Backlight, First Look

Backlight, First Look

Since announcing Backlight earlier in the month, we’ve had a fantastic show of interest from you all. It’s been great encouragement for us, and you have our deepest gratitude for the moral support.

We’ve been making great strides with our beta testers. They’ve been giving us a lot of helpful feedback, and have done a wonderful job of spotting the bugs we hope the rest of you will never see. We’re at Beta 2 now, and the leap forward from Beta 1 is more than I’d dared to hope.

So, how about a peek?

I have Beta 2 running in a subdomain, and you’re welcome to check it out. There are three galleries, each with a different design, so check all three.

You can also navigate your way into our documentation, which is sparse at the moment. The First Steps section walks you through setup, and teaches you the core concepts you will need to know to use Backlight.

Again, this is setup using Beta 2, so very much still a work-in-progress. If you find something you think is a bug, let us know so that we can squash it!

And here’s a rambling video tour of Backlight, demonstrating how quickly you can install the application and be up-and-running with things. Enjoy!

Today’s hero image is by our very own Ben Williams!

19 thoughts on “Backlight, First Look”

  1. At some point, sooner rather than later, is would be helpful to know your thoughts on migration from CE4. For example, I have spent many hours developing the look and feel of my site and made sure it is consistent across Pages, AI, Gallery, Stage and Word Press.

    1. You will be able to migrate your published galleries, but not design. But keeping a consistent design across your Backlight-powered site will be easy.

  2. Hi Matt,

    Nice touch not having the right and left arrows each side of the image on the iPad as our reflex is to swipe anyway. Also fun to discard an image by swiping up or down. Looks easy and very fast in you video. Looks very promising!

  3. Hi Matt

    For a CE3 user and novice can you explain how to set up the localhost you were using to test the site. I was wondering how to build a site and test it when I already have one at the domain I would want to use for Backlight.

    1. My localhost server runs on MAMP, for Mac. For Windows, you can get WAMP. Setup is pretty straightforward; once you have have the server running, you can interact with it like any other server via FTP.

      If creating a site locally, you should be able to just install Backlight on your live site, then copy the /backlight/data folder from your local server to the remote server. You will need to publish albums directly to the server from Lightroom, though; you can’t copy them from local, else you will break the publisher-to-Backlight connection.

  4. Matt,
    This looks nice but is the customization closer to CE3 where you had more option to customize without additional coding or CSS usage or is it more like CE4 where most the customization was removed and required more coding changes and CSS to get the product you (user) wanted? I bought CE3 because it had a great deal of control over the product without the use of added CSS or coding. CE4 was a huge step backwards for me to get the look I wanted required additional coding and CSS which I really did not want to invest the extra time and effort into.

    Will there be control over the iconic layout, ie size of icons or this this like CE4 where you lost virtually all control over the size of the icons

    Thought about a demo site where we could try out the setup and customization feature prior to purchase to see if it meets our needs.

    1. This conversation is so subjective, I cannot begin to approach a binary answer. As always, I favor a UI economy having the least number of sliders, yielding the most impactful results. Whether or not the end result will sit well with you is for you to decide. Many users have found our past plugins far too complicated, with CE3 being a prime offender in this regard.

      That said, Backlight will launch with fewer features and controls, and will be built up over time in accordance with user feedback. Some features we are simply retiring; for example, Backlight will offer only the Photoswipe type large-image presentation that you can see in our demos, and not the choice of slideshows that CE4 had. This decision has not been made to limit user choice, but because of changing standards in the online space, changes to the Backlight architecture, and because some of the old presentations were too much hassle to maintain, or because the new Photoswipe renders them redundant, or because the base libraries are no longer being maintained.

      But yes, icon size is fully configurable.

      I don’t know about allowing users to log in to a demo site. Certainly not while the beta is still in flux. After that, we’ll see.

  5. Hi Matt, and ben, and Rod, and …
    Again this morning did I wish LR’s web module go to hell, thus the sooner Backlight wil be available, the best.
    Seams a lot of work has already been done, thus good news soon I hope.


  6. I am interested in the full screen functionality of the galery, but the ones used in the demos are not big enough to fill in the screen. Is it possible to have a gallery with horizontal images large enough ( 1920 x 1024 ) to fill the whole screen to see how does it looks like?

    Isn´t there any trial to test on my website to see how does it behaves?


    1. Hi Paulo,

      We do not offer trial version software.

      As for image size, you can export images as large as you like. We’ve set an upper limit of 2000px on image sliders, but if that’s not sufficient for our users, we can always increase that range.

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