maciekda has some truly gorgeous photos from around the world. I highly recommend taking some time and browsing around the entire site. One of the most striking galleries I saw was this one from the garbage dump in Phnom Penh.
Take a moment to read the story, then make sure to check out the stunning photos. (when clicking through to the photos, make sure to scroll down below the gallery description, the description is long and pushes the photo down to the bottom)
Many of you get these links from me in email replies when you write the help desk. I thought I’d make it easier on all of us and keep them linked here in my blog.
UPDATE: My NEW FAST START for SmugMug Pros!
I like to remind you pros about our forum, Digital Grin, a community of dedicated photographers and SmugMug customers who have “been there and done that.” It’s free and easy to join, and of course we’ll never spam you! At Dgrin, you’ll find:
A support forum just for you! SmugMug Pro Support is where you’ll find answers and get help with anything to do with your pro account: pricing, watermarking, digital downloads, custom domain names, image protection, and more.
The Pro Forum it’s called “Mind Your Own Business” and it’s where you can get SmugMug Pro Tips on how to grow your business from me and many SmugMug pros. Also ask your questions, and find great advice and tips from fellow pros on the business of pro photography.
Many of you want to customize your sites, and so you’ll want to see the Customization Forum where we have a Customization FAQ and our series Customizing for Dummies. You can peruse some Really Well Done SmugMug Sites, too.
One other place I want to encourage you to look at and become familiar with: SmugMug Help where you can also find my SmugMug Pro FAQ. And don’t forget, the search box on our help pages will search the help pages only, not photographs – a very useful tool!
As always, if you have any questions on anything, you can always holler for me at the SmugMug Help Desk.
Have some great new features tonight:
- Better JPEG Quality. With our customer survey we heard you loud and clear – most of you use broadband. So why not make better looking Small, Medium, and Large images. All photos uploaded from now on will have less compression and better chroma sub-sampling.
- Coincidentally, we also have more bandwidth for everyone! 50% more, to be exact. Standard users now get 6GB/month, Power Users get 12GB/month, and Pros a whopping 32GB/month.
- Keywords now support both commas and semicolons in addition to spaces and quotes. Both IPTC importing and AJAX input fields on the site support this new scheme.
- Fixed a nasty bug with the Drag & Drop uploader which would sometimes cause it to erroneously report the # of photos uploaded.
- Fixed obscure bug with “Delete All Photos” where you were left with a gallery which had a single broken image in it.
- Fixed obscure security hole with blocking Originals. In a rare case, it was theoretically possible to get access to a blocked Original. That’s no longer the case with this particular fix.
…and we have one “public beta” feature: SpeedDemon
- It should dramatically improve the snappiness of users’ homepages, particularly those with lots of friends, family, keywords, and galleries.
- You have to go manually enable it for now. Click here to turn SpeedDemon on or off.
- Please do give us feedback over on our Message Forum so we know whether it works well for you or not. We’re especially interested in those with heavy customization and Themes to make sure that it works well with your custom look & feel.
- If all goes well, we’ll enable it by default for browsers which support it in the near future. Currently that’s IE6 and Firefox. It’s possible, but doubtful, that other browsers will be enabled. Please let us know if some other browser DOES work so we know to enable it.
Nothing too major here, but some nice enhancements:
- Fixed an issue with adding a single image to the cart and hitting the Back arrow in Firefox. It used to add the same image to the cart again.
- Fixed an issue with the onmouseover hovers on things like keywords, especially in IE, where they’d get quite slow.
- Improved the arrange tool to not have some confusing DIVs that were confusing customizers.
- Improved the ability to add to cart from custom domains.
- Filmstrip no longer tries to play movies erroneously.
- Fullscreen slideshow no longer tries to play movies erroneously, either.
- Improved our hostname detection for Pros – should be more difficult to put bad hostnames in and break your site.
- Fixed an obscure issue where someone could potentially get access to a blocked Original.
- Re-architected some of our database to provide greater speed and flexibility on some of the most common pages.
Enjoy! As always, don’t hesitate to let us know if we broke something.
A customer of one of our pros wrote in to our help desk with a complaint about a photo that was “much darker” and “less contrasty” than what she saw on her monitor when she bought the photo.
The sad, but undeniable truth that we pros in the online world have to deal with is that our customers will be viewing our photos on uncalibrated, very bright monitors. So, it’s highly likely that the buyer thought the above photo would print up just fine. Of course, when they received the print of their child swimming, they were most upset. Not good. No worries, though: The SmugMug Guarantee to the rescue! I caught the email, and in about 3 minutes was able to accomplish this correction, and order up a new large print at no charge for our pro or his customer:
The steps I took are pretty simple, and any Pro who wants to deliver quality work should know them: In Photoshop: a 15% shadow highlight adjustment, for the shadows only. Next, 2/3s stop positive exposure adjustment: (Image>Adjustments>Exposure. Then, I saw the image needed some “Pop.” So, I grabbed the black and white points in a siimple curves adjustment to give it some much needed contrast. Last, a minor skin tone correction.There are tons of resources available to you, our Pros, to help you deliver your best work. If you’ve got technique questions for shooting, or Photoshop questions for post-processing and workflow, come and find a ton of assistance on our forum, Digital Grin.