Here we have it, the long rumored and discussed design refresh! In the same way a musician slowly fine tunes an album of new songs for a new record I have been slowly picking away at details and preparing things to build a solid future here on fiftyfootshadows.net. The process started over a year ago when I felt a fresh new design would help push things into an exiting new space for the site. My original mockup, while good, just didn’t quite feel right. This lead me to scratch what I originally designed and start fresh with simply a pencil and some graph paper.
All at once the new design came to me like the sharp glare of sunlight after coming out of a dark room and I sketched out what would become the design that you see today. This design is actually a year old which is hard to believe for me personally because I still enjoy it as much as the day it was created nearly a year ago now. I wanted something that would help give my photographs and content a fresh, easy to digest space to live. Something bold and minimal but still functional and unique.
During the process of tweaking things over the last year pixels were nudged around and ideas were refined to the point where I felt things were just right. So now, at last, here we are with version 2 of fiftyfootshadows.
Another key feature of the new design is the simple ability to switch between two themes, day and night. I know many readers prefer a darker viewing environment while others, like myself these days, prefer the more open, uplifting spirit that a lighter design can bring which is the default theme for new visitors. Unlike most sites that use a crude background color switcher, I have taken time and effort to create theme specific styles to match both the day and the night versions of the design so either one you choose to use you can rest assured that you are still getting a finely tuned reading experience.
As you see, comments are still in place here on 50ft. I know the current trend in smaller web logs is to leave off comments and rely only on social networking or email for communication with readers I greatly prefer giving you guys a voice here on the site to either let me know how I am doing or share your opinion on an article. I realize the net is full of sarcastic egos that abuse the anonymous nature of comment systems but I have had nothing but wonderful experiences with my readers in the comments both on the positive and negative side of the fence. I have a lot of respect for all of you out there who have shown me support over the years and so I feel its important to let you have your space here as well.
With the dawn of a new design here on 50ft I plan on taking advantage of the fresh mental space and start devoting more time to writing. Over the past few months I have not only been tweaking the design slowly but I have also been stock piling articles and potential wallpaper images to share in order to help me successfully break into a new routine within posting to the site. My goal is to post a new article, review, mix, or feature once a week on Monday or Tuesday. There will be additional posts on off days when I can afford time and discover fun things to post and will also lay into place a public Q&A type category for those with questions about photography so with my answer others can benefit from the advice as well. I also plan on posting at least one new wallpaper each week as well as something new to the site, guest wallpapers.
I have thought long and hard about the possibility of sharing others work here on the site and have come to the conclusion that it could be fun and be an encouraging way to get readers involved. I have spoken to a couple of readers already about sharing an image to help things get started off right and will be sharing them in the coming week. These images will be invite only for a while until I get settled into the idea but you can rest assured that I will continue to maintain the high standards I set for the site within these images. Guest wallpapers will most likely show up a couple of times each month so as not to dilute the overall experience here on the site and give each post space to breathe. If you do know of someone or think that you have an image that would fit in here on 50ft, feel free to send me a mail. I will do my best to reply to submissions.
This is just the beginning, I have plenty more yet to come and I will introduce new additions as they make their way into reality. These changes are a long time coming and I am overjoyed to see things start to more forward. Next up on my to do list is a photography portfolio site as well as the launch of a store here on 50ft where I will be selling prints, the wallpaper book mentioned a few months back, and other fun things. This and an FAQ page to handle often asked questions.
A million thanks to all of my fantastic readers without which inspire me day in and day out to continue pushing myself as a photographer and as a writer to places I never thought I would reach 10+ years ago when I started sharing like this online.I also must thank my dear friend Dave Jansen who was the mastermind behind the beautiful coding of my design. I will be writing more about his generosity and brilliance in the near future.
Heres to tomorrow.