For quite a while art director and art agent types have been bugging me to publish an online portfolio. The complaint is that it is hard to find what I’m about as an image creator and photographer with all the stuff I’ve put on line. It’s true I have literally thousands of images on line and in the four years I’ve been blogging I have more than two thousand stories about photography. Yes, the material is tagged and searchable, organized with a taxonomy and human-readable site map, but even so it does not fit the concise and focused look of a top-of-the-line portfolio, which tends to be have relatively few images with some fancy (and flashy) user interface elements.
So last week I bit the bullet and decided to program my portfolio page and slide show in Flash. You can see the results on www.photoblog2.com, which as also serves as a new entrance portal to this blog.
As an experienced software programmer, how hard could it be? Well, in fairness I need to say “ex programmer”—it’s been years since I’ve coded much of anything. And, at the possible expense of losing my über geek status, I’ll admit I found the Flash development environment a beast. Not so much the ActionScript programming language, which is a relatively clean implementation, but the whole construct of what goes where, with a stage and timeline in every application, and so on.
The heavy lifting in my application was done with a set of add-on Flash components from SlideShowPro, which are very elegant, but also complex, and with documentation that leaves a great deal to be desired.
I wanted something simple, elegant, and clean to best show my work. Sometimes simplicity is the hardest thing of all to achieve.
Well, it was a week lost to Flash development: but at least the beast is done, and I learned how to do it!