Web Photo Galleries

Mossy FallsI just finished updating the Forest Rat web site with some new photos. I’ve run a web site to display my work for several years now. Unfortunately, I never seem to have enough time to keep it updated regularly.

The biggest hassle has always been the images. Figuring out how best to display images in an attractive and easy to navigate manner can be frustrating. There are tables and more tables with links all over the place. I tend not to like the canned layouts that come with web editing or image editing software packages, but I also find serious HTML programming tedious. So I procrastinate a lot on updates.

Add to that the time taken up by having to pull up all the image files, re-size them (twice – once for a thumbnail and once for a large image), convert TIFF format to JPG, and compress to a reasonable size without losing too much quality. Another reason to procrastinate.

On the other hand, things are looking up. Lately I have started using JAlbum. JAlbum is a free web album generator. It has made updating my web site galleries WAY easier.

JAlbum isn’t exactly “open source” software. I don’t think that you can download the executable source code and tinker with that, but you can get involved in development by creating new skins that change how the albums look and act.

To create my new galleries, I selected the images to include and distributed them between several folders. I used JPGs for this. JAlbum supports JPG, GIF, and PNG “out of the box”, but you can get a plug-in for TIFF and BMP support.

Next I started JAlbum and pointed it at one of the image folders. I selected a skin that I liked and set some options in the configuration dialog. JALbum did the rest. It produced the album page structure as well as the two different sizes of images needed. Viola!

I did actually re-build the albums a few times until I got the style and options that I liked. I also made some minor HTML code changes to the skin to get some custom stuff added to the pages (like the Forest Rat logo and a copyright line).  Still it was a piece of cake and I think the galleries look pretty nice.



4 Responses to “Web Photo Galleries”

  1. fencer Says:

    Thanks for this tip, and description of the software. Too bad can’t use it directly on WordPress somehow…


  2. fencer Says:

    Further to above, looked at your photog website… very nice!


  3. forestrat Says:

    Thanks fencer. I swear I’m going to get over to your site soon.

  4. fencer Says:

    Any time!


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