I really like hosting my own photos, because there are copyright/rights management, privacy, and cost issues with doing it any other way. But I really would like to outsource it sometimes, because Gallery2 is a bizarre piece of software with a shitty user interface. To get batch-rotate capabilities, I’d have to directly patch the source code. (Oh, boy.) I had to install a new plugin because none of the upload types was working except the basic web upload, which is extremely limited. To fix its limits, I would have to modify my PHP configuration. (Double oh boy.)
I hate, hate, hate Flickr’s policy of evaporating your photos if you don’t pay them, but their interface, although quirky, is about 10 million times better than Gallery.
I checked out ZenPhoto, but it’s not clear it would be any better, and it’s not 1-click installable on Dreamhost, so it doesn’t seem like there’s a better solution. I just wish there were.
Recently I did the Superhero Photo: The Basics class. I had a great time with the class. I’ve been looking for a photo class that would fit my needs for ages, but it never occurred to me to take one online. When Tea interviewed Andrea, I knew her class would be a great fit because she is interested in capturing life’s beautiful moments and being more present through photography. That’s also what I enjoy the most about taking photos — the way it helps me see and be more, and capture the beauty that I enjoy so much.
I wasn’t able to participate in the class as much as I would have liked, but it really woke me up out of a photographic slump (I haven’t taken nearly as many photos since moving to Portland as I did before — yes, the slump was three years long, yikes) and got me excited about color, light, and focus again, and about doing more than just shooting a pretty flower now and then and taking a picture casually just to document something. I was really looking for the good shot, or the creative shot, even when I was just documenting or shooting pretty flowers.
And there were absolutely no technical hiccups. You get the lessons in your email inbox, share photos on a private Flickr group, and comment on a protected website. Simple and easy.
It was a great community of people, and being in the course Flickr pool and getting to see everyone else’s pictures was a fantastic opportunity for me to be inspired by looking at other wonderful pictures, and also to try to see something good, something interesting, in each one (including my own!), rather than being a critic. I took so many bad pictures in those six weeks, but also some great ones that I will treasure, and I even love the bad ones because I was trying to do something interesting, which is much better than not trying to do anything at all.