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Photoshelter and photo distribution

Started by cmpentecost, November 16, 2007, 03:20:55 PM

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There have been some questions on how the whole distribution process works.  I'm attaching an image of what I see, as well as Jan and Margie see, from our end of Photoshelter.  As you can see in the image, we as distribution coordinators can see when a comment has been left by a volunteer requesting the photo.  We don't see who requested the image until we open the image.  Furthermore, as I think most of you know, you as a volunteer cannot see comments left by other people.  I doubt that will change. 

Photoshelter has so graciously donated server space to OPR, and it's almost the perfect match for us!  Because they are geared more towards photographers who sell their work or show their images, they probably would not want it known to others if a comment is left. 

Jan and Margie and I are all volunteers.  We are fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with OPR, but we are not at the computer 24/7 (although I feel I have been over the past two months!)  With that being said, be patient in the distribution process, and it's always wise to to a "1st choice, 2nd choice" for your images, in case the first one has been spoken for.  We have lots and lots more photos to distribute, so keep an eye on the galleries!


Christine   :)


Thanks for your feedback.
Here is a copy of a message I sent to jan which clarifies
my experience and offers a suggestion that would
streamline the download process for more efficient
processing of requested downloads from all of the

copied note as follows:

" I'm still hoping that someone will address the frustrating(for me) issue
I raised in the last email. Yesterday,I requested at least one image from your gallery.
When it didn't appear like it was going to be forwarded to me, I believe that I
requested a second one. Although to be honest, I am not totally certain about
requesting the second image. However, the bottom line point still remains.
If the image is in a gallery and the restorer is asked to select it, and then doesn't
receive it and is told that someone else had chosen it first, then why is the image still
in the gallery in a selectable mode,if someone else already had the first option to restore it?
This has happened to me more than once.

My suggestion is: Remove the selected image from the gallery when it is first selected and/or
write the code that will tag the image with a comment that advises gallery viewers that that image has previously been selected for restoration.

I know that you probably are not in a position to exercise the kind of authority
that could affect that kind of a site change, but I'm hoping that the site
administrators will,at least, seriously consider my proposal.
I don't think that writing the code to implement my suggestion would be that difficult,
although there may be other factors which complicate the situation, and of
which I am not aware.
Thanks for your help....

Christine, I don't know who is responsible for placing the images in the galleries. Nor
do I know who manages the process which allows the restorer to download images
requested from the gallery. I also don't know if I am the only person who views this
concern as an issue. If I am the only person who is expressing concern about the
distribution process, then maybe it is not worth pursuing a solution because the
expenditure of time and energy involved in the change would not be justified by the number
of people expected to benefit from it. I am hoping that,at least, someone will seriously
consider the relative worth of the proposal.


Hi Pat,

I am the person who is primarily responsible for placing the images in the gallery, and up until this past week, have been the only person releasing photos.  Generally, as soon as we release a photo to a volunteer, we then remove the photo from the gallery.  I've forgotten to do that at times, and with Jan being new, she perhaps forgot to do it as well.  There are several steps we have to take to release each photo and then remove it from the gallery. 

When we have images in our gallery and don't check it for a day, there could be as many as 5 requests to a photo.  I do not send an email to every person who did not get the photo, as that is just not feasible. I think most of the volunteers know that if they requested a photo and didn't get it, then it was chosen by someone else first.  At that happens, just choose another photo.

We've had a couple of requests over the past year and a half or so since OPR has been using Photoshelter, to see if there would be a way for volunteers to see who has requested photos.  We can certainly contact Photoshelter with this, but considering they are donating their server space to us, I hesitate to ask them to make changes only for  the benefit of OPR.  I think most volunteers have become accustomed to the process after being involved in OPR for awhile.

I hope that this helps explain things for you.  And again, if you requested a photo, didn't get it but another volunteer did, and the photo was still in the gallery, I'm sure it was an oversight by us.



