Flickr of joy

It's a fair bet that if you own a digital camera, the pictures you've taken with it are the most valuable and least replaceable documents on your PC. Photo-management programs such as Google's Picasa and Photoshop Elements recognise their value; just about every one I've reviewed recently makes it easy to archive your image library to CD or DVD (see Figure 1).

But your photos aren't on your computer just so that you can archive them. The beauty of digital photography is the ability to share your pictures with others. Increasingly, that means displaying them on a Web site where friends and family can swoon over your photography skills.

That brings up an awkward situation: surely backing up locally is an unnecessary duplication of effort when you can upload photos to a Web site where they can be both archived safely and viewed?

Previously, this was a luxury only available to those with their own Web site, and who were prepared to pay an Internet Service Provider for the privilege. Alternatively, you could use an online photo printing service with a photo album feature (like www.fujicolor.com.au) to host a limited number of snaps for free and share them with your friends that way - though they usually have to sign up as members to view your album. Worthwhile, if you intend to use the service to eventually print your snaps, but not a lot of fun.

Flickr (www.flickr.com) is different. This online photo sharing service makes uploading pictures a joy. It not only lets you back up as many photos as you want, but simultaneously offers an intuitive way to display them to family, friends or the wider world.

Community spirit

The secret of Flickr's success - more than 20 million photos are currently stored on its servers - is its thriving online community. Flickr is structured around tags, or keywords attached to photos, letting viewers browse by subjects they are interested in.

You can choose who sees your pics - restricting viewers to friends and family, for example - and you can even decide who can download and print them. But for me, the best community feature is the way anyone viewing a Flickr photo can, by clicking a button and dragging a box over the photo, add a note to it (see Figure 2), which can be seen by subsequent viewers. It's a great way of explaining and enjoying photos.

It's easy to set up a free account with Flickr, although it comes with a few limitations. You can see only the last 200 of your uploaded photos, and you can upload only 20MB of images each calendar month. This is a bandwidth rather than a storage limitation, so deleting photos you have previously uploaded doesn't free space. You can see how much you've uploaded in the current month on Flickr's Web upload page (www.flickr.com/photos/upload).

If your desire to share your photos online goes beyond this bandwidth, you can always upgrade to a Pro account (at an annual cost of $US25), which provides a 2GB monthly upload limit and unlimited storage.

The more cost-effective (read: cheapskate) method I use is to resize my photos before uploading so they're smaller and consume less bandwidth. Only two things to remember here: first, don't resize the original image, only the copy you're exporting, and if you're making a backup of your photo library, rather than just sharing files, shrinking your images might not be such a good idea. But otherwise it's a sensible approach.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Gorham

PC Advisor (UK)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?