It might seem hard to imagine now but, when this site was launched in December 2000, photography was not one of the original features here, nor was it really intended to be. Gradually occasional photographs were introduced on a rationed basis – one of Stan Hall’s a day for a week after the Douglas to Castletown run. By the summer of 2002 I published the first albums using the photobox.co.uk site.
In December 2002, after seeing a tip in the Sunday Times, I switched to fotopic.net and quickly graduated to the premium service with
several other local photographers following me to the site. I experimented with other sites but always returned to it.
The founders of fotopic sold out and gradually service standards dropped. Just over two years ago fotopic went off the net for a couple of days amid rumours that it had "gone bust" but it was only a technical problem and it was to return. I joined a fotopic user
group and have been following developments ever since. There aren’t half some moaners in the group who expect miracles for about fifty quid a year but all the users like the style of galleries and collections that are customisable. I know there are hundreds of photo sites but it was so easy to use and there have been millions of hits on my photos and hopefully some enjoyment has been taken from them.
Like many of the users, I didn’t want to get caught out if fotopic really did "go bust" and I waited for a long time for the fotopic founder to set up his new site when he was free from a non competition clause. That site, pikfu.com is now only days away. I may still use it but I had become impatient and after much research in January chose a premium service at zenfolio.com . My aim is to make full size copies of all my photos available on the site so that, instead of people contacting me for free copies of the full image, they can download them themselves for a small charge. Prints and a whole range of products can be ordered from photobox.co.uk. As with all my sites, the full cost of running the service will be borne by me but the markup between photobox’s prices and the ones I set will go to charity. I’ve uploaded tens of thousands of photos and I hope to have the whole site in a form that will be easy to navigate but I am still about three weeks away from launch.
This week the fotopic site has gone missing again. The company has not responded to any support questions for months and the feeling is that it could be terminal. Its a shame that it did not live another three weeks but I will have to use a temporary solution until then.
Unfortunately it could mean than none of my photos, other than those embedded in the feature pages, will be available until then. Several of the links to other photographers will also be redundant.
I have a separate (smaller) problem with the website design and I can’t amend the existing navigation bars without a full re-design. That is why I have not added Kevin Deakes and David Griffiths’s site links on a permanent basis.
You’ll get to see the full picture soon. Murray Lambden 10 March 2011