<<< o >>>distant horizons 40 comments + add yours

As you may have already noticed, the behind-the-scenes recoding I mentioned a week or two ago is now finished. There have been some minor changes to chromasia, the blog (of which more in a moment), but the major changes have been implemented at the front-end of the site; i.e. www.chromasia.com. I've added a front page, a page about the company, a galleries page, some information on licensing images and commissions, and some brief information on the subscription based tutorials that we'll be launching around the end of this month.

As for the changes to the blog: the most significant are i) the new pages have been integrated into the blog pages (hover over the 'chromasia.com' on the top-right of the screen to see what I mean) and I've changed the navigation a bit; i.e. you can now navigate backwards and forwards depending on which bit of the main image you hover over. I've also got rid of the javascript I was using to to display the image title in a translucent box over the image as it was causing far too many cross-browser problems. The image title now pops up in the nav bar when you mouseover the image.

As for this shot: it was taken yesterday evening. John and I took a walk along Blackpool beach (there's a shot of me on John's site tonight) and this is one of several reflections I photographed as we strolled along.

Update: well, so far (after 14 comments), the new design is either a "colossal JavaScript navigation disaster" or "clean, slick, polished and professional", or maybe something in between. Let me know what you think. Also, I'm aware that some of you are having problems with Firefox (; specifically that the stylesheet doesn't seem to be working. I'm using that version of Firefox, and don't have any problems, so I'm not too sure what might be causing the error for some of you. Any suggestions gratefully received.

Update #2: I think the display problems that some of you have experienced are probably something to do with the fact that I've disabled two of the old themes, the 'dark' and 'grey' themes. For the time being I think I've got round this by forcing the main index pages to load the white theme overriding any preference you may have previously set. You can still select the black theme, but your choice wont persist between visits. This is inconvenient for anyone who normally uses the black theme, but should fix the problem for people who used to use either of the now defunct schemes.

Update #3: I've added some code to the index pages which should sort this problem out.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
8.03pm on 25/7/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
40mm (64mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
rotated 180°
3x2 + fylde coast [scenic] + reflections [water] + abstract
comment by m at 09:59 PM (GMT) on 26 July, 2006


I saw your speed 12 today at the Motor show in London. We saw it here first.

comment by Tibs at 10:08 PM (GMT) on 26 July, 2006

Very good,

Its like a cityscape in a way

comment by Jennifer at 10:27 PM (GMT) on 26 July, 2006

Lovely - rather Monet but without the lilies!

comment by EssPea | Photography at 10:48 PM (GMT) on 26 July, 2006

Very nice abstract... it works very well.

comment by chris at 11:41 PM (GMT) on 26 July, 2006

Its nice the you've repostured the commerical aspect of chromasia.com without changing the focus on the blog. Great work.

Good luck with the next million words of comments and I'll be in touch soon for a print or two :)

comment by Fred at 11:47 PM (GMT) on 26 July, 2006

Great development for you, Dave, in terms of what you're doing with Chromasia. I look forward to the tutorials and wish you the best with what is clearly becoming a successful business venture for you.

comment by Jamey at 11:49 PM (GMT) on 26 July, 2006

I must say you've done the new site bits incredibly well. It's really hard to build new areas without causing issues with the older ones but you've done a fine job. You weren't kidding all those times you said you'd been busy.

comment by Fellow Eskimo at 12:42 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Is your site not compatable with mozilla anymore? Or are you working on it RIGHT now?

comment by Steve LLamb at 12:51 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Very relaxing and cool. Even though after looking at it I can see you've flipped the image, at first glance this it very much looks like you were shooting up from under the water.

comment by Peat Moss at 01:03 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Congrats on going from a simple well organized easy to navigate web site, to creating a colossal JavaScript navigation disaster. I suggest that your first order of business should be posting a tutorial on how to navigate the site.

I’ll give you a quote from Albert Einstein: Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. And of course the popular "if it ain't Broke"

Honestly David, I don't know what you were trying to accomplish here, but whatever it is needs to be rethought.

comment by Jamie at 01:12 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

I disagree with that above comment. Just bookmark the blog link, then the changes really are cosmetic. The new navigation bar (with the image title in it) takes a little getting used to.. but it works, and I doubt that new visitors will have any trouble with it.

I like the way that you can go backward and forward by clicking on different areas in the image. I think you need a visual indicator to back it up though. Unless i'm looking at my status bar I have no way of knowing that the resulting url has changed.

