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Our New, Improved Photo Gallery

The Cloud Appreciation Society Photo Gallery
Larger images, faster, easier to search...

Our New, Improved Photo Gallery

If you’ve taken a look at the society’s cloud photo gallery recently, you might have noticed that it has changed. We’ve been working feverishly in the background to update the gallery system and introduce some improvements that we hope you will appreciate. Inevitably, there will be teething problems as the new system beds in, but these are the reasons why we think that the new system is an improvement on the old:

The Cloud Appreciation Society Photo Gallery

Larger images, faster, easier to search...

• The new page width matches the rest of the site. This means we can now show images larger than before. Please note, however, that the images loaded up at the size to fit the old system now look rather titchy but we are hoping to up-size many of the old images over time.

• We have streamlined the system so that the 7,500 or so pictures on our gallery load more quickly.

• It is now much easier to search for specific cloud types. When you click on the Find a Cloud tab at the top of the page, you can select cloud classification terms in the sidebar. By clicking on these tabs, you can narrow your search to very specific types of cloud formation. If you want to unselect a tab, just click it again.

• You can now click on a photographer’s name and see all the images that they’ve got on the gallery.

• When you hover your mouse over an image, forward and back arrows appear at either side. Click these to advance through the found set of images.

• When you click the View Slideshow button at the top of the page, the slideshow plays using the set of photographs that you’ve just found. In this way, you can view a slideshow of photographs from a particular photographer or of a specific type of cloud.

• You can now rate a picture and leave a comment about it by clicking in the middle of the image. This shows it in detail view. (Being able to easily go back from this detail view to where you were is something we are still working on!) In future, we plan to introduce a way of finding the most popular images.

We have tried hard to come up with a system works both for those who want to be able to search for very specific cloud types and those who just want to see pretty pictures of the sky. Thanks to all our fantastic members and visitors who have contributed their photographs, we have what must be the most extensive gallery of cloud photographs in the world. We’d love to hear what you think of the new way of viewing them.

  • Beate Blecher avatar

    Beate Blecher

    August 20, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Hi, big thanks for all the work you put into the upgrading of the system!!
    I’m not so sure about the format of the photos, though. The new photos appear much less clear, they are missing SHARPNESS in favour of size.
    (Also, with the “old” size you could view each picture in one, now to view the upright format / portrait mode photos I have to scroll up and down to see all and never get the whole picture.)
    There seem to be some true improvements in the running of the system, but perhaps you might reconsider the quality of the photos shown.

  • Beate Blecher avatar

    Beate Blecher

    August 20, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    P.S.: Correction: Not every photo lacks sharpness, it probably depends on the size it is sent in…

  • john murray avatar

    ian murray

    August 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    have i missed something or where are the ‘New Photos’ section

  • Gavin Pretor-Pinney avatar


    August 22, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Beate, We are not expanding the images in any way. If a picture looks blurry, it must be because it was sent in to us without very good focus or something. Of course, it would be pointless to enlarge photos to bigger than they were originally sent in, and we would certainly not do this. Do you have a particular photograph in mind? If you tell us which you mean, we will compare it to the original and report back.
    We are taking on board what you say about the portrait images, and will look at putting these up smaller so that they can more easily fit on the screen.
    Thanks for your comments.
    Gavin PP

  • Gavin Pretor-Pinney avatar


    August 22, 2011 at 10:05 am

    As with the prevous gallery system, there is no New Photos section. The most recent photos are just added to the front of the gallery. This means that you see the most recent image when you first go to the gallery:
    Then, as you advance through the images (by clicking to the right of the photo or pressing your right-arrow ‘->’ key), you see those images uploaded before.
    I hope this is clear.
    Thanks for your question.
    Gavin PP

  • Beate Blecher avatar

    Beate Blecher

    August 22, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Hi Gavin, sorry – I think I was reacting too rashly. There were one or two (which I unfortunately happened on first), but it may well be a lack of focus in the photos themselves (and understandable – trying to catch something as fleeting…). And of course the larger you view a photo the more any blurriness shows. The pictures you have uploaded since are fine.
    Thank you for your wonderful engagement and for the enormous amount of work you put into the running of CAS!

  • Gavin Pretor-Pinney avatar


    August 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    No problem. I’m glad that they are looking right now.
    Best wishes,
    Gavin PP

  • Frank Le Blancq avatar

    Frank Le Blancq

    August 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I expect we’ll get used to the new style, but I’m having trouble with the gallery. As a laptop user (my only computer) size is a problem, some photos are bigger than my full screen size – 15 inch. I like to look at the new additions but the gallery defaults to the oldest photos, page 210 while the newest are probably on page 1. A gallery page number on the address bar would help to get to page 1, instead of scrolling through 209 pages. With a bit of playing I can access the newest but using the arrows does not lead to the second newest, third newest etc, only 2005 photos. The old system numbered the photos which was helpful. The ‘find a cloud type’ is inoperative for me. Until the upgrade I’ve had no problems with the gallery but my computer knowledge is limited, maybe I’m just doing something wrong.

