Thursday, September 24, 2015

Design Evaluation

I have a Google email and a Yahoo email. It has always struck me how different the approach each company takes to making a home page for users. Google is my choice of good design. The simplicity is the first thing you notice. No advertisements, no promotions, just a search field, awaiting your request. The font is sans serif, and the entire page is minimalist. It is professional and the lack of distractions gives a sense of seriousness and authority.

Yahoo has advertisements that change every day, they have news stories that regularly change, they have a huge list of clickable options down the left side of the page and the overall sense is of a suitcase that you packed for a vacation to Europe. You don't want to forget anything, so you throw one of everything in there. Distractions are everywhere, and the viewer is left confused about what they should be looking at. The search bar, though prominent, is not the first thing you notice; it is more of an afterthought.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Contrast, Balance, Harmony

This is a photo I recently took at dusk up above the city of Saint George. This photo has a whimsical quality, with two friends sharing a moment perched in the natural alcove of the sandstone, a quiet retreat from the city. They have their backs to the community, a brief rejection of the city and its associated concerns.

A contrasting line runs diagonally, separating at almost 45 degrees the foreground from the background. The dawning night-lights of the city and the waning light from the sunset creates a striking balance of light and shadows. The eye is first drawn to the girls, but after a moment wanders to the background, pondering their separation from the city down below. There is harmony in the juxtaposition of the warm, red sandstone and the cool blues of the approaching night. The tones all work together to draw the viewer momentarily into this world.

For residents of Saint George, this image is at once familiar and yet a mystery. There is the Saint George temple in the background, instantly recognizable for anyone who has spent time up on Dixie Rock, yet where is this alcove? From those I have spoken to, this image conjures in them the desire to find this place for themselves.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Visceral Response

Sydney Opera House

This is a photo I took while riding a ferry in Sydney Harbor. Some kids grow up with posters of cars or athletes or rock stars on their walls. I grew up with posters of Australia, including several of the Sydney Opera House. It is my favorite building. From any angle it has something new to say. It is so unlike any other piece of architecture, and so compelling in its setting, jutting out into the harbor, fronting the beautiful Sydney skyline. Some of the more popular photographic angles include the famous Harbor Bridge in the background. Whatever the angle, it is always dramatic, with the white shell-like curves, rising not quite symmetrically, yet somehow complimenting each other. The lines are so different from anything man-made, and the contrasting white outer covering with dark glass underneath, with blue sky above and blue ocean below, obliges the bystander to gape.
It was a financial disaster to build, yet is arguably the best investment ever made by the city of Sydney. Immediately recognizable and forever associated with the land down under, it has brought the city of Sydney more fame than any city in the southern hemisphere, and is a must-see not only for those who enjoy architecture, but for every visitor to the city.