Monday, June 20, 2011
The Vatican's new Website
I saw it earlier in the week and from today's Catholic Herald site I note that it is coming in for a great deal of criticism, and deservedly so I think. (This is desperately disappointing considering the hopes we were given at the Bloggers meeting on May 2nd. One can only hope that this is a 'work in progress'.) Aside from all the established rules of successful web-design, which the new version breaks, even more so than did the original, FIRST impressions count. That photograph of Pope Benedict on the new front page is worse than the previous one, and invites the suspicion that a prize must have been offered to the finder of the worst available photograph of him! After all there are thousands to choose from.We all know he is an old man; we all know he has shadows under his eyes. Photos taken in fair light do not emphasise the latter feature even if they honestly convey the former. I bought a 2012 calendar when I was in Rome, simply because its twelve photos show Pope Benedict as he really is.Yes, the wrinkles and the bags and lines are all there but not one of the photos, taken in broad daylight, over emphasises those dark shadows. One does not have to be a Patrick Lichfield to know that the camera can accidentally, or deliberately be made to, emphasise such features.We all know too, that photos of the kind now on the front page of the Vatican site, are used in anti-papal videos on You Tube to make our dear Pope Benedict look like a demon. It is hard to know how and why the Vatican chose this photo.. I hope they will soon be back to the drawing board.