Are you still using Flickr? I’m interested to hear from anyone still using it, and why. Or what you’re using instead, other than Instagram.
I have had a Flickr Pro account since 2005, then it went free for many years under Yahoo! And then now it’s owned by SmugMug it’s back like it used to be, with a limited free account and Pro option where you can keep more or less unlimited photos.
When that kicked in I decided to pay to keep my full account because I have photos on Flickr going back to 2005. But I was in two minds about it because at the time I hadn’t posted anything since 2016. Paying for Pro again kind of felt like a waste of money, but on the other hand I wasn’t ready to have that whole archive wiped from the web. For one thing this blog goes back to 2008 and many of the posts have photos embedded from Flickr.
Flickr used to be so great! It was my favourite thing on the web. I would spend hours on there, browsing and running groups and chatting about photography on the group chats etc. I have some shots with hundreds of faves, and discussions in the comments.
What’s kind of a shame is that now it’s technically as good as ever, I would say (yes, there are arguments for the previous UX but that’s not the point here), the mobile app is decent and everything is working well, yet it feels a bit dead in there.
I much prefer Flickr to Instagram because I like to look at BIG, high-res meticulously-processed professional-grade photos on a big display. Instagram would diminish an Andreas Gursky or Gregory Crewdesn shot, but my 27" iMac would do it justice. But of course everything is about mobile now, Flickr were years too late with a decent mobile app and Instagram became the photos place.
Instagram is cool but so much seems to have become about the process of infinite scrolling and liking, it’s kind of strange. Algo-hypnosis.
A year or so ago Rachael was told on several occasions by publishers that she needed more Instagram followers before they’d consider going ahead with a book. She now has lots more Instagram followers and some books are going ahead – not because of Instagram, but a decent presence there is apparently a prerequisite.
I stopped using an SLR camera when phone cameras got good, because the phone is much more convenient. But on my phone I shoot countless shots that just collect on there, until every two years or so it gets full and I back it up into a folder called something like "2019-08 iPhone photos" and never look at those shots again. Occasionally I post one to Instagram but mostly I’ve become bored with photography I think largely as a byproduct of the cameraphone revolution.
Anyway I’m not plugging anything in this post but I’ve started occasionally using the Canon 5D Mark II again. And it’s so much better. I am starting to enjoy it again. And I’ve posted a few recent holiday shots to Flickr – three weeks after they were taken, because I had to select and process the RAW files. But maybe that’s better.
Will I renew my Flickr account again when it’s due? Not sure. Is there an alternative place for photos in set and gallery format that’s still thriving? Will Flickr itself even survive?
I am, for now, on Flickr at flickr.com/photos/aderowbotham.
Cover photo: Matchstick Skiers, 2006