You Meet The Nicest People On The Internet… And In The Most Unlikely Places

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda." --1962 TV commercial

By December, 1962, American Honda was selling more than 40,000 motorcycles a year and its number of dealers exceeded that of any competitor. When a US advertising agency proposed a campaign slogan called, "You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda," it became a sensation and people everywhere were clamoring to open Honda dealerships. What's all this got to do with this month's Web Profiles? You also meet the nicest photographers in the most unlikely places...

© 2005, Kevin Barnes, All Rights Reserved

I met Kevin Barnes at a hot rod show in Boulder, Colorado, and was impressed, as Clive Cussler might put it, by "the cut of his jib." Barnes wanted buyers to see his work, but didn't have the time or money to build a website from scratch. He took the fast path to publishing a website by using a template from Allwebco Design ( who offers designs from basic to Flash. Barnes told me "the process is easy. Just add images, text, upload, and go!" All this wouldn't work if the photography wasn't worth the trip and Barnes' definitely is. His gallery titles are based on the techniques exhibited inside, such as Polaroid Transfer, or topics, such as Southwest.

I was drawn to the technique-driven galleries that include Black and White and Panoramic. The Panoramic collection photographs contain a subtle power that is somewhat reduced by having "large" images that are too small and a copyright notice that's too big. His Polaroid Transfers show the sensitive side of Barnes' imagery that's positively pictorial in nature, and I mean that in a good way. You'll see similar kinds of photographs in the Black and White collection, but they lack the power of his Polaroid Transfers. The media is the message and Barnes is a versatile photographer who has an eye for precisely and tightly framed images that are often nostalgic in theme, but are always wonderful to view.

© 2005, Jill Blake, All Rights Reserved

Jill Blake is a true renaissance woman. She grew up in a middle-class rural area in Michigan and Florida and now lives in Colorado. She's traveled to Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Germany, Canada, and throughout our own 50 states "to expand her perspective." I visited Blake in her studio at Blake's Small Car Salvage, the most unique automotive salvage yard in the world. Her website is an eclectic collection of travel and fine art images that will delight the jaded eye.

Start with the gallery called "Spring Art Show." Nope, it's not the announcement of a show being held in the spring, but instead is a collection of bedspring photographs that have to be seen to be believed. Part Rorschach test and part Man Ray, Blake's explorations of color and shadow will make you smile when you think of the image's humble beginnings. Her African collection is more than just photos of cute animals and contains sensitive, almost anthropological studies of the native people who she's photographed. Look at her subject's eyes; it tells you a lot about how Blake sees, too. Blake's personal goal to capture that moment in time so that it may be shared with others and her website succeeds in accomplishing her goals in ways even she might not have expected.