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This Site - Features




Dec 10, 2005, 8:10 AM

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This Site - Features Can't Post

This thread definitely belongs in this topic. Our own site here is a prime chunck of Internet Real Estate we can develop.

As stated in the "This Site - Philosophy 101" thread, this site is a starter site for the Pittsburgh Modeling and Photography group. But, as it develops, it's a great place for all the members to have a profile, a portfolio, and their own "Trade for Prints" galleries.

What features of the site would you like to see either from a model or photographer perspective? Also, what related personnel would need profile pages? Off hand, hair stylists and makeup artists come to mind, but what about other talents like set designers, graphic artists, fashion designers, etc? Are those people part of the "Trade/Time For Prints" theme?

I would think so, since there is an Art Institute here in town. Students and new graduates, or start-up businesses need a place to showcase their work and art. Fashion designers can provide their own unique creations to a shoot. Graphic designers and artists can provide backgrounds, props, body painting, etc to a shoot. And so on.

What sort of information should be included on a profile page?

Also, how should a gallery look? What features of other gallery sites do you like, and which do you not like? And WHY!! As a programmer, the WHY is much more important than simply a list of good and bad.

Just as a brainstorm seeder:

Profiles: Many profile systems allow only one type of profile that everyone needs to fit into. It's possible to set up the profile system to add a tag to the master "user" profile (that keeps your logon and other information) that flags your primary classification -- Artist, photographer, model, etc. That would link to a specific sort of profile tailored to that type of person or field. There would be basic overlapping information, but a photographer or artist profile has no need for height, weight, shoe size, etc. A model profile has no reason to include an equipment list (for sharing lenses, or accessories). A hair stylist would not have a need to check a "no nudity" box (although, I think I'd include that in all profiles just for political correctness). Now that I think about it, every profile will include that, but a hair stylist would not have a need to list what parts they model if they pick "Parts Model".

Gallery: There are many things I want in a gallery that have NO BEARING on the user interface. They are features that are more tuned to the needs of a stock agencey managing thousands of pictures, such as disaster recovery, file hierarchy, etc. There are other things I really do want in the gallery, such as keywords that flag most common search fields for an image that you can check, and sub-field prompts so that you don't miss high-dollar or high-search keywords that might apply to your photos. Beyond that, I'm open to feedback on layout, visible features, flexibility, upload options, etc. What do YOU want or need?

Remember, I'm *NOT* trying to make software or a site that will deal with a global user base. I feel that is beyond our needs, and not specific enough. While the stock-photo and search features for images can be used by anyone looking for images, the features for putting them up, showing them off, and searching for customers are targeted to YOU and Pittsburgh (or whatever area the software is set up for).

I've run image bases on large systems, networked computers, and all sorts of "rigged" or "hacked" software since there was on-line imaging. I started back in 1983, and the "high end" computer was a PC/XT (4MhZ processor -- watches today have more power than that!) with a 10 meg harddrive (I processed 50 images last night, not one of them was under 10 meg when I was done -- much less before I started!), and the best screen out there was a monochrome screen. The Hercules Graphics Card had not yet been developed, and color monitors were a dream for the consumers, much less for higher end graphic houses!

So, I grew up with an image base that started with a few images, and over the years expanded to hundreds of photo cds and gigabytes of CD and DVD storage, and more. I've tried virtually every storage device that was developed from 1983 to 1999. Some, should never have been developed <G> Others, were promising, but failed for one reason or another. Others are still hanging on, but have been overshadowed by DVD technology.

What I'm trying to say is I understand very intimately the "hidden" aspects of managing an on-line image base. I'm aware of the pitfalls of doing things certain ways. I have not yet found the "best" or "perfect" way, which is why major software development has been stalled for so long. That doesn't mean we don't have working software, and parts and modules, just that it's not up to our targeted vision. We believe it's better than most things out there for our intended purpose. For instance, we don't want to index flash, clip-art, or sound files. We aren't interested in .pdf pages, or other data. We are targeting photographs, and to a lesser degree digital graphics that would be used/searched like photographs. Our images have a creator, and often a subject that are also part of the image's "data". Linking this, and being able to reconstruct it from backups or disk corruption is a high priority.

The target of this software is *NOT* a commercial venture such as Getty. It was conceived to be used by groups exactly like ours, or even an individual photographer. It was not meant to manage millions of images, but perhaps 10's of thousands (although we hope it would be extensible to at least a few million).

The reason for this is we wanted more detailed information on each image, rather than simply a mass of images that a potential buyer had to sift through. I wanted to avoid the electronic equivalent of the photo editor's desk with a thousand photos and stock books piled on it, and the editor leaning back in the chair grabing for a bottle of aspirin! (been there, done that, glad there are computers!) To do this, every uploader is responsible for their images, and the detail they use in adding the image translates directly into more visibility and thus sales. We provide the tools to allow this, and I will have an example on-line shortly.

So, *PLEASE* start letting me know what you like, don't like, want or need in profiles, galleries, portfolios, and such.

You can be whimsical, maybe it's not really so far out.



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