January 25, 2015

The Lens Flare has steadily declined in readership and activity for the past several years.  Recently, it has become the target of spammers, who have added nearly all of the new images for the past several months.  Removing these images has become more of a chore than the site is worth.

Years ago, the site had a lot of traffic, but the need for The Lens Flare has been replaced with sites like Flickr and Facebook.  People used to post photos with the hopes that others would praise their work.  Facebook is now "the" place to solicit praise from your friends. In fact, this "praise" mentality was never what TLF was intended for.   TLF was built on the idea that people would have a conversation about a photo or group of photos rather than just saying how pretty something is.

When the site was originally built, a 3MP camera was a "good" camera, most people still had dial-up connections, and 800x600 was the standard screen resolution. Because of this, the image size of 500 pixels wide was chosen.  Today, nearly all the photos on the site are still 500 pixels wide.  This is an obsolete size now that storage and servers are cheap, bandwidth is fast, and average cameras shoot at greater than 24 MP.

We are going back to the drawing board for this site.  The next version will not be specifically photography related.  Most, if not all, of the images will likely be deleted.  In short, we are going to completely start over with the idea that the conversation will once again be the reason to visit.