Hello and Welcome to FotoBuzz!

Congratulations on signing up for Read Only membership of FotoBuzz, the brightest and coolest photo community on the web. As a Read Only member you have full access to read our Inspiration and Learning areas, which are packed with great articles covering a diverse range of subjects. Areas that you do not have access to, such as Member Blogs, Community Lounges (Chat, Tech and Critique), FotoMissions and Meetups, will not be displayed unless you upgrade to Full membership.

What follows is a simple guide to the main features that your Read Only membership allows, some of which may not be obvious. It’s going to be really useful to you so please read this page all the way to the bottom so you can get the best from FotoBuzz! It also took us hours to make it funny. It’s not easy for us so please make us feel like a success by reading it. Pretty please. With a cherry on top.

The Left Hand Drawer

We know, a creative naming masterpiece. It stands to reason that if there is a right hand draw then there is a left right ( errr, hmmmm, ok )? And you know what we have really pulled out the creative juices with this one, get ready, prepare yourself for the revelation!!!!!! We have called it.... The Dashboard! Incredible, you must be beside yourself with wonder. We will enter it for a naming award, incredible. We have already won.

Now the Dashboard ( we decided to drop "The" as the aliens told us to do so......) is our user area. A place to hide all those naughty little secrets that you don’t want anyone else to know. Except us. And we really promise not to blackmail you. Much. Until we need money. Which is now.

Anyway the Dashboard is the place where you control all of your settings and manage your FotoBuzz world. As a Read Only member there are only two options available to you....

Profile - the Profile lets you control your password and load your own Avatar to manage how the other members see you, you can add details of your website too.If you choose not to load an Avatar, or instead load a picture of your favourite horse / lizard / tree then we, as the management, reserve the right to use our default "person with recyclable shopping bag over their head" Avatar. Infantile but very funny. 

Contact HQ - if you have a problem, an issue or simply a request then use this form to get in touch with us at HQ. We don’t bite. Much. We get lonely.

The Right Hand Drawer

Ok let’s look at a really important feature that you will find on almost every content page of FotoBuzz, the Right Hand Drawer. We know, it’s an imaginative name, took us hours and gallons of coffee to work it out. Amazing isn’t it that we have survived so long in the design industry (it’s called having blackmail on those above you). So the marvelously titled right hand drawer, what does it do we hear you scream? Well, once you pop it out and see it in its full glory, you will see other content available in the section for you to read and be inspired by. For example this drawer shows the contents of FotoStories at launch. A fine collection of award winning gossip, innuendo and comedy writing we hear you exclaim and you’d be right.

The right hand drawer, wow we just love saying that name, is your navigation friend, walking you through the site and leading your photography to the path of glory. Or simply it’s just a scrolling index! Now that’s a new word, scrolling. Yes we expect to have more than 8 FotoStories by the end of the year, more likely 28, so we needed to come up with an idea to cope with that many fine articles. So we locked our welsh techie away in a small closet with some interestingly rough edges and told him to come up with some ideas. Well, after a few minutes of sweat (and he sweats a lot trust us on that), he came up with the never ending infinite scroll utility thing wotsit. Well he is a techie. Simply speaking, as we like to when trying to communicate with Spurs supporters, this means that no matter how many articles our creative genius’s generate whilst being flayed with small metal whips, you can just keep scrolling up and down to find them. You can even make small sounds like wheeeeeeeeeeeeee and woooooooooooo whilst doing it. Just don’t frighten the dog. We don’t like cruelty to animals.

You will find the right hand drawer present in many different pages in FotoBuzz, always remember that it is there for your navigation within the zone that you are currently viewing. The latest article to be added will be at the top, which makes it easier for those of you keen enough to read them all as soon as you sign up. You know sometimes we marvel at our creative genius and hope that you will too!

