It was ten years ago when we began to photo-share at Flickr

Wednesday, 19 February, 2014

Photo-sharing website Flickr has just turned ten, and was launched only days after the first form of Facebook went live.

Back in 2004, the sort of rich online environment for social interaction that Flickr and other newcomers were inventing was so new that people started talking about “Web 2.0,” a term that started out sounding futuristic but soon became redundant, since its influence was everywhere. No Web 2.0 site was more important than Flickr; it debuted just six days after Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room, and at first, it wasn’t clear that Butterfield and Fake’s photo-sharing site wasn’t the bigger deal. Even its name, with the missing final vowel, provided inspiration to countless other startups.

I joined Flickr in March 2006, but somehow didn’t post my first photo until May 2007.

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Recipes in 15 seconds, that’s an Instagram cooking channel for you

Thursday, 13 February, 2014

If cooking anything more than a couple of rounds of toast daunts you, and there are people – who shall remain nameless – falling into that category, then Fish Tales, an Instagram based cooking… channel, featuring recipe videos no longer than fifteen seconds in duration, may just be what the significant other ordered.

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If Instagram were a child of the 1980s…

Wednesday, 12 February, 2014

How much fun would smartphone photo sharing app Instagram have been, had it have come along during the 1980s? With the monochrome monitors of the period though, I’d say it wouldn’t really have held up a candle to Polaroid cameras.

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The most photographed place? The restaurant you’re at, of course

Thursday, 23 January, 2014

If someone were to ask me what the most photographed place on Earth is, I’d say it would be the restaurant table you’re sitting at. Funny, right?

For a more reasoned answer to the question however, check out Sightsmap, a website that collates data from geolocation-oriented photo sharing site Panoramio to produce a heat map of global photo hot spots.

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Marriage unplugged, how photo-sharing could ruin your wedding

Wednesday, 29 May, 2013

Mobile phone cameras, used by wedding guests to capture a ceremony’s happy moments, that are promptly shared via the likes of Instagram and/or Facebook, are increasingly cramping the style of the occasion’s official photographers, to the point that some professionals are calling for “unplugged” weddings:

Prior to the ceremony, the officiant read this, “Welcome, friends and family! Good evening everyone. Please be seated. Dan and Jennifer invite you to be truly present at this special time. Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks – I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology. If Dan can do it, then so can you.”

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More new insects are found online than in the wild

Monday, 13 August, 2012

The next time you take a photo of what appears to be an ordinary insect, it may pay to look more closely at the image… it could be you’ve discovered a new insect species, as was the case for Malaysian photographer Hock Ping Guek, who recently posted photos of such a creature to photo-sharing service Flickr:

Shaun Winterton, a researcher with the California State Collection of Arthropods at the California Department of Food & Agriculture, first found evidence of the species when he randomly stumbled upon a set of photos posted by Hock Ping Guek, a Malaysian photographer. Winterton recognized the insect as a potentially new species, but needed to collect field specimen in order to formally describe it.

Stumbling upon an unknown species – by the way – is far from uncommon, as thousands of new insects are identified every year.

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Geo tags identify photographic hot spots around the world

Friday, 28 May, 2010

Sydney photo geo tag map

Eric Fischer has produced a series of maps showing where Flickr and Picasa photos are taken in major cities around the world. Colour distinguishes photographers modes of travel, whether they were on foot, bike, or in a vehicle, and darker lines indicate areas where higher numbers of pictures were taken.

The above map of Sydney shows photos being taken where you would most expect them, in the downtown and harbour areas, as well as the beaches to the north (Palm beach and surrounds) and the east of the city (Bondi, Bronte, Coogee, etc).

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Have digital cameras made us all professional photographers?

Wednesday, 7 April, 2010

Photo sharing services such as Flickr, and the proliferation of digital cameras, have simultaneously increased the numbers of would-be professional photographers vastly, while undermining the profession at the same time.

Because Flickr is so prominent, it’ll get most of the blame for the destruction of yet another venerable profession. But in fact the rot had set in long before the site launched in February 2004. The main culprit was the idiot-proof digital camera, which enabled almost anyone to take a decent photograph, or at any rate one that was accurately exposed, in focus and sharp – and to delete it and try again if it hadn’t turned out right.

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3D photo modelling gives old cities a new perspective

Monday, 5 October, 2009

Amazing, three dimensional images of cities have been created using thousands of photos posted to photo-sharing site Flickr.

Sameer Agarwal’s team was able to create a simulation of Rome using 150,000 images harvested from photo-sharing website Flickr, and build a virtual model within a day.

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Backing up your Flickr photos

Wednesday, 10 June, 2009

Dan Benjamin has modified Flickr backup script FlickrTouchr so that it can download your original, full-size, Flickr photos to one location.

This will especially suit people – such as myself – whose Flickr collections have been built up from different computers and locations over time, and who accordingly don’t have copies of these photos stored in one central location.

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