Photo websites that I hate...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by OzRay, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    ...or any such website for that matter.

    [RANT]Firstly, for the life of me, I don't understand why so many websites, photography especially, seem to think that a black background with white text is somehow conducive to an outstanding user experience. It's especially frustrating where someone runs a blog or the like which involves a fair bit of reading. Every time I switch from such a site to a normal one, it's like I've just emerged from a cave into searing sunlight. Some say that this is so that photos displayed on the website will look better. I say hogwash. No where in life can I think of one situation that emulates this phenomenon. When I go to an art gallery, the walls are white or a neutral colour, not black or a dark grey. I've never seen a house where the walls are painted black or some dark colour so that paintings and photographs look better. You don't get books and novels where the pages are all black with white text (except for the occasional photo book that's lost its way). I raised this because I went to a forum member's website and once again encountered what I've begun to call them, another goth website; black and white, headache inducing and simply bewildering.

    Secondly, I feel the same about websites that are solely driven by Adobe Flash; I don't even hang around when I realise it's another Flash driven site. Flash is rubbish, riddled with security issues, slow to load, uncompromising in its use and when poorly implemented is makes you realise that repeats of Gilligan's Island are actually enjoyable. I even dislike Flash embedded into websites, as they are often so poorly done. So if you're running a website that's all Flash, it's not really all that flash as far as a lot of people are concerned; also, it precludes many from even viewing it and most likely hides you from most search engines. Just don't do it![/RANT]

    I feel better now. :smile:
    • Like Like x 8
  2. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    Yeah never figured out why folks think black backgrounds and fonts are a good combo :)
  3. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have long heard about the images on black is better but never really saw it myself. I remember when Adobe switched to that for PS but it drove me bonkers{of coarse I wasn't use to it - at least they gave the option to switch to the classic setup}. Another forum I participate on uses black with red fonts! I love the forum but hate the style they use.

    Do not get me started about Flash! It has it's place or i should say HAD it's place years ago. I loved Flash games back then - free fun but then all the crazy websites that used Flash or lot or worse were totally Flash. It was made worse since I had to stick with dial-up longer than most.
  4. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Real Name:
    Never liked the black background used in Acdsee, Olympus Viewer, DxO Optics pro ...

    and all Flash? OMG
  5. dpaultx

    dpaultx Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 19, 2014
    North TX
    The black background thing probably comes from back in the days when all photo "albums" came with only black pages and the little adhesive "corner mounts".

    I can remember, when I was growing up, that the only actual photos you ever saw were in albums such as this.


    I still enjoy running across old photo albums, but have to agree with you regarding disliking the "all black" websites.

    I don't spend much time on an all flash site either. They give me a headache.

    • Like Like x 2
  6. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    OP you have struck a chord with me on the matter of websites and flash. Flash has most likely caused some of the most epic and drawn out frustration anger's I have ever experienced in my life.... for the love of whatever it is you love, please, someone invent an alternative to flash!!!!!!

    If I ever had my own website flash would be kept to as bare minimal as possible. I understand that its one of those necessary evil's in building an attractive website but boy does it suck when it usually never works properly.

    As for the black background I agree on that too. Certain forums I can't stand because of that awful black background. One of them being one I actually like but tend not to visit it simply because of the user interface is poor IMO and that damn black background.

    You know what else is super annoying? F*cking websites with music enabled as soon as you open them up and the music comes blasting out. Leave the music there if you choose, have it set to muted by default and if the user wants they can un-mute it upon arriving at the website (some websites are this way and its much appreciated then ear blasting music come on because I left my volume rokkor a little high from that last time I used it).
  7. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    Have to agree with the music. On a web site it serves no purpose whatsoever, other than to indicate that what you are about to receive is a polished turd.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I quite like the dark grey background in DxO Optics pro, and don't mind it on a photo slideshow. If I'm doing color accurate editing I'd rather have neutral gray or darker so I don't get too many lumens on my retina that don't come from the picture I'm editing :)

    For website that involve reading, black text on white (or similarly neutral color) pls. I find Fred Miranda far more tiring to read than mu-43, for example.
  9. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    I like darker backgrounds. White pages with photos are harder to concentrate on the image. The eye is drawn to highlights so a white background is always pulling my eye away from the actual interesting stuff. It also makes images appear darker vs a black bg that makes them pop. Mid to darkish grey is my personal preference.

    Agree on flash based websites. Far better ways now and it's so unfriendly to mobile devices. (although not mine).

  10. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    Real Name:
    call me Arg
    I hate photo websites that are full of flippin' images. All I want to do is read arguments about gear and technology.
    • Like Like x 9
  11. taz98spin

    taz98spin Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2011
    I won't talk about the black background for photos, since I have a white background for my portfolio.

    But I'll give you the reason why books are printed on white paper.
    As a ex-3D/Graphic Designer with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Animation Technology, I learned that black background on white text is easier on the eyes.
    However, if books/magazines, etc were to be printed like that, the cost of ink would make publishing too expensive, so that's why we have the white background on black text.

