One of the biggest privileges I have of running Photography Life, is meeting wonderful people all over the world. Some of them I get to meet through photo walks, some through workshops and others I meet online, with the hope of meeting them face-to-face one day. Except for my friend John Bosley (who I met locally at a photo event), I met the rest of our team online – through this very website. Most of them started out as readers, but as we got to know each other via comments, emails and other phone conversations, they eventually joined the team of talented writers because they had the urge to do something amazing, which is to share their knowledge with the rest of the world. As of today, we have over 1600 articles, close to 300 reviews and we will soon reach 100,000 reader comments (yes, we are planning to celebrate the 100K commenter!). I have recently posted my 1000th article and Tom Stirr will soon be publishing his 100th article. And today, we have another gifted individual who will be joining our team – Vaibhav Tripathi. Or should we call him Dr Tripathi? After-all, he did get his PhD from Stanford University!
With only a week left until our PL + KeepSnap Lens giveaway ends, we wanted to write an article about differences between KeepSnap and PhotoShelter. Since a number of our readers asked about KeepSnap and what makes it different from the already established PhotoShelter, we thought it would be a good opportunity to look into the features of both sites in a bit more detail.
While Nasim is busy traveling, I am going to try to fill in for a few days and post some articles. Although there are a number of reasons why I have not been writing for PL for a while now, one of the main reasons has been simply lack of time! I hope our readers can forgive me for that, but going forward, I will do my best to show up a bit more often, since we need more female content here :) Anyway, since I get a lot of questions and requests from our readers regarding food photography (many of whom are novice photographers and food bloggers), I decided to do a quick review of Nicole S. Young’s book titled “Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots” that I bought a few years back for my own personal use.
It is the first day of the new 2016 year and I would like to wish a very happy New Year to our dear readers and our amazing team of writers at PL! May 2016 be a very prosperous, healthy, joyful and successful year for you and your family. I hope you realize your dreams and discover new goals worth pursuing in the New Year!
Earlier this year, we launched our first photography course, the PL Level 1 Photography Basics. Big thanks to everyone who purchased this course to support our efforts! You have given us tremendous support and now it is time to give some of it back. If you have previously purchased our course, by spending a few minutes to rate it and write some feedback on what you think about it, you will be entered to win a brand new Sony A6000 mirrorless camera!
Please join us in giving a warm welcome to Rick Keller, who is joining our team of talented writers. If you have not yet seen Rick’s work, I highly recommend that you check out his phenomenal articles on Visualization and Film photography. So far he has published three parts to the series, but his very first article on the process of visualization, along with the article on hunting for the light will surely leave you inspired! Although I have only ventured into film photography once and have not had much time to dig in further, reading Rick’s articles makes me want to buy a medium format film camera and experiment with it, as I have so much to learn from him. Rick, along with our respected contributor Vaibhav Tripathi and our team members John Bosley and Laura Murray are my other inspirations for getting into film photography.
Just wanted to let our readers know that I have been battling with server slowdown issues during the past few days and I am working on getting these issues resolved. Big thanks to everyone who emailed me and let me know, particularly about all the slowdowns this morning. During the next couple of days, I will be implementing a new caching and balancing system to help with the server load. Our traffic has been steadily growing and it looks like we need to beef up the system again to accommodate all the load.
Due to rising costs of hosting and other expenses, we decided to add some advertising space to Photography Life, which has always been and always will be a free photography resource. Some of our readers were a bit annoyed by the often intrusive ads (which, unfortunately, we have little to no control of) and they requested that we add an option to support Photography Life with a monthly donation option, which would completely remove all the ads on the site. Others have been asking us to give a good option to subscribe on a monthly basis or simply donate funds to support our work. I am happy to report that this feature has finally been added to our site, and as of today you can become a member and enjoy completely ad-free experience. You can choose your level of support from Basic ($0.99 per month) all the way to Gold ($19.99 per month), depending on how much support you can and want to provide us and all three membership levels give you the same browsing and reading experience.
The last few weeks have been crazy busy for me personally, since we are in the process of creating our first comprehensive video, which is something we are really excited about (more on this later). Because of this and other parallel engagements that I am involved in, I have not had a chance to work on some of the projects I have started a couple of months ago, including the Photo Spots project. I apologize for not being able to post updates on our Photo Spots Contest and I know that many of our readers have been waiting for us to announce the winner. As I started going through submissions, I got a bit overwhelmed by the response – we had over 400 submissions that I had to go through, edit and post. I posted a total of 351 photo spots from all the submissions and tried to be less picky about the photos and the content. So unless you posted a really bad photo or your submission did not meet our requirements (little to no text / description, or just vertical images), most of what you have submitted should have been posted by now.
As you might have noticed, our site is back to the normal commenting system – I got rid of Disqus. After giving Disqus a try for a few months, I realized that it was only creating more hassles than doing anything useful. My intention with the Disqus platform was to reduce server load and to increase engagement, but it created too many issues that I constantly had to battle with. Although Disqus was supposed to be better at keeping spammers away, a lot of spam made it through and I got tired of having to clean it up on a daily basis. In addition, our writers did not get proper notifications when comments were posted unless they subscribed to each article, which was creating even more headaches. And lastly, Disqus went all berserk on the site after I enabled additional caching – some of our readers reported that they were getting logged in under other accounts and all kind of other strange things were happening.