Annie Leibowitz on the future of photography

Leibowitz notes that, as things move faster, we long for the stills. In beautiful and awful moments, we remember the remarkable images. There will always be room for great photographers who can capture those images. We might add that, as technology progresses, great photography becomes less about having a technological edge than having an “eye.” Equipment like Lytro can focus after the fact and cameras are capturing streams of images everywhere. The great photographers may eventually be those with a talent for picking the most remarkable images from the stream like a miner panning for gold.

dotPhoto Public Search Box Works Again

dotPhoto search is online as of June 17, 2003 with a Google search that quickly searches through public albums. (Private albums will not appear in the search.)

After logging into your dotPhoto account, use the search box in the bar near the top of the page.

Add quotation marks to search for a specific string of words such as “bmw charity ride”.

Searching within a specific group of albums has not yet been updated, but the public search is an improvement and can find specific names if you use quotes. For instance, “John Sweet”.

To find professional photos, you can also use the search on

FTP uploads work again

Many dotPhoto members — especially newspapers and professional photographers — asked us to fix the FTP upload function, which has been unusable since earlier this year. FTP is working again.  It is a very easy way to get your photos into your dotPhoto account.  Here’s now:

First, you’ll need to an FTP client application on your computer (you may already have one; if not, see below).  In your FTP client, just set the hostname to  The username and password will be the same as you use on dotPhoto.

You can use just about any FTP package.  If you don’t already have one, we recommend the following:

After you have uploaded your files to dotPhoto, you’ll see a new album in your account called “FTP.”  You can rename it as desired, by clicking on the Organize button on the left and then choosing Album Settings.

Father’s Day Gifts

The new Mahogany Desk Organizer is just in time for Father’s Day.  I like the ability to add text on many of the designs — or to choose one of the Father’s Day designs.


For more customization, choose one of the other Design groups and pick a design that enables you to insert text or drag more than one photo over.

OrganizerPreviewAt $19.99, the Mahogany Desktop Organizer is 30% off.  We’ve also put the popular 11 oz white mug on sale at just $4.99!

Under new, old management…

On April 19, 2013, DP Operating Company, Inc. acquired dotPhoto from MyPhotoAlbum, Inc.  Having watched dotPhoto for some time, we thought we could do a much better job of providing value to customers.  We decided to acquire the business and begin the long process of turning it back into a market leader.  So here we are.

Our immediate plans are to fix what’s broken, improve customer service, and gather customer feedback.  After that, we’ll update the design, improve existing services and add new ones.  There are some pretty exciting plans in the works, but we’ll save the details for later!

Founded in 1999, dotPhoto was one of the Internet’s first photo sites.  Glenn was in fact a co-founder.  However, due to several rounds of corporate musical chairs, he hasn’t been involved with the company for some time.  dotPhoto was the first to offer a customizable web site, the first to enable pros to sell photos, and the first to offer a mobile application.  We look forward to returning to dotPhoto’s tradition of innovation.

Got ideas or concerns?

Please send them to Glenn at gpaul (at)  If you’d like to talk, please send an email with your phone and the best time to call you.  We actually will call you.

Order processing is back up.

During the ownership transition, credit card processing was down for several days, but is operating now.  We deeply apologize for the delay, and we will rebate shipping on any orders placed with expedited shipping.

Your photos are safe.

Pixels are cheap, but memories are priceless.  As such, we will continue to maintain your photos on dotPhoto. Going forward, we will even maintain archives of abandoned accounts on ancillary storage so that they can be retrieved years later when you come back for them.

We feel privileged to work with dotPhoto’s many loyal members, and we look forward to contributing to a beautiful imaging experience.

Glenn Paul & David Duquette

Speeding up dotPhoto

There are ways to speed up dotPhoto, and there are issues that are systemic on the web. 

We think a lot about speed, and an independent company monitors dotPhoto’s load speed. Among photo companies, which as a group have fairly “heavy” pages because of the graphics, dotPhoto is in the top 5% for speed.  dotPhoto senses your connection speed and sometimes changes the way we serve up data;  for instance, if you have a dial-up connection, we’ll serve smaller images to the dotPhoto Show so that they get there faster. If your broadband connection speed is very slow, you may see the same behavior when watching dotPhoto Shows.

If your overall access seems slow, you might want to test your connection speed, which you can do at the free “Speakeasy” link below.  dotPhoto servers are in Sunnyvale, California, so the San Francisco server is the best choice to test.

Upon completion of the test, you see a screen like this:

On my home cable connection, I’m getting 595 Kbps on download and 347 Kbps on upload to the San Francisco test server.  Verizon’s new fiber optic FIOS service claims up to 10 Mbps download (their web site says 5, but their operator says 10MB) and 2 Mbps for $29.95 per month for the first year, which would be a savings for me, so I may try it out. FIOS is not available everywhere, but you can learn more by clicking here for FIOS link.

Certain times of day are slower for cable users and especially for DSL users.  For instance, right after dinner can be slower because everyone is doing homework, shopping or reading home email. Unforeseen events can also slow down the entire Internet.  I remember being frustrated in my attempt to connect one evening only to discover that much of the world was trying to connect to the Mars Rover.

You can also speed up dotPhoto by changing your album displays to a list display, and by reducing the number of thumbnails that you display in an album.  Since most of us look mainly at our most recent photos, these are easy changes to live with

Changing your album display to a list display

On the album page, click on this icon.  You can change back to thumbnails by clicking the same spot again:

Reducing the number of thumbnails displayed in albums

A congressman recently explained the Internet as “a series of tubes,” which has been a source of amusement for late-night comics. It’s true, though, that the tubes get slower when they have more data to push through — and that’s what happens to an album page when more thumbnails are displayed. You can see as few as 3 photos per row on 3 rows or 9 images per page, and as many as 6 photos per row and 12 rows or 72 images per page. You’ll see 9 photos much faster than 72, which can take a moment or two load. 

To reduce the number of thumbnails displayed, click on “Display Settings” and then set the numbers of images per row and rows per pages that are comfortable for you: