The Making of Eyeful Tower   (Part 1)

by Sam C. Chan

This section will eventually grow into an elaborate sub-site, detailing many aspects of the behind-the-scene tidbits during the production of the Eyeful-Tower site, plus its historical background, and future plans.

For now, we'll simply take a quick look at a few technical tidbits and design decisions. But, first, a word of explanation is in order, on the relationship of the 2 sister sites:

The Birth of Eyeful-Tower

On September 5, 2002, I decided to create an advocacy site with 9/11 memorial as the premier gallery. I called it Cameralot. The idea is to focus on beauty, goodness & truth, via the enjoyment of photography. I discussed the idea with my collaborative friend Diane Howe, who validated my concept, confirmed feasibility and suggested a few refinements. With a 5-day development cycle, I had to take drastic measures to achieve maximum efficiency. I basically worked furiously day and night. The site was launched on Sept. 11, 2002. By October 13, 2002, it had a total of 12 galleries and 6 special features.   (In 2007, I discontinued the cameralot.com domain, and hosted it with Eyeful Tower.)

On Sep. 20, 2002, I decided to add a sister site as a viewpoints & perspective feature of Cameralot. The term Eyeful-Tower was coined and it conveys that purpose nicely.

Eyeful-Tower remained in proof-of-concept skeleton state for 3 years. On January 1, 2006, I spent 5 solid days to give the site a much needed face-lift, with completely new streamlined and structured design, with vastly expanded content from my last 5 years of writing. With the site design infrastructural underway, I'm now ready to focus on content. There were over 140 pages (some of them elaborate essays) at last count, and growing rapidly. They represent over 800 hours of development and writing time.

  Cameralot Eyeful Tower
Common Points

Philosophical & thought provoking. Heavy reliance on symbolism.
Poetic. Use metaphor of camera, telephoto lenses & macro lens.

Motif Camelot: where Truth, Beauty & Goodness Reign. Eiffel Tower: On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever.
Signature Theme Blue sky, beautiful scenery & faces, colors of fall, exciting & attractive design elements Night scene, candle light, streamlined, distractions kept at absolute minimal
Color Schemes Great varieties. Mostly vivid pastel colors. Consistent. Neutral. Mostly gray and white with an occasional splash.
Design Free-wheeling. Each gallery has unique design to showcase different techniques and suit the particular topic. Many animation effects. A casual site feel. Consistent throughout the site. No animation. A more professional and conventional site.
Mood Cheerful & blissful, always sunny, easy. Personal. Subdue, reflective, heavy at times. Impersonal, matter-of-fact.
Multimedia Lots of high resolution photos, music & video. Minimal multimedia content.
Humor Compulsory and in abundance. Used sparingly.
Emphasis Fun. Creativity. Serious. Pondering. Getting message across.
Roles Indulgence in aspiration to Truth, Beauty & Goodness. Advocacy for such ideals. Provocative. Blunt exposť. Holistic self-search & -examination.
Reality Completely Fantasy-based motif. Aspiring to ideals and beauty and goodness. Strictly Reality. Confront ugliness and unpleasantness as a matter of course.
Entertainment value High Low
Style Metaphoric. Polite & Pleasant. Simplistic. Direct. Brutally Honest. Complex & Layered.
Perspective Fictional/International/Universal USA-centric
Visitor-contributed content Plenty Minimal
Industrial Focus None Occasionally: IT Industry

Fig. 1: Comparison of Cameralot and Eyeful Tower.

Production Tidbits

I've always liked the idea of hand-scribbled notes at the cafe. It conjures such feelings of spontaneous energy and historic moments in the making.

In reality, most of my materials were never actually captured on napkins. From 1985 to 1992, I was using the classic 2-page per day Daytimer system (paper), before switching to the Sharp PDA, then HP HPC, and Psion 3 and 5, Palm and currently NEC WinCE.

Showing an actual photo of my original Daytimer page would prove too cluttered and distracting. A napkin would also be more familiar to the average person. The decision was to reenact those objects via electronic fabrication. Most of the photos in this site are fictionalized. The napkins with tea stain and my hand writing scribbled on them are just results of clever computer graphics production. Even the candies, croissant and other props are simply after-the-fact studio shots added on to the background.

to be continued...

See also:

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