Graduation, and the New Site

its over

Last week I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Photography at Columbia College Chicago after two and a half years of intense work and concentration. Looking back to the recent past it was probably the most trying experience of my life, a relentless look at myself as an artist, and I have grown so much since I began. I transferred to Columbia from Joliet Junior College, which I began attending directly following an early graduation from High School – and I have not known a life without the structure of school. The past week has been a little strange, mostly filled with the celebration of some amount of closure to all those experiences. I say “some” because if there is anything that I have learned attending art school, it is that growth as an artist and as a person never ceases. I’d like to take the opportunity here in this first post on the new website to thank all of those who contributed to and helped me through the greatest, most grueling, and rewarding experience of my life to date – especially my family, friends, fellow students, coworkers, and the astounding faculty and staff at Columbia.

some technical doodads about the new site

This new site was built using Hugo, a static site generator – using Digitalcraftsman’s Steam theme as a base, you can check out the original theme over on Hugo’s Theme repository here. I’ve made a handful of modifications and additions in trying to make this all work for my applications as a portfolio of photographs – and as someone who is not necessarily a web-designer or programmer I’m quite proud of it! I’ll probably end up continuing to work on the design and new features as I go along, so keep tuned for following posts regarding it.

  • Blog

The minimal change to the blog of the base theme was the addition of thumbnail images for posts.

  • Portfolio

The portfolio section was a complete addition to the base theme, adding in a method of populating galleries through solely markdown files – just like writing blog posts in markdown. The portfolio section contains a collection of projects defined by those markdown files – which all have selected thumbnail images that populate the list on the landing page for the portfolio. The galleries themselves use custom bits of code, shortcodes, which I’ve adapted from some open source projects I’ve found.

  • Shortcodes

I’ve implemented some custom shortcodes, Hugo’s way of simplifying injecting code into markdown files, adapting some open sourceto make showing images a more dynamic experience. Some of the projects/plugins I’ve adapted to shortcodes so far:

Masonry.js

Lightbox 2

Before/After Slider