    & Yes, Flash is rubbish. Hated it in school, and hated it while I was working as s 3D designer.
  12. Dewi

    Dewi Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 11, 2014
    Lancashire, England
    Real Name:
    Agree about the music on websites.but that's mainly because my office is next to our bedroom and I hate it when I open a up a site where music starts blaring out at midnight and wakes missus Dewi. But, I use black backgrounds on both my websites and I'm not changing them to please anyone else, I like them black and that's all that mattters to me. Problem with forums is that no matter what colour backgrounds you use on your websites some bugger will pop up and say they don't like it, so may as well leave it the colour you like and be done, If you don't like it then go make your own website and choose whatever colour your heart desires instead of complaining about other people's choice..... Oh you have and it's got a whitel b/g, no surprise there then.

    I happen to dislike white backgrounds, IMO they make the page look insipid, ergo it's all a matter of personal preference so you may as well start a thread telling us all that you hate apples and can't understand why people eat them instead of oranges which is what you eat!

    Just sayin' :smile:
  13. jjbigfly

    jjbigfly Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 6, 2013
    I would say that the black/white background (and let's throw music in there also) is stuck in the land of Personal Choice.
    If I find a site that is difficult to read, then I simply do not read it. If it is important enough to me I may elect to struggle thru it. Usually not.
    If I am dealing with a "personal" site I feel that the person (in creating it) should do whatever they think looks good to them. A commercial site however should be easy to read (not writing about content) and find your way through the content. Same goes for any site that aims to garner any attention from the public.
    The question is: Are you wanting people to digest the content on your site, or impress them with your artistic bent? If you cannot get my attention (in a good way) then you cannot share your views.
    And the music? If the viewer does not care for YOUR choice of music, odds are that you have lost them. An example: I make my way in the world of fly fishing, and to make matters worse, I am an older person. I have been seeing a good deal of videos done by younger (and it's OK to not be old) people. Some really stellar stuff. But when I click the play button and hear Rap music...I am done. Or almost any loud music.
    Anything artistic that we do (beyond the main thrust of a site) can certainly enhance the content. And it does happen. But you should be asking yourself this question: "Do I like this, or will THEY (the viewer/listener) like this?" If you are trying to only please yourself, then you need to have no more thought about the way you do these things. If you are wanting ME to like it, then that is a different deal......
    This stuff is like making your own bread. When it is done right, it is great and well worth sharing. But make one mistake and the whole thing is bad.
  14. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    I agree with you where reading is concerned. Black background/white text is not a good look and frankly it is just plain hard to read. That does not change if it is a blog with photos... even quite heavy with photos. If it is mixed text and graphics, white with black text is the right way to go. if you insist on displaying photos with the black background consider punchouts links off the images to a site that displays images with a black background. Cake + Eat it 2.

    However, if the subject is overwhelmingly the photos... like an editing tool or in a place to display just the photos, I do like black or dark gray backgrounds.
  15. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Real Name:
    I recently had a major issue with Flash.
    After receiving multiple messages say I needed to update it - I finally upgraded my Flash player. This imediately caused all the web browsers on my system to crash whenever they were started (no time for an error message).
    Fortunately I was able to get back on line by deleteing Google chrome (my previous default browser) at which point Firefox was willing to run again, but all the bookmarks/history we had from the last couple of years had disapeared even though I told Google to keep them when deleting it.
    We still get messages to upgrade Flash, but there's no way I'll risk that again. The elements flash was needed for were generally things I'm happy to do without, though my wife's upset about facebook not running anymore.

    I agree with the canned music too, there have been several website's I've followed links to at lunchtime which have ended up getting shut down almost immediately as they might disturb others in the office. I could mute the computer but shutting the page is quicker, and I won't miss any reminders by forgetting to turn it back on.
  16. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Real Name:
    Music on websites always aggravates me because it often comes on really loud and it can disturb others around me. I normally close them as soon as the music starts for that reason.

    I don't mind photos on a black background, but I do really dislike any color combinations for text that are hard to read. Black background with blue or red text pops immediately to mind. I wonder if the designer ever even tried to read their own site.
  17. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2010
    I like images/light text on dark backgrounds, if they were all that way you wouldn't have the problem of searing your eyes when switching to the reverse. But yeah that's completely personal preference...

    I do hate Flash-heavy websites.

    I am waiting for GIFs of torches and flames to make a comeback.
  18. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011 Must be Oz's favorite site EVAR!

    ...haven't looked at this in forever, at least 10 years, nice to see things don't really change much.
  19. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Flash doesn't bother me any more ever since I uninstalled it from my machines. Steve Jobs may not have had everything right, but man am I glad he refused to allow Flash on mobile to get any traction. Most decent sites have alternatives in place. Even Adobe is tacitly admitting now that it's dead.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. ThomD

    ThomD Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    I hate sites that use blink tags.