Now With Pictures!

As you may have noticed, I’ve added a Photos section to Leoville. I’m hoping I can get pictures uploaded while I’m in Egypt, and if I do this is where they’ll appear.
AB3D508D-7EE9-40F8-B8C8-5D86F0A13084.jpgI’m using Smugmug to power the gallery. It’s much more powerful than anything I could do myself with, say, Coppermine and I think Smugmug beats Flickr hands down for features. I guess I could put the Flickr gallery in a frame, but Smugmug integrates into the site better.

I wish Smugmug were better known. I like the MacCaskill’s, father and son, who founded it and I think they have loaded it with so many superior features. Alas, Flickr still has much the larger community. I’ve been through the features vs community wars before (remember Jaiku vs Twitter?) and I should know better, but I just can’t help backing the underdog, especially when it works better.

The fact that I can upload my videos there, as well, seals the deal. The big negative: it’s not free. Smugmug is $40/year, $60 for gallery embedding, video and other features. Pro photographers can watermark and sell their photos and upload hi-def video for $150/year. Unlike Flickr there is no free basic account, but frankly I like the idea that Smugmug’s got a long term business model.

There are still a couple of little things I’d like to tweak. I can’t seem to get my custom background to appear on the photo pages and the dropdown menus sometimes fall behind elements. But it’s pretty close to seamless integration. I’ve uploaded pictures from Christmas just to test it out. We leave for Egypt tomorrow!

20 Replies to “Now With Pictures!”

  1. Hey Leo,
    On TWIT Episode 125 John C. Dvorak said people in Duluth, Minnesota don’t worry about environmental issues. You can inform him that I live in Duluth, Minnesota and there are a lot of organization here in Duluth that deal with this very subject. We have a group of people at my church, including Sustainable Duluth an organization in the community to deal with these issues. Also, another fact, hundreds of wind generators are imported to our harbor every year, and from here they are delivered to locations all over the midwest to help with high energy prices.
    I know John was just having fun with us Minnesotans! 😉
    Thank you,
    Nick Zeitler

  2. Hey Leo –
    You probably already saw this but Scoble had a great interview video with SmugMug earlier this month.
    I am going use them beginning in January. I like that they are ‘pay only’ because like you mentioned they have a business plan plus… go figure… they are profitable and growing which means less of a reason to sell out to the google’s or yahoo’s of the world. Great features and multiple backups in multiple states.

  3. I hope you have a great trip Leo. Egypt is a far away dream for me. I know you are going to have an amazing time!

  4. @Nick Zeitler
    I believe Dvorak was using Duluth as a metaphor for middle america. As if to say the vast majority of the population is just trying to get to work on time, pick up their kids from dance class, make a decent meal and try to read a newspaper a couple times a week.
    Most people dont stand up and wave the environmental flag as if it were religion.
    THAT’S his point, not a slight against Duluthites, Duluthians or whatever y’all are called.
    Cmon, sometimes you have to listen between the lines.

  5. Leo,
    You will LOVE SmugMug. Not only is it the best site I’ve found on the web for viewing and selling pictures…but…the customer service is absolutely AMAZING!!!! Emails are responded to within two or three hours at the most and they talk to you like you’re not an idiot……
    Also Leo, thanks for letting us share in your family photos. It shows us you’re just a regular guy like the rest of us…not just a tech genius….Merry Christmas….
    P.S. Don’t fall of the camel……

  6. Flickr’s price really hits the sweet spot for me, though. It used to be around the same price as what SmugMug is now, and I wouldn’t pay for it then — and I realize $40 a year is really pretty cheap — but I can do a lot simply with Flickr, their new uploadr is nice, and $25/yr for full-size uploads works well for me.
    I also considered Coppermine and Gallery — and heck, still have an old (but updated security-wise) Gallery install on my site, but it was just too much of a PITA to manage myself. If only it were easier.

  7. Leo, I like what you say about smugmug – but currently… it doesn’t load any photos for me on FF2/XP. It’s just an endless loop of blank screens – and I’m geeky enough to not be blocking it by accident.
    Have a great New Year, by the way!

  8. What’s wrong with PhotoBucket. I lOVE it! Video and photo and I got a free pro account for one year…whats not to like???

  9. Can anyone tell me how to get my WordPress Blog to allow frames so that I can do exactly what Leo has done with his smugmug account?
    I love the idea and have been trying to get it to work for too many frustrating hours. I’m embarrassed to say I may not be geeky enough to figure this out. I thought it was going to be so simple. I did make a new page template that removes the sidebar, though the background colors remain so it sort of looks like it’s still there. I can enter the code for an iframe where you’d enter the page text, but all I get is a small empty frame. Am I even close?

  10. Hi, I’m from SmugMug 🙂 Thanks for the kind words! When you get back from Egypt, holler to our help desk ATTN: Andy and I’ll hook you up with the rest of your customizing needs.
    Have a great trip!

  11. Hey Leo –
    Hope you have a great time in Egypt. I was there for my last 3 years of high school and had a blast! If you’re downtown near Tahrir Square, Filfila’s was a great restaurant at the time.
    Blog post about the time the Grateful Dead came to Cairo to play at the pyramids – they had a setup with a mic and speaker inside one of the tombs as an echo chamber:

  12. Leo,
    The new site design looks fantastic and, as always, thanks for all the fantastic work you do.
    As for SmugMug, I first heard about it from a posting by David Ziser, world famous wedding photog, and gave it the 2-week trial. I liked a lot of what it seemed to offer and some of the sample sites looked really great.
    I had two issues that prevented me from signing on and saying good bye to my ShutterFly account, as a pro photographer: One, it was slow to upload and load pages for me from multiple locations. Uploading in the particular was almost unusable, taking somewhere around 25 minutes to upload one 4MB image; whereas I was able to upload the same image to ShutterFly and my .Mac account in about 3 minutes. It basically just hung forever. I tried on multiple occasions over that 2 week trial and found no improvement at all.
    The other issue is an issue with me, really. I don’t want to be a web programmer, and I don’t want to learn CSS and all the things required to really make SmugMug worth the switch for me. I have limited time, and that time is dedicated to making images and focusing (pun intended) on photography. To make a site that looked like the sample ones that look so shiny and nice, you really do have to have some coding knowledge; otherwise, your site is just another SmugMug site with the basic templates. Again, that’s more my issue then SmugMug’s, although with all the flexibility that’s built in, for coding, the tools to customize the page in account settings could be a little more thorough to incorporate some of the great ideas spawned by the community there.
    Not bad mouthing it, but I just found that it wasn’t for me, given those two issues.
    Again, thanks Leo for all the great work and glad to hear/see/read that your Egypt trip was so fantastic!
    bob M.

  13. Hey Leo,
    Glad to see you came across this photo sharing service, I am always interested to know what the other persons are using. Personally I share my pictures with Joomeo ( and I will soon try all the features it offers,
    Any suggestions on new photo sharing services ?

  14. Dear LeoI also want to embed Smugmug to my wordpress website. I have a question for you, do I need to buy the power level ($60) account or the pro level ($140) in order to realize the goallike your blog album. Your embedded album looks very nice to me.Qiang Lu

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