This being my first article for MyMac.com, I’d thought I’d write about one of my favorite websites for me, an aspiring photographer. The site is called Flickr, a Yahoo! owned photo community site allowing users to post and share their digital photographs with other amateur and professional photographers throughout the world.
Becoming a member of Flickr is quite simple. If you only shoot a couple of dozen photos a month, you could get by with a free Flickr account which allows you to upload 20 MB of photos per month and to organize and maintain them in three different photo sets. You can get by with the free account for a couple of months without experiencing any limitations. But once you catch the Flickr bug you’ll want to go pro level for just $24.95 a year which gives you 2 gigs of monthly upload, unlimited storage, bandwidth, photosets, permanent archiving, and ad-free browsing and sharing.
It took me a while to realize the advantages of a pro membership. Once you uploaded your pictures to your personal Flickr site, you can choose to share them publicly with whomever visited my homepage, or you can choose to share selected photos only with family members, friends, or Flickr contacts.
For me, being able to create a buddy list of your favorite Flickr photographers is what makes the site most appealing. As you browse the site admiring the work of other members, you can invite them to become a contact or buddy, which means you keep abreast of the photos they’re posting. Typically your invited contacts also add you to their buddy list.
The greater appeal of Flickr is that your account acts both as a blog site and a photo-sharing site. You draw more traffic to your homepage because your photos can be viewed in various ways. Flickr members have created a plethora of photo group pools you can join and post your appropriate photos to. I just joined a new one today titled MLK Blvd, which seeks to display “photographs taken on streets, avenues, and boulevards named for Martin Luther King, Jr., in any city.”
Like other advanced community sites, Flickr offers tagging as a useful way to organize and locate your and other members’ uploaded photos. When your collection of photos grows over a couple hundred, you’ll thank yourself for tagging the ones that are of your individual children or vacation shots. Maybe you’ll want to see all your black and white photos at once or every holiday photo you took in the last couple of years. With tags accessing what you want can be done in just a couple of clicks.
And getting your photos onto Flickr is just as easy as importing them into your iPhoto collection. A couple of very useful uploading tools exist for Mac users. The Flcikr Uploadr can rest on your desktop enabling to simply drag photos onto its icon, label them, and re-size as you choose. The Uploadr connects directly to your Flickr homepage and post your photos for you.
One Flickr member has also created a plug-in for iPhoto enabling you to post selected photos directly from your iPhoto library.
You can also post photos to your homepage the hard way–one at a time. Either method you choose, you can arrange your photos into individual sets or albums, tag them, add them to your selected groups, and, get this, post them to your personal blog site. Flickr also provides a way to get hyperlink codes for various sizes of your posted photos so that you can link to them on other websites.
It’s hard to believe that Flickr is still in its beta stage, which means that there’s more to come. Rumor has it that members will soon be able to publish prints and books of their photos directly from the site.
Overall, the site is clean, well organized, and fun. Though I’m the only avid photographer in my family, I have a growing list of contacts on Flickr who teach me through their work what good photography is all about.
Psssst, though I’m a little shy about my photos, here’s my Flickr homepage.