I usually request 2-3 at a time. If I don't get one in a day or two, I try some others. No big deal.
Photoshop 2021, MacPro


Christine, thanks for your reply.
Judging from your response, I am guessing that
allowing the viewer to see that that an image in
the gallery has already been selected for download
would eliminate some of the confusion inherent in
the current selection process. However, I also
appreciate the generous role that Photoshelter.com
has played in allowing the restoration program to have
a home on their site. And when all is said and done,
sometimes "discretion is the better part of valor".



In order for anyone to see the comments left on a particular image, I would have to grant every volunteer administrative privileges on Photoshelter. I think everyone can understand why that wouldn't be a particularly good idea. It would lead to utter chaos and totally obliterate the administrators ability to keep track of incoming and outgoing images.

As Christine has previously explained, Photoshelter has been more than generous to OPR while being a great asset to our operations. The only drawback is that Photoshelter was designed for a different purpose than ours, so we have to work with the inherent limitations within this platform. I also feel it would be less than gracious of us to ask the good people at Photoshelter to change the way they operate to better suit our needs.

With all that said, OPR is always open to new ideas. If there are any code-warriors within our ranks, by all means take a crack at designing a better system of distribution for us. If someone happens to design something that's free of charge, easy to use, completely secure and meets the needs of our purposes, I'd be happy to implement it.

Until then, Photoshelter ain't broke so we're not going to fix it.


Dave Ellis
OPR Founder
[email protected]


Hi Dave,
Thanks for your comments and response to my inquiry.
I share your view that the system works now because
pictures are distributed and restored. I do however,also
believe that there is an element of inconvenience for the
restorer that could be eliminated by simply attaching a
note or checkbox to any image in the gallery that has
been requested for download by a restorer.

I am not a programmer, but I have been told by one that
the code to create the checkbox is simple and generic
and could be written to cover all images in any given database,

I also understand the other variables you explained that help determine
why making any change like the one I proposed is not feasible at this time.
It is not a major issue for me, ,just a matter of a small inconvenience.
Given the much broader perspective of challenges that face the world
community, this issue is not even a blip on the radar screen. Nevertheless,
I was inspired to suggest a remedy that would make the site more streamlined
and efficient.

And in the end, "Nothing beats a failure,but a try"
All the best


Hi Pat,

When I joined OPR I also had to get used a little as to the way distribution works.  It didn't take long to realize that it works quite well even if you don't get a personal message that your pick has been taken already by someone else.  I have restored about 30 photos and I got each invitation very soon after I requested it.  Usually the same day!  I then also realized that if I didn't get an invitation soon that I should go the gallery and pick another photo.  That has worked for me real well so this may be something for you to consider as well. 
I now also realize how much work it must be for Christine, Jan and Margie to keeps things organized so if I don't get my usual fast response from them when I request a photo, I understand why.

On top of all that Jan and Margie still have to practice the use of the white dot and plaid generator machines, it will take some time before they will be at Christine's level!


Hannie Scheltema
Distribution Coordinator
[email protected]


That's a great explanation Hannie!  That is exactly the way that it works.  Christine's the best!  She really tries very hard to give us the photo's we want but sometimes it's a matter of who gets to the gallery first to request a photo.   Chris, after a while, got to know what kind of photo's some of us prefer and she'd keep an eye out for our messages. 

I like to make a game of picking on the first day of a new gallery, because it's off to the races when the gates open.  That makes choosing fun.  Ok, so I'm not right in the noodle, but if it ain't fun, don't do it!  Again great explanation.   Hugs  :hug: Candy


Thanks Dave, Hannie and Candy.  I appreciate your extra explanations on the process of photo distribution.  I think this should help all of us at OPR, both the oldies and the newbies!



Hi everyone, looking forward to my second week as a distribution coordinator.  Please let me know if you have uploaded your photo and I have not acknowledged it.  Had one slip through the crack last week, and I really do want to do better, so please let me know. 

I have another batch of photos ready to go as soon as this one is done.  Wait til you see the spots on these babies!