This blog post is to introduce any interested visitors to some changes to Found Film vintage photos site which I’ve recently introduced.
Changes to found film layout.
The first, most obvious change to anyone who has visited the site at all regularly is the change to the layout and colour scheme of the site. I decided that the dark theme had run it’s course and I wanted to brighten the site up a bit, so I’ve moved to a lighter theme.
It is still a grid based theme, so the maximum space is given to the images which, after all, are what the site is all about.
New feature – Find a Photo
The other big change is an improved search feature which I’ve added to the site. On the menu at the top of the site, and also in various places in the widgets is a new option called ‘Find a Photo‘.
This improved search allows you to both find photos which may be of interest to you, and also to just discover more photos which are buried in the archive.
The new page consists of a results page and a form to the right of the page which you can use to search for anything which may interest you.
The form has a search box and a set of drop down selection boxes which will narrow the number of photos shown in the results page as you make your selection.
You don’t need to press enter at any point, just make a selection or type a word or phrase in the search box and the form will update after a couple of seconds and show you photos in the archive which match the conditions you have set.
You can set a limit to the number of results returned, and define a sort order, but the default sort order of random will make sure that different photos are presented each time you use it, just so you get to see more content. Of course you can select to sort by title, date or various other options if you want to always return the results in a defined order.
I’ve added selection boxes in the form for the photo subject, the format the photo was taken on (i.e. 35mm, medium format etc.) and the film emulsion. If any of these are left in their un-set condition then photos which match any of the options are returned.
At the moment, the results page is showing the photos as a grid of results which are links to the individual photo pages. In a future release I hope to make the results page a gallery which can then be viewed in full screen with navigation between the photos.
One final change which I’m hoping to be working on over the next few weeks and months is the addition of more content to the photo archive and the challenge section. I’ve been a bit lax in this over the last few months, with the introduction of the vintage-home-movies site, but I’m trying to add a few photos everyday when I get time now.
One other change which has happened in the last couple of days is not related to the content of the site, but to do with the performance. I’ve been making some tweaks to the memory each site uses and the database which drives the individual sites and made some noticeable improvements to the speed of all of the sites I run.
This was particularly necessary when I introduced the new search system because originally the results were taken several seconds to appear.
I wanted to just update this section of this post with some more up to date information. At the time I wrote this section I thought I had fixed the performance issues on the site, but it turned out that I hadn’t. The week following this post was the most disruptive in the site’s history, and I spent several hours trying to find out exactly what was wrong. In the end it turned out that the machine which the site runs on (along with my other blogs) was simply under powered, so I invested an extra few pounds a month to upgrade to a better machine which I’m hoping will finally keep the sites going well.