New features – February 23rd, 2007

Have some great new features and plenty of bug fixes today. Some of it will be pretty intangible, but we’ve sped up major portions of the site significantly.

  • SmugMug is now an OpenID 1.1 Provider. This means you can use your SmugMug URL as your ID on lots of sites all over the net. Great minds think alike – AOL and Microsoft both recently announced support, too, so you can be sure it’ll be widespread. We will soon consume OpenID as well for photo comments and anywhere else it makes sense. I’ll post on my blog with more information about this later today.
  • Happy Birthday Theme. I hate to play favorites, but this is probably the best Theme so far. There are more coming…
  • Khaki Theme.
  • New YUI version (2.2.0) live on the site. Go wild, you customizers.
  • Speed improvements across the board when viewing galleries.
  • Lightbox keyboard navigation is back after a week or so hiatus. It’s now properly disabled when you need to enter text elsewhere on the page.
  • Fixed a problem with AOL users receiving Share emails from SmugMug.
  • Fixed spelling of Luxembourg in one spot on the site.
  • Fixed an error with email address validation.
  • Fixed a JavaScript error with framed sites and Internet Explorer.
  • Added USA Today link to the news page.
  • Fixed a problem with ‘Processing Photos’ placeholders
  • InterCapped the SmugMug logo on our themes that didn’t have it.
  • New help page on privacy.
  • New help video on custom Pro pricing.
  • Updated the Customization FAQ.
  • New video guide home.
  • Updated signup page wording.

One Third of the Job.

Guys, let’s face it: Color, color management, and skin tones are make or break for us. It’s essentially right behind “too-dark” as the number one reason why prints get rejected. Complicate matters with a wedding, where every shot is going to not only be scrutinized closely by the bride, and the families, but they want them to look perfect! We as pros have come to the realization that shooting is 2/3s of the job and what we do in post, in the “digital darkroom,” is final 1/3 of the job. You can choose to become a nut about color, about color management, and about Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, i2e or other software apps. Or you can let SmugMug do it for you.

So here is an example – and one in which many folks need some help, based on the number of problems I see. It is very easy with digital to oversaturate African-American skin, as well as get too much yellow or green. Since there were several hundred shots, all with the same problem, I used i2e to remove the green/yellow cast, and lower the saturation. At the same time, I raised the shadows a notch, as well as the midtones. Finally, sharpening for print and done.

So why am I such a big fan of i2e? It just works, and works well. It cranks through hundreds of images, with stunning results, in no time. While I said that proper post-processing is 1/3 of our job, it doesnt’ mean it has to be time-consuming and a chore that we dread. Sure, I use Photshop every day in my work, both for my own shoots, as well as for SmugMug. But I won’t ever give up my i2e. I believe that tools such as this are going to become more important and more popular… not everyone has the time or energy to become Photoshop Masters!

We as pros have to remember that our job isn’t done after the reception. It’s done when we have prints that the B&G, the parents, the family, will be thrilled with. And order, and buy. But what if things go wrong? No worries, we’ve got your back. Just drop a line, Attn: Andy, to our help desk and I’ll take care of you!

New Features, Themes, and Bug Fixes – Jan thru Feb 2007

We’ve made lots of small changes over the last few weeks, here’s a roll-up for ya:

  • Grey by Mike Lane
  • Sunshine by Matt Constantine
  • Groovy Spring by Greg Wellman
  • Tennis Anyone? by Dee Golden and Andy Williams
  • Dark Sand by Lee Shepherd and Andy Williams
  • Gradient – Grey
  • Added Quantcast tracking to your pages. You can now see some interesting stats about your SmugMug site over at Quantcast. Give it a shot.
  • EXIF hover window now has tabs and much easier to read and use.
  • Fixed displaySmugPopular javascript variable.
  • No more comments flickering in galleries.
  • customizing out keywords via CSS works again
  • Cropping a photo, then zooming the thumbnail draws the correct thumbnail.
  • Fixed AJAX bug in bulk pro pricing from previously priced galleries.
  • Fixed conflicts with popup blockers when disabling lightbox in customization.
  • Forcing the SmugMug Small gallery size works properly via SM.SmugMug.config.size = ‘small’; in JavaScript
  • Fixed bugs relating to adding to the cart with custom domain names.
  • Bad HTML is now stripped from comments.
  • Some SmugMug AJAX URLs were bogus. Fixed.
  • Safari 1.x no longer uses the new SmugMug AJAXy hotness.
  • Fixed a JavaScript error when viewing a passworded gallery.
  • Fixed lightBox links in forums (it now fires lightbox properly)
  • Unicode comments should work properly again.
  • lightBox links will fire lightBox no matter what style you are cookied for.
  • “see photo in gallery” for hide owner galleries is now fixed, sends to proper link
  • removed options in photo tools menus for photos (or videos) that they don’t apply to.
  • Thumbnails were stretching before being drawn in IE6, fixed now.
  • Fixed some wonky formatting in share emails.
  • Fixed the “photo by” from showing up in places that it shouldn’t.
  • We now protect thumbnail sized images as well in SmugMug AJAX.
  • People who ad-block Google Analytics will now not have problems on sites using Google Analytics
  • Fixed bugs in Daddy’s Girl and It’s a Girl themes with cart buttons.
  • Lots of help changes.
  • Fixed a problem with mis-matched statistics for Large images when using lightBox. Larges might not have been viewed, but would in rare cases, be added to stats as if they had been.