  • Gavin Pretor-Pinney avatar


    August 22, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Is it the portrait-shaped photos in particular that are too big for your screen? We have added a portrait photo using a smaller image size in order to see if people think it works better. You can view this one here:
    Does it work any better for your screen?
    How about for you, Beate, can you see it all on the screen at once?

    The gallery should of course default to the newest photo not the oldest! When you first look at the gallery, does it not say at the bottom “Page 1 of 210”? Are you saying that it says “Page 210 of 210”? Currently, the most recent image, and the one that should appear when you first view the gallery, is this one:

    The fact that you say that the ‘Find a Cloud Type’ facility doesn’t work at all, Frank, makes me wonder whether you are viewing the site from a rather out-of-date internet browser. There is always a trade-off between giving a webpage more functionality and ensuring that it works on all internet browsers. Can you tell us which browser you are using. Is it Internet Explorer? If so, are you able to work out which version of the browser you are using?

  • Beate Blecher avatar

    Beate Blecher

    August 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Yes, Gavin, it fits the screen perfectly now.

  • Bryan Hightower avatar


    August 24, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I am still not convinced of this new format. I too have most of the problems that have already been stated. I also do not like that I have to enter my email every time that I want to just leave a message on somones cloud photo. I most likely will just be viewing and not commenting from now on. I do like the fact that the pics are larger, but that so far is all I like about the new “improved” CAS. I am not giving up on one of my favorite web sites(yes, this is one of my all time favs) but I am just not sure I like the new look. I am certain that you have put major time and effort into this site, I just thought that it wasn’t broke before and guess I need some time to get used to the new fangled ways. Hope that isn’t to harsh Gavin. bryan.

  • Gavin Pretor-Pinney avatar


    August 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Of course it is not too harsh, Bryan.

    The best thing is just to ask. I have turned off the requirement that people enter an email address when they leave a comment. This is a feature intended to try and reduce the likelihood of automatic spam comments, which are a problem on many sites. Hopefully we can keep a watch our for these.

    Bryan, you say that you too have most of the problems already stated. Are you saying that, like Frank, you are also unable to search for the different cloud types when you click ‘Find a Cloud Type’? Is the problem that you also see the oldest photo not the latest one when you first go to the gallery? Beate thinks that the portrait format photos are now the right size, as they can be seen on the screen all at once. Are you saying that they are still too large to be viewed on your screen?

    Can you be more specific about the problems you are having so that we can do something about them?

    Many thanks,

  • Beate Blecher avatar

    Beate Blecher

    August 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Gavin,
    sorry, but one more problem: After leaving a comment I’d like to be able to return to the original photo site to then be able to proceed to the next one by arrow or choose another photo from the thumbnail collection at the bottom. In the old version we were able to move on after commenting, now I return to the homepage and start afresh every time. Maybe that’s something worth looking into, if others have the same problem.
    Best wishes,

  • Gavin Pretor-Pinney avatar


    August 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Yes this is definitely something that I want to sort out. I think it is essential for people to be able to return to where they were after they’ve commented on or rated a photo. The developer who’s been working on the gallery said that, for some reason, this is a tricky think to sort out. Rest assured, however, that this is top of the list of things to fix.
    Best wishes,

  • Beate Blecher avatar

    Beate Blecher

    August 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    I’m sure everyone appreciates the difficulties in setting all this up and getting it to run smoothly.
    Thanks to all who are involved,

  • Frank Le Blancq avatar

    Frank Le Blancq

    August 26, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Hi Gavin,

    Thanks, excuse the delayed reply but work calls. The picture size is due to my screen size I think, as it is better on a bigger screen at work and I now seem to be getting the newest posted image each time. The buttons on the right hand size of the ‘Find a Cloud Type’ tab don’t work, but they do when accessed through the ‘Clouds that Look Like Things’ tab. I don’t know my IE version but it’s not the newest and I’m reluctant to upgrade as my laptop (a good spec when bought) is old and slow and that will only make it even slower. Perhaps worth noting that not all of us have or can afford the latest high spec stuff. Thanks for your help and keep up the good work, I’m sure you have put in a lot of hard work into this upgrade and it will get sorted in the end. Frank.

