Hegre Art Review
It's been a long time since we've checked in with Hegre Archives, and many things have come to pass. For various reasons, Hegre Archives has been ripe with controversy and drama in the past few years. The comments section below our reviews has been used by many to go back and forth, voicing a myriad of opinions. Many people have questioned my choice for choosing his site as number 1, and the simple truth of it was that I liked the site! I think part of the problem is that Hegre's site is an erotic photography site leaning to the artsy side, and I'm not an art critic. I review websites, and all I know is that the extra work put into the lighting, setting, model selection, and of course the inherent talent in the photographer himself, all combined to create some of the most stunning pictures I'd ever seen.
In doing our mid-2004 re-evaluation, it was only right to start at the top and well, re-evaluate. All of the opinions, controversies, possible stories and claims have been ignored; I'll just be looking at the website for the review.
Hegre Archives has been updated faithfully since we last looked. In a few days there will be over 45,000 images on the site, as well as 95 exclusive movies. I'd say the biggest improvement since our last look has been in the movies section, in both the content of what's happening during the movie, to the dialogue, concepts, and of course the video quality. Some of the biggest changes at Petter Hegre Archives aren't just in the form of pictures and movies either. His travel reports for instance have become one of the nicer features of the site, but more on that later.
The movies are now offered in high quality Divx format, as well as WMV and MOV, the Divx movies are generally around 20-30mb for a complete movie , but several of the newer movies have been as much as 70mb in size. The new DivX format movies come in at 720x576 resolution, and almost 900kbps quality, and blow up into full screen nicely. They started offering DivX clips roughly 15 episodes ago or so, any of the videos before that are offered in less luxurious but still industry standard 320x240 WMV files, for us Windows users.
The pictures at Hegre Archives have always spoken for themselves, yet there have been improvements in this area as well. Regularly, the photos are now offered in 1300x2000 at the highest resolution, as well as 800x1200 and 400x600 for modem users. Also every few sets they offer 2000x3000 pixel images, they're just insanely huge. Those special sets are still available in the previous three qualities as well, it's just an extra option. Most sites don't need 3000 pixel images, because the detail isn't there to begin with, but Hege's photos look pretty incredible in extremely high resolution.
As I mentioned earlier, there have been some additions to Hegre that aren't typical updates. The photo forum seems alive and well to me, with lots of members who submit photos of their girlfriend/wife, and probably a lot of amateur pictures they find around the web too. People rate and comment on the photos below the pictures. There is a completely fee erotic online magazine called The New Nude, which features articles, free photos, etc. A couple of things Hegre has added recently are a 1% charity program that documents which charities the site is supporting with 1% of their profits right off the top, and a Seeking Mr. Right section where members of the site can apply to meet a girl from Hegre, and then the model chooses which member she wishes to get in touch with.
By far the best added feature are the travel reports that Petter Hegre produces about the places he visits to do his photo shoots. Petter is
a native of Norway, and lives in Portugal. In 2004 his documented travels include Paris, Barcelona, Dubai, Ukraine and Lithuania. In the past there are entries for Spain, USA, Poland, Brazil, Thailand, Russia, South Africa and finally Romania, the only entry from 2002.
A lot of work is put into the travel reports, I'm sure it's one of the most intensive parts of the project for them. The size of this review is probably about 2 days worth of written content for a report, which usually spans weeks and months. There's not an addition every day, but let's say you might not want to read all of the latest Paris report in a single sitting. The reports also visually cover the trip, featuring photos and the odd video of what happened along the way. Each has a good number of behind the scenes footage as well.
I'll leave the art criticizing up to the art critics, but as a website Hegre Archives succeeds easily. The design is logical, the women are beautiful, and the photography is top notch. Oh, one last thing. I also really liked was the ability to click on an image to get to the next image. It's a lot easier clicking anywhere on the monitor than scrolling to find a button, what a great feature!