The rest of the site is great. Clean, slick, polished and professional. It's clear that you have spent a long time thinking it out. A minor gripe - the rollovers on this page: http://www.chromasia.com/commissions.php under the galleries heading - look a little less polished than the rest of the work.

Nice job!

comment by Peat Moss at 01:29 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Polished? You can't be serious.

A cardinal rule of interface design is that a navigation menu should never "completely" change via rollover or any other means. Visual indicators such as underlines or color changes to indicate state is fine, but completely changing the menu is just bad design and anything but polished.

comment by Brian Ritchie at 01:46 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Sorry Dave, but your new design looks completely broken in my copy of Firefox ( Whether I use my old bookmarked "iblog" link, or go to the Blog from your front page, I get a few ugly-font lines of text, a large blank space (which changes the text lines when I move the mouse over it), then today's image, a couple of lines of links, then yesterday's image. For some reason, scrolling the page grinds Firefox to a halt. I actually wondered whether someone had snuck a Trojan into your scriptage!

comment by Jamie at 02:12 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Peat: Just my opinion.. don't loose hair over it.

Brian: I'm on also. Have you tried clearing your cache? Maybe the browser is picking up bits of old and new.

comment by [ PIXEL VIKING ] at 02:31 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

A giant leap for mankind but a small step if you are Chromasia. You make big things easy. Your new website is amazing and you make us all look small. I'll be happy to eat your dust, just seeing you're images gives me so much. For whatever it's worth, you got me started on HDR and I thank you for that... Enough but-kissing for now... :) cheers.

comment by Vijay at 02:32 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

The thumbnail almost leaves a rather different impression... its' dreamy, as if walking through another land... almost like atlantis.. maybe atlantis is in the ocean, and the only way we can see it for the moment is through the reflections.

comment by wesley hargrove at 03:03 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

today, mozilla released, the style sheet still is not recognized in that version, which is when i first noticed the problem. so i re-installed and the problem persists. this is terrible, i loaded up safari and the new layout is amazing (excellent job, david). I just wish I could view it in my favorite browser, i cleared the cache, among other things, still no avail. but i will not rest until this is fixed.

comment by Peat Moss at 03:45 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Allright, maybe a "Colossal Javascript Navigation Disaster" was a little too harsh, but the navigation/rollover the image to see the title/click on chromasia.com to see a slideshow/hide these links javascript is thoroughly annoying and confusing.

My recommendation would be to sever the integration of the corporate side and the blog and keep them completely seperate. If I was a potential corporate customer I wouln't have much interest in your blog, I'd be interested in your CV, portfolio/galleries and commissions.

comment by themerryrose at 03:49 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

The site looks awesome! And I have finally worked out the black + white on the menu (i wasn't really looking). Also I have the site in FF and it is fine - with new update this morning and all.
Btw this pic - wow!! Loving it!
Cheers and keep up the good work.

comment by Molly at 04:15 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

this is dizzyingly stupendous

comment by Violet at 04:28 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Oh, dear! The changes have somehow caused glitches to appear for me too.

Just contributing these details in case they're useful to you.... With XP, Firefox (latest) and Flash (latest), some of the new problems are extremely slow reaction from all parts of the site, no response to some commands (such as moving the Comments box around), and other bizzare effects. When attempting to access the new opening page, everything froze! I had to give up, make several attempts to leave the site, then return.

All your hard work has surely paid off. Here's hoping that nothing more than a bit of tinkering and tweaking will be necessary to get everything working perfectly.

The changes sound very attractive and interesting, and I'm eager to enjoy them.

comment by CarolAn n at 04:58 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

i love it, very realing i love the water,the sound of the wave and it looks like theres a city in the water....good job...

comment by sach1tb at 05:27 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Nice picture! I have firefox and it's working fine until now.. will take some time to get used to. And of course, waiting for the tutorials :)

comment by Sil at 05:52 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006


comment by Mike at 07:32 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

One of the great things about Chromasia is the variety and orginality of the images. Today's is just one of those where you open the page and once again something new and innovative and different. This one certainly catches the eye and the mysterious reflections in the bottom LHS are intriguing. Great work and congrats on the updated site.

comment by Pilot at 08:40 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Hi Dave, I'm like Violet here.
I had no problem at all with the pervious version, but this one seems extremely slow when hovering on the picture. I'm under XP Pro and use the latest firefox too...
Sorry but I would rather be on the "colossal Javascript navigation disaster" side, even though its really pretty and I really like it!

