy?

tony said...

Kurt ! Italy Is Free to You & Yours (unless you want to paint!)

Christine H. said...

I like the doors/windows, but on the Workshops one, it seemed like there was too much text in each window. I would consider putting brief highlights in each one and then allowing for a click for more detailed information. While the font is clear, I might consider something more distinctive.

Cro Magnon said...

Under 'Art' there should be a space between 'unwind' and 'in'. Petty, I know. But if you want perfection....

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Your sepia train photo makes me nervous, lol!

I looked briefly at the website ... I like how it is set up and how you click to open the windows ... it does seem to load very slowly though.

Best of luck on your new adventure,

Kathy M.

Rog said...

There are 8 windows so I'm concerned it will run on Windows 7.

Otherwise very nice!

Bob Scotney said...

How did they or you fake the train photo? No dog would sit that still with a train approaching.

Martin H. said...

With my former web editor's hat on, keep it clean, keep it simple.

Love the couple in the sequence.

tony said...

Bob.The Top Photo Is Both Stolen & Fake! I Stole It From Flickr & turned it Sepia!

Tattered and Lost said...

I love the photo strip. So wonderful to see such joy in vintage shots.

I always think about the moment after the stern photos were taken. The liveliness in the room as the children broke their pose and the adults sighed and shook out the kinks.

Kate Hanley said...

Could not connect to the website when I tried. Don't know why. Love the laughing Victorians though and the video. I never made it through the entire movie.

Kristin said...

Love the laughing couple strip. Never saw the video before. would NOT want to visit that town. going to look at the other website now.

TICKLEBEAR said...

i got an error message when i cliked on it, so i don't like it. thumbs down!!

your first pic is stunning. photoshop, i hope....

luv, luv, luv that victorian pic. it's priceless!!
:)~
HUGZ

tony said...

Yea, when I tried myself to visit this morning (7am Sunday) it appears that the website is down at the moment.I will have to talk to Mick and see what the problem might be .......

Jinksy said...

Who on earth would wan backward boots? Fits in with this week's One Shot Sunday though!

tony said...

Walk This Way Jinksy & I Will Show You......

white rabbit said...

We probably lose sight of the fact that having their photograph taken must have been a real, not very often in a lifetime event for the Victorians. i've an album of old sepia photos of assorted ancestors. They are so posey it's not true.

Little Nell said...

I agree with the other commentators re the website - less is more. On the other hand it does tell us how well qualified and exprienced you are :)

The strip of four - priceless!

Teresa Evangeline said...

All I want to say is, Dylan is an effin' genius. Nothing like his lyrics. I had forgotten how much I love the film, "Don't Look Back." Films that are visually interesting, if not bizarre always float my boat. Add Jim James voice and it's pure magic.

LadyCat said...

I like the look of the webpage...especially the home page. That shade of blue is my absolute favorite color. It looks peaceful and calming. The only negative would be that you have to do so much clicking to see everything. I am very interested in the holistic healing. You must blog about it some time.
Love Bob Dylan! I agreee with Teresa , he is a genius. He was an old soul at a very young age.

tony said...

[via:Shelley] Hey Tony. Thanks for setting up the feedback for the website blog post. I really appreciate all the comments - they've been very helpful but I'm a little concerned about negative feedback where areas aren't finished yet. I haven't a spare moment right now to set up my own blog to post replies and thanks etc, so would you mind just commenting that we appreciate the feedback but are now going off the grid for a few days to refine the site. Chat later.Shell

blackwatertown said...

Good clip.
I think you're right about the solemnity being connected to the photographic technology. It has bee mentioned before by a commentor here http://wp.me/pDjed-b8