Keeping Up With The Pixels...: “Shutterbug” Readers In The Spotlight

A website has more in common with a daily newspaper than a studio brochure and photographers should constantly update it with new images and information about themselves and their services. That’s why having a blog—and updating it regularly—is a must these days. Your site’s overall design must also be reviewed and improved on an ongoing basis to keep it looking fresh. A website is like a living organism that must constantly grow and change in order to survive. When was the last time you updated yours?
Tristan Greszko’s site is deceptively simple yet elegantly functional, providing a perfect showcase for his dazzling images. Greszko is an adventure photographer based in Jackson, Wyoming, certainly on anybody’s short list of the most beautiful places on Earth. His spectacular images are contained in three main galleries, including Adventure + Winter, Adventure + Summer, and Nature + Travel. Click a button to view Greszko’s site in full-screen mode to immerse yourself in the stunning vistas that he captures. As amazing as his Winter images are in color, one of the most dramatic is a monochrome helicopter shot (I think) of a skier schussing alongside a rugged mountain cliff. Floating arrows let you move back and forth between the photographs in the portfolios and you’ll constantly find yourself doing that while saying, “I want to see that one again!” Even more amazing is an unbelievable night shot showing the Aurora Borealis wrapping itself around the town.

In the Summer portfolio, skiers are replaced by rock climbers and Greszko’s images manage to capture the physical and mental challenges of people confronting the Tetons head-on. It’s not all brawn and muscle; Greszko also captures the peace and solitude of fly-fishing at sunset. His Travel images include everything from a sleeping rhino in black and white, a road to “nowhere,” and stunning images of nature encompassing an underlying theme present in much of Greszko’s work, the depiction of humanity as tiny specks when placed next to the majesty of nature. Don’t miss his blog. There’s a lot to see and read about the art and craft of adventure photography and Tristan Greszko must truly be ranked among its masters.

© Tristan Greszko
Shutterbug reader William Jones’s website has classy, functional styling and is literally stuffed full of galleries, starting with a featured group that was Food Shopping when last I visited. Here he takes you up and down the aisles of a supermarket, along the way creating posterized, sometimes wildly successful abstract photographs. The bulk of Jones’s images are found under the Group 1 and Group 2 menus that are accessed near the top of the screen and contain 13 collections, so I’ll just point out a few, but urge you to visit them all.

I started with Horse & Rider, in Group 2, which features subcollections of Racing, Polo, and Carriages. Racing contains steeplechase photographs, including exciting images of horses in flight over hurdles that could only have been made with a remote camera, unless Jones is a brave guy who chooses to be that close to a large, leaping animal. Fauna is a gallery with wide-ranging subject matter, offering up amazing images of sea creatures, a macro shot of a spider, and a lumbering turtle. All of which could not be more different from what’s found in Snaps 1 in Group 1. Far from just being “snaps” these images contain a complex ecosystem ranging from Hockney-like hyper-snapshots of people on a beach to a mysterious photograph of a person walking down an alley at night. Alas, there are no titles for me to guide you. William Jones is a generalist who’s using the medium of photography to explore his world from the mundane to the exquisite and whose multilayered website takes us along with him.

© William Jones
Caroline Heslop is a Shutterbug reader whose website is an excellent example of what a simple, clean design for emerging photographers can look like. You arrive at her splash page and are confronted by thumbnails showing the work she’s assembled into eight galleries with topics ranging from Food (she’s the studio manager at the Shooting Kitchen in TriBeCa) to Travel. Her Food images are crisply photographed, wonderfully styled, and show a passion for color and composition, plus some of them look downright yummy. Rather than exploring grand themes, Heslop’s Nature photographs explore small bits of the natural world from clever, slightly off-center but always eye-catching images of flowers that show she’s thinking about the image not just pointing the camera at the flora. In Portraits, her monochrome images tend to be classical in structure with an occasional tilt toward the avant-garde. Photographs made during a trip Heslop made for her Forgotten America series reach for a touch of latter-day Walker Evans and occasionally hit the mark with images such as the wistful “Gus’s Dari-Bar.” Yet through it all, the site is intuitive and easy to navigate, eschewing gadgets, gimmicks, and gewgaws, letting you find and then appreciate her photographs. And that’s what you will do at Caroline Heslop’s website—enjoy.

© Caroline Heslop
Shutterbug reader Bob Strupat’s splash page provides access to his bookstore that contains self-published books of his remarkable landscape photography, including a preview that lets you flip through each book’s pages. The screen’s left-hand side has an entrance to a modest page showing thumbnails for 15 galleries. Because of the large number of galleries and images, picking a place to start is a challenge. I began with Yosemite because I’ve never been there and have “seen all the pictures” but never saw the park photographed the way Strupat has done it. Although captured in a classic style, Strupat is the kind of landscape photographer who waits for the light and then, and only then, does he make an exposure. Because his views were so fresh, some of them surprised (and delighted) me while others were more comfortable, yet still displayed the viewpoint of a gifted craftsman at home with his medium.

Niagara Falls is a place that I have visited and it’s been photographed to death, yet Strupat tosses the clichés out the window, re-imagines others (a frozen falls captured in the snow) while creating compelling images of this wonder of nature. Bob Strupat gets real small with his flower images in Bloom!, from the ordinary to the extraordinary, but they are always worth a click. Check the Info button at the top of the screen for a little information, but just a bit, as with his passionflower image where he lets the photograph speak for itself. Take your time looking at the images on display and prepare to enjoy yourself while appreciating the work of a talented photographer who’s wrapped these sensational images up in a quiet, unassuming package.

© Bob Strupat