Tag: Flickr

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Flickr a Week 2: ‘Antwerp’

What can you say about a photo that has more than 400,000 views? Koen Jacobs specializes in “urban and street photography”, and he’s an art form—or so says me. I came to his Photostream by way of image “The Underpass“, which I later learned, from his website, was chosen as the cover for musician/director Rafa Russo single “You Crossed My Mind”.

So-o-o-o, quite coincidentally, and surprisingly, something else: I prepared the first Flickr-a-Week posts in late December 2019. On the same day I finished this one, the 19th, the image-sharing service picked the “Top 25 Photos on Flickr in 2019 From Around The World“. Koen’s “undeniable dilemma” made the list. Oh my!

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Flickr a Week 1: ‘Fairfield House 1078 D’

The new series starts with a gorgeous, prairie landscape taken by Jim Choate on May 13, 2017. He explains about capturing the moment: “What a lucky evening. I had spent several hours on backroads south of The Dalles, Oregon, unsuccessfully looking for photo opportunities, when I turned a corner and unexpectedly came across the lovely and often-photographed abandoned Fairfield house. The day had been dreary, gray, and drizzly, but the clouds in the West cleared for about 15 minutes while I took this photo”.

Jim’s perseverance preserves something that no one else can ever see. “This homestead burned to the ground in July [2018] in a huge prairie fire that devastated 78,000 acres”, he explains, referring to the Substation Fire. “Oregon lost one its most famous and loved abandoned places”.

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Introducing ‘Flickr a Week’

On Jan. 1, 2015, I started ambitious publishing project “Flickr a Day“: One image, from a different photographer, each and every day. Curating compositions proved to be an engaging educational exercise that I like to think (somewhat) improved my tradecraft. But the process also consumed more time than expected. For purpose of respecting copyrights, I only chose Creative Commons-licensed pics, but many of the best were All Rights Reserved.

Five years later, time is long past to revive a project that I immensely enjoyed compiling and hopefully some people enjoyed viewing. Like the original concept, one Creative Commons-licensed photo from a single shooter will be shared once, with some background—and, where appropriate, additional storytelling—about both. But unlike 2015, 2020 will be less frequent: Twice weekly; occasionally something extra to mark current events or special occasions.

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Call Me Surprised About SmugMug and Flickr

My preferred, and favorite, photo-sharing site is SmugMug. The family-owned operation is long profitable by defying the Internet’s predominant axiom: Free. SmugMug relies on a solely subscription model, where customers pay, and, as such, doesn’t collect user information for profit nor are there annoying advertisements.

But for the longest time, I haven’t used SmugMug—for what may seem like the strangest of reasons: My art isn’t good enough. The service has matured into a collective of professional photographers, and I don’t feel comfortable keeping my images among theirs (although many of mine remain from the past). I grudgingly use Flickr instead. Instagram isn’t an option, for the same reasons I rebuke parent company, and data-collection whore, Facebook. 

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You Can Call Me a Flickr Fool

Blame inertia, or stupidity. On Dec. 29, 2016, I boasted: “I am abandoning Yahoo and its photo-sharing site, for many of the reasons stated seven months ago. My Flickr Pro account expires in September, and I will cancel a few weeks earlier to prevent auto-renewal. In the meantime, I consider my Flickr officially closed, and I will no longer use it”. Ah, yeah, that didn’t happen.

In preparation for my Flickr finale, back in July, I blocked the service from using my PayPal to auto-renew. Twenty-four days ago, I unsurprisingly received email that payment processing failed. Second-thoughts overwhelmed. While Yahoo is a mess, Verizon has since taken ownership—and my family now uses Red’s cellular service. There’s synergy there. Besides, my low-cost renewal remained in place: $44.95 for another two years. The standard service fee is $5.95 per month, or $49.95 yearly. Smitten with angst, I paid up.