Photography in the world of Web 2.0

In a world where it has become utterly painless to share photos with the world, it has been difficult to justify suffering the time-consuming process of manually processing images, uploading them and then adding them into a database to be proudly presented in the place I've been sharing my photos since 2000.

The photography section of my site started first with just a few of my favourite photos but quickly expanded into a fully fledged, custom-built, gallery system where I could share all of the photos I was taking using both film and - increasingly over the years - digital formats. Putting them into a database allowed more flexibility than hard coding them into pages and simplified the process of sharing them. Unfortunately, I never spent enough time developing the admin interface that runs it all, so it doesn't do anywhere near as much as it could to help me out.

Then, just over a year ago, I tried a photo sharing community out of curiosity. It was getting some great reviews and the community was growing pretty quickly. My usage of Flickr was patchy at first as I experimented and didn't fully see what all the fuss was about. Soon winter started to fade into to spring and I started taking more photos. Tagging the photos with relevant topics and sharing them with groups of like-minded people, strangers started to come in to my corner of Flickr and leave comments as they flicked through my photo book. I was hooked.

Since that point I've added very few new photos to the hundreds on this site, and instead have added over 1,000 photos to my Flickr photo stream.

Hopefully before too long I'll start to pull some of those back into this site, but I'll have to make a decision of either updating my site to talk to Flickr and pull in some photos that way, or completely redesigning the way the galleries work. If I do the latter I'll almost certainly use the Drupal system as a framework to build the new site on top of. That would give me the ability to let people comment on photos, subscribe to latest updates and all sorts of good stuff. Then I'd just need to add the ability to pull in selected photosets from my Flickr account, and I'm set.