I was thrilled to see PhotoShelter introduced Beam yesterday. I plan to write on my blog updates on how it works for photographers (www.chicagoseen.com)
Upon First Try: I’ve struck out. Navigation is a challenge as far as I can tell. Getting back into the “Beam” area seems to be a major effort each time–I’m hoping in time it will be more integrated with the back end browser.
Templates: Wow, what’s goin’ on here? Let’s see, I tried “Marquee” and my home screen suddenly becomes someone’s lips, a close in detail from my “Portrait” portfolio. I presume there’s a way to control the sizing but I haven’t found it yet.
Once I click on those lips then it shows a series of galleries, but not neccessarily the ones I want to show. Again, I’m sure there’s an answer, but as a user/customer I haven’t found it yet.
So I move on to “Shuffle”. Way too random and with the diversity of work on my website, man are people going to be confused. I doubt many of them would get past the home page.
So its on to “Promenade” which now home pages a slice random detail of a photo, of which I seem to have no control over. If its not the subject my viewer is seeking, it’s likely “game over”.
So now, with Promenade selected I seek to install my logo. The logo I’ve installed for my currently used portfolio is nowhere to be found, and it won’t let me go to my hard drive to upload it. So I have to find my logo, create a new unlisted folder and place the jpeg in the new “Logos” folder I have created. Then, I click on the word “text” to get it to change to “image”, and lo and behold I then have to scroll through “listed” and “unlisted” galleries, and guess what? “Logos” doesn’t show. So 10 more minutes gone by and I can’t even preview my logo. Like I said, I’m sure there’s an easier way, but I’m begininng to wonder if it’s through PS. Furthermore, when I do select a folder in this search mode, and it’s not the right one, so I cancel out, I get taken back to the “home screen” for selecting a logo and I have to go through the process all over again. No Logo entered.
So now I see I can choose images to be featured in the random portfolio home page first image display. So, I now learn that I can’t just select all the images from a specific portfolio, I have to go through the cumbersome process of selcting and adding each individual image one at a time and then go back each time and select another image. Process for selecting a group of images, people?
So my last chance for salvation is now “Element” . Again a random image which I the viewer must click on, or else I must click on Portfolio which provides no options in itself, in order to see a new screen which lists Portfolio options only as a visual context, with no type to help my fearless viewer.
“Elements” is a clean design, but forces you into a specific mode for display. Again, the cumbersome process of selecting each Portfolio one at a time to add them to the home page collection.
Then when you do click on one of these Portfolios from the home page, you immediately get a scattered thumbnail group of all your images at once. I don’t know if you can bypass this thumbnail option, because I don’t want people to see my Portfolio in one grouping with images the size of postage stamps.
Ok, so now I know I must be missing something as I know this is a year or more in the making, and surely PS wouldn’t issue a Beta site that is so hard to navigate, and, frankly a lot less flexible than the one they are about to replace. my first go round has yielded no web platform that is workable for Wayne Cable PHOTOS. So, I am sure I am missing a lot, but my inclination is to go back to my non-scalable “Nolita” template because I can not afford to confuse and alienate my portfolio seekers and viewers. Additionally I’ve spent a couple of hours trying to preview the new reality, and though it makes waves at attempting to be more “current”, I’m just not getting it yet. I consider myself pretty web savvy, and I’ve waited a long time for scalable and more customizable Portfolio options, but it’s a stretch of the imagination for me to see how this is going to help my business. So I’m sure PS is working round the clock to address everyone’s questions and issues, but unfortunately, I just don’t know how I can jump into this.
Ok, So I’m in the template Promenade, I go to “Visible Navigation Items” and I bring “Blog” up from “Hidden” Items and I go to edit it and I see NO VISIBLE MEANS to add the link to it. So I traverse around, find “adding new” items which allow one to place a link, but lo and behold I’m apparently not wise enough to see what clearly must be right in fromt of my nose. Was this Beta really ready for testing? I’m fully having my doubts, and I sorely need a scalable portfolio solution.
Oh, and where is all the SEO data that I’ve invested so much time and effort
so Google will rank me highly, and now I’m just going to have a home page
where the only info and title of the page is “Wayne Cable” where’s my Meta,
my description, etc.??? Again, I must be missing something here….
back to Nolita…and still in need of a viable portfolio solution….