Info / Audio Boxes

We first starting thinking about FotoBuzz around the end of the last stone age, when Andrew was bored with his hammer and wanted to take up photography of the local flesh eating wildlife. Now it is fair to say that whilst our local community at that time would beat anyone in a "Biggest Club" or "Worlds Longest Beard with most animals living inside it" competition, they were not exactly bright. Once the aliens had left, the intellectual heart disappeared from the community and we soon realised that if we were to teach photography to our fellow cave dwellers then we would need more than just a few hand gestures and prayers. No, we would need to tell them why we took the pictures that we did and what decisions we made when we took them. We needed them to get inside the mind of the photographer rather than simply frying up and eating the mind of the photographer. With beans and a nice Chianti. As you can see we had our work cut out. So when FotoBuzz came to fruition we knew that we needed to tell the story behind the most important images. To get behind what the photographer thought when they were taking the image. This has become one of the major advantages of FotoBuzz, we aim to teach you by finding out why the pros make the decisions that they do, right or wrong! The best way of learning a new skill is from experience, so get into the minds of our photographers completely legally, without any drugs, well not many anyway and only the pretty pink ones.

On selected images you will see one or both of the two icons that you see here. Click on the "i" and you will get the tech lowdown on the image, including all the kit used, all shooting settings and some technical insight into how the shot was taken. It’s a great way to learn new skills. To close the window you will find a discrete ’X’ at the top of the screen.

But that is not all. The females of our clan really like Mr Rouse. He doesn’t have the biggest club in the world (Oi!!!!) but they love him all the same. In fact they love hearing his voice, it’s sickening to watch them all fall around him (in his dreams). So to placate them all we have got the Rousemeister to actually talk to you about some of his favourite pictures. Click on the loudspeaker icon and you will hear his cheeky cockney tones talking about the composition of the images and why it works for him. Should it all become too much for you then you can pause it and have a lie down to recover in a darkened room. 

Page Splits

Imagine what it would be like to have a book with only one page, you’d just keep going down and down and down finally to find out that the butler didn’t actually do it because he wasn’t Eric but Erica. It would be tough to read, which is why the clever folks who designed books and magazines invented something called "pages". Evidently this is very popular in the modern age so we have decided to adopt the pages concept for some of the FotoBuzz posts. Don’t ever let it be said that we are not at the forefront of new technology, oh no, we are so cutting edge we are using things that haven’t been invented yet.

So for some of the FotoSkool Skills lessons we have split them into multiple pages, as sometimes technical concepts are difficult to remember if they are given in a big lump of jargon. As we build more and more lessons into FotoSkool then you will see this more and more. The pages appear in the grey bar as shown here to the right. Note they only appear at the top of the article as the navigation bar is frozen in place when you scroll down. Brilliant!

Please note that this only applies to FotoSkool, the column of Rambling Rouse (otherwise known as FotoStories) can scoll for an average of 3.5 km towards the centre of the earth. It’s hot there, at least hotter than here in Wales, but then again ANYWHERE is hotter than Wales. So for the Rambling Rouse FotoStories we just left the stories as one page as it was easier to make the stories flow, we will see how this works out and what the feedback is from you all. If we need to change this and split the page then we will, but be warned, he will sulk and he pulls a long, grumpy face.

Using iPads and friendly tablets

We expect that most of you will own a tablet, some of which will be of the iPad variety and others will be Samsung or their friends. We also sincerely hope that some of you have found more of a use for it than sitting on your toilet pretending you are a Formula 1 driver through the streets of Paris. Although we should add that it is very good for this too and we do enjoy this particular usage, you now have a new thing to use your tablet for! Yes we have great pleasure in telling you that FotoBuzz works beautifully on tablets.

It’s scalable too and has it’s own interface and menu system for tablets and smart phones. Now this has to be taken with a pinch of salt, as some of our functions cannot work on smartphones very well and these devices are more for just reading articles rather than taking part. So now you can take FotoBuzz anywhere with you.


And Finally

Well that is about it to be honest, FotoBuzz is very simple to use and our members are very friendly people. Once you press the CONTINUE button below you will be taken to your main dashboard. We suggest that first you do a couple of things for us. Please use the Left Hand tab, select the Profile button and do the following:

  1. Reset your temporary password to something memorable that you can remember
  2. Check that we have your email address and postal address correct
  3. Upload an Avatar of yourself for the site. Please can you upload a picture of yourself, not your dog or some ropey sunset? If you choose to leave this blank then we will use our comedy "bag on the head" Avatar for you, which always makes us giggle in a rather infantile way. It’s best square too!

Once this is completed you will be able to access FotoBuzz and immerse yourself in our world.

May we suggest that you take a read of Our Vision first to get an overview of FotoBuzz, perhaps take a browse of FotoStories then have a read of our Skills Lesson Series

Welcome to the world of FotoBuzz!!!!

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