Old 04-14-2016, 05:22 PM   #1
John West
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Default Personal Image Websites

My website has died. For some years I have had a website for my pix using "Gallery" software which I really liked, but it was freeware and eventually was abandoned by its developers. Security issues allowed spam to creep in corrupting my files.

So now I am looking for a new place to build a website. Currently I am considering Smugmug and Zenfolio. I have been posting some stuff on Flickr, but Flickr does not appear to offer the organizational flexibility I need for my rather large collection of images from many places.

I'm wondering if anyone here has had experience with building a reasonably large "gallery" type photo website, and can help lead me to the right place, keeping in mind I am a techo dinosaur who can sometimes follow directions but is easily overwhelmed if it gets too complicated.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:38 AM   #2
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imgur????????
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:54 AM   #3
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imgur????????
Since imgur is sorted by popularity, it would be like dumping my pix into a very deep hole never to be seen again. My wife might like that.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:22 PM   #4
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Smile And the answer is......

Well, I know the readers here have been holding their breath waiting, so will reward all this excitement and anticipation by telling the big world out there that I have decided to go with SmugMug.
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:39 PM   #5
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When you get time John, it would be great if you could give us an idea what went into your decision. I have been toying with the idea myself. I get occasional e-mails through RP from folks looking to purchase prints and without a Smugmug or Xenfolio site, accommodating those kinds of requests requires bandwidth that I just don't have at the moment. I believe that both of the providers that you mentioned do offer packages that will allow viewers to buy prints without requiring the involvement of the photographer. You basically tell them what you want to earn for each image, they build in their costs and profit and they set the final price. They handle the rest. If the site breaks even, it is worth the money.

I'll be interested in what they offer in the way of web design to set the site up the way you want it to appear.
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Old 04-15-2016, 06:54 PM   #6
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Default Why SmugMug?

Basically I quickly got comfortable navigating my way through SmugMug. Given my problems (incompetence with computers) with my previous site that involved uploading software to a host, and being responsible for my own maintenance, I quickly decided on some kind of turnkey site. I initially checked ZenFolio because that is what Matthew Mankiewicz uses, but was having some trouble navigating through it. Curt Bianchi suggested SmugMug and I was able to get something I liked rather quickly. Not sure one is really better than the other, but I got comfortable with SmugMug more quickly. Both have the option of selling prints, but I have not looked at the details since I have been happy uploading files to Imagekind when somebody wanted to buy something. My preliminary feeling is that SmugMug will be a good place to archive pix mostly for my own reference and occasional linking, but in terms of sharing stuff I really like Flickr. I like Railpix as well, but it is somewhat a niche spot for an occasional image.
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Old 04-15-2016, 06:55 PM   #7
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http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:59 PM   #8
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I think Prof. Frink has a tool for this...
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:44 PM   #9
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I think Prof. Frink has a tool for this...
Say what you want about RRPA... the site has technical issues sometimes, but it does offer some things that this site and others dont...

1. Easy organization of photos into albums
2. Locomotive database, which is actually accurate, and end user editable
3. Unlimited storage of photos

So sometimes the site may be slow, but it's a great place to dump photos for archival purposes, and the albums / grouping feature is nice, and the locomotive database is nice.

Some things this place does not have...
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Old 04-17-2016, 07:30 PM   #10
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Say what you want about RRPA... the site has technical issues sometimes, but it does offer some things that this site and others dont...

1. Easy organization of photos into albums
2. Locomotive database, which is actually accurate, and end user editable
3. Unlimited storage of photos

So sometimes the site may be slow, but it's a great place to dump photos for archival purposes, and the albums / grouping feature is nice, and the locomotive database is nice.

Some things this place does not have...
RRPA rosters don't cover every unit, but often are the most useful on the internet for a given railroad.
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Old 04-19-2016, 02:04 PM   #11
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I don't disagree with either of you on the attributes of RRPA, as I use it almost daily in exactly the manner you describe. However, the given locomotive histories are often inaccurate (if you care about that sort of thing) and are not verified by anyone, nor changed if a correction is sent to the site owner. The view count is woefully low, even for top quality photos. Much like Flickr and other photo sharing sites, you will have to get out and self-promote to have your photos seen on RRPA.

I will say this about RRPA-- I hope the site owner never pulls the plug on it even if he stops accepting new uploads, because it is the most comprehensive archive of railroad photos out there. It is arguably the best research tool we have to see locomotives and rolling stock from the most railroads, and a great starting point to research locomotive paint schemes, locations, and histories.

However, it would not be among my top choices as to where to store a personal photo collection at this point.
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Old 04-19-2016, 02:50 PM   #12
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However, it would not be among my top choices as to where to store a personal photo collection at this point.
Let's face the awful truth: there is only one safe place for your photos- your own hard drive with backup.

The ongoing corporate drama at Yahoo is worrisome. Panoramio got a reprieve, but Google could change its mind again. And the admins right here seem to be in seclusion for anything other than the daily screening.
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:39 PM   #13
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However, the given locomotive histories are often inaccurate (if you care about that sort of thing) and are not verified by anyone, nor changed if a correction is sent to the site owner.
Point of order, locomotive model is never scrutinized here either. I have corrected several EMD's which were listed as GE's. Although, admittedly when you do request a correction, it gets done most of the time here, and in a fairly reasonable timeframe

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The view count is woefully low, even for top quality photos. Much like Flickr and other photo sharing sites, you will have to get out and self-promote to have your photos seen on RRPA.
I think he was just looking for a place to dump photos, not promote his stuff.

