PhotoSeed is a labor of love by David Spencer, a passionate and leading collector of vintage fine-art photography. The site, comprised of his personal collection, was populated in his free time and includes his detailed backgrounds for many of the works.

Defined by the depth of the collection and content, it’s a tool for new users and the curious, as well as scholarly researchers. The navigation structure consists simply of Search the Collection, Highlights and PhotoSeed Blog (the navigation was anchored and remains locked as visitors scroll through longer content). Since the depth of the collection may be daunting the home page mosaic (using Masory jQuery) pulls images from the collection and helps identify the depth of work right up front. Visitors can refresh the quilt of images to pull other random images in from the collection or use the Highlights or PhotoSeed Blog sections to help steer them toward new and specific content.

The collection is large and intended to be shared, visitors can save to save works and collections to a lightbox. Stored in a per-visit session (visitors don’t need to create a login or password to save and store) the functionality creates a unique URL for users to share.

• The first concept for the site came about four years ago; the implementation took approximately one year.

• The site was designed and developed by Jay David (designer) and Tyler Craft (developer), who happen to work together at TOKY Branding Design and who used TOKY’s content management system (Eero) to build the site and manage the database.

• Currently there are more than 1,400 images of fine-art photography; that number will grow to more than 5,000 throughout the coming years.

• A CRON job copies the database into a big flat table, dramatically speeding up search results and page requests; the server was set up with gzip compression and caching.

• Two months after the official launch, the site had nearly 5,200 visits from 97 countries/territories as well as nearly 26,500 page views and it’s been passed around the collecting community to great response, without any targeted viral components.

• A smartphone app with selected work from the site is in progress.

Communication Arts

// From our friends at Communication Arts

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