University of Iowa Website Incorporates Exceptional Engaging Photography

Website Photography Considerations

For websites to be engaging, they must include high quality photography that captivates the site visitor. The University of Iowa has recently moved toward a responsive website design that features a full width 1100×580 ‘slider’ (slideshow) featured image collection. Selected photos from 24 August 2014 are shown below. There are a few things to be pointed out about these images:

  • File Names. The photos themselves don’t have descriptive file names. That’s fine, although when images are copied it’s sometimes better to include some meta data in the file name such as a date, name of photographer, and description — as well as some SEO helpful keywords. Some information has been added to the repostings here.
  • Credit – Retroactive. The photos don’t include any retroactive credit or caption. This is actually helpful for websites with responsive design because you want the text to continue to be a readable size regardless of how the images are being sized. A retroactive credit is one where the photo itself doesn’t contain a credit, but the person using it will add a credit to the photo or in a caption under it.
  • Credit – Proactive. There’s a growing movement of photographers providing royalty free content to higher education and non-profit organizations. The benefit of not watermarking your name or commercial website on your photography is that it has broader use. Sometimes a photographer’s watermark, name, or copyright statement on a photo can be distracting from other content on the site, the site design, or detract from the photo itself. Often photos need to be cropped or constrained to certain dimensions and sizes. In this process, if your name is on the photo, in the lower right area for example, part of it may get cut off.

Photo Examples

Below are photo examples from the University of Iowa website. They are being used here non-commercially, in the spirit of fair use, for the purpose of promoting the University of Iowa, and for the purpose of driving traffic to the UIOWA website. If anyone has a concern about their use, feel free to contact us. The last photo of a sunset over the UIOWA Campus Recreation and Wellness Center is from the CRWC web page. Click any image for a larger gallery view.

On Iowa Video

Below is a video with glimpses into the On Iowa event.

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