About FotozonesThe best way to describe Fotozones would be to say that we are an assembly of friends from around the world who have more than just a passing interest in photography. Some of us are professionals, some are amateurs, some are talented, some are curious, some are old hands, some are new hands. We just love photography and the things we use to make it happen.
So here on Fotozones we share our photos, ideas and opinions on everything related to photography. We don't look down on anybody who uses a different kind of camera to the one we use and where possible we try to help one another with technical stuff and to make informed decisions on the gear we buy.
Stuff That Needs To Be Said About Our PastOriginally Fotozones was registered as an "umbrella" brand for a bunch of existing photography websites and online projects. The main website it covered was Nikongear.com, which was established in 2005 and grew to become a rather large online forum for not only Nikon users, but also a lot of other brand users. Nikongear existed as its own entity within Fotozones, but with the masthead of the site being masked by the new Fotozones masthead which was common to the other photography sites. This didn't go down very well with the Nikongear family and an internal pressure group within the FZ umbrella insisted that the site go back to being called Nikongear with its own masthead. Which it did. Fotozones then sat idle for a while until mirrorless cameras came to the forefront in 2013 and it became its own separate project specifically focusing on mirrorless cameras. Things moved along well with Fotozones and it grew to the point where its daily traffic was almost on par with that of Nikongear.
But then things got mixed up again in 2014.
With decreasing participation on Nikongear the site was offered for sale to its most prominent members who declined to take it on, citing unavailable human resources and funding to manage it. This was a problem for the owner because managing two sites with their associated costs and time requirement didn't make a lot of sense so he decided to merge them together, databases, posts, members and all, but running the site under the Fotozones domain name with the Nikongear name pointing to it. That happened in 2014 and it surfed along well for about a year. But then things between the mirrorless and Nikon families got strained with constant flare-ups making visiting the site very unpleasant for everyone. It couldn't continue that way.
Something had to change.
The story of how the Nikongear family became estranged from the Fotozones family is contained within the posts of Fotozones circa April 2015. If you're morbidly curious feel free to go and search the posts around that time. In a nutshell the core Nikon people went off, registered their own Nikongear.net website and set about rebuilding their community on their own terms. Towards the end of 2015 the owner and original developer donated the Nikongear.com name to them and focused his attention on transforming Fotozones into the kind of universal, unbranded photography website he has always wanted it to be. That's what you're looking at now.
The Way We See The Future UnfoldingThe web has changed a lot since Nikongear.com first emerged in 2005. We've seen the birth of social media, blogging, sites entirely dedicated to affiliate marketing or advertising links (with a bit of relevant content thrown in) and sites where being first to review something new is all that matters. We don't want to be anything like that. We want to be a site where the only reason people join is to enjoy meeting other like-minded people and sharing content and inspiration for photography with them. We want our content to be original and created by our members out of love for this thing called photography, not any of those things that seem to drive other sites. To that end we push the best content we find in our forums to the front of the site and we make it more accessible to search engines.
We definitely don't want to make content for the sake of content, so don't expect a new article to appear on our home page every day, or even every week. No, we don't want that. Fotozones is our shared creative outlet and we use it to share, advise and inform our friends about what we're doing with our cameras and why we do what we do.
A Bit About Commercial StuffWe don't expect to earn money from this website, but we do hope that the members will voluntarily chip in occasionally to help with the running costs. There's a donate link on the main menu for that and you can see what's been donated for the current year at any time.
That said you will see limited advertising on Fotozones, but it will be restricted to people and organisations who help us with funding or sponsorships directly. At the moment those are Photographers.travel, which is our own inhouse photo safari marketing business, and ThinkTankPhoto (who make the awesome bags we use on safari and in our daily photography activities). We won't run Adsense or affiliate programs for retailers and we will fiercely defend our independence from any outside corporate influence if we are reviewing equipment. That's our model and we're going to stick with it.