The Best Way to View a Photographer’s Online Portfolio

Rant Incoming… Viewing photographers’ websites inside browser windows is a terrible idea! There… I said it! Viewing art online should be the same as viewing it in a gallery. The art should be able to control its own space, and command your attention over other things.

Art needs its own space. This is why art galleries offer an environment that an artist can mold and control to their need… So what about viewing art online? Why don’t we do the same with our online experiences when it comes to art?

Viewing Art Online – A Different Experience

The online art experience is a little different, and that’s expected, of course… It’s the same screen real estate that shares your email, your news, and your personal photographs – and that’s expected. But on the other hand, there’s the unnecessary clutter of a busy web browser that often gets involved, and that can be improved upon. If you’re like most people (at the very least, like me), your browser has a few toolbars, bookmarks, tabs, and windows open.

To add to this, there are the usual Twitter (X), Instagram, & Facebook notifications. In short, it’s not the best environment in which to view an artist’s work. Ideally an artist’s work needs a clean slate to be viewed on, to minimize any distraction.

Creating The Right Ambiance To View Art Online

So, how can you create the best ambiance for an artist to showcase their work online? The answer is really simple when you think of it.

Clear out all screen clutter.
Go full-screen.

Viewing photographers’ portfolios is probably best done full-screen! Every web browser has an option to hide all the ‘browser chrome’ – a phrase to describe all the buttons, tabs and status bars. Make use of the full-screen option to get rid of everything that could be an interference. It is really easy to do. Let us help you through the process.

Here’s how you can clear up your browser screen quickly and easily.

Full-Screen Shortcuts for Web Browsers

Of course, the easiest way to quickly remove all the browser chrome from your screen, and to completely fill your monitor with the photographer’s images is to use the browser’s full-screen mode via a shortcut.

You can quickly reach Full-screen mode by pressing F11 on Windows Machines, and Shift+Cmd+F on MacOS.

macOS

  • Google Chrome 14+: Shift+Cmd+F – Presentation Mode
  • Mozilla Firefox: Shift+Cmd+F – Full Screen Mode
  • Apple Safari: Fn + F (also disable “Always show toolbar in Full Screen” under the View menu)
  • Opera: View > Enter/Exit Full Screen

Windows

  • Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge: F11 – Full-Screen Mode
  • Opera: Go to the O Menu > Page and select Full screen

Exiting Full Screen Mode

You can exit Full-screen mode in most browsers by pressing the Esc key, Pressing the key combination you used to enter it, or going to the Browser Menu. If you’re suddenly concerned about where the menu disappears to, don’t worry, just move your cursor to the top of the screen, and it will reappear.

The Results

The result of switching to full-screen mode in your browser, is a clean window no matter which website you are viewing. And sometimes, a well designed website in full-screen mode is a beauty to behold.

Personally, I’ve switched to using full-screen mode for both email and my writing. It gives me a dedicated space to use for the one task at hand, and removes unwanted distractions from my screen, allowing me to focus better.

Try full screen mode for a few days… The tabs are still there if you need them, but the absence of clutter on your screen is going to have a significant impact on how you are able to focus on the work at hand.

As for the artist’s portfolio? Yes, it’s going to give you a greater appreciation for the art itself. It’ll allow you to focus on the beauty of the images, without distraction – like you would at an art gallery.

Any More Ideas?

This is the easiest way to get art in its dedicated space, but I’m open to other ideas. If you’re about to say that you should print out photographers’ images, I’m going to stop you right there… Don’t do that. The photographer is probably not going to be happy about that.

So, until photographers are happy to grant you permission to print out their work off their websites, we will most likely have to enjoy their work within their own websites (unless you buy their art – which is a great idea, BTW).

In doing so, we would be doing ourselves (and the artist) a big favor by entering full-screen mode in your browser. However, as I said, if you have any other ideas, I’m happy to hear them. Reach out in the comments to let me know.

Featured Image by: eschipul

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Susheel Chandradhas
Susheel Chandradhas

Susheel Chandradhas is a Product Photographer and Filmmaker based in India. He has been taking photographs (almost) all his life. He has a diploma and a bachelors degree in Visual Communication, where his classmates all believed that he would write a book on photography... Instead, he writes on this website (because - isn't a community more fun?).

His passions include photography, parkour, wide-angle lenses, blue skies, fire extinguishers, and fast computers.

In addition to writing for Beyond Photo Tips, Susheel is a staff writer for Fstoppers.com, and owns and runs ColoursAlive, a photography, and video production studio.

You can connect with Susheel on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

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