I also wanted to thank ou for all thos pictures and the inspiration you probably are for many.
I can't wait to ss the tutuorials!

comment by Kate at 09:16 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Hi, just a bit of user feedback! I don't have an major issues with the new design. To be honest I come to look at your daily blog so I don't really spend much time navigating around the site or thinking about its useability. I do agree that the changing header thingummy (oh I'm so high tec) on the blog page is a little annoying to use. But its not a major bugbear.

comment by Fred at 10:14 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

For the record, I've tested the site quite extensively on the latest versions of Firefox on both my Mac (latest release of OS X) and my PC (Windows XP) and it hangs together perfectly. It doesn't just work; it's outstanding.

comment by Jon at 11:00 AM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Love this shot. Really well spotted.

comment by Andre Malagodi at 12:11 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

David, your re-design is outstanding, I admire your visionary approach and your innovative idea's, it is a true inspiration, the site is now a professional face and a photblog and personally I think you have managed to weigh the 2 things very well, I really like the slideshow integration you have made as well, to me the investment of flash etc. was too high so I am looking for a low cost solution, maybe I need to write some ruby code to do it for me. In relation to the image, I am not so keen on it, the standing on your head does make you stop and think a while, but I honestly think that just capturing the ring at the bottom 2/3 of the frame and then 180 rotation would be better, the background confuses I feel. Again thanks for the innovation.

comment by Mary at 02:27 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Beautiful. I really like the rotation. As far as the website... I have not decided yet. I'll have more time to play with it this weekend.

comment by Vanessa at 03:48 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

I don't have any problems viewing your site and looks as great as it did before. :)

As for the shot, it reminded me of "the Lady in the Water" or maybe some Atlantis-type world under.

comment by Anupam Kamal at 05:06 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

This website redesign is a good example of change management :-)

1. Disbelief and denial > 2. Anger and blame > 3. Reluctant Acceptance > 4. The final stage

See this link for better understanding:

comment by carole at 06:33 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Love the shot - agree with Jennifer - it does look Monetish (without the lilies) - also like the redesign - it's a bit slower loading tho' on my PC with XP Pro. However, I open and spend majority of time on this page. Am most interested in the tutorials on Photoshop processing - especially the tools and combinaiions you use to achieve the effects shown in your work.

comment by caroline at 07:26 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

I am ready to cry because I want to set the picture as my desktop background, but I can't because I can't open just the image (the direct link to the .jpg or .gif or whatever). When I right click and choose "view image," a 16x16 pixel white square shows up. Screenshots are way too much work. Is this a permanent change? I love your pictures so much, and I really want to be able to put them as my wallpaper.

That said, this photo, like all of yours, is wonderful.

comment by sanjin at 08:05 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

the new site design is not bad. once you figure out how everything works, it all makes sense. i don't find it difficult to navigate at all.
change is good ;)

comment by Mike at 09:15 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Hi David

Not sure that this will help but when browsing from home using Firefox 1.5.04, Chromasia comes up as a plain white and very basis site. At work, also using Firefox 1.5.04, the site presents perfectly and includes all your new amendments. Strange but true - I hope that someone in the know can point you in the right direction.

comment by djn1 at 10:30 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

Thanks everyone. And for the time being I'm sticking with the new version. I know that some of you have your doubts, and there do seem to be a few teething problems, but we'll see how it goes. I'll review your responses in a week or so.

comment by Ben at 10:31 PM (GMT) on 27 July, 2006

OK, so I love the redesign. I do have a suggestion, though. It would be great to have a way to get at the EXIF data on images out of the galleries. I think the old design always let you do that. One of the things I love about your site, and that keeps me coming back time after time, is that I get the chance to learn something about using my own camera by seeing what you did to capture each image you post. Sure, it's all still there in the blog comments, but the galleries are a great way to browse around, and it'd be really nice if they had a link to that info.

comment by Lynn at 03:01 AM (GMT) on 30 July, 2006

Love the image, but the rollover the image to see the previous or next is causing me a few problems. Perhaps an indicator as to what part of the image causes back/forwards motion would be handy? I'm used to scrolling backwards and only checking every few days or so, so it's a tad confusing. I'm using Firefox and that's my only problem thus far.