So I’m antsy – I want to see my race photos from Saturday. But, the folks at Ironman California (well, technically ASI photography) aren’t so quick. However, being a bit of a computer dude, I figured I’d trace through how they display photos and see if I could find them sitting in a non-published area. And – it turns out you can. These photos aren’t any different in size than what will ultimately be displayed on the web page preview, you just get to see them a few hours or days before everyone else. Again – you’re not getting full resolution versions or anything, just simply a look at the back end photo archive before they are fully listed.
Oh…and you have to have a crapload of determination and patience. But I did find my photos. This post is only applicable to Action Sports International Photos (ASI), and not any of the other ones out there.
Like most IT endeavors, usually back end content is staged before hand, and then the front end pages are updated to point to the then already existing content. This eliminates issues where web pages point to non-existent content due to delays in publishing/synchronization. Because of this we’re able to see the photos before the update the front end page telling you the photos are ready. Think of it like looking through the window in the oven. Sometimes you look in and don’t see anything happening, other times it’s nearly ready to go.
(All of the below examples are for Ironman California 70.3…so if you want those photos, just click on the links – I’ve made it easy for ya)
- Ok, now here comes the complex part – copying and pasting. The next little hyperlink contains a link which brings you straight to the listing of all photographs. You need to REPLACE the EVENTID with your ID. It’s easiest to just copy/paste the whole thing to your address bar first and then just replace the digits at the end.
- At this point, you can start browsing through photos to find yourself. The trick is that they are constantly publishing photos – adding new ones. When you see the photos of the finish, remember that there are TWO camera angles, and only one of them will likely have you. So you have to go through the finish times twice to get to your time. Finding your photo using the above simply requires patience and persistence.
Are you ready to kick it up a notch?
But…pretend you’re really hardcore and want to find your photos NOW! Or…you’re just curious at how this works. Also…this next part gets a bit messy, so hold on.
- That number has three components:
- First part: The event ID
- Second part: the digital ‘roll’, each roll contains roughly 35 photos
- Third part: The unique identifier within each roll (the counter up to about 35 photos)
- Now comes the fun part. Click on a photo – any photo.
- The page loads with the photo, like you’d expect. Now right click on the page (or the photo) and select “View Source”, this should open up Notepad or similar.
- From the edit menu (if in Notepad), select Find, and type in the following number: 18.104.22.168
- Note the portion in the red box. You’ll need this. The number immediately following it is the event ID, then the batch/roll ID, and finally your photo.
- Navigate to the following link – but with changing the different parts to have your correct event numbers from above.
Here’s what you need to change
- 206 > replace numbers with numbers found in step #6
- 31250 > replace with your EVENT ID
- Now you’ll see a listing of every ‘digital roll’. Note the date modified. If you refresh the page a few hours later, you’ll likely see some photos being added – thus proof they are working on it.
- You’ll see how there are two versions of each photo – one with a ‘f’ after it, and the other with a ‘t’ after it. This stands for ‘full’ and ‘thumbnail’. Note again – these are not the high resolution images, these are simply the two preview versions you see, the thumbnail when looking at multiple photos and the full when looking at a single photo.
But I think I’ll wait till they publish them all. Cause really…I spend all day doing ‘how does it REALLY function’ kinda stuff all day for work. 😉
[Update]: So the photo above… Here’s the deal – as I came threw I did my whole ‘arms up’ thing, which worked out well as I crossed the banner. And then I put them down (logical, right?). Except that’s the moment that they decided to take my photo. Smooth I am…so smooth. Oh and yes…I use my ‘powers’ for good, not evil.