As much as we talk about extending our applications with plug-ins, additional features, and nuances, I have yet to see some really extensive discussions about how to extend Lightroom’s web gallery features beyond the out-of-the-box designs. We’ve always known that the option was there, and there are some developers that have added some pretty cool extensions out there for bringing some very high end custom web galleries into play. The problem thus far though is that most have been either strictly HTML or Flash based. The former usually doesn’t look very pretty, and the latter can be difficult to view on other types of devices.
My friend Sean McCormack from The Lightroom Blog has taken quite a bit of his R&D time to develop a web module add-on that uses HTML, but makes things look pretty kick butt using jquery (which is expected to be part of the HTML5 standard which is still in development – so he is very ahead of the curve in that regard, which is good for the rest of us, because we can roll out content and sites now that will be compatible not just now, but also in the future!)
He gave me an opportunity to really kick the tires, and I have to say I am very impressed with the options and customization available from the slider menu. Typically, when you get to the web module, you’ll have maybe a screen or two of options to choose from including image sizes, borders, and perhaps a few font changes, but Sean really takes things up several notches here – I scrolled through the entire panel, and came up with 12 different pages of content areas where I can activate and insert different options, including up to 6 galleries, an about page, a home page, a contact page and so much more! Take a look!
The amount of thought and work he’s put into this is really astounding, and there’s only more to come for sure. You can check out a partially compiled web gallery I’ve put together here on the blog to get an idea of the full layout with some sample images from my own portfolio:
Like I said, the controls you have over your images is pretty amazing. Sean has this up on the Adobe Exchange site, as well as at his own web presence, for only €15 plus VAT. I think that equates to a little over $20 US, so an amazing deal for a truly customizable website of photography and artist information all at your fingertips from inside Lightroom! I’d have taken some time to go into the settings in more detail, but it’s hard to improve upon the Youtube Video Sean has put together on how the “sub-galleries” work within the larger gallery.
It’s a few links, and about ten minutes of learning curves, then just enter your site information and you are off and running! Go check it out and get your won web gallery today – not only will you be the envy of all your friends, it’s my personal opinion that galleries and websites with this kind of look and feel are the ones that are more likely to convert viewers to buyers…