About photoSIG


photoSIG is a community of photographers and photography enthusiasts, ranging from amateurs to working professionals. photoSIG members who submit photographs are expected to write critiques for others .

photoSIG is designed to be self-maintaining. The worthiness, or unworthiness, of photos and critiques submitted by users is determined by the user community. Users have the opportunity to comment and critique, favorably or unfavorably, on photos and on critiques submitted by other users. In addition to the editorial control exerted by the community via the rating system, photoSIG itself also attempts to encourage high-quality critiques by only allowing critiques that conform to photoSIG's quality standard to affect a photographer's rating.

photoSIG opened to the public on December 7, 2001. It is the sister site to artSIG, but while artSIG covers all types of visual art, photoSIG deals exclusively with photography. Information on photoSIG can be found on wikipedia.com.

Who's Who on photoSIG

Willis Boyce is the President of SIG Networks Corporation and is also the developer of the photoSIG software. He is 35 years old and lives in New York City. He has been writing software since grade school. Currently he spends most of his time either awake or asleep.

Sheena Wilkie is the photoSIG sheena_wilkie/Administrator. Sheena Wilkie is a professional photographer, you can view her work at www.sheena.ca and her courses and workshops at www.photogurus.ca. If Willis is the engine behind photoSIG, Sheena is its spirit, its enthusiasm, its voice of reason, and occasionally the firm hand that keeps it in order. If sometimes it seems that she likes dogs better than people, well, you've seen what kind of people you are. Contrary to popular opinion, she'd rather be nice to everyone. She can be reached at sheena@photosig.com. (Thanks to Marshall for this description.)

Del, an engineer in his full-time career, is developing his photography business to keep him in film and electrons in retirement. His work is primarily landscape and nature, developing his skills in studio still life and color night photography. He edits assignment submissions and keeps the assignment area on track.



photoSIG would not have been possible without the support and assistance of many friends, relatives, acquaintences, and others that I barely know, including

  • My parents, William and Susie Boyce, who are largely responsible for my being a technology guy, having spent their own time and money supporting my interest in computers when I was far too young to be able to afford it myself.
  • My wife, Sara, who was very patient while I spent most of my time between July, 2002 and March, 2003 working on photoSIG.
  • Sheena (see above), who has taken a lot of the administrative burden of photoSIG off my shoulders.
  • Philip Greenspun. Philip was a pioneer in the development of community web sites, developing the original photo.net and, with his former company, the ArsDigita Community System. Though he doesn't know it, Philip inspired me to develop the photoSIG system and indirectly, through his books and writings, influenced the development both of that system and of photoSIG.
  • Kiodex, the company that I founded with Marty Chavez, Joachim Emanuelsson, and Raj Mahajan in early 2000, just in time for the crash. I worked at Kiodex as Chief Technology Officer until June, 2002, when I became a part-time consultant, and left entirely at the end of 2002. By virtue of paying my salary, Kiodex made it possible for me to lose a lot of money on photoSIG during the first half of 2002 and still be able to pay rent.
  • Desmond Walsh, who owned the artsig.com domain when I first start thinking about artSIG and was nice enough to sell it to me.
  • LiveJournal and the LiveJournal developers and administrators, who worked out a great way of regulating new user registrations on popular community sites and gave me some very detailed information about their experience with it.
  • Slug, the owner of PBase, who has shared some of his site administration experience with me.
  • JetBrains and the IDEA development team. IDEA is an integrated development environment for Java. Developing photoSIG in eight months would have been much more difficult without this wonderful tool. Highly recommended!

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

photoSIG consists of about 450 Java source files and JSP pages containing about 50,000 lines of code. However, photoSIG also incorporates or utilizes millions of lines of code written by other people, many of whom are better programmers than I am. Here I attempt to give proper credit to at least some of them, such as

  • Craig McClanahan and everyone who has worked on the Tomcat and Struts projects. photoSIG is a Struts application and was originally developed under Tomcat.
  • The Apache HTTP Server development team. Apache makes the best and most popular web server available, and gives it away for free.
  • MySQL AB and the MySQL developers. Not too many years ago, writing a database application meant either spending a lot of money on license fees or accepting an inferior database. Now you can use MySQL. In use by both photoSIG and artSIG, MySQL has served about 80 queries per second for months without ever losing data.
  • Linus Torvalds and everyone else who has contributed to the Linux operating system. Linux is an amazing piece of software. In 1991, it was the Unix that you used if you couldn't afford real Unix. In 2003, it is the operating system of choice for millions of people.
  • The Batik development team, which provided the SVG handling software.


photoSIG is a service of SIG Networks Corporation. The content of photoSIG, with the exception of user contributions, are copyright © 2002-2007 by SIG Networks Corporation. We can use our technology for your projects, too. Contact us for more information.