OpenLens back online

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Anyone here remember OpenLens (my namesake here :) )? Well, I decided to give it another go. If you don't remember what OpenLens was, it was a community I setup where people could discuss photo-stuff and create online albums. At the time I started it as an alternative to PhotoAlley, which had just been bought by Ritz Cameras who then closed the albums/critique.

Oh yeah...its was free to use and photos in member albums were hot-link-able (leech-able).

Still is. Still are.

I've made some major improvements over the initial try, both on the end-user side and to the admin control side. The admin side improvements allow me to better control abusive users, which is what brought the original site down. On the end-user side:
  • Dedicated Photo Critique /w/ ratings, comments, top lists, etc...
  • Improved Gallery with more features (like themeing, eCards, manipulation via 30 filters, etc...)
  • Short URLs to your albums
  • Better forums (based around Invision 1.2)
  • Cleaner look and style
  • and more stuff...

Anyway, I've dubbed the new site "PhotoCrafter" and you can reach it at The older domain ( still works, as do a couple of others ;).

Take a look and let me know what you think. You can email me directly with any comments/suggestions ( or just post them in the appropriate forum there.

Thanks to those who took the time to press buttons and test things out for me.


Senior Member
Feb 20, 2002
hallo, welcome back, Brian. Why do you drop I think it's a better name, hehe... emotionally attached.

The new interface is neat. Wish yr new site all the best. :p

At the time I started my re-planning the CEO of Hosting-Network Inc, through which I had OpenLens, was having a nervous breakdown. It was even reported in CNN ;p Anyway, they had OpenLens registered via dotreg, but only as "FreaturePrice customer" and not through my real name/info so I couldn't transfer the domain to my regular registrar and use it. Then a couple months ago another company finally payed a couple mil and bought Hosting-Network/FeaturePrice out and were kind enough to update my registration info for the OpenLens domain. But, by that time I had already concieved of PhotoCrafter and registered the .com/net/org.

Before PhotoCrafter, I was thinking of CafePhoto and actually have registered, too :bigeyes:

You can still use the domain, too :bsmilie:

Thanks, Tom.

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