  • Gavin Pretor-Pinney avatar


    August 26, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Frank, this is an eternal problem for website design: how much to aim at out-of-date browsers and how much to use newer functionality which only works with more current browsers.
    Since there are often considerable computer security issues with people sticking to old and out-of-date browsers, it is often felt that only a bit of back-compatibility is really necessary. Of course, if one insisted on a website that worked on really old browsers, it would look and feel like a very basic site indeed. So there is always a balance to be struck. I don’t imagine the developer will be able to do much about your search function difficulties without knowing the actual version of the software, but I will certainly mention them to him.
    Best wishes, Gavin

  • Bryan Hightower avatar


    August 27, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Hey Gavin, since I posted a couple of days ago, I have not experienced any of the problems that I mentioned previously. The only problem that I seem to have had, is I commented on about 3 or 4 cloud entries and my comments were not there when I went back and looked at the said photo’s(I think it was just 2 out of the 3 or 4 that were not there). Since I have been coming back every day to check it out for new entries, I am really starting to appreciate the larger photo format, so I guess all your hard work is not only paying off, it is growing on me. A short while back, I emailed Ian, and suggested a nickname for those of us that love this site, and I suggested Cloudians(honoring Ian himself) and it seemed a few people liked it. Maybe a new design T-shirt with a CloudIan logo and the to help promote to those who don’t know the joy of The Society. Thanks again for all your hard work and of course the Cloud Appreciation Society itself. Have a great weekend, and I hope to be able to send in some new shots of my own soon. Thanks, Bryan H.

  • anne_downie avatar

    Anne Downie

    August 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Gavin
    I, too, can see only part of an image at once (applies to both landscape and portrait). This is the case even when I remove my Favourites bar from down the side. Are there plans to bring back the Search button for photographers? I used to be able to direct friends to the website and just tell them to put my name in the Search facility, but at the moment it would appear that the only way to see all of a particular photographer’s images (either my own, or anyone else’s) is to find one first in the general gallery and then click on the name – not easy! On the whole, though, I do like the new style website, and I appreciate that there will be teething problems. Obviously, a lot of work is going into this, so keep going! Best regards

  • delahaye avatar

    Anne-Marie de la Haye

    August 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    The new presentation of the website is very attractive, as for the visual quality of photos. However, I have a regret, about searching by keywords, which gave much larger possibilities in the old presentation. Previously it was possible not only to search for specific kinds of clouds, and for photos by a given person, but also to search by any kind of keyword, be it time of the year, time of the day (winter, dawn, etc…), kind of landscape (forest, valley, beach…), country or town or specific mountain (Brasil, Naples, Mount Rainier…). This kind of search is no longer possible. Or do I missed something?
    Kind regards,


  • Sue Shaw

    August 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I have to agree with 2 previous contributors, particularly Anne-Marie’s comment about searching with a variety of keywords. Love the larger pictures though! And how about a flying pig for Bryan H’s suggestion? The 6 legged variety (see Ian Loxley’s photos) Brilliant site! Well done all.
    Sue S

  • Gavin Pretor-Pinney avatar


    September 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Bryan, I am glad the new gallery format is growing on you. We’ll certainly bear in mind your suggestion for t-shirts!

    Anne-Marie and Sue, I totally agree with you both about the search function. This is another thing that I am hoping to implement very soon. I think it is essential to be able to search for text – particularly to be able to search for the photographer name. All I can say is watch this space…

    Best wishes, Gavin

  • Jane O'Mahoney avatar

    Jane O'Mahoney (14959)

    September 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Great, great site. I keep spreading the word.

  • Roy White avatar

    Roy White

    September 2, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    I like the new look photo gallery and the revised search facility.

    What happened to the ART gallery and all those super paintings?

  • Gavin Pretor-Pinney avatar


    September 2, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    The art gallery is still there. Look for ‘Cloud Art’ under the ‘From Our Members’ menu item. Otherwise you can just follow this link:
    Best wishes,

  • Annie Morgan avatar

    annie morgan

    September 3, 2011 at 1:21 am

    I like large pictures – though they do need to be scrolled to catch the upper and lower edges. However, most of those can be ignored. Do you have a size limit – large AND small? The newer entries would all have to be at least 2000px wide in order not to lose clarity on the larger screen, wouldn’t they. Congratulations on all your upgrades, I think the whole site is just wonderful.

  • John Rowlands avatar

    John Rowlands

    September 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Two annoying things: if you search for a cloud type, look at those, then try to search again, you’re back to the previous cloud type and stuck in a loop, it seems!

    The other thing is that I can no longer stick in my surname and find all the photos I’ve submitted, which was really useful.

  • Jane Clarke avatar


    September 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I can’t get any photos at all! – a tragedy, since one of my favourite relaxation exercises USED to be putting on the slideshow and letting my mind soar with the clouds …

    Have followed the instructions above, and only been rewarded with a blank white screen. I miss you.

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