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Old 04-19-2016, 11:40 PM   #14
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Let's face the awful truth: there is only one safe place for your photos- your own hard drive with backup.
The web is great for sharing pix, but the web comes and goes. Any web based photo "archiving" service can decide they no longer want to be in the business and you may or may not have a decent way to move your stuff somewhere else.

The good news is hard drives are cheap, and you can not only back them up, you can back up the back ups. But of course technology changes.

So I suppose you can make prints, or in the case of older stuff save the slides or negs. But then the house might burn down.

Damn.
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Old 04-20-2016, 02:12 AM   #15
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But then the house might burn down.

Damn.
Ideally, the backup would be located somewhere else.
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Old 04-20-2016, 04:21 AM   #16
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Ideally, the backup would be located somewhere else.

Which is why I keep a backup on a portable hard drive in my safe deposit box. But of course here in California we have earthquakes and a big one might take out both my house and the bank.
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:00 PM   #17
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Which is why I keep a backup on a portable hard drive in my safe deposit box. But of course here in California we have earthquakes and a big one might take out both my house and the bank.
I keep my really important (i.e. money making photography) on no less than 5drives at any given time, with two being away from home. The 3 I have at home are kept in a fire safe. I suffered a complete loss of my files 8 years ago (nothing worth a crap thankfully), so I vowed to never let that happen again. I also use cloud based storage provided by one of my printing partners as well.

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Old 04-22-2016, 11:41 PM   #18
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Red face Pictures are only part of the story

And don't forget about the caption info. My pix are well backed up but as I paste together a new website I'm realizing I should have backed up my caption info as well. Over the years I had gradually gathered a bunch of historical info as caption material. But rather than adding that to the photo info on my hard drives, it was just posted to the website. So for the most part it is now lost. Another lesson learned the hard way.
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Old 04-23-2016, 12:17 AM   #19
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And don't forget about the caption info. My pix are well backed up but as I paste together a new website I'm realizing I should have backed up my caption info as well. Over the years I had gradually gathered a bunch of historical info as caption material. But rather than adding that to the photo info on my hard drives, it was just posted to the website. So for the most part it is now lost. Another lesson learned the hard way.
A very good point!

I still can't confirm that this one from 1973 is indeed the PRR Mount Carbon coaling tower, even using old topo maps and reference books. The Reading dominated this area, but someone must know.

Update: I see that there was an 11-stall roundhouse at Mount Carbon. That sounds about right for the ruins I found.
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Old 04-25-2016, 03:47 AM   #20
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Let's face the awful truth: there is only one safe place for your photos- your own hard drive with backup.
Unless you have two back up hard drives, you are nowhere.

One complete back up must be off site in case of the aforementioned fire, earthquake or burglary. You can use a bank vault or a trusted friend or relative's home, or as I do, at my locked desk at work.
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:03 AM   #21
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Unless you have two back up hard drives, you are nowhere.
Burning photos to CD or DVD works as well.
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:34 PM   #22
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Burning photos to CD or DVD works as well.
The keepers perhaps. If you have a couple of terabytes however, not so much.
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:36 PM   #23
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Unless you have two back up hard drives, you are nowhere.

One complete back up must be off site in case of the aforementioned fire, earthquake or burglary. You can use a bank vault or a trusted friend or relative's home, or as I do, at my locked desk at work.
At your employer perhaps, Dennis. I suspect that for a lot of folks, if their job ended tomorrow, they would not be permitted to leave with a hard drive of any kind.
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Old 04-25-2016, 03:59 PM   #24
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At your employer perhaps, Dennis. I suspect that for a lot of folks, if their job ended tomorrow, they would not be permitted to leave with a hard drive of any kind.
That is a good point that also illustrates that no one facet of a back up plan is perfect. If you plot out the "what if's," nothing is secure anywhere.

I do feel at least there is a more concerted effort of being archival then ever before. What we are doing now is much better than when all the materials were film and kept at home, in moldy basements with no protection from fire, flooding or theft.

Digital is making it easier, and far more practical to keep your collection in three places. Can you imagine making two copies of say, a 100,000 slide collection? With digital you can.

However, the DVD's and hard drive eventually rot; your successors need to periodically transfer the images to fresh media. In this instance, an archival print is actually a better survivor in that a 1000 years, if properly stored, you can still look as the same print and with your own eyes.

I have thus started making 16x20 archival prints of my best images.

I figure at least some of this will survive somewhere.
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:24 PM   #25
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However, the DVD's and hard drive eventually rot; your successors need to periodically transfer the images to fresh media. In this instance, an archival print is actually a better survivor in that a 1000 years, if properly stored, you can still look as the same print and with your own eyes.

I have thus started making 16x20 archival prints of my best images.

I figure at least some of this will survive somewhere.
Dennis, there is a hole in your plan, as archival prints can succumb to a variety of dangers such as fire, vermin, big-city theft, smashed in the closet, grandkids get to them before they are mature, etc.

I suggest you send those prints down to me for safekeeping. I have systems and space to ensure that the highest standards of storage are upheld.
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